Is it to the right,
or is it to the near left?
Should I cross the bridge
or should I retreat before
the inevitable fall?
that has survived years
of hunger and hate,
a mutating gene
that has conquered
thousands of decaying dates,
the sturdy roots
of forefathers who had lived
for your beginning,
the dauntless bones
and bricks of humans
who valued breathing.
Survivor is long imprinted
in your veins.
You are born to break
#IndianInsights No. 1: Bring an open mind. Leave beliefs behind.
Whenever I mention my India trip, people will warn me about two things aside from rape: dirt and stink. The basis? Shared personal anecdotes and travel videos.
Dirt is fine. Manila isn’t as clean as Singapore. But stink is a different story. So I flew ready with Vicks inhaler and a little bottle of oil from my former bossy. Better be ready than sorry. 😁
The moment I got in the plane from Kuala Lumpur to Kolkata, I braced myself and started sniffing (which I’m so good at). They said the flight will be a nice introduction to India’s smell. Thankfully, there is none. Yet.
When my plane landed, when I came out of the airport, when I got in a taxi, when I entered the train which will take me from Kolkata to NJP, my sniffing was in full mode. My hand, ready to grab the oil anytime. To my surprise, a single drop wasn’t necessary.
Yes, Kolkata is not so clean, but it isn’t stinky as it is believed to be.
There is nothing wrong in coming ready. In believing stories. In researching about a new place. But I’ve learned an open mind is more than essential. You’ll never know how a country, a place, a human heart can surprise you.
Like how I thought I can only see a cherry blossom tree in Japan and in South Korea. Then I stumbled upon this lone Himalayan cherry blossom. (Some research says cherry blossoms are originally from the Himalayas. 😊)
What a beautiful surprise, isn’t it? 😊
The fading light, this old day done,
the endless sea swallows yet another sun.
As moon rises high over waters calm –
calling out stars hiding in the velvet night’s arms –
morning’s close by with a brand new dawn.
(Thank you for the second collab, Thomas! ;))
Oh, what a rollercoaster you have been, 2017?
The leaves of this year’s calendar is all but gone. With Sara Bareilles “December” playing on my background, with the lyrics:
Distill a whole year down into a day
Act like we all start over with a pristine slate
But to get yourself a new life you’ve got to give the other one away
And I’m starting to believe in the power of a name
‘Cause it can’t be a mistake if I just call it change
let me try to write about this crazy year and what I hope for the next.
The text cursor keeps on blinking, my mind keeps on trying to find the beginning of this post. Where should I start?
So… January 2017 I turned 25 (which I kind of talked about in this poem). It is like 1/3-life-crisis as I remember asking myself, “What have you done? What have you finished? What have you created that you should be proud of?”
It’s a crazy state of asking questions no one can actually answer. So in the end of it all, I let it be. (I’ve been so good at letting things be this year. Not sure if that is good or bad though.)
After the milestone birthday, blog world has been silent while I pour all my energy on Instagram. The camaraderie of the poets there reminded me of how it was here on WordPress, when I was just getting acquainted with my poet-self. I remember being around the awesome group of poets who grew and learned with me. Until one by one they left.
Come May, I released my first poetry collection, Between My Bleeding Lines.
It was exciting to see your words printed and published with a lovely cover by my dear Sarah Doughty. I have honestly no high hopes for this one, and true to “what you think will happen, happens”, it did not soar. Does it matter?
It will be a hypocrite answer to say, “No, book sales doesn’t matter.” Because it does. Who wouldn’t want to hit it big in the first try? Who wouldn’t want to be like Lang Leav and Rupi Kaur? Of course, I do. But I’ve got no expectations and maybe has so little faith. And it showed. It doesn’t make the journey of birthing a book a little less exciting and fulfilling, though. 🙂
Publishing is an uncharted sea I was able to try this year. While the reward isn’t as fruitful, the lessons I learned and the people that made the baby book possible are enough rewards for now. 🙂
In between the hullaballoo of the release and the consistent posting on Instagram, are work tasks which eventually lead me to another “first” of the year which happened last October! My first airplane ride, my first beach experience, and my first out-of-the-country
travel trip! (Thailand! :D)
And 2017 won’t let itself end without a bang as after I went to Thailand for a client’s event, a new job was waiting for me. I was accepted. Considering the family and not myself, I have to accept. Here we go. I have to dive into another uncharted sea.
In between these milestones, I have loved and I have lost. I have given a second chance, and right now, I think that battle is another war that I’ve lost. I want to believe that I’m a brave and not a coward soldier, who knows when to give up. ‘Cause I’m laying down my sword and my armour, it’s time to let people go.
Apologies for such a melancholic post, but believe me, I have a tired heart filled with hope. Like a badly wounded soldier, I’m dusting off my knees and cleaning my wounds.
I am ready for 2018 and the amazing ride it will bring. I am ready to swim the strange sea. I am ready to love and be loved again. I am ready to write and try and try again. I am not at my best position right now, but it doesn’t mean it won’t get better.
It is far better to start the year on bended knee, for that’s the best time to call to the mighty He. I know He will be with me.
HAPPY NEW YEAR, everybody!
seasons inevitably change.
a tree transforms from
a yellow green bud-baby to
a daring, scarlet lady to
a bare and naked oldie.
humans will inevitably fade.
a mortal body from its
grows bones after bones,
endures scars after scars,
wrinkles skin after skin,
expires cell after cell.
fleeting cloud of dusts and
fading bag of breaths,
oh, humans and seasons,
inside the complex cosmos
forever beyond anyone’s
i am still here,
juggling balls named
work, poetry, and life.
i am still here,
trying hard to tally
the shifting of day and nights.
i am still here,
working ceaselessly to support
those who matter.
i am still here,
resuscitating the heart
of a hopeless dreamer.
i am still here,
lurking in between the blank pages
filled with waiting words.
i am still here,
discovering and hunting
this fleeting life’s worth.
i am still here
to write, to breathe.
i hope, you are
traversing the same route five times a week presents me a repeating view again and again and yes, again. the sight of houses, from well-made to thatched huts, occasionally interrupted by massive spaces filled with wild grasses or field of rice stalks, and once with a huge mall. the neighborhood will then be replaced with the passing silhouettes of trees lined prim and proper along the edge of the paved, wide highways. then the homes and factories and taller buildings will wave hello as if to signal the end of the highway and the beginning of the honk-filed and jam-packed city road.
with every single day passing, only the heat of the sun and the cold raindrop dripping are the signals of the Philippines’ two seasons’ ending — wet and dry. (and most of the time, like now, they seem to be fond of overlapping. like summer for the day and thunder and lightning for the evening.) as much as i wish to witness the season’s undressing from winter, spring, summer, and fall, i am only blessed by the summer sun and the sometimes gentle sometimes harsh monsoon showers.
yet still blessed, yes, for i am among the billions of soul experiencing the warmth of morning sun and the darkness of the velvet evening. to live and to be living, itself is a blessing.
the summer sun and
the monsoon rain take their turns.
my grateful heart sings.
tattered by sand and mud,
kissed by shrapnels and bombs,
we are always ready
to fight, to shot, to combat.
shined until twinkling as stars,
worn to exude power and class,
we are as high as timeless sky,
ready to slay a gal or guy.
made as comfy as a cloud,
displayed as chic, never proud,
we sneak and squeak in right amount,
as we dance, run, twist, and squat.
i am but bare, no thread, no leather,
just muscles and skin,
such fragile matters,
yet i am but your steps’ master
moving forward or back.
soldiers, executives, hippies,
humans, oh, i know their tracks.
whatever cover they clothed me,
expensive, bare, or just an old sack,
as long as they are chasing
their life’s purpose and meaning,
instead of becoming zombies sleepwalking,
that will be more than, oh, more than enough.
sometimes i am a
wave ebbing and
flowing to the
shore, back and
forth, back and
but today i am
the sea to the
sky, yes, i have
turned myself into
a possessive sun.
now my rays that
i won’t let you kiss and
have anymore for
i am tired, tired, tired,
of going back
and forth, back
and forth, without
receiving what i
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