Passion of Waterfalls

Let me remember the passion
that propels you to caress the nape
of the cliff as you slither toward
the rim of the ridge.

And then you execute The Plunge:
your daring dive, your riveting dance.

O glory of falling water you carry
not just the swilling screams of bounding
but also the deep echoes of courage.
Let me understand your kindness.

How I wish I had your fortitude
to overrule the river; to call her dare
even for just a glimpse of the rainbow.

But then I wonder if,
in the vigor of the sprays,
or the outburst of crystals crashing
against the rocks below,

or their fizzling into bubbles,
you also weep in jubilation
just like the sentimental rain.

O water of passion,
Teach me, once again,
to reclaim the rain’s wisdom.

Beyond the squelching heat
of this driest visit of the sun
revive my soul, refresh my attention.

O uncommon water, must you
take the tumble to fulfill a promise?
Must you complete the sequences
of falling in order to explain trust,
in order to liberate the stream?

Let me then marvel and be dazzled
by your devotion; teach me to discover
the purity of your full surrender
to your beloved ocean;

Let me discern once again
the fulfillment of my redemption
in the cycle of your passion.


Merlita Lorena Tariman
Merlita Lorena Tariman
Merlita Lorena Tariman writes poetry in three languages: English, Filipino, and Bikol. Some of her previous work appeared in various periodicals—Focus, Sunday Times magazine, Inquirer magazine, Woman Today, Filmag, Diyaryo Filipino—and in three anthologies: Ang Silid na Mahiwaga by Soledad S.Reyes (1994), Hagkus by Paz Verdades M. Santos (2003), and Sagurong by Paz Verdades M. Santos and Kristian Sendon Cordero (2011). Her first Bikol-Filipino poetry collection, Pinatubo At Iba Pang Tula, was published in 2014, through a grant from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. Most of her poems were published under two by-lines, M.M. Lorena Tariman and Merlita Lorena Tariman.


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