Old Whang-od

Amid the verdant mountains
Wild rivers and slopes
Reside the countless culture
And the mambabatok

The tattoos etched on her skin
Flaunts beauty and grace
The history of headhunters
She wears on her face

Old Whang-od taps the bamboo
And the tattoo session begins
Officious tribal patterns—
Ethic outlines worth the pain

The tapping sound of bamboo stick
Sends a hum of thrill and fear
For at the end of the citrus thorn
The charcoal ink shall smear your soul

© 2017 Maria. All Rights Reserved.

Photo Credit: Lantaw

In response to dVerse’s Tuesday Poetics: Artisan.

Tending the bar for Poets Pub today is Kim who challenge us to write a poem about an artisan or wright emulating the style of Irish poet, Seamus Heaney.

This one is a tribute to the 99-year-old Whang-od who is considered as the last mambabatok (traditional Kalinga tattooist) from the Butbut tribe in Buscalan, Kalinga and the oldest tattoo artist in the Philippines.

Head over here to join the fun: