SONGS OF THE ROAD

By Luis G. Dato

I
A boy and his lady walking —
Of what may they be talking?
A boy and his lady sitting -­
What thoughts in their minds are flitting?

In a pickup at night together,
Do you think they’d talk of the weather?
When the wind blows her hair
And fragrance seems everywhere?

There can be heaven in a car,
And we wish the terminus far,
There can be kisses and laughter,
And heck, what are we after ?

II
It is always a treat to take to the road
And watch houses and trees blur by in a whirl,
While fast by your side, you exclaim, “By God!”
Sits cosmic, volcanic, some slip of a girl.

The things that you see by the road as you pass,
You will always see for life in your dreams,
The brooks crystal clear, the shimmering grass,
The graceful bamboos bending over the streams,

The stretches of plain, the slope of the hills,
The explosion of clouds, the rose-laughter of skies
When sunset the west with her witchery fills -­
Walking or sleeping they shall haunt your eyes.

And I ask with a shift in the schemes of my rimes,
Where ever shall you see such pleasanter times?
What though in dismay your eyes turn in their sockets
When the fare puncher digs deep into your pockets?

What though the wild driver should freeze you with terror,
Lest he bungle his wheel in a first and last error,
And the bus all aboard irrevocably shatter
By plunging headlong to the rocks and the water?

What though you should view your last precipice,
And hit without knowing Pawili’s abyss?
A ride in the bus gives you distance and range,
Even if the conductor rob you of your change!

Luis Dato
Luis Dato

Luis G. Dato (July 4, 1906 - January 29, 1985) was a poet, writer and educator from Sta. Cruz, Baao, Camarines Sur. He published books in English including Manila A Collection of verse (1926), My Book of Verses (1936) and the Land of Mai in 1975. He also wrote several books and text in Bikol such as, Vocabulario Bikol-Ingles-Kastila (1963), Cantahon na Bikol (1969), Morfologia kan Tataramon na Bikol (serialized in Naga Times), Patotodon sa Bikol (Bikol Mail) and Sarabihon sa Bikol.

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