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Posts Tagged ‘strength’

It’s a rope that won’t go, tugging left, tugging right.

Strength upon strength, the hands bleed pulling in

never giving up. While the feet keep raking deeper

and deeper. Planting and churning the ground,

taking a hold for something. Priceless.

But what? A rope or for missing the line?

You said you got the numbers, the monopoly of muscles

careening into the free struggle, a high tide.

Your fate hangs by a thread slicing your morrow,

all by winning the plum, a brotherhood of man.

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My child, grow as you would hope to be.

 

I am here, washing the dirty linen

and the soiled clothes thinking of you.

Who can tell? That the world in the future,

its circumstances be better. But I pray

that you may have the strength to face

each day with courage and dignity-

of choosing what is true and honest.

Defending what is right over wrong,

uncompromising to the virtues that I

am going to teach you. Please listen.

 

I am not the best and I am not perfect.

 

And I dream for you my child, a life anew.

Realizing the chance to fulfill the purposes

destined for you. Keeping steer of the pitfalls

I have done. Make a difference of your own.

Striving the very best that you can.

Standing up for what you believe in.

Though you may fall, there will always be

a chance to pick yourself up, to stand again.

 

Never quit. Never fear. God be with you.

 

And I hope you learn from my mistakes.

The misjudgment I did when I was

once a child like you. Growing up too.

Through my adulthood, deciding to love

another being and brought you along

amidst the pain, the hurt and the turmoil.

May it be- your life like these soap suds

clearing away the dirty traces of my past,

vanishing all the fears that I had before.

 

Starting the days wearing clean clothes.

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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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That is when I would want to stop

thinking about numbers. Straining my eyes

glued to the pages of the calendar

pinned on the wall, I marked of days

in and out.  In a work life punching timecard.

 

You never knew how stressful it was,

to run alongside the clock ticking deadline.

And seeing life like a finish line,

guessing as if today  I would be fired,

saying this day would be toast to the last.

 

Number is a finite word.  For me, an illusion

that therein we draw our strength, our definition.

If dying is a painful exercise of keeping track,

and if calendars and clocks are its devices,

then I should shred them all together into pieces.

 

I’ll proceed cutting my fingers straight,

until I only have zero devoiding myself of order.

I would not want to buy the minutes,

and the hours.  And of the days expanding

into months and years wanting to live longer.

 

When I die, so sure that I’ll predictably belong

to some cold stark concrete listed with names.

Informing humankind of milestones in a file

cataloguing folder of the year I was born

and the year that I finally stopped counting.

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I have forgotten

from long ago

on how I scribbled on my pad paper,

with my fat pencil. A namesake

I inherit

 

a birth right I shared

 

with Ryan,

a brother, no one has seen.

My twin.

 

Like Cain and Abel, we are

tender sprouted beings

casted like seeds in the field.

 

Which ones will survive?

Which ones will die?

Which ones will accept the fate?

 

And rooted, struggling,

ambling each other,

spacing out for survival.

Fighting to be the first,

drawing strength by its number.

 

I am weak. But he is brave

He is standing there, sizing up.

Leading power to his arms.

 

While I am left here, fidgeting

struggling to keep balance

with the world

in all its expectations.

 

Gradually and bitterly

time has come,

when it became a curse

to have a twin. 

Sharing a name.

Sharing a space.

 

He is no longer-

a brother.

 

So I strangle him.

Drowned him to his obscurity.

Cut away his connecting cord

succumbing to his last breath.

 

I let Ryan

soaked and bleed there

to die, with his dear

imaginary life.

 

To claim solely

my birthright.

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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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