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Posts Tagged ‘son’

 

That sober news in between sobs of my mother

fades in wispy notes from the other line.

Finally awaited- the bombs have dropped.

 

I suspect the sunset will turn

into dead stars this evening

while the cold wind languishes

as the last remembrance.

My heart in its faint nervous beat

became cadences of urgency,

free at last from its cages.

 

I begin to imagine throngs of flower wreaths

to a coffin and a flag, draped across its whitened sheen.

I can see forlorn faces, those sincere sad acquaintances

whisper their nice condolences, those sweet anecdotes

about the man and his lifeless body. I imagine

his image in me, my uneasy composure.

 

I fill my lungs with air and heave a sigh of relief.

The burden of many years in denial, disowned

of what has become of a child as this.

 

I forgot. Where I keep and hidden deep

the face of the patriarch of the house

and his kingdom he ruled with an iron fist

that broke many of my unspoken dreams.

I do not know what it will become-

when the news is a bullet that penetrated

like a shrapnel misplaced in empty despair.

 

But no, maybe, I wished for it before.

A king who rules will die eventually

long enough when the rules I will break,

torn at the door away from his grasp.

And I, a son, whose life had been buried

out of father’s love to its silent cemetery.

Lived each day in the absence of his ghost,

forgiveness I lay in his memory I lost.

 

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No amount of words can bridge

the distance of years in silence-

because the sun hides its face

like the way a tyke, fatherless

and left out into the world

to fend for himself. Alone.

 

Someone has to refuse

to become the victim anymore.

You knock some doors

and it is locked. You are not

welcome there. And a hand

is restrained to touch his own

 

shadow or an image reflected

a life mirrored in water.

Disowned molting who just

learned its first flight

and give ambled wings

to shattered dreams.

 

Of the smell of gunpowder.

The handprints on paperbills

and the bitter taste of wine.

None of which represents

your true bone stripped of flesh.

An animal with no redemption-

heartless and chained.

 

You will refuse to let the past

define you of who you will become.

 

And you begin the journey

to a place of faceless and nameless

strangers. You will exist

as though you just have lived

and strip down the shadow

as an old clothing. Naked and free

shimmering like a newborn child.

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She told me that my father was another man,

well I shrugged my shoulder and say “it’s okay”.

But she didn’t know that I am writing my pain away.

I came to a point of thinking about those fatherless

children who lost theirs in wars, in car crashes…

 

I am still lucky, and better-off, I got one

whom I can call Dad, but he would rather not.

He told me I am not his son, and he would not talk

nor teach me how to drive cars. I sat down on a corner

and started scribbling my pain away. Maybe I can draw…

 

And draw myself a car, a house, a tree, the blue sky,

and people smiling under the sun. Until I came to a point

of thinking that I could imagine a world, my happy world.

I could draw as many cars as I would like, and as many fathers

who could teach me how to drive and see how proud I am.

 

But playmates taunted me it is not all true. They laugh.

They scorn. They tell me how crazy I am to believe.

I just left, not minding, distant and alone. “It’s okay”.

I will just write my pain away.  I write good stories

about friends who sit beside you and listen to you.

 

They, who will never doubt how good the story was.

But some books I read say otherwise. There were lessons

which say do this and do that. I believed it was. That

I should never be a pauper begging for affection.

That I should be headstrong.  That I should  be honest.

 

And genuine. That good people will go to heaven. I did

believe in truth and desperately seeking it all my life.

But I was mocked and I stand bruised and wounded.

They say I am too much. They say I am brash.

They say I am too frank. They say I intrude.

 

They call me names. It’s  like big boys and big girls

saying that I should go away. They don’t need me.

And then again, I isolate and pick a pen, scribbling…

And I am writing my pain away. And this blank space

is sure and will not reject me like most people did.

 

No matter how fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters,

friends and even if the world will turn against me

and continue to restrain their hand in extending love.

I would teach myself loving without taking, understanding

that my heart is rich and I have much more to give.

 

I could belong like my ink being absorbed by the paper,

without condition. Just pure distill of my thoughts.

I could somehow say that I found a home to myself

after all.  With the pain I’ve been through,  I am

still here writing my pain away.  I am not alone.

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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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Father, I remember-

waiting for you

on my birthday

And they say,

you’ll bring home

a present like

what other boys have.

I wish of a little toy

I will ride along

in the neighborhood.

And try to belong.

 

Father, I forgot

how long-

I have chased

the speed of days,

counting roosters

that have crowed

at dawn break.

All the hope

that have died

and buried inside. I forgot

the tears that have dried.

 

Father, quite still-

there are images

of trees I forgot to climb.

Of kites I did not flown.

Of baseball gloves

I did not put on.

Of the nursery rhymes,

left unsung. I slept-

as the world turns

of bedtime stories

unheard. I have grown.

 

Father, see me now-

how everyday, I wake up.

And struggle to balance

like a weighing scale.

The drudgery

of riding big toys

through the alleyway

of this wild world.

As I left skid marks,

deeply scarred

the innocence of this boy.

 

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Before the midnight sky  becomes cluttered by glittering show of the fireworks and the revelry of people shatters its silence,  I am lying here on my bed tracing back what this year the world had gone through.  It would be selfish for me to say,  that I am only too concerned of what had happened to me, knowing that on the far sides of the world, there are also people who like me, are in their silence thinking about the substance of it all.  Time has trodden a lonely and eerie path for some and here, most of us await for another new year to come.

The countdown begins. From the hours and the minutes gone to the last sixty seconds, and its ticking runs out to the finish line.  A tensioned stance that will be eventually released celebrating a new beginning of another year’s end.  And the cycle goes on.

I imagine.  About a child in Sudan begging to be fed.  A man in Chile waiting anxiously for the birth of his son.  An elderly woman in Russia staring blankly into the space in the cold of the night. A bargirl in Thailand sitting silently, waiting for a customer to come.  A seaman in a dock in South Africa, miserably misses his family back home. A teenager in Japan, held in her hands a knife, ready to kill herself.  A woman in Ireland, lying there in comatose in the hospital for a year.  And a father of three in India, unemployed, worrying about work that didn’t come for almost six months now.

There maybe thousands or even more souls out there, who welcomes the new year, not hoping, but filled with fear of how could they struggle to live one more day.  And fear has slowly crept into their being and deafening their enthusiasm to get on surviving.  Everyday, in our waking life, do we care to think about what’s on the other side, when half of the world is still in darkness?

What is the worth of this pondering on last sixty seconds before the clock strikes twelve?  I do not know how to calm down, when the world is on fire of succumbing to its continual decay and destruction.   And the day will come, that survival guarantees only the strong and the able. 

What an escape is there to whitewash with revelry the truth that we are coming nearer and closer into an end?  And all is vanity and a gasping in the wind.   Perhaps with this last sixty seconds, it is a reminder of what things may come.  In an eventuality that all of us cannot deny, where the headlines read that these are the worst of times.

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I met another Pakistani taxi driver tonight on the way to the church for my evening prayers.  I can’t help but speak volumes to him about my father who used to work in Pakistan five years straight without returning to the Philippines.  I can still recall vividly the photographs I used to keep and arrange in our family albums.  They are the landmarks of how great their country was, in culture, in crafts, in livelihood and natural resources.  Many would not believe me that I am dreaming of going to Pakistan one day.

It seems that the place is calling me to visit and tread the footsteps my father has used to be travelling upon.  Eventhough there is a lot of misconceptions about these Pakistani people,  I still look to them as warm and friendly people like us, who also dream of a good life to the point of slaving it through here in UAE.  I feel compassion among these people and I had my father’s heart I know.

I want to see Lahore, Peshawar, Islamabad and Karachi.  I have only seen them in the photographs.  The terrainous sceneries of brick orange patches of earth.  The bounty of pasture land up in the hills.  The mighty rivers and abundant streams.

The woodcarvings and the ornaments in jade.  The rich cultural festivities they have.   And the Pakistani frenzy of people, customs and ideals.  I want to see the summers turning into winter dreams.

How could I ever forget the day my father returned as he unloaded many of Pakistani artifacts and decoratives in our home?  A friend who visited us exclaimed that our  house is like a museum.  My father used to keep stuffed animals from tiger heads, fox skins, elephant tusks and the like.  And how could I forget the strong odor and the rawness of animal hides displayed next to the wooden divider.

There is a lot I needed to discover about Pakistan, and what I am compelled to do is to visit Pakistan and meet my father’s friends.  I would tell them how I am grateful for their hospitality and have kept my father out of danger in those five years.  This time, the legacy of friendship will I carry and bring back the good stories to my father how well pleasing his sojourns as before.  A son treading down his father’s step.  A son who would always treasure the Pakistan stories like never before.

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