Sunday, June 15, 2008

POEM #2: Spelunking at Cantabaco

Hanging among the lime cliffs,
Beyond the copper-mine pits1,
Found a hole upon a crack,
That stab through solid rock.

Barely squeezing myself into
This chimney from a cave2 below,
Battery-powered headlight on,
I slithered down a dark unknown.

Felt my adrenaline rush soar,
As I stood upon its rocky floor,
Hearing distant ripples of water,
Proceeding I went beyond further.

Saw a hole barely enough for me,
I squeezed through in on my belly,
Creased above by sharp stalactites,
Poked below by jagged stalagmites.

From that confined passageway,
And from dry rock to wet muddy,
I crawled my way to a sandy shore,
That cradled a stream from a source.

Sloshing on its ankle-deep water,
Or swimming some very deep spot,
I followed its meandering root,
Winding and bending along its path.

At the river's end stood a waterfall,
Twelve feet or so it splashed down,
A huge treat to my wide eyeballs,
A rarity to delight and shower in.

Not content with this breakthrough,
What lies above I have to know,
Up I scaled this cascading flow,
It held a lake that elicit my awe.

An underground river and cascade,
Plus, a subterranean lake to bathe;
All of this arouse envy to some soul,
Hidden under this sheer cliff wall.

But wait! these aren't all I beg of you,
For deep within this body of water,
Found me a sump3 as I dove below,
Linking it to some concealed grotto.

Holding breath for a minute or so,
I surfaced inside the hidden cavity,
A chamber full of wondrous beauty4,
That only a god could craft such view.

Rock chandeliers and curtains hang,
While stalagmites grow unimpeded,
Like a scene of an ancient temple,
Flourishing on all shapes and shade.

Flashing my camera at will,
Capturing these images on film,
I took nothing but pictures,
Killing nothing but time,
Leaving nothing but footprints.

1. Located nearby a large copper mine, the Atlas Copper Mining & Development

Corporation, Asia's biggest and the world's second largest, which closed operations
on 1988.
2. A cave complex located in Camp 8, Cantabaco, Toledo City, Cebu, which contains an
underground river system which the community and a nearby resort are dependent upon
of its fresh-water supply for drinking and domestic use.
3. An underwater passageway linking a cavern to a another chamber hidden to the eye if
seen above the water's level.
4. This chamber is called the “Mona Lisa” chamber and contains stalactites and
stalagmites of all sizes, shapes and colors, which were all untouched and hidden
from poachers.


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