Mountains behind Makati City, courtesy of Neil Howard

Mountains behind Makati City, courtesy of Neil Howard

Just wanted to share some words…

once upon a time, writing poetry was like breathing…but the knack for it has somehow escaped me.


the motherland was home long before i ‘d ever
set a foot on its soil…
sweat the sweat of third world toil or known
the meaning of words i couldn’t spell

now…i can smell the smell of concrete and tar
baking under a polluted sun
breathe deep of the excrement of buses and cars;
masked by the scent of mama’s pan de sal

the incessant noise rings in my ears–
this city never sleeps
the sounds of living punctuate my sleep and the
motherland exists always in my dreams

and through the probing lenses and distorted perceptions
of discovery channel directors
i laugh at the cultural misconceptions
seen through the eyes of others who
can’t, won’t and will never call this land home.

from the comfort of my first world observational dome
i bear a third world soul
and in an attempt to remove the (sick) from home-
i slave over the stove—
trying to recreate mama’s irreplaceable taste of home

til then, simultaneous dread and excitement
bring me closer to that descent
through a contaminated sky
til the myriad of Manila’s haphazard grid come into view
and i pretend to point out which house is mine.

christine mangosing 2004

~ by tinmango on August 18, 2008.

2 Responses to “home[sick]”

  1. I wasn’t even BORN there and your poem makes ME feel homesick!

  2. christine… this was beautiful… i want to see more… and of course go the Philippines again really soon.

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