Islander in the City:


When did my love affair with poetry start?

In the island, I was reading Edna St. Vincent Millay and Walt Whitman courtesy of an American Peace Corps volunteer named William Keating.

In college I was writing poetry in the college publication and in 1971, my first published poem appeared in the Sunday Times Magazine.

After 50 years, I resumed writing poetry during the pandemic almost every day. My FB poetry audience grew far and wide.

At year’s end, my poem appeared in a marker dedicated to frontliners unveiled on my birthday by Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto with a special program complete with marching bands.

Two days after the Joe Biden inaugurals, my poem, A Poet Is A Lonely Hunter, appeared on the timeline of now celebrated poet Amanda Gorman. I greeted her with a poem..

My personal greeting along with this poem ended up in Amanda Gorman’s timeline.

Surprised even foreign netizens liked it.

Here it is:




A poet is a lonely hunter

Until people connect and a country listens.


I can’t help it

When I rejoice to see a young poet

Open the new era of governance

In good ol’ America.


The poem was moving

As it was real

The poet sounding off

The country’s hopes

And the recurring fears.


I like it

When hope finally beckons

I like it when decency returns.


I like the fresh wind moving

In this part of America

Even as thousands die

Helpless from the virus.


Still there is nothing

Like a poet’s voice

To remind us

There is something inherently human

In all of us.


There will always be compassion

Although buried in the sea of hatred

And lies

In some four weary years

Of our lives.



A poet is a lonely hunter

Until people connect

And a country listens.


On February 22, I appear as one of the poets in the UP Baguio symposium on the subject of poetry in time of the pandemic.

Not a bad comeback in poetry I must say.

And I am just restarting.



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