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Posts Tagged ‘father’

 

That sober news in between sobs of my mother

fades in wispy notes from the other line.

Finally awaited- the bombs have dropped.

 

I suspect the sunset will turn

into dead stars this evening

while the cold wind languishes

as the last remembrance.

My heart in its faint nervous beat

became cadences of urgency,

free at last from its cages.

 

I begin to imagine throngs of flower wreaths

to a coffin and a flag, draped across its whitened sheen.

I can see forlorn faces, those sincere sad acquaintances

whisper their nice condolences, those sweet anecdotes

about the man and his lifeless body. I imagine

his image in me, my uneasy composure.

 

I fill my lungs with air and heave a sigh of relief.

The burden of many years in denial, disowned

of what has become of a child as this.

 

I forgot. Where I keep and hidden deep

the face of the patriarch of the house

and his kingdom he ruled with an iron fist

that broke many of my unspoken dreams.

I do not know what it will become-

when the news is a bullet that penetrated

like a shrapnel misplaced in empty despair.

 

But no, maybe, I wished for it before.

A king who rules will die eventually

long enough when the rules I will break,

torn at the door away from his grasp.

And I, a son, whose life had been buried

out of father’s love to its silent cemetery.

Lived each day in the absence of his ghost,

forgiveness I lay in his memory I lost.

 

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She told me that my father was another man,

well I shrugged my shoulder and say “it’s okay”.

But she didn’t know that I am writing my pain away.

I came to a point of thinking about those fatherless

children who lost theirs in wars, in car crashes…

 

I am still lucky, and better-off, I got one

whom I can call Dad, but he would rather not.

He told me I am not his son, and he would not talk

nor teach me how to drive cars. I sat down on a corner

and started scribbling my pain away. Maybe I can draw…

 

And draw myself a car, a house, a tree, the blue sky,

and people smiling under the sun. Until I came to a point

of thinking that I could imagine a world, my happy world.

I could draw as many cars as I would like, and as many fathers

who could teach me how to drive and see how proud I am.

 

But playmates taunted me it is not all true. They laugh.

They scorn. They tell me how crazy I am to believe.

I just left, not minding, distant and alone. “It’s okay”.

I will just write my pain away.  I write good stories

about friends who sit beside you and listen to you.

 

They, who will never doubt how good the story was.

But some books I read say otherwise. There were lessons

which say do this and do that. I believed it was. That

I should never be a pauper begging for affection.

That I should be headstrong.  That I should  be honest.

 

And genuine. That good people will go to heaven. I did

believe in truth and desperately seeking it all my life.

But I was mocked and I stand bruised and wounded.

They say I am too much. They say I am brash.

They say I am too frank. They say I intrude.

 

They call me names. It’s  like big boys and big girls

saying that I should go away. They don’t need me.

And then again, I isolate and pick a pen, scribbling…

And I am writing my pain away. And this blank space

is sure and will not reject me like most people did.

 

No matter how fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters,

friends and even if the world will turn against me

and continue to restrain their hand in extending love.

I would teach myself loving without taking, understanding

that my heart is rich and I have much more to give.

 

I could belong like my ink being absorbed by the paper,

without condition. Just pure distill of my thoughts.

I could somehow say that I found a home to myself

after all.  With the pain I’ve been through,  I am

still here writing my pain away.  I am not alone.

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I hear them screaming through

the sound of falling and splashing

and stumbling down staircases.

Of mangled steel twisting glass

and concrete skins ripping away

from the building’s skeleton.

 

I hear the slithery rush of jet fuel

scrambling down chases and elevators

at first and second impact, the aftershock.

Igniting fireballs through the hallway.

Explosions rocked the foundations

trembling in little earthquakes.

 

I hear the mad stampede roar.

I hear the panic bars unlatch.

Then the cacophony of sirens,

the tolling of alarm bells,

the symphony of shock,

the avalanche of horror,

the carnage of the missing,

and the agony of the trapped.

 

I hear them- peoples of the world,

helpless among the tangled mess

of floor slabs toppled like a deck of cards.

The gradual weakening of their hearts,

the whispers in pain, the unison in prayer.

The slow fragile breaths silently eroding

and extinguished like wisps from a candle.

 

I hear the distant cries of children

who lost their fathers and mothers.

The anguish of fathers and mothers

losing their children in the rubbles.

The lamentations of men and women

losing their wives, their husbands,

their brothers and their sisters.

 

I hear them all within the sound of the water

trickling down over the polished slabs of stones.

I hear them while I listen in the reading,

of engraved names whose innocent fates

were like the powdery dusts in mid-air

frozen, suspended, undiminished in time.

 

I hear the grieving sighs. The silent tears.

The ashes of remembrance, the memory.

The extraordinary day when the world

will never forget the ground zero.

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You have stood tall-

emperor of the land.

Full of life. Your arms

canopied seedlings.

 

Your limbs sturdy

nobody can uproot.

They worshipped

a father -like a son.

 

Head salutes

to heavens, serenading

earthly hymns

among the clouds.

 

The core of the earth

by your strength you drilled.

Sapping ground

of the living water.

 

And seedlings you tended,

basking in your glory.

Swarming like children,

sheltered and pampered.

 

The days went by

and so, the nights.

The seedlings became

like little parasites.

 

Draining strength

after strength

Lifeblood wanes

to season’s change.

 

Weeds encroaching

your landlocked territory.

Locusts hovers

the prey to the winds.

 

Of fungi ears

and holes gaping,

when time begins

the bark is rotting.

 

To destiny

of one lifeless tree,

isolated and bare.

Emperor bowed down.

 

Now, your crown

of thorns and vultures.

The death dropping

of frigid icicles.

 

Ages will come,

all lead to nothing

but old driftwood

to a woodcutter’s fire.

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Father, I remember-

waiting for you

on my birthday

And they say,

you’ll bring home

a present like

what other boys have.

I wish of a little toy

I will ride along

in the neighborhood.

And try to belong.

 

Father, I forgot

how long-

I have chased

the speed of days,

counting roosters

that have crowed

at dawn break.

All the hope

that have died

and buried inside. I forgot

the tears that have dried.

 

Father, quite still-

there are images

of trees I forgot to climb.

Of kites I did not flown.

Of baseball gloves

I did not put on.

Of the nursery rhymes,

left unsung. I slept-

as the world turns

of bedtime stories

unheard. I have grown.

 

Father, see me now-

how everyday, I wake up.

And struggle to balance

like a weighing scale.

The drudgery

of riding big toys

through the alleyway

of this wild world.

As I left skid marks,

deeply scarred

the innocence of this boy.

 

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I was on my way to a restaurant that late afternoon to meet a friend, hurrying and my mind was filled with gloomy thoughts. My mind just wandered aimlessly, battling inner fears. 

Rebel as I was, it seems that I am all wearied and fighting against the world, crushed in the agony of my self-defeat- I succumbed into powerlessness.  I have met a familiar darkness of my soul once again. In such a long time.

I am depressed that day.  Defeated by reason. I am filled with anger emblazoned across my face.  That day- I am not the usual masquerading, self-hiding chameleon in the cloak of coolness and charm.  I am likened to a ticking bomb.

I have questions.  And lots of them.  As endless as the broken road markings. My combatant nature would never accept any kind word- even from the most endearing. That was one time I had feared myself the most- who is capable of hurting myself.  Like a jagged knife ready to cut the ventricles of humanity in me.

Somewhere,  in a sudden mysterious way, I heard a helpless chirp.  I stopped and started searching the source  by my side.   And I have found a little bird, that has fallen from a bird’s nest from the nearby palm tree and landed on the ground.  It is too early for the little bird to take flight.  My hardened composure melts gradually into a compassionate being.  How on earth, this hapless sight would pour a cold, cold ice to my raging soul?

Then suddenly, out of nowhere, a stray cat emerged. Prowling as if it is finding something to devour.  In my quick thinking, I immediately snatched the little bird from the ground, rescuing it from danger. From harm and from the claws of the enemy-  so vicious and lethal.

Just when I thought, that what  I did, is the right one, I felt a sudden pain.  A stinging one.  The little bird had bitten me.  Surprised as I was, I accidentally dropped the bird away farther  into the ground. Then the next thing I heard is a scuffle in the bushes until the hopeless chirping stopped.

I am overwhelmed.  I just stand there and was filled with a sudden grief.  I can’t believe that life has been snatched away from my very hands.  The life of a fragile creature. A tragic lost.  Tears quietly streamed down my face until it became flood as pent-up emotions surged and overpowered my anger like a dam  breached loose.

That moment, I wonder,  how vivid  this circumstance made my soul saved from drowning and wallowing in despair?  My life, I learned, can be like the hopeless little bird, compared to a  child out of God’s hand.  How powerful can God teach me a great lesson, a stiff-necked person as I am, who never learned from His admonishing?   The questions that I have over-analyzed  for years has crumbled under the weight of God’s wisdom which is mightier than what I can comprehend.

Like a prodigal son who came back to his father’s arm, I did the same coming home to what God has purposed me to belong.  With the lesson of that hopeless little bird, I just knew that my life on earth rest only on His hands.  All I needed to do is to have an unwavering faith and complete trust on Him.  And God has impressed to me to stay in His dwelling place as long as I live.

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At young age, I was severely smacked down by our pet dog.  When my father learned about it, he brought down his gun and pulled the trigger. The dog instantly died. But I was hospitalized, sending my parents into panic if I had contracted the dreaded rabies.  But thank God, there is no indication of infection.

Through the years, the wounds got healed. But the mark of that dog’s bite has deeply sliced through my heart.  Everytime, I see through their eyes are thousand words that connects me to their world. No matter how ferocious they can be, my heart will melt at the sight of those angelic beings wagging their tails when they meet you.

I had never been hateful of dogs, even if I had that bad  incident. And I am just into thinking, if that one incident has something to do with this affinity to the canine creatures. I guess so. There are just so many dogs who came in and out of my life.  And I can feel the pain whenever the time of separation ensues. I can’t bear the thought of leaving them there when I have to be somewhere.

I remember Cotton. A fluffy haired white dog who lived long enough with us since childhood and became part of our family. Everybody just adored her though she never had any puppies. But she became a loyal and faithful dog who never tires to come to you when she is called.  I remember as a child, I would join in whenever my aunt will bathe her by the garden hose. Oh, I would just love chasing her running away whisking out the water away from its body.

When I was in gradeschool, my father and my mother have left us to the care of our grandparents  to return to Manila for work.  I felt the loss of connection.  I am in limbo. I felt emptiness. But a dog has saved the day and made me assured of company from then on.  But like the others, the dog died and I was in deep sadness. I can still recall how I invited my playmates to come with me under the guava tree , to have a funeral for the dog.  I made some wooden cross, some santan flowers plucked from a neighbor’s garden  and put in on top of the mound.  When my grandmother have found out, she was so angry with me and shouted to stop the ridiculous thing or I would got spanked.

I have forgotten some of the names of my dogs. But most of them, I remember them giving birth underneath my bed.  Then in the morning, I will hear some little cute noises from its newly born puppies.  There is a dog who still remembered me even after three years of separation. When I held her to my arms, she gave out a heartfelt cry like a long lost child.  There is a dog that looks like a tiger who have gone missing after a New Year’s celebration. There is also a dog who  one day came home before dying. We later discovered that he got a huge knife cut in his stomach by some heartless bystanders in the street.

I remember Vladimir, the  dog who is sleeping during the day but a guardian through the night.  I remember Ella, my aunt’s dog in Cavite, who walks like a polio victim due to some birth defects, but she managed to have two beautiful puppies Jack and Ace. I remember Fubu, An-an’s dog in Fujeirah who loves Filipinos that much.

But for now, I try not to have a dog.  I don’t want to have the same feeling of loss anymore when something happens to them.  And the  pain of losing them just lingers so long.  I can’t help it. But the fondness I would remember, is when those innocent eyes of the dog would  search you through and start wagging their tails as a sign that they trust you enough. That you can be their dearest friend for life.

A dog is indeed a man’s bestfriend.

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