Kallautang–Corazon Quiamas


Nota Bene: Excerpted from the book, “Kallautang–Poetics of Diversity, Displacement, and Diaspora: Ilokanos in the Americas Writing” (TMI Global Press, 2009). Published through a grant from the UH SEED and in collaboration with the Ilokano Language and Literature Program, UH Manoa. Edited, translated, and with a critical introduction by Aurelio Solver Agcaoili. 

Agkak Koma ‘Ta Siding


Corazon Quiamas


Kayatko a pinasen nga agkan

‘Ta agpampannimid a siding

Iti ngarab dayta a bibig; siding

A kas tumamtammidaw nga init

Iti agsapa iti ngatuen ti apagukrad

A petalo ti nalabaga a hibiscus


Ngem napaidam dagiti ramay

Ti rabii ta agtukeng a mangilukat

Iti ridaw ni ridep a nagsampagaan

Ti minuyongam


Ngem uray no kasta

Agur-urayak latta iti lukib dagiti nakakidem

A matak, umis-isem a mangkepkepkep

Iti agdadagsen nga arapaap a sika ken siak

Agpapasto iti duayya dagiti singin a giteb

Ti naginnakkub a barukong iti siled

Ti saan nga agpatingga a tagainep


I Wish to Kiss Your Mole


Corazon Quiamas


I wish to kiss smoothly

Your mole that looks out

On the edge of your lip; mole

That is like a sun taking a peek 

In the morning on the newly-

Opened petal of the red hibiscus


But the fingers of the night

Are selfish for they hesitate

To open the door of sleep

Where the orchard bloomed

With flowers


But despite this

I will wait in the eyelid

Of my closed eyes

Smiling while holding tight

My pregnant dream

That you and I shall be satiated

By the lullaby of the entwined throbbing

Of chests in an embrace

In the room of an endless sleep.






Corazon Quiamas


‘Ton rabii padasekto
Manen a luktan ti kumkumotak
A baul a nakaipenpenan ti lagip;

Yukradkonto nga imaskara
Ti maysa kadagiti nakakupin
Nga isem; agsarmingakto iti kaunggan
Ti natarnaw a pusok; sapulekto ti paggapuan
Ti pitik a kubbuar ti barukong
Ket tumpuarto ti rupam iti tengnga
Ti agal-alikuno a tarigagay.
Iti agsapa sakbay a mapugsat
Ti darepdepmo, alistuakto nga ikamat
Nga isilpo ti daniw; maibasanto
Iti arasaas dagiti tumamtammidaw
A bulong, isu a nayurit iti mayam-amloy
A pinanid ti pul-oy; mangngegamto
Manen dagiti maulit-ulit a mayar-areng-eng
A balikas, aglayag iti ayus nabara
A pammateg iti ingget lamiis
a dimmanum a riknam
Ngem ammok nga iti kada
Kusay ti kaud ti panagdaton,
Awanto latta ti lamma a kaimudingan
Ti ruknoy a mabati iti rupa ti danum
Isu a baliwakto manen ti agsubli nga aglayag,
Ituredkonto latta a luktan ti kumkumotak
A baul a nakaipenpenan ti lagip; manen,
Yukradkonto nga imaskara
Ti maysa kadagiti nabatbati a nakakupin nga isem
A paglemlemmengan dagiti dandanin
Maibusuang nga agliplipias a mata.





Corazon Quiamas


Tonight I shall try again

To pry open the wooden trunk I have wrapped

Where I have kept my memory;

I shall spread out

And put it on as mask

One of the smiles neatly folded;

In the deepest recesses

Of my pure heart, I shall search

For the wellspring

Of the pulsing that is the fountain

Of the chest and your eyes

Will appear in the middle

Of desire gathering a whirl


In the morning, before

Your dream snaps to an end,

I shall run after

And relay my poem

That will be recited

By the murmur of leaves

Eavesdropping, this poem

Written in the caress

Of the breeze’s page;

You will hear again

The word repeated as pleadings,

This flows with the current

Of my warm endearing

To your feeling

That has gone so cold


But I know that in every

Stroke of the paddle of love-giving

It remains that there be no trace

Of the worth of my endearment

Left on the face of the water


And so I keep on with journeying once more,

I shall be bold in prying open

The wooden trunk I wrap

Where I keep my memory;

Again, I shall spread out and wear as mask

One of the smiles left folded

Where there are the eyes in full watch

Ever-ready to pop out.







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