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Posts Tagged ‘five’

Cut the line, if you do not want to hear what I’m saying.

Burn the page, if you do not like what you see.

I don’t have the habit of repeating myself

over and over again just to be understood.

 

Somehow, there will come a time that explanations

are not required. Questions are left unsaid

out of courtesy, while your mind is bubbling

with doubts, you need to accept me of who I am.

 

Like this, we talk on the phone without expression.

The heavy tone of your voice means a disappointment.

You’re definitely upset when I can’t catch you. And you

can’t catch me as we are both lost in translation.

 

Let us stop this virtual war. This undue vexation

of words coated in the niceties of being cerebral.

Can’t we simply talk as normal humans do,

caught in the flimsiness of conduct and etiquette?

 

You see, I didn’t plan to have more than five

stanza to this poem and keep on intellectualizing

on how stupid it was to win our every argument.

You know, sometimes you do not have to fight

 

every battles you are invited in. Just choose-

the best one. And argue with me. Fine.

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On the passages, it says

of a prison, an exile. In Babylon

where walls and ceilings are gone.

Watching the blue sky

turn into darkness, blotted out

by billows of smoke and fire

over ruins of crushed bricks

and pulverized sandstones.

 

Three hundred and sixty five days.

And life now are moving images

of evacuees and troops,

of tanks and warplanes

from a distance. Boundaries

of earth mounds and trenches.

Through my camp’s window

is a restive realm to which I stand

invaded by bombs and gunfire.

 

I daydream of home-

while placidly inside,

a vision of seed emerging,

growing into a tree.

Whose blossoms

quite imaginary

at the old hanging gardens,

the fruits at its season

drops by the waters

carried  away into streams.

And rivers, down into

the Persian Gulf.

 

Freedom and peace-

these wandering thoughts

and the desert winds

whispering to my soul. As restless

as the river currents shifting

from Tigris to Euphrates.

 

Like Nebuchadnezzar- whose ancient cares

flocking like grebes by the floodwaters

inundating history. The centuries old

slipping  away a kingdom whose

former glory will never be restored.

I have changed. 

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I once had the chance to swim the Pasig River when I was just about five or six, I guess.  An uncle, who was a robust teenager that time, invited by his friends, tagged me along with him one afternoon.  We walked across J.P Rizal street and descended some flight of steps going to the not-so-murky water.

Uncle led my hand and told me not to be afraid. And when we dipped ourselves into the water, I felt the river current slowly pushing its force against my fragile frame. Suddenly uncle let go of his hand, and I was left wading by myself. He just laughed and laughed, along with his friends to see me panicking and gasping for breath. When I was just about to submerge into the water, he just snatched my hand in time and landed me safely back to the steps.

I was panting heavily as I watched amazingly to uncle and his friends vigorously swimming against the river current. Hoping that I could grow instantly  and have the strength to swim as long as I wish. 

But when aunt, uncle’s big sister, learned of our little river escapade, she scolded uncle for taking me down to the river, saying that the polluted water could make me more sick.  And aunt blares her disappointment at the two of us and told  me that it is too dangerous to swim in Pasig River, and I could get myself drowned.  My mother has allowed me to stay at aunt’s home for the summer to have my routinary medical EENT checkups. 

I just kept on listening to my aunt’s endless rant to uncle and heard her say that she was really disappointed with me and could send me right away back home. But I just  smiled  and throw a toothy grin to uncle, silently thanking him for taking me down the river.

I am thanking him for expanding the fragiled radius of my being. A new-found freedom, to allay fear of not sizing up to what other boys of my age can do. I don’t want my being sickly hamper the extent of what I can do. To belong and be accepted to a fraternal brotherhood like uncle’s.  And it is a feat that begins my tearing down of the walls of my sheltered existence.  A youthful independence. 

I am thanking him, because that’s when I have learned to stand up and defend myself when I am being wronged. To keep up heading on even when the circumstances are getting against me like a fierce river current drowning all the strength I could muster.  To exceed the limitations of what my mind tells me that I can only achieve that much.

As a child then, I believe, most of us, have become warriors against our own. When we have learned how to be brave even when we were afraid and often get discouraged.  When we  are walking out there in the world,  somewhere, winning our inner battles and living uncertainly day by day, and never giving up. 

Pasig River is my Rubicon,  where a warrior child in me has been borne out of the mighty rush of the river current while bailing myself out for survival. An invisible force pushing me to edge out and discover frontiers I have never been to before, now possible and within reach.    

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Fish crackers, salted

peanuts, chicharon

and Coke in can.

Five peso and fifty cent

fare to a jeepney ride.

I  inhale the pungent

breeze of the balmy bay.

As I watch the murky water

when the sun walks away,

its face hiding down.

 

The lamp post aglow

to your face, a pale moonlight.

Do you remember-

when I cuddle you

on this lonely bench? Together,

neophytes to tender love

leaning into each other, teeth

cracking watermelon seeds,

choc-nut, lukewarm Zesto

in tetra pack.

 

Do you remember-

Zagu and popsicles,

banana chips and chiz curls.

Love seems a butter

and salt to a popcorn.

A pink sugary cocoon

to a cotton candy. Sweet

melting, artificially

flavoring our infatuation.

Intertwined as alchemy.

 

The image of your smile,

glossed in tutti-frutti glitters

and sparkles like stars.

My tongue rolling

Halls mint, holding mild

mannered gasps of breath.

And there I was, restless

at your side, wondering.

How this kismet, a make-believe,

our promises, shall we keep?

 

Fish crackers, salted peanuts,

choc-nut and chicharon,

lukewarm Zesto in tetra pack.

Seven peso and fifty cent

worth of jeepney ride, I came.

Back  here in the bench

our memories of love

littered as wrappers.

Such is our promises we left

bobbing and drifting by the bay.

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