Conundrum: A Translation to English of “Tulukibon” by CD Borden

(The Cebuano poem “Tulukibon” by my friend and Silliman co-fellow CD Borden appeared in the BalaKista, a blog dedicated to Cebuano Poetry run by my Iyas co-fellow Romeo Bonsocan. Special thanks to Iyas co-fellow Ioannes Arong for sharing the blog. All three  friends are based in Cebu and are at the forefront of the thriving literary scene in the Cebuano heartland. CD in particular has gained a reputation for his startling and often surreal images.)


ni CD Borden

Unsa man ka tinuod ang kamatuoran?
Sama ba kini ka tinuod sa sanggot nga mikulit og tingsi sa buwan?
Sama ba kini ka tinuod sa saging nga milamoy sa unggoy?
Sa bukog nga mitangag sa iro?
Sa tiguwang nga nagbisikleta sa panganod kaha?
O sa babaye nga gitaban sa tabanog?

Sama ba kini ka tinuod sa bata nga mikuhag bituon sa langit, gibutang sa lamparilya, ug gitayhop sa takna sa tingkatulog?



by CD Borden

How true is the truth?
Is it as true as the sickle that etches a grin on the moon?
Is it as true as the banana that devours the monkey?
As the bone that gnaws the dog?
As true as the old man who rides a bicycle in the clouds, perhaps?
Or as true as the girl flown away up to the air by the kite?

Is it as true as the child who takes a star from the heavens, puts it in a lamp, and blows it out before bedtime?

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