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?

©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 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.

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

come in, June


Come in.
I am sorry for the
lack of energy,
would you like
some lukewarm
tea? Well, we
are tired zombies,
avoiding (or wait-
ing) for the wind
of death, we are
suffocated not by
the unseen killer
but the cruel knee
on our throat for
centuries, (we
chose to close
our eyes on) well,
probably you know
what May did, and
all the months before,
yes, there were
some cherry blossoms
blooming, some
midnights with
crickets singing, but,
our muscle wings
are quite rusting, our
tiled feet itching, this
year is a candle
dying, fading like a
half evening
moon, so June, can you
please bring healing


©2020 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo via Unsplash
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

spring reeks with laughter of birds

April air reeks
of unperfumed killer
floating with spring,
bobbing as
daffodils sing,

there goes selfish
whims ransacking
shelves of kindness,

in a bid to survive
hunger for toilet
paper arrived,

common sense of
supposed “high-
er beings” flushed,

hummingbirds, sparrows,
laugh at us.

©2020 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo via Unsplash
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
For dVerse Quadrille #102 – Don’t Forget To…


love in the time of coronavirus

Our love in the time
of coronavirus is
thousands of miles away,

my tourist visa got
cancelled before it sees
the light of another Indian day,

his feet are planted,
prohibited to fly to Malaysia’s sky,
because it is safer that way,

in the end, perhaps, nation
gates are needed to be locked
to keep the virus at bay,

regardless of the many
hearts sleeping on empty beds,
dreaming on sadness’ sleigh,

regardless of some pair of hands
burdened but enduring,
without home-arms to rest and stay,

like our love in the time
of coronavirus, parted
thousands of miles away,

but we are both here
filled with more love,
blessed on our own way,

at the back of our
surrendered hands—
a constant prayer,

to be inside a
single roof together,
one day. One day.

Note: Title inspired by the classic novel Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
©2020 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.