Alas doce, hora tierra(TWELVE O’CLOCK, EARTH TIME)

by Juan S.P. Hidalgo, Jr.

Wen, uray ti Vietnam
Ken Cambodia, ti disierto
Ti Sinai ken Sud Mindanao
Natabada a pagbukaran
Ti maidestino a kararua.
Nadaras a pangasaan ti bimmato
A dara ti kanion ken bomba.

Iti Langit, ti bituen ti kararua
Sirarangrang nga agur-uray;
Naimalditen dagiti Anghel ti Linteg
A maikur-it iti palad, maisenial iti bagi;
Saan a Vietnam wenno Cambodia,
Disierto ti Sinai wenno Sud Mindanao —
Sadiay Armageddon ti papananna:
Iti Alas Doce, Hora Tierra

TWELVE O’CLOCK, EARTH TIME
(Alas doce, hora tierra)
Translated by the Poet

Yes, even in Vietnam
And Cambodia, the desert
Of Sinai and South Mindanao
Are fertile grounds on which may bloom
A soul destined.
‘Tis fast to hone on stone
Blood of cannons and bombs.

In the Heavens, the soul’s star
Abides in radiance;
The Angels have declared the Law
To be writ on the palms, marked upon the body;
Not in Vietnam, nor in Cambodia,
In desert Sinai nor in South Mindanao —
To Armageddon he shall be:
At Twelve O’Clock, Earth Time!

(Posted with permission from the author)
Bannawag, Abril 21, 1973
Pamulinawen, Dandaniw, 1949-1975, Jose A. Bragado ken Benjamin M. Pascual, eds. Metro Manila: GUMIL Filipinas, c1976), p. 134
Read by the late poet Leonides Benesa, with the English translation, during the Southeast Asian Poetry Festival in Jakarta, Indonesia, in 1979. Later translated into Bahasa Indonesia and published in book form, with other poems.

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