Monthly Archives: March 2015

short story


i think i slipped
i fell like flowers tossed
marbles spilled
children’s laughs left
in faint memories
but then I found
a gentle hand
and flowers turned
to lush gardens
and marbles changed
to childhood games
and the faint laughs
to something real:

a thousand smiles
of yours


may i laugh
like cannons shot
a hundred firecrackers
set off in blaze
and spice
a steady roll of
rivers thrown
over cool stone
a dozen
bubbles blown
and burst
at once

can i stumble
break free
find somehow
a silly tune
and sing in spite
of flaming notes
dancing on
these shying cheeks

should i not turn
when music plays
a song i love

i found a candy
how sweet

and forgot

where i will not
find again


this place
i knew before
lay bare, exposed
the light struck dead
where shadows played

i saw
the smoke that filled
a cold clear night
gasped away

i heard whispers
a laugh, a grin
some dance, a tale
spain thirty years ago

short story:
the band was gone.

Categories: Creative Writing, poetry | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

The Blue Hat Bully

I wrote this short story a long time ago. Wanted to experiment with writing from two character’s points of view. It’s an unfortunately true story about bullying that I’m glad I can share. And for all you curious types, Sue’s my nickname (well, actually it’s Susu, but that sounds like a very bold word in Tagalog. Google it. Yeah, my mom was pretty angry at my dad for giving me that nickname — he didn’t know any better, but I can’t change it anymore). Enjoy!

The Blue Hat Bully

Red Fox Chasing Hare

Part One — Sue’s Story

My name’s Sue, and I’m a fourth-grade bookworm. I’m the scrawny girl with the two long braids and the big heavy bag stuffed with books and papers which never bear low grades. Teachers give me honey-tart grins whenever I bashfully smile at them, and classmates don’t give a sniff about me since I’m quieter than a whipped puppy, not to mention I also resemble the playfulness of a dead leaf. Maybe if they join me someday at my farm they’d discover how fun I can be. I have loads of animals to show them: ducks, chickens, dogs and cats, the occasional gopher, tadpole or lizard that I’ve caught. I also have a tree house. But in school, I’m too shy to tell them about my interesting life at home. So here I am, Ms. Quiet, a skinny little chicken thrown from the coop into a forest full of chop-licking foxes… and speaking of which, here comes one now.

The bully always wore the same stupid blue cap, which was fine for me since it made him easier to spot from the crowds. He was a skinny boy with two cronies protectively flanking his sides, and he walked with a gangly gait, arms swinging like loose twigs barely stapled to his body.

It was the end of my class, but I had to wait for my younger sister to get out of hers. She was on a late-bird schedule, which meant that her classes ended thirty minutes after mine. That meant thirty minutes of torture for me with my blue hat bully.

I don’t recall the first few days this bullying began, but I remember clearly the times when I was already being bullied. Maybe it’s because of the fear I started to feel whenever I anticipated the bullying to start. My heart would pound real badly, and I’d feel awful sick and pale.

That’s how I was feeling when I just spotted him. I started the first tactic of my usual escape-the-bully routine: Hide.

What I’d do here is that I’d cram myself in the crowds of leaving students as much as possible, dodging the bully’s sight and preventing him from finding me. But when the crowds were swallowed in their parent’s cars, I had no place to hide. I’d be like a mouse in a field that’s just been plowed, no weeds to hide in, and he’d be like the hawk high above, spotting me in an instant.

So I’d have to jump to my second routine: Run.

We had a school with three large building complexes, each out in the open by the side of a large playground field. My class was in the middle building complex. It was around this building that I’d push my scrawny legs to the limit and dash like a rabbit round and round the building, once, twice, three times! All the while the bully and his cronies at my heels.

But I’d grow very tired, and very quickly. When you reach this level of fatigue, a sick sense of hopelessness starts to eat at you. I’d try a few sad attempts to hide close to the stairs of a locked classroom, but since this was an open-air building, you can imagine how easy it was for them to find me.

The bully’d then snag at my arm. This was the part I hated most. For one: where’d he get an evil clutch like that? It really hurt, all the time, like two trucks smashing into each other, my arm would be right in the middle of that crash. For two: I hated feeling that sick sense of defeat. Did you ever see this Discovery Channel predator-and-prey animal chase? The one with the pretty snow rabbit being chased around by some fast-as-lightning fox? I know, the poor fox is real hungry, but look at the rabbit! Running and running, and there are these moments of hope for her when she dashes under a log or boulder, but then that fox would scratch at that rabbit until she freaks and dashes out again. You could see her energy draining. She’d dash, stop a moment, and then the fox would almost catch her. But she’d dash again, but more feebly this time, until… finally….

Well, let’s just say that fox won’t be hungry tonight. But imagine. All the energy the rabbit spent going through those moments of fear and hope, only to get caught in the end. The only difference between the rabbit and I was that the rabbit would scream a death-cry… and I wouldn’t utter a sound.

So now I’m caught, feeling sick and defeated. What would happen next? I’d go to my third routine, and this one came naturally to me: Stay quiet.

The bully and his cronies were clearly upset that I had tried to run – you could tell from their pissed-off expressions – and Blue Hat wouldn’t let his painful grip loose on my arm. His cronies would surround me and he’d start dragging me over to the playground park to this copse of trees by the faraway fences. Ironic thing was that this was a beautiful place, but I never really liked it because of them. Blue Hat would corner me into the thick trunk of a tree and let go of my arm, and his cronies would encircle me, making sure I had no way to escape. Then he’d start talking.

He’d ask me my name. I wouldn’t give it to him. He’d keep on asking until he got fed up with my silence, then start talking to his cronies. I really don’t remember what they talked about, but it must have not been good because they’d laugh so obnoxiously after each line.

This would go on for a few minutes and I’d wait until they’d let me go. I was used to them being this way, and it was always the same thing. They’d eventually get really bored of my silence, and then Blue Hat would break the circle so I could walk away.

But today, something was different.

For one, he wouldn’t let go of my arm. He pressed me to the tree’s trunk, and his cronies just stood slightly away, not forming the usual circle around us. For two, he was really quiet, and so were his cronies. I hated more the way they seemed. It was the solemnity about them, as if they knew something they’ve never seen before was about to happen, and they were curious.

My heart was still beating fast after our usual chase, but now it doubled in pace, and I started to feel prickles of fear cross all up my back and neck.

He jerked my arm so I could stumble close to him.

“Kiss me, come on. Give me a kiss,” he said.

I tried to pull my arm away but he held tighter to it, pulling me closer.

“Kiss me. Kiss me—”

“No, let go,” I numbly said, jerking my arm away from him. Since this was the first time they’ve ever heard me talk to them, Blue Hat paused as if mildly shocked, but this didn’t last for long. He gripped my arm harder and pulled his face close to my own, asking again and again for a kiss. I really started to panic, squirming and pulling my arm, and all the time I was saying no—

“Kiss me, just once—come on, give me a kiss—”

And my heart and my nerves were more terrified than all the chases this bully had ever subjected me to.

“Kiss me—”

“No! No, let go!”

He stopped. He let go of my arm, backed away a bit from me, and his cronies kind of looked grimly bewildered. A heavy silence fell. I felt numb and couldn’t look at them, only at the ground. My arm still hurt from his grasp, my heart pounded wildly. I finally looked up.

Blue Hat looked incensed, humiliated. For a long while he wouldn’t do or say anything. Then he told his cronies to get the worms that live in the bushes near the trees. They came back with – I think I remember, three or four of them. They weren’t worms. They were these fat caterpillars, vibrantly colored yellow, black and orange. He took them and grabbed my hand with his free grasp, and he put the caterpillars in my palm.

I was not scared at all by the caterpillars. In fact, I really liked them. How does he know that I’m the farm girl who likes looking under stones and collecting the slugs and slimy things that crawl beneath them? So I took the caterpillars and I fished into my bag for my pink and purple SpaceMaker box. I threw out the crayons into one of my bag’s compartments and put the caterpillars gently in the box, and then I placed this into my bag.

The boys never asked what I was doing, but if they did I’d probably tell them that the caterpillars were going to become my pets. Yeah, my mom would probably throw a fit if she found out that I had them, but I’d make sure they were well hidden under my bed, with plenty of their favorite leaves to eat.

Another long moment passed, and they finally started their usual talk with each other. It was as if nothing happened. I started to leave, wondering if they’d stop me, but Blue Hat looked like he didn’t care. As I was leaving, I had this strange feeling that they finally seemed alright with me, as if the bullying was over.

And you know what? Ever since that day, I never saw Blue Hat again.


Part Two — Jace’s Story

Hey. Yeah, I’m Jace. Look at the back of the class and you’ll see me slouching there, the papers on my desk scrawled with stick-figure people running away from zombies. I couldn’t focus on Mr. Woodrow today. I’m really upset about something. My mom made me dress up in the same crappy clothes she made me wear yesterday, this moldy grey shirt and faded blue jeans. The only thing I have to make me look better is my favorite blue cap. I couldn’t stop shaking my leg. I was really nervous today. I shot glances at the two desks beside me.

My buddies Bill and Joe looked bored. They’re not so bright to hang around with but they make me feel clever around them. They also listen to anything I say. My parents rarely do that.


Mr. Woodrow sternly reminded me to copy down today’s assignment. I started writing but my pencil was dull from all the scribbling I used the lead up with. It was also so chewed up that I couldn’t properly sharpen it, so the bell rang before I could finish copying my assignment. I really didn’t care, for that bell ringing just sent a blaze of adrenaline through my heart. Class was over.

I appeared casual as I was getting out of class, but my heart was thudding really fast. I pulled my blue hat snugly over my head and my two buddies flanked my side. A lot of kids were leaving their classroom and it was all just a chaotic mess, so I stopped just outside our classroom stairs and started looking over the crowds.

You see, there’s this girl I always hang out with after school. I don’t get why she wears the same dull clothes every week, nor do I get why she keeps the same boring braid, but for some reason, I’m drawn to her. It’s really lame though, the way she acts shy and stuff, but I admit she’s sort of pretty. Sort of.

My eyes are sharp, so it’s not long before I spot her getting out of class.

I once watched this cartoon, the one where the big bad wolf goes after a lady in red after she makes his eyes pop out when she’s performing on stage. She runs from him and he chases after her. I’m reminded of this cartoon whenever I see Braidy (yeah, I’ll tell you later why I don’t know her real name, real stupid reason). A funny thing about her is that, after trying to slip past my sight by hiding with the crowds, she really knows how to run. A girl who knows how to run that fast not only makes my blood boiling mad, but shot with the same stuff that makes that big bad wolf chase after little red riding hood. At least, that’s the best way I can explain it. I don’t really get what I feel sometimes.

Keeping my eyes on her, I see Braidy trying to hide in the crowds. Kind of makes me feel sad seeing her do that. Where’s she going to hide after all the kids have left? So I don’t need to rush when she’s trying to hide. All I have to do is watch her from a distance, following her just enough so she doesn’t slip too far away.

Okay, the crowds have finally gone. Now she’s really out in the open. And sure enough, there she is, lingering close to some classroom as if hoping they’d be out any second. Real sad. But I find myself smiling, and my two buddies smile just as amusedly beside me. She watches us approach her until we’re only a few feet away. I can’t stand that look in her eyes, like a deer caught in the headlights. Then she bolts.

How she’s able to dash like that with her heavy bag behind her, I have no idea. But she keeps on running nonstop round and round the fourth-grade building complex. I really don’t get why she does this, every-single-freaking-time. Really gets me frustrated, especially when my lungs are burning and legs killing me. But soon enough she gets worn down and she starts to feebly hide behind a stair wall. I lunge at her and manage to grab her arm as she makes one last attempt to flee, and since I’m so furious with that chase she gave us, my grip on her is really tight. Let her know exactly how mad I am.

She never makes a sound. That really gets on my nerves sometimes. We half-drag, push her toward this copse of trees that hug the far school fences. I really like this place. It’s shady, private and quiet. Nice to hang out with people you like. I started taking her here long ago, thinking that maybe she’d like it. Fat chance. She hated it.

What we’d do next was keep her against a tree while my buddies and I surrounded her. After having to chase her so much, how can I trust that she wouldn’t dash off again?

Now I’ll tell you why I never knew her name. It’s because, no matter how many times I’d ask her for it, she’d stay quiet! What’s the big idea?! So I’d drop my questioning and start up some jokes with my buds, try to make her, you know, laugh a bit. But she was like a corpse pinned to the tree, head always facing the floor and as dull as a book without pictures.

Today, however, I didn’t plan to continue the same routine with her. My buddies Bill and Joe knew what I was up to, but by the way they seemed so silent as they watched me press her against the tree trunk while I was holding her arm real tight, I noticed they were shocked to realize I was serious. Now you know why I was so nervous today, and the reason why I was so pissed that my mom had made me worn the same dirty clothes I was dressed up in yesterday. Who’d want to have their first kiss smelling like dirty laundry?

My heart was racing really fast, and it wasn’t from the chase that I just had with her, but because I felt so excited, in a furious way. I really liked this girl, but why was she always making it so hard for me? Yeah, I tried to express myself to her many times before. You know, taking her to this nice place so she can hang with me and my buddies, telling her jokes and such, but what do I get? A ring-around-the-Rosie chase, and her forever persistent snub-me routine. I couldn’t take it anymore, really, and now, here I was, heart beating like an out-of-control wrecking ball in my chest.

She was so close, and she looked really pretty. The world around me faded to black, and all I could see was just how close she was, her big brown eyes and skinny frame stringed with a mix of fright and rebellion that drove me to finally lose it.

I jerked her toward me and tried to pull my face close to hers.

“Kiss me, come on. Give me a kiss,” I said. She was like a fish caught on a hook, trying to wriggle free, but I held on tighter to her arm and only pulled her closer. “Kiss me. Kiss me—”

“No, let go.”

That shocked me. Imagine having known someone for so long, but you’ve never even heard them speak once to you? Can you guess what a surprise it was for me to finally taste just what kind of voice she had? Hers was numb and low, sadly sweet. That voice of hers spurred my wish for her kiss only to heighten. I gripped her harder and pulled her close to me, trying to push my face to hers—

“Kiss me, just once—come on, give me a kiss—”

I was so close, but she was like a rabbit squirming to be freed from the jaws of a fox. This was more exhilarating than all the chases I’ve ever had with her.

“Kiss me—”

“No! No, let go!”

And suddenly, just like that, like a hundred breath-knocking blows thrown against my chest… I stop. A searing flush of humiliation crossed my face; I back away, and I can’t look at her. It really hit me then — this girl didn’t like me. She hated me, she was frightened of me, and I just realized that… I was rejected.

The long silence afterward sent a bitter cold sweat across me, and I was suddenly very angry. I wanted to get revenge on her. Joe and Bill were no help at all. I couldn’t stand the way they were staring at me, as if they felt sorry for me or something, so I ordered them to get those worms from the bushes. I’m going to make her shriek with disgust. Girls hate worms.

I took the worms and slipped them into her palm. But could you believe it? She… she looked cheered by them! Where’d she grow up in, a swamp or something? The girl placed the worms into a SpaceMaker box and tucked them into her bag. Guess we were all dumbfounded because we didn’t say a thing.

A moment passed and my buddies started their usual joking around, and I joined them. Was like nothing had ever happened between her and I. She started to go and I just let her. She’s kind of alright, in an odd sense. Not like any other girl I’ve known before. By the way she liked those worms, she might’ve liked to join my all-boys’ club. We’ve got spiders and moths in jars. And she runs almost as fast as a boy. That’s admirable.

And since that day, yeah. I just let her alone. But I missed her a bit. Just a bit.

Categories: Creative Writing | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Compilation of Poems and Prose

A blog especially made for all my written short works, poems and snippets of everyday life. Some you may have already read, others might have been buried in the forever growing void of the past. This is their chance to see the light of day once again. So grab a favorite mug full of cocoa, snuggle in the most comfortable corner you’ve got and enjoy!


She settled like silence under the shade,
serenely her smile spoke softness that swayed
shadow to sunlight and seasons to shift
sorrow to sweetness so slyly and swift.

Like sirens she’ll sail her song to souls
whose solitaire sighs she subtly has stole
And sincerely sets once sullen hearts
to spirited life, from smoke into spark.

She snakes as a sylph solidly past
scourges of sadness, unscathed, steadfast
Smart as a swallow sweeping through storms
springing to burst forth silver lines strong.

Steady and sweet, strong and sure,
subtle and smart, with sentiment pure
She settled in silence under the shade,
her smile speaking softness that swayed.

The Garden

I cannot say just when it grew, this garden full of vibrant hues
But I will tell you why it breathed, what gave the plants their blooming wreaths.

I think the laughs, the joyful days, brought sunlight where once shadows stayed
And gave the fledgling doves their warmth, and mended wounds were once was hurt.
The steady trees, they listened well, even if wind brought storms to yell,
And wavered not, but gave a home, and strength to those who were alone.
And the lush ferns, like emerald gems, outstretched their leaves like open hands,
And gathered rain without a frown, not letting go nor letting down.
The innocence and honesty, was born from life that came to be:
The fawn that learned to skip and run, the jay that sang its first sweet song.
And wonder rose as each new day, brought stories new to share and say,
As bumbling bee and whispering wind, went through with tales that had no end.

It seemed as if it’d live always, forever going through its days,
Until the laughs stopped passing by, and leaves fell down with withered sigh.
The storms soon came without an end, and molded roots, and drowned its friends.
And weeds ensnared the life that once, had flourished with its endless trust.
The songs had ceased, the doves had gone, and shadows chilled and hid the sun.
And the large trees that once had stood, had fallen into rotten wood.

Sometimes I pass where it had been, the garden who had been my friend,
And missed its songs and shining tales, and all the ways it had prevailed.
But if I listen very close, beyond the rain of its dark ghost,
I hear a beat, a silent creep, of seeds still breathing, growing deep.
And wonder if some day may come, it’ll shine again its radiant sun.

This One I Love

Barely up the sunrise still, far the colored dawn
in the dark, blue and grey, light a lazy yawn
cold and chill this quiet morn’, yet warm I am,
holding close this one I love, softly hand in hand.

When you’ll wake this light I’ll find, rising as the sun,
pushing back the lonely hues, bringing life to run,
and your dreams, so wild and far, I’ll beg to bear,
wanting more this one I love’s, happiness to share.

Walk this graceless world, we’ll search, love of every kind,
beauty of the simplest joys, loneliness behind,
sorrow tempered by the touch, lips to weary brow,
being with this one I love, ev’ry lonely hour.

Love my heart does break to find, pain seeped in your eyes,
would I could I’d risk my peace, bring you the blue skies,
kindle fires for your chill, soothe each deepest pain,
sheltering this one I love, til there’s no more rain.

My faith I have, my word is true, I see in your blue soul,
a sunrise sweet, more beautiful, than any to behold,
til then that day arises, I promise you I’ll be,
staying with you, one I love, always, eternally.

Wordly Escape

To utter a word, to lay nakedly,
the truth of my soul, unequivocally,
sews my lips shut, with thorn and thread,
and renders my thoughts, my secrets dead.

And yet write I can, in comfort of prose,
through guise of a fictional character’s woes,
of suppressed remorse, of choked anger,
of unprofessed love, of thoughtful banter.

So say I naught, but write I will,
my secrets so true, in tales deceitful,
where words of written, speak more than my lips,
so long as my fear, I’ve not yet eclipsed.

Aboard the Montenegro Ferry

Four in the morn’, stars spill
like glitter on dark canvas
high above silver black waves
lapping gently by Balanacan peir.

Montenegro floats like a beast whale
ivory bleach and silver pole,
ribbons of green gold mermaid’s hair
twining her glistening form.

Men and woman, teens and children
line up, purchasing tickets
seating by the open dock
their cups of hot soup
curling steam in the wet salty air.

Montenegro lowers her wide ramp
beckoning passengers and vehicles to enter.

A ferry horn sounds, engines hum
stirring ripples in the water
then rolling waves of power
gathering speed into the ocean
salt wind and spray
cooling, awakening, refreshing.

Whilst mothers bid their children to sit
and men station by the open deck
admiring the flying fish zipping over tidal waters
viewing the small foot islands pass
as Marinduque fades in the distance.

Rain Dancing

Grey mists gather low over
rolling sun-wilted dry farmlands, shading, filling, land’s light-tired eyes and heat-smoldered lungs.

Storm clouds growing, graying, swelling, the
belly-roars of its distant thundering,
teasingly shuddering this
thirsting land’s soul.
Now comes the wind, first a
gentle rush brushing soft upon
child-flower fields, now a
sweeping gale testing the strength of
mighty wise-aged orchards.
Wind’s great breath, blowing swift
cold crisp drops of rain, beating now their
fiercely played-orchestra of
run-wild notes against
land’s once music-starved ears, drenching full
with startling cool wetness land’s once
dried well of inspiration.
And my heart fills and dances with all

just before I write.

Her Tears

The music was playing
softly, slipping through
walls of velvet blue, dying
shades of life.

Tears crawled through the channels of
her age beaten face
and only the
blue crystals of her eyes
were alive.

Once laughter
flowed there. I wondered of days when she

smiled gaily
oblivious to this sad
fate she now waited for.

One hand reaches for her, asks
“Tell me your story…”

But she could not speak. Yet the touch
bonded hearts; one heard, understood now
this weeping woman. Saw the remnants of her

fragile, broken dust world
falling away from her
still sea eyes.

The music still played. What does
she wait for? Lips
thin, motionless. Only
she watched
the world tick by, seconds… seconds, and
out her window
the leaves still fell.

And when she passed,
the bond never broke. Even
when the girl that had known her
had left her.

And she was sorry for that.


Leaping along, clumsy now, atop moss-inlaid boulders, following
Sister, young heart, who seeks
some hidden pool to play in, laughing, I wondering if
memories never fade.

Gurgling water flows, splashes merrily up, kisses ankles, cold, clear, crisp as
the shrill of birds, high, flit suddenly –
shadows pass, light dances —

Blinds me, lost, my footing, slips! Sudden pain, arm flays, churns up
mud, dead leaves, debris.

Laughter now. Like water that plays its funny charm
around me.

Sister sweet has found her joy, I, now knowing… haha!
memories never fade.


Last dregs of daylight streak
red and gold, the skyline above
emerald-lush forests of
the mountains.

Quiet, now. Pale lights hum from weary homes, remnants of
their long day’s burdens
sobered now by night’s soft croon.

In the shadow, somewhere distant, the sounds of
slippered feet, many, slap
rain-paved roads. Children race home, but not before
catching one last game of

Night lengthens. Lonely moon, with her
lover’s glow, eases into
the inky velvet skies, her many dreamers
the Stars, alight.

Dog yowls at some
drunk man, lost,
walks away from mistresses
some familiar kareoke song spilling from
his lips.

Standing long on my balcony, watching
all across the island.

Queen Lydia’s Lullaby

When sunlight sets like blood-stained tears,
And bends your heart to weep,
Who’ll speak soft words like lullabies,
To sigh your pain to sleep?
And in the night of summers gone,
When dreams are but shadow,
Who’ll bear away the nightmares far,
And keep the wicked low?
In mornings lost when darkness stays,
forever in the sky,
who’ll paint the black with diamonds bright,
‘til sunrise lifts up high?
In secret groves where thorns do grow,
And villains lie in wait,
Who’ll guide you far ‘til all is clear,
And perils do abate?
And of a sea where waves do drown,
And muddle up your mind,
Who is the calm to reflect well,
The answer you must find?
Who is the prose that speaks your heart,
Who is always your friend?
Who is the heart that hears your fears,
Who is your guiding hand?
Your mother, child, who holds you now
With soul that shall now give,
These promises that have been sung,
So you may always live.


To a symphony
of songbirds and crickets
and the warm yellow and emerald green
kaleidescope of the rainforest’s
early morning sunrise,
I wake with content
in the barrio.

In oversized shirt and cargos
and rubber chinelas
I pedal my bike
down rainwashed streets
passing children dressed in school uniform;
plaid skirts, khaki pants, white shirts
all who rise early
for their 7AM classes
yearning instead to play
sepak takraw and lusong-tinik
in the barrio.

And at the open-air market
the vendors call out
selling with cheer, and merry laugh
as if every day is Christmas
rice cakes, putu, bibingka
my pesos for their homemade treats
their grins and joking
a priceless gift
in the barrio.

The haggling calls
of fishermans’ wives
cry out from the seafood stalls
carried along with the pungent stench
of tilapia, bangus, shrimp, squid
adding to the overall chaos
of motorbikes and jeepney engines
as the marketplace breaks to life
when the afternoon comes round
in the barrio.

And I ride back home
full of brittle plastic shopping bags
as gangly young men sing harana tunes
to blushing young girls
and busy old men grimace broken tooth grins
chopping down banana fruits
from sagging roadside trees
while their lovely wives
prepare adobong manok
or carneng asada and rice
at their homes’ makeshift clay stoves
in the barrio.

Soon the town falls sleepy
in night’s starry cloak
and the huts and villas
light up softly
with kerosene lamps or candlelight
as the busy husband retires
not to bed but to Pare’s home
where drinks and pulutan
and Kareoke galore
add some humble festivity
of a simple night
in the barrio.

Beach Runaways

Mother hasn’t called
for dinner just yet

so they fill their hunger
with joy

two kids, racing
by great beach shores
holes in rubber chinelas
pockets empty of change
but filled
with shells

ragged they are
in second-hand clothes
still brightly their smiles
do light their eyes
and sweetly they cry
from dry dust lips
laughter and songs
with the roaring of
the ocean’s shifting waves

Mother calls
for dinner

which can only fill
a cat’s belly full

so they fill their hunger
with joy.

Street Flowers

In congested city streets
where smog and smoke
choke the air
and noise like
firecrackers bursting
on a New Year’s eve
deafen the skies
with lost yells
of stressed pedestrains
and vehiclists

a flower girl
hands out
paradise from fingertips
the scent of
and gumamela flowers

sifting through
the coarseness and concreteness
of this tumultuous city life

like a flower that grows through
a crack between
grimy pavement streets.

Categories: Creative Writing, Philippines, poems | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Faces — A Monologue

A short monologue about a guy with dissociative identity disorder, fighting his three “faces”. Rage. Mania. Despair. Wish I could see someone act this out. That’d be absolutely fantastic. A girl can dream, right? Enjoy.



GREGORY: I see your eyes. Your faces. How do you feel today? Happy? Upset? Broken? I may not know for sure how you feel, but I know you’re watching me. There… now! Is that a smile? The smile grows into a grin. The girl is happy. [Takes a moment to taste the silence around and study the AUDIENCE] Your faces… such beautiful, malleable, supple masks of skin. Pull it up and show your teeth, hide what you feel inside. Or bare it all. Bare the monster, raw, injurious… cruel. Let who you are, inside, break the mask. Like slamming fists, hard, on glass, shards shattering with your pain.

[A light comes up, illuminating a glass TABLE. A GUN sits on top of the TABLE. Gregory quietly takes the GUN, caresses it, cheeks to cold metal, eyes closed. He could smell the gunpowder encased in each bullet. He softly puts it down, opens his eyes, acknowledging the AUDIENCE. He walks away from the TABLE]

GREGORY: I have faces. They haunt me, coming out every so often, forcing their thoughts and emotions onto me, and I’m the puppet, tugged and pulled. They each have a name… but forgive me, for I cannot introduce them unless they choose to come out. [GREGORY looks around, as if waiting for them to show] Mania… where are you? Are you running again, too fast, head spinning, body dancing like electricity is jolting through you? Are you walking down streets with your bright grin, saying in your sing-song voice, “Good morning to you too, sir! Good day, ahh, it’s been beautiful! I feel like I can do ANYTHING…”? Or are you pouring over sky-high dreams, thoughts streaming from your head, intricate, elaborate and complex? Nothing in your way. Mania—  where are you?

[A sudden change. A silence. GREGORY looks over his shoulder as if hearing someone from behind, and when he faces the AUDIENCE, LIGHTS TURN RED. He is frowning, hard, eyes dark with slight amusement]

RAGE: He’s not coming, Gregory. I’m here. How come you weren’t you calling me? I’m your best friend. Rage. [He cracks his neck with a slow twist, straightens up, looks at the audience] Lovely party. Were you all listening to him when he was calling for Mania? [No answer] WERE YOU?! [No answer] No worries… I can ask Gregory. Gregory?

[Gregory’s face switches as if out of a daze. His face is relaxed, emotionless now]

GREGORY: Rage… what do you want?

RAGE: You. You were calling Mania.

GREGORY: Yes. Why not?

RAGE: You should have called me. Gregory. You’re a disappointment. How many times have I asked you to turn to me first, before calling others? I can help you. Someone hurting you? Let me take control. SLAM him or her to the floor, spit and yell into their ears till they cry, and you’ll have their respect. Someone lying to you? I can tell the difference between lie and truth. I can take it out of them, and once I have, hurt them so they won’t anymore. Hurt them like they’ve done to you. Again… and AGAIN… and AGAIN. ON THE FLOOR, HURTING HUMILIATED BREAKING CRYING TEARS AND SWEAT STREAMING DOWN THEIR RAW RED STREAKED PATHETIC FACE. Yes… YES! I can help you! Because I know what it’s like, Gregory. I am your most powerful friend. I am your most powerful face. And you should love me for that. Love me.

[BACK TO WHITE LIGHT. GREGORY slumps, but eventually looks back at the AUDIENCE, face relaxed. He sits down on a CHAIR, reclines, rests, watching the AUDIENCE. Leans forward and grabs the GUN off the table, then looks as if to tell a secret]

GREGORY: He’s not yet gone. He’s… right… here. [Taps his head with the GUN, pointed side to skull. Puts the GUN back down on the TABLE] Rage, you are a powerful face, but when you come out, you leave me worn out, guilty and dirty. All the acts I’ve done with you. Poor Stacy. Hal. Robert. I was not myself. But a part of me enjoyed it. The thrill of power. The escape from weakness. The freedom from frustration.

[LIGHTS TURN YELLOW. Laughter, suddenly, springs forth from him, bubbling, soft at first but then to a quick cadence, and it’s as if he’s struggling, falling from his chair, laughing, reaching out to the table for the gun, but he misses and is with hands on the floor, body jumping with laughter. His laughter dies to a sigh, body softening with each rest in-between giggle. He looks up, eventually, glee in his eyes. He moves to get up as if he’s just had a bottle of whiskey, but when he speaks it’s with booming clarity, like a ringmaster in the circus]

MANIA: Enough! I’m done with misery and anger. Here I am. Mania. Welcome me. Give me a warm beautiful welcome! [Grinning, one hand to the back of his ear, listening to the AUDIENCE. Silence] What? No love? Only a couple of feeble smiles, laughs? Well THAT won’t bring me down. I can make you laugh, pleasure you, astound you. Flowers for the lover; candy for the children; money for the boss. KA-CHING! Drop a piano on my head and what do you get from me? A scream? NO! A laugh. No mountain of burden can bring me down. Every sweat from my head, I lick with a smile and carry on. I AM YOUR STRONGEST FACE, Gregory, admit it old man! [Slaps himself hard, repeatedly. Stumbles, laughing] LAUGH! [Strangles himself, making funny gagging faces, kneels to the flood choking, coughing then laughing again, looks up grinning] LAUGH! [One of his arms suddenly turns toward the gun; MANIA’S face takes on a look of concern beneath the humor. He appears to be confused by his own arm reaching for the GUN] Gregory? What are you doing? [Hand curls around the GUN, begins to rise toward his head] Gregory… This is not funny anymore! YOU DON’T WANT TO DO THIS. STOP! [GUN getting closer] STOP! [Closer] STOP!

[BACK TO WHITE LIGHTS. GREGORY stops. The expression of MANIA on his face disappears, and he is left staring at the GUN. He puts the GUN down, tired]

GREGORY: Leave me alone. Leave me. … They come and go, without control. In mornings when I look through the mirror, they’re in my eyes, lurking beneath the dark. In silence they whisper to my ears, play with me, you know you want to… Gregory… Gregory. Sending my skin to sweat, heart to race. Growing bombs, every moment of anger, pain, humiliation, one more flame burning the wick toward the inevitable end of my mind.

[GREGORY is swaying, slightly, and collapses to the floor on his knees, head down. Hands to his face, rubbing slowly, weakly. Breathing slow, then faster, faster, through his fingers]

[LIGHTS TURN BLUE. He removes his hands from his face. A suicidal glaze to the resignation in his eyes; lips thin, turned down. Pain on his brow, teeth clenched]

DESPAIR: You have to give up. You can’t do this anymore. The pain and hate, wrecking, breaking you. The fake smiles, daily, the resent you bear for life. Feeling trapped, bitter. Sick of it. The isolation, stares, rejection. SICK OF IT. Sick of yourself. Weak creature walking this earth, useless like a weed blown in the wind. [He hits himself, hard] Failure. [Another hit, hard] Damned. [Begins to breathe deep, almost a cry, sob] You hate yourself, hate, hate, hate, HATE. [Slaps himself] Gregory. Let go. Give up. Do it. Listen to me… your Despair. You’ll find peace. Sweet silence. Calm in the storm. The slowing of your heart after making love. The quiet when someone passes. I am your most cherished face. Your repose. Your rest. Your most wanted end. Let go. [He begins to weep. Moves toward the GUN] Let go. [Takes the GUN, misery across his face] Let go. [GUN to his head. Presses hard to his skull. Let go]


RAGE: [Whispers darkly] One.

MANIA: [Whispers insanely] Two.

DESPAIR: [Whispers with a cracked sob] Three.

[A LOUD GUNSHOT. The sound of breaking glass. LIGHTS TURN ON. GREGORY sits against the TABLE, staring at a BODY-SIZED MIRROR he shot across the room. Multiple faces are watching him from the broken reflection]

GREGORY: I can’t get rid of them. They’re part of me.



Categories: Creative Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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