Gravity” is a form of rebellion. I like to think that there is no conflict between science and art. Poetry is still science. A poet is a philosopher. She tends to understand the forms and meanings around her. As a poet, she is the maker of meaning and as a philosopher, she enlightens it.

The poem “Gravity” is a story of defying gravity as a form of a woman’s escape from the horrors of being a woman. In this case, the only way to defy gravity is to climb a tree and never to fall down.


Women get tired of being mothers. Women get tired of being wives. Women get tired of being women. And so they run away. They become like chameleons, hiding in the trees, in the trunks. Finally, they disappear.

I always have problems with the revision process. It worries me knowing I am rearranging the words because they might change the idea. But of course, the readers always have their own interpretation and it is their right.

And so here are my versions of “Gravity”:


The first draft:



Climb on a coconut tree

With no thought of gravity to pull you down

Let your feet cling to its body

Forget your children

crawling on the ground now

like hungry beasts waiting to be fed by your sagged breasts

Your skirt sails with the wind

[You would have wanted to let it strip you naked]


Continue climbing

And forget about gravity

While your long hair dances

with no gracefulness at all

Let your hands grip tightly

Until your every fingernail scratch the skin of the tree

And not his own skin

that has been scratched many times by different fingernails


Forget about gravity

Forget about falling down again

on his lies

on the horror of the little mouths sucking your now dark nipples

Climb higher

Forget about your clitoris

Forget about your breasts

There is no woman

only trees.


The final draft:




Climb a tree

With no thought of gravity to pull you down

Let your feet grip tightly to its body

Forget your children

Crawling on the ground

Like beasts waiting to be fed on your sagging breasts

As your skirt calmly sways in the wind


Go on, climb

Forget about gravity

Let your long hair dance

Clasp the trunk tighter

Forget your fingernails you once clawed

On your husband’s skin

Every time he returns home

Scratched by different fingernails

By different sins


Think not of gravity

Of falling down again to his lies

And the horror of little mouths sucking

Your dark nipples raw

Climb higher

Forget about your hair

Forget about your skirt

Forget about your breasts

Forget about your clitoris

There is no woman

Only trees


“Gravity” was published last March 2008 in Dagmay, a literary journal of the Davao Writers Guild

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