From Hugh Patterson


root - Posted on 08 November 2009

by Staff Writer


The wind swims through the bamboo stalks like an eel in water

The embers crack and dance in the village fire's glow

The Elders pass their wisdom across the generations

The Children harvest their heritage like the river flows


Their song echos across the summer's tall dancing grass

Stars hang like jewels, each telling a tale of poverty or fortune

At the head of a well worn wooden table sits the wise man

His eyes casting shadows like the rounds of the fullest moon


There is a road that leads in and out of the village old and worn

Gravel ruts crack the crooked line carved with human toil

A thousand miles of hope cake the road like ancient mud

Dreams of a concrete and steel promise without spoil


Child-like dreams hang from the bamboo canopy far above

Out of reach yet close enough to taste their sweet scent

On the jungle's edge a lone mountain cat watches the embers

Connected to the elders through time carefully spent


The Manong guard the midnight fire's crackling roar

Across the darkened jungle the sound cracks like a whip

The conversation colored in hushed and muted tones

As the morning comes their thoughts into silence they slip


The embers die quietly as the blood red dawn shatters the sky

Morning comes with the songs of wives sweetened in sorrow

The blackness of night now muted between the longing hours

The darkness of dreams folded into the creases of tomorrow


The Manong elders watch the dawn turn to the light of day

Their thoughts now drifting to their voluminous days gone past

The untold silence spoken in tongues of ancient thoughts

Each of the elders walks off into the forest their father's cast


They sit and sing of the wise men of the aged Manong

Their tale is told from weathered father to untattered son

The fabled tradition of cultures faded from the great books

Their story forever told yet never completed, forever, never done


Manilla town built from the sweat of broken proud men

Casts shadows from a long gone International Hotel

Whose brick facade once housed the history of his people

Now the ghosts of long gone Manong wander in its cells


The wind blows down the concrete and steel valleys

In a modern village the Manong pass the torch of tradition

As sons walk the walk of the ancient tales from fathers

While mothers pass their stories on well worn Kitchens

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