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