“Sa mga higayong sama niini, pinangga” by Ioannes Arong: A Translation from Cebuano

(This poem by my Iyas co-fellow Ioannes Arong appeared in the September 26 2012 issue of Bisaya Magazine. Thoughhis poem shines brightest when it demonstrates his dark Cebuano humour, this poem nevertheless showcases how musical Ioannes can be as a poet, with a repetition reminiscent of the villanelle or Elsie Coscolluela’s “In Time Passing,” and a theme as old as Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130)

Sa mga higayon sama niini, pinangga
ni Ioannes Arong

(alang kang Carmie)

layagon kos tumang kahidlaw
samtang sud-ongon ka sa hilom.

kay sa mga higayong sama niini
pinaphaan na sa dayan-dayan imong
panagway. gani, ang imong aping
nga ganiha nabulit sa makeup
karon nagmanteka na. ang pinungpong
mong buhok gahina sa imong
paglakaw karon nagkalkag.

sa mga higayon sama niini sab
dili na sinukod ang imong matag lihok.
wala gyoy timailhan sa imong
pagkahinayon nianang hagok
mong lupig pay bunok sa uwan
nga nahagba ibabaw sa aton atop.

ug dili sama sa naandan,
sa mga higayong sama niini
yano lang ang imong pamiste.

dakong pahiyom ang akong mga wait
sa mga higayong sama niini, pinangga
kay karon maanyag ka labaw kanus-a.
oo, labi kang maanyag niining mga higayona!

ug sa akong hunahuna
labi kang nabulahan
kay ako ray gitugtan mong
makasaksi niining tanan.

In moments such as this, beloved
by Ioannes Arong

(for Carmie)

The deepest want assails me
while I look at you in silence.

For in moments such as this
ornaments have rubbed on your visage. that your cheeks,
a while back smeared with makeup
now glistens with oiliness. your well-bound
hair a while back dancing as you walked
now strewn unkempt.

In moments such as this as well
your every movement is no longer measured.
There is nothing to recognize you in your
peaceful slumber, that snoring
louder than the rain
crashing like fallen tree trunks down our roof

And unlike what is usual
in moments such as this
simple is your appearance.

My lips crescent to a big smile
in moments such as this, beloved
for tonight you are lovelier, more than ever.
Oh, you are loveliest in moments such as this!

And in my mind
I feel blessed
for you let my eyes alone
behold all this.

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