From Cell Nine

written by Merlinda Carullo Bobis

From Cell Nine

— Merlinda Carullo Bobis

Mula Sa Selda Nuwebe

hindi hubad ngayong gabi
itong pader na itim.
nagbihis bigla ng munting bituin,
nang butasin ng iyong titig
ang lamig ng kongkreto—
sige, kukuskusin ko ng mata ang siwang
na para bang amuleto,

bukas, bukas,
mahuhusto dito
ang humuhulagpos tang mundo.

From Cell Nine

it is not bare tonight,
this black wall.
it suddenly wore a tiny star,
when you stared a hole
on the cold concrete—
all right, i shall rub the crack with the eye
as if it were some amulet.

tomorrow, tomorrow,
our world struggling to be free
will pull through here.

About the poet

Merlinda Carullo Bobis

Merlinda Carullo Bobis is a contemporary Philippine-Australian writer and academic. Born in Legaspi City, in the Philippines province of Albay, Merlinda Bobis attended Bicol University High School then completed her B.A. at Aquinas University in Legaspi City. She holds post-graduate degrees from the University of Santo Tomas and University of Wollongong, and now lives in Australia. Written in various genres in both Filipino and English, her work integrates elements of the traditional culture of the Philippines with modern immigrant experience. Also a dancer and visual artist, Bobis currently teaches at Wollongong University. Her play Rita's Lullaby was the winner of the 1998 Awgie for Best Radio Play and the international Prix Italia of the same year; in 2000 White Turtle won...

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