“The Allegory of the Parakeet”


There was once this little parakeet

who was kept inside a cage made of stained glass.

She never went outside even though the door was unlocked.

Not because she doesn’t know how to…

but because she doesn’t want to.

Captivated was she by the dancing figures she sees inside her cage.

Warped by the beautiful colors and patterns of the stained glass,

she witnessed the dancing of two graceful ballerinas,

making pirouettes and muffled sounds that, to the parakeet,

seemed like an orchestral background to the routine.

Every night she watches this display of movements clothed with color

and she marveled at the beauty of it all.

She even memorized the blurred waltzing of the dancers, copied it

from her perch inside the cage. Imagine a dancing parakeet.

But one day, a gust of wind blew her door open.

Thinking that it was a sign from God she flew outside her cage

to meet her ballerinas. She flapped her bright, green wings and

wiggled her long feather tail as if she was not a parakeet

but a puppy that waits for his master.

And as she passed the frame of her door she almost shouted…

not chirped, not warbled… shouted.

The two ballerinas she longed to see were actually brutish ogres

locked in an eternal battle, bloodied and hurt, but still fighting.

The sounds they made made the parakeet’s fragile bones shiver.

They were roars, grunts, growls. Horrific. Not an orchestra.

The parakeet wept until she ran out of tears to shed.

If only she had known what was really outside.

And now, as if Plato is narrating this parakeet’s story,

the tiny bird flew back to her allegorical cage.

She was terrified by what was outside and never wished to leave.

Now, as she watched the dancing ballerinas in the stained glass,

the parakeet dreaded reality but loved the dream it shows her.

She blocked out all the sounds except for the one inside her head

saying “Dreams are better than reality.”

If only she could hear the humble narrator’s whisper.

“Reality is just a dream you have to live through. Be strong.”





Nothing shifts

in the corners of shut eyes nothing moves.

Each view a panorama of black and white charade.

Yet every movement stolen by unseen hands.

My body, half in a dream

a lake of my consciousness.

Nothing shifts

in the recesses of  weary ears nothing tinkles.

Only the rhythmic tick-tock of broken watches

and tung-tung of rusty chimes atop the window.

Nothing shifts

on dry palms no water drips.

Parched skin unquenched – clenched

fists rioting with complete silence.

Nothing speaks

inside sewed lips nothing mutters…

nothing escapes.

I am a mannequin of my own making.

I am a blank record of unfulfilled wantings.

I neither despise nor enjoy. I only am.

In the stillness I feel nothing.

In this stillness I am EVERYTHING.




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Heat transpires in souls

like embers ’round an open hearth

burns brighter than midday.

Embers leave fire’s warmth

until flesh is burnt yet etched

above the skin are memories of


For fire gives light and fire destroys

so will souls left to the mercy of the wind —

devour what has once existed.

Each breath only adds to that of flame’s

and embers decide which goes and which stays.

If passion is fire, we mere moths must conspire

an escape plan.

Only then will these scars be beautiful.

“Know What I Think?”


I think that the Stars are lonely though they appear together every night.

They can’t move to hold hands unless it’s time for them to die

and fall to the earth as giant fireballs,

hoping their collision will be the next best thing to a kiss.


I think the Sky is secretly pink.

He is just too sensitive that he stole the color of the Sea

to hide his femininity.

The Sea on the other hand is his crestfallen lover who shed everything,

even her own color, to reflect what her lover is.

And sometimes when he notices her suffering, a bit of pink

peeks out from the blue.


I think the Trees stand tall or bend low on windy days

just so they could hear the musings of both Sea and Sky.

I also think they love to gossip as they whisper day and night.


I think that the Night never really chases after the Day.

It just so happens that he likes to go where the sun has been.

The moonlit chill made him cold enough that

a sliver of her warmth couldn’t hurt.


I think that Pain could feel herself all the time.

She just got used to the feeling she is numb

to her own sensation. Now Love

is more selfish than we think.

Just imagine giving himself away for free

then demanding too much once felt.

Like a Rose ready for the picking yet draws out blood once held.

I think she still looks beautiful… and deadly.


I think Death is the kindest of them all.

He hides in the shadows and comes out to the light

just so he could tuck us in bed for one last sleep.

He cares enough to risk burning his pale skin in the sun

even though we don’t want him to.


I think God is the master of figurative speech.

He makes sure that his metaphors and ironies never left anything clear.

Because something as clear as glass breaks easily.

But something as muddled as a swamp has unfathomable depth.

Maybe God is also a writer; and all writers are godly –

the way they create universes with mere words

and have their creation withstand the test of time.


You know what I think?

I think words are useless unless understood.

so is God, so is Love and Pain, so is Death, so are

the Stars, Sea, and Sky… So is a Rose.


I think so am I. Luckily you are there

to understand my chaos.

You know what I think?

I think that U and I are the only letters in the alphabet

that sounds lovely though they’re far apart.


First Darkness, then the Stars


Last night, a night almost like this one,

the sky shattered.

I, like everyone else, was enjoying

the luxury that is life.

Then there was darkness.

As if everything caved in and suffocated me with pitch black, night swallowed the world…

Or at least just the street I live in.

A mere power outage shook me to my core.

And it’s not because of exaggeration but rather the realization that light was gone.

So I went outside and peeked from the balcony,

glimpsed the neighborhood coming alive as if one big irony, everyone breathed nocturnal breath.

And while they rationalized the source of the blackout I was transfixed by the sky.

It was littered with stars foreign to me.

Foreign because I never took time to notice them before.

Then I did not see stars anymore. I saw white dots on a black canvas begging to be connected.

And so I obliged them and sewn them together. I did not see dots anymore.

I saw one shattered mirror hanging above us. Yet it did not reflect our world. It was busy reflecting what’s beyond.

Then the stars moved and they were not stars anymore, they were fireflies dancing without respect to science or mythology. I connected them and I saw…

A kaleidoscope.

It was amazing what beauty I witnessed because of artificial failure.

How it took a power outage for me to notice the stars.

Last night the sky shattered while it completed my day.



“Author to his Muse”


You once told me you love words.

That you enjoy their magic,

like a sorcerer with a spell book.

You adore hearing harmless letters

entwine into a powerful force.

A force at your command, power at your disposal.

And so I made myself into words.

Each letter was my breath,

each sound revealed my soul,

each syllable formed my thoughts.

I surrounded myself with them like cozy blankets

embracing me in cold nights.

I made sure I became the poet, novelist, writer, scholar you will adore.

My words, an enigma to all except you,

I purposefully designed to warble inside your ears.

Entranced were we by each other’s power,

drawn by our force.

We slept under our own morphological universe.

I became the words you love and you, my muse.

Creation itself cannot compare with what we have written.

A poem, a novel, a ballad,  a story. Ours.

They say the author is the genius behind it all…






I say the muse.



I trod the sun-scorched sidelines of one way streets.

Mercy in shadowy shades of trees.

My dark skin from sun kisses;

fizzled hair from heat waves.



Cold: now an abstract thought

which lingers in my mind

embraced by fire in this hellish

world of passion and naught.



How awkward it is to complain on heat

despite a cold heart

that penetrates the formless

concept of love.



For when our warmth exceeds the sun,

all that is left is the freezing space.



I incline my body ever so slightly towards the wind.

A high-rise view of the sky glittered with stardust

in recompense to the fallen teardrops.

Night old as time itself swallowed me whole.



This has been my eternal portrait –

my life-long statue.

Yet even Art would not accept me as her own child.

Her perfectness shields her eyes from my gloom.

Her radiance protects her from my darkness.



This will not be my eternal portrait –

not my life-long statue.

I incline my body ever so slightly towards the moon,

letting its beams welcome me until not a shadow escapes.

One by one I pluck out all my white teeth hidden behind

paper-thin lips and ardently place them around the moon.

These will be the stars that twinkle in the night.

I scrape off my skin to dry my eyes and wipe away my tears.

Pain from the torn skin brings new tears to my eyes –

it does not stop me from wiping them again, forcing a smile.

And while I gather some of the blood from my wounds I cut

a clump of my hair and tie it with twine. I dip the make-shift

brush into my blood and painted across the horizon.

Like an artist performing masterful brushstrokes

I add color to the night, each stroke mixing the colors into new ones.

I finish with a satisfied grin as I take in the beauty of what I have done.

Night old as time is now Dawn young as morning dew.



This will be my eternal portrait –

my life-long statue.

Still Art would not accept me as her own child.

Her perfectness now shields her eyes from my scars

Her radiance now protects her from my monstrosity.



This will not be my eternal portrait –

not my life-long statue…


“Lightbulb to a Shadow”

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I always believed my whole existence would be

tied to the ceiling. Just me hanging on for no higher purpose

than to make it easier for everyone to see.

How I wished this electrical cord would

snap and put me out of my misery!

But came that faithful night when someone turned me on.

It was not you. That I am sure of.

No. It was not you but someone who just passed by

and didn’t want to trip over something.

Then you came in – like a black veil so vivid in the cover of my light

I could not help but notice your presence.

I knew you didn’t need my light to be visible

but you said it was the only way for me to notice you.

And so you stepped in… and I… I curiously let you in.

I let you enter my circle of light which I thought would be mine alone.

In return you told me your stories from the world outside this room.

You were outgoing. I was comfortable inside these four walls.

I gave you pieces of myself, or rather pieces of my light which

were consumed by your darkness. And In return you told me you think of yourself as a monster —

as this dark, faceless creature that snuffs out everything in its way.

You clung to the idea that you did not deserve me.

That I was not to be taken lightly (pun intended)

The same old conversation every night you return.

You said you became visible because of me when the truth is that

my existence gained meaning since you stepped in.

Without you I could not have called myself a light bulb.

You came in and showed me my dark sides…

I revealed that you were not as dark as you thought.

We did not complain. We enjoyed each night like it was the last.

Two opposites enjoying each other’s company.

It was the greatest paradox!

It was also the most painful irony.

Because of that one faithful night when I suddenly flickered in and out…

in and out… in and out… I knew you were still there. You did too.

If only we could see each other again.

How I wished this paradox could go on.

“When Poets Lose their Muse”


There could be nothing more confusing than poetry.

How every word moves in sync with the others.

How every line gives us a lick of the sublime.

How every stanza defies the laws of the tongue.

Unfold as we may, this perplexity

will continue to hide its true purpose.

We blame the creator;

who is only as adept as his muse.

Yet don’t we crave the same confusion everyday?

That which relieves us the pain of yesterday —

which might sugarcoat our tomorrow?

Still we blame the creator, as adept as his muse.

How every muse brings about the Creation

of each thing living and not.

How each inspires what the creator molds.

But disappears… what then?

Destruction? Catastrophe? Ragnarok?

When poetry tastes no less than rotten fish,

its muse never whispering back…

will we blame the creator… or  the adept muse?

‘Twill seem as though the cycle stops.

As withering as parched lilies.

Crumbling as ancient tombs.

Ghostly as abandoned cities.

When Poets lose their Muse

is when all thi…