Tricycle ride

I no longer recognize kindness

as a knock on the door. At first

sight, it appears to me as a man

clothed in a purple tracksuit

and a Saturday night. Then I hear

the roaring of the engine and my mind

takes flight – the dark alleys, the sudden

taking. Snatched, my innocence

no longer

allows me to hold hands with

a stranger. But when the smoke cleared,

I find that kindness and I have crossed

the street and to the right is my house

whose door, locked, I have to knock on.

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Wrong room

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Frost on the Window by Robert Strong Woodward

In front of her was a door, and like most doors, this one also required her to enter. There was nothing necessarily dangerous on the other side — only people, but she didn’t find any comfort even in that thought.

When she entered, her eyes settled on the empty spaces and on the corners of the room seen from her point of view. She craved to settle in on one of the cracks between the spaces and just blend in. In those cracks, she could be herself, even when inside a large room full of strangers.

But where does she go? How does her feet begin to walk towards those cracks?

Well, she had to endure five minutes. Five minutes of searching the crowd. Five minutes of vacancy and sweaty palms. Five minutes of faltered smiles and clumsy tiptoes. Five minutes of not knowing what to do.

Knowing that she could not stand by the doorway for too long, she began to walk towards one of the spaces. However, she stopped herself short at the sight of a window on the far left.

She loved windows. Windows have offered a world of excitement and imagination to her ever since she knew windows existed. They opened and allowed warm wind to caress her. They empowered her to daydream at night and sleep during day.

There came a time when she had a season for windows. It was the season when she felt as if there were always waves crashing against her feet. It was a season where she had a place to be in. And given any opportunity, she always wanted to recreate those moments.

With newfound motivation and certainty, she changed gears – from empty spaces to familiar windows. Her five minutes were now reduced to two. She still had to pass by the crowd but her eyes were set. It was getting better.

At the last minute, she felt the dark seep in through the frames of the window. The air that came with it was cold and unforgiving. Even before she could reach her intended destination, the spot where she hoped she could lose herself in was becoming lost.

Snow came pouring in, covering the window panes and glass and she stared, helplessly, as the window vanished before her eyes.

She was in the middle of the room now. Her feet were pointing towards something non-existent. Eyes were on her. They knew where she intended to go.

Willing her already pale skin to change into steel, she took a step back towards the direction she came from and pretended that she was in the wrong room.

 

 

Once upon a full moon [poems]

Prompt: What would happen if the light bulb was never invented?
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Photo credits: PxHere

Creation story

And –
Nothing. In the beginning
there existed only space and
absence and absence
and space for eyes to close
on mornings.
At night, there would be palms
for praying against floorboards,
as one crawls
towards the streets where
there are other people praying.
Those who know this
ritual call on names and
name themselves as beings
who do anything else –
else, seeing.
They pace their dreams this way –
Awake the whole day, for
only in nothing, eyes closed and
praying, can one call upon
beginnings.


Prompt: Compare the budding of a flower to the death of a star.
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Photo credits: Pixabay

Through this we process

Uncurling your fingers before
laying your dust to rest –
we hold our stories closest
to our chests.
Buried in a space for what
once was – the toiling,
the explosion, the welcoming
of dew and dusk.
The sky and fields in which
we dream, of endless
cycles, restarts it seems.
And everything, in the pace
we keep, only in unfolding
do we reap.

this time we mean it

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Photo downloaded from pixabay.com

just in case

the lines along the cracks of your lips

no longer hold the answers

I need

just in case

the tiles begin to measure more than

actual distance

between our fingertips

just in case

the morning air constricts not only

my lungs

but also our infinite possibilities

just in case

there are conversations full of reason

left open

against summer breeze, urging

 

just in case

one of us forgets to keep the light on

for the sake of tracking dates and one of us

leaves, feet dragging against unsuspecting sand,

let me linger longer

let me love fuller

let me remember better

as you become the bitter aftertaste

of salt and sea.

 

He remembered

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Sketch credits to: MeganzMonkeyBusiness (deviantart)

There was sudden feeling of lightness when she walked into the club. Mr. Jones was arguing with the bartender when it happened, and even he who could never hold his tongue, paused at the sudden shift of mood.

She took very little space as she entered the room and in turn, revealed very little of herself. Other than the hems of her silky sky blue dress and the tight brown curls peeking from her cloak, there was nothing much of her that was easily seen. Most of her features were also hidden by the evening, and – Mr. Jones would attest to this days later – it was as if a cloud of shadows purposely followed her so as to hide the face of the mystery woman.

However, despite being shrouded in uncertainty, her coming felt like falling into place, as if she was exactly the thing, the person, that the club never knew it needed.

A few minutes ago, Mr. Jones had been challenged to a duel. Winner takes all – that was always the case with him. But this time, his all or nothing principle had done him wrong. If he couldn’t pack the place Saturday night, he was to lose the club to Mr. Harrison – and he wasn’t even drunk when he made the bet!

He didn’t have Silvia anymore – god knows how long he put up with that woman – and she was the best goddamn entertainer in all of Steinfield. He didn’t have a magical act either. His last resort – to convince people that watching a grown man cry was worth paying for.

But then, there she was, this stranger, walking as if floating on air, taking her time, and – call it good luck, call it intuition – he had a good feeling about her.

“Silvia sent me here,” she said once he was within earshot. A few heads perked up. If Silvia sent another one of her girls to demand for more money again, they would be in for a show.

Mr. Jones suddenly doubted his senses. “Did she now?”

“Yes,” she replied, head tilted downwards. “And she told me a thing or two about you.”

“All good things, I hope,” he told her.

“She told me to stay away,” she said.

He smirked. “Yet here you are.”

“Let me ask you this,” he spoke using his salesman voice. “What is it that you want?”

She stepped closer but still kept her cloak in place. “It’s not what I want. It’s what you want.”

Slowly, she took her cloak off, letting it fall on the floor. “You need me.”

Mr. Jones said this a week after the mystery woman left – that night, he did need her and he knew it the moment she walked in. He was just pretending not to so he won’t be at the shorter end of the stick. He was hoping that she needed him more, being one of those girls looking for a job at his club, singing at night so that they’d at least be useful to their families. To some extent it was true, but with how their conversation went and what happened after, the situation proved to be quite the opposite.

What happened after the woman showed her face, he had difficulty trying to describe to those who asked. She sang, he understood that much, but then she was also doing so many things – she was existing and making him realize what existence meant; she was bringing the moon closer to the earth and making the night a tad bit brighter; and she was calling his name somewhere in between the verses of her song and he, with his eyes wide, willingly gave her an answer even before she finished singing. And, even after having said all that, he often claimed not knowing what he was saying and not having described the moment enough.

His teacher would’ve been proud of him. For a man who failed his grade school English, mustering that much words meant he was seriously smitten.

(A/N: I know this is cheesy. I was watching “A Walk to Remember” with my friend the other day and I was stuck with the play scene.)

letting all the bad feelings out through “poetry”

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Artwork from deviant art: amalista

unsavory, like salt,

a scrunchy I left wet, hanging

on the toiletries rack, the

morning couldn’t get any sweeter

with awkward dances an­­d words

I was too sleepy to say, I don’t

have the tolerance for unironed shirts

today. Stay, we kept holding up

hands against the sun, grass and shoes

were about to give up, cold sweat,

unsatisfactorily everything, from half

hearted laughs to always one step apart.

I was pulling but breaths kept

at it until the quiet was quite as desperate

as fried chicken for breakfast. There is the

illusion that forms meant to taste like

cake, chewed on by a thousand dreams I

had for a fifteen-minute nap. It was

just as I thought it’d be with misspellings

and mishaps the saints in my head invented. We

were just as they told me when I prayed not

too long ago to do what the common

folk to with their tongues, for the sheer thrill

of being normal, in the streets there was

shouting instead of constant nods to hats tipped

off. I was no longer awake after more

than a day of crickets and throbbing and

the light showed itself out of my eyes until

I wobbled. My bedroom floor tasted like cement,

now that I think about it.

Writing Anxiety 1: How do you keep at it?

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Since I’d have relatively more time for at least a couple of days, I decided to continue writing my novel. With God’s grace, I would be able to finish it before the year ends.

I just have a tad bit of a problem.

I conceived the novel idea last 2014 but it took me about a year to actually begin writing it down. And as you can see, it’s already 2017 and I’m barely halfway in. (I’ve just written about six chapters.)

I know that I can write and that I actually have no problem letting the words flow. It’s just that I’ve always found excuses to not write the book. I would often busy myself with work or other writing and creative projects instead of doing it.

I think, I’m just really worried about not getting it right that I’m obsessed with being in the perfect state of mind before I get to writing it (and if you know me, you know that that almost never happens. My mind’s always a wreck).

For this week, even if it’s just this week, I’ll try to turn that part of my brain off and just do it. I’ll sit down and write and let the world come alive again. It’s been so long and that’s why I may be too focused on making it good rather than telling the actual story I want to tell. I need to remember.

Last night, I started doing that. The dilemma was actually finishing chapter 5. It’s been almost six months since I began writing it that I didn’t know how to finish it. I actually thought that it’d still be a long way before I can cut it but I surprised myself by just doing it.

Now, I’m at chapter 6 and what’s so lovely about this journey is that I was surprised by one of my characters because *insert spoilers here*! It’s amazing when they come alive like that, doing things I didn’t tell them to do.

Okay. That’s it for now. Hopefully, I am able to stick to this thinking until the end.

how do souls brush against each other?

 

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Photo credits: Pinterest (Mishal Benson)

 

to remember that it was a kind of brown,

one that looked like a Monday, like coffee overflowing with sugar,

tucked away inside the eyes of someone who had a lot to say.

there was music and it sounded like pieces of piano keys falling, one by one, like

childhood and the last second before falling asleep. the room knew what was happening,

letting itself be occupied by vacancies and paint splattered on the walls. the paper knew

what it felt to be remembered, so it offered itself to idle strokes and the silence thereafter. in

that instance, there was a universe created, a silent agreement of

allowing the breaking of defenses and taking a step closer. there were secrets

unexplored still but it was then that looking into someone’s eyes meant

seeing them. (finally.)

To me he was Odin

If there was a rule to guard against attachment, it would be this: Do not let the name speak to you. Do not allow it to roll off your tongue. To use names would permit a sense of permanence and familiarity to settle atop your shoes and would bless the soil with that moment forever. (It would be too hard to commit to.)

But the eyes will always try to speak to you first. Despite your initial resistance, it will whisper to you. That day, it was Abby. And then, Odin. Before I knew it, my system accepted the register and I was holding your head. I said it aloud.

My hands never reach out first. They dread the split second they hang on air, wanting. But if I do attempt something, the heart suffers the most, because it explodes both at the thought of flying and actually getting somewhere.

I’d just like to think you understood me then. (Let me pay tribute, before I repress the happiness any further.)

Write about happy things, Pollen.

 

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My attempt at trying to look cute (sorry)

 

Maybe it’s because, for a really long time now, I’ve used writing for the bad stuff by default, that I feel somewhat awkward using it to document something good. Like for instance, an intense argument would prompt me to write a poem, immediately taking me out of my heaven-knows-how-long writing slump while the small miracles happening in my day to day life wouldn’t even deserve a short diary entry.

Maybe, because it’s so easy for me to come up with sad words, I’ve forgotten how to write about being happy, or at least how happy felt like, that now that the emotion’s overwhelming me, I don’t know how to describe the feeling.

I’ve had so many reasons to be happy over the past couple of months but I haven’t really been keeping the stories about them, even in my private journals. At the time, I figured, I wanted to feel them in the moment and keep them alive only then because I’ll remember the feeling anyway.

However, now that I’m looking through the things I’ve written during this time of happiness and bliss, I realized that there weren’t many memories to look back on. Yes, I remember feeling happy and I still am happy, but I couldn’t find the little stories that built my big moments.

Hence the questions: “Have I forgotten how to write about the happy things?”; “Do I still know how to write about the happy things?”; “Why am I not writing about the happy things?”

Not wanting to miss out any further, I decided to write this post, just so I could remind myself later of the reasons why I have been and am happy.

“Senpau”

At the time I’m writing this, I’m preparing for my fourth week as a teacher.

I always knew I was going to teach someday but I didn’t expect to be teaching this early. Despite my initial worries, I’m so glad I took the risk anyway because I’ve found a place where I can do purposeful and meaningful work every day.

Though the workload can be overwhelming at times, at the end of the day, my job makes me feel like I’m serving God’s purpose and I’m making a difference.

(Sometimes, I wonder if I’m normal because I didn’t think it was even possible to love something you do so much that the stress feels like a minuscule part of the job package. Is it still normal to want to do this so much?)

Good people

Now that I’m back home, I’m constantly around the people I love the most – family, best friends, orgmates… etc. In a way, that has healed me and brought me back to a healthy state of mind.

I’ve also met a lot of new and nurturing people who make me so so so happy. All of them are very supportive during tough times and are good company when in need of a good laugh and deep conversations. I’d like to think we were brought into each other’s lives not to just cross paths and make a difference for a short amount of time, but to keep each other as wonderful friends from now on until who knows when.

My best self is myself

The past few weeks has helped me constantly meet my best self, and Pollen, when she is her best self, could be absolutely wonderful. Pollen is at her best when she is unafraid, when she trusts herself, and in those moments, she can do anything.

To know that my best self actually exists within me can be absolutely life-changing. There’s a part of myself that I like and I can trust and that means everything.

The things I can do, the purpose I can serve will be limitless if I kept being my best.

(I like this writing exercise. I’ll try to write more of these happy reminders.)