eK! is electronic Kabalen, a web-exclusive Kapampangan journal of ideas

papa osmubal
oscar balajadia HE HAS returned! I saw him! Believe me I was sober then.

I saw the Little Prince. And do not tell Saint-Exupery. I say I saw the Little Prince right in my own home. Yes, you copied it loud and clear, Saint-Exupery's genius boy was here.

It was one evening, just right after a harrowing day of hard work. He was standing right next to my refrigerator, flashing that usual smile. Leaning on the fridge with his classic princely pose; one hand on his hip holding a rolled up paper. I was trying to relieve myself of the noise of the students at the school. I was getting my beer and there he was before me, looking up at me.

He did not ask me for a drawing; he mercilessly bugged me to look at his own magnum opus. I was eager to have that ice-cold beer, but he pulled my sleeve.

Slosh! Crash! Splash! And there went my beer.

Did I curse the heaven and earth? No. Did I cry hell? No. Did I shout at the top of my lungs and attempted hara-kiri? No way. Anger or anything like it is not always translated into shout.

But what about the perennial rod? Nobody in his right mind would whack a smiling boy eager to show how his little fingers can create a dream, a world. Many Michaelangelos, van Goghs, Rembrandts and da Vincis might have been unwittingly destroyed by the famous rod, which is why the world is still in such a sorry condition it did not ever deserve to be in.

He was brandishing a paper, saying it had big heavy clouds, roaring rain and thundering squalls. He said he drew the mightiest storm, the most horrendous typhoon. But I could see no trace of crayon or pencil on it. It was all but blank.

"Zoooommmmm! Brrrroooommmm!" he growled, violently shaking his body and arms to mimic a hurricane and the mighty sound of thunder, swaying the paper to and fro, switching his gaze from me to the paper while changing the pitch and loudness of this voice, until his eyes turned to be as big as his voice and dreams.

Before rushing out to get the mop, I looked down the floor, and it was flooding and full of shards that were like bright flashes of lightning.

[About the author. Papa Osmubal is Oscar Balajadia of Magalang, now Macao resident and married to a Chinese local. He is a teacher and a Masters student of Dr. Chrisopher Kelen at the University of Macao. He has published two books of poetry, Parnaso, in Filipino (1991, Angeles City, Philippines) and Lighthouse, in English (1999, Quezon City,Philippines). His poems have been published in Poems Niederngasse, Adagio Verse Quarterly (USA), Mitochondria (USA), Quarterly Literary Review Singapore (QLRS), LauraHird, Muse Apprentice Magazine, Retort Magazine (Australia), Jacobyte Poetry (Australia), Philippines Free Press, Philippine Graphic, National Midweek, A Critical Survey of Philippine Literature, The Surface (USA), Aesthetica: a Review of Contemporary Artists (UK), Stylus Poetry Journal (Australia, New Zealand), Our Own Voice: Filipino Literature in the Diaspora, Dalityapi Makata, birdandegg, Spillway Magazine, Rattle Magazine, Wild East (Hong Kong Literary Circle), and others. Several poems of his are forthcoming in the future issues of literary magazines including Snow Monkey, Quarterly Literary Review Singapore (QLRS), spreadhead.net, and others. His work has been anthologized in Synaptic Graffiti: Slam the Body Politik (poetry on CD, Australia) and in Mitochondria: an Anthology of Rarities and Loose Ends. He has just finished writing the manuscript of his next book entitled Voice in the. An amateur artist, he has held in early 2004 a solo art exhibition entitled "White and Black" at UNESCO Center in Macao, through the sponsorship of Macao Foundation.]

-Posted: 1:39 PM 2/25/07 | More of this author on eK!