Sunday, 24 November 2013

Unfettered Verses II - Dusk and dawn


Beneath the hazy light 
Of dusk, I sit 
Alone, as lonely
As the coming night -- too sad
To journey home.



Soon the night of pensive dreaming
Into passive morn shall break,
And jaded heart, though barely beating,
Fate shall find for healing’s sake.

I have walked so long in shadows,
Lived a life that e’er repeats,
But time has come to conquer hist’ry,
Cyclic chaos to defeat.

I shall flee this starless prison –
Darkness brings no sweet relief.
Its answers all shall stay encrypted:
Past perception, past belief.

This is a poem I made for a story collaboration with a friend. Read full version here or here


Do light the fire, dear poet -- rise
And in our journey, become wise.
Come lilt your gentle, soulful tunes
By which with God shall we commune.

Open letter - ne me quitte pas

Now, I hate this line of words between us. So cold, so distant, always not enough to tell a story. And so you and I are forced to fill in the gaps with imagined scenes, with fabrications. We say hello much too cheerily to compensate for the growing distance. You put too many emoticons in your chat messages -- another smiley face instead of a sad one. We both think that it’s enough, that the other won’t see anyway, that the other won’t feel that we’re drifting apart. Maybe these words don’t really connect us at all. They've begun to become a wall instead.

I've always wondered if it was fate or mere coincidence that brought us together. We began (at least I did) with an apology. We then wove our story with lines of poetry, a whole new world strung together with words, always words. I loved them, and so did you – was that all?

What was it like, from your point of view?

It was true I never saw you since I left. Out of sight, out of mind. To see is to believe. But you were always real for me, even without us seeing each other. It was as if you were transmuted into those words that floated between us. I was happy to send my thoughts floating toward you too.

Floating free. Floating, nothing to ground it. Was it only believing that made you real?

In my fairy tale, you were the knight who came charging to rescue me. You were the shy guy who unwittingly makes me smile. You were the song I'd “heard once in fragments but had been singing in my mind ever since.”

In yours, who am I? A name, or a number – a face and a voice? Was it chance, or meant to be?

Ne me quitte pas, mon chere. Truthfully, it feels bad to start our tale with a sorry and end with a hello.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Unfettered Verses


We met
In my late night
Fantasies. You held my hand,
And that kept me
From drowning in your deep
Blue eyes.

But waking tossed me
Back to shore.
You are once again
No more.



Put your hands
Upon my skin, and feel
The spark that’s born
Of touching 
Something new.

Cradle me, and gently
Into my hidden depths.
Find the subtle rhymes, the silent 

Run your eyes
Through every line, every curve,
Every color – paint a scene uniquely
Ours. Enter this world,
This world within the gourd.

Claim it, and together we
Shall make another thing 
Of it.

In all entirety

From    cover    to    cover.


I'd rather be the first to fall,
The first to call, "Defeat!"
I'll be the first cascading tear
That comes to douse the heat.

'Tis triumph too, that final stand
Which no one shall repeat.
For courage springs from souls that long
To fate and chances meet.

What though my heart 
Should cease to beat?
My blood won't flow in vain.
The faint and dying footfalls herald that
Of thundr'ing feet.

Apres moi, la deluge.

If you liked the poems, I have more here.

Babysitting woes

My baby cousin, Ethan, regarded me with wide, wondering eyes. He wore a what-the-hell expression: one raised eyebrow, wrinkled forehead, slightly pursed lips. After two seconds, he began to wail, and it was my turn to screw up my face.

What the hell?

It follows that I waved his rattle toys before his face, the jingling sounds increasing in tempo the longer he cried. It didn't work. I made faces and tried to talk to him, "Sinong pogi? Si Ethan!" It didn't work, either. Not knowing what else to do, I turned on the music and sang to him in Japanese.

It actually worked. He went silent and just stared at me. I spent about half an hour that way, peering at Ethan, singing, "Akachan dango wa itsumo shiawase no naka de."*  (The baby dumpling is always in the midst of happiness.)

The whole activity got me thinking. The house was quiet besides my singing voice and Ethan's slight whimpering, so I could almost really hear my thoughts. Calm, silent... what now?

I'd always liked imagining the future. I would picture scenes that I'd love to see happen. I would play quirky conversations in my head, as if rehearsing them. I would make plans, feeling like I could do anything, if I so willed.

But I never thought of things graver or farther reaching than that. I never took the time to ponder my beliefs, my dreams even -- are they really mine?

So when faced with the decision of whether or not to quit being a campus journalist, I was quite baffled. In the first place, I applied for the publication thinking that it's the most natural thing for me to do -- having been an avid writer in high school. I didn't want to leave that part of me -- the bright-eyed, inquisitive journalist -- behind, so I rashly dove in.

Then it spiraled out of control.

My grades were fine, actually, but I was constantly nagged by the thought that I could have done better. My articles were alright, but they took huge effort to finish, requiring me to forgo my introvert tendencies. My friendships were strained; I was always too stressed and surly to talk. I am was a mess.

It scared me. What if that kind of writing turned me into a person I don't know? What if it made me realize I'm not for engineering school? What if it forces me to choose?

It was too much, too soon, and I suddenly felt so young to be confronted with such choices.

Ethan began to cry again, and I hastened to shush him. I picked him up, grateful for the distraction from more disturbing thoughts.

"Hey, little cousin. Mukhang pareho ata tayo ng music. Magkakasundo tayo nyan," I told him, smiling. He stopped crying.

I rocked him for a bit, and soon he was asleep. I couldn't help feeling a pang of envy. The future, after all, was for him only his mother's arrival -- milk and bedtime (again).

*Lyrics from Dango Daikazoku, an ending from Clannad.