Wax Mag #3 –

"The Philippine Insurrection (1899-1902): A Chronicle of America" by Julia Ongking


Title image shows the Sheringham Lighthouse on Vancouver Island. The lighthouse tower is painted white.
	The lantern section at the top is painted red.
	The lighthouse sits atop a rocky outcrop overlooking calm water.
	In the distance, a blue mountain range forms a horizon line over the water.

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Published January 15th, 2024

Under 25 Poetry Contest #5 – First Place

The Philippine Insurrection (1899-1902): A Chronicle of America

by Julia Ongking

you feed us words that make us swallow your
mistakes. my lolo

wails in the middle of the night
gurgling seawater
                        scraping blistered gums
scratching and scratching and scratching

he stirs, again cocooned within the coolness of virgin soil
remnants of his father's paddy – gropes a brother's necrotizing body
           a singular, dappled narra flower caresses naked feet

he blinks &

a cube of ice is tied to a first-time mother's bloated belly
from under skin, frost blooms like a failed revolution,
           forever crystallizes a membrane-bound baby the woman

is muted by grief &

i realize we have forgotten to name this brother now hell-bound
while i castrate myself in an appeal for forgiveness
lolo creases himself before a set of decapitated arms
           arranged in the shape of a cross

recites a prayer &

in god's name! No.
the americans have arrived! No.
aguinaldo’s men to be crushed! No.
the americans have liberated us! No.

you have buried our voices. Buried amongst
the corpses you hid inside rolling Visayan hills &
Choked with the rasping confessions of newly-minted
murderers & Drowned alongside savage
revolutionaries & Misplaced within history books
in the name of modern philippineaamerican diplomacy
& Left unpublished to honor an unremembered


tonight, my mother decides to put her father to sleep.

About the Poet
Julia Onking resides in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines.
Read the poet's biography on Julia Ongking's Artist Page.

Next in Wax Mag #3:
Remain True to the Earth
by Nutmeg Hill

Back to Wax Mag #3

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