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DoodleScribbles

Scribblings and scrawls of a hopeless romantic soul

On histories and mysteries

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I remember standing in this corner of the street. A once timid soul staring blankly at the stoplights, waiting for a signal if I should stop or go. Cars speeding to and fro with blaring lights, I remember my heart beating like a drum. Too afraid and too cynical if I could make it to the other side of the road. Seconds turned into minutes, I waited until the hour hands forced me to move along. Day after day, this has been my routine. Until I found you you found me.

Eyes on the map, you were looking for this corner of the street. Strange and hilarious — that is how I thought back then. Perhaps you heard about the girl that was always stuck in the crossroad. Or you wanted to know what magic draws her to this place. And so in this corner of histories and mysteries, things have changed.

I no longer dread the stoplights. My feet now know when to stop or go. And when I’m afraid or cynical, I have a hand pulling me close. Leading me to the other side of the road. Heart still beating like a drum, I know it wasn’t because of the speeding cars. It was something else. It was you.

The trees kept quiet
As a new story unfolds—
Two souls, one crossroad

MS


In response to dVerse’s Haibun Monday: Transitions hosted by Merril D. Smith who asked us to write about change, but specifically, to write about a transitional time in our life.

This specific corner in IT Park has always been a special place to me. It has inspired a number of poems before— and it still do. Looking back at one of the pieces I wrote, I find it amusing how things have changed. I used to write about chaos, but now this place reminds of being brave.

Head over here to join the prompt!

dverse

Birds, worms and decays

animal, bird, black and white, favim, google, nature, photography, tumblr, vintage

dawn breaks,
and the early bird sees
where to fill its breakfast plate
flying high above the land
of lofty, mighty lords—
in the brown patch of the earth
the worms wriggle
from decays in its burrow
feeding over hungry peasants
deprived of tomorrow
MS


In response to dVerse’s Quadrille #67: early hosted by Kim.

Three days after I wrote a tribute piece to the working hands of mothers and coconut farmers, the Philippines awakened to a dreadful news. Nine sugarcane workers, including two minors and four women, in Sagay City, Negros Occidental, were brutally murdered by unidentified men. As if we never had enough of the 1985 Escalante Massacre, the 1987 Mendiola Massacre, the 2004 Hacienda Luisita Massacre, the 2016 Kidapawan Massacre — along with thousands of killings in the context of the peasant struggle. This war against the people and war against the poor is sickening.

The palace shouts of Red October. Now they got blood in their hands.

Head over here to join the prompt:

dverse

i love her but her hands

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i love her but her hands—
from her graying hair to her calloused feet
my heart brims with love

but her hands bring me pain

hands the held our family together
hands that gathered woods to cook meals
hands that eased her son’s worry
hands that brushed her daughter’s hair

loving hands
selfless hands
working hands
praying hands

i love her but her hands
tell of stories that are too painful to read
veins detailing the days
she strained herself to fatigue

last night, i found another scar
from hands bearing the day’s hard work
she broke twenty extra coconut shells,
my mother said with pride

a look at those hands gave me pain

loving hands
selfless hands
working hands
praying hands

i never thought my mother’s hands were that small
some days they’re clasped forming a zipper of prayer
some days they’re clenched into a fist thrown in the air
a reminder of the empty promises of the present and past

i love her but her hands—
from her graying hair to her calloused feet
my heart brims with love

if only i could make those hands my own.

MS


In response to dVerse’s Poetics: Beauty in Ugliness hosted by Mish who challenges us to  find the beauty in the ugly. Image by @nate_dumlao.

As I struggle to find a topic for a poem, an image kept on poking in my head. It was my mother’s hands. Aging as they are… and tired. I was raised by a family of farmers, generations deeply rooted in agriculture. Although I was not of much help in the rice field (if playing scarecrow as a child counts), I was exposed to copra making. I remember the sweat. The late nights spent working. I remember my parent’s tired eyes.

This piece, aside from finding beauty in the ugly, is a tribute to the coconut farmers in my country. In the face of politics and empty promises, I hope they find justice to their plight.

Head over here to join the prompt!

dverse

Kailangan ko ng kape.

5:07 Namulat sa isang gunita.

5:09 Tulala. Pagod ang mga mata.

5:10 Tila hindi na sila nasanay sa bigat— ng muta.

5:14 Makapagkape nga.

5:17 Teka.

5:17 Walang tubig.

5:18 Itutuloy ko pa ba?

5:22 Wow. Iba din.

5:23 Binuhusan ba ‘to ng pintura ni Van Gogh?

5:23 Ang ganda ng langit.

5:24 Naalala ko na naman.

5:25 Wala pa akong kape.

5:29 Wala ka din sa aking tabi.

5:30 Ba’ t bigla kang nasama sa usapan?

5:31 Sabagay.

5:32 Simula’t huli, hindi ka naman nawala sa isip. Sa paggising sa umaga hanggang sa pagsapit ng gabi. Matamlay man o makulay ang langit. Maging sa eskinita ng 6th st. Sa lamig ng ice cream. Sa init ng kape.

5:33 Kape.

5:34 Kailangan ko pala ng kape.

5:34 At ikaw sa aking tabi.

5:39 Kailan ba ito matatapos?

5:40 Ang tagal naman ng oras.

5:41 Mapanukso ang bawat segundo. Gusto ko silang itulak papalayo. Pabilisin ang pagtakbo ng mga minuto. Ayoko nang kumapit sa kamay orasan. At sa kung ano pang mga pangako ang hawak nito.

5:42 Nakakatakot.

5:45 Nakakasilaw na.

5:45 Natapos na pala ang pamimitak ng araw.

5:47 Kailangan ko nang tumayo. Ayaw mo nga pala sa mga hindi nag-aalmusal.

5:48 Tatayo.

5:49 Matutulala.

5:50 Kailangan ko muna kasi ng kape.

5:53 At pwede bang ikaw na rin sa aking tabi?

5:55 Limang minuto. Limang minutong pagnakaw ngiti. Pagkalaban sa oras na tila galit na tayo’y pagsamahin.

5:55 Itutuloy ko pa ba?

5:56 Oo na. Tama na.

5:57 Tatayo na.

5:59 Panibagong araw na naman ang haharapin.

6:00 Makapag-init nga ng tubig.


It has been a while since I’ve written a Tagalog Poem (or any poem for that matter). This piece is a poem and a story in one. A shoutout to the coffee lovers and to the lovers of dawn. 

P.S. I tried to write an English translation but didn’t like how it turned out. So in defeat, with a hint of distress, I’m posting this as it is. Below is a snippet and probably the gist of the whole piece. 🙂

5:34 I need coffee.
5:34 And you beside me.

i try to bury the pain and blink

i try to bury the pain and blink.
with eyes moving from tab after tab, ears focused on the mechanical tapping of keyboards, i try to forget their names.

The first tab led me to 9gag. A GIF of a “normal night” in an english pub flashed before my eyes. Drunken men fighting each other, brawling for fun. It was supposed to make me laugh— but it didn’t. The images of bodies thrown on burning houses played at the back of my mind. Blood flows to the river banks as the women of Rohingya shout in pain.

blink.

I clicked the second tab that led me to Bored Panda. A list of surprisingly simultaneous historical events that will change the way you think of history caught my eye. I couldn’t get past after the odds of Prisoners Arriving At Auschwitz Just Days After Mcdonald’s Was Founded were mentioned. I felt my stomach flipped at the thought of death camp. My mind traveled back to Syria. What are the odds of living for the displaced refugees? Then to indonesia, will they be handed their rights?

blink.

On a desparate attempt to shun the looming gloom in my head, I tried the last tab. The literature page, my second virtual haven next to my blog. The poetry section listed Edgar Allan Poe’s A Dream Within a Dream on the top. His words pierced me with added force and I plunged into the depths of helplessness head first. Is this life just one big false awakening? Are the endless murders and tortures just part of a nightmare?

i try to bury the pain and blink.
closing the tabs, unplugging the chords, i stared at the black screen
hoping to forget their names.


I wrote this a month ago, on one afternoon I immersed myself in the world news. I did not pusblish it because I was disheartend with what was happening. Still is. But back then the pain was too raw for me to share it in this blog. The cynic and existentialist in me has taken over my head, asking questions that could not be answered. Or perhaps I just do not accept.

Justice, basic rights, peace.

Will the refugees ever get a chance to live with these? Or are we only good at sulking back to our chairs?

I was asking for it

b&w, girl, hands, light, sad, sleeping
(c) Favim

I was not at the wrong place at the wrong time. Their eyes followed me with a laugh— or perhaps a mock— as I sit on the stand. My anguish did not mean a thing and I only reaped what I have sown.

I was asking for it.

When my shaking hands pointed at man across the room, I saw them smirk. My giggles the other night begged to differ the word I am trying to utter, R A P E.

I was asking for it.

Before the judge, the defense flashed a picture of my girlfriends and I. Hands holding a glass of vodka, laughing with our heads thrown back, the neon lights flashed before our tight miniskirts. I felt dirty with shame as I buried my face in my palms.

I was asking for it.

I should have known better the moment I slipped into my short skirts and high heels. I should have known the danger and the danger I bring. You see where this is going, right? When a man twice your age stops you with a leering face, it is your fault. Men will be men, and we are but a single piece plucked from their ribcage that they need to reclaim. It has always been their birthright.

I was to blame when his groin pressed down on me as his tongue slithered all over my skin. My shouts were that of ecstasy. My tears were that of joy, they say. I fucking liked it because my breath quickened with every thrust!

I was asking for it.

He showed the marks on his back with pride. That night, I buried my fingernails deep into his skin. God, I wished they were knives. Each night, the bare wall in my bedroom echoes his moans. His groans. The sound of slap from an unrecognizable monster plays on repeat. No anti-depressant or pill can help me sleep.

I wish they were knives.

I wish to be guilty of murder.

I wish I had killed that man.

I was never told being a woman is an open invitation to be fucked. That I am a platter of legs, thighs, breasts, and neck served for hungry beasts to devour. And when the meat is handed free, what kind of animal would dare to scowl?

I was asking for it, wasn’t I?


“Duterte, in a speech in Mandaue City, joked that his hometown of Davao City has a high number of reported rape cases because it has many beautiful women. Those who attended the President’s engagement laughed at the joke.” –GMA News

This is Philippines. Where a president jokes of pardons for soldiers who rape. Offers Filipino ‘virgins’ to foreigners with purchasing power. And orders soldiers to shoot women rebels in the vagina, so they become ‘useless.’ This is not the first time and it will not be the last.

This morning, through a friend’s post, I read a circulating issue regarding one Angkas driver here in Cebu. Angkas, a motorcycle ride-hailing service accessed through a mobile booking app, has been one of our reliable mode of transportation for quite some time. It appears that he was pressing the lady passenger to come with him to a motel.

This afternoon, in a sports warehouse, a man kept on stealing a gaze. As I was checking out shoes, he brushed his hands to mine “by accident”.

Tonight, as I get out of work, I do not want to go home. I assessed I have gotten used to it but the thought of men giving you catcalls and ogle as you pass by them is equal parts disturbing and tiring.

No harm done, they say. But what of the seconds we spent holding our breaths? What of the palms curled into a fist, just in case? What of the trembling knees? What of the fear as we breathe? Don’t these count?

out of sight, i’m out of my mind

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the moon beams with your smile
and i weakened to my knees
like a madman, i hunt the streets
but the night hides you in vain
leaving memories on footpaths—
the aroma of coffee
the sweetness of ice cream
the taste of both on your lips

i love you
and there is no other way
not to

out of sight, i’m out of my mind

deny me
anything, everything
but not you

we got ourselves drunk in love
and left each other thirsty
these memories won’t suffice
but with them, I’ll survive
and until then I will cherish
the aroma of coffee
the sweetness of ice cream
the taste of both on your lips
MS


In response to dVerse’s Poetics: Twisted Adages hosted by Jilly who challenges us to  craft our poetry around an adage (or two) that you must change in some significant way.  And since I am missing someone today, here’s a shoutout to the good old adage, out of sight out of mind. This little piece beg to differ. 😉

Head over here to join the fun!

dverse

A Homo’s Inquiry

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earth—
ripe of evolutionary changes

a come and go
of fire and ice
death and life

species emerging
taking places of those lost:
arthropods
dinosaurs

humans—

killing the land
killing its own

are we heading towards another extinction?
or is this some faulty evolution?
MS


In response to dVerse’s Quadrille #63: Feel the Earth move hosted by Kim and Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie’s Photo Challenge hosted by Nekneeraj.

Head over here to join the prompt:

dverse

When the Night Warrants Death

I have just spent a night among the trees, out in the cradle of the mountains. I thought I’d carry the memories of that fun night a little longer. I thought I could look at the moon with a smile. But not tonight.

Tonight, anger simmers in me at a constant roil. I want to wail and rail against the world. This heart feels as if it might break through my ribcage from an intense revolt. For the first time, I hated the night. Not because of an American post-apocalyptic horror film but because of something vile and real. They come in uniform with their hands of steel. Filling the night with a staccato of gunfire, leaving men half blown off, fatal wounds in the head or face. I hated the night for they come in it. And they warrant death.

This quiet is piercing. The night is orphaned from the sound of crickets. I wonder if they knew. I wonder if they are mourning too. I wonder if the crickets offer this brief silence to the stolen lives of the dead just as I do.

The night cries justice
A long pause from the crickets—
Can somebody hear?
MS


In response to dVerse’s Haibun Monday: The Sounds of Koorogi hosted by Victoria C. Slotto. This piece might be a bit digressing from the topic but I hope it counts.

Currently, my mind is in rigor from reading about the death of seven men from Antique. They were rebels, members of our local red fighters. The AFP came in the middle of the night to serve “arrest” warrant to two men but it ended with death instead. What really happened, only the crickets know. This shouldn’t be a shock, they say, for the body bags have been pilling up. But it still makes me sad and mad. Especially when I found that one of them goes by the pen name of Maya Daniel. I came across this poet last 2017. He writes poignant and painful poems, each is a cry for freedom, liberation and resistance from oppression. His death marks another voice silenced, another pen deprived of ink.

Head over here to join the fun!

dverse

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