Poems about Mꞌddas by a Native of Siasi, Sulu

Sinama Introduction

Pakilāku ma kaꞌam si Sir Anthony L. Tan, dakayuꞌ Sūk/Sama abantug min Mꞌddas (hatina min Siasi, Sulu).  Bay iya makatalus doctorate ma pangiskul English Literature. Iya isab ya bay magmakōk ma English Department ma MSU-Iligan.  Aniyaꞌ kaginisan daꞌuganna min saga tarasul bay sinulat eꞌna. Niꞌentom maka pinabantug eꞌna lahatna porol Mꞌddas ma saga tarasulna.
Akōd aku amatꞌnnaꞌ saga tarasulna ma pasalan Siasi, Sulu maitu ma Sinama.org.  Bang paꞌin aheka Kasamahan makaꞌabut pangiskul alanga maka bang paꞌin sigām pinagaddatan eꞌ pagkahi sigām Pilipino buwat si Sir Tan.

English Introduction

Anthony L. Tan is a Sama-Tausug native of Mꞌddas (Siasi, Sulu).  He is a Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) in the field of English Literature and the former chair of the English Department at Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology.  He has won various awards for his poetry, much of which remembers and honors his home of Muddas, the Sama name for the market town on the island of Siasi, Sulu.
I am proud to be able to present here, upon the permission of Sir Anthony, several of his poems concerning his homeland.  May many more Sama aspire to reach such levels of schooling and honor within Filipino society.

Night Scene in Muddas

The street lights quiver in the water: Headless serpents from subterranean depths, Slender and yellow, breaking the dark, Heaving membrane of the sea at floodtide. A flickering gas lamp marks the boat As it rides on uneven keel. Its outriggers sway in the choppy channel, Thrashing and slapping against the sea. The middle watch walks about the taffrail, His ears full of the flap, flapping ensign, Of engine drone and crewmen snore. Yet these are but trivial interludes Of a threnody the universe sings: The seamless silence of the seamless sea.

Seascape in Muddas

Under the lash of noon on the shipless quay Whirl about the piles the crosscurrents, Carrying the flotsam of the centuries. A million tiny lights on the roadstead Where a lone ensign flaps in the wind, An engine monotone fading away And smoke thinning away from the stack Are but limp signatures under the molten sky. The vessels have come and gone, filled and emptied, Like the hour drained of its minutes. And my lamentation, whose bourn is the heart, Salty as your sea, O Muddas, and as green, Dwindles with the dwindling sun.

Leaving Muddas

To stand astern a departing boat And watch your home drift away, Scrawny stilts, roofs and crooked windows; To watch a million shards of light multiply Between you and the vanishing landmarks: Belfry, tower and mountain sink Into the thin line of blue infinity; To feel the heave, the oceanic sigh Of the morning sea, a wake of fleecy foams In pursuit, like the memory Of an invincible childhood, on and on Beyond Tara and Siganggang, on till windward And the kiss of inscrutable destiny, When the bow pivots northeast And you come upon Lugus Island, Its bend of ancient crags, forlorn, precipitous. Over the spindrift of the wind-wracked breakers, The sea hawks hover in lament, A fierce, quotidian cry, Foreboding nothing, simply announcing: Another island, another destiny.

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