At a poetry reading
(my first time attending),
I sat listening…
And, oh boy, was it interesting!
Wordsmiths amateur and senior,
one or two an award winner,
gave a sampling of their ware
and bits of their soul laid bare.
On trivia so personal, some emoted,
leaving me largely mystified…
One had me bemused and baffled
with semantic gymnastics that bedazzled.
There were those that had me smiling
with their take so entertaining
on events simple and mundane
such as a power outage and coffee drinking.
There likewise was touching lamentation
on some aspect of the social condition
and the reality of human misfortune
that somehow triggered a sense of frustration.
And then there was this long-haired bearded firebrand
who discoursed of Red fighters and of mujahideen in Basilan
and exhorted to turn ink drops into liberating ammunition,
almost moving me to raise a clenched fist, angry and defiant.
But there also was this lady with her hair grayed
simply saying a gentle goodbye to a departed comrade
and appreciating the leisure of reading a book by the poolside,
reminding me of how our generation’s rage has mellowed.
Eric S.B. Libre was among the audience at the poetry reading event on 5 February 2014 during the 1st Mindanao Book Festival at the Ateneo de Davao University. A Mindanawon freelance consultant, he occasionally dabbles in creative writing, and his short story “Karaang Damang” won the 3rd prize in the 2013 Second Satur Apuyon Tigi sa Mubong Sugilanong Binisaya sponsored by the Davao Writers Guild. He lives in Digos City.