Poetry: Fhen M

Fhen M.

Gerome's Bathsheba


The clouds were gold and silver

and you undress the clouds you were wearing

gently drop it on a stool on a low roof

without hesitation, the sun brings forth the light

shows off the white skin,

physique of pillow soft.


I don't know if this is a trend

a girl takes a bath in an open space

say, a rooftop, a clear blue pool

she is naked, she is clad in short and in shirt

someone paints a painting, takes a photo,

another gazes at it.


it takes a lot of faith or determination

for a man not to fall in love

with that figure and that beauty.






Drinks nectar from a lipstick plant

olive-backed sunbird sings

his morning ritual song

life gives choices and there's freedom

no one can take away.


o sunbird, bringer of good luck

sing me the life not of

sliding on slippery roadsides,

crashing motorcycle onto a car,

marrying Xanthippe, without my muse


but of books in my private library

the time to write, time to rewrite,


freedom to fly in the wide air,

to drink the sweet nectar

to sing the joy and thrill

this short life brings.




The Man who Defied Death


I had a stomach upset, probably a fever

grandpa Angkong bribed me to take

a herbal medicine called apdo han sawa


Asclepius observed a serpent

bringing healing herbs

to keep the death at bay.

the gods want men to be mortal

death makes us only human.

Jupiter strikes his bolt of lightning

a constellation is created in the heavens.


I drank the herb that tasted

pungent, putrid, nauseating

and kept the death at bay.


Bio: Fhen M. studied the academic subjects Writing in the Discipline, 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘓𝘪𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘗𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘱𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘴, and The Literature of the World at Eastern Visayas State University (Philippines). His Waray poem “Uyasan” (“Toy” in English”) was published in a collection of literary works entitled 𝘗𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘭𝘪: 15 𝘠𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘓𝘢𝘮𝘪𝘳𝘢𝘸. His English verses appeared in 𝘗𝘰𝘦𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘢 anthology series published by Clarendon House, including "Lighthouse," “Seaport,” “January Constellations,” among others.  Red Penguin Books’ 𝘈𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘛𝘪𝘮𝘦: 𝘈 𝘊𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘨-𝘰𝘧-𝘈𝘨𝘦 𝘗𝘰𝘦𝘵𝘳𝘺 𝘈𝘯𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘭𝘰𝘨𝘺 will publish his piece “Outside the Block Universe". His poem “Sea Snail” will also be included in 𝘍𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘢/𝘍𝘢𝘶𝘯𝘢 𝘈𝘯𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘭𝘰𝘨𝘺 by Open Shutter Press.  Fhen M. submitted verses in Waray for the 5th Lamiraw Creative Writing Workshop, including the 𝘴𝘪𝘥𝘢𝘺 “Duha nga mga pagtug-an” (translated in English as “Two confessions”). David Genotiva, Merlie Alunan, and Victor Sugbo were some of the distinguished panelists of this writing workshop held from the 5th to the 7th of November 2008. His Binisaya poems “To View the World,” “Those who were Left in Cancabatoc,” and other verses won the 1st Chito Roño Literary Awards. 

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