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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
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.
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.
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.
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, 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
I understand the books in the shelf,
Untouched. Covers gathering dusts
Pages turn yellow, words unread,
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,
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.
I turn the faucet on
But nothing comes out.
Turns it back off
There’s this thirst inside.
Sometimes I thought,
Perhaps I picked the wrong cup
To catch the down pour
That would not come.
I waited too long
To quench this wanting.
But still waited.
And forgot about my thirst.
Some other times,
I slide the sill open
Needing the sun
That’s hidden behind the walls
But what would I need rain
Those times when my heart is flooded?
Often I thought,
I should have shut it close,
But still kept the sill open
Until I slept waiting
That would not be there
I forget. And still
Wake up to another day
The water runs
From the faucet most days.
There’s rain when it’s the season.
Not all days,
But there’s the sun ~
They happen in succession
For a reason.
Dreams – nights, days – and reveries.
In your absence,
And in waiting
There’s no such thing
As a wrong cup.
It’s in how I fill it up
And with what.
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 >>>
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.
My creative muse prompts me to begin writing on a fresh page as I start a new process of knowing. This is the time of my life when I do things because I feel like doing them. Like, I write because I would like to read my thoughts tangible in words taking form written on pages, so I would get a better grasp of them.
Like the damselflies of my childhood, I don’t chase my thoughts anymore now that I’m grown up. My mind, like my palms to the damdelflies, I will open so dreams and thoughts could freely alight to show me their beauty. I will befriend this elusive guests instead of running after them like I did during my reckless youth. Perhaps this way, I could encourage their frequent visits.
To The Deeps
When half the world is asleep,
The prying eyes of the nocturnal owl
Stay alert for mice dozing undergrownds.
A turtle slowly prowls in a swamp
Disturbing the resting fishes
On the shallow waters.
Somewhere, you are confined
Asleep in your room dreaming.
While I stay awake questioning.
Am I part of your dreams tonight?
Would I take part in your life
When you awake in the morning?
The night ends
With the owl catching no mice.
The fishes has gone to The deeps,
But the turtle hasn’t reach where ’tis going.
Just like me with my doubts never fading.
But nevertheless always wishing
That one day I’d stop questioning
And to The deeps I’d just let the fishes
Unhurried thoughts and dreams come pellucid like the reflection of the summer skies on a placid river. I aim to write my thoughts that way: to achieve such clarity. These thoughts, my dreams reflected on pages as I allow the readers to grasp them like viewing the river and the skies on a clear summer day.
But sometimes, words are just ain’t enough. There are thoughts and dreams conceived that come in defined shapes, definite forms and rich colors. So I capture them in sketches. Such thoughts and dreams come alive on pads as my pen and pencil give them skin and the ink give them blood and the images from my mind come throbbing alive in sketches.
But then again, oftentimes, I am haunted by vivid dreams and thoughts that not my pen and the pencil nor the ink are enough to breath them life, to bring them the colors like the coquettish fishes flirting my mind with their exotic dance moves in the river where my mind often hovers. They demand to be born and inhabit the canvas, and only my brush strokes could give them soul, only the pallette could bring to life their hued reflections flickering in my imagination ~
Conspicuous in light and shadows.
This is the time of my life when I am fully in touched with my creative muse and the river of my mind is on its calmest state, where any minute movements are reflected that could stir ripples of dreams, and rapture of colors like the blossoms in springtime. The pages and the pads and the canvas are like the verdant fields where my dreams bloom. They are like the river in my mind where the fishes swim to the deeps in their coquettish dance moves that preludes to a million dreams.
The damselfly is within reach – I am taking time to appreciate his beauty as he hovers and I, motionless wishing the damselfly would soon alight in my palms.
Who says that dreams are black and white?
Suddenly, a dike that held the ideas I searched for more than a year now, just burst open and flooded me with inspirations I was caught by the current of the gentle streams, and found myself stranded in front my easel painting again.
(“Our Eden” Oil On Canvas 24X30 By: Jeques B. Jamora, 022709)
I stopped painting in November, 2007. That was when my father was hospitalized for the last and the longest time before he died in January, 2008. My painting with the working title,”Pending Life,” is still unfinished and I decided to just leave it that way. When I went home to the Philippines for his funeral, I have planned in my head that when I return to Chicago, I will continue where I have left off but things didn’t turn out easy for me. There was a long drought of ideas, and I was just demotivated returning in front my easel.
I came back with a heap of image materials I collected from home I planned to use for my paintings, but I let them sleep in my computer. It was a year of dormancy, of distance from my arts, but I have written rich poetry and prose. The leave of absence of one passion, the working season for the other.
And then it returned, images suddenly haunt me. I tried to capture them in words at first mistaking them for poetry but they are so vivid they are tangible, I can almost touch the colors. Winter was the season of courtship with the ideas. One by one I befriend them, I tried to capture the hue, the contrasts, the idea, the images that formed in the canvas of my imagination and I listened to what it is telling me.
And then came the title, WHILE YOU ARE AWAY: Memories From Home. This is a collection of painting ideas I conceived since I was a kid, but didn’t have the resources to put them on canvas. The collection is the union of the rich ideas from childhood with my present state of mind. They use to be just dreams, and time had given me power to give them forms and shapes and colors.
This is my journey, a walk back to my art path I strayed many times.
This is the new beginning, my new frontier to my passion that appears to be new, but the road is strangely familiar like I have been here before, in my dreams, as a lost young artist, before you found me.
Have I finally stepped into our eden that I created long ago?
For us ~
While you are away.
I have seen you before,
In countless encounters,
Crossing my path
As I walk
To the many directions
That this life
Is taking me.
But I’m not really sure about you.
You’re just a dream
Appearing to me
Now and then
In a trance,
Like a hazed mirage
Flirting with my imagination
As I travel on:
In the deserts,
And steep cliffs,
And autumn leaves-strewn sidewalks,
And snow-carpeted pavements,
And cobblestone alleys,
And floral-scented streets,
And verdant meadows
Of my life’s journey.
In those many instances
It was this morning
That I saw your very soul
When I sit
To watch you closely
In the eyes
And you glanced back
To meet my soul.
In our too brief commune,
The busy streets
Rolled to a halt,
The clock stopped,
Time freezed ~
There was only
You and me
In an ackward state :
In the small forest
Of weeds and grasses and herbs
That grow their way
In a pavement’s
On my knees
Wanting to touch you
And make a tangible memory
Of this rare encounter ~
But I don’t want to scare you.
I content myself
Recording in my heart
Everything that this chance,
Offers us to have
And to hold.
I didn’t even gave in
To the thoughts
Of taking you pictures.
You gallop away
To the bushes
In a man-made garden
Of the city park,
From my sight
By taking the colors
In the place
We both inhabit ~
In a parallel universe ~
Albeit in separate spheres:
You and I
But not quite.
I didn’t attempt
To run after you.
You are free,
Yes, you are.
But In my heart,
You are always home.
I don’t know,
I am not sure,
If there would be
In my paths ahead
Of another encounter
With you ~
Would there be
Of weeds and grasses and herbs
Growing in this city
Pavements’ widening crevices?
Would there be
When time would freeze,
And there would only be
You and me
Meeting in the eyes,
As our souls commune
In the parallel universe
But for now,
I content myself
To our intangible
As I continue
Your presence ~
In the lush bushes
Now and then,
In my imagination,
In my heart.
(A poem written about my brief encounter with an untamed rabbit, in the most unusual place in the City. Chicago, 2008)
Under the cotton sheets
Face hiding ~
Beneath soft fabric shadow ~
Sleepless mind traveling
Beneath soft fabric dreams.
Under the cotton sheets
Soul finds refuge ~
Beneath soft fabric shadow ~
Heart in restraints
Set free in dreams
Beneath soft fabric window.
Under the cotton sheets
Lost soul found love ~
Beneath soft fabric memories ~
Tamed Heart awake
Waiting for the morning
Beneath soft fabric dawn.
In life’s transits we’re merely passengers.
As I glance upon the streaming strangers,
I feel a certain familiarity
There’s strange kinship in the locality.
I take the same spot I took at sixteen,
I’m seated at the same station again.
I can’t move forward with my travels blind,
Flash backs of my past trips rush in my mind.
There are story-filled structures in the streets
We are commuters to life’s immense fleets.
I breath the same air I breathed at thirteen.
I’m home to the place of my youth again.
‘Tis a breath of fresh air ro be around kids, especially around my nephews and nieces. I enjoyed their company during my recent home-coming. Watching them is like seeing fragments of my reflections strewn in their eyes. I see myself in them, I see strangely familiar sounds in their voices and laughter, being with them is experiencing Déjà vu as I watch their every moves. A piece of me is somewhere in their genes, each of them are my little version ~ we are connected in that way.
It is fun to see familiar moves and be reminded of how I used to be when I was their age. My eldest niece is 18 and the youngest is 5. I cherish their company, it was like watching myself from age 5 to 18, like when we were together during mealtimes, or during games, in our chats, telling stories, laughing, roaming around, seeing things or even just in simple exchanges of smiles.
Child Once, Too
By: Jesus B. Jamora, 2005
Let the child run free, uphills or down plains
Like a gazelle that gallops in prairies.
Let him swim in lakes, bathe in rains
And coquette like the mystical fairies.
Censor him not for he is free from stains
Trust not the filthy mind of the gentries.
Free the child from the restraining chains
And from the customs’ narrow bounderies.
Let him be for his generations’ gains ~
Allow the children to weave their stories.
For Writers Island: “Déjà vu”
Three things that relax me:
I used to walk every day before sunrise when I was still in the Philippines, and my morning walks would usually end in the beach that opens to the sea where I conceive my dreams. ‘Tis my daily pilgrimage and like any pilgrims, my walks, my short journey to the sea enriches me. There is much more wisdom gained in becoming than in being. It is in my daily walks that I composed many of my poetry, that I conceived many new and sometimes crazy ideas. I feel connected to the streams of inspirations, creativity over flows, I commune with nature, I am in-touch with my creator.
I walk to understand life, I walk to find me.
A Traveler’s Soliloquy (Prologue)
On the steep cliff at the edge of the coast,
Lies a vine that bears a rare white flower ~
Hanging in wait like a forlorn soul, lost.
The sirens of the calm ocean whisper;
Echoing with the mountains’ dirge like ghost.
These plangent cries pervade the dawn’s zephyr:
“Let go of your clinging grip; it is time.
Your fate beacons from the unknown distance.
Hear the ringing of your destiny’s chime,
Answer the summons of this tenuous chance!”
The flower’s ineffable faith in life
Propels its heart to will to face its fears;
To transcend many generations’ strife,
And to fulfill the tales oft told by seers.
So, in the young hours of the morning,
Along the threnody crooned by the wind
The flower cut its thin fiber clinging.
To seize its future, this passage’s end ~
I arrive in the beach just before the sun appears over the horizon. I look at that boundary where the skies kiss the sea, you could not tell where the earth ends and the heavens begin. It is one of the calmest scene one could ever see. I feel so small before the ocean and the arched skies. I am humbled by God’s genius painting the skies with colors that no artist could ever duplicate. And then slowly, some flashes of lights burst over the horizon that astounish me everytime. I am silenced. What comes next is a magical moment when the sun takes flight completely leaving its last kiss to the sea, the magical moment happens when the flickering lights appear like glitters strewn over the ocean.
The hepnotic flickering lights over the horizon inspire my reveries, promising endless possibilities. My dreams lie beyond the horizon: where the sea birds fly, where I saw the airplanes disappear, where the glitters are more brilliant.
Years later, I have crossed the sea. I soared in the skies higher than the sea birds, I went where the airplanes disappear, I alight in the land of endless possibilities to live my dreams. I arrived in the blank space over the horizon that I only used to watch in my morning walks, in the sea, in my dreams.
It was a journey that started with my morning walks, look where my dreams brought me. It is an enriching journey. the wisdom I gained along the way are the glitters I gathered that are now part of me. I am miles away from home – that’s the warm glow I watch over the horizon now. Somewhere behind that glow where the sun kiss the sea is my home, my reasons for coming here and where all these glitters I collect some day would belong.
Three things I wish I will have forever in my life:
I could not tell where this three would bring me from where I am now. The flickering lights over the horizon beacon endless possibilities. New dreams are conceived, my heart is ready, I open my arms in acceptance.
A Traveler’s Soliloquy (Epilogue)
I reached the edge of the coast at twilight.
Walking back, I draw deep breaths of relief.
The sea is tinged with sunset’s crimson light.
On my path are flowers strewn on the reef.
I picked the salient flower in pure white,
When I looked up, I see vine-drapes on cliff.
(Newsclip of my 2nd published winning piece in a writing competition – The Philippine STAR, October2, 2004).
It was a busy day and I was drained of all my energies after a long sales conference I attended that day. I was working in the pharmaceutical industry then. I was driving back to the hotel I’m staying when I decided to drop by a newspaper stand to get a copy of the broadsheet I failed to read that day. It was raining, I even used the paper to cover my head back to the car. I scanned the pages before starting the engine.
The world around me suddenly rolled to a halt. The pedestrian seemed to have stopped moving, the noise in the streets was silenced. The rain ceased. It felt like only me and the newspaper I was holding exists and matters at that moment. I felt a gush of cold air in my head down my spine, but my cheeks remained hot and flushed. I can’t believe I was actually seeing my face printed on the newspaper I was reading. My entry to the Swatch Watch Celebrate Life idea writing contest was published and I was one of the six winners from the thousand of entries in the writing competition I first joined – must be a beginners luck – and won. I pinched my arm to confirm I wasn’t dreaming. Then the noise returned, it was still raining, the world around me continue its movements as it was, and like a feather caught by the wind I alight on my seat back to earth.
Life, I’ve realized, is a seed.
Neglect life and it shall perish.
Celebrate life and the seed will grow
Family and friends are extension
Of God’s love to nurture the seed.
Joys and sorrows are moments
That mold us . . .
The fruit is a sturdy,
Seasoned tree ~
(Winner, Celebrate Life Idea Contest – 2bU, Lifestyle section of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, December 18, 1998)
I went back to the newspaper stand and bought 2 of the copies left. I drove around the city to buy all the copies I could get from all the stalls I know that evening; I got 12. I instantly called my friends telling them to get a copy of the newspaper and find out what caused my excitement. But everybody called back telling me there are no copies left – I forgot it was me who emptied the stalls. So I invited them over and we had an impromptu celebration.
I didn’t really got a big prize. Seeing my work published was enough for a reward. I treasure until now the Swatch sparkling life limited edition watch I got from the contest and is in my memorabilia box at home. But I don’t know what happened, of the 12 copies of the newspaper I bought that day that I was not able to keep one for myself which I regret. The publication kept me elated everytime I think of that moment for years but wasn’t enough to keep me writing and to convince myself I could write. It was a one shot luck.
It took me another 7 years before I was able to gather enough courage to write my thoughts and submit an entry to another writing contest again which I won(must be a beginners luck part 2).
It was that same feeling the first time I saw my picture and my entry published in the news paper – everything came back to me and I could never forget that moment. The essay posted “About Me” is the excerpt from my winning entry, “The ‘One Hundred Love Poems’ That Reconciled Me With Poetry,” to the National Book Store and Philippine STAR’s Essay Writing Contest which was published October 2, 2004. Please click here to view:
My second win made the difference. It served to give me signal to go on and write, which I obeyed. I was published twice before I was convinced I can write. I feel a certain elation whenever I finish writing something. But looking back to those moments when I saw my works published on a national newspaper, the elation was different. Its not really the prize that mattered, it’s that different kind of “high” I felt when I saw my works printed.
It’s every writers’ dream to be published, and I understand why.
click link below to view my other “1sts” (moments).
We both collected marbles
In random, we choose and pick the finest.
And then, we exchange our hand-picked treasures.
My choice, I hand to you.
Yours, I kept precious.
May we always treasure our memories together
Like the marbles ~
You often visit me in my sleep. My dreams of you fill up the spaces of your absence. It’s consoling that we are together, even if they only happen in my dreams.
I have this strange dream of you again.
The two of us picking marbles together. Collecting marbles seemed our passion as we meticulously examine each of those tiny pieces from the dunes of sand, picking our precious find.
I was helping you pick the finest. I have already collected a few for myself, which I keep in my pocket. I even show you one of my treasured posession, which you liked, so I gave to you. In exchange, I asked for one of those you picked. I’m not sure if you like the idea, but you obliged.
You decided we both had enough, but I insisted we look some more. My suggestion did not fail us, from the rubbles of piled woods and rocks we discovered a rare find: A pair of peculiarly shaped gem of stones. We watch them closely. They look strangely familiar to me, but completely new to you. I am glad you kept them anyway.
And off we go.
I asked if you can drop me home, which you obliged. I took the backseat of your car even if I saw a certain hesitation on your face. I eventually transferred on the passenger side.
And then I awake, and you are gone.
I wrote this to keep as much of the memories from the dream. I am elated to have a glimpse of you, contented even if it happens only in a fleeting dream. It sadden me to end our moment together when I awake, though. Leaving me questions in my thoughts.
I reflect upon what the marbles and the pair of peculiar stones mean to us. Whatever this dream is telling me, I just wish that we always treasure the memories we shared together. No matter how peculiar they are, like the stones, let us keep them anyway. Like the marbles ~ precious.