Ti Agur-uray (The One Who Awaits)–daniw/poem

Another poem from my Iluko soul

I’ve posted this poem (daniw) at sometime ago and then I decided to submit it to Bannawag for consideration. More and more as I write in Iluko, I realize how I can transmute images that somehow flow into the theme from different tributaries so to speak, diving deep into waters I thought I had not been steeped in as a child. I’m still in awe–in fact, constantly exhilarated each time words well up and flow into images and thought. Now I can say I can write from my soul—the totality of me.

It’s no longer a mystery to me why native speakers write with ease—one word alone recreates a universe only they could conjure. I always take the Iluko word ‘ranitrit’ as an example. For me it does not only translate into ‘creaking’ but it also pictures the ‘kawayan’ and ‘bolo’ groves by the ‘kali’ where a kingfisher used to lord it over on early afternoons I used to frequent in the summer as a girl when the sun had just slid off the zenith with siesta-calm. I had loved this time to go there by myself braving through my grandmother’s warnings of rice snakes and phantoms just to listen to the wind soughing against the tightly clamped bamboo trees—in togetherness. ‘Ranitrit’, what a sound, what images, what feelings!

But there’s also ‘alusiis’, ‘sutsot’, ‘wagsak’, ‘palanguad’ and so much more I’m recalling and picking up from reading more Iluko pieces here and in a number of Iluko websites. Discovering has been a grace that has brought me home where I would have been lost forever.

But what steeped me deeper in waters I may never want to step out of now—deep in a consciousness that world I thought I had forgotten keeps sousing my heart in whispered songs—is my having stumbled upon the blog ‘basi republic’ (named after the legendary Ilocano wine) and dared to submit two of my poems. The blog owner, Roy V. Aragon, a name Iluko poet, liked my haiku with iluko translations, but two of my attempts at iluko poetry, “No Umadalem ti Rabii” and “Agsapa” have been accepted by the young poetry editor of Bannawag, Ariel S. Tabag, and this third, “Ti Agur-uray” published in August.

I grew up reading Bannawag, the 75-year old Iluko vernacular magazine. I used to want to finish all the stories and serialized novels that I wouldn’t stop even when the sun had set and the light has grayed over. Before our Coleman would flood my grandmother’s house where we lived, I would snuggle by the kitchen oil lamp, reading with a wavering tongue of light. Could all that possibly caused my astigmatism that still lures me to dive into floods of light as though these blind me?

Long before I knew who F. Sionil Jose was, the National Artist, I lived in worlds he created; I remember ‘The Pretenders’, one of his early novels in Iluko. But I left for university in Manila and hardly went back home. I lost my tongue and never once wrote with it. What a great gift to have it back, like perhaps a miracle of sight and speech. This poem for me, speaks of it.

Lynn Canyon river bed, Lynn Valley, BC 2009






Ti Agur-uray (The One Who Awaits) 

(Published in Bannawag 080210 page 6)

Nagangon dagiti bulbulong ngem awan ti imparipiripmo a panagsublim.

Ania ti nakataktakam ket di met nagsarday ti panagayus ‘ta karayan?

Ania koma no sinurotmo lattan ti lenned, kabus ken sellag?


Saanko met ket nga immaldit dagidi darepdepta iti kawaw a langit.

Sinurotko dagitoy kadagiti rimat dagiti bituen, kadagiti gilap ti init

No matnag ti sikigna iti danum a masinsinit, kadagiti agpukawpukaw

Nga apros ti bulan bayat ti panagdaliasatna iti umatiberber nga angep.


Naggapuanna koma ti im-impek a banglo iti pusok?

Intanemmo babaen ti arasaas a kas kalag-an ti panagtangep

Ti langit ken taaw— saan a marukod, matinep, masukog.

Kasano koma ngata a lipatek ti diak maaprosan?

Saanko nga inggagara ti panagrusing ti bukel— nagsabong met lattan.


Naraniag unay dagiti matam, kinuna dagiti makasabat kaniak,

Adda aglaslasbang a sabong iti kaunggam.

Ngem no agsarmingak, dagiti nasilap a luak ti makitkitak.


No agbisngay ti langit iti rumabii ket masilawan ti addangko

A mapan aguray manen iti ruangan, kuna ti kannag kaniak:

Anian a raniag ti anninawanmo!


Diakon mabilang dagiti rabii a nagkaradap ti bulan

Tapno bugiawenna ti sipnget ket ulsannak, kaduaennak.

Ta ti raniag, para kadagiti agladladangit iti sipnget.


Agyamanka kadagiti rabii a sinangsangitam

Umayen ti dimo koma maur-urayen

Silawanto ti sileng dagiti luam

Sabtento ti ayamuom ti pinetpetam nga arasaas.