Eunice Andrada is a Filipina poet, journalist, lyricist and teaching artist based in Sydney. Featured in the Guardian, CNN International, ABC News and other media, she has performed her poetry in diverse international stages, from the Sydney Opera House and the deserts of Alice Springs to the United Nations Climate Negotiations in Paris. During a residency in Canada’s prestigious Banff Centre, she collaborated with award-winning jazz musician and Cirque du Soleil vocalist Malika Tirolien. She has also shared her verses with celebrated composer Andrée Greenwell for the choral project Listen to Me. Eunice co-produced and curated Harana, a series of poetry tours led by Filipina-Australians in response to the Passion and Procession exhibition in the Art Gallery of NSW. Her poems have appeared in Peril, Verity La, Voiceworks, and Deep Water Literary Review, amongst other publications. She was awarded the John Marsden & Hachette Australia Poetry Prize in 2014. In 2018, the Amundsen-Scott Station in the South Pole of Antarctica will feature her poetry in a special exhibition on climate change. Flood Damages (Giramondo, 2018) is her first book of poetry.
Ma loads her gun with aratelis berries
shoots at Noy till the wildfruit explode
against his hair, then keeps shooting.
Syrup and rind spray against
their too-small shirts,
curl into the webs of their toes.
It is just after siesta and their backs
have been clapped with talcum powder.
The air is overripe
everything bruised and liable
to burst at the slightest touch.
Point of sale.
When dark begins to pour
around their laughter,
they abandon the wreaths of mosquitoes
that call them holy.
Splotches of juice blacken the soil,
punctuating the walk
to the dinner table.
In that festering summer, Ma learns
the futility of sweetness.
Ma is at work in another continent
when a dictator is buried in the Heroes Cemetery.
State-sanctioned killings begin
in her hometown. Twenty-six shots
to the head, chest, thighs
of two men.
I complain about the weather here,
how the cold leaves my knuckles parched.
Ma points to the fruit she bought over
the weekend, tells me I must eat.