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Posts Tagged ‘living’

It’s like a white plate.

Soiled and you try to wash it afloat

with suds of soap and rinse repeatedly

at the sink.  Letting it dry and wait

until the film of water subsides down

into its gleamy surface. You try to contain

the glister.  The immaculateness of being 

unbroken, unsplintered.  Fragile.

 

It’s like a white paper.

Someone will throw dots and smears.

Smudges  and graphite dusts messed up

into your  page and jag the lines into visual noise.

But then, an eraser is a confident friend,

swiping them all.  Albeit,  the indentation

marks a heavy trace on the heart. Not quite

visible at the distance, I know.

 

You didn’t notice how I try to write the lines.

Ambiguous as it seems, indirect in its approach.

You think flaws are the darkness of the soul, but wait-

it isn’t that way you know, though. For in it you hope.

You dream.  You strive to become the light.

You seek to define the completeness of your whole,

unwavering  and uncompromised to the mold-

the dictates of the common.

 

No matter how broken it may get, the mosaic

of the plate is still a creation on a canvas.

No matter how crumpled the paper was,

someone will see it as a great work of art.

You try to accept the way you live your reality,

where living doesn’t stop there, it’s in how

you would be able to discover something new.

A difference you can call your own.

 

It’s like a white space.

When the horizon of doubt blurs

the line that separate you from immortality.

And all you see is your own lightness

that no shadow would keep you

stalled towards your destiny.

There,  you would know that peace

is the only way to move on.

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His face is a map of caravan years,

weathering the desert sun and

the seasonal flood by the riverbank

which brings in salt for a modest living.

 

As the sand windblown and collected

in the seams of his linen turban,

anxiety constantly snake through

the mazes of his troubled mind.

 

He needed money.

 

Like how the puff of smokes

from his cigarette escapes

are fragments of his ancestor’s past

excavated from walls of antiquity.

 

He is mulling to leave the landscape

of ancient ruins, the mud-dried bricks

and clayed houses and desert wilderness

for the glowing lights of the city.

 

The mosque signals the call to prayer

and he sat down on his cushion

unfurling a sheaf of parchment,

reading through his mangled glasses

 

the fragile scribbling of faded ink.

On its brittle yellowing pages appears

like gold. This manuscript he wants to sell

to tourists he is waiting to pass by.

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No hero’s welcome.

No grand parade.

Is waiting for the door left ajar.

Only its creaking sound

breaks the silence. And the breathing air

of some familiar spirits. I am once-

a familiar visitor in this house.

 

All that remains are lifeless forms

who have patiently waited here

Am I? Like a hermit crab

occupying this once solitary shell.

Called to embrace the shadows again.

Recapturing the lost and faded

photographs and memories

of the distant past. Forgive me.

 

For I came back not to rebuild

your imperiously alienating walls

I have suffered to endure. The magnanimity

of this abode, on which I failed

to contain the tension. Conquering

the many days and the years living

in the fear that haunted me. As I

have walked away to seek my own.

 

Yesterday will be torn into relevant bits

and pieces. As mementos and snapshots

I will keep them at bay. Never again would

memories imprison me into its walls

like ancient ghosts wailing, begging

to bring them back to their immortality.

 

I will clear away the cobwebs.

I will swept away the dust, making room

on these lonely spaces. I came back.

To cleanse this home of its sad sequences.

I will peel away the white sheets

that has covered the flaws, the lapses,

and the many inconsistencies in our lives-

we are ashamed to show. But instead,

we kept hidden for so long.

 

I will open the windows, taking in

the sunshine and the country air

and hope- as its constant companion.

Savoring the remaining days

choosing to be happy. A pilgrim

transforming this house into a habitation.

The dappled lightness of my being.

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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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People may need. Two different things:

A warm blanket on a winter night.

A cold water on a summer day.

That was easy.

But the book says otherwise

that people need three,

actually.  A companion.

And this, I can’t hardly achieve

without a sacrifice.

 

Lukewarm

 

in a room I shared with another.

Living thing.  My search for warmth

is in its dying. My search for coldness

is also in its dying.

 

So I wake up

each early morning turning off

this machine-sucking

life of the other.  In the comfort

of my own breathing.

 

Hoping that the easiness

will boil down

into two different things:

People may need.

While warming winter.

And cooling summer.

Without you.

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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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