Waltz - Poem by RIC BASTASA

I develop'd into a healthy,
strong youth (grew too fast,
though, was nearly as big as a man at 15 or 16.
Our family at this period moved back to the country,
my dear mother very ill for a long time,
but recover'd.
All these years I was down
Manawan more or less every summer,
now east, now west,
sometimes months at a stretch.

At 16,17, and so on,
was fond of debating societies,
and had an active membership with them,
off and on,
in Dipolog and one or two towns
on the province.

A most omnivorous novel-reader,
these and later years,
devour'd everything I could get.
Fond of the theatre,
also, in Ateneo de Manila
went whenever I could -
sometimes witnessing
fine performances.

in 1991 work'd as credit chief
in a national bank, moved to
legal circles, in many cities

Then, when little more than thirty,
and for a while afterwards,
went to teaching law schools
down in the south, in some islands
and travelled well
given the chance

This latter I consider one of my best experiences
and deepest lessons in human nature
behind the scenes,
and in the masses.

I started and publish'd some of my works
in my native town, Katipunan
. Then returning to the city,
work'd on as a judge
and writer,
mostly prose,
but an occasional shy at

poetry, till today

waltzing with life

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Poem Submitted: Monday, June 23, 2008

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