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DoodleScribbles

Scribblings and scrawls of a hopeless romantic soul

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A Brave and Startling Truth by Maya Angelou

Featured poems and spoken word poetry

We, this people, on a small and lonely planet
Traveling through casual space
Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns
To a destination where all signs tell us
It is possible and imperative that we learn
A brave and startling truth

And when we come to it
To the day of peacemaking
When we release our fingers
From fists of hostility
And allow the pure air to cool our palms

When we come to it
When the curtain falls on the minstrel show of hate
And faces sooted with scorn are scrubbed clean
When battlefields and coliseum
No longer rake our unique and particular sons and daughters
Up with the bruised and bloody grass
To lie in identical plots in foreign soil

When the rapacious storming of the churches
The screaming racket in the temples have ceased
When the pennants are waving gaily
When the banners of the world tremble
Stoutly in the good, clean breeze

When we come to it
When we let the rifles fall from our shoulders
And children dress their dolls in flags of truce
When land mines of death have been removed
And the aged can walk into evenings of peace
When religious ritual is not perfumed
By the incense of burning flesh
And childhood dreams are not kicked awake
By nightmares of abuse

When we come to it
Then we will confess that not the Pyramids
With their stones set in mysterious perfection
Nor the Gardens of Babylon
Hanging as eternal beauty
In our collective memory
Not the Grand Canyon
Kindled into delicious color
By Western sunsets

Nor the Danube, flowing its blue soul into Europe
Not the sacred peak of Mount Fuji
Stretching to the Rising Sun
Neither Father Amazon nor Mother Mississippi who, without favor,
Nurture all creatures in the depths and on the shores
These are not the only wonders of the world

When we come to it
We, this people, on this minuscule and kithless globe
Who reach daily for the bomb, the blade and the dagger
Yet who petition in the dark for tokens of peace
We, this people on this mote of matter
In whose mouths abide cankerous words
Which challenge our very existence
Yet out of those same mouths
Come songs of such exquisite sweetness
That the heart falters in its labor
And the body is quieted into awe

We, this people, on this small and drifting planet
Whose hands can strike with such abandon
That in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living
Yet those same hands can touch with such healing, irresistible tenderness
That the haughty neck is happy to bow
And the proud back is glad to bend
Out of such chaos, of such contradiction
We learn that we are neither devils nor divines

When we come to it
We, this people, on this wayward, floating body
Created on this earth, of this earth
Have the power to fashion for this earth
A climate where every man and every woman
Can live freely without sanctimonious piety
Without crippling fear

When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world
That is when, and only when
We come to it.


Starting the week with this powerful piece from none other than Maya Angelou. Have you personally uncovered a brave and startling truth in this lifetime — one that forever changed your life?

Blog Update: Optimizing absence

Blog updates and work in prgress

I named this blog DOODLESCRIBBLES because that’s what I usually do — mindlessly and carelessly doodling or scribbling my thoughts away. As the years passed, I slowly discovered my own writing voice. My style. My preferences. My weaknesses. My identity as a writer.

But, for the past weeks, it seems to me that writing does not feel right. I have all these thoughts in my head wanting to tell a story or a poem, but I still can’t bring myself to write. So I guess an extended leave of absence is in order.

For now, I’ve decided to shift my focus on two things that I can control:

1) My old blog posts. Last month, I worked on re-categorizing my published posts. This time, I plan on optimizing my blog images. As you know, us freeloaders only have 3 GB of storage limit. We were taught in college about optimized images but I never really mind the file sizes whenever I upload something on WordPress. Whatever is from my phone’s gallery, goes straight to my media (lazy cat). It was only when I reached 93.7% of the storage space that I paid attention on the file sizes. LOL!

I started with travel photos since they eat up most of my storage space. Here’s a list of what I’ve successfully optimized so far.

I’ve managed to lower the data usage down to 69.2%. Still high but we’ll get there. This is not about traffic or rankings but creating a friendly and responsive blog post. Hopefully, loading time won’t bore my visitors anymore. HAHA

2) My Facebook page. I am only using prepaid mobile data which is also the reason why I cannot spend unlimited time on most apps, including WordPress. It would be easier if I opt for a WIFI plan at home but that is also a problem. I do not have a home. I’m a renter and I don’t want to pay thousands to install a WIFI connection only to move out one day.

Thankfully, most prepaid data promos nowadays offer a free access to Facebook. Which is why I am sharing here my pet project that I have been doing on my page. It’s called #WriteMyOwnHeadline. With all the negativity around the world, I’ve decided to write my own headline one day at a time. It’s just little snippets of good news that I’ve seen, heard or encountered in my routinary day. If you want to know more about it or show me your own daily headlines, let’s connect!

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – When patience is not your virtue

Featured quote for Writer's Quote Wednesday

Waiting isn’t an in-between time. Instead, this often-hated and underappreciated time has been a silent force that has shaped our social interactions. Waiting isn’t a hurdle keeping us from intimacy and from living our lives to our fullest. Instead, waiting is essential to how we connect as humans through the messages we send.

Jason Farman, Delayed Response: The Art of Waiting from the Ancient to the Instant World 

“What to do when you start getting impatient with yourself?”

Today, I found myself turning to Google for answers to this question. For reasons I cannot pinpoint, I started feeling impatient with myself. That I have not — cannot — write creatively. That my books lay unopened. That I’m being lousy in managing my blog/IG/Facebook page. And many more.

It scared me that I’m putting the blame on myself again. I know it’s wrong and I know I keep saying that we should take all the time that we need BUT there are just times when you can’t walk the talk. So in my helplessness, I scoured the web to explain this feeling from the medical and literary points of view. My quest for enlightenment led me to an old Brainpickings post, The Art of Waiting: Reclaiming the Pleasures of Durational Being in an Instant Culture of Ceaseless Doing, which inspired this week’s WQW. I hope this helps those who are feeling the same way.

What do you do when patience is not one of your strongest virtues?

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Reminder from a classicist

Featured quote for Writer's Quote Wednesday

“The power of good is shown not by triumphantly conquering evil, but by continuing to resist evil while facing certain defeat.”

― Edith Hamilton, Mythology

We remember today the birth of Edith Hamilton, an educator, writer and historian who was a notable popularizer of classical literature. She was a gifted storyteller who brought to life timeless tales of gods and heroes from the Greek, Roman and Norse mythology. Through her books, we got to look at the origins of the universe and beyond. What’s your favorite from her works?

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Are you a literary parasite?

Writer's Quote Wednesday

“For, substantially, all ideas are second-hand, consciously and unconsciously drawn from a million outside sources.”

— Mark Twain

Mark Twain wrote this in his letter to Helen Keller who was once charged and acquitted of plagiarism.

This quote came to mind when I immersed into Kirby Ferguson’s Everything is a Remix, a four-part documentary about the long history of creativity, originality and copyright. In this series, he gives a contemporary explanation of Twain’s statement. On how ideas are continuously told, retold, combined, alluded and altered in films, music, writings, artwork, technology everything.

I, myself, have been a literary parasite (my own choice of words). There were many times when ideas are scarce and I cannot write from scratch. So I took inspiration from writers of the old and new. I’ve tried writing a poem that molded with Emily Dickinson’s and a fiction that borrowed a fellow blogger’s character.

I used to feel doubtful and fearful of unoriginality but Twain’s words taught me how everything builds on what came before. That it is not a failure of our creative integrity when we take inspiration from others and turn it into something that is unique to our voice. I see this now as a symbiotic relationship instead of creative kleptomania. I believe we can all be humble literary parasites while paying attribution with high regards.

There is a thin line, of course, between brazen plagiarism and honest innovation. Like I said, we should transform it into something that is not a copycat of the original. Find a unique angle, look closer to a specific detail, and from that idea, create an entirely new concept that is yours.

Blog Update: Taming Cats and Categories

Blog updates and work in prgress

Yesterday a black cat ignored me — again. It’s same stray who always lounge by the TGU bench in IT Park during afternoons. I feel envious to the point of sinful watching it laze around, enjoying the silence and cool wind, when we humans are at the end of time’s bending sickle.

If only we could have moments of carelessness too…

For the nth time, I tried to pet her. But she would not be tamed. So I turned to my phone, looked up my blog to see when was the last time I wrote about cats. Then, it dawned on me: I need to fix my site.

When I first started blogging, I didn’t want to be too technical. Never cared much about pages, categories, tags, plugins and whatnots. Even my site identity is slightly sloppy. All I care about was — and still is — the content. Blogging is more like virtual journal for me but as time passed, a lot of things happened. I started joining prompts to hone my writing. I kept adding new stuff to Poetry/Flash Fiction/Musings without caring that some posts might not fit under these three categories.

Which brings me to this project: re-categorizing my posts. Some of you might notice that I’ve added new pages and nested tabs on this site. I basically just added specific categories for poetry and writings for easy navigation, and dumped all posts with unused categories under Mishmash of Random Things. LOL!

As for the really new stuff, I’ve decided to share my bookish thoughts through book reviews and book talks — though I hope laziness won’t get in the way in the future. I’ve also added a main tab for my travels and resurrected (haha) Mouth+Piece where I share my favorite written and spoken poems from around the globe.

Overall, it’s still a work in progress. Now, back to tinkering! Have a great day 🙂

The Unfinished Act

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Art transforms, Billy.

He wakes up, beads of sweat trickle down his temples as Valis’ voice scurries to the back of his mind.

It has been three weeks. The freak who sees murder as a work of art has long been dead. But why does he haunt Billy still?

Drink your tea. Tie your shoes. Go to work. Billy thought his mundane routine could stop his mind’s engine from running withershins. But they don’t. He hates the man’s bloodlust but deep in the recesses of his thoughts, he is fascinated with Valis’ ingenuity. On how he staged those gruesome acts. Billy’s grief for that passion are tentacles taking grasp of his sanity.

He stared at the ceiling. Another day, another ordinary life.

The sun sets and the night rolls in. At midnight, his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream — the performance must be done.


Written Neekneraj’s Wordle and dVerse’s Prosery hosted by Bjorn who asks us to write a piece of prose of exactly 144 words inspired by a line from Maya Angelou’s poem, Caged Bird.

his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream

Today, I finished reading Dean Koontz’s novel, Velocity. This is my twist to the ending of the story.

Head over here to join the prompt!

dverse

Rose Among the Ghosts

restaurant

He stared through the dissipating smoke, fascinated how this woman evolved from a wilted rose to a flower in full bloom. She loves silence now —

though there’s never a quiet time when you’re with ghosts.

“What?” Ariella asks.

“What?” He echoes, smiling.

“That look,” she rolled her eyes. “You’re laughing at me.”

“Why? You asked for peace and we left you for three days,” he shrugs, teasing her with a poker face. “Admit it. You missed us.”

Ariella’s eyes widen but her mouth curved to a smile. “Pretend you don’t see me, Gustav.”

“You’re the one who’s pretending, my rose.”

Word Count: 100


Written for Friday Fictioneers, a weekly writing challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields where a photo is used as a prompt for a hundred-word piece of fiction. The photo prompt this week is a courtesy of Dale Rogerson.

Last week’s prompt, I was inspired by Ali and wrote a prequel to his story. This time, I’ve decided to continue being a literary parasite (if the word exist) and take inspiration from another writer. This one is inspired by J.A. Prentice’s flash fiction titled An End to Solitude. I’m normally a scardey cat when it comes to ghosts and not-like-ours but I love how he twisted his story and gave it a lighter angle. 🙂

Head over here to join the prompt!

Hope is an illusion

Hope is an illusion
A lie behind the blinds
It walks you into the wind—
Points you to distant bergs
Where refuge hides

Ask a child from Quneitra
Or the slums of Manila
And both will give you a laugh
For life has taught them what hope is
A vanishing mirage, not an oasis

No food, no water
Not a breath left for a dream
For a deserter trapped in the desert
Does hope even matter?
Does anybody cares?

Tilt those heads slightly
Perhaps, from a different angle, you’ll see
The lives of the lost, last, and least
Trampled down by privilege, indifference, and greed
A scene less click-worthy
Uninteresting for the media frenzy


Day 2 of NaPoWriMo and I am not feeling well. Emotionally, mentally, spiritually – I feel drained. Whenever I mull over something that strikes a chord within me, I experience a relapse of depressive episodes. Now, the obvious reason is the global pandemic COVID-19. And I am not only saddened by the number of deaths it brings but by the extent of hatred and greed it ignites. I need not zoom out because my country itself is thrown in disarray. It hurts. 💔

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