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Come they told me,
A new born King to see,
Our finest gifts we bring,
To lay before the King,

So to honour Him,
When we come.

Little Baby,
I am a poor boy too,
I have no gift to bring,
That's fit to give a king,

Shall I play for you,
On my drum?

Mary nodded,
The ox and lamb kept time,
I played my drum for Him,
I played my best for Him,

Then He smiled at me,
Me and my drum.

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Now I see there's so much to lose,
Cos you saved my life.


Breaking Up
Yevgeny Yevtushenko

I fell out of love: that’s our story’s dull ending,
as flat as life is, as dull as the grave.
Excuse me-I’ll break off the string of this love song
and smash the guitar. We have nothing to save.

The puppy is puzzled. Our furry small monster
can’t decide why we complicate simple things so-
he whines at your door and I let him enter,
when he scratches at my door, you always go.

Dog, sentimental dog, you’ll surely go crazy,
running from one to the othe like this-
too young to conceive of an ancient idea:
it’s ended, done with, over, kaput. Finis.

Get sentimental and we end up by playing
the old melodrama, 'Salvation of Love.'
'Forgiveness, ' we whisper, and hope for an echo;
but nothing returns from the silence above.

Better save love at the very beginning,
avoiding all passionate 'nevers, ' 'forevers; '
we ought to have heard what the train wheels were shouting,
'Do not make promises! ' Promises are levers.

We should have made note of the broken branches,
we should have looked up at the smokey sky,
warning the witless pretensions of lovers-
the greater the hope is, the greater the lie.

True kindness in love means staying quite sober,
weighing each link of the chain you must bear.
Don’t promise her heaven-suggest half an acre;
not 'unto death, ' but at least to next year.

And don’t keep declaring, 'I love you, I love you.'
That little phrase leads a durable life-
when remembered again in some loveless hereafter,
it can sting like a hornet or stab like a knife.

So-our little dog in all his confusion
turns and returns from door to door.
I won’t say 'forgive me' because I have left you;
I ask pardon for one thing: I loved you before.
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This is really going to happen. :)
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The past two weeks, or more, building strength again slowly - they've scared me.
I avoid talking about this, although it is my story to tell. I am not as delicate as you will think I am, and I need to believe that I am stronger than I feel. I shouldn't look for reasons anymore. I don't want to. But, more than anything, I don't want to look for an end.

As things stand now, it seems I will never tell you about this, you won't tell me I'm stronger than I think I am, won't be called on to meet the demands of this situation.



I have always had a thing for farms. Or maybe fields would be a more appropriate term. Wide open spaces - they represent freedom. Driving past, I used to imagine running through, arms spread wide. How long would it take me to reach that point in the horizon? I want to own a field, somewhere I can go to anytime I feel like lying down in wild grass. But I want my field to be dotted with trees, here and there. I like climbing trees. I like climbing. In Chuyo, what remains of my family's ancestral land (and they are on the verge of taking this away from us), my cousins and I used to run through hills of grass and climb the rocks left from times when even the Cordillera was underwater.

Today is Cordillera Day.

When my twin and I were younger, we would go and sing during the annual celebration.

Aanak ti Kordilyera (Children of the Cordillera)
Aanak iti daga (Children of the land)


Ina apay a nagadu (Mother, why are there so many)
ti makina ditoy ayan tayo? (machines, here where we are?)
anya kadi ti aramiden da? (what are they going to do?)

My brother's song about land rights, not mining.


Ti Kabanbantayan (The mountains)
Kayo, bakir, karayan (Trees, forests, rivers)
Amin a kinabaknang (All the riches of the land)
Tawid Kaigorotan (Heritage of Kaigorotan)

My song, Remember Your Children.

I remember the day my aunty Judy first called me into her room and asked me to sing that song. She had a guitar with her, and she kept adjusting the pitch - higher and higher, as far as my vocal chords could be stretched:

Remember your children
Remember our future
Remember your children
Remember mother nature

You look at the forests
You look at the trees
Is it money, is it business?
Is it profit that you see?

You say you need the power
And you draw up all your plans
You look at the rivers
And you think of building dams

You look at the mountains
Full of riches, so you're told
Do you think of the children
Or is it only the gold?


I remember my childhood, at home in the mountains, in the Cordillera :-)


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April 2017

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