• The Coalition Times

(Poem) - Two Sampaguitas

Updated: Jul 31

Author: Jaewon Chang (the Philippines)

Credit: Sampaguita Flower, The National Pride of the Philippines, Gardenerdy


"Two Sampaguitas" is a poem exploring the shape of a sampaguita flower, the national symol of the Philippines. It employs subtle imagery alluding to gunshots and dead bodies, which are commonplace occurings in the Philippines. The "two sampaguitas" are presented in each of the stanzas, with the first stanza presenting the pure/innocent aspect of it, and the second stanza illustrating its darker side.

Credit: Linus G. Escandor II/PRI


Jennelyn Olayres hold her husband’s dead body, Michael Siaron, an alleged drug pusher killed by unidentified gunman in Pasay City south of Manila.


It arches past the skies, curdled between the white alcoves of a cloud, how a mother would caress her son’s ear and say, loud sounds

are only people celebrating the new year. Perhaps,

the stamen hovering over a bride’s chest like how it carpets the landscape, will leak the fake motionless bodies beneath.


On another side behind the sun, the dark filaments

remind me of lola’s stories about Carmel cathedral,

how fireworks interrupted morning prayers, then the roof blew off. Men in green uniforms join

communal songs, and a sampaguita worms from

he ground, a lone soldier in this war. Lola tells me

how she wishes to blossom, just like the sampaguita.


Poems published on the Coalition Times express the opinions of the author(s), our publication along is not an endorsement of them.




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