By Thomas Page

This is a series of poems of words that do not directly translate into English. I have tried to capture the essence of the word in a poem.

A viper buried deep in the dirt

Posing as a rose bush with a poisoned thorn

Producing an aroma sweet as misery

Of the punctured hand hoping to pick it

And claim it for itself.

I didn’t want the rose anyway

The hand, an injured heart,

Hopes to suck the toxins out of itself

And forget the inclinations that led it to look

For flowers in the dirt-fields

Says to itself.


The marks on its body,

A reminder of the rose’d assailant,

Harkens the hand back to days when it wanted the rose

In a dreamy embrace flanked by the cold air between fingers

With seems to befall any when the wind blows ever so harshly

Thinking that only a rose can fulfill its desire to be

Connected to something

Not itself.

The viper

It says

The hellbent viper only slithers to strike

An innocent hand gliding over the flowers

Looking to admire just under adulation


It feels the breeze between its fingers

And decides that it is freeing this time

Until the wind chills

Next to a flower garden.


Language: Filipino†

†Filipino is not a language. However, Tampo is a word is that is unique to the Philippines and all of the sources I could find on this word said that is a common word among language communities.

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