I have always known I’d die this way—
Hands reaching for what’s left of the sunset
Wilted and dried
Like a sunburnt flower left in a barren land
Sadness almost feels like a second skin now
Purple bruises scatter from unbidden words
They pierce, they hurt
Reminding me of the borrowed prose I never get to return to the world
They say our entire life flashes before our eyes on our deathbed
But I saw a person instead—
Dimples and heavy brows,
A portrait of the carefree man I met at Bo’s
Something pokes from inside my darkened rib
Was it regret? Guilt? Or something else?
I need more time, Charon
Let me immortalize this man with words
Soak my pen in desperation, desire and dread
I have always known I’d die this way—
But why must have to be today?
My hands reach for the last of the sunset
I cry for borrowed prose I never get to return to the world
I have always known I’d die this way—
“Love, whether newly born or aroused from a deathlike slumber, must always create sunshine, filling the heart so full of radiance, that it overflows upon the outward world.”― Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter
Nathaniel Hawthorne died, on this day, in 1864. May this quote awaken the spirit of love within us all in these trying times when anger, hate and fear are at its height.
I dream in fast forward
Of that which never was
My pale, moon-drenched skin
Shiver ‘neath the grieving stars
I wait in quiet desperation
Feeling nothing of the real world
Seeing only that which
I have not yet held
Between midnight breaths — a poem
Reviving my half dead hope
I spread out my hands to you;
I thirst for you like a parched land.
It took me sleepless nights and a slit wrist to unlove you. My eyes, once insignias of misery, now glow beneath the cloudless sky. I no longer freeze on a Bublé song. No longer break on the streets where you used to hold my hands. The forget-me-nots have died under my pillow. And on moonlit nights, I dance.
It took me sleepless nights and a slit wrist to love myself.
Now, I wear a tint of blood on my lips
To remind you of what you left
And will never ever get.
I wake up to one of those lazy mornings. The leaves have changed and a thick fall foliage probably awaits me outside. People fear me. Footsteps quicken whenever they pass by my house in this part of the jungle.
Yet, a child’s innocence is magical. Most often, they are valiant warriors throwing pebbles at my window, playfully screaming, “THE WITCH ON THE FOOTHILL IS REAL! RUUUUUN!”
Once, two kids braved knocking on my doorstep. A big brother and a little sister. The spunky little girl came up in her yellow dress, demanding, “Are you a witch?”
“Am I?” I asked.
She looked at me with ambigous eyes, calculating and curious. “Our teacher told us the story of the witch on the foothills. She lives with spiders and bats and pumpkins with glowing eyes,” the girl said, comfortably taking a chair, uninvited. “But you live with cats, butterflies and plants that wear crowns.”
“They’re cactus,” I told her.
“Just as I thought,” she dismissed. “You should come out sometimes and see the ocean. Except when there’s a hurricane. Hurricanes are the worst. Jake and I can’t play when there’s one. And it howls like a monster at night.”
I smiled, amused with this small creature that talks endlessly in front of me. Her brother left a while ago to call their parents.
What hasty little children…
This one is my entry for our company’s mini writing challenge. We were asked to pick cards with corresponding words and use these as elements to create a story.
4 CHARACTERS: Parents, Teacher, Children (2)
2 ANIMALS: Cat, Butterfly
3 PLANTS: Cactus (3)
2 LOCATIONS: Jungle, Ocean
2 TIME: Morning, Night
1 SEASON: Fall
3 EVENTS: Hurricane (3)
1 ENDING: Ambigous
It was unclear if they wanted to use the last word literally or end the story as such, so I choose to do both.
Hah! It’s been a while since I have written a short story huh.
She asked me to take her photo by the window. The moon hung above her head as I looked through the lens. She tucked a cigarette stick on her mouth; inhaled. Exhaled and laughed at me through the smoke.
We met in a bar two hours ago. A little drunk, she was singing to the tune of “Whiskey in the Jar.” Whack fol the diddle. Oh whack fol the diddle. oh there’s whiskey in the jar. In a crowd of dancing homos, there she was. Singing an old Irish folk song.
“You!” She notices me staring. “Are you in love with me yet? One glass of whiskey for the man in black,” she shouted. On our third glass, she pulled me out of the bar, pointed at an abandoned house across the street. “Meet me there in 5.”
So here I am. With a Lumix G9 in hand. Where she got it from, I did not ask. In fact, I never said a word since. Raising a cigarette, she looked at me from the glowing tip.
I don’t really smoke.
I don’t drink.
I haven’t fa— I was in love.
Remember this night.
We slept under the faint September moon in silence. There was no need for romance or sex in this kind of intimacy. The dawn breaks and I found myself alone. Something else breaks. Deep inside.
Damn. I didn’t even ask her name.
While going through my drafts, I saw this short story which was dated October 16, 2018. It is again like my previous post Vignette: The forgotten pages of whines — a forgotten piece whose muse got buried in the stacks of random musings and curiosities. I’m sharing it now to dust off the cobwebs of yesterdays.
In a world plagued by seemingly endless news about death, corruption, economic collapse and ill-causing vibes, can planting a seed be a salve to our saddened hearts?
I have seen a sudden surge of home gardening projects among my friends in the past months and weeks. People are growing indoor plants, succulents, flowers, herbs, fruit trees, vegetables — even root crops! Some do it as a way to de-stress, to fight boredom and to stay sane. Some just want to be self-sufficient and grow their own groceries. Others, find it a reignited passion.
It seems like plants, in a way, have brought people together despite being apart.Continue reading “When Life Gives You Quarantine, Think Green”
I remember this climb. In the darkness of the dawn, we hiked in full packs between huffs, pants and coughs. I remember asking myself, why did I have to bring so much load? I should have left that extra shirt. I should have left that extra jacket. Did I really need an extra pair of pants? As the earth gradually piled up under my feet, I realized that climbing mountains is not so different from living life.
Truth is much of what weigh me down are not mine to carry — the troubles of the world, other people’s problems, inexistent futures and such. Like how I pack for a climb, I also tend to carry things that does not fit. Things that I should have outgrown and moved on with. Like emotions and memories.
Some nights, my knees and chin almost touch as I lay curled on the bed. Tired of living. But just like mountain climbing, no matter how hard the climb (and life) is, the peak will always be worth it. Those moments of ups and downs will not be wasted if we take every step by heart.
And I hope what I felt when I ascended 2819.78 MASL to reach the summit of Mt. Wiji — that pure happiness and bliss — will be just the same when I reach the summit of my years. I want to be able to let go of all those extra baggage in the end. Arms wide open, surrendering to the beauty of nature. To the beauty of life.
She bask in the honey-tinted sunshine. Her hands carefree, her heart light.
Today, I want to tell this beautiful soul that I love her. Not through poetry or paperbacks. Not through comfort food or a good sleep. Not through self-care. Not through deep breaths. I want to hug her and hand these three bold words: I LOVE YOU.
For fighting the battles from within and without. Even if some wounds are self-inflicted.
For trying to figure out the unknown. Even if answers seem nowhere to be found.
For keeping the faith in life. Even if sometimes hope is eclipsed by doubt.
I want to kiss this unsung heroine — gather all the many selves that reside in her little body and give her a hero’s welcome. Because she made it through. Day after day. Night after night.
Today, my country celebrates National Heroes Day. As I commend the great men and women of the past and present, I would also like to take this time to thank the one constant hero in my life. Love you, self. 🥺