Fire-Embers-3 (1)

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…



Day 1

Do you remember that night when you left me,

a bundle of blankets outside someone’s door?

No shelter but a meager basket protecting me from the rain

as if I was a gift given on Christmas Eve but instead of

staying you just leave with no goodbyes, only two fading sounds

of you knocking at the door. Maybe that was your goodbye. I wish I knew.

Somehow I wish it was not Christmas that time because

maybe then you would not give me away.


Day 2

I remember the way you smell, like freshly cut flowers from the

woods. Never wilting, never growing old. If I may be so bold

to ask you how old you are now. Do you still look the same

since Day 1? I remember your laugh. It always made me giggle

as if your every laugh was a joke and your smile was the punchline.

I remember the time you and dad looked at me and I looked

back. Back then I didn’t know what was going on. But I remember.

Will it always only be “remember”?


Day 3

I was wondering what your names are

because my nosy teacher always asked me that question.

I’d tell her I didn’t know then she’d reply “ask them what their names are”

Can you come back to where you left me and tell me your names?

Even just your names. I’m not ashamed , not embarrassed.

I just miss you. You could see how much I miss you in the calendar

above my bed at the house where fate embraced me.

Every day in that calendar, marked “X” since Day 1.

Nothing could make me happier than to see that smile once more.


Day 45

I got an A in Math! I wish you were here. I want to see

that proud smile when I hand you my test paper.

I wrote a letter in English about who we miss the most.

Mine was good but the teacher kept asking “Why are there blank spaces?

Who do you miss  the most?” Maybe if I remember your faces

hard enough the answer will come just as I tried since Day 1.

Still nothing…


Day 72

It’s a beautiful day today! Don’t worry too much about me.

I’m being well taken care of. I’m glad it’s sunny

because if it rains, I will feel that hole in my heart expanding,

trying to bring back that moment when your footsteps echoed

as you made the distance between us farther and farther.

I’m not sad because you left me. I’m sad because maybe the rain

made you leave me behind. Maybe you’re just like me.

Maybe you also hate the rain since Day 1.


Day 109

Do you miss me?

Did I hurt you in any way?

Did I do something wrong?

Can you tell me where you are? Maybe you just

can’t travel that far anymore. I can. I’ll go to your place.

How are you now? Is dad with you today?

What happened to you since Day 1?


Day 200

Sometimes I even wonder if you are coming back.

The moment I do I smile and laugh because the answer is obvious.

Of course you will! You’re just looking for the right time, right?

Can you tell me if it’s the truth?

I hope you still remember me and where you left me since Day 1 because

you might get lost.


Day 360

It’s almost a year since Day 1.

I can feel that you’re going to come back and surprise me on my birthday.

I hope you did not bring so many presents.

Just seeing you again will be enough.

Oh! That reminds me. Advanced Merry Christmas!


Day 365

It’s cold being near the window sill.

Even though I’m inside the house it’s as if

the freezing night enters my body, telling me something I

don’t want to know. Did you get lost? Are you getting cold?

They told me to not go near the window because it’s cold.

But I want to because I can see the porch were you left me from here.

The porch in Day 1.

Do you remember that day?…




“To the Girl I’ve Never Met Before”


I know you’re tired.

Tired of hearing empty words as if

every wretched day was built from useless scraps

and broken glass dressed as diamonds in the rough.

As if every “beautiful” and “fine” weren’t enough

to compliment what’s on the outside as they often

ignore what’s inside – which I’m sure you cherish more.

And even though I’ve never met you before

I feel like I should tell you a boatload of things

which might capsize and sink if left unsaid.

Yet what I dread is the fact that I might become what you hate the most.

All those men who have looked at you and saw

not you, but a prize they want to claim. As if the aim

is to see who the toughest is by winning your hand, and winning your

heart is just a bonus game. Every man who had held your hips

like a girdle – each finger like iron clasps, tightening till you

can breathe no more. Perhaps it’s just me but don’t you see

that they hurt you more than they give beauty to you. Those men

no different than cheap make-up who promise to make you feel beautiful

without even knowing that you don’t need them at all. Then one day

you’d call your best friend and tell her it’s not working. She’d tell you

maybe you’re using it wrong but she doesn’t know you’re not talking about

the make-up anymore. You are tired of all the presents, all the praises, all the letters

and chocolate boxes and flowers and cute pet names like “Honey”, “Darling”,

“Cupcake”,  “Cutiepie”, “Bae”. They think they make you feel special but you

end up looking like a dog that they own, or someone who got into a car accident.

Everyday must be your birthday because you’d wake up drowned

in a sea of tangible things. Every hug might be filled with malice, every kiss with lust.

Those men who think they must give you everything in the world but

fail to ask you what you want the most. To prove their love they would promise

to lasso the moon for you never knowing that you don’t want the moon.

You want the little stars surrounding it.

Those men who say you complete them

as if you are a puzzle piece never meant to be whole without them. And so they

blurt out every cliche they could think of and spit it on your face.

They think of ways to make you say YES. Just that one word.

As if your heart is tied to that YES and they could pull your heart out the

moment you approve. For them your love is just a word, not a sentence,

not a paragraph, not even a story. What matters is the trophy

they could win after a game of arm wrestle. Those men who promise

to take you to a magical world filled with colors and beauty.

Yet once you agree to follow them, they lead you to a dark, monochromatic

alley and take what their bodies need from you. Then some will leave you,

like a broken mirror that can’t reflect beauty anymore. You keep trying

to piece yourself together but end up more broken than you ever were.

Others might stay. But they will chain you to that colorless alley, forgetting that distant wonderland.

And so your hands crack and form callouses from days spent working just to feed that

bump on your belly. And what really pains you the most is that they told

you to take it out, shouting “That’s not mine!”

Although I’ve never met you before, and maybe I will never do,

let me tell you a boatload of things you already knew.

Even though all of these happened to you – every hug, every kiss, every word,

every promise, no one can make you feel more special than you.

To the girl I’ve never met before, It was a great try.

But let’s start again. Hi my name  is Hope, what’s yours?