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Posts Tagged ‘promise’

Think about the pen and the fingerprints

romancing in the glistening dust against the sunlight.

The faded photographs with watermarks

of remembrances salvaged from the past.

Brittle to touch and slowly turning to ashes.

 

Think about the bookmarks of dried rose petals

and the faint smell imprinted to the pages,

rescued from the years of forgetting the ones

that mattered most. And the dreams that never

meant to be owned like the earth where I stand.

 

If the promise of coming back becomes a distant memory-

counting each sunrises and every new moons. Let hope

travel its feet while I sit beside by the window waiting.

For innocence will turn my graying hairs to white

and youth will leave me like the wilted leaves of autumn.

 

The season changes and they say time heals every wound.

But the scars of our love-thorned lives remains relived

in our book of days. I wish the summer winds will carry

the ashes until forgetting. I wish sleep will banish the things

which I failed to tell you when you left me. I moved on.

 

I have written letters with the pen until it dried out of ink

I have recorded our memories for fear that it will be lost too.

And my waning mind gave birth to words I have bookmarked

with fresh flowers that blooms from the same earth I will lay

with my dreams. I am not afraid anymore of the longest night

 

until tomorrow.

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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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To Pablo Neruda

I write these letters in smoke. They are fog

to the starry night of the south where you existed,  

circumnavigated the world, then extinguished

as a flame, long before I was born.

 

You said you had lived in the springtime

among the cherry blossoms of the west. While

here on this island, I had lived humming

lullabye amidst the scorched patches of sand.

 

I cannot sit still and my memory was filled

of your presence here. I can hear your voice

from a distant time and place. Your voice has traveled

and finally touch down inwardly and it lingers.

 

Tonight, the sad lines of your verses haunt me forever,

love is short and forgetting is so long”.

I chewed the words on my empty stomach

as the light from your waning moon fills my room.

 

I have no windows, they are shattered.  There is no door to enter,

so you don’t need to knock.  Inside my house is fire left by bombs

and gunfire.  And on my earthened floor are scattered pieces

of limbs and severed heads of dead dogs and cats devoid of shelter.

 

I have seen the heaven through the bullet holes on my tin roof.

And the fire is still burning from within. I have seen the clouds

unfolding and unfastened as I became the enemy of the gods,

pot-bellied in the pulpit- imposing cruelty to fools purchasing piety.

 

I have been an inheritor of misfortune, like a stubborn root

of an old dying tree, digging the earth to its graveyard, a tomb.

I seek to find in this endless tunnel, a repose for my corpse-

stiff, in pain and left there naked, writhing in the cold.

 

I can no longer find the stars in the night sky, Pablo.

And the tears begin to fall like rain on the tin roof.

Outside, you wailed a storm, flooding my being,

persistent, engulfing me with the soliloquy of the night.

 

This bed I made out of the coconut tree, lacerating my body

of little knives, that have sliced and shredded my soul. And I

smelled of the blood through the blade of your words

as I whisked them away to the westerly winds to reach you.

 

I ask you. Why things happened this way? History blood-stained.

And the sea mourns while changing course of the mighty river.

In the horizon, a crimson tide of the many who died seeking the meaning

of their lives. And the night birds still singing their lonely dirge.

 

I ask you. Where are the lilac? Immortalized in sonnets by men,

those middle-aged aristocrats. And the women becoming birds of prey,

caged and waiting to be sold.  Incessantly knocking on the doors

to see some faint hope traversing the day into their neon light.

 

Where are the language of stars? Deciphered by hypnotized strangers

who quest for clues and signs and wonders.  Why does the rain

did not stop from falling? I am bailing out to exist from this deluge,

finding redemption while concealing my cowardice. I cannot fight.

 

I am poor, Pablo. But I know your name. And the dense earth that

we both lived, became the pavement for  marching foot falls

of the many striving to live to see until their dying day- freedom,

justice and equality. Unanswered like prayers, unheard of the divine.

 

Your verses did not speak of dreams and leaves and great volcanoes

of your native land.  Your verses did not promise the opium

that will heal the wounds of time.  But your verses have spoken

of the blood in the streets.  And the blood in the streets, I have seen.

 

I will offer an elegy in my homeland. I will sing your song in vain,

hoping for someone to hear and join me singing your immortal chorus.

Your ashes I would want to scatter into the night clouds until tomorrow.

When morning will be awakened by pilgrims sojourning the other world.

 

And still, I am waiting for the stars to appear in the Far-east. I had

only a rose to your funeral.  I will not be able to attend. But I will

whisper to the westerly winds my discontent and the endless despair

you will hear from the shore of this island, questioning existence.

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We have cried together, seeing

the pages of our lives torn into pieces.

And how we knitted to rebuild it,

and washed them like dirty linens

in the laundry. Just like a potter

we build and sculpt in us

a new mold of the world

we never knew existed.

 

We exchanged our boxes

of secrets and a set of keys.

 

We swore by the heart. And

made a vow that we would keep

them locked and tightly sealed.

That we would be keeping each

other’s stories, only to ourselves

and no one else. And for the longest

possible time, it  has come to a point,

a reckoning. The seal of promise

had been broken.

 

Unlocking my box and spilling

the foam of words into little teardrops-

they fall like brimstones and fire

from the night sky, now. And the moon

must have hidden its face turning

into red, in anger and in shame. Bleeding

in the agony of a broken promise.

An impending death to a friendship.

 

Still, I am keeping my silence, thinking deeply

if it is worth to hide your keys in my pocket?

If keeping your box tightly sealed, or at once,

let them out in the open, will exact revenge?

While my flesh quivered at the thought

of why would you dare crossing the line,

betraying my trust. While my bones splintered

at the thought that I would dearly want you

squirm in your own bloodbath, redeeming self.

 

But I decided not to. 

 

Letting the ghost of your betrayal haunt you down

into your grave. A tormented soul, wandering

the dark halls searching for some kind of atonement.

Asking forgiveness.

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You lied to me about baptism. The intoxication

and its sinful concoction sweating from some bottles

whose name sounds like a saint I worshipped

night after night. 

 

I gulped down gallons like the torrential rains outside.

Submerged in the bubble of nameless strangers

in the watering hole. Kindred souls searching

for some kind of salvation.

 

The cloud of smoke, its humid and hazy steam blurred

my visions into hallucinations. Of angels and demons

dancing in revelry. The dirt and grime camouflaging

the filth of the mundane.

 

The surging numbness of a hundred knives dripping down

my throat. Felt like hell on earth, whose flame creeping

a river of fire. Dissecting, invading, lacerating my innards

into a violent storm.

 

A deluge I have cried and my salty tears breaching

these floodgates of the dam. I swam away from this murky tide,

its rampaging waters, swelling a flood into my bloodstream.

Drowned in a landslide.

 

This is not the heaven you promised. You lied.

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Came down the confetti

among the concrete gardens

of skyscrapers in the city

we embrace-

the promise of freedom

remembering the days

when you conquer

the hearts of men.

Frail and afraid

among the chains,

blind slaves to tyranny.

 

Bye, bye

yellow butterfly.

 

Flutter your wings

amidst the tempest

set free, unafraid

of your glory-defining

turbulent life.

 

Like the many yellow

ribbons tossed in the wind,

a salutation to dawn.

An ode to the beauty

of your kindred spirit.

 

Bye, bye

yellow butterfly.

T’was a long,

long way journey home.

Fly away graciously

among the angels

heaven bound.

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Musically Challenged

I have always wanted to learn how to play the piano.  It is one of the things in my bucket list that I am compelled to do, fulfilling the goals I have set several years ago, but so elusive that I never found the proper time and place to learn it.  Even if I tried planning to pursue a piano class, it was set aside due to my regular work schedules.  A couple of musician and keyboardist friends tried to convince me to study piano and even told me that they can pitch in to teach me, but I was left waiting and wondering when will be the time they had the energy to do so.

It is a good thing that out of their kindness, they promised.  But that is enough already, and it has led me to nothing.  I have progressed to nothing when it comes to learning piano.  And for now, the eagerness and my determination to learn how to play the piano grew stronger and stronger everyday.  I am so excited imagining how many piano pieces I could be able to play, leisurely at ease.  Of symphonies, orchestra pieces, musical pieces, overtures, preludes and many more waiting there for me to explore.  A daunting challenge for me to know musicology.  I am not contented of merely being purely vocal.  I have an inner need to express more my musicality even further, realizing the inner melodies I have kept humming throughout all these years.

Some maybe surprised to know that I have the ability to compose songs of my own, while riding a cab or a bus.  I am getting inspirations straight from the vibratory rhythms of the car wheels and infusion of surrounding background noises from the street.  The melodies are still fresh on my mind, even if it was long, long time ago, since its very inception. A germination of the musical idea derived through the exploration of our senses.

They say, when a song has been born out from you through your everyday experiences and you still remember them, they are meant to be revealed, creatively shared and exposed for public enjoyment.  Artists had their unique lifestyle – a life of producing and honing their art for expression.  They have also a need for expressing their sublime thoughts, may it be in the form of music, visual art or creative writing.

I don’t believe, when somebody says that a person has a gift for so and so.  In my personal opinion, art can be learned. Talents can be  nurtured gradually through the influences in the environment, or  an individual’s ingrained perceptiveness to their environment and a by-product, or a consequence of an individual’s current life situations, circumstances and past influences. 

I also don’t believe in the notion that one has to spend a considerable amount of time in actually learning an art. Although it might have some merits. The length of time is not a measure how one can evolve eligibly to be called an artist.  Everyone, no matter what their ages may be, have the chance to become artists of their own right, for as long as they have the determination to decode their abilities to express themselves through art. There is no doubt that they will eventually succeed.

Artists are governed by the inner satisfaction they get while genuinely expressing their thoughts through their art.  Artists are governed by the truthfulness of their artistic expression sans the dictates of the prevailing trends,  norm or standards.  Having said that,  most of the celebrated pseudo-artists are merely egotistically bloated and widely publicized musical figures, just for the sake of personal advertisement and cheap breed of entertainment for profit.

True artists of our time are the ones who are hiding away from the spotlight and have chosen to disassociate themselves from the commercialization of the art. True artists, therefore, are the ones who are sticking their hands to the originality and authenticity of their artistic output. In one way or the other, they  might find themselves in the future, being hailed as originators of a new art movement,  a paradigm shift to the art scene.

So, don’t be surprised. I actually mapped it out, this time. I have listed down the things that I will do when I  have learned how to play the piano. Possibilities are endless.  I might have a new song for the choir to sing.  I might have a new song that I can play when celebrating an occasion, and the need for some light music arises.  I might have a recital to be witnessed in a concert hall by a selected few.  The grandest of these plans, might be penning an opera or a musical play to the likes of Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, Chess etc.

These lingering thoughts, get me so excited as I imagine my fingers traversing piano keys and weaving some beautiful melodies.  It is a fulfillment that I think, would go beyond compare and can possibly exceed my limitations. It is a lifelong dream, bordering reality.  Soon,  and positively achievable.

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