Tag Archive: death


The sound of the chisel against these iron bars

Is tick-tock-tick-tock

Our meet-cute is a forty-minute cab ride away

Yet I remain imprisoned.

These metal arms that long embraced me

Have gained the warmth that my intent

Could never extract from your arms.

The sound of metal on metal

Keeps bouncing on my head

And sends me rocking forth and back

Like a baby.


This cell of anonymity is the womb that bears

My unborn love for you.

Why must it face the sun?

Why must it let out a cry?

Why must it be severed from the life-giving bosom?


My love is a parasite.

It must latch on.


Destiny contracts.

Stronger and shorter in between.

Flesh and blood are the delicate

Tendrils that root me in imagination.


Time and the tide of my emotion

Will thrust me into reality–




On my way to work today, I saw a 15-foot billboard of the Mandaluyong City Ordinance against riding-in-tandem. Riding in tandem is the Filipino equivalent of a drive-by.

The said ordinance prohibits two males from riding the same motorcycle together, unless they are father and son. It sounds absurd, but wait till you see the pictures.

I remarked on the billboard and the taxi driver weighed in… (I’m paraphrasing)

He explained how terrible the problem of riding-in-tandem is. His neighbor, who was having coffee in front of his house one morning was shot 10 times on the head and face by two armed men on a motorcycle.

The two strangers rode up to the front of the house asked the neighbor what his name was and bang– (times ten)

Wait, there’s more…

The motive? The men were hired by a trader from whom the victim owed 8 sacks of charcoal. (that’s Php1,200/$30+) It’s so fascinating how some people can so arbitrarily assign a value on someone’s life. And because they do, seemingly absurd solutions turn into City Ordinances.

On This Day


On this day,
I move my sight
To the paths of sunlight
That dance upon your skin.

They light the narrow way
Towards the place that you promised,
That universe where you are
Waiting for me.

On this day,
I set aside the times I missed
To carry you
Through the dark valley that you tread.

I reminisce our splashing
On the shores of love,
In the pursuit of that idea we hoped to find in each other.

On this day,
I capture the warmth of the morning
Which are, no doubt, your arms
Keeping my corroding heart together.

It brings hope alive
In my heart, your souvenir,
An offering of your love
That knows neither death nor time.

On this day,
I unravel the garland
Of teardrops that flowed
With your demise.

Its absence is replaced
By a peaceful smile
That I crown upon your head
Like a halo to a saint.

When you left me once,
My soul was empty.
As you leave at last,
True love has found me.


This piece is translated from an original in Filipino

Ngayong Araw

Ngayong araw,
Binabaling ko ang aking paningin
sa mga pilapil ng sinag-araw
Na sumasayaw sa iyong katawan.

Sinisindihan nila ang makipot na daan
Patungo sa lugar na pinangako mo,
Sa lugar kung saan ka naroroon,
Hinihintay ako.

Ngayong araw,
Isinasantabi ko ang naudlot na pagkakataong,
Akayin ka,
Sa madilim na lambak na iyong tinahak.

Sa halip,
Sasariwain ko ang ating pagtatampisaw
Sa tabing-dagat ng pagmamahalan,
Sa kapwa paghabol sa hinagap na inasahang mahanap sa isa’t isa.

Ngayong araw,
Sinasambot ko ang init ng umaga
Na walang dudang mga bisig mong
Yumayapos sa nauupos kong puso.

Pinauusbong nito ang pag-asa
Sa aking puso, alaala mo,
Biyayang pinagkaloob ng pag-ibig mong
Walang pagpanaw o panahon.

Ngayong araw,
Tinatastas ko ang kuwintas ng
Mga butil ng luhang umagos
Sabay ng iyong pagkawala.

Hinahalinhinan ko ito ng
Isang payapang ngiti
Na ipinuputong ko sa iyong ulo
Gaya ng isang santo.

Noong una mo akong iniwan,
Nakaramdam ako ng kawalan.
Sa iyong muling paglisan,
Tunay na pag-ibig ang natagpuan.


Natupad lahat ng gusto mo.

Maraming salamat Jo.

Mahal kita palagi


ni Joren Reysoma

Gusto kong maging
Lapis sa pagitan ng yong mga daliri
Kapag sumusulat ka ng tula
Na puno ng dalamhati

Gusto kong maging
Tasa ng kapeng dumadampi
sa yong mga labi
O alak na gumuguhit
Sa yong lalamunan

Gusto kong maging
Paborito mong awitin
Kulay, laro, salita
at gawin

Gusto kong maging
Liwanag sa yong mga mata
kapag ikay tumatawa
At maging dahilan ng pagtibok ng yong puso

Nais kong maging
Lupa na iyong lalakaran
Hangin na iyong lalanghapin
Salitang iyong bibigkasin

Nais kong maging
Araw sa yong himpapawid
Buwan at bituin
Upang masundan ko ang yong bawat galaw

At kung ikay mahihiga
Gusto kong maging
malambot na kumot
Na ibabalot mo sa iyong katawan
Maging unan na iyong hahalikan

Ang huling bagay
na papasok sa yong isipan
Ang huling salita na
iyong bibitawan

Gusto kong maging
Tagahabi ng yong panaginip
Maging musa mo, maging kanta mo
Maging pangarap mo
Maging alaala mo

Gusto kong mabuhay
Sa loob ng yong isipan
At syang pupuno sa yong puso
Ng init at pagmamahal.

For Ian


A coldness slumbers in my stomach.
Malaise journeys through my limbs,
Led by your inverted torch.

(To think I’ve never considered suicide-
Pride, maybe vanity.)

The world is a hollow place
That it begs adventure.
A lifelong game of hide and seek
With you, the dark cupid:
The never-ending sleep.

You are the cherub
Oft-spoken but never seen.

The tender,
Perverted youth
Of Night,
Come to me now,
Sword in sheath, black heart
And butterfly kisses.
Promising what I know to be nothing
But feel as everything-
Everything I always wanted.

This affliction,
My addiction,
This steep climb
To certainty.

That of my life, With you,
Condensing into these
Precise moments
Slipping through time.
Moments I’ve long conjured
In my mind.
And taken wing,
Fetching me with
swiftness and sweetness
Of concluding.

Loving you-
A lock of my hair
Falls upon
Your waiting palm-
Will be the end of me,

So let’s begin.




Summon gravity to the interstices
Of my unraveling.
Mass does produce only as minute
A cohesive force as the silky strands
Of my sanity.
My words
Like my feelings
Intermingle and confuse and pollute
Fray at the ends.

Paint myself on paper
To bind my mind
As a rope
It goes around my neck
A guillotine

Losing air.

As air is emptiness
Emptiness escapes me
Neither filled

A vacuum.



Yellow Flower


The day hangs
Over my head
Hangs over my body
Dangles from a rope
Upon the tree
You planted and tended
Intended for me
They flash before my eyes,
Before, when you and I
Sat under the shade
Of forgotten yellow flowers
Slowly wilting away
Home towards the ground
Is covered by a yellow winter
That withers to spring
Forth the succullent fruits
You picked the sweetest, how sweet
Of you to give to me
Underneath the tree
Where I dangle
A forgotten yellow flower.

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The notes creep like vines
Of smoke out of my mouth.
They prepare to swell and
Thin out until they explode
Into a haze of song.
The deafening end to a lifetime
Of muteness.

The song is sweet
And the words are chosen
For rhyme and beauty.
A song that conceals
An agony that blinds
Like the sunlight
That coats my feathers.

It brings to every listening eye

A solitary tear.

A glistening pendant
That hangs upon the chain

Of inevitability.

The melody rises
And springs as the summer
Falls into the welcome winter.

And the rapture of its refrain
Makes my heart dissolve
Into my soul
Until my being pulsates
Into a steadily slowing beat.

And with the falling
Of the blood-colored leaf
The epilogue begins to fade.
And the lines that repeat
At the chord in the end

Disappear from the air

To ricochet in your head.

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On Reincarnation

Like the waves of the sea,
Flowing and ebbing,
Life is

That the past is seen
When seeking the future

That rebirth is not so much
A going then coming
But vibrating

A wave travels in circles
Convoluting with each roll

Yesterdays are merely
Tomorrows altered
By todays

You die today
Are born tomorrow
Come and go the next day

You are you
Convoluting with each roll