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Posts Tagged ‘palm’

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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My hands perspire from the grip

I need to loosen up.  Bringing in the air

to these burning palms laid down from commanding-

life directions in the intersection of good and bad.

The right from wrong.  I twist and turn in indecision.

Bending  and yielding.  Speeding up and slowing down.

I try to break down the clods of earth

from forming  into mounds of rock.

I try to make a path through the grass

and keep the weeds from growing.

 

I try to calm down my reflexes and think

that the tyres won’t leave the road

and it’ll continue chasing the horizon

until that cul-de-sac to begin again

turning in circles. I gave up the throne,

to allow the changing of hands

of the driver seat into that passenger,

I surrender for the first time. Watching

someone else’s lording over the brakes 

and keep moving the distances away.

Away from  myself.  Trusting.

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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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When all the lights have faded.

When all the sounds have died.

A choice have been made between a mother

and the life that struggles in her womb.

Tonight will be the darkest hour.

 

And her whisper became tiny wisps

of breath unheard. The elusive spark

of love by the palm of her hand.

Searches for a missing pulse

beating to the sinews of her flesh.

  

But fate snatches the dream away

like thousand  daggers piercing

into her wounded soul. It became

the bitter part of the past she cannot

forget. A stain of pain that won’t go away.

 

When once a beautiful journey cut short

of a distance into her fragile memory.

The silent tears through all the years,

remembering a child without a name.

Stranger to a mother’s touch.

 

Not a trace of an angel’s smile.

Not even happiness lulling the little one

to sleep in her arms. She dreams,

she hopes of becoming a mother

embracing her child. Unborn.

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Let me beach to your powdery sand,

a beachcomber with seashells on his hand

delightful picking colored stones ashore.

 

On your rugged cliffs I climb and went,

lingering to witness your misty sunset

touched by the wind of this summer’s kiss.

 

The leaning tree, a coconut, subdued me,

as it veils its shadowy palms over me-

dancing divine light, streaming reverie.

 

Seawaves sailed glinting in the bluegreen.

Its white fingers frothing immaculately-

spotless against the island’s fragiled skin.

 

Beyond the blue the sky can reach,

who can say what paradise might be-

this secret cove  of shipwreck’s lost.

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Traffic. The car stops. This one will be longer, I guess. So I just fielded my gaze travelling into the vastness of the Arabian soil.  My mind just wander. And wander still. Back. Five years ago.

It’s early morning, I am walking along the streets of Mabini glossing over overseas employment prospects in the Middle East.  I can’t remember how many copies of CV’s did I send to those recruiters.  I sweat it out and inching my way towards the front desk, hoping and wishing that I can score an interview that day.  Nervous as I was, I would wait  and rehearse the words that I have to say.  Like a salesman trading myself for a price.

I can’t remember how many recruitment agencies I have tried my luck with.  Most often than not, a thumbs-down sign.  I don’t know, what drives me to go Middle East.  Though, I am filled with worries about the inconveniences of being away from home.  I just wonder how others have survived the heat, the barrenness and the loneliness of the Arab lands.

Those were the days.  Here from where I was, a palm tree struck a memory.  Yeah, I remember that too, when I was waiting in the hallway of a recruitment agency back in Manila.  The posters of the Arab boom cities lined up with palm trees. 

I remember my uncles who had the chance to work in Saudi Arabia. Year after year, they come home bedraggled from the harsh climate of the desert. I remember them talking about the expatriate’s life in an Arabian land.  It is not an easy life. 

But now, I am here as one of another generation of  Filipino expatriates trying to make a living. Accustomed to a unique culture of restraint and unimaginable patience.  Accustomed to the extreme hot weather and the abstinence to pork meat.  

I know why thousands and thousands of Filipinos are flocking there at the recruitment agencies back home. I know that most of them have the same visions I had before.  And the persistence that  they have to keep going and make their lives better.  

For me it will always be a risky bargain. You may win some or you may lose some.  It is a choice that one has to make but if things go rightly, it is worth an adventure.

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