Category Archives: Poetry

2017 for 2017, 194-200:

Cusp between days
Threshold of hours
meeting point of
yesterday and tomorrow

 

where today
can possibly
disappear


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Ibig Kong Ika’y Payapa (Salin ng Me Gustas Cuando Callas / I Like For You To Be Still ni Pablo Neruda)

Ibig kong ika’y payapa, na parang halos isang puwang,
At nauulinigan mo lang ako sa kalayuan at hindi ka makalabit ng aking tinig,
At tila ang iyong mga mata’y pumailanlang,
At pawang sinelyahan ng halik ang iyong mga labi.

Kung paanong ang lahat ng bagay ay puspos ng aking diwa
Umuusbong ka mula sa lahat ng ito, puspos ng diwa ko.
Panaginip na paru-paro, kagayak ka ng aking kaluluwa
At kahawig ng salitang panglaw.

Ibig kong ika’y walang imik, na para bang kay layo mo,
Parang nananaghoy, mariposang tumatangis.
At nabobosesan mo ako mula sa kalayuan at hindi ka naaabot ng aking tinig:
Papasukin mo ako’t patuluyin sa iyong katahimikan

Dinggin mo ko sa iyong pagtahimik, mangusap tayong walang imik
Singlinaw ng sinag, singpayak ng singsing.
Tulad ka ng gabi, tahimik at binalangkas ng mga tala.
Ang hinahon mo’y buhat sa mga bituin, humahayo’t maaliwalas.

Ibig kong ika’y walang imik, na para bang hindi kita kapiling.
Malayo’t may kirot, na para bang ika’y namayapa.
Mangusap ka, kahit isang ngiti ay sasapat
At ako’y liligaya, maliligayahan sapagkat ito’y hindi ganap.

 

Isinalin ni Anj Heruela, Abril 2016

 

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Intimamente

For all the eleven hours between us,

and all of the moments shared in between.

 

 

At breakfast, you tell me about dinner,

then you watch me make my way to work

while you wait for sleep to come.

Past midnight here and midday there

are our everyday hours: short,

too quickly greeted,  too soon ended,

but constant —

like birds that chirp all around us during humid Amazonian mornings

or the smell of bread that follows us from the boulangeries in the streets of Paris

or the tickle of the third glass of wine on the lips, in whatever continent we taste it.

The sound, the smell, the taste – it lingers, leaves a trace, constant, it remains.

 

Like an image of you in my mind—

Ever smiling, ever moving, ever vibrant,

Ever there and never quite.

 

I keep your memory there,

Where the seconds lose meaning

And the hours need no counting.

Because at midday here or past midnight there,

we are nowhere there yet everywhere we wish to be:

a good morning greeting

almost as if you were breathing

within the reach of my fingertips—

 

soon enough, buena onda, indeed,

soon enough, it will be.

 

 

 

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Leaving July Too Soon

Some kind of eulogy. For the things that will never be the same.

 

I was still sorting out the mess of the last two weeks as Sunday crawled away, taking with it July’s early rainshowers. I gathered dust on my fingertips and three memories — stapled, splattered, and smudged — on the page of my palm. None of it fit in the neat lines and steady piles of clutter that littered every mile of every thought that leapt to the next mark and rearranged itself on the next page.

One memory stuck stained on the torn pages of a planner that crossed out one hour after another. It ticked off one fulfilled appointment to the next and wrote off disappointments and canceled casual lunch dates and regrets;

the next slid itself inside the mailbox, one stamp for every destination set for, one address for every departure that you will never come home to anymore;

the last etched itself on the lines of my hand. A mark left by ash fresh from the fire of burnt bones and cancelled birthdays. I wanted to hold on to you, only it was too soon, too late for me to pull myself out of the flames. We were counting years ahead, but you burned quickly and left a puddle of wax on top of the cake, right after ‘Happy’. Nothing follows next.

 I wanted to wash it off, to wipe it clean, to erase and forget. I tried every cleansing ritual and every magic trick but Houdini didn’t leave us any instructions and we know we couldn’t hide everything inside one little hat. It’s there and it’s gone, sketchy prints left behind traveled paths.

I reach for a sense of sanity and a bottle of whisky. I grip the glass, wet with the sweat of cold scotch gone stale, and feel it push against my palm. I could feel the cracks come slowly, so easily if I held on tighter, longer.

It is Monday too soon and July too early. I leave the mess as it is. I turn from where I sit and find that yesterday has left the table. It slithered out the window, greeted by the cackle of crickets as heaven crashed onto the dead leaves that lay fallen from the ever-departing tops of trees.

 

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A Kind of Nightmare

Intrepid, the ceiling stared back
fully aware of slumber’s abandon
While I lay there wrenched in the gut,
eyes peeking out of a blanket of black.

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Birthday Candle Wishes

We’ll call it Spark
That electric buzz that rubs off some magic
When the wires have been tinkered and messed with
That glow that brings in the party, that dresses up the dark,
That makes peace with grey clouds and plays with prisms
Let’s call it Spark, shall we
Let’s top off a bucketfull of wishes with it
And let it light up the next alley
where the next adventure of this lifetime begins.

To the one girl I’ve spent dawns and dusks and high noons with, happy birthday Gold 🙂

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Proximity

Across where you are, you’ll see,
We’ll meet where the sun meets the sea.

Like thread through a spread
of cloth coloured deep blue,
our fingers will weave through
the fabric of the Pacific, riding
the rise and fall and roll and
crash of waves that slip
into the palm of the shore.
Where changing sands mark the distance
between here and where you are–
nearness begins
where the ocean ends and expands.

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Never Out Of Time

It will come to a point when the seasons no longer define our timelines

We will gather in vases the bloom of fallen leaves in autumn

We will wade through the waves with snowflakes whispering in our ears

We will come to know moments instead of counting hours

And splitsecond kisses will sustain us year after year after year

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Wine and Wait

Another glass past the soundless hour before sunrise, I sit and listen to my Cabernet exhale

and catch my breath caught in a draft dragging the night away

from a dream fermenting inside another pillow misshapen

on a bed, empty, in a corner of a room: door unlocked, windows ajar

 

There goes another minute, drifting beneath streetlamps washing pavements warm yellow.

 

I think that was where time stood still.

After the point was made and the last sentence ended.

It walked away: hands inside pockets, hunger inside heart

 

I swirl the wine on my palm and inhale an old summer harvest forgotten inside oak barrels,

stored deep and dark to age and change into another summer to be poured from a bottle

on a night in another room, foreign and unfamiliar, door unlocked, windows ajar.

 

 

365 for 2013: (11) Mirrors and Walls

The light hits the glass
and meets the eyes.
Fractions of the room are drawn
together, framed, illuminated.
A new painting, the image conceived
beckons truth
and lies.

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365 for 2012: (10) An Exercise in Writing Letters No. 1

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The thoughts ran faster than the words could
arrange themselves neatly in line. Properly
waiting to nod their heads
at the end of the sentences.

So I rearrange them again.

And in carefully placed punctuations
and calculated silences between syllables,
I fold myself silently. Breaking
into shards and splinters
so that in the gaps where the thoughts are unsaid
pieces of me could slip in quietly,
almost unseen.
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365 for 2013: (9) Captured, Stolen, Framed

Quickly captured, a smudge,
a trick, a splitsecond stolen
then framed, then thrown 
onto the wall, this memory —
a shade less bashful,
a brushstroke braver,
a degree warmer than midnight’s fever.

Here, a wasted glance.
Here, the corner you refuse to 
sign your name on to.

 

(Or whatever, later, maybe a verse longer, maybe titled better)

 

Captured, Stolen, Framed

 

 

365 for 2013: (6) Mama


They speak of you as light,
Ray of cosmic brilliance
My own creator, goddess:
Mother.
Stardust scatters beautiful
on the universe of your face,
charting paths that glimmer of passageways
that curve to your cradling–
fingers, arms, shoulders, laps, belly—
and then the bank of the river of your hair
where, despite decades, I stumble to
find promised solace.
The strands stretch out and mark trails
Of moonpaths and sunbeams
On childhood scars you covered
With whispered comfort then band-aids.
My fingers follow these memories, finding myself
teetering on the center of your palm where I trace,
the pulse that beats
the blood of your love
In my veins.Mama

Because this poem deserved to be born today more than on Mother’s Day. What we celebrate today is your being born to this world. That’s the greatest thing that ever happened to me, otherwise nothing else would have happened 🙂 Happy birthday Mama.
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365 for 2013: (5) Before Gravity

Naive

would be the first word

an apple, fallen, breathes

to the ground. It rolls, sullen. 

While sunlight, air, mist,

dabs its bruises

with a kiss. 

April 24, 2013

——————————-

 

This summer, I lost in a game I played with my students in class. The  consequence for anyone who lost was to show the class something special that you can do. So I stood there with a pen and the whiteboard and asked them to throw at me random words at random moments. I just let the words work their magic. 

 

Now, the class is almost over. I almost couldn’t believe it.

I can still hear the apple breathe. 

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365 for 2013: (4) treasure hunting

i know where you should be but you refused to be found so i dipped the tips of my fingers in gold and settled for a version of treasure that your chest would not offer up; the sentences still go different ways and i try to chase them but you’ve put the commas in so many random places i’m forced to dot the end of my phrases and  each time another one of  your commas show up, a swoop beneath the dot, almost as if it says we should go back. but that messes up the map and then X is no longer the point to pursue but a footnote to the treasure that should now be dug up. not all that glitters is good for the soul, we offered a toast to that. we know where the shiny things are and we could have been led to that but the holes we fall into are much more interesting. and in the interstice between where we’ve fallen and where we’ll land, all your words come rushing through and i’m rushing just as fast. this is another terrain we’re traversing, another target we’re hunting. my compass points me to a direction which i reckon now defines forward, though it be pointing away from the pot of gold they’ve laid out for you and me, it is exactly where you didn’t tell me we have to be.  i will find you there. i have nothing else to seek.  the stardust from my fingertips have seeped into my veins, it has made my blood rich. while all these chests and troves, heavy as they may be, will never have enough to hold.

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365 for 2013: (3) As I Stand With You

In reference to the poem ‘The Flag’ from Pablo Neruda’s The Captain’s Verses. Here is my pledge.

————————————————-

 

The truth is I would run with you.

 

These nights when no bed can hold us

down, these blankets uncover us,

bare, shivering

in our desires, quivering

as our hearts beat out our souls

ascending out of our skins.

The satellite of your gaze keeps me

locked in the orbit of your heat,

your passion. And I am in place,

surrounding  you. Moving. Still.

 

By you, without doubt,

no fear; with you, certain,

standing, constant as you

have taught me, faithful

as I have known. Steadfast.

 

We own the truths we know.

We will fight the battles that need to be won.

 

And if your fingers speak

Of fear, let them tremble

against my palm, with my own.

And if your body exhales

exhaustion, fall upon me

your back to my chest.

And I  will keep us upright;

our grasp, firm, our breath

steady, our eyes burn.

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365 for 2013: (2) From the Leaf to the Lover

Meant as a gift. 

—————————–

In the fiercest of winds

and the most glaring of summers,

I may tremble, even wither;

but in the passing of seasons

and the changing weathers,

I will bloom in the dusk,

feed on stardust

and you will find me there.

In the scent of moonlight

and warmth of sunrise,

You will find me there. 

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365 for 2013: (1) When The Sun Sets

Yes, I just changed the year. Let’s see if I can go beyond 67 this time 🙂

———-

Utterly fascinating, universe. This is my 113th entry on 1/13/2013 exactly a year after my first entry in 1/13/2012.

The first one was called When The Sun Sets.

This is the image of how my fantasy should be processed by my brain.

There’s a thick cloud covering a great portion of the sky, drawing a straight line that defines where the stars appear and disappear. The horizon should stretch as far as the eyes could see, but heaven sets its limits on mine.

Fair enough. The divide between the starry and starless sky evens out as the night deepens anyway. And the stars do shine bright. They pop out in the dark. Twinkling and dancing, too.

Now, let’s take the same title, but let’s see where movements of heaven will take us this time.

———-

On the road, they follow the path

set for home, they trudge on

the streets that lose and take

up space. Crowded, they flow. Smears

of sunset on tinted windows

 

there it goes—

 

then gone, then there again, a flash

so soon missed by eyes

that blink, and clouds that trick

sight about light, celestial bandits.

On the road up in space,

they make their way home:

into each other, crowding

together before falling

back home.

 

A shard of sunset disappears

In the glare of a streetlight.

 

Dusk has pulled out its carpet

on the road. Above us,

a map of needle-tip lights appears:

our way back

home.

               

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365 for 2012: (67) Resolute

It is not that one has not tried again and again to alter the course of the lines or the sound of the waves that bounce off the page. It is that there are stubborn thoughts that will not yield. It is that it already is what it should be as it was first conceived: as if  without beginning but with a definite end. 

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And if my fingers find themselves

lost through your hair again,

if i take a whiff of you again

own you for one brief moment again

Then let go. And lose all these

that I’ve known. Will they say

it’s so wrong? Then set fire

to my soul. Nothing changes.

At the thought of your eyes alone

I burn. Again and again.

And from the ashes at your feet

I rise, again and again.

 

From the beginnings of the last quarter

October 16, 2012

 

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Overtaken, Underrun

Self-proclaimed casualties on a street

with no signs, one way

or another: the other can’t

go on, the other gets left behind.

 

 

**not filed under 365 for 2012 because this one is from the year past:

December 30, 2011 while making my way up North

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channeling Bukowski

so you want to be a writer

charles bukowski

 

if it doesn’t come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don’t do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
typewriter
searching for words,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it for money or
fame,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don’t do it.
if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it,
don’t do it.
if you’re trying to write like somebody
else,
forget about it.

if you have to wait for it to roar out of
you,
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you’re not ready.

don’t be like so many writers,
don’t be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don’t be dull and boring and
pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-
love.
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
sleep
over your kind.
don’t add to that.
don’t do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don’t do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don’t do it.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.

and there never was.

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365 for 2012: (66) She of the Sun

For all the sons and daughters whose sources have made way for the sun.

She leaves the doors open

to let the light through,

make way for a breeze,

let the house breathe.

 

It was as if she knew exactly how the wind blew

so she could summon the scent of summer into the rooms.

 

She draws the curtains to the movements of the sun.

 

She, daughter of sweet siestas,

sister of Sundays

set to songs of sepia,

immortalized in hums,

merging with the rising

trail of smoke, scent

of finely crafted suppers.

 

She, lap for my naps,

fingers through my pigtails

and braided birthdays.

Fluffing the ruffles of party skirts,

source of rippling laughter.

The one at the end of an afternoon’s run,

arms outstretched, my destination.

Cure to splinters and scratches,

that touch, tender.  Kiss on the forehead,

tuck of the blanket  after the lullaby. She

stands by. She, guardian of dreams.

 

She, lady who flips the flaps

of schoolday lunch bags,

quick with ease, firm

certainty. Like an embrace

after a heartbreak. She knows,

she whispers: It will all be better.

 

Like dark hallways being lit by the afternoon,

through the windows, the heavens flood in.

Bringer of light, she draws the curtains.

 

The doors are open. Still.

The wind blows a warm breeze.

The rooms are as she would please.

Light falls, it rests.

Everything is at ease.

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365 for 2012: (65) A Note The Postman Lost

The same night whitening the same trees.

We, of that time, are no longer the same.

Tonight I Can Write The Saddest Lines, Pablo Neruda

Dear lover, there is no need

for you to tell me, again and

again that the night is

shattered . There are pieces

of it on the floor, the crumbs

of your leave heading for

the slam of the door. Shaking

the house, gently. Echoes, only 

a broken record: the voice

breaks, at that crack 

 

before the revelation: I no longer

love her, so suddenly, but maybe

I love her and again no longer — 

gibberish. There is dirt on the surface.

I could not wipe it off.

The poem could not end itself.

 

Dear lover, what nights we have

known: all the truths we have

thrown away to make way

for the ones we could own. 

Nothing about shivering

stars, pale moons, imagined

heavens , endless skies —  none

of those, only versions of hell. 

Where wars are lost

when heroes leave,

the white flag raised

then torn to bits. Oh, it is

 

all so simple: sometimes 

I loved, and then

sometimes I did not. 

When the rest of the world refuse to.

We held each other in our arms,

 blue stars shiver in the distance.

 

They lie when they say, dear

lover, I cannot have you.

 

The night is shattered.

Souls are not satisfied.

We are lost to this world, too.

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365 for 2012: (64) Bandits

Out of place, like invitations

for the anticipated absentee.

Misplaced, is it, an absent-minded

unintended misfit? Half-hearted guarantee.

 

Not where it belongs,

that should be returned,

Or lost . To be found again.

These belongings, owned at once,

then used, then worn out, then thrown.

So is the cycle of what we wanted,

what we took, what we had, what we stole.

 

We couldn’t place our names on it,

Harder to get rid of things we wish we owned.

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365 for 2012: (63) Pagpupunla

Kung paano hinahagod ng patak

ng bagong-panganak na hamog

ang tuktok upang tuntunin ang dulo;

mariin, ninanamnam ang bawat

damping nag-iiwan ng bakas;

bago tuluyang maubos

pagdating sa ugat,

 

mamarkahan ko ang daraanan

ng mga halik na kasingnipis ng silahis

ng unang sikat ng araw

sa pagbuka ng langit.

 

Saka ako sasanib sa putik.

Makikiisa sa pinagmumulan, kaibuturan

ng mga lihim ng pamumulaklak, pagbunga,

pagkalanta. Doon ako magtatago.

Yayakap ang katawan ko, basang-basa,

sa bukal ng iyong pag-usbong.

         Punong-puno ng pangako,

         kumakayat sa pananatili. Naghihintay. 
 

Hanggang sa muling sunduin ng bukang-liwayway.

 

Lalapat sa kalupkop, sasalubong sa umaga.

Hinog at buo, muli tayong magtatagpo.

Pagbitak ng araw, doon tayo magkikita.

                                                Doon tayo magkikita.

                                                                  Doon tayo magkikita.

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365 for 2012: (62) Pag-inog ng Mundo

While listening to Ada Tayao‘s blues-y melody for ‘Lambat at Sagwan’ a song we wrote about fishermen, fishing, and sun movements, these verses came to me, sort of forcing itself into the music.

Such cheesy cerebral flatulence. It’s actually not even cerebral, but oh well. Carry on. 

 

Sumisikat na ang araw, dahan-dahan

Gumagapang ang liwanag sa ating paanan

Sa lilim ng kumot, oras ay ating tinakasan

Sa bisig ng isa’t-isa’y hinanap ang kalawakan

 

Humiram tayo ng kaunting sandali

sa mga bulalakaw na nagmamadali

At bago tuluyang bumagsak at maglaho

Dito sa bagong-tuklas nating langit tayo magtago

 

Tamnan mo ng mga halik ang buo kong katawan

At aani tayo ng tamis na kailanma’y ‘di tatabang

Sa kuyom ng palad ko, ang puso mo ay ipinid

Pag-ibig natin ang susi sa pag-inog ng daigdig

 

Paano bang natangay ako ng mga titig mo

At heto na tayo, bumabaybay ng bagong uniberso

Matutunton ba nila kung saan tayo papunta?

Hangga’t hindi pa, ipanatag muna ang pangamba

 

Ngunit  sa pagtirik ng araw sa tuktok ng kanyang trono,

Tanghaling tapat ang huhudyat sa ating prumeno

Saka mo tutuntunin ang daangtalang sinumpaan

Saka ko titiyaking hindi ako nakaharang sa inyong daan

 

Tamnan mo ng mga halik ang mga pisnging binasa ng luha

Mangarap na lang na may uusbong pang bulaklak

Sa kuyom ng mga palad natin ay ating ikukubli

Bakas ng pag-ibig na hindi maaaring manatili

 

Nagtanim ako ng mga halik sa lupang hindi ko maangkin

Sa bawat dampi ay inilibing ko ang mga lihim natin

Ang ating langit ay kinanlong ng walang-katiyakan

Alikabok na lang ng mga bulalakaw na naglaho ang naiwan

 

September 5, 2012, Pagadian  

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365 for 2012: (61) Sky, Blue

there is something amiss,

 

 you notice the colors of my nails twice

and reckon, ‘that’s a piece of heaven

right there at the tips of your toes

and where your touch begins.’ the sky, 

painted on the edges of my body. something

i stole from when i took the fall. now,

reaching for that piece of paradise 

across the table, your hand gets stuck–

 

between anticipated temptations and bad luck.

 

remember, keep in synchronous rotation 

with the body that keeps you in place 

yet in constant motion. these things can be

as bright as the sun, dark as your doubt,

round as your woe. we know how

these things work. if we remember at all.  

 

it only seems random. but the distance 

between this body and that is deliberate.

calculated with precision. we move

according to rules of the universe, irrelevant

whether understood, implied, or imposed. 

 

how do we approximate matter and space?

what occupies us? what is missing?

where do burning bodies go?

 

and the color of our skies, on surfaces 

we think we own. may not be

how heaven appears to be at all.

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Note To Self: Jorge Luis Borges’ You Learn

You Learn

After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises,
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,
And you learn to build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn…
That even sunshine burns if you get too much.
So you plant your garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure…
That you really are strong
And you really do have worth…
And you learn and learn…
With every good-bye you learn.

and of course, in it’s original Spanish form…

Uno Aprende

Después de un tiempo, uno aprende la sutil diferencia 
entre sostener una mano y encadenar un alma;
Y uno aprende que el amor no significa acostarse 
y que la compañía no significa seguridad;
Y uno empieza a aprender que los besos no son contratos 
y los regalos no son promesas;
Y uno empieza a aceptar sus derrotas con la cabeza alta y los ojos abiertos;
Y uno aprende a construir todos sus caminos en el hoy, 
porque el terreno de mañana es demasiado incierto para planes 
y los futuros tienen una forma de caerse en la mitad.
Y después de un tiempo uno aprende que si es demasiado 
hasta el calorcito del sol quema.
Así que uno planta su propio jardín y decora su propia alma, 
en lugar de esperar a que alguien le traiga flores.
Y uno aprende que realmente uno puede aguantar, 
que uno realmente es fuerte, 
que uno realmente vale, 
y uno aprende y aprende…
y con cada día uno aprende.

 

Happy birthday Jorge Luis Borges. Oh the things I learn from you 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

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365 for 2012: (60) Torn and Folded

at the back of a receipt, a scribble:

you held me as if knowing exactly

fading against creases: to find

torn edges, some parts– missing.

 

like a response to a song

heard on the car heading home,

roll the words around your head

over and over. burst of genius,

cloud of smoke. fireworks.

 

the view outside complements

a stirring within. it is the road’s

usual, flash of yellow lights, blurring

facades, the faceless rush. fleeting,

every inch you know and then don’t.

 

in the corner of your back pocket, another secret:

 

your breath travels to corners

your lips refuse to touch

your eyes, my salvation

my kiss, our sin

 

the adventure you seek

is the risk you couldn’t take.

moving further, we accelerate.

the other foot already on the brakes.

 

her letters are neatly piled inside

your heart. waiting to be opened.

 

my words are crumpled

in the clutch of your fist.

the night moves away from us,

we move away from us.

365 for 2012: (59) Para Sa Aming Mga Anak At Susunod Pa

Aba ginoong Mariya

nauubusan na kami ng grasya.

Bukod kaming pinahihirapan:

babae, lalake, tomboy, bakla.

Anong pagpapala pa ang aasahan ng aming mga anak?

Santa Mariya ina ka rin naman.

Kung para sa aming kapakanan

Paano nagiging makasalanan?

Hihintayin niyo pa ba kaming magkamatay-matay?

 

Amen? Inyo na lang.

 

——————————————————-

While I am seriously bordering on hair-pulling-head-banging-on-the-wall frustration, these are the times when I have to tap on my own faith and implore my muses of patience. There are just some people you cannot reason with. As for the rest of the more supposedly comprehending populace, how about taking a read at this and finally actually gaining a sense of understanding about what we’re fighting for? It’s easy. Ten items, really. Bite-size, if you may.

 

TEN FACTS ABOUT THE RH BILL.

 

 

I have no other comprehensive or pa-profound take on the issue. It’s supposed to be crystal clear, no need for frills.

My only prayer now is that people actually truly understand what valuing human life really means and how we show that in this generation reflects on how the next generation will view life as it is.

Amen.

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365 for 2012: (58 – Random**) Confessions

This is their method of extracting 

our stories. First, the isolation.

 

 Where it is still and quiet, questions are

asked. The process is done 

and repeated: a tip of the chin, a click

of the tongue, a slick

look from the side, sweeps past

your eyes. Twice over, if

you fail to deliver

the truth. Then, here, still

us, quiet, the way words unspoken are loud.

We all know that by now.

 

What are you afraid of? If this is

the way our bodies emerge from underneath

blankets and dim lights. The will

of the flesh, our breath, our mouths;

our travels down south. The paradise

we know destroyed by fear?

 

The narrative of the consequence,

is yet to be made. Still, there will be 

you and me. Our stories known or not.

 

Take my hand under the table, they’ll ask

you again. This time, keep

the secret pressed between our palms.

Slip it beneath our skins, we will

                                                                                     never let them in. 

**Again, without much thought.

365 for 2012: (57 – Random**) Switch On

All the lights are bright, each corner

of my periphery is lit. there is nowhere to go, look

 

gaze, stare

 

long enough it might get a little dark

has it been that long?

             the whole time. been staring

waiting, when i catch your eyes

wandering off to this side of the room

 

this signal of a smile

this beckoning of a breath.

 

has it been that long?

the whole room, it’s bright

in here, no way out.

 

staring the whole time.

 

time to turn down the lights,

dim, a little yellow.

the way we used to,

the only thing to see.

 

gaze, beckon, stare. stare. stare.

 

————————————

*Random, meaning without much thought. But with fond, sincere memory.

365 for 2012: (56) Rush Hour

There, where you should have been

standing five minutes ago, all at once occupied

and emptied by commuters chasing  buses  

that approach and leave. I place myself

precisely in-between distances

of come and go and constant transit.

 

Across the street, a waiting

shed: dilapidated. Waiting 

to be torn down. Will it be

replaced by another, a new

improved nook for passing time,

anticipating comings and goings.

 

Here, nobody wants to wait

too long. Nobody stays.

Yet hurrying away, they wonder

if somewhere, anywhere, somebody

takes note of their arrival. Hoping,

if they get there fast enough

they wouldn’t leave.

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A Roadblock of Sorts

The poems, they come and go.

Or they stay just an inch away from the gutter waiting to be picked up. One poses beneath the broken streetlight. Another melts inside an unplugged fridge. One more gathers molds among a row of old shoes. The other hides under a blanket of fallen leaves.

Poke at it till your pen bleeds. It pokes you back so you can’t sleep.

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365 for 2012: (52) Fluid

beyond surface marks,

a ripple embeds itself.

the presence persists

———————

May 23, 17:50 pm. Revisiting the thought.

touching the   beyond surface marks,

a ripple embeds itself.

the presence persists

persisting presence.

And  this gives birth to another thought.


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365 for 2012: (51)

Hear my body sigh:

I miss you like you were mine.

Always never here.

**This time, without title.

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Monday Morning Blurtout / 365 for 2012: (44-50) Estimated Arrivals, Definite Departures

there is nothing to prompt this note. it is half past ten and yet it feels like the hour hasn’t moved past three AM. only the fan moves in the living room, whirring steadily. while i listen to a hipster playlist made for mornings like this by a stranger somewhere i’d like to meet someday. there are options to get up and eat or clean up the room or — just get the fuck up. but i’m still in bed, stuck.

somebody, please remind me how do i pick up myself from this. or, no, yeah, leave me alone.

—————-

another strange dream

i would like to revisit,

lost under the sheets.

 –   

under the blanket

there is a body missing,

another concealed.

 –   

under the pillow

fingers search for another,

that cannot be there.

 –

the bed, a landscape

of plains, crevices, cliffs: vast.

 we travel this way.

 –

there’s a map somewhere,

find yourself searching for years

when you go to sleep.

 –   

the return ticket,

the cost of a memory,

brings you back: awake.

 –

strange dream, you again,

always there. where will you be?

gone in the morning.

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365 for 2012: (40, 41, 42, 43) Ever Here, Ever Now

Yesterday’s minutes

Move into tomorrow’s hours.

We remain here, now.

 

Numbers bind our days.

But we don’t count the seconds,

We count the stories.**

 

Always everywhere,

Temporarily displaced.

Home is not one place.

 

Nothing definite,

Our once and for all, every-

time is infinite.

————–

Wrote this one for one of the people who have helped me understand the nature of the here and the now in relation to what was there, what is, and what could be. It is all about vision and faith. And failure and strength. And good music, a good drink and good friends.

Happy birthday Tita Maribel. Always beyond age, never finite.

 

—————–

**"No se cuentan los segundos
Se cuentan historias"
from Calle 13's Preparame La Cena
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365 for 2012: (39) Before Sunrise

There’s no certainty.

I’m waiting with my senses.

Breathing in the dark.

There’s always something about being the one at the waiting end. Oh these things we subject ourselves to. I did write about this before.

So, after all the waiting, what do you get in the end?

 

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365 for 2012: (38) Left Unsaid

Don’t say anything.

We’ll let the universe speak.

It knows our heartbeat.

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365 for 2012: (35, 36, 37) After Midnight

 

I.

Stay up to keep up

and converse while the world sleeps.

Darling and discreet.

II.

Only the dawn knows.

Our silly little secret:

Promises unkept.

III.

Conversations end

when words no longer suffice.

Lips, tongues cross the lines.

 

 

 

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365 for 2012: (34) Traces of You In Me

Marked territory.

We are covered by our dirt.

Flying back to dust.

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365 for 2012: (31, 32, 33) Step Forward Further Behind

I. 

A door is slammed shut.

Is it an act of courage

if you didn’t look back?

 

II.

Walk on to nowhere.

What’s there to be afraid of?

You’ve left. Move on. Go.

 

III.

The urge to move is

just as strong as the fear of

being left behind.

***Upon the end of April we find out: nothing ever truly disappears. Sound behaves as such: static, in the air, abuzz to those who strain to hear.

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365 for 2012: (30) A Lesson in Movement

Predictable fall.

Hit your head and it’ll end.

You need a strong grip.

**Thirty before March. Still not good enough. We have a quantity to live up to. 

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365 for 2012: (29) Unsaintly Reminder

Faultless flirtations

anticipate bad endings.

Woo with certainty.

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365 for 2012: (28)

**I know, I know. It feels incomplete. It’s not supposed to be whole yet. It will get there. 

 

I am on my way 

Up north. The highway stretches

on. Another sign.  

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365 for 2012: (27) Missed Call

 

Put the phone down. Don’t

let it tear open old scars

and create new wounds.

 

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365 for 2012: (26) Grey Weather

**Because the rain came too early in February.

Not the only one

left behind, will not stay, who

gets wet in the rain.

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365 for 2012: (25) Sa Simbahan ng Iyong Pagsinta

**This poem is derived from my first translation of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 105. I totally soiled myself upon hearing the music composed for this poem because it had so much of the feel of Fitzsimmon’s Goodmorning which is my sort of anthem at the time. So I did a little tweaking here and there to really place the words with the sound. So here it is.
 
 

Pagsinta ko’y di basta-bastang pagsamba,

Dahil ang iniibig ko’y hindi isang diyos na bato

At lahat ng awit at pagpupugay ko ay takda

Sa kanya, nag-iisa, siya nawa.

 

Siya na nga.

 

Banal sa paggising, dalisay hanggang pag-idlip

Sa kahanga-hangang dangal, walang tinag, nananatili

Kung kaya’t salita ko’y tapat ring nakapinid

Ito’t ito lang, taimtim kong sinasambit

 

Marikit, mabuti’t totoo,

ang lahat ng aking katwiran

Marikit, mabuti’t totoo,

sa ibang salita ma’y nailalarawan

 

Ito ang layaw ng dila kong makata

Ang alay kong pagdarasal

Sa simbahan ng iyong pagsinta

Puso ko’y nangungumpisal

 

Marikit, mabuti’t totoo,

kadalasa’y hiwa-hiwalay

Itong lahat ay nagsanib sa’yo

Sa kabuuan mo’y nananalaytay.

Marikit, mabuti’t totoo,

Siya nawa,

Marikit, mabuti’t totoo,

Ikaw na nga.

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365 for 2012: (24) Contact

Because we’re all suckers to this Hallmark holiday anyway.

Staring, you catch me.

Our two seconds of romance.

Here’s to more, more, more. 

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365 for 2012: (23) Dealing with Departures

Before you leave, don’t

forget your return ticket.

Reconsider? Stay.

**This haiku deserves a follow-up ramble on how — bam.

I just can’t deal. It’s so unfair universe. I just can’t deal.

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365 for 2012: (22) Slash and Burn

Through thickets of texts

a woodland of words unfold.

Stories, forests, told.

*Now just look at what this random haiku’s become with a little tweak. A sort of about  and introduction to whatever there is.  

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365 for 2012: (21) Tuloy ang Sagutan

And we continue the game.

 

Sabi niya:

Tama, dapa

Hulog, untog

Pero iba ang nangangarap sa nahihibang

Iba ang naniniginip sa nababaliw

Iba ang nilalagnat sa inaapoy

Iba ang naghahanap ng langit

Sa tinakasan ng bait

Hindi pinipiling pikit-matang tumalon

O kagat-labing umurong sulong

Walang pinipiling lasa ang dila

Walang pinipiling tama ang tula

Matamis na ang lahat ng pait

Sa tinakasan ng bait

At pwede mo sabihing

Nahanap mo na ang sarili

Nahanap mo na ang pag-ibig

Dahil nawala na ang lahat…

 

 ——————————–

Sabi ko:

Kahit ang usok na naglalaho sa kalawakan

Sumasanib sa ulap, bumabalik bilang ulan.

Ito ang mga bagay na hindi natin napapansin:

Ang pagsuyong nakaipit

Sa paminsan-minsang ‘di pag-imik;

Ang tamis na nakapinid sa pagitan

ng mga labing nakailag sa pait;

Ang digmaan sa dugong pinapaikot

ng pagtibok ng pusong may sakit.

Ito ang pira-pirasong katotohanang iyong matitikman.

Masinop na itinupi ang mga hiwaga ng mundo

At ikinubli sa mga sulok ng kaluluwa,

ingat na ingat na inialay sa kalaguyo.

Ito lang ang katotohanang kinakailangang mabatid.

Ganito ang mga bagay na hindi natin namamalayan

Akala mo’y wala, yun pala’y nariyan.

Ang galos hangga’t hindi mo nakitang nagdurugo,

Kaiba man ang pakiramdam ay di pa rin kikirot.

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365 for 2012: (Twenty) Playmates

Much like a child’s game

we only hide to be found.

So stay still. Don’t blink.

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365 for 2012: (Seventeen, Eighteen) Sagutan ng Nalipasan ng Gutom at Kulang sa Inom

This exchange started because a very cool guy sent in a very cool translation of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 17. The lines were just there staring at me, pulling out verses from my guts, prompting some wordplay. I just had to write back. So I did and he answered. So I wrote again. I’m still waiting to see if he’ll write some more. I hope the game never ends.

(Translation of William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 17 by Froilan Medina)

Sinong maniniwala sa isusulat ko

Kahit puro tungkol sa iyo

Kung gaano ka kaganda

Kung gaano ka katamis

Kahit ganda lang ng mata mo

Kung mailalagay ko

Sa salita, sa notebook, sa ipad

O sa palad

Hindi pa rin sapat.

At wala pa ring maniniwala

Sinong maniniwala?

Sinong maghihinala?

Sa tula sa dulo ng aking dila

Na wala kang kasingganda

Ikaw lang, ikaw na

At ang dalawang gabi ng iyong mga mata

Sasabihin nilang kalokohan

Sasabihin nilang nalipasan

lang ng gutom

O nasobrahan ng inom.

Isang imahenasyong

pumapalag at nagwawala

sa pagitan ng iyong hita

sa gitna ng isang tula

sa dulo ng aking dila.

Sinong maniniwala sa isusulat ko

Kahit puro tungkol sa iyo

Kung gaano ka kaganda

Kung gaano ka katamis

Kahit ganda lang ng mata mo

Kung mailalagay ko

Sa salita, sa notebook, sa ipad

O sa palad

Hindi pa rin sapat.

At wala pa ring maniniwala

Sinong maniniwala?

Sinong maghihinala?

Sa tula sa dulo ng aking dila

Na wala kang kasingganda

Ikaw lang, ikaw na

At ang dalawang gabi ng iyong mga mata

Sasabihin nilang kalokohan

Sasabihin nilang nalipasan

lang ng gutom

O nasobrahan ng inom.

Isang imahenasyong

pumapalag at nagwawala

sa pagitan ng iyong hita

sa gitna ng isang tula

sa dulo ng aking dila.

(Prompted Curious Compulsions by yours truly)

Paano naman ang hindi puwedeng uminom

at hindi puwedeng magutom?

Ang bagsik ng lagnat ng pusong ito’y saan hinuhugot,

Saan hahantong?

(Immediate Answer by cool person mentioned above)

Kung hindi pwedeng uminom

At hindi pwedeng magutom

Ang bagsik ng lagnat ng puso

ay huhugutin ng bilog na buwan

at hahantung sa likas

na pagtakas

ng bait.

At palalayain ka ng pagkahumaling

sa kahon ng iyong katinuan.

Sasabihin nila, kabaliwan

Pero hindi ka maniniwala

Dahil nagmamahal ka lang

Ng tama.

(And another)

Di ba ang tama ay bunga rin ng pagka-untog,

Ng mga humahalik sa sahig kapag nahuhulog?

Ng mga hindi nag-iingat at bigla-biglang napapatid,

Sa mga naliligaw sa paghahanap ng langit?

Tama din ba ang makukuha sa pikit-matang pagtalon?

Katumbas yata ito ng hilong dulot ng urong-sulong.

Ah, ang may sakit nga nama’y kung anu-ano ang sinasambit.

Ang lagnat na ito sa panlasa’y nag-iiwan lang ng pait.

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365 for 2012: (Nineteen) And?

Send me another

witty remark. Don’t forget

to sign: ampersand.

http://keepinginmind.tumblr.com/post/6273509062/for-my-kitty-ampersand

*Sweet sixteen, indeed. One of those things that only matter to me, I guess. Harharhar.

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365 for 2012: (Eighteen) Haikunnouncement

The poster is out.

Turn the calendar pages.

The love month is here.

———————————

**Yep, from the calendar series .  This is actually the original:

The poster is out.
Turn the calendar pages.
Valentines is here.

But because this was prompted by the sonnets concert project which actually opens after Valentines, I edited it. Para lang hindi tali sa katorse. And anyway, it’s the 15th of 365, not 14th. Blech.

So, yeah, it’s sort of a plug. With anticipation. And dread.

Lahat na lang ng puwedeng tulain itutula. Tsk.

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365 for 2012: (Seventeen) Thee Na Natukso

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Di ko alam kung tutula o tutulala

So I, for fear of trust, forget to say

Kung putî man ang puto, suso niya’y kutsintâ;

Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust;

Sakdal-lahat ng alindog ng mundo’y kawangis mo

When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st

May lambot ng mamon ang puso mong sintibay ng bato

And so the General of hot desire

Dilang buhul-buhol bumubulong na lang sa hangin

Admit impediments. Love is not love

parang mga guhit sa dalampasigang binubura ng tubig

Fair, kind, and true, is all my argument,

Ano’ng silbi mo sa akin?

Millions of strange shadows on you tend

Kalaro kong aninag na di magbalik?

(Beat. Voices switch.)

 

Irog ko, paano na ngayon ito?

Love’s not . Time’s fool.

Istupido yata itong si Cupido.

————————–

**Yes, these are not my own words. (Yes, not?).  As a teaser for a project we’re doing right now, I was tasked to mash-up lines from Shakespeare’s sonnets and its translations. Meaning I had to read and re-read  (14 x 14  = –> ) 196 lines in Old English  as well as the corresponding translations and/or adaptations (196 ++) and find a way to make sense out of alternating select 14 or so lines from both original and translated sets. Apparently, I couldn’t keep it to the minimum.

Does it make any sense, then? And since it qualifies as a poetic exercise (excuses, excuses) I’m going to count it in the 365 for 2012 project. So there. And no, I’m not ranting. Hah.


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365 for 2012: (Sixteen) Starry, Starry Scarf

A patch of heaven,

this stellar fabric offers

galactic comforts.

*A note I tucked in a scarf I gave to a friend on her twenty-fourth year on earth. Because we got some serious sh** to shake. 

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365 for 2012: (Fifteen) After New Year

The alarm goes off.

Turn the calendar pages,

February’s here.

**Actually came up with another Haiku for January. Thinking of creating a series of twelve.

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365 for 2012: (Fourteen) Salin ng Sonnet 105 ni Shakespeare

**Salin ng Sonnet 105 ni William Shakespare, ang pangalawang sonetong kailangan kong isalin para sa darating na concert sa buwan ng Pebrero. Tinapos habang nagpapahinga sa lilim ng mga puno ng buko sa baybayin ng Guimaras. Walang katumbas ang puting buhangin at hampas ng alon para sa pressured na makata. Hahaha. The life indeed, the life.

 

Pagsinta ko’y di basta-bastang pagsamba

Dahil ang iniibig ko’y hindi diyus-diyosan

At lahat ng awit at pagpupugay ko ay takda

Sa kanya, nag-iisa, siya nawa, natatangi lang.

 

Mabut sa bukang-liwayway, hanggang takip-silim mabait

Sa kahanga-hangang dangal, walang tinag na nananatili

Kung kaya’t salita ko’y tapat ring nakapinid

Ito’t ito lang, walang pagliliwaliw mga katagang sinasambit

 

Marikit, mabuti’t totoo, ang lahat ng aking katwiran

Marikit, mabuti’t totoo, sa ibang salita ma’y nailalarawan

Ito ang layaw ng dila kong makata

Sa lawak ng saklaw ng balirala’y pag-isahin itong tatlong katangian

 

Marikit, mabuti’t totoo, kadalasa’y hiwa-hiwalay

Itong lahat ngayo’y magkakasama sa’yong kabuua’y nananalaytay.

 

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365 for 2012: Thirteen

Soap suds on the floor

Will wash away these worries.

Therapeutic chore.

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365 for 2012: (Twelve) Tinuhog ng Espada

**After a pseudo-faithful translation of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 20, here now is the version that should hopefully serve as lyrics to a song. And yes, pun intended. Lame pun at that. With syllable count that needs improvement. Sheesh 😛

Kinis ng mukha mo’y pang-billboard ng Belo,
di na kailangan ng Master Eskinol yan
Bagong gising na puwede nang frontpage ng magasin
Mga dilag sa iyo’y di lang hahanga, ikaw pa’y kaiinggitan
 
Puso mong mamon, iisang suki lang ang nakakatikim
Di gaya ng iba diyang kung kani-kanino naghahain
Talbog silang lahat sa talim ng titig mo
Duguin na’ng madaplisan dahil iisa lang ang tutusuk-tusukin
 
Bossing, ikaw ang senyora ko,
Kumander na nakalalaglag-panty ang asta,
Tagos-kalamnan ang lagnat-lamig abot hanggang buto
Ang puso ko’y tinuhog ng iyong espada
 
Okay na sana kung hindi ka lang napag-tripan ng tadhana
At sa paghubog sa walang-paris mong katawan ay ‘di nasobrahan
Tingnan mo nga’t mas may tambok ka pa sa akin
Anong silbi niyan sa’kin, e meron na ako niyan?
 
Bossing, ikaw sana ang senyora ko,
Kung di ka lang itinakda para sa ibang senyora
Tagos-kalamnan ang lagnat-lamig abot hanggang buto
Ang puso ko’y winarak ng iyong espada
 
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365 for 2012: (Eleven) Salin ng Sonnet 20 ni Shakespeare

**This is my translation of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 20. Did this for a sonnets concert project we’re doing for February. This already sort of fails the traditional sonnet form, but oh well. 😛 Linguistic discrepancies. The more lyrics-for-song version follows after. You are such a challenge Bill.  

Sonnet 20
Mukha ng dilag sa’yo ay ipinintang likas
Ikaw na mayordomang kumander ng natitira ko pang lakas
May lambot ng mamon ang puso mong sintibay ng bato
Panay lambing ang pag-ibig na walang bahid ng pagkatuso
Talbog ang titig nila sa mga mata mong walang ligaw na sulyap
Nababasbasan sana kung hindi pinapangarap ang iyong pagkurap
Ang tikas mo’t dating, kumporme’t nakapanunukso
May suwabe kang hatak sa kaiba’t kapareho.
Nilikha kang babae sana, pero sa pagpeperpekto ay lumabis
Sa iyo ay may naikabit na sobra na nagdudulot sakin ng pagtangis
Ang kasaganaang bigay sa iyo’y para sa aki’y walang saysay
Ano’ng silbi mo sa akin, kung dapat akong umibig sa isang Inday?
Anu’t-anupaman, nilikha kang aginaldo para sa mga dilag
Kanila na’ng katawan mo, maliban sa puso mo’ng sa akin sana ipanatag.
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365 for 2012: (Ten)

Uncontrollable

patterns of fall. Lives at risk.

How constant hearts beat.That's Audrey Kawasaki For You

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365 for 2012: (Nine) Quarter-Life Crisis

Domestication.

The dawning of a new age,

of growing up pains.

**Finally, one that came with a title with it.

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365 for 2012: Six, Seven, Eight

I.

A morning crime scene:

A blooming red mark right there

From the culprit’s lips.

II.

Another crime scene:

Rouge marks on a shirt’s collar,

A ring down the sink.

III.

No more evidence

Door’s ajar, wine glass empty.

Our case unresolved.

**I got a little fixated with the idea of a crime scene . Here’s a different take that churned out another series. I like doing this series of threes. Feels like a comic strip in verse.

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365 for 2012: Five

A morning crime scene:

When an escaping dream leaves

pillows stained with ink.

**Aren’t there so many possibilities in changing the word ‘ink’? Imagine your own murder, then take your pick.

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365 for 2012: Two, Three, Four

I.

Hair strands on pillows,

Traces, thoughts falling away

To count and pick up.

II.

Hair strands on pillows,

Traces of thoughts fallen out.

Don’t count, don’t pick up.

III.

Hair strands and pillows.

Traces of us. We’ve fallen.

Count on being caught

**This is the product of the magic of repositioning words to find the most apt manifestation of the image in the head. Thank god for details that strike you upon waking up. Although I am still quite uncertain about the order of the three, I’ll leave it be for now and go for the gut feel. The time will come to edit it accordingly.

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365 for 2012: One

Good book, new hobby, checklist:

Petty distractions

For a life empty of one.

**First attempt, please forgive. This Haiku is actually erratic. Instead of 5-7-5, I was thinking 7-5-7 thus the count. But anyway, that’s that for now.

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Charles Bukowski’s Blue Bird

Animation by Monika Umba

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsc3ItAKSLc

Bluebird
Charles Bukowski

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I’m not going
to let anybody see
you.

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I pur whiskey on him and inhale
cigarette smoke
and the whores and the bartenders
and the grocery clerks
never know that
he’s
in there.

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say,
stay down, do you want to mess
me up?
you want to screw up the
works?
you want to blow my book sales in
Europe?

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too clever, I only let him out
at night sometimes
when everybody’s asleep.
I say, I know that you’re there,
so don’t be
sad.
then I put him back,
but he’s singing a little
in there, I haven’t quite let him
die
and we sleep together like
that
with our
secret pact
and it’s nice enough to
make a man
weep, but I don’t
weep, do
you?

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