Taming This Tyke's Voice Since 2007

About Jeques

Reconciling With Poetry

Jesus “Jeques” B. Jamora

 

My love for poetry traces back to my childhood, When I vaguely understood what I was chanting. I started reciting poems before I learned to read or write. Memorization came not from reading, but from listening; not from understanding the words or the message of the verse with the mind, but with the heart. It was primarily the sound of its rhythmical composition, more than anything, which lured me to it. Grasping the metaphors and absorbing the meaning concealed between the lines came much later. It captured my heart before it conquered my mind. This is probably the reason for my enduring love affair with poetry.

       As a tyke, I liked listening to the rhythmic tone of my high-pitched voice as I would parrot poems – joining and winning contests – before I entered school. What sounds good to the ears of a child feels good to the heart:

“…The shepherd came to worship; the tiny baby smiled.

It is an old, old story; old yet forever new.

Watch for the little star tonight;

It will shine for me and you.”

And just like most of the singers learning their first song, I, too, learned my first poem by listening.

        Poetry for me then, as it is still to me now, like love, needs no extra ordinary thoughts to touch the heart. Purity speaks the truth. I can now tell when a poem was written using blood-stained ink from the heart:

“Don’t forget me; make a shrine to hold me

Safe and warm within your faithful heart;

Weave a web of happy thoughts to fold me

In all remembrance, when we part…”

Now, if it was not the heart of Rafael Dimayuga that wrote this lines, what could it possibly be? Those lovely words were finely twined, undoubtedly, by love. Reading this poem leads me to the re-discovery of a treasure box I feared to open for a very long time. It was the key that re-opened something in me that I locked from the inside. It unleashed the dormant would-be poet in me, an inclination I lost with my first taste of rejection, when I was expelled from seminary at the age of thirteen. I have outgrown the trauma, but the scar remains – God knows it still hurts. The seminary produced many success stories of priests; mine was a sad story of defeat. My english teacher, a priest, dropped me from a poetry recital contest in favor of his pet student(it is a long story, I’ll write about that in a separate post). I felt bad, so did some of my classmates who thought I was more deserving. I lost interest in everything after that incident, my vocation included. By the end of the school year, I was kicked out.

       Something in me died. It was my lowest point that inchoate my long detachment from anything poetic. There were times when I felt it resurfaced for some brief moments, whenever something or someone whisks my heart with gentle strokes or reckless blows. My lack of the resources of language to speak my mind and the fear of confronting my too sensitive feelings quelled it even more. I was unaware, though, that I channeled my creativity into other mediums: There’s poetry in my sketches and paintings, and my bonsai in the garden. I now understand.

       Love and rejection, indeed, gets in the same route into, and out of our hearts. Rejection locked my heart once, and it was love that reopened it years later. It started with meager and petty journal entries:

“… i thought we have it, but somewhere along the way we lost it. Shall we ever regain it, perhaps at least i still hope, in the end?”

Then it progressed into short vignettes;

I am forever tracing in my mind
The creases in your palms,
When you pressed it close to mine ~

Your last strong grip,
Our last hand shake ~

Then we bade goodbye.”

Moving further,  I progressed and tried free verse:

“At night, I light a lamp

So even in the long dark hours

The little spark of my thoughts of you

Could light the moment

As I read my life’s pages back

To the times

When you were still with me.”

I heard that strangely familiar voice of the child again. And there he was, just like the last time I heard him. Albeit mellowed, and unlike before, he now demands to deliver not somebody else’s thoughts but his own. So I listned. Listning I did in the placidity of early mornings, when silence utters messages that we can understand if we listen with an open mind and a quiet heart:

“If you need a quiet place,
A perfect haven to rest;
Come let me be,
You can lie on my chest.

There you will hear a single sound,
A love song at its best;
‘Tis there that you will hear,
The whisper of my heartbeats.

Hey, stay with me
And let me be
Your quiet place to rest.

       I wrote this poem, “A Quiet Place To Rest,” just about the same time I was rediscovering my love for poetry. I wrote this then for someone who I eventually lost. But  reading it, I know now that this poem is actually for me. And that is how we reconciled, and began our journey together again.

       It was hard to believe and convince myself initially that I could write and I am a poet. But we all are. For every literate person, according to David Kirby, has it in himself to be a good poet. The good news is each of us is a poet already, or at least used to be, it’s just that most of us have gone into early retirement. It is relaxing – like a balm to the heart – to read and write poetry. I read poems to find more of its secrets and to be reminded that poems can be written. Books of poetry gives me a simple surprise that more poems are there and that the magic is available. One poet said that most of us are poets on-call because poetry only comes when it wants to. So we should always make ourselves available. E.E. Cummings also said that “a poet is only a poet during a few hours of his lifetime. The rest of the time he is a would-be poet.” So here I am reconciled with my first love. Our years apart makes a good plot for my works. I promised my self not to let go of poetry again.

       I do not know where my life’s journey with poetry is going to take me. I always have this incessant vision of me in my mind: standing in the bank of a river, I watch the waters flow, and wonder where the river came, and where life goes. I can only look as far as my eyes can see and my heart can imagine.

~ Jeques

Note:

My winning article as it appeared in The Philippine Star, October 2004. Please click picture to read the story of my first publication:

newspaper clip

 

 

 

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39 responses

  1. Mae

    I enjoyed your poetry. You have a way with words; moving and heartfelt… I will be back for more readings. Be well. 🙂

    AM000000120000003830 10, 2007 at 12:00 am11

  2. jeques

    Mae,

    Thank you very much for dropping by and taking notice of my Web Nook. I am glad to note your positive feedback of my works, it is encouraging. You are always welcome in my corner.

    I wish you well.

    ~ Jeques

    AM00000010000002930 10, 2007 at 12:00 am11

  3. brightsilentthought

    Hi Jeques

    Your story is moving and inspiring because your heart shines through your words. I look forward to reading your poems and seeing the world through your eyes.

    with kind regards

    Brightsilentthought

    AM000000100000003030 10, 2007 at 12:00 am11

  4. jeques

    I am humbled. Thank you very much for your encouraging words. It is great to have people like you visiting my web nook and reading my works.

    I wish you well.

    ~ Jeques

    AM000000120000000030 10, 2007 at 12:00 am11

  5. Well, thank you kindly for dropping our site and more so for dropping a tag for your blog!

    Your words are very moving. I am looking forward to reading more.

    Namaste.

    PM00000060000002730 10, 2007 at 12:00 pm11

  6. jeques

    SurfaceEarth,

    I’m constantly in the lookout for sites I would add for my poetry reading, and reading one of your works draw me to your site. It is a good find. Thanks for dropping by my nook and I hope this would start our regular exchanges.

    I honor the spirit in you which is also in me.

    Namaste.

    I wish you well.

    ~ Jeques

    AM000000120000000630 10, 2007 at 12:00 am11

  7. HI there! I noticed your comments somewhere or tuther and thought maybe I could lend assistance to an issue? If you leave a comment in a wordpress blog and somehow your ‘name’ isn’t linking back to your blog, then you only need to go to your profile and add in the website space/box, the name of your blog, ie “jeques.wordpress.com’ = go see if it’s blank? I had this problem and adding my website address fixed the linking issue! Let me know if you encounter any problems. Namaste! “C”

    AM00000030000004830 10, 2007 at 12:00 am11

  8. “C,”

    Thank you very much for that valuable information and help. You’re very kind to get out of your way and reach out.

    I honor the spirit in you which is also in me.

    Namaste.

    I wish you well.

    ~ Jeques

    AM00000030000005430 10, 2007 at 12:00 am11

  9. It would be our pleasure to continue to read your work. I too am drawn to the spirit of words between spaces, whether in life or music, and saw much of that here. Thank you for stopping in yet again, I look forward to more.

    Yes, namaste.

    AM00000060000003630 10, 2007 at 12:00 am11

  10. billy

    i like the journey you are on in how you see the world. where does it lead?

    PM00000050000002631 10, 2007 at 12:00 pm12

  11. Billy,

    Thanks for dropping by my nook. I’m taking one step at a time. I live each moment and I don’t worry much where my road is taking me. There’s a lot more to enjoy in becoming than in being. The journey enriches us more than the destination. So at the moment, I’m good at where I am.

    I wish you well.

    ~ Jeques

    PM000000110000002931 10, 2007 at 12:00 pm12

  12. billy

    i love the journey you are on in your writing! thanks for the comments. i will be reading your stuff often!

    AM00000040000004231 10, 2007 at 12:00 am12

  13. Kevin Olsen

    Your memories of being a child are so well communicated that it reminded me of sweet childhood experiences with poetry.

    PM000000110000002331 10, 2007 at 12:00 pm12

  14. Kevin,

    Most of the things we love to do as adults are those we started loving from childhood. I think those are the things that our souls are destined to do in the present life. The kid in us knows better. I’m glad that this piece somehow touched that part of you.

    I wish you well.

    ~ Jeques

    AM000000120000004331 10, 2007 at 12:00 am12

  15. Bonjour! How are you? Thanks for visiting my blog and I like your poems! I wish I could write like you! I will be reading your poetry entries from now on 🙂 Grazie!

    Hope you won’t mind me adding you to my blogroll 🙂

    AM00000050000002931 10, 2007 at 12:00 am12

  16. Grazie,

    It is an honor to have you as my reader and to start regular collaborations with you.

    The pictures of Chicago you poster just caught my eyes because I’m also here in the windy city. I’m glad to know you liked the my poems you have read so far. I am humbled by your words.

    I wish you well.

    ~ Jeques

    AM00000050000001731 10, 2007 at 12:00 am12

  17. anujjha

    hi jeques,
    sorry for not able to read ur articles for past two days.
    I have my examination going on.
    I try my best to find time to read ur poems and artilces.
    For Im misssing them too.
    BYE !!!

    PM00000060000005031 10, 2007 at 12:00 pm12

  18. anujjha,

    It’s ok. Stay focused in your examinations and take your time. You can comeback anytime when you have free time. My nook is always open for your visits.

    Good luck and success to your examinations.

    I wish you well.

    ~ Jeques

    PM000000110000000031 10, 2007 at 12:00 pm12

  19. Wow! Nice! Nice! Nice! You’re so talented. I enjoyed everything here. I wonder why I haven’t read you before… Anyway, I’m glad I found your blog. I hope you don’t mind if I link you up…

    PM00000050000002231 10, 2007 at 12:00 pm12

  20. Jovi,

    I’m quite new here. Just starting to get familiar with blogging. Thanks for your nice comment and you’re always welcome to visit my nook.

    I wish you well.

    ~ Jeques

    AM000000120000005731 10, 2007 at 12:00 am12

  21. laila

    I still can’t believe it’s you!How did you do that?You make me jealous!All those time that you keep on pushing me to join the essay writing contest in college…..it was really you who ‘s dying to write.Proud of you my friend!!keep it up!!!

    PM000000120000001831 10, 2007 at 12:00 pm01

  22. Laila,

    I said it all here, maybe I was very young then. I already feel the itch to write then but there were more exciting things to do other than writing when we were younger. But you know that I was already writing even then, petty stuff though, remember I’m the script writer of our drama class presentations, my oratorical piece, my monolgues and some of our classmates’. . . but it was in my 30’s that I took writing seriously. I can’t stand the writing itch, I have to give in.

    I wish you well.

    ~ Jeques

    PM000000110000000231 10, 2007 at 12:00 pm01

  23. ifoundme

    beautiful poems! i take time in reading your blog and i have to say that you are a good writer. by the way, is it okay if i’ll ask where you are from exactly here in the Philippines? i’m pinoy too. 🙂 please do continue writing.

    PM00000060000002729 10, 2007 at 12:00 pm02

  24. “youfoundyou”(ifoundme),

    Thanks for dropping by my nook and taking time to read my works ~ and I’m glad to note you liked them. I’m from Roxas City in the Philippines. Pictures of my recent home-coming are attached in my recent blogs. I’m now here in Chicago, still writing and will contenue writing. Thanks for the encouragements.

    I wish you well.

    ~ Jeques

    Postscript:

    Do you have a blog I could visit, please give me a link – the username left in your comment doesn’t lead me to your website.

    AM00000010000004929 10, 2007 at 12:00 am02

  25. ifoundme

    aaahhh… you’re an Ilonggo and a nurse too. my family and i once passed by roxas city going to boracay. it’s a very nice place and loved the seafoods. the anyway, my blog is ifoundme.wordpress.com. i’m not much of a writer. i just like to vent and i thought the best place to do it is through blogging. i wish i could write as good as you.

    have a great day!

    AM00000050000001729 10, 2007 at 12:00 am02

  26. mg11235

    your page is nearly as beautiful as the poems that fill it with all your pictures. I notice that you quote many poets I’d love to see more of your origonal poetry. If your interested my blog is mg11235.wordpress.com and i all ways love feed back.
    -MG11235

    PM00000030000000830 10, 2007 at 12:00 pm04

  27. mg11235,

    You missed the point. The poems included in this article about me are my original works. I only quoted one poet: Rafael Dimayuga, the writer of one of my all time favorite poem: “Forget Me Not” The poems included are the poetry I’ve written through the years as I progressed studying poetry forms.
    Thanks for your visit and your feedbacks.

    I wish you well.

    ~ Jeques

    PM00000050000000730 10, 2007 at 12:00 pm04

  28. Pingback: “1sts” (9. Publication) « Jeques’s Web Nook

  29. augustina61

    your journey with poetry rekindles a long-gone passion in me. i thought it would be enough to just leaf through them in the pieces now written by my own children. how soulful have you woven your thoughts into powerful expressions of yourself that inspire people, including those whose inner passions have been eroded by time and life’s circumstances.

    Write on.

    AM000000100000003930 10, 2007 at 12:00 am09

  30. lyn

    hi there.can you please help me to make a guest speaker speech for this title. My Education: My contribution to the future…i will deliver it on the 31th of this month..thank you in advance.

    AM000000100000004531 10, 2007 at 12:00 am03

  31. sunsetzens

    hi Jeques! the name is quite difficult to spell hehehehe but reading through everything in your nook gives me an exhilirating feeling that makes me disregard altogether how i should pronounce the alias…there are so many words here…an ocean of thoughts….i am drowning in awe at how much you love writing and how it loves you in return…anyway, i stumbled upon your page through reading Marvin/Hame’s poems…what first struck my curiosity though here in your blog page was the “My education my contribution to the future” phrase because i too delivered a speech with the same theme last March and it is only now that i realize that there was only one graduation theme set by the department of education for all the schools here in the Philippines…anyway, i would love to be your writing friend…

    AM00000050000002431 10, 2007 at 12:00 am05

  32. When you have time, can you email me Jeques. My email address is on my blog, see the contact info. Thanks, G

    PM00000080000005230 10, 2007 at 12:00 pm06

  33. Geraldine

    I’m back Jeques. Can you email again when you have time. I have something to ask. Thanks G

    PM000000100000001530 10, 2007 at 12:00 pm09

  34. myungsoon Kim

    Happy to see your paintings.

    Is it Ok that I ask you Painting is always difficult?

    Thanks

    Kim

    PM000000110000004331 10, 2007 at 12:00 pm01

  35. myungsoon Kim

    Happy to see your paintings.

    Kim

    PM000000110000000031 10, 2007 at 12:00 pm01

  36. Surfing the waves of the web I am pleasantly stranded in this beautiful blog.

    I write under the pseudonym of Josè Pascal (a descendant of the great Colonel Aureliano Buendía).

    I invite you to visit my italian writing blog http://parolesemplici.wordpress.com.
    I define this blog “In parole Semplici” as a “virtuacultural tin” box where they are guarded thoughts, memories, images, sounds, and simple stories. ”

    If you want to participate and to have more informations send me a letter to inparolesempli@gmail.com

    Good life and I hope to soon
    Josè Pascal

    AM00000090000004431 10, 2007 at 12:00 am01

  37. amelia

    hello there….

    What a great work of mind!!

    Godbless!

    PM00000050000003231 10, 2007 at 12:00 pm03

  38. Geoff Moore

    Hi Jeques, I’m an editor for the New Zealand Zen Journal, Manawa. I’m interested in using your tiger art work. Would you be willing to grant permission for use? We would credit you, and could include a website link if you like. Enjoyed your blog pages… Best wishes, Geoff.

    PM000000110000002831 10, 2007 at 12:00 pm01

    • Geoff,

      Whatever it was that brought you to my web nook for you to find the image of my painting of the tiger must be fate. I would just like to give you the background of the image – it’s my painting titled: “Tamed” and is the illustration for my poem “Once a Cub,” the painting actually have 2 versions – the original, I painted in 2004 back in the Philippines is 8×10, oil on special linen and in 2007, I painted the bigger version 30×30, oil on canvas when I moved here in Chicago. You can find the images of both paintings in my Artwork Glossary in this link:

      https://jeques.wordpress.com/jequess-portfolio/jequess-artworks-glossary/

      and or read the poem “Once A Cub” that it inspired me to write in 2010 here:

      https://jeques.wordpress.com/jequess-portfolio/jequess-art-portfolio-page-10/

      Before I give you the permission, I need to make sure my work goes to an authentic organization. I google searched Manawa – and I found you sourcing for images from different sites but I have not really found your website – I understand you are weekly Zen Journal in New Zealand though and I understand you are a non-profit organization.

      I’m curious what article you would put my image on.

      The original and smaller version is very special to me and to my poem so if ever you can give me proof of authenticity of your publication, I will let you use the 2007 bigger version. I can provide you with high quality image by mail once everything is in place. You can find the image better in this link:

      https://jeques.wordpress.com/greeting-page/

      A hard copy of the magazine and a link to my web page in your article would be enough compensation for my work.

      Thanks for your interest.

      I wish you well.

      ~ Jeques

      AM00000020000004031 10, 2007 at 12:00 am01

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