Tonight, I sit within
The cool space of the coffee shop
Holding in my hand
A warm cup of coffee
Its stillness so different
From the moving Manila traffic outside
From the riot of voices in the street
From the concerto of car horns.
And in this storm I am reborn.
Amidst the mad swirl of sounds
I find myself reaching inside
Closing my eyes
Touching my core
Drawing out the calmness of my soul
Giving rise to a delicious warmth
Forged from within
Seeping from my skin
Burning fire spreading, rising
From the tips of my toes
To my hidden valleys and curves
Outward to my outstretched hands
Under the silver warmth of the full moon
See me stand.
Touch me and burn
Careful now, I am coming undone
I am unleashing, letting go of inhibitions
Taking hold of my life’s direction
Kiss my hand
Feel the softness of my skin
With a look, I can make you sin
Feel the fire in my touch
Let my lips make your breath catch
Come now, fear me, love me
I have come on my own
Worship me, adore me, take me in
I am gloriously alive.
I will drive you wild.
I will eclipse the sun.
I am magnificently — woman.
I haven’t written in a long time, and last night, while looking up at the moon, this poem suddenly came knocking at the door. I decided to sit down and have coffee with her. She told me of people who shine so brilliantly on the outside, seeming to live fantastic and expensive lives, when in reality, there is nothing within them but darkness and brokenness.
“But, they have lived with these lies for such a long time, you see, blinded by the false light they emit, that they themselves do not know who they are and what is real anymore.” The poem explained to me patiently while pointing out the loneliness of existence for the people she was talking about. “Learn to look past their expensive clothes, their Instagram posts, and their projected lifestyles. Remember, one of your famous poets once said, All that glitters is not gold. Look past the brilliance of their smiles. There is nothing beyond, but hollow spirits stumbling around in the darkness. They are dying in their loneliness.”
“How sad.” I said. “Is there nothing that could be done for them?”
“Only a light infinitely brighter than theirs, that is true, steadfast, and beyond mortal strength could save them.” She quietly said as we both gazed up at the heavens. After a period of shared silence, she turned to me and asked, “Now, are you willing to write this truth?”
I smiled and replied, “Must you still ask? I obey.” And so, last night, the poem and her wisdom flowed from the tip of my pen and were set free into reality.
The moon looks like a broken nail
Tonight it scratches across the sky
Shredding up clouds in its wake
As if saying to the world below
Hey, look at me
I am here, I am important
But the people slept
Cuddled in one another’s arms.
How sad to be the moon
Alone in its brilliance
And as the day turns
Its solitary light diminishes
Among a family of stars.
I dreamt of you yesterday.
We were walking by the sea
barefeet on the golden sands
of a faraway memory.
When was that? I can’t recall.
Last year? Five years ago?
But this, I do know …
like the ancient ocean in my dream
constantly reborn it would seem
with each turning of the tide,
this constant pain too, pulses anew each day.
And the sea, in its murky gray depths
calls to my turbulent soul,
howling across time and space
a pain — this pain, so old and timeless
like the ocean in my memory
where once we walked together
hand in hand
blessed by the warmth of the sun,
with the seawater serenading us
and the sound of your laughter encompassing
that day, that sweet glorious day
where forever was both a dream
and a heartbeat away.
And in my dream,
you looked up at the sky
and the wind blew around you,
lifting your hair to the heavens above.
And all the light of this world cannot compete
at that moment with you.
Everything felt right and complete,
and I was home, and I was whole
within the breathtaking iridescence of your soul.
And the sea, the sparkling, wise, ancient sea
quietly watched us, like an old man knowing
that such happiness cannot last
that the world turns and time flows
like the tides of the ocean, always churning,
and memories of such days would be lost
in the waves of consciousness,
but never completely forgotten …
for time and tide have a way of washing up
our lost treasures on distant shores
where the sun shines, and the wind blows
and a love so timeless could exist
to dance forever upon clear divine waters
reflecting the perfection of an everlasting sky.
But I woke up.
It was a dream.
There was no sea
and no blue skies.
I heard the clock
time slipping away.
Each second turning into yesterday.
Yet memories have me in their grip.
And before I knew it,
I tasted, once again
the saltwater on my lips ….
Featured image above was taken from: photocase.com
It was cold outside today
and the chill felt heavy
seeping through my lonely old bones.
I watched a young couple pass by.
The lady held a bouquet of roses in her hand
their testament to love
fueled by youthful plans and passion.
The flowers left behind a trail of petals.
And the sidewalk bloomed
transformed from dull to magical.
I have often marvelled
at how love could change the world
how it leaves behind crumbs of hope
assuring us, through a touch or a kiss,
of our life’s purpose and meaning;
how it bestows happiness, or inspires us
with trails of sunlit stories
that guide us when we lose our way
and remind us that we are beings
whose hearts beat out of the need
to be seen, to be heard, to be touched
and to burn like wild fire
under the gentle insistent lips
of a worshipful beloved.
And remembering all that
awakened memories of you.
And the cold and the chill
was replaced by fire.
And my tired old soul
was set aglow by stories of our love
that lay forgotten
within the decrepit corners of my heart.
And I smiled, for today, ever so briefly
I walked with you again.
And we were surrounded
by the fragrance of flowers.
Lying on the street
between Taft and Vito Cruz
soaked in a puddle
drenched and looking forlorn
was half a chocolate heart.
where could its other half be?
Is it lying at some forgotten corner?
Staying, hoping, and waiting for forever?
And if by some miracle, they do see each other
would they still fit together?
Uneven edges and all? Would it be that easy?
Wouldn’t it be messy???
But wait …
I guess the biggest question of all is —
can we really call this dismembered remain a heart at all?
Does a heart remain a heart, even when it’s not whole?
And while I thought of this,
a passing jeepney backfired
startling a poor soul walking by
causing him to jump and step on
that poor half a chocolate heart.
Ah, what a horrible end to this story
For now we know
the two halves would never meet,
for our half a chocolate heart
is definitely crushed beyond heartbeat.
Yes, too bad, it’s too late …
and now, all I could think of
is how badly I’m craving for chocolate.
There are no stars tonight
the sky is dark
black as a funeral shroud,
and all I could hear
are the croaking of frogs.
Faintly, from somewhere,
from everywhere, it came
like a thousand thunder
the deafening sound
of a multitude of gnashing teeth
and the keen wailing cry
of banshees running mad,
as the moon turns red
looking like the great eye of God
fixed, eternal, steadfast
all seeing, all knowing
the hearts and thoughts of men
putting on record all of man’s mockery
waiting, until the appointed hour
when the well of mercy runs dry
and the moon is eclipsed
as the great eye closes,
upon hearts of stone that are cursed
and there is nothing more, but darkness
for we reap what we sow —
and the juggernaut of reckoning comes
on burning wings of requital it strikes
by time and the rise and fall of kings,
and I could hear angels sing
as the rain of blood
fell from the sky
drowning out the frogs
and the land turned crimson
when judgment came
beyond human will and reason.
Artwork was taken from allnewspipeline.com
I am a nobody.
A disembodied face
wandering the narrow streets of this city,
a constant in the alleyways of squalor,
a witness to everyday horror.
I am a nobody.
A normal abomination.
Civilized society’s aberration.
Seen yet unseen.
Child of the sewers lost in the din.
I am a nobody.
A ghost? Spirit? Monster?
No one could tell,
but one thing is certain,
I can inhabit any shell.
I am the undead walking
looking at you with red bloody eyes.
I can make you turn away
with derision or confusion,
and your conflicting emotions
leave us all, with nothing to say.
I am the unpleasant prick
who stabs you, in your face
with the savage force of truth
and you wonder why you are bleeding
as your heart constricts in panic
while I feel — nothing.
I am the gut-wrenching stench
that you cannot get rid of,
seeping out of the gutters
creeping towards you
with the fatal embrace of decay
making you sick
with a soul-numbing fear
that you cannot allay.
Look closely now and see …
the unpleasant waif of reality —
the hollow souls of this city,
fleeting from place to place
in the darkness
under a bridge
in the smoky chambers
deep down a filthy underpass
in shrouded crowded corners
of boxed walls and pungent floors
in carved-out tree trunks
surrounded by patchworks
of tattered tarpaulin dreams.
Can you see me now?
I am the little girl clawing, reaching
for the juicy meat that you’re eating.
Or perhaps, I am that little boy searching
for priceless plastics and papers
worth an honest day’s meal.
Maybe, I am the old woman, hunched over
on some forgotten steps, begging for mercy –
the compounded interest
of century after century
of flawed democracy.
A broken soul, purloined
who now lives for the rattling of coins.
But I could be that man, waiting at the corner
emaciated but still acting tough
scrambling to call you a cab,
because if I’m lucky enough
you’ll toss me some dough,
but are those ever really enough though?
Better yet, I am that woman, carrying a baby
peering and knocking on your window,
hammering down on a glass,
separating me from you,
like the display cages at a zoo.
I gaze at you, from the outside
I stand, quietly staring.
Asking for some loose change
that, I know, is far from coming.
I am them. I am a nobody.
Unknown. Unseen. A statistic in your book.
Just another number in your ordered world.
Yet, maybe, someday this nobody
will make your blood run cold.
After all, I have nothing to fear.
Nothing to lose.
And each day the hunger grows
fed by pain and loneliness
fueled by your beautiful apathy
parading each day in designer clothes
that everyone could see,
I could see ….
And I grow tired of seeing.
So maybe, one of these days
at knife’s edge
you will see this nobody —
within that split second
reflected brilliantly in silver —
become your somebody.
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