Taming This Tyke's Voice Since 2007

destiny

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


Sweet Surrender

How did you know I’m here?

And you send me the same sunrise

That woke my many childhood mornings.

Only now it greets me every day here

In the other side of the world.

"Our Load" oil on canvas 30x24 by Jeques B. Jamora, 2009

How did you know I went here?

And you secretly filled my luggage with memories

To last me the many years that I’m away.

You equipt me with fuel,

Enough to survive me a lifetime.

 

How did you know I’m longing?

And you send me short notes that keep me sane

Messages brought here by the winds,

Postcards in the blossoms of flowers,

Your hand written letters in the night skies.

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

How did you know the things I need?

You read my heart like the open pages

You keep me in the right direction,

And when at times I drift away

You send me signals, I am safe.

 

How did you know about my dreams?

You give my wishes a sense of place,

All the elements  in order at the right time.

You taught me to see the beauty in waiting

And hand me the key to the doors of being.

 

If you know all these how could I doubt you?

You made the arrangements beforetime.

I throw myself to the morrow in sweet surrender,

For I trust the guarantee of predestined schemes ~

Where the cushion of your will awaits.

Impending sunset captured snapshot by Jeques B. Jamora, Philippines 2010

 

If you have leafed through the pages of my soul,

Then there’s no reason for me to fear.

You know exactly this wanting I keep inside me,

Soon a name will fill the space I left blank.

The word I searched to complete my sentences is in your hand.

 

I welcome the impending sunset,

Knowing you would be there to sit beside me.

For now, I gather the rich harvest of my midday

Getting ready in anticipation

For the sunrise of your arrival.

 

I trust the will of time this way,

In sweet,  sweet surrender.

Jeques awaiting sunset in the makeshift hut by the river

~

Jeques, 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.
~

“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.

 


Watch Me Fly

pencil and ink on paper by Jeques

A flyer

Perched, quiet

And resigned,

Watching you coquet

With the winds

And winged-deities

Flaunting.

 

I’ve Lost you in the skies

Countless times

For reasons unknown

And I don’t question.

Content of the little attention

Of few moments,

And gone.

Leaving me

For long days

Of cold hours,

And troubling dreams

In colorless nights, awake

Waiting.

 

A flyer

Perched, quiet

And resigned

Looking at the clouds 

And beyond

For signs

Of your return,

Anticipating

 

awkward starts

 

Timid stares

 

Chats in spontaneity

 

Endings that come swiftly

 

Shy divergence

 

Brief goodbyes

 

Parting touches that hesitate.

 

A flyer

Perched, quiet

And resigned

Content in the company

Of sheltering Canopy

That consoles.

Hanging on

To fibers of memories

Finding comfort

In tiny blooms;

Their lingering fragrance soothes

The aches of longing.

Vines that bridge

The absence

‘Til you’re back

To perch beside me;

Love abiding.

pencil and ink on paper, by Jeques

A flyer

Winged to soar

And suited

Daring heights ~

 

It is time.

 

In your return,

If you don’t find me

Perched as usual,

Look up to heavens

Where I belong ~

The flyer’s gone home.

 

Watch me fly.

 

Jeques, 2010. From his “Traveler’s soliloquies” poetry and artworks collection.

Postscripts:

I will be coming home to my country this month until April 2, 2010 for a vacation. I need this time to be in-touch with the navel of my journey to get hold of the loose end of entangling thoughts I struggle to find meaning. Perhaps in coming home I would find relevance in every tangled threads of thoughts, so I could move forth climbing mountains, daring heights with found clarity. I can’t wait February 10 to be home .

I wish you well.

 

~ Jeques

 

 

 

 


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

 

 

 

 

 


Mind Games and Coloring Books

 

Soar with me to heights unbounded,

Dreams go on and on

Defying concrete fences

Built by customs’

Narrow bounderies.

 

We can fly high and re-arrange stars

Put them to places we want them

Or take them home if we should,

Linger for awhile if we would

We are the law

In the mind games

I would play with you.

 

We’ll assign the stars colors

Give the comets names

Like we did in coloring books as kids

And for a moment we were  the gods

Controlling the the courses of the universe

As we please.

 

I’d like to wake you up

Where the lashes of the forests

Grew unruly,

Where litters are beautiful,

Orderly not good,

And neatness is not known

Under my decorated skies.

"our mirths" oil on canvas 36x36 by Jeques B. Jamora, 2009

I’d swim with you in the ocean

Where nobody drowns

And the raindrops swim with us,

Crown our heads 

Bejeweled with brilliant wreaths

As we emerge in the surface

Sharing mirths.

 

Let me invite you in a repast

From the bounty of my harvest

Where beverages flow no end.

We don’t have to worry

For the banquet replenishes,

And we don’t have to gain weight

For the body regulates itself.

 

Stroll with me in a leisurely walk

Where time freezes to four o’clock

When the sun is friendly,

The wind acquiesce as the crowd consenting,

And the perfumed path we chose

Under the canopy of greens and blooms

Ends in the sea where the sunset

Prepared us a breath-taking show

In the altar of the gods.

 

Let us hold hands

In the silence of the songs

That our hearts sing in unison,

Promising vows of forever

Witnessed by the dances of the dolphins

Recorded  by the ears of the ocean

Encapsulated by the infinite seashells

Strewn in the bed of sands

Of the seashore where our feet

Are planted in the grounds

Of a home we found in each other.

 

If I could have things my way

I would play mind games

And spend coloring books with you,

But if not,

Would you still love me?

 

Jeques, 2010


Tamed

 

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

Nobody understood

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,

Descending farther

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.

nagpangita ko nemo  25 ginpangita man ko nemo

 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

And tamed.

 tamed original

—–

HAVE A WONDERFUL YEAR OF THE WHITE TIGER, EVERYONE!

I wish you well.

 

~ Jeques 

 

 

 


Better Days

 

We’ve seen better days,

But are now diffused

In colors, in lights

With the passing of time

 As it nears twilight.

I watch waves of parting

As the sun sets,

Recalling, clinging

Til the delicate fibers

Of better days shared

I held on so long

Slip away.

 

Better days hover

In places we’ve been

And things we’ve done.

 

I sigh driving around roads,

Enmeshed in the gossamer

Of memories we left behind

When time knows no bounds

And deadlines.

 

Joyous raptures

I spend in retrospection

Like letters sent from the past

I read too late.

We had such moment

Of better days,

But wasted

To the ever changing landscapes

We throw ourselves off

Unguarded,

Cascading like waterfalls

Lost in endless gorges

Never to return,

Flooding ravines

With tears.

Trickling

Streaming

Flowing

Surrendering to the ebbs

Of destiny

That would empty 

Us to the reservoir of fate

That would bring our union

 To the same end

At the right time

Where dawn of endless lights

And lasting colors

Of better days

Await.

 

—–

Jeques, 2009. From his poetry collection, “A Traveler’s Soliloquies”


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)

Jeques, 2009. From his “Traveler’s Soliloquies” poetry collection


Unrequited

 

 

I understand the books in the shelf,

Untouched. Covers gathering dusts

Pages turn yellow, words unread,

Wisdom unhearkened.

Banquet prepared by writers

Wasted to termites

Leaving disinterested heads unfed,

Hearts failed, voices neglected.

 

I understand the bud in the wild

That awakens at dawn, 

But nobody drops a visit til midday,

Not a single butterfly, not a bee,

And wilts unnoticed at the end of day.

 

I understand the tree along the river

Bearing fruits all summer;

Realeases sweet odor filling the air

Inviting reapers, but nobody came.

Fruits dropping in the stream like tears,

Wasting her gifts again this year.

 

I understand the green patch of meadow

Hedged by dense forests, bordered by a cliff

Pruned by gazelles and deers

Year after year,

But nobody ever arrives with a mat to picnic;

Not a single soul carrying an easel reaches to paint.

Picturesque view wasted on the wilds.

 

I understand the sea-shells stranded

In a far-flung coast, unfrequented,

That the surf polish

And washed white by the brines

But no one comes to pick them for souvenir.

Encapsuled songs of the ocean

No one hears.

 

I understand the fate of weeds that grow

In the unwanted crevices

Of the concrete pavements of the city, 

Sprouting to embellish her flaws

Cruelly treated, uprooted, tossed.

Seemingly, life undeserved.

 

I understand the child begging for mercy

Strayed in the maze of life

Without the guidance of a father.

Growing without a map to follow

With promising tomorrow to give,

But dreams wasted on vagabond.

 

I feel for the logs decaying in the forests;

Treasures lost in the ocean;

Shipwrecks forming rusts in the harbor.

 

I feel sorry for a bench 

That awaits in the park

Comes sunshine or rain;

Pews empty on sundays.

Envelopes not opened,

Letters left unread, unanswered.

 

I understand the purity of intentions,

Unrequited.

 

I feel for every little things

With so much to offer,

But are never given the chance.

 

Unanswered beaconing of the church bells.

 

When are you going to pick up

My heart’s calls?

 

 

Jeques, 2009. From his “Traveler’s Soliloquies” poetry collection.


Home Sick In Autumn

 

What is there left to write,

When my sense of home has faded.

Fallen souvenirs pirouette in the air ~

Leaves dancing downwards ~ like specter.

The ink must wait, and rest til winter is over

(My spirit retires to quiescent under the covers)

Things freeze like the trees, even the lake dozes.

 

As wakeful hours become less and less,

Mind loses its bluntness,

The page speechless.

Distance drained my veins bloodless

Even the pulse of my pen ceases.

 

I’m losing grip of the eidolon of home, 

It’s warmth I no longer recall.

Like the trees losing their leaves to autumn,

The hands of memories that used to lift me,

For a time, fail to save my spirit to fall.

 

I let the cruel wanton winds to take me;

I trust the higher will would be kind.

I write my thoughts in the palms of the season,

I trust them to come back in time.

 

When my sense of home fills me up again;

When revenant of home,

Like eidolon,

Returns.

Jeques, 2009. From his “A Traveler’s Soliloquies” poetry collection.


Labyrinth

 

Fate dropped me

Bewildered in this forest,

Untamed,

Hazed with drapes of vines ~

Trying to find the answers

From this tangled passages 

Resolving the maze

To find my pathway

To you.

 

I stand before a forked path,

My head loaded

With question-filled sack

Keeping my balance,

Avoiding pitfalls:

 

To my right are hedges

Of thorn-filled,

Truth-concealing,

Tendril-climbing vines.

A single wrong move

Through their bowers 

Would cost me stings

From their spines of truth.

 

To my left, an inviting path

Strewn with petals,

Promising comfort

From gossamer of lies

Misleading me away

To dead ends,

To lost ways.

 

To my center is an easy way

To nowhere,

A direction that would lead me back

Here. To choose. Sooner or later.

 

If only your hand would reach out

From the bower of thorns,

If only heavens would send signal.

If only I could hear your heartbeats

Pounding from the other side.

If only, but . . .

 

Armoured only with longing,

I don’t know if it could shield me

To last the stings of truths

I would discover (I need to reveal),

To straighten the tangled pathway

That would bring you

And me, together.

 

Smothered with veil of tears,

I take the path to truth,

Taking chances

In the hazed bowers,

Following bloody hints

You left in the thorns,

Like trails of breadcrumbs,

As I soothe your pains in return

With balms of found answer

To our sacks of questions

I slowly unload from my head

Leaving them to mark the blind alleys

That would lead you

To me.

 

From separate spheres

In a labyrinth,

We clear a single 

Entangled passage

(Closer than we thought),

Daring to defy the easy way.

 

If that’s what it cost

To find our way,

I surrender to my fate.

 

To find my egress

To you.

 

—-

Jeques, 2009. From his poetry collection, “A Traveler’s Soliloquies”


Recluse

 

It is not what I intended,

But it’s what the moment

Calls for.

 

I have great reverence

For the higher laws;

I humbly surrender myself

In acceptance

To this moment of recluse.

With epenness and faith,

I trust the will

Of the greater power.

 

I will come out

From this passage

Equally enriched,

Like my efflorescence

Amid the bunch.

 

 

 


Transient Anonymity

Chicago. 15th October, 2009

 

When I’m absent minded, please remind me. I’m sorry that I’m here but my mind is somewhere hovering in a place never known to you. Forgive me for not making you feel my presence, or if you’re ever aware I arrived. Perhaps to you, I’m just another head to add number to your  dwellers. In case you don’t, it’s been three years now.

Three years of traversing your grounds trying to belong, but still get that same cold look in the eyes of your locals, like when I arrived, every time I try to find familiarity – still but a stranger struggling to blend to your intricacy, too complex for someone like me who grew up in a place where everyone I meet in the streets are relatives or at least somebody else’s I would surely know. But if you live that life too long, it’s tiring. It’s easier to get to know other people, than to delve with the person that resides in the confines of your ribs. I longed for anonymity, but when you gave it to me, I’m not sure if I would have still wanted it.

Here I am a dweller in your patch of the earth taking you in, but like the air, I just breath you to exhale again, unable to entirely assimilate you into my system. Every day remains to be like fast-moving scenes just passing, slipping my hands leaving me detached no matter how hard I try to take hold of the moment. I’m like a guest attending an event but not formally introduced to the host, if you would ever understand my kind of uneasiness being here. But I have to admit I should take much of the blame for our estrangement. You took me as a tenant, but still  think of myself just a transient tourist taking snapshots that I would eventually bring home. I have to confess, I didn’t find the home I look for in your manicured fields. Your towering reeds of spires are just too much for me, I shrink to a muted element that would not fit to your structured collage and forever scares to be left out in the fast lanes of your speeding races, like a peculiar yarn in a loom afraid that your unforgiving modern living would soon prey on me and isolate me from the weave. This fear comes from my job caring for the casualties and losers in the races of your city. I can sense raw defeat in their eyes every day. I don’t want to be counted when I’m useless in a shelter awaiting for your mercy, God forbid I would be wheeled there one day against my will, like a dotard with nothing to share about my past and forgotten, leaving no signs – not even a frass – to prove that one time I walked this path to conclude my story. I asked for anonymity, but not that kind of ending.  I need this brief anonymous moment to cast off some misleading marks I allowed time to grow like moss in my fecade so I could resurface defined and genuine like a gem from the dunes of myth. In that way you will not count me as just another head to add number to your dwellers, but a valued yarn in your loom that would add an interesting pattern to the elaborate colors of your city.

"child-like" oil on canvas, 30x40 by Jeques B. Jamora, 2009

I have issues I need to come to terms with for my hesitance to permanently rest my anchor in your celebrated grounds, for I remain a dreamy oar sailing  above your surface finding my way like in the misty lake in the morning. I think about another place. Soon I will sing to you his songs, tell you his stories. I will be showing you his doodled images I bind in the pages of my heart while I was awaiting for that day when I have to leave the same arms that pushed my frail vessel that brought me here. But for the moment, let me enjoy this while I prepare the things that I brought from home that I wanted you to see. My maker is aware I longed for anonymity, he searched a place for me and find you to conspire with – this is the fruition from that conspiracy. Forgive my torpid response when you fold your cold arms around me on my arrival, I faked my smile for I was overwhelmed, even thought of sailing back and retreat. But I am here. I should be here.  

When I’m absent minded, please remind me. Forgive my shortcomings, I take the blame for my willful alienation that kept me withdrawn this past three years. I didn’t really gave you the chance. I stayed remote for my need to reconcile my past with the present to resolve internal turbulence for a dreamt smooth sailing  journey ahead. I need this moment to delve with the person that resides within my ribs that took many masks imposed for him to wear to please people that made him altogether forget who he really is. I need to peel the layered superficialities accumulated over the years to uncover and pick myself out of the half-truth heaps, if I have to start it right with you.

And when I’m done with this transient anonymity, I will wear my true skin, flaws included, walk your streets and find kindred spirits in the eyes of your people I meet, because I belong. 

 

This piece marks my 3rd year in America, my 3rd year struggling as a foreigner trying to fit in the molds of Chicago and not forgetting my roots.

 

Jeques, 2009. From his “Traveler’s Soliloquies” collection.


The Road Stretches

 

A course to tread,

A path laid

For my limp strides

For my newfangled mind to measure.

To re-invent purpose,

Build destinations.

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,

Fecund imagination

Skilled to create worlds

To conquer,

And a heart

Ingrained with flames,

Unyielding

To ferocious weathers

Of traveling.

 

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

Of dreaming.

 

 

(Jeques, 2009. from his poetry collection, “Travelers Soliloquies”)


Protected: The Crane And I

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Breaking Grounds

 

Here I am pursuing

In endless circles

On and on

Wandering, wondering

Where’s this circular course

Taking me,

Where’s this ring going?

 

Like the fan blades

In the dining,

Grating, squeaking in the ceiling

Racing overhead.

 

Like the propellel

At the boat’s rear

My mother once showed me

Stuck in my memory

Of things turning

Around an axis

Aimless.

 

I did my laundry

The other day,

And lost myself

With the motion

Of my clothes spinning,

So did my head

Juggling with thoughts

As the Wheels,

And mills,

The clock running

Round in circles

But really,

Where is it going

When it ends where it begins?

 

I hear an alarm

Of high pitched signal,

My laundy is done.

The machine pukes

Fragrant vomitus:

My clothes smelling the scents

Of spring and renewal

Like my mind

Finding new meanings:

 

The fan in the dining

Brings me air

Of homey comfort

Makes beef stew rice topping

Tastes like what my mother

Used to feed me

From my distant memory of home.

 

The propellel at its rear

“Mamang” directed my young mind

In my first boat ride

Brought me faraway,

Closer to my destination.

 

As the Wheels,

And mills

The clock running

Round in circles

And me pursuing

This ring course,

Breaking grounds

Widening scope

For reasons

 

That some day,

 

My nephews and nieces

Would grow up

To understand.

 

* “Mamang” a name we call our mothers in some regions in the Philippines.

(Jeques, 2009. From his A Traveler’s Soliloquies poetry collection)

 

 


Fragile Gateway

 

Steadily,

I would sit here oftentimes

Awaiting,

Anticipating,

Thoughts hovering

Fluttering

Like a pedestrian

Still,

In the corner of a street

Awaiting

For green light

For flares

So I could let my thoughts flow

From your silent signal

And walk the streets of the world

From this window,

The screen

My fragile gateway

To you.

 

(Jeques, 2009. From his A Traveler’s Soliloquies poetry collection)


Caged

 

Briefly

Our hands clasped

Against the grated wire screen

Separating

Keeping

Our worlds closely

Apart.

 

It’s a painful union.

 

We see the flowers,

But we can’t pick them.

A banquet is laid 

On the table,

But we can’t celebrate

The feast

Together.

We both have wings

Watching the unfriendly

Sky

But only one

Of us 

Is free to fly.

 

You pulled me

Closer ~

“Does love hurts

Like when the barbs

Pierce the palms? “

Being close to you

Feels painfully

That good.

 

I draw you

Towards me,

But you hesitate

Acquiesced to the customs

Of your world

That defines

A different you

From what I know.

 

I don’t have a heart

To force you out

To my world,

Even if it would mean

Your freedom ~

 

If the barbs

Pierce your wings.

 

I know how that hurts.

 

I let go

Of our clasped hands

And free you

In your cage ~

Aversely ~

I claim the Sky

To a lonely flight.

 

I am free.

 

(Jeques, 2009. From his A Traveler’s Soliloquies poetry collection)

 


Candle Keeper

 

I unearthed you that winter,

And discovered in solstice

That I am your keeper.

 

You’re the incessant blaze

That burns inside me,

You’re my built-in hearth.

Like the fireplace,

My chamber is made of bricks

I guard your flame,

I am the candle keeper.

 

You need me to keep your light

I need you to warm me.

 

Together,

We await in hope

For the vernal equinox.

But remember,

That even in the gray

Of frozen days,

 We endure

The turmoil

Of the seemed endless blizzards ~

We bloom in gloom.

 

You’re the relentless flare

That lit the wintry alleys

When doldrums

Overtook my sanguinity.

 

I coat you,

Steadfast,

Bearing frost bite

And the stings

Of Defeat.

 

I am in your keeping from inside,

I safeguard you

From the harsh world outside.

Your glowing amber

And my unwavering strides

Steer us forth.

 

I see us,

Together,

 

In springtime.

 

(Jeques, 2009. From the Traveler’s Soliloquies poetry collection)

 

 


Molting

 

What’s this eerie silence,

Wings just suddenly

Froze to a halt.

 

Without warning

Terrain desolves

To vagueness ~

Certainty, gone?

 

Where does the beacon light hides,

Like some hands

Took it away

From vision,

Promises broken ~

All hopes, done?

 

What Happen

To this Feathers

Made for flying,

Shedding,

Descending,

Head down

Suddenly fearing the skies.

 

Could a winged-soul

Ever acquiesce

To just watching spaces?

 

Touch down

Is never a fate.

 

He belongs

Where possibilities

Are boundless.

 

Take me in your arms

This season,

My moment of molting

When I am most

Vulnerable.

 

Open your palms

To my shed feathers.

Let your embrace

Be my temporary shelter

In moment of molting,

When the wind

Is a provisional foe.

 

Hold me with such gentleness,

Like the hen

Gathers her flock

At twilight,

Yet sets them off

When morning comes.

 

Open your palms

When this wings

Are once more ready

For flying.

 

But Don’t waver,

For ingrained

In every winged-soul

Is a homing pigeon ~

 

And from this day forward, 

Only in your heart

Would I find my roost.

 

(Jeques, August 2009. Traveler’s Soliloquies Poetry Collection)

 

 

 


Message From A Wreck(Prose Poem)

Message From A Wreck , A Prose Poem by Jeques for summer poetry workshop at Evanston, Week 4

message from a wreck for poetry workshop

message from a wreck for poetry workshop

My greatest fear is to lose the photographs I neatly arrange in the pages of my heart, and ultimately drop myself in the dark chasm of oblivion, soaking the memories’ negatives like a wrecked ship watching it’s own decay reflected on the steady waters of some unknown harbor, in some nameless deserted island. But that’s exactly what’s left of me, a wrecked soul, after my head on collision with reality, finding the photographs of memories we keep together stained with lies ~ here I am marooned, watching the grayed horizon, unsure if the sun would ever rise again for us. Frail and  crawling, I pick each grain of precious thoughts strewn in the shore and scribble them in the blank pages of heaven, slowly taken away from my sight by the twilight. Perhaps you will forget, and against my will, perhaps I would, too. but the heaven never will. So I send this letter to the lone witness of what we had, I send these words to heaven for her keeping.

Our story begun in the young hours of our life when the flower has not yet seen the rays of the sun that would pierce the delicate fabric of the pastel skies. We met in the eyes without really seeing each other’s souls in those brief glances, our vision hazed by the sea of strangers criss-crossing the cold space between us ~ together, but we’ve never really been. I look up to watch the flocks of birds criss-crossing the skies and I go back to the days when the closest moments we’ve really been is the touching of our palms in the conversations of whispered soliloquies we never told each other, and that only the heaven heard. For how would you call a rendezvous without even just a single picture to prove it happaned. It is nothing but a fancied romance, a fictional story, a hollowed dream that vanishes at daybreak. Why should I continue to weave a love-tale with someone so afraid to pause for a portrait with me, or to even cherish my company. But don’t feel guilty, my father could not even love me.

The fabrics of our horizon in the past, hand painted by God, were washed empty by the rain and we never really saw the sunrise that morning when our story begun, just like now that the gray clouds dance in the blue void above me threatening a heavy down pour, and just like our sunrise, I’m afraid again that we’ll have to content ending this story not seeing the sunset, not bading goodbye. 

The sound of the soft touch of drizzles in the shore, along the threnody of the winds and the rumbling of breakers are the repertoire of goodbye we never said. The scent of the first few raindrops mixing with the brine permeates in the air, this is the smell of our unnoticed parting. The liquid beads from heaven conceal my shy tears hidden in the corners of my eyes, their union caused a genial trickle of loneliness inside me that I poured down the ocean where the immensity of humanity’s sadness are emptied and purified in the heart of the earth for hopes to be born again out from the ruins, out from the many wrecks stranded in this island of loneliness where I am, where you left me watching the twilight in the grayed horizon devoid of color ~ where our story ends.

I don’t hope you to read this, but the heavens will. Some morning, this scribbling will float ashore, some soul from  some coast would pick this message from a wreck to rescue my memories from the dark chasm of oblivion. The photographs I neatly arrange in the pages of my heart will be safe. I’m ready to embrace the fate of the nightfall, I close my eyes to an ending, or is it the beginning?  

I fear no more my greatest fear.

This week is our 4th in the poetry workshop, and we are doing Prose Poetry. This week, let me bring you to a deserted island and let me whisper words from a wreck heart. The poem is inspired by the classic tale of the message in the bottle. I wrote, prepared and presented my prose poem from the inspiration and yes, it perfectly fits the idea of telling something you wouldn’t want to tell anybody unless you’re stranded, lost, nameless, dying.

message from a wreck 2

 


Morning Panes(tanka/painting series)

  “Morning Panes”(Tanka and painting) series #1 of 3
   
Dreams sojourn ~
 Whimsy reflections
 On morning panes ~
 
Coquetting the mind
Crooning dormant soul.
 
"morning panes" #1 oil on canvas 30x40, by Jeques B. Jamora “morning panes” #1 oil on canvas 30×40, by Jeques B. Jamora

 

"morning panes" series #1 to 3 “morning panes” series #1 to 3
“Morning Panes” (Tanka and Painting) series #2 of 3 
  
Dormant soul
Hatching, awaiting
Dawn’s misty kiss ~
 
Artist awakens
Broods nestle on trees.
 
"morning panes" #2 oil on canvas 30x40, by Jeques B. Jamora, 2009 “morning panes” #2 oil on canvas 30×40, by Jeques B. Jamora, 2009

 

 
morning panes
 
“Morning Panes” (Tanka and Painting) series #3 of 3
 
  
Courage ingrained
Inside broken soul’s
Callus chest ~
  
Anticipating sunrise
Awaiting to exhale.
"morning panes" #3 oil on canvas 38x48, by Jeques B. Jamora “morning panes” #3 oil on canvas 38×48, by Jeques B. Jamora
.
I have paintings conceived from poems.
 
The images of these paintings initially presented themselves to me in words. Morning Panes, a painting series of 3(at least for now, there is more to it) is one of them. It first came to me in a poem I composed in 2003. The poem visited me in a peculiar dream of a dream within a dream. I believe many of us had experienced that, dreaming in our dream, waking up still asleep. Or is it only me?
 
That dream is a tiny drop of inspiration that created ripples of poetry series. I used to write a lot, I had the freedom of time back home and I can afford to really sit down and study my thougths and dreams in my morning pages. In 2003 I wrote the poem, Images Of You. . . 

 
In my dream
I watch you in your sleep.
My heart feels glad,
My heart leaps.
  
Images of you haunt me ~
  
From the time I wake,
‘Til my sleep.

 

That dream was so vivid I immediately wrote a poem when I awake. The imagery from the dream and the words in the poem lingered in my thoughts which I first expressed visually in a drawing, My Morning Pane, Februay, 2005. It is a self-sketch of myself on bed in my room back home in the Philippines which is the original setting of the dream, the poem, the painting.
"my morning panes" pencil on paper by Jeques, 2005 
“my morning panes” pencil on paper by Jeques, 2005
 
In 2006, I wrote another poem from the same inspiration, Evanescent Romance, this poem fits well in series #2 of the painting. Note the change of the window from the previous, it represents the many rooms we sleep and the multitude of window panes we wake up with in our lifetime yet dreaming the same dreams. Here’s the poem: 
 

We are joined by our hearts’ seeking radars.
 Our souls converge at midnight’s deep blue skies.
 We talk, our words are the infinite stars.
 We feel so intimate with our closed eyes.
 Our unions are chronicled by my pen.
 The winds’ soft whistles signal your presence.
 Your image flickers through my window pane ~
 Silhouette of my dream-lover’s essence.
 In my mind I touch the face of heaven,
 When you croon to me lovesongs of silence.
   Bliss is what my thoughts of you has given.
 You illumined my lonely existence. 
Romance confined in shadows of the night. 
 ‘Tis evanescent with the morning light.

 

These are some of the few poems I wrote that ended up on canvas, in visual form, in paintings.
 
But there are also inspirations that presented themselves to me first in visual arts. They become drawings, or sketches, or paintings instantly. In these instances, my brushstrokes are my words to create imageries that frequent my thoughts.
  
To complete the circle of poems becoming paintings and paintings becoming poems, I used the painting series, “Morning Panes” as subject and inspiration to my poems for this week’s workshop on the ancient poetry form: the Tanka. It dates back to the 7th century. A poem of five lines of 5/7/5/7/7 syllable count respectively. I strictly followed this rules in the previous Tanka’s I composed but in the workshop I attend, I learned the freedom from the Tanka minimalists, and the modern american tanka which is less restricting as to the syllable count and rather focusing on the importance of expressing an emotion or deep thought in a concise manner in the five lines which is the true beauty of writing a Tanka. Shorter syllable count in each line when achieved in 19-24 or even shorter in 15 counts at the very least instead of 31 is preferred in the modern tanka.
  
Using the Tanka structure, I took out pictures of my paintings and from the deepest recesses of my core extract words that would best express the brushstrokes. Series #3 of the painting fully express my sentiments as a dormant artist awaiting to exhale, an egg hatching, a seed awaiting for springtime, a child awaiting to be born.
And when I come to think of it, this circle of paintings becoming poems, and the poems’ metamorphosis becoming paintings, I come to realize that there’s really no single strand or line that separates them. When I paint, the brushstrokes are my words. When I write, the words are my brushstrokes to create imageries. Sketches and drawings are my scribbles, my drafts.
  
It is my commitment to my craft to achieve such seamless fusion of my paintings and poetry for both are conceived and born from my heart.
 
  
 *For more of my paintings, please click image to navigate to my art portfolio >>> 
 
 waif