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Posts Tagged ‘wet’

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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I’m No Frank

Frank Lloyd Wright

and his falling water. Masses

of concrete cantilevered,

and extending outwards

like hands reaching- symbiosis.

But I’m no Frank

and dreams might be

my little fingers clasping

hard and pushing pencils

for somebody else’s utopia.

 

The hewn boulders of rock

resisting the foundation

on which this grand design sits,

I bear the weight of expectations.

Balancing upon the scales

on which the measure of cement

is mixed in sand and water.

The lapping over of slates into a bond.

The forward thrust of hammer to nails.

The tightening of ties around stirrups.

The alternate laying of the roof decking.

 

And the network of drain pipes,

cables and ducting, and waterlines

resembling the veins and sinews

of the building’s skeleton. I build

a symbol- the framework of the mind.

The genius envisions an edifice

in his intellectual acrobatics,

justifying to the world the modern-

reality that build themselves on paper.

 

Summoning the masons to lay

its plaster to newly cured blocks.

The painter to swab the walls

in fresh coats. The decorator

sets the chairs, the beds,

the mirrors and the tables.

The vases and layers of curtains.

The lifeless sculpture pieces

and paintings hanged to the walls.

Fixing rolls of wallpaper  and carpets

over polished granite floors.

 

The carpenter assembling

cabinet boxes, ledges and shelves.

The windows fitted to the sills.

And the doors hanged on frames.

The location of the chandelier.

Installing wooden slabs on stairs.

The green patinated balustrades.

The landscaper to plant shrubs, and ferns

and vines and trees and patch of grass.

The water fountains and the waterfall

arranged mimicking a natural set-up.

 

But I ‘m no Frank.

The hours stretched for miles and miles.

The drafting table becoming wet with fog

until  the first  hours of the morning.

I can hear the mad conversations

of the vellum and the graphite saying,

“deadline nears, it’s almost here”.

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There was a time in our lives

when we thought of the raincloud

as omen, spoiling the day

for us to play in the open.

 

The rain fills the street canals like rivers.

And if it has stopped, then hurriedly,

we rip pages from our notepads

to make us- paper boats.

 

We were so young then.

 

We are fond of races. We will race to see.

Whose boat comes first crossing the finish line?

 

If our paper boats were like voyages

of our little dreams. Would it be?

I didn’t cross the finish line first.

As mine have wilted wet, moving slow.

 

I have to be content coming in

as number two, a  second placer.

You always come away as the victor

in almost every races we used to play.

 

We are not so young anymore.

 

The tough gets going and it’s me

who have stayed behind, year after year

bobbing at sea. Sailing the ocean because

I didn’t win. Crossing first the finish line.

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you  reposed-

contoured in a shape

 

          formed ridges,

          dividing horizon.

 

          my fingers were

clothespins.

 

my legs were

propping

 

while you stretched

receiving weight

 

some wet linen

hung, to dry

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I skipped my regular routine attending church services in the morning that Friday.  A week ago, I have already informed our pastor that I plan to attend the Industrial Area church service instead in the evening.  I also missed out our church choir practice that night, which I am so sad about. 

We braved the dusty road leading to Industrial Area. When we have arrived at the place, it was a regular accommodation building intended for company workers.  The road leading to the building is quite notorious with potholes and mountain of construction debris on the side.   We reach the worship place after winding up seven staircases worth of our stamina, of climbing the steps. The place of worship is located in the rooftop.  About 24 sq.m. approximately, capable of seating around 20 people, right there along with the clothesline of wet laundry left out to dry.

The truth is, I am not expecting it.  Of all places, to hold a church service.  A rooftop towering over other rooftops of factory buildings in the midst of desert wind and the usual darkness of the evening.  I am used to attending house of worship with the comfort of sheltering oneself against the external elements, such as rain, heat and dry wind.  That night is a wake up call.  Believers are called upon to honor the Sabbath, wherever, whenever and whatever it takes.  Be it under the shade of the tree, or under the canopy of the bridge, or an open field. 

I am deeply humbled by the fact that here in the wide stretch of the desert, away from the comforts of the homeland, people who are disciplined in faith, are braving the routinary grind of their overseas life, partially isolated to the urban centers.   This is mission’s work,  a life dedicated to the cause of bringing the Gospel to the far reaches of places.  Administering the continuous flow of the message and strengthening people’s faith in God.

I admire my pastor, who is a missionary himself, for the kind of passion he have for the lost  souls and bringing them all to Christian faith.   His silent ways are a steady yet constant reminder that complacency has no place in Christian service.  Believers are ought to steer clear of their comfort zones, sacrificing time and effort for building up Christ’s work and taking upon each the individual God’s calling in putting into action all the Christian training they have learned.

I admire my friend Grace, who chose to become a full-time missionary, while administering translation of the gospel to the native tounges of the tribes among the hinterlands of Mindanao and Luzon back home.  She already had the chance to go to India, for some introductory mission’s work as part of her trainings.

Sometimes, it is a pity, when I hear myself, complaining about being so tired to get up early in the morning to begin my morning prayers.  Sometimes, it is a pity, when I see myself, scrambling over reading best-sellers in the night rather than having a bible reading of a chapter or two. Now it occured to me, that what I am doing for the kingdom is not enough.  Christian life calls for able and willing men of faith to stand up and do the work.  Whatever the circumstances may be or a situation they are in. 

The next time, I will go to the Industrial Area to have my Friday church service there.  I need to listen to what God is saying to me, visually.

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