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Posts Tagged ‘leaf’

I can talk about my universe

like picking a good book

from the bookshelves and pretend.

As if my mind can fill the spaces

left as a void and of dusts

collecting at the edges.

Since the day I had let

somebody in.

 

I could leave good pictures

about art. About dance.

About the food and the drinks.

Of nice and pretty things

while you won’t discover

how tricky it is to conceal.

How easy it is to speak

about the avant-garde. 

The dead writers. The music.

 

I won’t show you the bookmarks.

The synopsis of chapters.

The highlighted paragraphs

almost torn to the leaf

where the watermarks

from my tears had faded.

I won’t let you read it.

 

I will let the cultured noise

suffocate me in silence

on something that begin

to reveal themselves.

Leaving handprints

and start mending

the pages of my heart.

I won’t let you do it.

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The sanctum smelled of incense and human sweat.

An airless space reverberating whispers of prayer.

She folded a piece of cloth with the holy verse

dipped in animal blood. This is an amulet.

For someone who is afraid of thieves.

 

She knelt across the table ready with her questions

“Do you need a husband? Do you need a wife?”

“Do you need another? Do you need a child?”

“The lines on your palm says you will be rich.”

“The card says you will find your true love.”

 

Then she brought in her candles, started

to light it with a match. She began to read

from a withered book- in its brittle leaves

filled with strange symbols of spells and magic.

Summoning wisdom from the invisible.

 

“Someone wants to harm you, better beware.”

“Keep this stone in a bottle and hide it in your closet.”

She has seen it all- customers come and go

leaving her money for that token of gratitude.

And accepting them as a way of getting by.

 

She keep on caressing the old crystal ball,

ignoring the signs of her grey and thinning hair.

She believed she has power to prevail death.

But  time slowly creeps like a thief in the night

when she can no longer be speaking about

 

the future.

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No one is sitting on that bench anymore,

to watch the seagulls and the moonrise.

 

Where colors slowly buried

into its empty space. A hairline

in the horizon separates

the dream of summer.

 

No one wants to be sitting there

among the leafless trees, alone

abandoned by autumn.

 

There were words

etched on that bench.

Names of people

and the symbols

of their endearment

disappearing

in the fresh coat

of winter. 

 

No one will sit on that bench anymore.

 

Only snow. The frozen tears

of heaven and the silence

they have left behind.

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Two nights ago, I tossed left and right in my bed , restless and not knowing what I have been missing these past few days.  Isolation takes a toll and there are days that I can’t bear  the reclusivity.  Those were the days when I felt that I don’t differ to the things you can find in my room. A regular fixture, as if I am resembling to some  breathing machine with a pair of eyes traveling the whiteness of the ceiling.  I imagine the freedom of my mortal being mixing in the crowd around the city.  A stranger with an imaginary wall, like the others.

A study says that there is a silent epidemic  affecting millions of people, slowly killing and obliterates their very existence.  A persistent loneliness, that leads to severe depression due to non-interaction as a result of a person’s self-imposed isolation.  

People need inter-personal relationship with others.  In the world with the advancement of science and technology and the quick fix of web-based communication, people are making way to get connected, through multiple virtual identities impersonally.  Social networking groups in the Internet replaces actual person to person interaction and thus making the present generation  accustomed to getting glued to their computer screens, 24/7.

I admit that if I will not take steps to get out and mingle with others, I might succumb to the ill effects of my being passive and recluse.  That is why, it was a blessing that I have brought home something new in my life.  A living thing, but not a pet, since the landlord would not approve of any pets in the house.  It was a plant given to me by a friend, which has a life, and could share my space and can introduce me to first steps of rejuvenation.

If I can be able to take care for the plant and make it grow through constant watering, nourishment and exposure to sun and wind,  it can become a litmus test.  Wherein each new leaf that might sprang out of it signifies the measure of the heart ready to forge new meaningful relationship with people. A confidence that I can be able to nurture worthy life connection with them, in love and compassion.

The plant, will ever be a constant reminder, that people are not just things. People are people, who is capable of loving and be loved in return.

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I never had a dream

in black and white.

Like the moon’s

dichotomy of faces

and the ocean’s

abysmal depth.

Mine is a crisp

flapping of maple-

leaves turning fire

in the autumn sunlight.

Or a bottle-nosed dolphin

gliding in cetacean grace.

Light refracting on water

of blue and purple magic.

 

I never had a dream

in black and white.

A monotonous photograph,

of flexed sinewed arms,

simulating sand dunes

meandering in ochre charm.

Mine is a far-away galaxy

in its celestial wonder.

Wispfully bursting show

of orange, yellow and magenta.

Or a mirrorball gyrating

flickers of crystalline.

Metamorphosing reflections

of gold and silver sheen.

 

If I ever had a dream

in black and white.

I will suppress them within.

Until  this dark room becomes

one mystical secret garden.

Invisible yet seen.

Letting my pillows

constrain the brain

like an amoeba

entrenched into blood

clotting, pools of red.

And maneuver thoughts

into a kaleidoscopic

shades of the rainbow.

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I am a bit choosy with the music I used to play in my playlist. Bluegrass and country  genre is a daily staple of my waking music life.  I have fallen in love with the soothing voice of Alison Krauss since day one, when I heard “Now That I Found You” and her own rendition of “When You Say Nothing At All”, all chart toppers in the late 90’s.  Like food, country music and bluegrass are organic and ear-friendly  tunes without  the toxicity of blaring and  shouting trend of modern-day rock gurus.

I like contemplative mood of country and bluegrass sound. Its melodic and heartwarming themes of simplicity of rural lifestyle of the typical Americana. I am being transported to the good olden days I used to have in our small town Gerona.  I remember the Sundays’ hustle and bustle at the coliseum in the middle of the sugar cane field, during the heydays of cockfighting.  I was a grade schooler then.

My grandmother used to help in the coliseum canteen, where she would allow me to roam around the tiered seats of wooden planks. Sun bleached as I was and waiting for the creaking sounds of the hurried footsteps of excited expectators eager to occupy their sacred spaces.

I will wait there fielding my gaze to the green sea of dancing sugarcane leaf breezing through the wind. It was such a pure sight. My unadulterated joy, a moment of bliss and happiness. My solitude amidst the maddening crowd. An honest time without thinking the polluting cares of this world.  I break away.

They say music is a therapy to the soul. A beautiful escape away from confusion and disillusionment.  And like Ally McBeal in a famous series on TV of the same title, every song has a journey of moments, significantly intertwined to the times of our lives.  And I must say, our souls never grow old with time like wine, these bodies are rotten away and growing old like those barrel containers but our souls just evolved into something profound and noble within.

Oh, how my mind travelled so far again to the time that was.  A time where the memory of how simple life it was back then, has left me longing to linger for a little while.  While listening to Alison Krauss, songs like “Simple Love”, “The Scarlet Tide”, “Restless”, “I’ll Fly Away”, “Whiskey Lullaby”, “You’ll Be My Ain True Love”, “I Will”, “But You Know I Love You”, “If I Didn’t Know Any Better”,  and many others, had me again facing back to where I was before.  Right there, at the colliseum with one of my treasured childhood dream of laying down to the green sea of pure joy touching its fragile earth.

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Munad is the inverted name for “danum”, which in Ilocano (a Northern Philippine dialect) means water.  Under Iwag Palattao’s direction alongside with Dato, a Baguio resident artist, they formed a visual artist group of five which included myself.  I am the youngest and the least talented, and I don’t have that great artistic talent to venture out, other than just scribbling line figures.

Julius, a great friend I remember, the leader of Munad, approached me that time and asked if I am interested to join the group.  I was taken aback. Because, in my opinion, I am not inclined to visual arts. I said I am more into creative writing stuff. He said I can try and learn from there.

The next thing I know is that I was being introduced to a bunch of bohemian looking guys. Their eyes poring at me as if they are reading something. You know artists, they have a keen interest in observing things and personalities. I think, they are filtering me through that yardstick.  If I can truly express myself artistically, in visual artform.

Then Iwag, proposed for a group exhibit that was slated then to be mounted in two month’s time.  Each of us, are required to produce five visual painting pieces, either realistic or an abstract. I chose the latter. I came up with five, but only allowed to mount three.  They said the other two lacks depth of subject.

I remember the night before the opening of the exhibit, when I was asked to gather some dried leaves in the middle of the night. I hesitated at first but eventually I obliged.  That was the time, I felt that something has been stripped off out of me in the name of the arts. And the dawning of my free-spirited life occured.

I gathered a sackfull. Of dried leaves. Then Iwag, upon seeing me carrying it, grinned. Yeah, I think, he is also thinking about my initiation. Like in a fraternity. Then, I gave it to him and watch him fashioned it out on the museum floor along with sand and rice grain to form like a Japanese rock garden. I was speechless.  I can’t believe right before my very eyes an artist who can weave art like magic out of what can be considerd rubbish. It was awesome.

Then over the years, Munad goes on in mounting two more group exhibits.  And it somehow, lifted my self-esteem.  I was so thrilled looking at people stopping by my paintings and staying there for some minutes. What a joy to see, people interacting and discussing their thoughts over the paintings as if it is like a case study in contrast. And what more fulfilling it is, in actually explaining the meaning of your paintings over a group of artistic and intellectual people.  That was an experience no other.

That was the golden time for arts in Tarlac, when Tingting Cojuangco is still the governor of the province. She espouses the flourishing of arts in Tarlac by opening up Museo de Tarlac for painting exhibits and the like. Festivities are being held. Musicals like “Alikabok” had been staged at Diwa ng Tarlak. And there was a mobile museum doing the rounds in the barrios for people to experience visual arts closer to them.

One time, an uncle told me, that he was surprised that I am into painting through one of those mobile musem exhibits.  He is the driver of that mobile van.  And I can sense how proud he is touring my painting around the province and telling stories about me as his nephew.

That was the time, I produced a number of paintings over summers of each year. I had some paintings donated after that. Some are displayed at the university.  Some are in the government offices.  Some are with my trusted friends.  The mother of all my paintings was with Gerardo. I knew he is displaying it in his home.

I must say, when Julius approached me then, its like a water drop in my sleeping universe.  I never knew that this single invitation that I  accepted has created trickles and trickles of water until my consciousness towards arts grew like a river. And other artforms ensued. Poetry, university campus writing, theater, installation art, photography and this time blogging.

True to the form, Munad has been so symbolic to me in many ways.  It has opened myself to a lot of things. It has ushered me into that door of self-discovery. That I can be capable of doing something if I will just try and not afraid of failing. And the many waters of inspiration has quenched my desire to express myself creatively. 

I owe it a lot to my Munad group, though some of them are stationed in parts of the world, I know that there will come a time that the water droplets (as they are) will be gathered and create another wave from the rivers of beautiful inspirations of art.

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