Sometimes, the Heart Yearns for Mangoes

Jose Maria Sison
Utrecht, 30 March 1994

Sometimes, the heart yearns
For mangoes where there are apples,
For orchids where there are tulips,
For warmth, where it is cold,
For mountainous islands,
Where there is flatland.

Far less than the home,
And the flow of kith and kin,
Unfamiliar and now familiar
Things and places trigger
The pain of sundered relations,
Of losses by delays and default.

Direct dialing, fax machines,
Computer discs and video casettes
And visitors on jumbo jets,
Fail to close the gap
Between rehearsed appearances
And the unrehearsed life at home.

That make a strange land loveable.
But they have their routines,
Their own lives to live,
Beyond the comprehension
And pertinence of the stranger.

Those who seek to rob the exile
Of home, kith and kin,
Of life, limb and liberty
Are the loudest to mock at him
Who is helplessly at sea,
Uprooted from his soil.

The well-purposed exile continues
To fight for his motherland
Against those who banished him,
The unwelcomed exploiters of his people,
And is certain that he is at home
In his own country and the world.

From the album Of ‘Bladed Poems’

From the album ‘Songs of Love and Struggle’ sung by Rica Nepomuceno

Sung by Jose Maria Sison

Photos: Philippine mangoes from Bong Labog of KMU.
Photos by Mitchy Saturay