31. Words

Words built-up in reservoir,
words wanting to explode
and topple mountains,
the dynamite satchels
made to shatter lives
and batter minds.

Words contemptuous
when assigned
the quiet dignity of death,
those heroes unavenged
in their final righteous breaths.

Words so willing to expose
our politeness farce —

But then what?

So ends my first month’s journey of this year-long project. I seem to have developed a certain voice over the past 2 years of writing, a voice I am quite happy with as my “trademark.” With regards to this piece: the urge for wanting to speak the meanest words is strong, especially if it is felt deserving. Letting it go feels like an opportunity wasted. The conflict internal is real.


30. Routines

You never see it coming, no —

That waking up and out the door,
giving your pouting dog assurances
that sooner you’ll return than
all those past instances
where barging at the door,
incoherent, the hours spent
drowning sorrow in self-vengeances.

That waking up again,
searching for the smile marker
before heading out the door,
your dog lethargic to the scene
so often unrehearsed now,
the frantic creases on the brow
deepening ever more.

Another day older already,
yet you never see it coming, no.

Pieces like this makes me actively question why it seems so easy and natural to write downers but not uppers. Yet I spend most of my day in upper moods. Is it something inherent in the process of reflection that discourages upperness?

29. 5’3″

Numbers of a fate foretold,
however inexact —
Numbers largely uncontrolled
compelling facts.

And numbers less objective too
exalting few in many —
the victories peasants won
have never garnered envy.

Life is increasingly quantified, to the benefits of many, and to the detriment of most. Perhaps it’s always been so actually. But now, we have numbers too.

28. Moving On (?)

Sifting through the scattered thoughts
comprising of your past,
searching, seeking restlessly,
but for what?
A poem here, a letter there,
a longing to reclaim
affection from a lover lost
or angry words, complaints,
withheld to private thoughts —

Just unkempt monuments,
rough drafts of a narrative
the present does not recognize,
but curiosity forbids
a secret or a few
to sleep undignified.

I appeared to have hit that wall, and it has not been a month. Visited another person’s blog today, and went back and read some of this year’s earlier entries of my own. It is so fascinating to ascertain what is still relevant to a person’s life. Is it virtue or a vice that we move on so quickly…or fail to do so when it counts.

27. Closure

Can you loath a soul, and love her?
Or sneer the darkened depths
where distraught, anger, murky fear
stirs and swept
the surface on a tide
destroying friends and lovers
in her manic high.

Can you comfort and not savor
the suffering past the storm,
a hurricane now light zephyrs
atoning for the wrongs,
though little more it can
than wipe
the salts of builders
fixing what’s been torn.

Can you be human, yet be more?
The ocean never could
provide closure
for those shored.

The nature of forgiveness is most fascinating. On the one hand, it is human and understandable to not be able to forgive. The struggle becomes even harder when it’s someone loved or close. And yet, many of us do eventually let go of even grievous wrongs. Of our many capacities, forgiveness is likely the noblest: the willingness to accept that we are made of sturdier stuff in the face of another’s wrongs. Being able to say “I forgive” without derision, having no need to wound another being’s dignity. Enlightenment is more than knowing, it is being able to live these lessons.

26. April 5th

Gone by the setting sun
reflected on those shades of blond,
tangled, flowing, to the wind
greeting friend and lover
that had been —

Bygones too were sleeping eyes
so careful cuddled under moon,
these fingers tracing contours
as contentment beseech
the hours halt their reach.

But mornings have their way,
as dreams have their intrigue –
the future-chasing now
grants past love no reprieve.

Einstein said time is a persistent illusion. Longing for the past is likewise. We sure do love our illusions, especially on tired days such as this one.
P.S. I also hit 14 lines. The first “sonnet” in a while, if you would excuse the syllables-per-line requirements…

25. Facebook

No, I couldn’t like that picture —

Sure, there’s happiness in me
seeing happiness in you,
his arms telling all the world
you’re his beloved now,
the same way mine once did.

Yes, we never could have been
in that adventure story
we once planned, 10-year promises
sworn and pinkie-crossed,
posing in dress suits, drinks in hand.

And yes, the heart has mended now,
with time, with feelings redefined.
But no, I couldn’t like that picture —
even if you saw me did.

Technology has forever changed our human ways, but some emotions and narratives remain a staple of our collective condition, beautiful precisely for the inherent contradictions. Perhaps it’s why we find tragic stories and heroes so compelling.

24. Fools

I see her in you, stranger –
am I already old for coffee here?
Reminiscing of those days
some years ago
before we’re ever told
responsibility —

The wise lived then, you know –
targets of our rebellion till
we too become their rank
and realize
that there are only fools.

Somehow, we associate mistakes and imperfection as wisdom with age. A particularly snide interpretation is falling (albeit realistic) standards. A more cheerful conclusion is that since we’re all fools in some way, being a fool isn’t really all that bad. It’s just a word like any other, and has influence likewise only as far as our foolishness allows.

23. Hubris

An ant went missing from her tasks –
I plucked her from the trail.
And searched she did along my fingers
for some exit, but to no avail –

A love went missing from my heart –
I lost it to revenge –
too eager to recoup pride lost,
I traded trifles for a friend.

Struggled with a third stanza for a bit, but ultimately decided to settle on two, allowing the reader to interject the unifying theme across the stanzas. Too much driving today, and likewise too much thinking time for effective inspiration.

22. Downtown

Crowded columns reaching clouds,
of steel, of concrete, the tinted windows
overlooking sidewalk crowds
busy shuffling in corporate gowns.

There is life here, in the sound
of desperate phone calls, swerving cars,
the yellow ants circling ‘round
the one-ways –
There is love here, in the chants
of rallying youths about a cause,
of rising points or falling standards
in our days.

The sun must be setting now
that streetlights guide the pace
of important customers
entering the 24-hour cafes.

I will miss downtown GR. Is this observation, commentary, or critique?