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.


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