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Posts Tagged ‘money’

We lived in a world where

statistics is synonymous

with being number one.

Measuring up in a yardstick,

struggling our lifetimes

competing for spaces

reserved for subservient

imitators of culture and class.

 

Like crabs crowding and grabbing

and pulling each other down

wanting to rule the world. People

above people. Force against force.

 

For those who dared raising a fist.

For those who questioned authority.

For those who defy their masters

raised from the land they call-

the first world. Their birthright.

 

Is it about what you’ve been taught?

Is it about how you’ve been raised?

Have I been misplaced by fate?

My skin’s darker, hands dirtied,

swollen by hard labor. A gap

so wide I couldn’t leap forward

a privilege’s bloody to break.

 

The one with the skin much paler

has the prime seat in the house.

The one whose ideals are taller than the tree

had their palms oiled by the scent of money.

And their minions bow down in worship.

 

Supremacy over self-worth. Fanaticism

over humanity. Millions, blindsided

servants to little gods awaiting benediction.

I can’t do but keep silent and curse

the soil in which you were born,

giving you a seething stare in envy.

 

Shall I borrow then, your language

slipped out of your tongue? For I will

put sounds to the syllables of freedom

to speak and tell you, “our time has come”.

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His past smells of a ditch

drying up its putrid stink

as stale as the street air.

It belongs to a smoggy neighborhood.

In the memory of tattered rags

flapping like flags on the clothesline.

As if dreams can be scavenged

out of the hilly mounds

of garbage, dumping its gifts

of someone else’s trash turning

into someone else’s fortune.

 

No one cared about armpits

getting wet and sour for hours,

as long as the bad odors

can promise him little money

to buy fish sauce for rice.

Sniffing heaven on earth-

little angel never complaining

about life, about the linger-

of those occasional whiffs

from the broken sewer.

Nor the rising sting of steam

emanating from his broken skin

pierced by the cruel sun.

 

Nor inhaling the dry cough of cars

and buses farted poison.

The way he exhaled yesterday

walking on a pavement slow,

feeling the throbbing locomotion

churn on his empty stomach.

A street urchin squeezing the crowd

like a fly hopping on a hope

above the grease and grime

that smeared a childhood.

 

He won’t cover the past

with today’s perfume

nor sanitize its images

in suds of detergent.

He’s not ashamed

of the scent of his past-

the smell of poverty

that swarmed his innocence

and have walked

the muddy line across

the nook and cranny

of his every bones.

He survived them all.

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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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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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A sleek and stylish Motorola mobile phone greeted my eyes on a Sunday morning. Gorgeously tempting. The mere sight of it once again sent me into a spiraling and excited mood.  Time flies and here is a sight where technology has gotten another ride into my senses.

My cousin recently bought one.  And how I envy her for being able to acquire something that is worth a slash to the pocket. My goodness! I could have easily bought that kind of phone if not for my being so thrifty and having set firm priorities over money.

But really, it made me calculate. I began reminiscing the times I had money to dispense for such huge purchases.  I could have stuffed my satchel with what connectivity can afford me but maybe it’s not such a pressing priority.

I have been through a lot with keeping up with the flattery and the vanity of accessing the best of technology.  As if my whole personality  hinges  on what can be defined or dictated by how updated a human being can be that relates with high technology and the latest trends.

Or have I passed on the feeling of being uncontented with what still works for me and with what has to be maintained?  Maybe I dread the feeling of filling up my not-so-confident self.  Of insecurities. And having these things as a put on.  A show-off.

But again, I have nothing against to those who can afford to keep up with the fashion trend. I am just trying to verbalize my rationale on why I did put a firm resolve not to give in putting those big and sweaty wads of money into those so-called bursar busters.  Maybe I have learn too much of my money woes. So painful and dear to me.

And since I am talking about a mobile phone.  After two unsuccessful attempts to keep my mobile phones, I had for a time decided to avail the latest one by applying through a credit finance to pay-off the bill.  But I never thought, that this urge to be updated will put me into a tremendous pressure of financial breakdown.

In 2004, I am in a bad financial condition, having to pay-off the loaned amount to purchase the mobile phone and by keeping payment. I needed to pawned some of my jewelry, when I became jobless.  When money stops rolling, then I started defaulting payments.  And the ensuing battle of surmounting demand letters and pawn reminders followed.

I hit it rock bottom.  I remember the ugly sight of desperation. I have switched jobs after another. I barely had a decent paycheck to pay off the principal amount of the loan.  And I remember having countless visits to the pawnshop for extending my payment terms and paying the interest.  I remember that moment that I only had 75 centavos down in my little coin purse. I was penniless and disheartened.

I have cursed the day I started chaining myself with wanting and getting.  And I have promised to myself that I will never go down through that dark alley of debt-laden days.  I would not let myself be sucked up in that quagmire of financial stress.

As I am looking back now, I have paid the price so dearly to learn about money matters.  Real matters that has to be taken seriously and responsibly.  I need to plan. I need to build up stability early on in my active years of my career life. I must set realistic goals and have this iron will to save and prepare for the rainy day.

It doesn’t matter if we earn so little or earn that much.  But what matters is the ability to spend wisely and being not above your means.  And think ten times more in ascertaining if its really a need or merely a want.

My mobile phone is now three years old and have survived that dreadening pawnshop episode. Thanks God and I don’t have to re-admit it again to the pawnshop.  Instead, I am keeping it safe and sound with me, as it will be a reminder for me how I have fought real hard to get it back.  Positively, it is for me a remarkable feat and a very personal accomplishment to be on my way to being truly financially healthy.

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