by Luis G. Dato

This baffled strangeness when chance makes us meet,
This puzzled diffidence as eye on eye,
I search your soul’s unfathomed mystery,
These words inadequate that strive and beat,
Deep from the heart like dove’s wings poised for flight,
This dumbness and vacuity whereby
I see you near and yet in fear descry.
A precipice engulfing you from sight —

This has your absence wrought whose silent wand
Oblivion cast o’er days disconsolate,
Till my mind doubts the eyes’ phenomenon,
I come from dreams and darkness, a strange land,
Prey to all fears, with anguish intimate,
And the dull shadows of days passed alone.

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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