for a moment of joy or moments no one pays for, i give myself a ‘jornal’. this makes me rich. try it.

la luna blanca/white moon/puraw a sellag(a tri-lingual lyric poem)

…tri-lingual in English, Spanish and Iluko, the language (dialect) I was born with and as I keep saying whenever I post one that I wrote with it, hardly spoke and never written with from my early teens when I moved to the city for university until two years ago when it reawakened first in a yahoo group and later in a website I stumbled upon. Iluko of the nothernmost edge of the Philippine archipelago traces its roots to Austronesian languages. Like most of the major Philippine dialects (87 of them not counting sub-tongues), Iluko tends to be metaphorical and thus, poetic. Melded in its spirit is Spanish not only as a language but a culture and a soul–both of which we, Filipinos but specifically Ilokanos, can hardly discern on the conscious level. English sort of flowed in only in the past century. I believe that when I write I do so from three cultures uniquely one, uniquely mine.

This song again is for Margaret Dornaus at haikudoodle to whom I promised I would share and to my new ‘family’ at One Stop Poetry blog.

la luna blanca
white moon

pimmuraw a sellag

rising in the east
a patch on my shadowed
wedding veil

rimsua idiay daya
anniniwan iti narusingan
a belo ti trahe de bodak

en la bahía
on the bay

iti baybay

white moon melts on ripples
its path on halved waters
we braid our hands

ti pimmuraw a bulan malunlunag iti ayus
agdalliasat kadigiti birri ti danum
nagsillapid dagiti dakulapta

un velo bordado
an embroidered veil

bordado a belo

mira mi cara blanca
la imagen de una noche solitaria
un corazón vacío

look on my white face
the reflection of a solitary night
an empty heart

miraem ti pimmusyaw a rupak
kaas-asping ti rabii nga agmaymaysa
kawaw a puso

la luna blanca
white moon

puraw a sellag

sets at midday
wraps me in a cloud
invisible in blue

nalned ti tengga’t aldaw
binungonnak ti ulep
pinukawnak iti mara-azul

un brillo en los árboles
a sheen in the trees

guilap dagiti kay-kayo

returns at ebb tide
creeps to my bed

nagsubli iti malem
kimmaradap iti nakaidlepak

un blanco sueño
a white dream

puraw a darepdep

se decolora en un beso
caído como rocío en las rosas
un cielo rosado

fades into a kiss
falls as dew on the roses
a pink sky

pimmusyaw nga agek
natnag kas linna-aw kadagiti rosas
ti derosas a langit

I am posting this poem for One Shot Wednesday at the One Stop Poetry blog.
Join us – throw in your verses. Here are the rules (taken directly off their blog):
1. Write a poetic piece & post it on your blog
2. Then let us know about your post. Link back to One Shot
3. Sign up in the Mr Linky list, linking directly to your post, AFTER you’ve posted it.
4. Go visit others who have signed up! Offer support & encouragement. Share your love of words and insight respectfully. Please try to visit as many participating poets as you can. We all could use and appreciate kind feedback.


December 1, 2010 - Posted by | lyric poetry, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. The music of all three languages apparent. I love the sound of Spanish on the tongue,(a beautifully syncopated and vivid language I barely understand but catch the sense of occasionally) The images in here are exquisite–“we braid our hands,” cloud-wrapped & “invisible in blue,” the sheen that comes and stays. Your white moon casts a lovely light.

    Comment by hedgewitch | December 1, 2010 | Reply

    • My heart is so full! Thank you, Joy! That my poem has uplifted you for a moment is for me a crown on my white moon. Surely this will be visible for you some nights soon. By the way, did you know that our names mean the same in English and Spanish? Thanks again!

      Comment by alee9 | December 1, 2010 | Reply

  2. Love the way you match the different languages for each line. Great to see the differences and similarities to the words. Cheers.

    Comment by dustus | December 1, 2010 | Reply

    • Always great to hear from you! Your generous words make me keep on writing. Thank you!

      Comment by alee9 | December 2, 2010 | Reply

  3. Wonderful poem in any language! Thanks.

    Comment by poemblaze | December 1, 2010 | Reply

    • I’m thrilled to know you like it! Thanks!

      Comment by alee9 | December 2, 2010 | Reply

  4. I am humbled. Your poetry sings a white moon song so pure . . . and beautiful. Thank you, Alegria, hermana de mi alma.

    Comment by Margaret Dornaus | December 2, 2010 | Reply

    • Hermana de mi alma! What thought can be more sublime? Mil gracias!

      Comment by alee9 | December 2, 2010 | Reply

  5. this was a really good read…love the duel role of the languages too…cheers pete

    Comment by pete marshall | December 2, 2010 | Reply

    • Thank you again, Pete! I’ve read through your poem, too, but could’nt leave a comment as yet on blogger. I like how the images skid from reality to metaphor, from tactile to mind-spirit sphere, from ruefulness to rage. Thank you!

      Comment by alee9 | December 2, 2010 | Reply

  6. I am in awe of you!


    Comment by gautami tripathy | December 4, 2010 | Reply

    • “…in awe of (me)” !!! Thank you so much. I am truly humbled.

      Comment by alee9 | December 4, 2010 | Reply

  7. I love it.. your words are amazing…

    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya
    Twitter: @VerseEveryDay

    Comment by Shashi | December 4, 2010 | Reply

    • Shashi, how you feel about my poems never fail to uplift me!!! Thanks again.

      Comment by alee9 | December 4, 2010 | Reply

  8. This is, of course, a tour de force. A coherent and lovely poem weaving in and out of three languages, three cultures, three mindsets … absolutely amazing, Alegria. 🙂

    Comment by MLA | December 4, 2010 | Reply

    • Thank you, Melissa! How else could I express it? Let me try to paraphrase ‘thank you’ in two other tongues:

      Dios ti agngina: (From) God is its value (of whatever you admire, praise or have touched you.) edit: (To) God…

      Mil gracias: A million thanks (nothing is ever simple in Spanish; gracias alone can’t mean what I feel.)

      Comment by alee9 | December 4, 2010 | Reply

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