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Eyes lie in wait ~
Day and night ~
Skies in surveillance
Waiting for the sign
That might be sent
From the future,
As the gentle streams of life,
And the rough currents
That ever oppose
Mold the pebbles
In the bed of stones
By the river
Adorned by some weeds
Awaiting for some hands
To pick them up.
Awaiting for some great minds
To give them names.
Unaccounted for ~
Remaining like a worthless bead
In the infinities ~
Awaiting for some gifted hands
To weave him
In the precious thread
Of chance, to adorn
Like a pendant
To rest forever
Closest to your chest.
Pick me from the infinities
And carve my fingers
With marks to define my distiction.
Paint my blank facade
With a face
And buy me a name.
Find me in the dunes.
You’d easily recognize me
Among the pebbles.
And find in my eyes
Your own reflection:
Waiting for the sign.
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The snow fall frenzy of yesterday rolled to a halt. The clouds reduced to thin layers partially covering the sun; the morning after promises a clear day. The weather seem to illustrate my present state of mind. Yesterday, I presented myself, my works and everything that I dreamed about since I was three to the right audience that understands the artist Jeques and share my passion. Yesterday was an overload of activities I tried to digest – fast-paced – clogging my system and clouding my thoughts unabsorbed but are now starting to make sense. As I gather myself together today, there are things I wanted to write to right things about what I said yesterday, to bring my thoughts to clarity on the page.
Introduction and Art Presentation
About the “Waif”
Let me invite you to a place where a waif resides, in the land that gives his artworks a sense of place.
I am Jesus B. Jamora. My Artist name is Jeques, I am the “Waif.”
This painting best represents me as an artist. The image is a self-portrait of a kid from memory, back in my country where he continue to hover giving this painting a sense of home. The image may look peculiar to most of you, so let me tell you the story behind the painting.
If you’ve ever been to the Philippines or read about it, you would know that my country is an archipelago of more than 7,100 islands. We are literally embraced by the sea. During summer, many tourists flock to our beautiful islands where you would see these children waiting in the ports for foreigners to drop some coins from the ships and they would dive in the waters to claim their prize. I haven’t done that exactly, but I felt a certain connection to these children as an artist, for just like them, I’ve also been waiting, longing, seeking for somebody to give me a chance, for a prize of home like an orphan waiting for his adoption.
Why do I feel like a waif?
I was an artist before I became a seminarian at 12, a nurse at 20, a pharmaceutical medical representative at 22, a boutique manager at 28, and an immigrant nurse at 34. I was an artist, I am. But circumstances left me lost, and strayed. I’ve been to many different fields working many different jobs but I’ve not really had the chance to do the one thing that my heart have always been longing to do. It is my faith that guided me to this path. It is my tenacity that brought me here knocking, hoping The School of the Art Institute of Chicago would open me the door of the chance I seek, to welcome me home so I could finally claim the prize I searched and offer my sense of purpose as an artist.
If I as a nurse could care for physically ill people back to health, I believe the Artist and would-be Art Therapist Jeques could touch lives to bring the tired spirits back to life.
And like a desolate soul, a lonely waif,
I wait for you to find me.
May your travels not take you long,
Come fast and love me.
It was wonderful to have the chance to mingle with many artists of differents ages, coming from different backgrounds, and races and culture; expressing arts in different forms to be one with them, to breath the same air and be a kindred spirit to other beautiful souls wanting to make the difference through our gifts. Each one of us have our individual stories we brought to tell and are our contribution as artists that created the bigger than life work of art event that was. How wonderful it was to have the opportunity to belong, like a single thread with my own unique contribution to the whole creating the colorful tapestry of the moment. For a day, I was home.
Two of the SAIC students made a sample thesis presentation and posted a question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and the other asked, : What is your dream. In silence, in my corner of the 122 S Michigan ballroom, my heart answered in whisper:
“THIS IS WHAT I’VE WANTED TO BE AND I’VE ALWAYS DREAMED ABOUT.”
I wish you well, everyone.
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To Dream is one thing, to do something for the fruition of a dream is another.
The day after tomorrow, I shall wake up and be able to tell myself I did something. And for whatever this dream may come, I shall not grow old and regret for not trying. I could face my creator head high and tell Him I never wasted the gift for I tried.
An Attempt will be made.
I am ready.
You are always ripples away,
The tides ever
Series of hurdles
As it appears in the surface
That this meek soul
Secretly transcends beneath;
Away from the prying eyes
You are designed
For cruel intentions,
That is how the world sees you.
But for the many years
That I followed your lead,
I learned to give your purpose
A different meaning.
I am grateful
To the hands that keep my safety
Disguised in undulation ~
Of the sudden swell of waves between us.
Oftentimes your absence disheartens me,
Scared of losing you to the crest of tides,
But reassured to see you still there
When the morning after
Calms the bubbling surfs,
That in many occasions pushed us apart.
I praise the hands that hold
The mysterious fishing pole
And for chosing you the bait,
And thank time, too,
For helping me understand.
You are the reason
Why I swim the extra laps;
Take another stroke,
No matter how helpless
My frail attempts ~
Against the raging currents ~
Just to be near you.
Reason that I doubt,
The world’s shallow definition
Of predator and prey
Would ever come to comprehend.
Your lead brought me to the deeps,
You are the pivot that draws me to the blue;
A hope that keeps my buoyancy,
And not sink in the ocean,
In the heart of possibilities.
When are you going to consume me?
(Follow the lead of your dream, trust the hands that hold the fishing pole and His design where the bait is going to take you. ~ Jeques)
The dragonfly is always been my metaphor in following the lead of my dreams. I used to chase them in the green fileds when I was a kid, like my dreams that I continue to chase as grown up.
Jeques. From his “Traveler’s Soliloquies” poetry collection
I advance onwards
Deeper, deeper into the woods.
A search for, an escape from.
To chase, or to run away.
Deeper, deeper into the woods
To try to understand. Perhaps.
I leave the familiar landscapes
Of my every day roads ~
The street signs,
The white marks, and yellow.
The lamp posts in the corner of the street,
The structures that lined my way
Like the waving of your hands
That used to beacon me home
In my every day travels,
Now fading in the background
After I let go of your grip
That changed gestures driving me away.
Tears clouded my vision
But I need to move forth
Deeper, deeper into the woods.
No turning back.
I left the compass, and the map behind,
Safe in a chest where I keep the memories.
I brought only, an empty pouch
To stock things I would collect
From places unknown,
And strings to bind together
The twigs, and pieces of woods
I come to gather,
As I journey to the territories untamed
Deeper, deeper into the woods.
I am here to forget,
And also to find a place to re-call the past clearly.
To connect the fragmented pieces
Of the quilt of the story
And to toss away what’s not needed.
To find time to sew the vignettes together.
To find out how the complete picture appears
With new eyes, how the story goes
From a different perspective. Perhaps.
Here I am, a woodsman in a modern world,
A hermit in the jungle of people,
Wandering around the untamed highways;
Lost in the towering reeds of concrete and steel
Finding refuge in the man-made caves
That cost me my savings
To pay an over-night stay ~
Even the kindly service tagged with a price. Sigh.
The discomforts I paid to purchase comfort
In my entry to the lush forest of new discoveries
Where some keys are scattered
That would open me new doors of understanding
Deeper, deeper into the woods.
In the grounds of the forest are small packages
Of seeds that encapsule wisdom.
They are gifts of the towering trees
From their fruits that mellowed with time.
They have seen both
The wider view of the lowlands,
And the best view of the heavens.
I am here to collect the seeds
To fill the pouch I carried for that purpose.
From these seeds I wanted to grow another forest
Where another wanderer from onother time
Would collect and sow them again, on and on
I trod deeper,
Deeper into the woods
Picking remnants of beauty of the past
Blending with the modern aesthetics,
Like an architecture
Built along the shore.
The reflection of its glass structure
Captured by the placid lake
At noon time
Create such a lovely contrast ~
Like a bird perched on a metal pole,
The blooms against the skyline,
A fountain in the middle of a busy street,
Like me, a waif in this streets away from home
Trying to blend in the landscape
Gathering woods in the not so common place
For a woodgatherer,
But I have used up my strings
In the bundles of woods of ideas
I gathered, enough to fuel my creations
It is time to return home.
Jeques, Milwaukee. July 30 to August 1, 2010. From his “Traveler’s Soliloquies” poetry collection.
I delight watching things from their outset,
I am soothe to see the genesis of things.
They remind me of the child, the curious eyes
Ever sparkling within.
I see beauty in simpleness of anything even at their lowly outset,
For they possess the genuine truth of precious purity.
They remind me of my beginnings
Like the water glorybinds(kangkong) growing wild in the marshes,
They bring back memories of the backyards
Of some houses I lived as a child.
In some quiet afternoons during my untamed moments,
I would sit motionless in a corner facing the swamp in our backyard
Listening to the soothing sounds, the slightest of movements
In the still water at one o’clock
When the world in my young mind
Takes a nap with my mother on her siesta.
I would sneak out of the house through the backdoor
To celebrate the joy of my earliest found solitude
In the company of nature ~
Befriending the dragonflies hovering over my head,
The birds nestling in the reeds,
The snails petiently taking thier journeys from one rock to the next,
While my mind quietly travels to the unknown future
Interrupted by occasional sightings of the gourami
That stir the still water creating tiny ripples on the surface.
But the highlight of the afternoon is the rare sighting of the mudfish(dalag)
Making that splash and swashing sound and wild movements
In the dense growth of the water glorybinds as it swims back to the bushes of reeds,
Where the water of the marshes is knee deep and the herons(tagak) nest.
That magical moment of brief beautiful chaos tickles purest joy of childhood madness.
Cherished memories from my genesis ~
My earliest form of entertainment: my humble version of television,
Or a theatre; watching a movie or a concert ~ my idea of a grand show
Happening in our backyard in an atypic stage, in a silverscreen of water glorybinds
Where the dragonflies, the frogs, the birds, the gourami, the snails, the herons, the mudfish
Are the stars, and I, their sole audience.
The show ends with the voice of my mother calling my name at four o’clock.
That’s when the curtains drop,
The world wakes up,
As I walk back home to the door of my genesis.
Jeques, 2010. From his “Traveler’s Soliloquies poetry collection.
Under your sheltering canopy
In the safety of your embrace
Beneath your reassuring grip
Like the shadow of the clouds
Passing by on a midday.
Such fleeting moments
Of alternating shadow and light:
And the silent anticipations in between
Fuel hope, keep the heart pounding
To reach another waiting shade
Along the way
Underneath your sheltering canopy.
His Name Is Ethan
Yes, I gave him a name and his name is Ethan.
I was called once to priesthood when I was in highschool, but I was expelled from the seminary after a year. Many are called, they said, but only a few are chosen; I was not. It was my first taste of rejection, and it was how my story with Ethan started.
I mentioned the seminary because I planted Ethan the summer after I was kicked out. I was 13 years old with wings broken. Nobody really cared to listen to my side of the story especially my father. My mother, as always, was there to console me ~ in silence. I was left alone in the corner to leak my own wound to heal. At that lowest point of my life, for a reason that I’m just beginning to understand now, God sent me Ethan to care. I always had some loner tendencies as a kid. That summer and years after that I became withdrawn, misunderstood. Gone was the child full of life, I fell down so low I never thought I could ever rise again.
For more about “Ethan,” please click image below >>>
Happy Mother’s Day to Mamang, my Sisters and all the mothers in the world!
For all the lines that I have written,
And every word that I have spoken,
A piece of me is taken.
For every time I send my greetings,
It is my heart that I am sending.
Jeques, 2010. From his “Traveler’s Soliloquies” poetry collection.
I searched your eyes
Amid the souls
That flock the streets
Where were you?
Among the lips
That sipped the juice
Of simple joy
How would I single out
I ride the tides
To ambiguous blue
To find you
Where were you?
The isles dissolved,
And lost my hope
To see you
Where would I find
Your waiting arms?
I climb the mountains
But the fogs had seized you;
I reached the summit
And you’re not there
Where were you?
When the rains
Washed away everything
Down the mountains
Would you catch my tears
In the streams?
I left the stars
And slept in the cradle
Of the waning moon
Where were you?
In dark nights
When dreams didn’t visit
Would I catch a glimpse
Of you at daybreak?
I search your eyes
Amid the souls
That flock the streets
I guess I’d be forever this way
Til the day I catch true friendship
In the eyes
Until the day
When fate lay on my empty hands
The gift of ‘Amistad’
Where were you?
Jeques, 2010. From his “Traveler’s Soliloquies” poetry collection.
The places we visit are like peepholes we take a peek, revealing parts of a bigger picture of the journeys we take. This is what New York showed me. I visited the place for the first time last year, but it felt like I was there forever.
Land of childhood dreams
Hedged in by enormous seas
Have you ever had thought so strong it follows you all through life? I have. It is incessant and tarry as the waves to the shore that come, and go, and come back in erratic intensity of currents taking me back, up, down and forth.
Years back, I wrote this haiku piece included in my Filipino Immigration collection and New York, I have to confess, was the place in mind when I wrote it. I had a strong feeling even then, though I didn’t know exactly when, that one day I’m going alight on to its grounds like the damselfly and walk its streets where my dream arrived ahead of me. For somebody who lived in the other side of the world, it was a dream that for years I half-believed, but after January 17, 2009, with all my heart, I now do.
I first saw America in a postcard, in a picture of a snowy Time Square, New York and visited the place countless times in my thoughts. I’m not sure who owned that card, or who sent it to whom and from where, but I think of it now an invitation sent by my fate from the future to come to a place. An enticement I ignored, or perhaps I turned down at some point doubting possibilities, but the invitation ever haunting.
Years after, I arrived in Chicago and saw snow for the first time. I walked the streets in many snowy days, and my thought of the christmas card would return, unreeling in waves and waves of flashback like an old film but the picture always incomplete, not until last year, when fate put me exactly in that old picture of the postcard I once viewed as a child. My dream and I converged in Time Square where all the elements conspired, and felt the snow the way the child thought it should feel melting on my face when I arrive to answer that long time invitation.
I really thought my many years of incessant thoughts of New York ended when I finally answered its invitation. But I fear, No! I left many stones unturned with my brief weekend visit last year that continue to frequent my reveries, courting me with new angles of possibility. This is what New York mean to me now. For many years, it’s something impossible and far away, and when I reached to touch its grounds, it remained mystical and distant. I felt ignored during my visit. I even wonder it noticed my presence. Perhaps it’s my fault for ignoring the invitation too long that fate have forgotten about the christmas card and didn’t recognize me when I finally stepped into the picture to answer its long time invitation.
I love New York
But it didn’t love me back
A love that endured
Years of dreaming
And wake up
To walk its streets
For fleeting moment
And temporary bliss
With its rushing time.
I chased you
In the fast lanes
Of my recurring dreams.
I run after your affection
In the weekend
I spent with you,
I love New York
But it didn’t love me back.
I contented myself
With passing glances
Until the curtains dropped
And the show ended
When day light shied away
From your night lights.
But that’s when I start to dream,
Again, where you become real.
Only in dreams
That I belong to you
And when I trully walk your streets
And leave marks
Of my footsteps
In your heart.
When you wake up,
I hope you recognize
Among the many vagabond
That walked the paths
That meet in the intersection
Where dreams alight
And don’t dissolve
With the fumes
Of your heavy traffic.
Only then that my dream
Would really come alive.
New York is one of the places I visited that intrigued me to fathom its relevance to my journey. It is like a hole in a lock where a key would fit one day awaiting to be turned to reveal me many things behind the shut door. I doubt the possibilities no more when fate put me in that picture and walked the streets of the postcard of long ago that gave me the preview of what was to come and in fleeting moments became a surreal reality that weekend. I know I need to come back to complete the story and when I do, I would not leave a single stone unturned.
Our dreams may reside in many different places. Places that would speak to us in many different languages, giving us messages, revealing to us secret codes that would help decipher the mysteries of our journeys. I wish my pictures would work like the old postcard did to me and reach the eyes and hearts of dreamers to invite, to entice and reassure that dreams still come alive if we believe. And I hope you would answer that invitation soon.
Don’t make your dreams wait too long.
Jeques at Stairway to heaven. Time Square, New York, January 2009
A free-spirited cub
Laid on the holy slab
Donned by my mother white.
A willing sacrificial lamb
To get the approval of my father.
He offered me to the altar
In fulfillment of a promise
To pay his dues,
And left me waif outside a shut door
Of a dome I din’t belong.
He dropped me off the road, unknown,
To a journey never understood.
A life he ordered me to live,
Without a map to follow
And lost myself along the way.
I strayed into the wilderness,
Cruel and unforgiving,
Like a vulnerable cub
Bullied by laughing hyenas.
There was no armor
To shield me in the battles
I didn’t expect exist
Inside the dome
That I thought was holy.
I was an easy prey
To predators in school
And the obloquies of my father
When I returned home.
The life raft
I thought I could cling on
In times of storm
Pushed me away,
Drifting, hitting rocks in the shores
That would not welcome me.
I sustained wounds
That bleed inside me
I leaked many years in silence
To healing ~
Nursed the white cub inside me
And made myself whole again.
I was a reject at 13,
A loser at such a young age.
A picture of defeat,
Expelled from the dome
That many thought
Would determine my future.
The once free-spirited cub
Suddenly became a pariah
Retiring to his digged burrows
Leaving behind no egress,
To a different kind of confinement.
I tried to mimic the hyenas
For awhile to earn my protection
From the harsh world.
A symbiosis I welcomed
Like the anemone
To a clownfish taking shelter
In its stinging tentacled folds
While I build my backbone,
Training my fins to swim
And find the lost me again.
It was a moment
I’m not proud about, and remorseful.
I feel for the souls I stung with words,
For who could understand them better
But me who once was a dartboard
Of ridicules of the hyenas.
I learned to sound like their laughter
But never become them,
For caged within me was a crying cub
I heard clearly
When I chose solitude.
I didn’t belong to any herd
And refused to take their colors,
For I chose to become a new breed
That grows its claws
Not to harm, but to protect.
To weave words not to distroy,
But to re-build the broken spirits.
It took me years
To understand my purpose,
Like the clownfish to survive
Free of my imaginary anemone.
It took me awhile to recognize
The true sound of my laughter
Muted by the loud hyenas.
In solitude I redeemed my voice
I once lost in my desperate attempts
To seek the approval of my father.
I swam the ocean, arrived in the shore
That my creator intended me to be
And found the white cub still clad in white
His mother once donned him,
But now grown
HAVE A WONDERFUL YEAR OF THE WHITE TIGER, EVERYONE!
I wish you well.
It is not what I intended,
But it’s what the moment
I have great reverence
For the higher laws;
I humbly surrender myself
To this moment of recluse.
With epenness and faith,
I trust the will
Of the greater power.
I will come out
From this passage
Like my efflorescence
Amid the bunch.
A course to tread,
A path laid
For my limp strides
For my newfangled mind to measure.
To re-invent purpose,
To carve uncharted frontiers
With my feet, like a chisel
To leave enduring marks.
Let my trodden tracks
Be my sculptural gift to the morrow,
My immortal artwork
In praise of my maker
Who engineered my body
With feet to explore,
Hands to do,
Skilled to create worlds
And a heart
Ingrained with flames,
To ferocious weathers
The road stretches,
It doesn’t stop
Where my eyesight ends
It goes far beyond the borders
Of the map I need to dump
If I am to leave a legacy
With my chiseled tracks
In the bereft grounds
(Jeques, 2009. from his poetry collection, “Travelers Soliloquies”)
2nd Year of Taming This Tyke’s Voice
August 16, 2009
Jeques Web Nook, Year 2
Today marks the second year of taming my voice as a writer and as an artist in general, in public. My web nook serves as my creative venue where I synthesize life’s inspirations, my journey, random thoughts, dreams, desperations, my share of pains in living, simple joys, bliss, life’s mirths, ponderings ~
My every day celebration for knowing that I breath and my existense is in tune with the universe’s rhymes.
It’s been two years and this nook gifted me with rich produce that I never realized I have inside me, had I not listen closely to the fragile voice that told me stories, recited me poetry, painted my life with colors.
In commemoration with Jeques web nook biennial celebration, I am proud to formally launch my bountiful harvest as an artist in My Art Portfolio. This is the produce from my continuous reconnaissance of my gift.
Follow the tracks of the waif’s journey. And may you whisper a prayer in every turn and trail, for the waif to find his home.
Through my works, I would like to represent the displaced artists in different fields for some reasons, becoming like waifs, that I am, searching for home. I share the sentiments of artists unable to do their arts, caged in the jobs that are far from what their hearts purely desire to do. I aim as an artist to speak to that audience, to inspire them through my works and to make a statement that it is possible. Every art piece I finish is a struggle, but each is a step closer to home. (an excerpt from “Self Portrait Of The Artist In Words” by Jeques. Complete story is found in the last page of the of the portfolio).
PLEASE CLICK IMAGE TO FOLLOW THE TRAILS OF THE WAIF >>>
We travel to open our eyes,
To the world
Different from our own . . .
in the temporary dwelling place
under a roof where many dwellers took shelter
to innhale the earth’s fresh breath, of whissling winds and singing lake.
to commune with the locals
to be part of her inhabitants
to belong to her community
to reside in her home
to feel safe
to become part of her family
to go back in time following the signals of the earth’s light house
to dock ashore
to anchor in her harbor
to find comfort in her warm embrace
to walk her streets
to taste her produce
to dine on her table
to shop in her market
to buy her products
to met up with young artists
to befriend her vendors
to ride on life’s carriage
to blend with the commuters
take a train ride around town
to be amused by performing artists, jugglers
to be child-like again
to find that quietude in spite of the turmoil
to find internal peace in the midst of the present and ancients wars battling in our heads
to be enriched by the heritage
to feel refreshed and renewed
to be reinvigorated body and soul
to thank the heavens for the graces
to seize the moment
to bless the day
to bathe in the earth’s fountains
to be reassured we are part of the streams of the universe
to be ready for our next trips
to sail forth
to embark in life’s new journey again
on and on.
The destination ever beaconing in the distance
We are part of heavens’ immense plans
each one of us is a special thread
that makes up the universe’s colorful tapestries.
. . . Their part of the world and mine are no different afterall,
We take shelter in the same roof
Under the same arched skies.
(Kenosha and Racine, Wisconsin, July 31 to August 2, 2009)
- “morning panes” #1 oil on canvas 30×40, by Jeques B. Jamora
- “morning panes” series #1 to 3
- “morning panes” #2 oil on canvas 30×40, by Jeques B. Jamora, 2009
- “morning panes” #3 oil on canvas 38×48, by Jeques B. Jamora
Where Hearts Converge
This sad ending would be our beginning ~
Face to face, you and me, aboard the train.
Together, albeit our roads parting:
Mine bounds north, yours south. Then it starts to rain.
Would time and space bring us happy ending?
Would we converge in this station again?
And just like that, we’re on our own again ~
Watching the blankness of our beginning
Through the panes of an uncertain ending
Like errant souls on board the express train
Listening to the sad notes of the rain
Heaven’s soundtrack to our fateful parting.
Time slips our palms like the daylights parting ~
‘Tis dark, and gloom embraces us again.
But our sorrows will be washed by the rain.
This railroads meet to a fresh beginning.
We will get there, let us allow the train.
And then we’ll entomb these woes to ending.
We travel through this passage’s ending ~
The railroads fork and we see hearts parting.
Tons of broken souls carried by the train.
But rails would weave them together again.
To debark in frontiers of beginning,
Like seed sprouting, bathed by the springtime rain.
As pains’ dusts settle soaked by the rain,
The turmoil alights to a graceful ending.
The heart learns to hum tunes of beginning,
And understands that even the parting
Is part of it all, then we smile again ~
As we weave our stories inside the train.
I get off, now enlightened, from the train ~
Mind’s pellucid like skies after the rain.
Heart’s calm awaiting to see you again.
May you look forward to the same ending,
May your thoughts not be hazed by this parting.
‘Til we reach our station of beginning.
Last night’s rain crooned our sorrows to ending.
Trains meet again in our point of parting ~
Where hearts converge to a new beginning.
(Where Hearts Converge a Sestina I wrote for the poetry workshop I attend every wednesday. Jeques, 2009)
Have I told you I started attending a weekly poetry workshop last wednesday? I think not. The workshop will run for 6 weeks this summer. I chanced upon the Ad when I got me some books for my painting studies in Evanston, IL public libruary. I missed one session but I was able to submit a poem for the first poetry form : Cento, a poetry made up of lines borrowed from a combination of established authors, usually resulting in a change in meaning. For me, the beauty of composing a Cento is it makes you read poetry and appreciate more the lines. This poetry would be very helpful to beginners, it could be a starting point because to write poetry, a poet needs and should read first the works of other poets and Cento just help you do that, it makes you appreaciate the work of others, makes you compose from their inspirations and perhaps help you find your voice along the way.
I was cramming when I put this cento poem together. I called tuesday(July 7) afternoon if it was possible for me to catch up since I missed the first week. Joshua, the moderator, said yes and told me about the Cento which was discussed the previous week and that I have to bring a piece the next day if I’m interested to attend. I work night shift, but I brought with me one of my favorite poetry books to work that night, and during dead hours read poems of great authors and line by line composed a Cento. The first line I got from the song, “Eversince the world begun,” the soundtrack of the 1989 movie: Lock up. Here is the piece I put together and I read during the first session(July 8).
I never knew what brought me here
You entered my life in a casual way.
The dream we dream together here,
All paths lead to you where e’er I stray.
There is nothing that last, not one.
Yet still the story and the meaning stay.
Somebody said that it couldn’t be done.
Yet it well might be that never for me.
I need so much the quiet of your love.
A love like this can know no death.
I need your calm all other things above.
Your precious presence is the air I breath.
I want you through every changing season
If not, then let me live this life alone.
(This Wanting a Cento poem. Here are the poems and the authors I got the lines of this poem from: line #2 TO A FRIEND by Grace Stricker Dawson, #3 IN THE ROSE GARDEN byJohn Bennett, #4 ALL PATHS LEAD TO YOU by Blanch Shoemaker Wagrooff, #5 HER ANSWER by John Bennett, #6 THE RIGHT KIND OF PEOPLE by Edwin Markham, #7 SOMEBODY SAID THAT IT COULDN’T BE DONE by Edgar Guest, #8 OUR OWN by Margaret Sangster, #9 AT NIGHT FALL by Charles Hanson Towne, #10 AD FINEM by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, #11 AT NIGHT FALL by Charles Hanson Towne, #13 I WANT YOU by Arthur L. Gillom. Lines #12 and 14 are my original)
Last wednesday(July 8), we discussed the poetry form: Sestina. I have been always interested to try writing a poem in this form but the structure is too demanding thereby forbidding, so I always end up throwing first drafts. The reason why I’ve always longed to get myself into a workshop is to get the chance to be crafty again with poetry, and this just works that way for me. Since I’m now slowing down with painting nearing the completion of my collection, I find time to write again and the poem included here is my first produce when I finally got myself sitted again to study poetry structures and working the craft. The sentina we compose this week will be read and discussed on our next workshop this coming wednesday(July 15).
Let me share with you sestina’s definition from the Academy of American Poets
The sestina is a complex form that achieves its often spectacular effects through intricate repetition. The thirty-nine-line form is attributed to Arnaut Daniel, the provencal troubador of the 12th century. The name “troubadour” like comes from trobar, which means to invent or compose verse. The troubadours sang their verses accompanied by music and were quite competitive, each trying to top the next in wit, as well as complexity and difficulty of style.
The sestina follows a strict pattern of the repetition of the initial 6 end-words of the first stanza throught the remaining five six-line stanzas, culminating in a three-line envoi. The lines may be of any length, though in its initial incarnation, the sestina followed a syllabic restriction.
Note: I followed a 10-syllabic count in each line respectively in my poem.
The form is as follows, where each numeral indicates the stanza position and the letters represent end-words:
7 (envoi) ECA or ACE ( I used ECA, please note that I also used all the 6 end-words in the last three lines)
The envoi, sometimes known as the tornada, must also include the remaining three-end words, BDF, in the course of the three lines so that all six recurring words appear in the final three lines. In place of a rhyme scheme, the sestina relies on end-word repetition to effect a sort of rhyme.
The poetry idea using the train and the train station as backdrop have been chasing me and been resurfacing my mind for more than a year now. I first got the idea when one time we took the subway here in chicago(hence, the reference to the north and south bound directions of the train), The place just poured me such an overwhelming poetry inspiration, but I did not act on it instantly for many reasons, and one of them is I’m still finding the right structure to give the poetry idea a body that it would need. Last year, I wrote the poem Summer, Gone. The poem contains some of the ideas that are infused in Where Hearts Converge. Here’s the poem Summer gone:
You came to bring me summer sunshine,
You left to leave me autumn gloom.
Like a speeding train,
What happened to the vibrant days,
Where have my sunshine gone?
Why do the clouds just suddenly
My smile, don’t fade away
Why do you have to give up
Your sunny yellow ~
Have I not brought
Your life some bright lights,
Why do we have to go apart
Would the evening light
In this changing season,
Would it ease
The growing yearning
With its subdued
I rest my heart
In this lonely season.
But I would keep our paths
Of grass growths.
May the railroad
That took you away
Would lead you
And when you’re tired
Chasing the changing seasons,
You could always return
To an endless
Here in my resolute
I think it is also important to mention here that the heart of this poem and the sentiment I expressed here was originally conceived in the poem One Heart which I composed in 2003.
Two different people
Living separate lives
Wanting different dreams
Going to opposite directions.
But then they met.
And they become one
One heart in two different people
One in their thoughts
Going towards the same direction ~
Living the same dreams.
Where Hearts Converge is one of the poems I’ve written that really went through a very long process. The idea, the sentiments and the heart of the poem came and present itself to me in fragments, but I believe I was able to gather the elements in a piece which I put together here and give it the perfect body in the sestina structure.
I already have a painting idea in mind for this poem which I conceived some few months back. The title is “Convergence,” a painting series of 4 pieces and I will be using the Kois and the elements of the railroads in the painting which I will post here when I finish the series. Until then, but for now, I included an illustration of the poem in pencil, pen and ink sketches on drawing paper.
Tracing the figures using my child’s eyes.
Paint it with colors just the way it was.
I feel brimful of joy that my soul cries.
(“Rendezvous” series 1 – 4 oil on canvas 20×20, by Jeques B. Jamora, 2009)
There’s the refulgent streams of the river
Flowing beneath the bamboos’ lush bowers.
Their drowsy whistles I still remember.
When winds blow through the leaves and the boulders.
There’s the rock that rests on the reef of stones,
Where the tyke sits when he would go fishing.
Silence croons him with nature’s pristine tones.
When a fish pulls his bait, his heart’s dashing.
There’s the lily that cupped the morn’s dewdrops.
Frogs stay motionless on their giant leaves,
Until an insect strays by their tongue traps.
Their prying eyes ever alert like thieves.
There’s the damselfly that hovers above
My head and the tip of my fishing rod.
A scene I always remember with love,
It never fails to cheer me when I’m sad.
There’s the sun peeping through the verdant trees;
Casting their shimmering hued reflections
On the running waters like pageantries.
Moving me to profound contemplations.
Ah, idyllic landscape, ethereal arts.
We always have that child’s nook in our hearts.
(“Childhood Nook, Revisited!” From the poetry collection by: Jesus B. Jamora, 04/21/06)
“Dreams Alight” oil on canvas 36X36, by Jeques B. Jamora, 2009
I am now beginning to slowly understand the child’s vision that used to scare me. I am now starting to polish the rough edges of the images and lay the pictures on the frames as I translate the vision to become my breathing, throbbing realities.
I awake to the present to write on the pages the stories that the child once told me. I alight to this moment where his dreams had landed long before I arrived.
I used to think I was chasing my dreams, I now understand I did not. Like the damselflies that alight on my palm as a kid, dreams, too, alight when I learned to open myself and keep my heart still.
‘Tis when I fully understood the colors and the shapes and molds, and the forms, and the feel, and everything about my soul that I trully begun to learn to dress up. ‘Tis when I learned to listen to my heart’s songs that I was able to write his poetry. ‘Tis when I completely viewed my soul with all my senses that I was able to limn the images of the empire I inhabit in my mind reflected in the canvas like vignettes from the corners of my imagination.
Just be with me.
See my heart and soul
And let time
Stand still ~
Look at me.
Show me the spark
behind those eyes
That you would not
Talk to me.
Translate your silence
So I would fathom
In your glances.
Write to me.
Send me letters
Of your heart
So you would fill
My empty page,
In my chamber
Anytime of day
While I’m awake
Or even in my dreams
In my hours
Run your finger tips
On my longing cheeks;
For my hands
For your reassuring
Those elusive eyes
To stay still
Always looking away
From my direction.
Whisper to me.
I want to listen
To your heart
Of your soul.
Let it speak.
Just for a brief moment,
Please look into my eyes,
Let time stand still ~
(“Notice Me,” from the poetry collection of Jeques B. Jamora, 2008)
How do you like me wearing the fabrics of my soul and not the clothes that the world imposed on me to wear when I was younger?
If I tell you what’s inside this mind, would you like what you will hear?
If I tell you you’re part of the dots and lines I create, that you’re in my every brushstroke, each word, each line, in every piece of me would you even care to notice and listen?
If I tell you I weave my story around you, would you be interested to hear that story or buy the volumes of book I write in my mind about us?
Don’t be excited with what you now see,
Don’t love me for what I have so far shown.
Be excited with what else I could do ~
Love me for what more I can show you.
If I tell you that my thoughts of you reside with me in an empire, would you decide to live there ~
And if I tell you I build us home in my heart,
Would you come home with me?
By: Jeques B. Jamora
What if the poet in me dies,
What if my heart’s verses lose their rhymes?
What if my passion is gone,
And there’s nothing left undone?
What if my brush strokes cease to form my thoughts?
What if my paintings fail
Their colors fade
To worthless images?
“L ‘homme qui J ‘aime” oil on canvas, 24×30 by : Jeques B. Jamora, 2009
“What if’s,” too many to hold on
Perhaps, I should just carry on.
What if you’ve got enough of me,
And get bored of me?
What if you shut me up, and oh God,
You would stop, just like that!
What if everything’s done,
You and me forever gone?
Let it be written then among the stars in heavens,
Painted in the infinite skies,
And here on earth engrave them on the marble
Of my tombstone:
Once, there was love here ~
Though ’tis human for a man.
I may sound narcissistic, but learning to love myself helped me define the amount of love I am capable of giving, and helped me define the kind of love I am capable of taking.
Our greatest fears in loving, and giving and taking come from our human mistake of fearing to love one’s self. We go out of our self, we go places, find and wanting things, obsessing people, chasing love, forgetting the true source of what we are looking to be just here all along,
Inside our hearts.
It is everyone’s wish to find that one person that would complete our story. Mine, too.
I wish you well.
There are times when we need to leave the safety of the harbor and answer the beaconing of the future in the horizon where the skies kiss the seas ~
The unfamiliar arched skies and the daunting blue of the ocean may appear uncertain, and there may be no written guarantee accross the seas but we take out our anchors from our sunctuaries, take the chance and sail anyway.
There are moments in life when we have to leave the roads that are very familiar.
It is our human nature to explore uncharted terrietories.
There’s that part in us that needs and longs for the change of landscapes.
And so we leave the paths that are safe and take a detour, stray away from our every day roads, throw the maps and just go ahead and get thrilled with things new.
We all need to face our fates at a certain point and take that arduous trek in the desert to fulfill the only obligation we have in this life to reach our destinations.
Such things happen many times in our lifetime. Sometimes we do it awake and aware, but often it just happens and we wake up one day in the middle of the desert, or in a new road, or sailing in the ocean’s uncertain blues like we are inside a dark hole and that only our presence could fill that void.
I chose to be aware and awake when I take a detour or sail – I don’t want to be thrown in the grounds unguarded. We can all control our destiny. We can all choose the kind of battle and our kind of journey.
Now for those who are wondering where I’ve been?
I’ve gone painting!
I feel like I need to leave the familiar roads, the safety of my harbor in writing and take a plunge into the uncertainty of the blue horizon that’s been beaconing me for the longest time. So I left the safety and the happy company of the language, of the friendly words that coquet my thoughts and the pages to answer another call of traveling alone in my journey with my art.
It is important that even how far the distances we reach in our travels, we need to be in touch with the isles that once became our harbor, and the trails that would lead us back to the roads that we once took that brought us where we are at the moment.
No matter how long we travelled in the deserts of this life, we need to be in touch with things and people that once became our oasis. Poetry and writing are the oasis of my soul. And I will always be back here, now and again, to drink and dine in the bounty of their inspiration.
You are my daily dose of life,
My daily drop of hope.
You are the reason I’m moving on,
And why I need to cope.
You are my oasis
In this life’s desert
So I can stand up
My love, you are the oasis of my heart, and I will always be back in your sunctuary, in the comfort and warmth of your presence for it is you who makes my journey worthwhile.