the definition of home

He walks ahead of me
with his old rucksack
and a carton box
he asked from
a store owner
politely.

A couple, giggling in front
of him, stopped laughing
to cross the road, perhaps
afraid of his dirt-filled
skin.

I trace his steps
under the faint moonglow
not to say a shy hello,
but to murmur a silent prayer
that he is off to
a roof where his
family’s love
flows,

until he stops
in an unlit corner of
the almost empty
walkway, tear his precious
box and make his bed
until the next
day.

My heart, a foreigner
on this man’s motherland,
aching to
come back home,
now breaks for him,
living in his country,
but without a house to call
his own.

05.29.2019
©2019 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo via my dearest @landlessvillager
For dVerse dVerse Poetics: On Wandering & Observing by anmol(alias HA)
For this Tuesday’s prompt, I would like all of you to wander around for a bit — take an old familiar walk through the sights and smells of your town or city, a remembered journey from when you visited someplace new the last time, a metaphorical stroll through memorized images and pictured memories, a silent observation of one string of thought to its last remnant, et al. and pen down all that you see, feel, touch, know, experience, in its ambit or perhaps its exact opposite. You can think of wandering and observing as an entirely metaphorical construct too.

patawad, Pilipinas (forgive me, Philippines)

Patawad, Pilipinas
Hindi ako makakaboto bukas.
Ang mga paa ko’y nakaapak
sa isang malayong landas.
Kumakayod para sa pamilyang
hugutan ng lakas.

Subalit, Pilipinas,
dinig ko ang iyong hikbi.
Umiiyak din ang aking puso,
na para bang ako’y sawi
sa nakikitang mga pangalang
sa malamang ay magwawagi.

Oo, Pilipinas,
mahina ako sa Filipino.
Sa simpleng ng at nang
ako nga ay litong-lito,
subalit hinding hindi
sa mga taong dapat iboto.

Oo, Pilipinas,
nagtatanong din ako
kung bakit nga ba mas marami
ang boboto sa mga manloloko.
Marahil mas mainam ang kilala
kesa sa mga bago.

Oo, Pilipinas,
nakakatakot nga ang bukas.
Marahil may himala,
baka matalo ang likong pantas.
Baka ang nag-iisip,
sa wakas ay magsilabas.

Patawad pa rin, Pilipinas
hindi ako makakaboto bukas.
Baunin mo ang aking dasal
mula sa malayong landas.
Kainin ka man ng dilim bukas,
Pilipinas, hindi ito ang wakas.


Translation:

Forgive me, Philippines,
I cannot vote tomorrow.
My feet are stepped on
a far land where calm winds blow,
working for my family
the home where my strength grow.

But, Philippines,
I can hear you wimping.
My heart cries with you
like I am also breaking
to see those names
whom most may be voting.

Yes, Philippines,
my Filipino skills isn’t good.
In simple use of “ng” and “nang”,
I’m like lost in the woods,
but not on who to vote
for your greater good.

Yes, Philippines,
I am also wondering
why a lot will vote
for experts in plundering.
Perhaps old names are better
than a new beginning.

Yes, Philippines,
tomorrow is quite scary.
Perhaps, there’s miracle,
the fools will lose, maybe.
Perhaps those who think
will be heard finally.

Still, I am sorry, Philippines
I cannot vote tomorrow.
Please bring with you my prayers
from a far land where calm winds blow.
Even if the darkness wins tomorrow,
Philippines, this isn’t your end, no.

05.12.2019
©2019 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo by Jeremy Perret on Unsplash

Please help me pray for my country.

claws and boxes

Office ended today with some lashing
caused by sharp claws of ego
from a mouth whose mistakes
is something she cannot chew.
My burdened back carried
the weight of her spitted words,
as I drag my tired feet out
as if it was the end of the world.

After dinner, I went to buy water
and saw a man in dirty clothes,
gingerly counting his precious cents
to buy a ringgit of popsicle twirl.
Before leaving he asked
for a carton, discarded.
After getting the approval, he left,
with sweet cream ‘tween his gapped-teeth
without a single penny on his pocket,
but with jolly spring on his feet.

Perhaps the heaviness of life
is based on perspectives.

04.19.2019
©2019 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo by Peter Hershey on Unsplash

postal code stamps

Our tongues are dancing muscles
sprinkled with the magic dust of languages,

as if before birth we’re treated
on a buffet of diverse dialects and accents

where we select how our mouths will circle and arch
to utter each twisted word’s lyrical march, but

pause and place your vein-hand
in the middle of your breasts, there,

there is a polyglot organ,
tapping ceaseless da-dum, da-dum,

tasting the kindness in a stranger’s smile,
touching the tendrils of love’s blurry profile.

There is where we learn,

our tongues may be the dancing muscles
sprinkled with the magic dust of languages,

but our hearts are our postal code stamps
proving this big, big world is our residence.

04.19.2019
©2019 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo not mine

For dVerse Open Link Night #241

words’ way

Perhaps, there is, maybe,
a biological malfunction in me,

instead of a mouth singing
to the tune of bell-voiced hymns

the language of my soul speaks
not with dust-tongued shrieks

but with the dancing lettered-runes
under a smiling owl-light moon,

tiptoeing from my scarlet muscle-cave
flowing, twirling with each brainwave

until they reach the tip of my waiting fingers
where they will be freed, and on earth, they will linger,

across the ringed-sea, they will float,
until I am onboard my only heaven-bound boat.

04.17.2019
©2019 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo by MItodru Ghosh on Unsplash

Inspired by dVerse Poetics: love the words

fading murmurs (a villanelle)

Soft murmurs say the end is near,
this earth will crumble, disappear.
Will you let your story end here?

Mouths gurgling aged, frozen beer,
choosing to leave peace’s hemisphere.
Soft murmurs say the end is near,

tired earth sinks under cloud of fear,
birds choke with vows so insincere,
will you let your story end here?

Even spring delays its annual cheer,
while fragile buds still persevere.
Soft murmurs say the end is near,

more hands now filled with bloodsmear.
Helpless in this cruel atmosphere,
will you let your story end here?

No, you cannot save all humans, dear,
but you can be: change’s pioneer.
Soft murmurs say the end is near,
please don’t let your story end here.

04.12.2019
©2019 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo via Unsplash

Inspired by dVerse Toolkit: Rhymes and Slant Rhymes

f l u i d f a i t h

Feeble waves made
of infant dusk’s soft wind,

liquid mirror glows
with sunset’s pastel rind.

Fallen plumeria floats,
decaying but still blooming,

faith, be fluid like water —
rippling, shape-shifting, unending.

04.10.2019
©2019 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo by Chelsea Audibert on Unsplash

Inspired by dVerse Poetics: Water, Water Everywhere . 

v i r t u o s o

virtuoso, oh no,
i am no ace of (many) no’s,
i am not numb (yet)
against spades of (vicious) no’s,

but I’ve my shield
of self-belief,  just

enough to help me
swallow (sharp) eyes menacing,
(brute) words piercing,
(twisted) life unveiling,

on my own.

03.18.2019
©2019 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo by Cristina Gottardi on Unsplash

Inspired by dVerse Quadrille #77 – Ace of Poems.

e x c h a n g e g i f t

Words are the gifts I have always wanted for myself.
They are my bars of chocolates,
my calorie-free slices of cheesecake.

My words is the gift I can give to the world.
Carefully wrapped in thin papers of prayer —
stamped with a wish that they reach

the soul who needed them

the most

even after my own gift

of life

is done.

04.07.2019
©2019 R C. Gonzales | A Reading Writer.
All Rights Reserved.
Photo via Unsplash

For NaPoWriMo 2019Day 7.
Our prompt for the day (optional, as always) is also inspired by McKibbens, who posted these thoughtson her Twitter account a few months back:

What do you deserve? Name it. All of it. What are you ready to let go of? Name that too. Then name the most gentle gift for yourself. Name the brightest song your body’s ever held. Summon joy like you would a child; call it home. It wanders, yes. But it’s still yours.

Today, we’d like to challenge you to write a poem of gifts and joy. What would you give yourself, if you could have anything? What would you give someone else?

in seven stanzas

i

There are two
not singing Asian
koehls dancing to
the tune of April
drizzle, playing
with brown, and a
bit smaller mynahs.

ii

The plane above
looked c     r      a     w      l     i     n      g ,
ever so s l o w l y ,
gliding on a noon
sky void of fluffy
nor heavy clouds,
yet with Math it’s
actually eating hundreds
of miles for its lunch.

iii

There are two
women – one wearing
a delicate, lilac hijab,
while the other
possessed eyes like
the small cracks
of a for-sale piggy bank –
sitting with a grey-eyed
man, with mane so blond.

iv

Before I was able
to sew the story of
their chit-chat, I
can’t get rid of imagining
their races’ proud flags,

v

like bokeh halos
floating on their head tops,
flying, flying, flying proud.

vi

Perhaps in that table
without kissing nor hearts,

vii

I tasted another flavor
of love.

04.02.2019
©2019 R C. Gonzales | A Reading Writer.
All Rights Reserved.
Photo by Slava Bowman on Unsplash

For NaPoWriMo 2019Day 3.
And now for today’s prompt (optional as always). Today’s prompt is based in a poem by Larry Levis called “The Two Trees.” It is a poem that seems to meander, full of little digressions, odd bits of information, but fundamentally, it is a poem that takes time. It takes its time getting where it’s going, and the action of the poem itself takes place over months. Today, I’d like to challenge you to similarly write something that involves a story or action that unfolds over an appreciable length of time. Perhaps, as you do, you can focus on imagery, or sound, or emotional content (or all three!)