A Pinch of Salt

He was a simple mind reader,
I was a simple book lover.
He liked to read poems
So I snuck up on TS Eliots.

The next day I shook
His hand and spoke
“Footfalls echo in the memory,”
I whispered the next few lines.
I swore his breath I almost took
In recent times he made moves
But mine where such a glory.

I looked back and his gaze to mine
He chuckled a little and gazed at the heavens.
He said ‘oh how I wish this was fine.’
Then he came closer and said,
‘Bless my soul, but I’m a heathen.
I do not wish to have your heart,
Nor do I want to beat it.’

And with that he fled,
The next thing he said,
‘I fell in love with you before
Until I realized I love him more.’

Yellow Pages

We like looking back
At things that aren’t necessary.
We try to look for streets
That no longer exist in maps.
Old numbers in yellow pages.

We like moving back
To old places that aren’t necessary.
We pursue dreams
In random places to fill gaps
We feel passion in lost ages.

We breathe, we exist
In old torn up books
Music that has been repeated over
And over and over again.
We wear fashion not from this decade.
We’ve lost our innocence
But not memories of the past.

I feel you coming on to me.
Do you feel me too?
I worry you feel much better
Wearing that gaze
Sharing it with someone better.

Memories are powerful.
But they loose meaning as we grow older.
I’m over you now
But I’ll remember you sooner.
I’ll loose you in the process.
How long ago have you lost me too?

How Difficult Is It To Write Fiction

What is so difficult about fiction writing?
One, you have to make up about your feelings.
Two, you have to create a perfect world quite parallel to your own.
Three create characters from your own world, change their names and add strange details about them.
Four, think about the structure of your story.
Five, think about the audience.
Six, Is this Young Adult? Romance? Sci-fi? Suspense?
And seven, the fact that that one person who inspired you to write might read it. And feel great instead of feeling ruined by having his penis chopped off in the story and the book becomes a bestseller. Or something like that.

A Look At My Window

When I was sixteen years old, I remember staring at the window and looking over fields and fields of rice that my father and all the other farmers in our village had worked hard for all rainy season. I remember telling myself that one day when I do have my own family, I will do my best to work hard for them and give them the life I had always wanted for them, God willingly.

Several decades later, at 53, I stared at a different window with a different view. I saw trees that I remember my own mother planting it for me, two cheerful but solemn dogs awaiting for their rightful masters to come home and play with. I feel pain but I try my best not to show it. For years of suffering from whatever stressful situations I’ve been at, I never imagined that I,  that young sixteen year old who never did anything to harm her body, except abuse it with years of hard work, would be rewarded with pain. Is this how it’s supposed to be?

I see two young girls come running towards the two dogs. They look excited and very young in their uniforms. One of them looks at me and smiles and says something to her sister. They come rushing towards my door, they succeed in opening it and one after the other kisses me on the cheek and give me this warm hug that feels sweet and gentle to my bones.

I felt a pinch on my knee but I ignore it. Moments later a young man perhaps in his early twenties arrives and kisses me in the forehead. I look at them and I feel an overwhelming sense of excitement and joy although the pain is tugging in my heart.

One of them takes me to the room as I plan to rest for the next few hours. They seem responsible and I feel content that they are. I have several hopes for them, for their dreams to come true. What are their dreams? I close my eyes and relive mine.

I opened my eyes and although it feels as if I’ve slept forever, it feels heavy and distraught. The pain still tugs inside, at several points in my body. I can see myself standing though, in a night gown I have never imagined that I owned. I’ve lost memory of the things that happened earlier, but my senses seem heightened.

I can see a future that cannot be imagined by any writer. I hear a sound that not a single note can play. I taste a certain flavor in the air that I don’t seem to remember tasting, it’s like pain mixed with confidence and fear. I smell the beauty of it all and at the same time the crudeness of it.

Will there be a light at the end of all this?  I’d want that. I’ve seen too many dark hours in my lifetime. Should I be expecting something indifferent when I plan to close my eyes or should I not? I guess I shouldn’t.

All I ask, all that I want is for the world to matter. For the world to make sense to them three. I hope that they find out who they are and what is laid out for them. I pray for a peace of mind, and I think I got what I ought to. But why this early?

I apologize if I have too many questions. I think one would have too many questions at this point. I look back and realize that I have loved, been loved, been hurt, been mistreated, been rewarded, been complimented, been taught, been learned from. I don’t think I could ask for more.

X.

A Letter From The Past

A letter from the past
Has made its way through boxes
from shelves.
The familiar strokes, words that only
He would use in writing
But some that he could never admit
when asked.

I read it slowly
all previous hopes and dreams
Fears and doubts are answered.
This man of whom I asked
‘If the earth was round,
Wouldn’t it be easier for you
to come home in the evening?’

This letter from the past
Had come back from boxes and shelves
It made its way just in time for healing.
But its too late to amend
All other wounds and feelings.
All I know, all I knew, all I didn’t know
Had meaning, some reasoning in this
Letter from the past.

image

I Cannot Fathom

One day I ate,
a couple of salted flakes
Mom and dad were joining me
and my brother too.
I wondered where my other brother went?

One day my master’s slave
Opened a crack on the huge wall.
Another human being came
She carried daddy’s old pink house.
I’ve never seen this person before.
But mom and dad purred at her
Like she knew something I still don’t.

She looked at me with brown eyes
They were kind, they were unsure
I knew I had to hide somewhere.
She knelt and caressed my brother,
but she looked at me as I looked at her.
She’s onto something that I don’t know.

But alas! My brother was done with breakfast.
But he hid under the “couches”.
The human looked at me
Eyes unsure, lips assured.
“I want him” and pointed to me.
Confused as I was, she picked me up.
Put me in dad’s old house

There was darkness, and then light.
There was noise! And strange scents!
The house was shaking all the time,
Who was this human?
Where am I going?
Mama? Papa? I can’t find them anywhere.
Their scents I can’t smell anywhere.

Can they find me? Will they find me?
Where is this human taking me?

Reminders, Reminders

Sulit ba ang kahirapan
Upang mapunan ang iyong karangyaan?
Kitain mo kami
Ngayon o bukas
Upang maintindihan mo
Ang aming kinabukasan
Sabi mo mahal mo
Ang bansang iyong sinilangan
Ngunit ang patuloy naming katanungan
Idinaan sa kantang
“Mahal ka ba niya talaga?”
Aminin mo lahat ng iyong binubudhi
Bago mo sabihing
Ika’y tama para sa amin.
Oo lahat ay nagkakamali
Ngunit ang mapili
Dapat parin bang gumawa ng mali?
Walang kasiguraduhan sa panahon
Ang kailangan marahil
Ay kung ano ang tama sa nakararami
Di kung ano ang para sa sarili.

The Fault in Our Stars (book review)

“Okay.”
“Okay.”

image

Why did I even read this? For the quick read? Or for me to feel young again? Back in the day when I read to understand what it feels like to fall in love, what feels like to be rejected, what it feels like to live in a superficial world where everything I wanted was given?

None of what I thought was accurate. Except maybe for the quick read part. Or maybe because it was marketed as a book about cancer. I didn’t have one but I know many who does. I lost my mom to cancer.

Technicalities first: this is a story about a girl with cancer with unlikely treatable reassurances who meets the man who would make her believe in fate, that she somehow deserves a piece of happiness despite her circumstances, during one of the Cancer kids group. He, too, has cancer. Except he has been in remission longer than expected. He pretends he smoke just for the irony, but he explains this to her in the manner that would make all the kids reading this talk like they know what they’re talking about. They’re both cynical because cynicism is the only thing that can make them understand that they’re not like any other kids, that thinking about the future isn’t a fun science project, or philosophy assignment. After granting a Make A Wish wish they visit their common hero, a man whose book has inspired them both to understand that life has it’s questions, there is no definite ending to it because they seem to think that the writer understands what they must be going through. They visit the author who lives thousands of miles away via plane trip, in the land of daisies, the red light district, and of Anne Frank’s museum. Solemn, Risque, and Depressingly Hopeful. Plus you’ll find Several Upper Case Words in the book which don’t seem relevant but They’re Still Written That Way.

The trip was hopeful but it turned out to be blissful and disappointing. As soon as they head back to the states they come back to reality, and then we get to the sad parts. One of them dies and the way it was written, well, it was sad. I admit I cried as soon as that chapter began because it was all so sudden.

I usually read the last pages first as soon as I start a book, just so I get hooked on to it. I read this book’s last page thinking that it might end then. But we get to the parts of the aftermath, where one wants to expect that it will all turn out to be okay, but it doesn’t of course. The resolution is that everything wasn’t taken for granted. The ride was enough and I guess that makes it an Okay Kind of Young Adult Fiction. It’s not well written, but it can hang by and stay as a classic for future readers.

Diaspora

These trees with falling leaves
Over broken hearts and shattered dreams
I’ve heard that line before
I spoke to one whore

That puzzled look
She gave to that cook
Who clutched all her pots
As the ship landed
All her nervousness understood
None of these things are needed

Once it’s been given
One cannot take it
That’s what the old man said
But why our land had been forsaken
To men and women whose names where never there?

Of Mice and Men
The whore had said
Once it’s been given
It can always be taken away
Remember child
It can always be taken away