Taming This Tyke's Voice Since 2007

convergence

New York: What You Mean To Me

 

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

                                                                           Damselfly alights

 

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-love-new-york-134

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-love-new-york-012

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

That dissolves

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,

Unnoticed.

 

I love New York

But it didn’t love me back.

 

I contented myself

With passing glances

A vagabond

A tourist

A spectator

A stranger

A passerby

An audience

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.

 

Tomorrow,

When you wake up,

I hope you recognize

My footprints

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.

i-love-new-york-0671

Jeques at Stairway to heaven. Time Square, New York, January 2009

 

 

 

 

 


Where Hearts Converge

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?

 

 

 

"where hearts converge" pencil, pen and ink on drawing paper by Jeques

"where hearts converge" pencil, pen and ink on drawing paper by Jeques

 

 

 

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).

 

This Wanting

 

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:

1. ABCDEF

2. FAEBDC

3. CFDABE

4. ECBFAD

5. DEACFB

6. BDFECA

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,

Summer came

And Gone.

What happened to the vibrant days,

Where have my sunshine gone?

Why do the clouds just suddenly

Hid you?

My smile, don’t fade away

Please no!

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

In blue?

Would the evening light

Sustain us

In this changing season,

Would it ease

The growing yearning

With its subdued

Glow?

I rest my heart

In this lonely season.

But I would keep our paths

Clear

Of grass growths.

May the railroad

That took you away

Would lead you

Back.

And when you’re tired

Chasing the changing seasons,

You could always return

To an endless

Summer ~

Here in my resolute

Heart.

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.