Poetry: Drabble for World Poetry Day

Happy World Poetry Day! Here’s a bunch of words that make sense in my head 🙂

 

1) Find the fine lines that outline her eyes

And let them tell you her story

Reach for the round cherries on her cheeks

And try to steal a kiss

 

Mary does not appreciate waking up early

 

2) The birds no longer feed on crackers

The bread dry, the salt artificial

Sometimes it’s the air instead

where raccoons whisper rumors about running away

The tension is enough to fill up whoever listens

Still, they starve to death

 

Letters of A Fangirl: Mourning

Dear Mr. Fictional Character,
 
You made me cry tonight for a good five minutes or so.
You represent all the good minor characters we fangirls tend to overlook but subliminally appreciate. You were bait, and I had a feeling you were during that episode when you were all smiling and talking nicely to the main character. But, I ignored that and kept watching the series as planned.
 
And then you die. You had to. It was a classic rule in the unwritten rules of storytelling – kill the character that no one expected to die, one who, though of little significance, hooked the audience enough to tug at heartstrings. I get it.
 
But in our living room, as I recounted your story to my sister, adding notes about the episode’s cinematography here and there, I just couldn’t erase the image of your smile and the sound of your voice greeting the main character and telling her she did a good job.
 
You were an honest to goodness good man, and, maybe, you could’ve stuck around a little longer (though it wouldn’t make sense to the plot). You were a good man.
 
I mourn your fictional death. Thank you for the feelings and a perfect excuse to cry.
 
Love, Fangirl
(P.S. Rest well, Manager.)
bye

Screenshot edited from dramabeans.com (dots)

Poetry: Catharsis Collection

I wrote these poems for a contest (DLSU Annual Literary Awards) about a year ago. I’ve changed my writing style since then but I’m still proud of these babies because I believe they were the turning point of my poetry style. (This was also published in the Malate Literary Folio some time ago, methinks.)

1 – Blue stapler

A blue stapler, smaller than the usual, solitary on top of a right­handed girl’s armrest until spirited away by a large hand, played with for a few seconds before being returned, and then, just as warmth leaves the metal piece, caressed by its owner.

A blue stapler, designed with a smiling frog print, picked up by a small hand, thumb resting on top of the metal frame, and used to fasten three pieces of paper before being borrowed by another seatmate, leaving both the hand and the armrest empty.

A blue stapler, blue as the sky on a May morning, returned on top of the armrest, unmoving until swiped by hands intending to stuff the object inside an equally blue pencil case.

A blue stapler, smaller than the usual, solitary inside a girl’s pencil case until taken out and placed on top of a water bed, and stared at by its owner as if the warmth she hoped it kept diffused from the metal in colors of the rainbow.

 

2 – Skyscrapers, Guitars and Pianos

When the lights went out and all

she had were skyscrapers instead

of candles, she wished on them.

So on her way home, riding a van

with no one she knew, she saw

city lights and she wished on them.

So while relishing the view of

tower after tower, billboard

after billboard, she played a song

with guitars and pianos in the

background while wishing. So

she saw the lights and played the

song and she found a little spark

in her eyes once more. Because she

felt out of luck when the lights went

out, but with skyscrapers and guitars

and pianos in the background she

found herself wishing once more.

 

3 – Orange Light

Orange light turning into mist, enveloping thirty­ six shadows, gently grazing the hours etched on their faces, all the while the tune of rushing cars and a nearby food chain echoes.

Thirty ­six shadows revealing their faces as the chatter of returning home joins the chorus of noise, a dozen lined up across the parking lot, five in front of them and the rest laughing in the middle.

Hours etched on their faces, lines formed by a day of tapping door to door, the figures come to life with the conversations that weave their existence at that one place in that one night.

Amidst the tune of rushing cars and a nearby fast food chain, the setting sun generously illuminates their spirit and interlocks their hands as they wait for their ride back to the province where the buzzing would not be the same.

Orange light turning into mist will be the last they will remember for the day, not the ride home when their thoughts would be sleeping but the moment they stood, thirty­six figures in the middle of a parking lot with the day not yet quite ending.

 

4 – Stillwater

You do not disturb still water;

A mere gush of breath sends its surface rippling,

obstructing the peace built upon decades of silence

and the conniving of the universe.

You do not disturb still water;

A touch from the smallest of fingers creates tension,

only for a matter of moments,

before the shield tumbles, washing away all in its path.

You do not disturb still water;

A single leaf falling from the unforgiving tree,

tears a contract between heaven and earth

by planting a kiss on the flimsy glass shinning in the sunlight.

You do not disturb still water;

The humming of the crows circling the sky,

shakes the crystal reflection enjoying its long slumber

and blows away a lullaby composed by clouds floating about.

You do not disturb still water,

and believe you could stay afterwards.

 

5 – Slam Silence

Concrete slams onto her chest as she hears the words echoing from the second floor.

Almost nine in the evening when she suggested a whisper,

and now eleven with the shout still haunting her thoughts.

Ears ringing and her world turning red, she feels her feet already running,

her soul already fleeting and the rest of her morning dissolving

into places that do not confine her words.

Invisible hands cover her lips as steam escapes her clenched fists.

But even the wind could not tame her fire,

as it burns down the little of what she had left.

Only after does she find chains locked onto every fiber of her being,

and does she feel the absence of herself.

The moon weeps with the words she could not say.

Roots, never lose them

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The city looks fancy inside an Uber car.

One of the highlights of commuting with my “adult-ing” cousin is listening to her stories about our family when she was younger.

This morning, her stories were about our mothers, how they acted as mothers to their nieces and nephews, and how spoiled the boys and eldest babies (me included) were. The previous weeks it had been about her childhood and how, like me, she had also been pressured by her mom to excel in school. Each time, I’d get a sense of how our family dynamics were before I was born and during my toddler days, and I’d learn a little bit more about the people I call family.

Being a kid who liked occupying only a tiny space in this world and enjoyed listening to her own thoughts, I never really bothered with family history before. I kept to myself most of the time and during reunions, I never really felt obligated to form personal bonds with each tito, tita or cousin (those older than me only), or at least get to know them in a deeper sense.

This was my logic when I was younger: they won’t be around as much, but at the same time, I won’t lose them, so I didn’t really have to make much of an effort to keep them. I acknowledged their existence and assistance, and as mean as this sounds, that was it for me. I just didn’t really attach myself. (This was also partly because my awkward self didn’t know how to. I mean, was I supposed to bear hug them every time I see them or would that be weird since there’s an unspoken five-inch rule between kids and adults? I don’t know. I didn’t have manuals for social interaction).

Part of me hates how I just didn’t let them in early on. I missed out on so many could-have-been moments. I didn’t become malambing (though maybe once upon a time, I was). I saw their love an concern for me as something to be expected, and I didn’t give it back in any way that I could (though I don’t really know how tbh). In a way, my family (outside the nuclear one) to me felt like shadows passing by at times because I failed to reach out.

Part of me couldn’t blame myself. That was just who I was. I locked myself in, not because that was how I was raised but because it was natural to me. I liked being alone. I liked thinking (and over-thinking) and I couldn’t help it. And if I blame myself for being who I am, then, I’d just feel awful.

Now that I’m older, I guess, life has taught me to be more grateful and to open myself up, and it’s teaching me that I could do so without having to sacrifice my personality. Perhaps, I can try to mature and to be more welcoming to opportunities for more meaningful moments even if sometimes, I would have to compromise my me time. I’d just have to know my limits and to what extent I can commit.

Family is important to me and it took me twenty years to open 55% of my eyes to see it. They aren’t just people I celebrate holidays with or people who give me hand-me-downs when I need it. I see them now as individual characters, persons, with their own quirks, motivations and dreams. I see the red strings that tie our lives together. And I see how our stories have more depth now because of those realizations.

Maybe, after two decades of existing, instead of just listening to family stories, I could try to be part of one.