Rowan

Wrote this as a Christmas gift last year to my friend in my master’s program. This is actually a series of inside jokes and references, and I could explain them all here, but I think it’s more fun to explain in person haha. 


 

Rusty light from the persimmon sun sprawls

Our tired shadows east

While the European autumn creeps under our coats

And hastens our steps – yet

Not a moment is wasted

 

Mothers know best

Unless they’re fathers, uncles, or aunts too

Like a cat, they let you roam,

Looking wonder-eyed for knowledge springs and love blooms

In the puzzling streets of Valencia (or Alicante)

Gatos son misterios que caminan a su ritmo –

Although they sing tales and share laughter as well,

Not needing a leash to stay by one’s side on the way home

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Himbing

Just thought it’d be nice.


 

Sa unang bukangliwayway

At bawat paghingang sumunod

Ikaw ang pangarap na ginisingan

 

Ang iyong mukha’y nasulyapan

Sa pagitan ng banaag na

Tumagos sa’king pilikmata –

Tila sinag na nguminginig

Sa ibabaw ng hamog

 

Ang banayad mong tinig

Na umaaliwiw ng mapaglarong lihim

Ay ang bulong ng amihan sa bagong araw

At ang alikik ng pagpukaw

 

Ang lamig ng umaga’y umiinog sa’ting paa

Habang hinahalo ang mainit na kape

Ang aroma ng sapin kagabi ay

Nakakapit pa sa’yong batok

At nararamdaman ko pa ang bakas ng

Iyong mga daliri sa’king baywang

 

Di ko pinangarap ang ganito –

Walang sinabi ang kama sa lambing mo

O ang kumot sa iyong init

Lumalambot ang kutson kung ika’y kayakap

At tumatahimik ang mundo sa dilim

Walang gabing mapanglaw sa’yo,

Walang bangungot na nag-iintay ‘pag humimlay

Sanlibong gabi ay masarap na idlip ‘pag katabi ka,

Sandaang taon ay bagong araw sa piling mo

Kahit puno ang isip, mapapahimbing ang tulog sa’yo

Kahit antok, sisigla ‘pag bumangon sa’yo

 

Habang nagtatagal, ang lamig ng umaga’y nagaalis

At naglalakas ang sikat ng araw

Nagbubutones ako at nagsasapatos ka na

Mayamaya, nawawalan ng tao ang bahay

At lilipas ang araw na ‘di tayo magkasama

Ngunit sa paglubog ng araw, sinasalubong natin

Ang gabi na nagiging atin

At habang naglalabas ang mga tala

Ang pagnanaginip natin ang nagdadala

Sa umagang ginagawang pangarap ang buhay

Still

The narrow path between these strangers was a tightrope

And every grazing shoulder was a sweeping gale

My gaze fell like my feet did

And I could feel the emptiness between my icicle fingers

The air was as sharp as the pain in my chest

And my cheeks were stained like my memories were

Their profiles shuffled past like a deck of cards

And their images fluttered like broken butterfly wings

 

Where were you?

 

Everything was white–

Day caught on the frames and forms

But my soul had not caught up with the dawn

My heart was still pinned to the frozen hope of you

 


 

Gerald said this reminded him of Glassy Sky from Tokyo Ghoul, LOL.

I wrote this about a month or two ago, but it was seriously underdeveloped for a time. But my unfinished poems were sort of building up and I wanted to at least have one less poem that felt unresolved (I’m the type of person who can get restless without a sense of completion). So here~

Panalangin para sa Inaasam

Kanan, kaliwa,

Nagmamartsa na, kahit noong simula pa lamang

At patuloy pa rin habang may araw na sumisikat

 

Bumabaon ang aking mga paa

Sa matabang lupa

Na nagbubunga ng halu-halong ani,

At magaspang na ang aking balat

Hanggang bukung-bukong

Ngunit umaraw, umulan,

Palaging may yapak na kasunod –

May hindi maipaliwanag sa pagsisikap,

May hindi mahagilap sa abot-tanaw

 

“Sana, sana…”

Di mabitiw ang susunod

 

Matamis ang hangin

Na dumadaplis sa napawisang pisngi

At malamig ang ulap

Kung sa’n kami ng aking anino’y

Sumisilong sa sidhi ng araw

Minsang tumingala –

Paano nalalaman ng ibon kung saan sila patungo?

 

Naririnig ba ako ng langit?

 

Tumatakbo na ako’t

Tumatalon –

Hanggang saan pa ang ilalakad

Bago malaman, sa wakas,

Nakarating na?

 

Kanan o kaliwa –

Saan ang hantungan?

Baka mali ang pintuang kinatukan,

O natabunan ang hinahanap

Baka mali ang pagbasa ng mapa’t himpapawid

O nakaligtaan ang sinasadya

 

Umuungol ang mga binti,

Nagbabantang bumigay ang mga tuhod,

Nadudurog ang talampakan,

At hinuhugot sa puso ang bawat tadyak

Habang naghahabol

Upang makaabot lamang

Ang aking mga sigaw sa lumulubog na araw

 

Makakasapit ba ang hinaing?

Maaari bang malampasan ang tadhana?

 

‘Pag naubos ang lakas

At sumabay ako sa pagbagsak ng dilim,

Magpapakita ba ang mga bituin?

 

Makikilala ba,

‘Pag siya na’y naharap –

Mata sa mata, mukha sa mukha –

Ang Kanlungang kukupkup sa’king kanan at kaliwa,

At magsasabing “Nakauwi ka na”?

 


 

For every time you have doubted your purpose, your destiny, or the worth of your work.

Bigo

Paumanhin

Para sa lahat ng bagay

Na hindi mo maintindihan

Natututo pa lang ako

Kung paano gumalaw sa

Mundong ito

Alam kong

Para sa’yo’y madali lang ‘to

Para sa’yo’y walang mahirap

Alam kong

Di mo naiintindihan kung bakit

Ako’y bingi sa mga salitang

Di mo iniimik

At bulag sa katotohanang

Hubad sa’yo

Patawad dahil

Baka sinasayang ko oras mo

O nakakasira ako ng araw

Nagtatanong ka kung

Paulit-ulit na lang ba

Pasensya na

Di ko masagot

Kulang

Ang salita ko para maipaliwanag sa’yo

Kung ilang beses ko na rin hinanap

Kung ano ba ang mali

Alam kong

Di ka maniniwala

Kung sabihin kong

Di ko ‘to sinasadya

Pero di gan’to ang hinangaring hantungan

Pangako


 

Not from any immediate personal experience, don’t worry about it LOL (rest assured, these past couple of months have been the farthest I’ve felt from the content of this poem in a while). I don’t even remember how I started writing this. But I did want to go for something with simple words and simple structure – something that still evoked a lot of emotion. Something conversational, confessional.

This goes out to all the souls who’ve felt incompetent and lost, and like they disappointed someone who was expecting more from them.

Snippet Series #17: Nightmares

I’ve been looking for this for a while, and it’s purely chance that I stumbled across a copy of it.

This is the very first poem that I wrote that made sense. Everything prior to this was required by class and/or was pretty infantile, in my opinion. Literally, lines were like “The rat scurried under the hat/So that he could run away from the cat”.

I wrote this in second year high school. Some of the verses just suddenly jumped into my mind while I was sleepily listening in class, and for several days, I couldn’t shake the words out of my head. So I wrote it all down. I probably finished writing the whole thing during break time. Ever since I wrote this, my writing has been noticeably better. It’s weird.

I didn’t know what the poem was about while I was writing it – I just know that the images were powerful and honestly kind of disturbing. It was only after I had a friend read it that it was pointed out to me that it was about poverty. It’s pretty obvious when you see it now, but when I wrote it, I just saw the voiceless suffering and the cold, detached outcasting. I still remember how unreal it felt to see those images in my head, but then… this is what’s happening in the world today.

I’ve edited it a little so that it flows just a little bit better.


 

The nightmares I had as I lay

Haunt me even into the day

Rain has stopped, clouds left the sky

But tears still flow from my eye

 

The world overflows with the sun’s beam;

I am blinded by the harsh gleam

The world sounds of sweet melodies

But all I hear are cries of misery

 

They eat from a feast and drink wine

She eats the scraps they left behind

He is naked; He has no clothes

Blessed treasure are the rags they loathe

 

 

They live in mansions of grandeur

She dwells on the streets with lepers

Their children play in flowered fields

I see the bloody knife he wields

 

The biting chill is his blanket

He’d be warmer in a casket

The world sleeps on beds of roses

She sleeps with flies, dogs and corpses

 

Starved flies come to feast on his skin

Hungry worms eat him from within

She is lost in a world of black

Lying dead and cold on her back

Snippet Series #14: Dragon’s Wrath

I think something was making me bitter when I wrote this back in high school.


 

Dragon eyes of fierce despise:

You cough up flames of painful memories

And ravage the towns and peaceful valleys.

Your wrath kills kings and massacres nations,

You guardian of hell and master of demons.

You feed on the tragedies of mankind

And wreck creation, leaving nothing behind.

Soul of hate, you feast on Earth,

Flourish on the misery of one’s birth.

Dragon – you idol of of angry hate

Seal each soul’s irrevocable fate.

How dare you burn and bite my heart?

You are the Da Vinci of this dark art.