shhh: a pleiades*

sing to me Polaris’ song
steady, constant of the north.
show my midnight lullaby
softly rocking, back and forth.
see the map on my pillow
salted as sunbathing seas.
shoo my fears, shoo them for me.

11.25.2020
©2020 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo via Unsplash
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
For dVerse Poetics: Stars that count
*“Pleiades” is a star cluster in Taurus constellation and is also called as “Seven Sisters”. (Greek Mythology)
Going by its properties the form “Pleiades” was invented in 1999 by Craig Tigerman. It consists of seven lines, each line starting with the same letter as the title. The title is a single word.
Later on Hortensia Anderson restricted the length of each line to six syllables. Hence, this form can be defined as a seven line poem with each line beginning with the same letter as the title and having six syllables in each line. The title must be of one word only.
The North Star or Pole Star – aka Polaris – is famous for holding nearly still in our sky while the entire northern sky moves around it. That’s because it’s located nearly at the north celestial pole, the point around which the entire northern sky turns. Polaris marks the way due north.

10 things i am thankful for

After some weeks of absence, I finally have the time to do another Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Artsy Reader. Coincidentally, the theme for today is

November 24: Thanksgiving/I’m Thankful for… Freebie.

For the past few months, I have written about my forced aloneness (thank you, COVID) in a foreign land. You can read some poems here, here, here, and here.

We may be divided in a couple of topics but there is a sense of unity about the chaos that is 2020. It is, however, I believe not a year lost. For me, it gave me some time to pause. To reflect and find (consciously) things that I should be grateful for despite and in spite of the longing.

So here are tiny but essential things that kept me breathing:

1. I am grateful for the publication of my third poetry collection: In Three Lines (short poems) and to those who have gotten their copies.

It is a collection of more than 100 three-line poems about life, love, and everything in between. From classic haikus, little senryus, and free verses, this book of poetry is a respite amidst the chaos of the human heart.

2. I am grateful that I have Scribd. Scribd is an e-book and audiobook subscription which allowed me to read as much as I want. 🙂

3. I am grateful for the reviews I received for my second poetry collection Poems for S: perhaps volume 1.

Poems for S (perhaps volume 1)

Review #1:

If you love writing poems like me, then grab this book for inspiration and get you to write even more.

Reading Poems for S was like being a third wheel (in a good way) on the author’s journey of love. I was tagged along smooth roads, hard curves, and even bumpy roads where you’ll realize that love is indeed sweet, kind, patient, and sometimes scary and hurtful. I like how these feelings were written, and how she immortalized the person she wrote these poems for and the love they both have for each other.

I also appreciated how the author showcased different poetic forms and even defined and explained them at the end. A goody to all readers who want to write poems.

For me, this book deserved five stars for a writer who was honest and brave to share her love story. 

4. I am grateful for Sara Bareilles’ songs. She has released an album this year and again, her lyrics and voice felt like a warm hug.

5. I am grateful that this year has proven productive for my reading-self. My Goodreads challenge is quite an evidence:

6. I am grateful that I am blessed to still have a job which I really care for and truly enjoy.

7. I am grateful for Facetime, Skype, Messenger and the existence of the internet. These platforms, albeit the “data harvesting” proved to be essential for my 2020 survival.

8. I am grateful for the moments when I was able to fry a perfect fish fry (among the dishes I can now cook).

9. I am grateful that even when I lost a dear loved-one this year and a few friends had COVID, in the end, our family and friends are safe despite the distance.

10. I am grateful for the husband God has given me. He picked me up whenever I stumble. He provided hope when mine is drying. He is quick to count the blessings when my eyes are blurry with tears. He is my anchor. He is my steady fortress. He is my heart’s home, albeit far.

Bonus: I am most grateful for the faith instilled in me since I was a child. Because of this faith, I have hope. And indeed, hope is a thing with feather. It can keep you afloat despite the weight you carry.

What are you thankful for?

11.24.2020
©2020 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photos are all mine
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

the invisible cycle: a tanka*

once smooth as petals
will shrink into a crumpled
autumn leaf, waiting
for annual earth’s melting to
fertilise spring’s kids.

11.20.2020
©2020 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo via Unsplash
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
For dVerse MTB: Jisei (Japanese Death Poems)
The *tanka is a thirty-one-syllable poem, traditionally written in a single unbroken line. A form of waka, Japanese song or verse, tanka translates as “short song,” and is better known in its five-line, 5/7/5/7/7 syllable count form.

see me see you

earth’s coating on late autumn (a
yard of naked trees open for the
early frost) not death but a promise
stamped on your irises’ bows.

11.18.2020
©2020 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo via Unsplash
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
For dVerse Poetics: Look into my Eyes
Did you see the hidden word? 🙂

take a seat and see

rolled sunset crawls
to kiss whale’s home,
persimmon spilled.

wilted leaves arch
towards foliage tomb,
autumn fulfilled.

cold keys hang
void of fingers, warm,

bite the seed of hope
will it burst some
bitter crumb?

consider the possibility
of wings once
our breaths

succumb

11.17.2020
©2020 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo via Unsplash
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
For dVerse Quadrille #116: Poem Those Possibles

dead bed

There are babies
inside the basins,
drifting nine feet
above the ground.

Roads, houses
s w a l l o w e d
by the rivers’
s w o l l e n mouths.

A man inside
a mosquito net,
I know, he got no
magic wand.
His tongue
has power, though,
if only he cared

enough

for the baby
inside a basin-bed
for people floating,

floating.

Dead.

11.14.2020
©2020 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo via Unsplash

My home country, the Philippines, is facing COVID-19 like yours. Aside from this and its impact, my fellow Filipinos have been battered by back-to-back typhoons.

Provinces, cities, houses, lives swallowed by flood, some even as high as 13 feet. Until now, there are people and animals on the roofs, waiting for rescue. If you are able to, any help in whatever form will highly be appreciated. Thank you. 🙏🏼

Please visit this link to know more: https://helptheph.carrd.co/

the year is almost over, and i am still alone

november opened with a door of hope, closing abruptly. now i am again in limbo, unsure of what will happen, what will be. i write this today for my future-self, a written reminder of the patience, faith, and resilience you have learned and gathered for the past few months.

allow me to forget proper capitalisations and grammatical rules. there is no room for proofreading in this writing where i just want to pour my heart out. a ramble, some of you may say, an effort to spill the mess i feel, i may say.

since february, i have been alone, on my own, in a foreign country where tongues speak languages, to me, remain unknown. i last held my husband’s hands almost nine months ago. i last kissed the cheeks of my baby sister more than nine months ago. i have been sleeping on a queen-sized bed, half-filled, for over 200 days now.

to say that it was painful would be an understatement. there are moments when i look out, see cars moving as usual, a scene i may have memorised already. i know that the road outside is busiest around 6pm to 8pm. emptiest around 3am. i wonder where they are heading. home? office? to escape? or to come back to their comforting nests?

i may be alone in my cream-colored room, but i know this chasm is not something unique to me. i am fully aware that there are hundred thousands of families with now empty dining chairs, never will be filled. there are husbands and wives apart, managing their kids on their own. there are parents aching to hold their children again. there are some who are turning and tossing every night, wondering when they can get a job. wondering if there are some tucked penny on their holed pockets for tomorrow’s breakfast.

this year is heavy with grief, those i own and those everyone carry, and sometimes i do not know how to not mourn anymore.

positivity can be toxic when it has no empathy. but allow me to share with you how i find some light in this tunnel, no matter how faint.

this year, i learned that i can cook. i can fix some household issues, like a clogged drain, ant infestation, and more. i can build and screw a bookshelf. i can workout regularly, and i am strong enough to do burpees. i can get off of the bed and grasp the floating hope even if my pillows are wet with last night’s break down. i can allow myself to crumble, i can bend my knees and surrender, i can find comfort in reading Psalms. i can be alone and be with God, and feel enough.

while there is so much uncertainty, i hold and stand still with my request to God for the ending of this aloneness before this year ends. i do not know how and if covid cases are the evidences, i would say the odds are not in my favor. but like my life verse says, “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God…”

i will be still. i will surrender my fears. to Him who knows my name even before i was born.

with certainty, i know, years after, i will look back and would thank my present-self for choosing faith in the middle of this storm. for clinging to that one truth He has proven time and time again, that with Him, i am never alone.

11.09.2020
©2020 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo via Unsplash

wishes in the wind

i wish i’ve puppy-paws
to dig through the muck
of this year.

i wish i’ve puppy-eyes
to bend my
Master’s will.

i wish i’ve a puppy-nose
to smell happiness
from a mile.

i wish i need not
to wish for a real,
real smile.

11.03.2020
©2020 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo via Unsplash
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
For dVerse In need of a happiness project?

hell’s window

there is a painting
outside my window,

hell magneting
the day sun’s glow.

stain of last night
rests on my pillow—

my unraveling
with moonlight’s bow.

feels a few feet from
my reach, the sky,

if only dusk can
give me wings to fly.

10.20.2020
©2020 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo via Unsplash
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
For dVerse Quadrille #114 – Poetical Magnetism
Finally, a quadrille after a looong time. ❤

books i read because of recommendations

Do you have fellow book lovers whom you call when you need book recommendations? I asked because The Artsy Reader’s Top Ten Tuesday this week is Books I Read Because Someone Recommended Them to Me .

My answer to the question above is yes, I do have a handful! And here are the books they recommended!

Great Expectations

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens – recommended by the husband as he said this is one of the rare classics he actually liked.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid – recommended by bonu, my sister in law who is a fellow book lover!

Bread, Cement, Cactus: A Memoir of Belonging and Dislocation by Annie Zaidi

The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yōko OgawaStephen Snyder (Translator)

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

These books were part of a “Nameless Reading Group” I was a part of since April, founded by the brilliant writer that is Anmol. It was my first time joining a reading group and I definitely discovered new genres and writers because of them.

My Talisman: The Poetry and Life of Alexander Pushkin

My Talisman: The Poetry and Life of Alexander Pushkin by Julian Henry Lowenfeld – suggested by my Rodnoy, my brother in pen, who I have lost early this year. He introduced me to Pushkin, Baudelaire, Leonard Cohen, and more.

The Best of Ruskin Bond by Ruskin Bond

Sesher Kobita, The Last Poem by Rabindranath Tagore

Die Trying (Jack Reacher, #2) by Lee Child

Calling Sehmat by Harinder Sikka

Capping this list with four more recommendations from the husband. 🙂 Because of him, I have discovered the wisdom and eloquence of Ruskin Bond and Rabindranath Tagore.

Have you read any of these books? What are the books you read because of recommendations? Did you enjoy them? Share your thoughts and your TTT below!

10.20.2020
©2020 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photos via The Artsy Reader and Goodreads
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.