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You never know the hours I have spent tapping the pencil on my recycled paper ( I still do writing my drafts in pencil), and let the ideas sit at most a week or two, some stretches up to six months or a year before it gets published on the blog. I had lots of writing ideas when I am at my peak and my poetic muse normally runs a season of three months before I embark on any other personal diversions (music, arts, photography and any other writing stuff).

Facing a blank paper is like facing a blank canvas to a painter. And to be able to do a poem, is like giving birth to a son or a daughter. What’s scary and fearsome, is that you can’t move the pen to write a phrase or words if the direction it wants to lead you is unclear. Oftentimes, I just scribble words and let the words reveal a life of their own.

Keeping a poetry blog continuously streaming with new poem material is hard but all the more, fulfilling. It trains the poet to experiment, and find a new voice. It keeps the poet at the top of his game by sharpening his creative writing skills. It humbles the poet to continuously seek peer support of fellow poet friends and exercise the habit of reading other works as well. It’s in a community of writers that a poet can thrive with brimful of inspirations.

Eight years have passed, and still my poetry blog is still pushing the pen. I never regret mine, having a passion for words and making good poetry. For me, poetry is never a dying art and I continue to do so, sharing the best I could ever have.

So to continue the second half of fifty more poems I have published on Hames: Solitude Against the Maddening Crowd beginning August of 2010, it’s a lifetime of literary legacy I am willing to continue and keep everyone inspired, confronted or provoked by the honesty I laid down on paper, here they are:

 

I wrote an haiku about people who might think their life is plain ordinary in Status Quo,

“ gray is the color of the blank space

which separates the day into the night

I am caught in between…”

 

Another haiku in Zen, celebrates the importance of solitude in silence,

“ low tide reveals the sandbar,

my soul on barefoot walking calm

searching where I first came in…”

 

Inn Side, is a poem about the many thoughts, all of us are thinking at the moment making us unable to sleep,

“ all room’s full tonight

for restless thoughts,

will you make another?

Something resides too long

without paying any rent

unwilling to go…” and

 

“ forgiveness

is the name knocking

at my door, I would not

let it in, at a price…” and

 

“ you know, it’s hard

to clean up the mess

of those nightly visitors…”

 

And the unordinary poem about our sibling’s lovers, wives and husbands as intruders in Those Sister’s Men,

“ those strangers’ hand snatching spaces,

of familiarity, never uttered a word about apologies…” and

 

“ suddenly somewhere appears picket fences,

territories, boundaries and cages

which were meant as a warning

not to encroach their line, their property…” and

 

“ ah, they would never understand

the weightier aspects more than

the union of two bodies to breed…”

 

The poem that tackles domestic violence is aptly reflected in Stitches and Tattoos,

“ love holds no record of wrongs-

that’s a lie. In fact, the stinging sensation

of your repeated inflicts of pain

made the wound even worse…” and

 

“ see my heart full

of needle holes from repeated

sewing and knitting and mending

patchwork, of quilts bleeding…”

 

And the agony of writing is vividly remembered in A Story Ending,

“ write. It is almost like

the plot explains why

we keep on repeating

the same mistakes again…” and

 

“ stubborn writers only listen

to their own opinion

of what’s apt and what’s not…”

 

The deep pangs of homesickness and the sacrifices of being an overseas worker is captured in an haiku Homecoming,

“ my world’s consist of four corners

and a square but miles apart to home

I get to travel back in my dreams…”

 

In Diptych, the writer confronts himself about the honesty of his artistic expression,

“ you wish to say something but the words swerved

to its opposite direction-sugarcoating the angst

frothing bittersweet at your mouth verbalizing

euphemism…”

 

And a portrait on a life of a saleslady tending to her wall display in Shop Girl,

“ the dress fit well

and the gods must have been happy

to mold a gypsum to form,

speechless and never tires of standing up

to impress. Look here, the mannequin is alive…”

 

The lyrical Puzzle Pieces, is a poem about how a song can piece together the memorable and beautiful journey to the past ,

“ the lyrics would

tell you how I cling to the rhythms

getting through the rough days

veering deeper into a hiding place

I sought against tough times…” and

 

“ never to remember the episode

of those sad melodies that I strum

on my guitar. Weeping…”

 

The sensual poem Come, breaks the barrier of lust and love in beauty of words in its double meanings,

“ hear the sound

of the first rain after a drought

and how it falls on the parched

earth…” and

 

“ have you felt something taking

root beneath you, peace.

Lullabye of the mermaid

lulling you to sleep

and believe in love

like the shooting stars…”

 

Then a deeper angst is evident on Aching Thread, delves on frustration of getting through,

“ my mantra of calm are as restless

as the grasshopper hopping

to some isolated and jotted

islands of images, dark-

that painterly abstraction…” and

 

“ some questions will burn tonight.

And answers will die on my bed…”

 

A portrait poem on the life of a gambler is indelibly marked on The Gambler,

“ it’s another night playing jack against

the king. He will have to pawn his aces…” and

 

“ the gambler lost that day on his deck of cards.

No bailout. No tolerance. Just lost his control,

when speed and luck became his greatest traitor…”

 

The philosophical mockery of the society and its migration policies  in Zoo Logic, delivers its true to the grit dissection in a poem,

“ freedom is an open door to a cage.

Yet another cage must be opened

like animals, we are hesitant to move…” and

 

“ the city streets became a zoo

and life has turned us into one.

We migrate and roam like animals do…”

 

The semi-autobiographical poem about a starving poet in The Portrait of A Poet is a favorite,

“ the chandelier sways a little

when the ceiling sheds its skin

to show its old bones…” and

 

“ you worry

about the constant reminders

from the electric company,

those unpaid bills overcrowding

this three-legged desk…” and

 

“ breakfast unprepared, it’s another

long hours without eating but verses

of poems you chew in your mind…” and

 

“ here is the knife and slice something

open, now. It might reveal a thing

that you don’t understand…”

 

And a discourse on thriving with understanding even in disagreements in the poem The Conversation,

“ we do not need to hide

the arguments on intellectual

acrobatics nor choose to mislead

honesty in fallacy…” and

 

“it is not

in the amount of words nor

the eloquence of the language,

but in this fraternal bond

that even in disagreement

we thrive in peace…”

 

In I’m Not Here, the poem explores the state of one’s absent mindedness one’s disguise of truth,

“ a balloon hollow as air

I float miles farther away

no one could catch me.

I’m not here. Drifting

past the roofs of cities

and a maze of streets.

No one could see me now…” and

 

“ lingering among clouds,

playing with dreams,

breathing a reality…” and

 

“ in a skin I lived in

may not reveal who

a being- hidden within…”

 

An allegorical poem I have written about my almost exact personality in Like Water,

“ water drop in my universe,

echoes from afar becoming distinct

sound. Drip, drip, drip

circles expanding colorless

and still blue…” and

 

“ little waves

breaking long stretches

of silence seemingly placid.

Roll. Roar. Rage…”

 

In Wane Like The Moon, the poem searches and struggles to survive within the bouts of longing,

“ your orbit may find you

in an unending cycle of hiding

and showing up across the sky.

Like a shepherd tethered

to your protection I slip

a chance and probe the map

where you lay all your secrets…” and

 

“ leaving a trace of dewdrops

glistening of little stars

to my skin aching and wanting…”

 

Then it continued in Evening Rain, with a poem that was written to dig deeper about isolation and loneliness,

“ an afterglow

radiating and pulsating

with warmth of whispers

and silent promises” and

 

“ like the shepherd moon

it clings in the presence of moments,

of minutes and hours, sweet

love talk by the angels of youth…”

 

An upbeat and sprightly modernistic poem Monday Blues, is a poem that describes days on the life of working wounded,

“ it is Sunday (I hope it’s Saturday)

still I dread about the things

that need sorting, or mending

or keeping the weekly life in order…” and

 

“ pretending you work hard but counting

four more days and you slam down the paperwork

bolting out for freedom. Still it is Sunday…”

 

Then dragged as a prisoner of the corporate life in Steel Bars, a poem that conveys the image of the booming cities,

“ I am perched here inside with distances to roam

only my eyes can see. You are out of reach.

The wind blows from distances afar

bringing me in yesterday’s news. It’s cold.

And the noise reverberates like a broken record…” and

 

“ tell me about freedom. Day in, day out.

Of walking in circles, and the light travels into the night.

Tell me about resilience. No matter how it looks-

a hard shell but brittle and fragile within my mind

where it builds edifices of dreams. Towering

over my need  to run away…”

 

An elegiac poem about love lost and forgiveness written from the perspective of a dying man in For The Ones We Left Behind,

“ rescued from the years of forgetting the ones

that mattered most. And the dreams that never

meant to be owned like the earth where I stand…” and

 

“ but the scars of our love-thorned lives remains relived

in our book of days. I wish the summer winds will carry

the ashes until forgetting. I wish sleep will banish the things

which I failed to tell you when you left me. I moved on…” and

 

“ and my waning mind gave birth to words I have bookmarked

with fresh flowers that blooms from the same earth I will lay

with my dreams. I am not afraid anymore of the longest night

until tomorrow…”

 

Tipping Point is a poem that  deals with  the question about narcissism and the dangers of perfection,

“ you always say that you can’t let them ruin you

but it’s a plain lie you wish that all is perfect…” and

 

“ for you, everyday is a waging battle of wits and reason.

Perfection is costly. Holiness is fatal. Which one are you?

Nobody is born a saint and you won’t believe it too?..”

 

In Occupy Spaces, the poem seeks to understand the reality and unwillingness of someone who’s self restrained of opening up to the world,

“ it is like me, filling the blank spaces with letters

and thoughts I- only I could understand you

and me. And why do we need to belong each other…” and

 

“ it is like a bottle of wine emptying its last night’s discontent.

It is like a pack of cigarettes I consumed of inhaling

and watching the wisps of smoke thin out of dreams.

Wind will carry the tides farther away to the horizon

but you know it will land on somebody else’s shore.

I need not to bring my own footprints…”

 

Tendrils is another allegorical, sensual love poem using botanical elements to intensify conveying the image,

“ fragile arms reaching out

the other. Bends

in the soft wind

like gentle caresses

searching for warmth…” and

 

“ innocence crawl into the light.

They climb to support

each other and touch

as lovers do. Affection

grows like a vine…”

 

The struggle to survive in the midst of isolation and loneliness in a no man’s land is chronicled within the poem Push,

“ why flipping a page from the book  is necessary

to pass time and you know that the hands of the clock

won’t turn back the hours that have been…” and

 

“ why talking within your mind in monologues nags you

with guilt as if your life is a mess and you are helpless

about the future and guessing how it will ever end.

And nobody knows that there is a deep cavern

that you can’t escape…”

 

And the timelessness of unshared poetry against rampant commercialism is encapsulated in Strange Foreign Beauty,

“silence is a little thread that binds the pages to a life” and

 

“ beauty hidden in a labyrinth frozen

in time. Never to be opened for a reading

and not for sale…”

 

When the reader falls in love with the writer and its passionate travails is aptly described in Bookworm,

“ what started out as an occasional tryst

with printed words began an insatiable desire

to eavesdrop some imaginary lives on pages…” and

 

“ there must be a fine line between the reader

and the writer as to dreams is to eloquence

of the pen. Drifting to lucid spaces, shelf upon shelf

I began to shuffle it between my fingers. Skim-read

passages and clues  I wonder-

where to find you…”

 

The bittersweet  and poignant love poem and its eventual love lost in Hands Clean, keeps a heart enthralled fit for a  valentines day greeting card,

“ sometimes,  I catch myself

wondering about you

on some moonless evenings

or misty mornings, drifting-

where have your pages brought you

on some ride in the wind

or tail of a comet’s end…” and

 

“ somewhere

hidden beneath the shadow of stars

thinking

who’s reading you now…” and

 

“ inhaling your scent

and leaving fine, little circles

of fingerprints

much softer than mine…” and

 

“I wonder

who’s reading you now,

whose mind can fathom

the deeper meaning of you.

Whose hands were

much cleaner than mine…”

 

And love’s everlasting reverberation in the vintage classic love poem Message in the Bottle,

“ there’s a message in a bottle

washed up ashore.

Like the wave

knot by knot reaching out

for the love he lost

by the sea…”

 

A punch of sarcasm and laconic truth in Altruism, a poem that speaks for itself,

“ I give and you receive

and you get but I didn’t

expect it to return. To pay

forward and give

to another. Until I beg

and ask the other.

He gives but never

asking back. Help…”

 

The elusive stroke of luck to hone a masterpiece and the lack of time is bleeding in Small Pockets of Time,

“ what will it take you to remember?

The light and shade of beauty

in minutes and seconds within hours

in a day or a year…” and

 

“ I carry within me

waiting to be expressed

in time. Little by little

a masterpiece…”

 

In the poem Orphans, it  explores the artist’s continual lamentation about artistic regression if he cannot devote a time for his passion,

“ you see the bookshelves collecting dust

and the pages of books banded together like

comrades and no one stop by to break the line…” and

 

“ you may gone flirting into new diversions

gobbling your attention and forget the allegiance

you made to Mother Art and create orphans

watching when you’ll pick enthusiasm…”

 

That struggle continues to be evident in Watercolor Sky, the artist is coming into terms with his art,

“ I see words

swirling past shadows

of a hand restrained to speak them

but paint the sky

with reds, blues and yellows

in circles and dots

of dreams I am afraid

to wake from…”

 

In Flood, the poem have painted an imagery of the desperation and hardships of work tipping off  the equilibrium on personal life balance,

“ labor becomes a habit. Of numbness

and enjoying the suffering…” and

 

“ like the way the thinning soap glides

my body and the necessity to wash

away yesterday’s worry-rat smell-

that doomsday spell…” and

 

“ like the constant whining of the weekend

laundry, hoping detergents rinse the stains

and filth of missed deadlines. And overtime.

And I got the time to soak away thinking

about the next line to a poem, capturing it

before it goes down the drain. In limbo…”

 

Vigil is a deep prosaic poem about death, religion and redemption, gritty in its poetic delivery,

“ by someone whose scythe has killed

and slit the necks of flowers too eager.

And push them into garland and vases

as if sudden death is a beautiful thing…” and

 

“ whose spirit wafts the room to shake

and pound the doors with its fists

while the priest can no longer hear

the trite confessions of a sinner…”

 

Coming to terms of a flawed past would not deter someone to create a new beginning is the essence of the poem Indigo,

“ empty handed you go into spaces

searching for  souls like collisions

of grey shapes stumbling down

into staircases heading for exit…” and

 

“ you will not allow it. You will pretend

as if you’ve come a long way from there

and someone has to understand

that they need to break down

the concept of the old life you are not

now. Though they won’t applaud changes…”

 

One More Mile is aptly a poem about perseverance to fight for your dreams, 

“ skid some marks,

dash the line

but I’ll never say

a dream goodbye…” and

 

“ and the minutes

stretch too long to count.

But I hold on

until it burns

a path uniquely

my own…”

 

Then after all, Who Says Poetry Is A Dying Art? is a poem that holds the beacon to continue poetry and  its literary legacy,

“ who says poetry is a dying art? I say otherwise.

For centuries, poets mined gold, toiling the minds

of men and keep them going…” and

 

“ art that was losing chances and losing hope.

That made poems became songs sung out loud.

It became pieces of conversation. In the streets.

And in the way people speak. To sell. To buy

affection…”

 

Another poetic gem, I believe is Our Own Little Places, explores life in the country side and why it matters,

“ a simple life- who knows when to retire

at night time and hug long-time companions

called pillows and dreaming dreams…” and

 

“ and we have to wage battles

with boredom and her sisters- called mediocrity

and irrelevance. But not all were lost.

Somebody needs to learn how to befriend them…” and

 

“in the darkness, we hope our soul in its own little spaces

can see the moon and stars light up the evening sky.

While the wind whispers- all is well, we’ll be calm as the sea…”

 

If life is a stage, so it is powerfully described in the poem They Are Silent, truth stings like a bee, a warning to gossipers,

“ they are silent, yes, they are silent.

I imagine them talking on corners

sounding like the bees ready to sting.

And the beehive is ripe and heavy

with gossip running over like honey…” and

 

“ I wish the sword will tangle with tongues,

lacerate the innards and spill the beans.

I wish the fish will bite the bait

and see the hook clasp hard the mouth

to stop fishy things from overflowing…”

 

Shadow Son, is an intimate portrait of a son who longs for his father’s affection,

“ because the sun hides its face

like the way a tyke, fatherless

and left out into the world

to fend for himself. Alone…” and

 

“ someone has to refuse

to become the victim anymore.

You knock some doors

and it is locked. You are not

welcome there. And a hand

is restrained to touch his own

shadow or an image reflected

a life mirrored in water…”

 

A gutsy reminder to the readers about the writer’s brand of literature in The Confession,

“ I do not offer a life

nor its manicured rhyme

but a disjointed rhythms

of words. Of thoughts

messed around misaligned

tensions of surviving

to live and exist…” and

 

“ I do not

offer a solution to a malady

but I am willing to bare

the broken bones.

There is no guilt

for a man who stand

for what he is

and would offer no

facelift to his present

circumstance…”

 

A poem tribute for the refugees and victims of civil wars in Narrative of the Wounded,

“ about an aching hand, bloodied by history

wrapped in white bandages soaked

in spiritual rhetoric. It didn’t stop

the bitter flow.  This hemorrhage…” and

 

“ while bullets of sunlight streams within

dark passages to freedom fighting,

floating clouds above charred ruins.

The innocence held captive

in the hopes of winning

a logical war for a bitter peace…”

 

Cocoon speaks about poignantly longing for freedom, breaking from the everyday mold of monotony,

“ I would like to remember

for the sake of remembrance

without fear of talking on corners

where echoes reverberate

within these four white walls…” and

 

“ I would like to visit a place

that is only half-remembered

where the streets are fading

against the foggy morning light…”

 

Writer’s Bloc, is a ode to the many celebrated poets and writers of not so distant time who helped shape literature as their gift to the world,

“ he keeps me shrouded in shredded pieces

sprawled and reclusive and momentarily

locked up vanishing in mediocrity.

Like someone who is afraid of the sanity

and Charles Dicken’s tale of two cities…” and

 

“ lucky is Jane Austen for she can choose

not to be shrouded and shredded but

privileged unlike some Emily Bronte’s

Heathcliffe who tries to redeem romance.

Some hearts that pound in the will of the horse

and to kill a mockingbird of Harper Lee.

I hope to catch the rye like JD Salinger…”

 

And the moments of self-denial when one learns about cancer in False Positive,

“ I buckle down, and sweating

my bones, electrocuted,

dead nervous of strangers’

gaze into my inner being…” and

 

“ trying to find

hidden tumor that metastasized

blood flowing a river

and then you drowned

along with drowning the negative

until it sinked in…”

 

My photographic skills comes into play in this poem that talks just about that in Test Shot,

“ peel your skin

reveal a vibrant sheen. Touch

and push the button.

Don’t be shy…” and

 

“ your mist embracing lens.

My fingers trembling

capture your moment.

Beauty is raw.

Ephemeral.

I wait in magic

hours…”

 

And lastly saved the best for last in Something Borrowed Or Things Broken, and this poem is about an ongoing struggle about lost of confidence and trust,

“ no, I didn’t wrote this as a reminder

that you need to return what you have borrowed.

Or should I say I have borrowed it too-

for awhile…” and

 

“ breaking closed doors

without entering and stealing

what is not yours as if you own it.

And you don’t admit in gratitude

that once you’ve been a beggar

of affection…” and

 

“ love that’s unconditioned

beyond love for oneself. And it’s me,

apparently, who have become broke…”

 

To my readers, thanks for your continued readership of this little blog page of mine. And hopefully, we can still share the best of our blogging experience in the coming years. Thanks for allowing me to share my poetry to the rest of the blogosphere. Cheers!

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