voice can be from the rolling of your fearless tongue or from the scribbling of your shaky fingers. neither is greater, as long as they are yours. yours. yours. from the ripples of your chest, their waves can stir one heart to move from the dark west to a brighter south. because your words are power. you are.
voice rolls like a red- carpet tongue, plants hope like a green- thumbed gardener. neither is greater, as long as they are yours. yours. yours. chest ripples. stirring boats of breath away from the midnight west towards the dawning south. your words are power. you are.
Silence has always tasted sweet since I was a young boy. I find bliss in building a world of my own, alone. Now, with only the whirring of her ventilator, my tongue is filled with bitter gourd juice, swimming through the boulder inside my throat.
Her hands, I’ve held since she was 24, feel cold against my wrinkled touch. Her lungs ceased breathing. Her kidneys rested. Her once soft lips, mummed with tubes.
When it is over, said and done, it was a time, and there was never enough of it.
I would give everything just to hear her laugh again.
Briefly: In stream-of-consciousness writing, the poet or novelist turns to the flow of ideas, observations and emotions that invade our consciousness, many times hovering just below the surface. Novelist Virginia Woolf described this process as “an incessant shower of innumerable atoms.”
Three photos have immortalised the birthday my mind cannot remember but will always be dear to me. The first photo was of me and my Tatay (father) who looks like a young TV actor with his Colgate-commercial-smile and polished moustache. My chubby, teenie tiny fingers were clinging tightly to his shirt, perhaps its instinct to know that someone who will keep me safe will be him. My eyes wide with fear, perhaps I’ve always hated the camera ever since.
The second photo was with my Nanay (mother) whose free-of-wrinkle face clearly wore her youth. She was wearing a loose shirt, her eyes mirroring my uncertainty, a feeling understandable for a woman who birthed a baby at her twenty.
The last one was me and the gifts I’ve received, I stood with the help of a walker as my knees are too weak to support my weight. I cannot remember the toys, the balloons, the cake, the guests, the clothes of that day. But with these photos I know one constant thing, I was loved and I am loved since the beginning.
Mem’ry of the first
birthday fades like rays of May—
only love remains.
Felt like my poem yesterday can be apt for this prompt, too! So here’s a roomful of tanka for you!
*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.
Marriage. Marriage is a pair of destined hands
clap not, cannot, without the other one—
no song needed to taste one’s tears;
no spice to smell one’s burning sun.
Marriage. Marriage is all the sonnets
William Shakespeare (welcomed and
farewelled in Church of the Holy Trinity,
just for your information for marriage
will not make sense, sometimes)
has written, and the tragedies the
Intellectuals have dissected and adored
‘fore the beginning of Gutenberg’s time.
Well. Love. Love can make one mad
and blind and write, usually all at the
same time, until it births its favorite son—
marriage where poems are etched
at the back of their hands, memorised
by heart like the Table of Elements
during your dreaded Chemistry class.
Marriage. Marriage is a pair of destined hands clap not, cannot, without the other one; can be clenched fists for a while
tangled fingers most of the time,
until one’s breath is done,
until one’s breath is done.
Today I would like you to try using different types of assonance and consonance in any poem of your choice. Try to listen to how it sounds, and see how you can enhance the connection between the letter you use and the meaning of the poem. Maybe you can add the beat of the poem with accentuated alliteration.