and creator of the world.
All year, it blooms and bears fruit,
Its branches stretching to the sky.
Everything in it, they say, can cure any illness.
An upset soul once thought he should dare
Climb to its crown, but midway up,
It bristled thousands of thorns.
A merchant had set his heart to pick
A bloom. The climb was smooth:
When he reached to pluck one,
Its leaves whorled into knives.
Sun on his head, a little boy visited it
Begging for a fruit:
It grew branches from the ground
Up like a flight of stairs.
All year it bears fruit, blooms again. With each
Climber, the truth waits.
~ Victor N. Sugbo
Victor N. Sugbo is a poet from the Philippines who writes in two languages, English and Waray, his mother tongue. He has published poems in periodicals and anthologies in his country, including a book of poetry in his mother tongue with English translations. He teaches at the University of the Philippines Visayas in Tacloban City.
Artwork: Awakened by Mohsin Shafi