Taming This Tyke's Voice Since 2007

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Waiting For The Sign

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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

Of circumstances

That ever oppose

Mold the pebbles

In the bed of stones

By the river

Adorned by some weeds

Unimportant

Unknown.

"pebbles" pencil, pen and ink on paper by Jeques 2011

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.

Look closely

And find in my eyes

Your own reflection:

 

Waiting for the sign.

 

 

 

 

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The Morning After

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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.

~ Jeques


The Day After Tomorrow

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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.

Tomorrow.

An Attempt will be made.

I am ready.


Bait

 

You are always ripples away,

The tides ever

Between us.

 

Series of hurdles

As it appears in the surface

That this meek soul

Secretly transcends beneath;

Away from the prying eyes

Of predation.

 

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


Into The Woods

~

I advance onwards

Deeper, deeper into the woods.

A search for, an escape from.

To chase, or to run away.

 

To seek

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

From here

 

For you

 

It is time to return home.

~

Jeques, Milwaukee. July 30 to August 1, 2010. From his “Traveler’s Soliloquies” poetry collection.


Fortitude

~
Let me bring you to a place
In the nook of my mind,
Where silence is a sound,
Quietude is music;
Where the slightest of movement
Ripples to waves like the tide
That rise and recedes.
.
Tag-along with my mind thriving,
Walking this winding paths
Down hills, up slopes, climbing
Grassy, sandy, rocky tracks
And cobblestone alleys.
.
Come with me as my thoughts
Traverse this zigzag roads
Of sudden sharp turns and curves
In my descend down the highways,
And climbs up the mountains;
Following the voice calling my name
Always some hundreds steps ahead ~
Leaving me dainty signals to trail
Not knowing what comes in the end,
But still I abide.

"Leaf" pen, ink and pencil on paper by Jeques B. Jamora, 2010

Stay beside me as I try to understand
The faint signs and traces
That would bring me where I am headed
Keep me awake when the body gives up
And lassitude put me in a trance ~
Hold my hand ~
Help me keep the wheels on the road.
.
Wipe my tears when the storm pours
So I could see clearly my way
Even when the rainfalls cloud the windshield
Of my thoughts, blocked to zero visibility.
.
Share the silence in my reconnaissance
As the sun creeps back ahead
Lighting the terrains of the morrow
Where my home awaits.

"Leaf 2" pen, ink and pencil on paper by Jeques B. Jamora

Disembark with me when I reach a summet.
Sit with me for awhile on the green beds of grass
On a cliff over-seeing the world bordered with white fences
That give me a picture of what has been.
The reasons for winding roads now making sense
As I look back to see the marks I left
On the pages forming definite meaning.
.
Hope with me as I look forward
To the map marked by the stars
That reveal sheer preview of the journeys to come.
.
Here we are in a stop over,
Be my witness as I ready myself to jump ~
My faith as my parachute,
Trusting your hands to catch me in my leap
As I paint my way to the roads
Until I find my way home
With you.
~
Jeques, 2010. From his “Traveler’s Soliloquies” poetry collection.
Jeques is reading the book of one of his favorite authors, Robert Fulghum’s “Third Wish,” a 5 volume novel – he’s currently on the first volume.
~

My Genesis

~

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.

Water glorybind, river spinach,swamp cabbage, whatever name you call it, for me its "Tangkong" Pencil, pen and ink on paper by Jeques B. Jamora, 2010

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.

"The Dragonfly and I"

 

 —

Jeques, 2010. From his “Traveler’s Soliloquies poetry collection.

 


Underneath Your Sheltering Canopy

~  

Under your sheltering canopy  

In the safety of your embrace  

Beneath your reassuring grip  

Certainty returns.  

Like the shadow of the clouds  

Passing by on a midday.  

Such fleeting moments  

Of alternating shadow and light:  

Long absence,  

Brief presence,  

And the silent anticipations in between  

Fuel hope, keep the heart pounding  

To reach another waiting shade  

Along the way  

To rest  

Underneath your sheltering canopy.  

"Ethan" is my Bonsai tree I planted when I was 13, he is now 24 years old.

"Portrait of Ethan" Pencil, ink and pen on paper by Jeques B. Jamora, 2010 ("Ethan" is my Bonsai tree I planted when I was 13, he is now 24 years old).

His Name Is Ethan

 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. 

 His name is ethan 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. 

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His name is Ethan

Hi name is Ethan, 24.

   

   

 


Deciphered

.
I once carefully picked
Pieces of letters from my tool box
And put them together
To form words,
Unintelligible.
.
I colored them dabs of meaning
Recollecting from lines
Of misty memories
Playing sad soundtracks
In pastel blues.
.
I put aside
Letters left unused.
They don’t strum
A single cord of sentiments
For now, there meaningless colors
Belonged to the empty space
Of the narratives,
Unintelligible,
That I left pending.

bougainvillea, unfinished drawing from home. Pencil, pen and ink on paper by Jeques B. Jamora, 2010

.
In my return,
I carefully uncover
Scribblings left unfinished
That I kept in my tool box,
To search for meaning
In the marks that brought back
Misty memories of sadness,
Unfathomed.
.
I traced back the lines
And re-called the thoughts
Behind the colors,
unraveled each pigment
Of the blue-tinged page,
Understood.
.
I carefully re-arranged the words,
Blend the dabs of colors
To find concealed happy hues awaiting to burst
Obscured by my limited understanding,
Emancipated.
.

Bougainvillea, completed drawing in Chicago. Pencil, pen and ink on paper by Jeques B. Jamora, 2010

.
You are a gift of my careful pursuits,
Transfiguring on the page 
That I patiently waited.
You are the produce from my labor~
.
Like a child to a mother
Hearing the child’s first cry,
Laid on her breast
Feeling the fragile life
Breathing, throbbing pulses
Of veins carrying pieces of her.
.
.
Like you,
Each word,
Each dab of colors,
A reflection of my soul ~
.
A tribute to my mother ~
 .
Deciphered.

"Mamang" and us, her Children(L-R): Nene Irene, Nong Jhuls, Nang Thez, Mamang and me(Jeques)

—–

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.


“Amistad”(Friendship)

 

"Amistad" Pen and ink on paper by Jeques(drawing and poem started while waiting for his flight to the Philippines, 02082010 and was completed and polished in his return to Chicago)

I searched your eyes

Amid the souls

That flock the streets

I travel.

 

Where were you?

 

Among the lips

That sipped the juice

Of simple joy

I offer

 

How would I single out

Your smile?

 

I ride the tides

To ambiguous blue

With hopes

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

My sleep

 

Would I catch a glimpse

Of you at daybreak?

 

I search your eyes

Amid the souls

That flock the streets

I travel.

 

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.