during the crescendo of the blaze
the sky is a memory of water
                                                  elsewhere       a country of rain
                                                  where water visits without
                                                  its deluge of questions
                                                  flowing back to the sea
                                                  after finding no one
                                                  who would listen
you hear the rain
before you see it
scatter the ashes
of eucalyptus trees
and drum a pulse
back into the earth
it covers every gleaming
surface with its frequency
until water is all we hear
night upon night
the storm batters
the ground in demand
                                                  the words for rain
                                                  return to me
                          dabu-dabu                  talithi
bunok                                                                             wisik
               tagasak                       ilig
                                                  prayers from the banwa
                                                  float up to the grey
                                                  each prayer pulling us closer
                                                  to the shore until we learn
                                                  to speak water
from our dry-throated landscape
we emerge from hiding
to finally face
its questions

Hiligaynon Glossary:
dabu-dabu, talithi – light rain
bunok – heavy rain
wisik – shower
tagasak - downpour
tubod – rainflow
ilig - trickling of rain
banwa – town