Category Archives: Resolutions

Of Drip Paintings and A Year That Did Not Go According To Plan

“I am learning to love myself more and live with the choice I made no matter how unfounded it could have been at the moment that it crept up on me. and i will get into grips with the realities that i will face, now and tomorrow and in distant futures…there will inevitably be continuous weeks of drinking the self to sleep and wishing and hoping and praying that whatever is now is otherwise

it’s a new year and everybody, or most of everyone at least, aspire for new beginnings to make better continuations of their lives

a turn of the year could be both as profound and as meaningless as the next sunrise. so another minute passed, so the calendar changed dates. so maybe we are older by another planet’s revolution or maybe we aren’t

all i wish is that i could sleep better soon

that things will make sense. that these feelings and choices and deeds will matter more than the time that i seem to lose every other second”

It’s Just Another Sunrise, January 8, 2014

And now, hey-ho, here comes 2015’s imperative New Year post.

And, as usual, my entry’s a tad bit too late for the annual jumpstart-the-year-with-this essay writing contest. And I’m saying that just to point it out already before anyone else calls it out on me. Done deal, whooped my own behind for it, and i’m fine anyway, still writing, so either you judge me because of writing the year’s first entry halfway into January or you just go on and read whatever follows this sentence and send me a virtual high five.

If you’re still reading this, *high five*.

Two thousand and fifteen. This year feels different, says everyone every time the year changes. Maybe pointing it out might increase the possibility of the actualization of aspired change. Might give some push, might instill a stronger sense of optimism and faith, might finally actually convince the self to make things happen.

For me, it’s different because this year came without that profound feeling worth a word and hundreds more. What it came with was an itch that crept from the center of my palms to the crook of my elbows, and badgered at my neck so that when I craned and stretched and shook off the crumbs of 2014 from dreams and memories stuck to my hair, I am left champing at the bit to manufacture moments that will incite desired profundity rather than wait for it to be shed from some speeding meteorite one fateful evening or so.

The above-mentioned continuous weeks of drinking anticipated for 2014 did materialize and resulted to a majority of the year’s nights, or dawns more precisely, of falling into bed too intoxicated to remember anything (more so write about) and waking up too late to do anything else but rush to work. Entire days were either spent fulfilling whatever waits at my desk or figuring out how to even achieve fulfilling whatever task is at hand. The days and nights endured. I turned to one frivolous evening after the other in a frantic search for joy that only seemed to elude me more as I craved it. Until I allowed the torture of isolation to wash over me. I took to the cliche and on one night I sat alone in a bar, dim and smoky and bleeding with soul-gripping music that too few people listened to, one hand grasping a glass of whisky for dear life while gripping emptiness with the other. The night aged and changed and gave birth to the kind of bliss brought forth by the virtue of choice. It was deep and real and unbreakable exactly because it was how it ought to be, it was what it was though unexpected, though unplanned. At the oddest of circumstances, in quiet solitude, I had finally chosen to be happy and I knew I was. Still am.

The past year failed to live up to plans and realize illusions I conjured in blind hopes of keeping my life together. Instead, it painted a picture that though seemed unlikely was definitely a deliberate stroke of the one who paints things greater than this little dot inside this tiny little frame. Autumn Rhythm feels like the best appropriation, certainly: drip painting, Pollock, autumn, rhythm, the number 30, and the great immense enlightenment culled out of a certain feeling of meaninglessness.

Image blurry especially along left edge

The past year saw a lot of things planned but unrealized. Long lists of wants and should-haves and could-haves crumpled and tossed away. I would have been so utterly disappointed, endlessly scolding myself for failing to living up to a set of to-dos and habits and traditions and expectations I certainly should not deviate from. But then it was also a year of realizing that plans? Pssshh, they’re not all that. Really.

In the past year, what I learned is that the things that will happen by virtue of being the other scenario that fate had intended for you at that moment will be as important as every other thing you had planned or intended or even mildly hoped for. But you must allow it to become that. You must live in that moment as it is and open yourself to its impact rather than getting hung up on what was replaced and failing to even notice what has taken its place instead.

Only if we allow these moments its being will we truly enjoy our every waking breath. Only then will we understand what it means to live life fully – to allow it to happen as it would by letting it happen as it does and not necessarily always according to how we had hoped for or planned.

I have still made plans for this year, more detailed than that of the past year in fact. The difference now is that I know I no longer have to kill myself over boxes left without check marks or standards that may be unmet. Simply put, I am going to rediscover the wonder of being surprised again. And I will learn to surrender myself to the thrill of it.

Last year I yearned for things to make sense. Indeed, it is starting to make much more sense in ways I have not realized before. And, yes, finally the feelings and choices and even non-choices have begun to matter so much more. It all will once you think of the moments you’ve lived rather than the time you’ve lost.

And sleep? Though there is so much delight in being wide-eyed and fully awake for as long as you can muster to be in a day, I am glad to have begun reacquainting myself with the dreams under my pillow once again.

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it’s just another sunrise

When one begins to ignore universally accepted celebrations and rituals of mankind to comfort itself, we get to the core of what we truly think and feel. We begin to pay attention and learn that the word ‘essence’ actually means something. Another turn of the year, is it? Cheers.

 

I was reading myself to sleep (an unfortunately pointless activity when one’s reading through a page-turner) when a turn of the song from my sister’s playlist prompted me to put the book down and proceed to write these thoughts down immediately

I am gripped with that feeling again, a feeling that hasn’t visited me lately – for quite a few months already, alarmingly – that feeling that cannot be disregarded – the urge to just go ahead and write

it started three songs before the beginning of this entry. when i recalled how, a year and a half ago, i would leave my laptop on all night playing unfamiliar songs from foreign independent artists so that i could put myself to sleep or survive the night without succumbing to paralysis-inducing loneliness. those nights i stayed up talking to The Lawyer, and we would wait for sunrise and it was then when I got over my feelings of brokenheartedness caused by That Guy

tonight, the sensation is reincarnated in this quiet evening of music in moderate volume, filling up the dimly lit room. it was like just as it was before but now all the songs are familiar by virtue of Billboard-Hit-popularity. so there is a difference but still not quite.  the memory finds new life and the difference in this playlist’s dress is in the annoying reminder that listening to this kind of music actually falls starkly in line with the effort to keep buried a persistent sorrow shoved deep down beneath book chapters, to-do lists, and constantly rearranged activities of my everyday hours

the music that accompanied my waning nights and creeping dawns have faded, and now – the approach, though i did not intently try it – no longer works. it doesn’t. it won’t. maybe never. ever.

funny how we change constantly. and frequently.

am i sad? i guess. i miss him like shit. not as much as before, i guess. i am making progress, snail-pace peace with myself and with my issues, i guess. uncertain, definitely. but better than being in denial. at least now i don’t go into constant fits of breaking down in tears. without just relentlessly bawling out to the universe, whether in my howling screams of pain or silent breathless exclamations, truly understanding why why why. they are occasional bouts of crying instead. that occur to me in sudden pangs of memory and which i can now control relatively well

i guess i love him that much, yes, but i am learning to love myself more and live with the choice i made no matter how unfounded it could have been the moment that it crept up on me. and i will get into grips with the realities that i will face, now and tomorrow and in distant futures. more will be revealed and though i wish all will be out as soon as possible, there will inevitably be continuous weeks of drinking the self to sleep and wishing and hoping and praying that whatever is now is otherwise

it’s a new year and everybody, or most of everyone at least, aspire for new beginnings to make better continuations of their lives

a turn of the year could be both as profound and as meaningless as the next sunrise. so another minute passed, so the calendar changed dates. so maybe we are older by another planet’s revolution or maybe we didn’t

all i wish is that i could sleep better soon

that things will make sense. that these feelings and choices and deeds will matter more than the time that i seem to lose every other second

where does it go? why does it pass? why should it matter?

like another song played, forgotten too soon, echoed too late

tonight i realize i am learning to dance better in the silences that remind me how i am alone completely, that i am alone. and complete.

happy new year, indeed.

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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: (7) when the loss is one you refuse to own

when the doors of the elevator open

my eyes will make its way through

dressed in amber and rose

looking back at the space 

of secrets only mirrors inside the box know 

you dont reach out

because i am no longer with you

i am no longer with you

 because i am within

i will be in the space you breathe

in the same rhythm you beat

in the same paths through doors that close

and open again

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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.

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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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The Accidental Anniversary Post: The Dip In The Ink Before the Blot

I find that I could not work on publishing a new poem here without first acknowledging all the work that went into this blog from the last year. I still find myself quite overwhelmed by how much shiz I’ve actually shamelessly put out here and how much this has helped me write. Ah yes, this post is going to be one of those typed-out-musings kind. If you wish to spare yourself, you can skip the paragraphs and go straight to the year’s first poem.

But, please, allow me to indulge. After all, because of all the stalling I’ve done ever since the year started, I realize, as I write this entry now, that today actually marks the anniversary of my  first ever post in this blog. Fascinating. Even my apparent laziness when it comes to writing seems to have a reason. And the reason is to kind of underscore, at least for me, the value of what I’m doing here. That sounded a little twisted, but, well, the universe works in twisted ways. And so, here we go.

The original intent was to keep this 100% literary (meaning, no notes to self such as what you are reading now), no acknowledgement of addressees (but, see, I now freely refer to you reader) and just fill it up with entry after entry after entry (based on the statistics, the average would be two entries per week which, really, isn’t bad at all). While I wasn’t able to fulfill my 365 for 2012 Project, having been able to publish only 67 poems, I’ve sparked several other writing projects through this and have come up with quite some material. One would be The Kingdom of Concrete, a category I’ve created for my writing to push me to write about the city, the urban landscapes and the urban life. To be quite honest, I just had to find a way to steer my writing away from all the cheesy mush I’ve been churning out. Gotta constantly remind the self about the breadth of material out there that one can tap into without the need to nurse a broken heart. *insert gagging sound here* And then after being inspired by the blog Fifty Items Or Less , I started my own -50 for the 25th Project: I have to come up with at least fifty entries with just 50 words or less while I’m still 25. I still have 46 to go and  10 months to work on that. Let’s see how I’ll fare with that one.

So do I feel bad that my 365 for 2012 project lack 298 entries? Not at all. 

Why? Because I continue to write even if  I do not publish it in this blog. What else have I been writing? Other than the prose and poetry you see here, I’ve written several other poems-turned-songs for shows and productions which I never really took time to post here. Maybe even a little embarrassed to do so but, who knows? When we’ve finished recording the songs, this blog will see the verses set to music  published. 

I checked my dashboard and discovered  23 unpublished, unfinished drafts of stuff I started to work on and then abandoned. That already sparks an  exercise for this year:  to get back to these stubborn spurts and whip them into shape. More as an exercise for editing than anything else. While I do recognize that there may be things that just sputter and die despite all the attempts to let it run, I won’t be letting these drafts remain unpublished without a fight.

I could do something really out of fashion and publish executive summaries and terminal reports that I write for work here, just for laughs.  But I don’t think my boss would be too happy about that and that would require a total makeover of the blog. 

So now we get to the ‘what’s-the-point’ question. It’s easy to just say that there’s never enough time to just keep writing and posting and writing and posting. But that’s not entirely true. At the end of the day it’s really an exercise of how you push yourself to come up with material and what you’re willing to put out there for the world to either marvel at or spit on. When I came up with the category Blurtouts, it was a deliberate baring of the self to this cyber universe – letting the world in on my random and often most personal musings. There’s a human being behind all these carefully titled entries and she wants to allow herself to let out some raw no-nonsense unadulterated typewritten thoughts sometimes. Also, she wants to be allowed to refer to herself in the third person. She’s going to stop doing that now. Or maybe later.

What she will do now is wrap this up and proceed to the year’s first poem. She will end this paragraph in maybe two to three more sentences and then re-read what she’s written so far. She will nod, satisfied, and quite excited at starting on another year – maybe to continue on old projects, rename some categories or come up with new ones. These words are what make her/me,  the hardest and most vulnerable selves enveloped in a syllable, a page, a universe. 

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At the back of a pick-up truck snaking through the mountains of the North, the words whipped through my hair, touched my face, left traces on my fingertips.

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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. 

——————————————–

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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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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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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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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50 for the 25th: A Kind of Disconnect

my hands are cold. my fingers, stiff, tap on the keyboard. i try to get to you. each letter becomes more difficult. my voice fades into a series of clicking sounds. can you hear me? i press both palms against the keys. warm. do you feel it?

i wish i could.

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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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50 for the 25th: Missent

The door is shut.

(andhereigoagainwithonesentenceparagraphssupposedlymindfulofdeliberatesilence)

A note, halfway through, distorts the spill of sunset on the floor. The message, unread, is absolutely clear. The addressed has no other response. The words remain in the dark, in-between. The meaning slips through, silently, unseen.

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50 for 25th: Gray Area

Nothing stands between you and the city except for the glass walls. The rooftops of rust  pop out against the city’s gray, hiding between skyscrapers, dodging our eyes. They wait to be found beneath those crumbling roofs. The wall is easy to break, but are you ready to jump?

——–

March 24, 2012.

It was a building with a view. We had the luxury of the metro’s skyline punctuated by free-flowing coffee, cookies and leftover fancy lunch. To be able to see what the world looks like from that height, we’ll have to choose between the actual bigger picture or the dominant view. The details need attention, but they need first to be seen. Are our eyes open? Are we really looking?

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-50 for 25th: Good Morning

 The stars have left us.

But we continue to speak of galaxies and universes we converse with, prayers we whisper inside pillowcases or wide open rooftops. Inside my pocket, a piece of paper remains neatly folded. Inside your mug, steam rises. The scent of coffee wakes up my senses.

————

Well. I was just musing about the first day of March and then I realized my word count was below 50 and so I decided to edit the ramble accordingly. What a useful exercise. Hahaha. Oh these thoughts of fifty words or fewer . Such motivating inspiration 🙂

So now, instead of including this entry in my 365 for 2012 Verses Project, I’m just going to start a new project but this time for prose:  Fifty or Fewer  for the 25th.

Yeah, yeah. You get what that means.

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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: (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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