A Filipino Writer of English Poems to a Filipino Writer of Spanish Poems

by Justine Camacho Tajonera

I think of the whiteness of snow
on a postcard from an immigrant aunt.
How sweet, how pure
and unreal like props
in a high-school play.
The closest I have seen of it is
crushed ice on halo-halo.
Why do I end up speaking
of white things?
I feel blond -
bleached and painted over.
But this is how I speak:
misted over with a foreign flavor
but in essence a native blend
of brown and yellow.
I think of how you must have
shivered in the European snow,
words warm in your heart.
I wonder if you dreamt
in Spanish.
Perhaps we dreamt
the same dream,
our incandescent souls
glowing beneath
the translucent veils
of tongues-to-suit-our-needs.
We were born in a land
of two seasons, not four,
unused to and awed by
words like:
autumn, winter, spring.
I think of snow and
how it melts into a
gray-tinged slush,
how these words of ours
will melt with the heat
of what we really mean.
But I think we wear
our costumes well.
If it is cold
we have to put
our coats on
but it will always be
with our skins
that we feel.




Justine Camacho Tajonera's picture

ABOUT THE POET ~
Justine Camacho – Tajonera was born and grew up in Cebu City, Philippines. Her mother named her after Justine, the stepdaughter of Justine Hosnani, from the Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell. She lost her mother at the age of three and this loss has been a recurring theme in her work. She has a degree in Communication Arts from the Ateneo de Manila University (Philippines) where she got a Dean’s Award for the Arts for her prose and poetry. Despite starting a corporate career in telecommunications, she pursued an M.A. in English Literature to keep her close to her first love of writing., She has had her poetry published in several anthologies and local publications and she recently published her eBook, <a href="http://www.lulu.com/shop/justine-camacho-tajonera/artemis-lets-go/ebook/product-20735014.html" target="_blank">Artemis Lets Go</a>, on Lulu.com. She maintains a poetry blog, <a href="http://claimingalexandria.blogspot.com" target="_blank">Claiming Alexandria</a>, from which she has gathered most of the poems for her book, <a href="http://www.lulu.com/shop/justine-camacho-tajonera/gift-poems/ebook/product-20734890.html" target="_blank">Gift</a>., She works full time in the mobile content industry in the Philippines, is married and has two children. Writing is her passion and she will continue to write all her life.


Last updated May 17, 2013