The Syllabary

Babayin by Christian Cabuay

Went to the stationers, bought
some ink today, paper, notebook,
pen-holder and nibs, ink
and a double-ended bamboo pen

I want to get back to
calligraphy (again), only
this time, try the babayin

I like the shapes

imagine it scrawled
on a postcard, on stamps,
my mother’s old dress
patterns printed on tissue
Maybe find a “use,” finally
for all the ephemera I’ve
kept in boxes and drawers

More than that, I admit
a fascination with
decorative patterns of
tattoo art (not so much
into hyperrealism); wonder
how to combine babayin
with those other shapes

scrawled, tapped, inked
another language carried
on the body, but also
in my case, on paper. I
hope my hand’s still
steady enough for this.

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