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

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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.

Snippet Series #12: [Untitled]

Move in the realm of endless reality

To drown in a dream I never knew began.

Sink into the silk of time and space

And ride the wave of a stand still.

Nonsense overwhelms and engulfs

The threadbare lucidity of blindfolded existence –

A song is produced, a symphony that transcends

The logic of mind and physical body.

All that I’ve ever known cascades into bright oblivion,

And an enlightenment kisses my soul.

I lose form and melt into the breath of the universe,

Becoming one with a truth I could not before bare.


Wrote this way back in third year high school. Aya told me to post it before, but I only really thought of doing it now. I was basically trying to mimic what dreams felt like for me, in a way.

The Parable of the Covenant

Happy Resurrection Sunday!

I still think this needs a LOT of editing, but I’ll probably make a 2.0 in the future. (I might make a 2.0 series, actually. There’s so much I still want to edit HAHA).


 

I

 

You set the world into motion

And rocked my heart from its stillness

You were the murmur

That called me from the lull of the dust

 

You promised me a future like the stars

And it put lights in my eyes

I left my mother and father to join You

And begin our Story together

 

I was the least of my brothers

But in my weakness, You are strong

You delivered bounty in time of meagerness

Until man’s heart worked me for gluttony

 

Then You put a sea between me and those who owned me

And gave me freedom in claiming me as Yours

You wrote Your love for me

To abide in in a home of milk and honey

 

I celebrated and studied Your enchanting world

I rejoiced in the richness of the earth

And the possibilities of wealth and new things

But in relishing it, You faded into the background

 

I replaced You with Your gifts

Forgetting past and future, my side of our vow

I struck out, wanting what was already ours

So my vanities consumed me but did not satisfy

 

I threw my voice into the cacophony around me

And grew deaf to You

You offered Your hand and Your mercies

But I’d slid out of reach and numbed to tenderness

 

All the while staying Your disappointment,

You sent messengers, until You had to send soldiers

I was snatched away,

And my pride was broken, apart from You

 

In my suffering, I glimpsed who You are

And realized who I was in You

And I dreamt of You, of home

And persevered with what I had left of You

 

You championed my release from my own trap,

And we rebuilt our house

I knew now that I wanted none other than You

And I would make sure our children knew the same

 

II

 

I meted out Your words

And measured my neighbor by them

I sterilized my habits and refused to reconsider

I nitpicked the complexities of Your desires

 

I became haughty and self-assured of Your favor

I obsessed over the power of being Yours

I colored the light of Your heart with my black desires

And the old me snuck under the sheepskin of restoration

 

I misunderstood You

So You became like me so that I could know You

Your servants recognized you and rejoiced

But Your lover never noticed

 

Yet You told stories anyway

And touched my sores and opened my eyes

Your presence filled the loneliness

In the gaps between me and You

 

You were unafraid of upturning tables

So that disparities could be levelled

You did not hesitate to disturb my tranquility

To give me true peace

 

You clothe the lily and feed the birds,

Quench my thirst in this desert,

And sustain me through Your word,

Just like five thousand others

 

But I kept seeing You for something else –

I insisted on what I thought I knew about You

The self You were showing me

Was unlike anything I’d known before

 

Your words were mysteries – but Your voice, truth;

Though I hardly realized it

Through patience, despite hurt and anger

You pulled me from paralysis to stand beside You

 

But I left You

I ran away when they came for You

I denied You

As many times as You would ask if I loved You

 

I laughed while they hoisted You up in suffering

I went back to business when You let go

And my hopeful fervor went with You

“Appears there’s nothing more there.”

 

And then you proved me wrong.

You did the impossible –

You came back to me

Despite all that was done to You

 

Your truth struck down to my rawness,

Your love clarified my murky sight,

Your will surpassed my expectation,

And Your embrace liberated me

 

Now You break the dawn and

Cast me blazing into the shadows,

Running over them in bounding leaps,

And shaking off their hold on me

 

My voice will carry melodies for You,

And my heart will carry crosses.

My shoulders will carry leaders,

And my arms will carry the broken.

 

My mind will sanctify in truth,

And my feet will crush injustices.

My hands will plant seeds,

And my legs will cross earths.

 

Every part of me is Yours –

And even if the Spirit of You holds me,

Past the faltering and stumbling,

The whole of me aches for the final day

 

The day Your vow will be completed –

And I will be completed in my purpose,

Completed in love unbound by flesh and blood,

Completed in You.

Snippet Series #11:Tinikling

Tinikling is a Filipino dance that involves criss-crossing rhythmically over and between shifting, opening and closing bamboo shoots. I hope that gives the image justice.


 

Pakiramdam ko’y nagtitinikling ako

Isang yapak palapit sa’yo,

Isang pagbawing galit sa’yo

Pabalik-balik, paulit-ulit.

 

Mabuti pa ang sayaw

Na ang manunuod ay nagsisipagpalakpakan,

Na ang pagbukas ay laro,

At pagsarado’y katuwaan,

at masaya’t kaibig-ibig,

Kaysa lumuksong mag-isa

Papasok sa inaasam

Para lang sikmatan palabas

Sa pagkasiphayo’t pananabik

 

Ngunit ako pa rin ang mananayaw;

Hindi ako yoyo na hinahatak at tinatapon.

Nakakalulong ang iyong tikas,

Ngunit maaaring hindi magpadala.

Nakakapagindak ang tinig mo,

Ngunit maaaring magtindig.

Nakakaalok ang kasimplehan ng iyong pagtingin,

Ngunit maaaring magtiis.

Sinong nagsabing ang pagtigil ng musika

Ang siyang wakas ng sayaw?

Ang sayaw ay nagwawakas

Di sa paghinto kundi sa pagganap.

 

Dad

Wrote this for my father’s birthday last November 14. Accompanying this was a book entitled Predictably Irrational, which is a decision-making book (something my dad is very in to, especially given his line of work. Something I’m in to as well, since I’m a psychology major). I decided to use it as a springboard to play on rationality and emotionality and their interaction with perception and image, in the dynamic of a parent-child relationship. I chose this because my dad has always been my image of perfect rationality and knowledge, but he also has a sensitive side, and I think those two elements are married into his love of language, literature and writing. If you ask my friends, then you know I take after him… for the most part. I don’t think that the interplay was so well-hewn in this poem – actually, I find the poem wanting – and a lot of it is standard parent-child gratitude (but to my Father’s credit, aside from being quite a character, he’s been a wonderful caretaker and model of values), but I still think it’s worthy of publishing here.


 

Dad,

It’s not easy to describe parents

A parent is both exceedingly familiar

And a mystery –

You spend your whole life knowing them

Yet you know that they lived another life before you.

You tell us stories of your past;

I remember bits and places

And you’ve introduced us to a few faces,

But how much does a child know, really?

And how much can a child,

Even full-grown,

Understand?

But I know that you are good,

And that all you do is an outpouring of love for me.

You are busy,

But you still seek to know me.

You are interested in my music

And my books

And my schooling

And in my takes on any random topic under the sun.

Most of all,

You listen to me,

When I babble,

And when I reason,

And when I joke around,

And when I am trying to make sense of my emotions.

You’ve always been all about knowing,

And because of that, I’m the same.

But I love that you are still willing to know me,

Even when I am not rational.

Even when all that I am is messy,

And quirky,

And dramatic,

And me.

You are my father

Proprietor of my abode,

Provider of each need and luxury;

Both protector of my innocence

And pusher for my knowledge and expansion

You are my teacher –

Of lexicon

Of structure

Of meaning

And I love you

And my work is done to make you proud.

I may not know you fully:

I can’t claim to understand your thoughts,

Nor do I know anything about your work,

Nor can I narrate your life story with confidence.

But I know what I need to know.

You are wise,

You are kind,

You are open,

You are honorable,

And you are mi Papa, Father dearest,

Dad.