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DoodleScribbles

Scribblings and scrawls of a hopeless romantic soul

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Poetry and Prose

One day at a time, anxious person

We will never be enough.

For people who walk hand in hand with anxiety, it will always come as a surprise when someone tells us that we are the missing puzzle in his or her life. Everyday we spend precious seconds tiptoeing, walking on thin glass — afraid that one wrong move would break our hard-earned peace of mind. For us, it will always be a question of why. Why me? Why leave? Why stay? We keep a long list of why’s on our pockets so whenever we feel like we took a bad step and notice the slightest change, we know what to start asking. Why did his tone dropped a little lower? Why is she touching her ears? Why did it took him extra 2 seconds to answer?

People say that we should learn to trust others. But, truth is, they are not the problem. We can hand them all the trust we have, but we can never fully trust ourselves. We will never be a good enough reason for anything. Not smart enough. Not kind enough. Not talented enough. Not pretty enough. Sooner or later they will realize that we are the not the missing puzzle. We are the puzzle. And that is the hardest thing.

But keep going.
Keep breathing.

One day at a time, anxious person. 🌻
MS

You like sad girls.

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You like sad girls.

You look at their faces and you want to save them. You think they need to be loved, that they should be. You want to make them happy.

So you take your step. With the air of a knight in shining armor, you walk up to the girl who is probably sitting alone on a table for two. Or wave to the girl who has been sharing memes and Bob Ong quotes.

You get a taste of her sharp tongue but you know deep inside, in all realness, she is just a sad girl. So you keep on talking.

Hours, days, weeks, months — you let her feel your presence. You let her see that you care. Know that you’re sincere. The sad streak on her face will slowly fade and you will find her passing a smile.

You get a sense of satisfaction. But that is not enough. You try to hold her, gently, but soon you realize you will have to hold her tight. You still have to get through her wall. Your ego will not let you lose, so keep doing more. More sweet talk, more care, more time, more effort.

Until her protective wall collapses. And you see her closing the distance between the two of you. That is your reward.

She starts telling you her story and history. At first you like it. You like to see how dark her world was and how much light you have brought into her life. You fill her heart with love and she gets better. She does. She no longer talks of heartaches or fears or ghosts from the past. She looks forward to tomorrow with her hopeful eyes glistening with joy.

But as time flies, you start missing your sad girl. You no longer see the pain. You realize your project is over. So you leave her. To look for your next sad girl. Another charity case for you to fix.
MS

 


A story one the radio reminded me of this piece I wrote a while ago. This one is inspired by a friend’s short-lived love story. Have you been through the same thing? Have you met someone who likes sad girls?

The Witching Hour

It’s 3 am.

I wake up to the monotonous sound of the fan. An unpleasant feeling starts to claw its way out of my chest and I begin to understand why they call this time of the day ‘the witching hour’.

Perhaps because here, in the quiet, we get to sit side by side with the unknown. That feeling of being sad, anxious, drained and lost for no apparent reason. Or maybe we simply just can’t pinpoint.

Many times I have put my heart out only to end up more dejected. You see, when you have all the reasons to be happy, people think you can’t feel otherwise. When you do, they ask you why. As if I am not as equally frustrated finding out the reason myself.

Somebody once told me that perhaps I’m being ungrateful. I have caring friends and family. A stable job. A pile of books. A passion in writing and exploring the outdoors. I have found love and life. So why would I not be okay?

I look to my left hoping that the bare wall knows the answer. It does not. An hour has passed yet there is still a clamor in my head. I want to go out for a long walk. But I fear they might burn me like they did to witches.

Carousels

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All my life I’ve suffered from motion sickness. Take me on a car or bus ride and I’d know right then what’s bound to happen. Once, on a van ride home, I tried to withstand it. A few kilometers passed and I started feeling weird as if the butterflies in my stomach wanted to break free. My throat went dry and the air left my lungs gasping. One, two, three. I started counting. I thought I’d make it to ten but I was already throwing up at five. Experts said motion sickness is caused by mixed signals sent by our inner ears and our eyes to our brain. Well whatever it is, curse it.

There is a reason why I love long walks and hate the rides. But carousels are an exemption. For ours was a carousel ride. Your love took this heart round and round and round. You sent my butterflies flying in an uneasy state. My inner ears and eyes were sending mixed signals to my brain. My ears — they heard my scream and told my brain this needs to stop. My eyes — they’re drawn to you and told my brain it is time that needs to stop. Unable to comprehend, the air left my lungs gasping. One, two, three. I started counting. But then you held my hands and I lost count of the numbers. The world stopped turning and the hour hands paused.

I love the carousel but I also want it to end. I want us to go north to see the beaches, south to hike the mountains. I want a destination not just a merry-go-round. I want commitment not just falling in and out of love. But if you ask me on a carousel ride, I’d still take it. I’d withstand motion sickness until you decide to make this a journey instead of running round and round.
MS


Facebook reminded me that I wrote this piece two years ago this day. In 2017, I attended the two-day Cebu Literary Festival x Komiket event. Back then, my world was only limited to the four corners of my room or the pages of my books. It was a crucial year of existential crisis, all bottled up for so long. I struggled to find purpose and failed. It felt like I was functioning on auto pilot every single day and the only thing that would separate me from a robot would probably be poetry. Reading through my old poems, I could see how I was in a chaotic emotional mess. A hopeless romantic. An anxious human being trying to recreate her world through words. This piece is just one of those. I wrote it while listening to spoken word artists performing in front of me. In my mind I wanted to take the stage and express. In my heart, I just knew I can’t.

PLOT TWIST: Fast forward to 2018, I found myself onstage stuttering to the words of Pasabta Ko Palihug, a spoken word in my local dialect. Time flies! 😀

My Universe in Verse

According to current thinking, the observable universe is about 93 billion light years in diameter. I am no astronomy expert and the likes of Edwin Hubble would probably disagree when I say that there was a time when the universe molded itself into the right shape to fit just two people.

That day we hiked the trail to the peak expecting to find the place crowded with campers. But it was uncommonly empty. Right then my selfish side wished that no one would ever come. Coelho must have known that when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. Because no one did arrive. We had the billion-star accommodation all for ourselves.

I’ve always wondered what they meant when they said that the universe is infinite. Were they referring to the cosmic wonders from without or to those from within? That night we measured trajectories — not of falling comets but of falling hearts. At daybreak, I caught a momentary silhouette backlit by the rising sun. My sunset man. And what astronomers have not observed is this: sometimes all the mysteries of the universe is found in someone’s hand.

the wide universe
seized to be scientific—
poetic, it was

MS

 

 


In response to dVerse’s Haibun Monday: The Picnic hosted by Gina who challenges to share some picnic themed poems.

Here’s one of my favorite memories with one of my favorite people. The title is inspired by The Universe in Versean annual celebration of science through poetry hosted by Maria Popova at Pioneer Works and The Academy of American Poets

Head over here to join the prompt!

dverse

Worry Not

ours was forged by something greater than hands intertwined. remember how time has showed us how small this world is? from poetry, paperbacks, and people, we found each other on the same path. it took years but what is meant to be will always find its way, so they say. so i need you not to worry.

when i find myself
alone beneath the cerulean sky
i will walk without a sigh, carrying thoughts
of mountains, coffee, and your smile

when you find yourself
waking on a midnight as i drift away
in sleep, a deep slumber that you can’t reach
those are dreams of you i’m chasing

when both time and zones
seem to divide and pull us apart
i promise you we’ll get through it
we will navigate the world of adults

ours isn’t perfect and we haven’t figured everything out yet. but we will— piece by piece, day by day, night by night. we will learn and grow together… and separately. because what is meant to be will always find its way. and the universe is on our side.MS

In a quandary

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She sails away in dreams and books
Finds refuge in every empty nooks
But when she saw the babbling brook
It showed her what she overlooked

Though she finds refuge in empty nooks
There is more to life than a storybook
And she finally saw what she overlooked
A laughter, a smile, come take a look

There is more to life than a storybook
More to boring likes and posts on Facebook
A laughter, a smile, come take a look
The mountains wait, lay down your books

More to boring likes and posts on Facebook
More to sailing away in dreams and books
The mountains wait, lay down your books
And heed the call of the babbling brook
MS

 

 


In response to dVerse’s Poetics: your poetic hum hosted by Gina who introduced us to the Tanpura Principle in writing (the idea that much of writing occurs while doing something else). What is the poetic hum in your life? What hums in the background of your life that inspires you as you unconsciously listen while you work and live? Is the drone always there or do you have to cultivate the inspiration?

As I have found my passion and profession in writing, work does not take much of a toll. But if there is one thing that made me live a dual life, it is the happiness I found in nature. On most days I am torn between slouching on the bed with a book and putting on my bag to explore the outdoors. Sometimes, the book wins. Sometimes, the mountains. It’s like being torn between two lovers. 

Also, linking this up to Poetry Forms – The Pantoum. Other than Quadrille and Haibun, I haven’t written a piece with a poetry form. This is my first with Pantoum. 🙂

Head over here to join the prompt!

dverse

What if you didn’t cheat?

What if you didn’t cheat?

I’m sorry, but I can’t find a metaphor for you to get around this thought so I just have to ask it straight to your face.

What if you didn’t cheat?

You would be playing the guitar under the moonlit sky as I sing Daniel Caesar’s Best Part for the seventh time. Your fingers would hurt from strumming and probably your eardrums too from listening. But you would just laugh it out. You always do.

Like when I stepped on your toes while trying to reach a book from the top shelf. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. I had no idea who the bearded guy was but I heard reading his book would make one look smarter. So I bought it. And you laughed.

But this is not a night for laughing. This is a night for asking how could a man who loves coffee forgets his mate? How could an ‘I love you’ sound like another woman’s name. How could emptiness sit between two people, with each passing second leaving a stab in the back straight to the heart?

There goes your metaphor.

It’s funny how I can liken cheating to so many things. A scenery gone wrong. Failing an open book test. Salt in a sugar jar. A crime with no punishment.

If only one of them would make the pain a little bearable.

What if you didn’t cheat? I probably wouldn’t have to worry on who I’d be: the girl who walks away or the girl who stays?

MS

You! Yes, you.

You! Yes, you.

You who are probably wearing a little black dress or a loose shirt and skinny jeans or your grandmother’s overalls.

Yes, you.

I want you to know that you can spit them now. Your hatred, your frustration, your anger. You are not a refugee from the past. You are here, now – breathing, living.

When you happen to pass a dark alley and you hear the whistle of lust, it’s okay to fight your might. Do not allow that man to define you in fragments. Skin, neck, legs, breasts and thighs— as if you are a piece of meat that can be pulled apart. I will join you in particicution for we are more than the gates of heaven that opens in one thrust. We are capable of giving them hell.

But, remember, you are also free to take flight. It is not your fault to tremble and feel your body shake. When the outside world and your mind are in equal darkness, it’s okay to cry. This world is cruel and respect is nothing but an amputated speech. I understand your distrust.

I’ve heard it too, passed on to me in soundless words with their lips hardly moving. Yes, they do not touch us but their eyes take off our clothes faster than their hands do. They claim respect but they reduce our worth to the size of an hourglass, a number, a measurement, a color. A rape joke with a disclaimer “do not take it personal”.

You! Yes, you.

Spit it out, that acrid taste of misogyny and sexism. Be angry and be frustrated because this is not what you deserve. Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.

MS


This one’s inspired by Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, a harrowing story chronicling women’s struggle and survival set in a strict patriarchal society. The book is more that just a dystopian classic, it’s a warning to a not-so-distant future.

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