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Posts Tagged ‘swim’

I sense a dark storm is looming over.

Someone told me that I should not be afraid

of all the tragedy impending.  Even if the winds

blow me empty at will, I should not cower.

There are intruders- those unwelcomed visitors

breaking and entering the skin I lived in.

 

I forgot the keys, my memory slips

down in the labyrinth of forgetting.

I search for clues, deciphering a code

among the pages in the book of days.

 

I misplaced the sign- “don’t disturb”

among the shards of broken plates,

of broken glasses in the kitchen.

Where did I put our picture frame?

 

I can only hear whispers from strangers

whose faces I have seen for the first time.

Ruling my house as if they’re kings and queens

breaching  a territory, our serfdom of privacy.

 

I blame these disrespectful marauders

for letting me swim deeper into the pool.

I got tangled in the maze,  finding myself.

Don’t they know it’s an abyss down here?

 

Don’t they know how it feels to get lost

sinking deeper among piles and boxes

of photographs, of letters, searching-

a faint remembrance of the two of us.

 

They keep on robbing me of something.

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I can feel it now across this table

in the old diner of this no man’s land,

The sound of shuffling deck of cards.

Or is it the leaves in autumn falling

in September- that he will remember?

 

Do you know what it feels like

to be buried in cans and tins of paint,

blurring away the sun, moon and the stars?

The distance masked from the past

drowned in ebbs and crests of time.

 

He searches his soul among the shambles,

the printed letters fading on the pocketbook.

I sense the mad rhythms and cadences

of cursives and scribbles in melancholy.

The dead poet speaks uneasy like this.

 

He seems to be trapped. A vagabond.

A tyke on his cell who think he’s free.

Swimming away like a salmon

undisturbed by the changing seasons,

lost in migration to the new world.

 

He traded a king of hearts

and settles for a jack of spades.

The wind is rough, blowing in with sand.

This is not the gentle breeze of the prairie.

A tune. Unfamiliar, humming in my ear.

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Either way, we will neglect

this guesswork.

Swimming in the stream

of people encapsulated

in their self-made walls.

Jammed in traffic

of clues and hints,

lip synching the same

old line of self-defense.

A justification

followed by explanations.

Why do we choose to stay

the same?

 

For you, love is

a crossword puzzle

deciphering codes

stitching words.

If words would say rightly

the true meaning from the heart.

Then, we don’t need

a second chance

to feel as if the world around us

stood still. It will only leave

a language that we

both understood eversince,

that day we met

for the first time.

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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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Like a man in his fishing, so is writing.

You throw the fishing rod as if throwing on chances

while anchoring your boat on a chosen spot. In the open water.

 

And your fishing line sink deep in the ocean of words. You wait

in the hope that the hook lay captive to some imaginary mouths

snapped on a bait, struggling to come away like thoughts.

 

They are like fishes- these thoughts. They are swimming against the current.

Trapped and tackled. You hold the reel, winding down farther and farther

in search for the bounty of inspiration.  Luring its elusiveness to a catch.

 

The waves of emotion might crashed into your shore.

The sinkers might get stucked through the rocks. Buried in sand.

Or in a desperate attempt, you cut the line and start anew.

 

But again, you throw the fishing rod. To wait and to hope

that a big catch is on its way to lock its jaw on the bait.

You keep gripping the reel firm awaiting for the prize.

 

And soon in the mid-air, after all hours spent in silence

like a child born out of the  womb. Eureka! The feeling

of winning, the silver fish glimmer in your hands.

 

The writer has become a fisherman, persevering

in solitude, diving deeper into a mea culpa.

Hoisting the fishing line catching hearts, once again.

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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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That day,

you made  the sky heavy-

falling tears like rain.

When a down-trodden

waded through a flood

of despair, and I am

walking away in shame-

as if the world

crumbled, suddenly

turned pale to gray.

 

My heart

I  offered in a plate-

full of strawberries

its first fruits.

But your words-

that rejection

knifed and sliced

into bleeding pools.

Until I am strained.

 

That day,

my eyes were opened

of reality here-

I am standing

this gulf

between us-

You and me.

No way

I cannot swim.

Nothing but to see you

faintly disappearing

while attempting

building

a bridge

joining you.

 

I have tried

finding a boat to ride.

Taking me there-

where you are,

but, all was a crowd

I can’t get through.

Trying-

finding another

path to cross,

but lost.

Until I forgot about-

You.

 

That day,

I made my peace

And I found myself

kneeling beside

a savior-

that wounded  feet.

This sweet sorrow

is nothing more

than a heartbeat

now belongs to yesterday.

And here I am

Looking-

the other way.

as He carry me

through another day.

 

Down at the wayside

perhaps, by chance.

I cannot cross

the other side. Maybe

you won’t let me cross

this great divide. And

losing what I think

is all I have.

This believing…

This hoping…

I stopped.

Since then, I know-

you’ll not meet me

there- a space

that would not be.

 

That day, I instead

I met the One

In a place, even I,

would not suspect.

Good thing is,

I began to see

how blessed,

when someone could

and would love me-

for what I am.

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