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Posts Tagged ‘rush’

The hours tick like sound of punch cards

in this corporate machine treating

people like ants filed into ranks.

Mountain of paperwork  piled up

into sandbags. Bring it on, breach

my levee and let me drown forgetting.

 

Labor becomes a habit. Of numbness

and enjoying the suffering.

 

Like the sound of water from the tap

during a morning ritual in oblivion-

silence resonates like a hidden bell.

I wait until it fills the tub overflowing

down the rim and the clock raced

to the minutes rushing for the train.

 

Like the way the thinning soap glides

my body and the necessity to wash

away yesterday’s worry-rat smell-

that doomsday spell. A thank you note

and the termination letter. The downsizing

and the news keep rolling off the press.

People pick up some gossips to chew

and I am excited to blab my hunger.

 

Like the constant whining of the weekend

laundry, hoping detergents rinse the stains

and filth of missed deadlines. And overtime.

And I got the time to soak away thinking

about the next line to a poem, capturing it

before it goes down the drain. In limbo.

 

And I hope to keep afloat above it 

like a flotsam of dreams in a stream

carried away in the fading of days.

Figuring it out how to bailout myself 

like a straw in deep water.

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I hear them screaming through

the sound of falling and splashing

and stumbling down staircases.

Of mangled steel twisting glass

and concrete skins ripping away

from the building’s skeleton.

 

I hear the slithery rush of jet fuel

scrambling down chases and elevators

at first and second impact, the aftershock.

Igniting fireballs through the hallway.

Explosions rocked the foundations

trembling in little earthquakes.

 

I hear the mad stampede roar.

I hear the panic bars unlatch.

Then the cacophony of sirens,

the tolling of alarm bells,

the symphony of shock,

the avalanche of horror,

the carnage of the missing,

and the agony of the trapped.

 

I hear them- peoples of the world,

helpless among the tangled mess

of floor slabs toppled like a deck of cards.

The gradual weakening of their hearts,

the whispers in pain, the unison in prayer.

The slow fragile breaths silently eroding

and extinguished like wisps from a candle.

 

I hear the distant cries of children

who lost their fathers and mothers.

The anguish of fathers and mothers

losing their children in the rubbles.

The lamentations of men and women

losing their wives, their husbands,

their brothers and their sisters.

 

I hear them all within the sound of the water

trickling down over the polished slabs of stones.

I hear them while I listen in the reading,

of engraved names whose innocent fates

were like the powdery dusts in mid-air

frozen, suspended, undiminished in time.

 

I hear the grieving sighs. The silent tears.

The ashes of remembrance, the memory.

The extraordinary day when the world

will never forget the ground zero.

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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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