i wouldn’t call us
this empty valley
that we left behind
and though the poppies
were long gone
and the river’s
drained with love
i have memories—
i’d go back to them
as I trudge the earth
until, one day,
the trails lead you
back to me
i wouldn’t call us
I wish the wind whispers you the secrets
I’ve been trying to keep.
I hope it tells you that you are not alone—
That I, too, am afraid
Afraid to make another mistake,
Afraid that this is a mistake
Afraid to get wounded all over again.
But for what are the hearts that beat louder than drums
If they can’t be brave?
What’s the point of having hearts that beat?
So, here I am, wishing for the wind to whisper my plea:
Just as the waves stroke the shore,
Just as the setting sun kisses the sea,
Just as the darkness embraces night,
Let us give in to destiny
Without having the fears of the past.
Three years ago, I wrote the Tagalog version of this poem. Back then, I took a writing hiatus too and it was going out in the natural world that awakened my muse. This year, I can’t say how long this break will be. I guess I need another dose of the outdoors! 🌻🍃
ayaw’g hunahunaa nga
kaya ra nimo tanang problema.
di ka kusgan sa tanang panahon
ug sayop sila sa ilang giingong
dili ka masulub-on
kay ang tinuod
nag-inusara ra ka.
Ayaw isipa nga
kanimo adunay mutabang
hakug ang kalibutan.
Dili tinuod na
kini pagsulay lang
magpabalin ang problema sa hangtud.
Undang na sa pagtoo nga
may igo kang katakos
Ang kalampusan lisud makab-ot
sayop ang ideya nga
layo ka’g maabtan
kay ang tinuod
dinha ra ka kutob.
Hunong na sa pagtoo nga
P.S. Now read the lines from the bottom to the top.
So, I’ve decided to continue this project of sharing poetry — written and spoken — that I believe deserve to be read, heard and felt. May this collection quench our thirst for inspiration and awaken our sleeping muse.
This piece is written by James Glendon, a Cebuano wanderer and wonderer who has a penchant for reverse poetry. The poem addresses anxiety and depression which are prevalent in today’s society. If only I could translate it to any language without jeopardizing its meaning and depth. Sigh.
We paid the price for a bite
Rejected, cursed, forever blamed
When a predator creeps on an eerie night
Our voice is drowned with shame
Even sunlit fields bare witness
To starving lips that taste of lust
Every place we go, awake or asleep
Cross our legs, hide our breasts — we must
Bodies pried open in plain sight
With jokes, punchlines, lecherous gaze
And the lawman denies our every right
Hope is a meteor that never stays
What use is vox populi
When to power and money it fades?
Do I have strength within me
To bathe them in blood orange stain?
This one is a sequel to the poem I wrote last March, A Woman’s Bite. I need not go far to see the worsening plight of women when it comes to abuse, sexism and misogyny. I live in a country where those who have sworn to serve and protect the people blame women’s choice of clothes for sex crimes. We have a broadcaster who thinks the way women dress could led to inviting the beast. We have a lawyer who would bitch-slap a woman for having a mind of her own. And just when you thought nothing could go worse, we have a president who have a long list of sexist and demeaning remarks.
Last night we talked about childhood
Walked down memory lane to recall past antics
You painted a picture of your early years:
Smart kid, chubby cheeks—
Probably a little too plump
coz you were constantly teased,
But you used your wit to you your advantage—
Traveled far and wide
Here’s a boy who likes solving puzzles,
You got a treasure trove of bests
And I wish I could say the same.
You see, I have very few memories of childhood
I have images lacking backstory
And voices with no picture in mind
At a young age, I was torn
Between two languages—
Tagalog and Bisaya, clashing,
twisting my tongue which is probably why
I came to love silence—
Here’s a girl who likes Edward Lear,
book reading reports,
I’m a hunter of the treasures of my past
And I wish you stick with me ’til I find them at last.
He sights a leash—he screams—
From flattened belly—he leaves the floor—
He runs with million wagging tails—
Proceeds to play a hide and seek—
His voice cracks—circling—whines—
Tilt a head, flash a smile—
He gives a lick and I hug his neck—
Lo, what a lovely collar that is!
Betrayal flashed upon his eyes—
This necklace meant only one thing—
He raise his paws as last attempt—
Hopes he can cheat bath-time again—
This one’s inspired by Emily Dickinson’s She sights a Bird—she chuckles. It’s a poem about a cat on a hunt for prey. I’ve always love Emily and her dashes so I decided to write about Darwin (one of our two dogs) who I always take with me to the river for a quick bath. 🙂
how does it feel to be enough?
to not be too much
or too less?
every day she puts on a brave front,
tries to flush doubt
down her mind
rose to her cheeks
crept up her nape
every. single. time.
and then she melted
on the bed, her hands circling
the pillow while her mind drifts
away into the land of unicorns
and magic wands
and cotton dreams
pixies dance to an unknown
melody, strange yet familiar
soft duh-dums getting louder
at every second — alas!
it was the steady sound
of her heart all along
Day 3 of NaPoWriMo. I miss feeling dreamy like this. It’s been a while. 🌻💛🥺
There are no apples left for picking
At least not the ones that brought collective sin
So why do we feel like we’ve ruined Eden?
When we weren’t even named after Eve
Why do they bar our own progress?
Condemn us when we show our strength
Why can’t we be our own winner?
must thank a man for our gain
cut to the quick
Did a bite symbolize the fall of man
or was just that of a woman?
In response to dVerse’s Poetics: Apple! hosted by Ha who asks us to write use apple as a thematic or a metaphorical element in our poem.
This poem is dedicated to all women who have faced and are still battling with inequality, sexism and double standards. Like Bjorn, today’s prompt reminded me of the Forbidden Fruit. And it was thanks to Carol’s End of the Garden for inciting the idea of this piece. Let’s celebrate Women’s Month!
Head over here to join the prompt!