Two of my favorite book bloggers, AJ ( and Abbie ( completely blew me away by teaching me the most beautiful Filipino words. I absolutely had to write a poem, and since both amazing women are firmly on Team Judah (#JudahsRebels) I decided to rewrite a version of the ‘Imposter’ poem Noa writes in Shattered Blue for Judah. DISCLAIMER: I do not speak Filipino and did my best with incorporating these words in the spirit I felt them, so many apologies if I totally misused them!

Imposter, reimagined

If I named you mailap,
could you hear it as harana?
or would it keen pahimakas,
an end of words between us?

My songs are not pagasmo,
silakbo sirens, melodies to manipulate.
Poem-fingers do not form you, shape you,
only offer language, habiliu, into your curling palms

You alone will forge yourself
gunita is more malleable than a poem.
This kundiman, pula bughau tula, can bind us both
or simply effervesce,
mere kilig,
so many fluttered wingbeats
fading from the soul.



  • mailap: intractable/elusive/untamed
  • harana: a serenade
  • pahimakas: a final goodbye
  • pagasmo: the act of pleading
  • silakbo: emotional outburst
  • habiliu: something given for safekeeping
  • gunita: memory
  • kundiman: lovesong
  • pula: red
  • buhgau: blue
  • tula: poem
  • kilia: butterflies in the stomach