Mayon Volcano

Published on by Vincent Ragay under

Mayon Volcano, Albay, Philippines,1978

(Restive Mayon Volcano suddenly reminded me of a poem I wrote several years ago. This majestic product of geologic design never ceases to amaze me. During times of her fiery fury, I long to be near her to see how she gives us a glimpse of what she is really made of — super-heated, red, molten magma and not dry, grey, cold rock gloriously crowned with white clouds. She is the closest thing we have for a vision of a real dragon. My closeness to her comes from the fact that I was born in Polangui, a small town in Albay not far from Mayon, in 1952. Born in the Year of the Dragon at the feet of a “living dragon” is one awesome thought for me.)


To know you,

one has to be

 born with you;

  hence, no one

   ever will --

    except the One

     who formed you

      from the furious

        depths of the Earth.

          Your deep blue mantle rises

            gently from the lush fields.

              Puffs of cloudy breath send forth

                a welcome signal: PEACE!

                  Alone you stand

                    in the restful expanse

                      guarding the skies,

                        the land and

                          the sea.

                            You mask your own fury

                               with perfect bearing --

                                 or do you speak

                                   the wrath of others?
                                      We stand in awe

                                        at the sight of you
                                          for we know how many

                                             have tasted your judgment.

                                                Alas, the call to duty

                                                  awakens your senses

                                                    and the rumblings

                                                       deafen as magma rises.

                                                            You must S H O U T

                                                       with the voice of heaven:

                                                    a danger knell

                                                  to those who sleep in death.

                                               Fiery red veins

                                            glow wildly in the night,

                                          torrents of molten rocks

                                      charge down blindly,

                                   smoke, thunder and 

                                lightning explode in the air:

                             if this is a show, 
                          what more should we see?

                       To know you

                    one has to be

                 born with you:

              now I know

           what you mean --

        the things you show us

     from the heart of the Earth

   reveal the birth of


Mayon’s magma glowing at night (Photo courtesy of AFP as it appears on Coconuts Manila website)


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