Under your sheltering canopy
In the safety of your embrace
Beneath your reassuring grip
Like the shadow of the clouds
Passing by on a midday.
Such fleeting moments
Of alternating shadow and light:
And the silent anticipations in between
Fuel hope, keep the heart pounding
To reach another waiting shade
Along the way
Underneath your sheltering canopy.
His Name Is Ethan
Yes, I gave him a name and his name is Ethan.
I was called once to priesthood when I was in highschool, but I was expelled from the seminary after a year. Many are called, they said, but only a few are chosen; I was not. It was my first taste of rejection, and it was how my story with Ethan started.
I mentioned the seminary because I planted Ethan the summer after I was kicked out. I was 13 years old with wings broken. Nobody really cared to listen to my side of the story especially my father. My mother, as always, was there to console me ~ in silence. I was left alone in the corner to leak my own wound to heal. At that lowest point of my life, for a reason that I’m just beginning to understand now, God sent me Ethan to care. I always had some loner tendencies as a kid. That summer and years after that I became withdrawn, misunderstood. Gone was the child full of life, I fell down so low I never thought I could ever rise again.
For more about “Ethan,” please click image below >>>
Thoughts race past cobblestones.
Shadow trails behind
In the green of day,
Rapture-tinged with blooms.
The once empty lamp post
And dissolved in the air ~
Faces passed me by swiftly ~
Acquaintances sealed loosely
With fluffy smile,
And unsaid goodbyes.
There were no street lamps
To mark those encounters
Like the dandelions’
Here now in brilliant yellow
Tomorrow but fluffy seeds
Blown by the winds
To uncertainty grounds
That may welcome
Or uproot them as weeds.
Walking past cobblestones of life,
I found you in the corner
Of the road I travel
And took a single fluffy seed
Of smile from your fleeting presence
And planted it in the garden
Of my heart
Where there’s no wind
To blow your memories away,
For you are priceless.
You are the lamp
That brought light
To the once empty post
That casted shadows
In the corner of the road
I walked every day.
You are but a dandelion.
You are an invaluable
“Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.”
~ A. A. Milne
Jeques, 2010. From his “Traveler’s Soliloquies poetry collection
I searched your eyes
Amid the souls
That flock the streets
Where were you?
Among the lips
That sipped the juice
Of simple joy
How would I single out
I ride the tides
To ambiguous blue
To find you
Where were you?
The isles dissolved,
And lost my hope
To see you
Where would I find
Your waiting arms?
I climb the mountains
But the fogs had seized you;
I reached the summit
And you’re not there
Where were you?
When the rains
Washed away everything
Down the mountains
Would you catch my tears
In the streams?
I left the stars
And slept in the cradle
Of the waning moon
Where were you?
In dark nights
When dreams didn’t visit
Would I catch a glimpse
Of you at daybreak?
I search your eyes
Amid the souls
That flock the streets
I guess I’d be forever this way
Til the day I catch true friendship
In the eyes
Until the day
When fate lay on my empty hands
The gift of ‘Amistad’
Where were you?
Jeques, 2010. From his “Traveler’s Soliloquies” poetry collection.
Click images below
to see hightlights
of my recent home-coming
and fun-filled vacation
to my home land:
Where Hearts Converge
This sad ending would be our beginning ~
Face to face, you and me, aboard the train.
Together, albeit our roads parting:
Mine bounds north, yours south. Then it starts to rain.
Would time and space bring us happy ending?
Would we converge in this station again?
And just like that, we’re on our own again ~
Watching the blankness of our beginning
Through the panes of an uncertain ending
Like errant souls on board the express train
Listening to the sad notes of the rain
Heaven’s soundtrack to our fateful parting.
Time slips our palms like the daylights parting ~
‘Tis dark, and gloom embraces us again.
But our sorrows will be washed by the rain.
This railroads meet to a fresh beginning.
We will get there, let us allow the train.
And then we’ll entomb these woes to ending.
We travel through this passage’s ending ~
The railroads fork and we see hearts parting.
Tons of broken souls carried by the train.
But rails would weave them together again.
To debark in frontiers of beginning,
Like seed sprouting, bathed by the springtime rain.
As pains’ dusts settle soaked by the rain,
The turmoil alights to a graceful ending.
The heart learns to hum tunes of beginning,
And understands that even the parting
Is part of it all, then we smile again ~
As we weave our stories inside the train.
I get off, now enlightened, from the train ~
Mind’s pellucid like skies after the rain.
Heart’s calm awaiting to see you again.
May you look forward to the same ending,
May your thoughts not be hazed by this parting.
‘Til we reach our station of beginning.
Last night’s rain crooned our sorrows to ending.
Trains meet again in our point of parting ~
Where hearts converge to a new beginning.
(Where Hearts Converge a Sestina I wrote for the poetry workshop I attend every wednesday. Jeques, 2009)
Have I told you I started attending a weekly poetry workshop last wednesday? I think not. The workshop will run for 6 weeks this summer. I chanced upon the Ad when I got me some books for my painting studies in Evanston, IL public libruary. I missed one session but I was able to submit a poem for the first poetry form : Cento, a poetry made up of lines borrowed from a combination of established authors, usually resulting in a change in meaning. For me, the beauty of composing a Cento is it makes you read poetry and appreciate more the lines. This poetry would be very helpful to beginners, it could be a starting point because to write poetry, a poet needs and should read first the works of other poets and Cento just help you do that, it makes you appreaciate the work of others, makes you compose from their inspirations and perhaps help you find your voice along the way.
I was cramming when I put this cento poem together. I called tuesday(July 7) afternoon if it was possible for me to catch up since I missed the first week. Joshua, the moderator, said yes and told me about the Cento which was discussed the previous week and that I have to bring a piece the next day if I’m interested to attend. I work night shift, but I brought with me one of my favorite poetry books to work that night, and during dead hours read poems of great authors and line by line composed a Cento. The first line I got from the song, “Eversince the world begun,” the soundtrack of the 1989 movie: Lock up. Here is the piece I put together and I read during the first session(July 8).
I never knew what brought me here
You entered my life in a casual way.
The dream we dream together here,
All paths lead to you where e’er I stray.
There is nothing that last, not one.
Yet still the story and the meaning stay.
Somebody said that it couldn’t be done.
Yet it well might be that never for me.
I need so much the quiet of your love.
A love like this can know no death.
I need your calm all other things above.
Your precious presence is the air I breath.
I want you through every changing season
If not, then let me live this life alone.
(This Wanting a Cento poem. Here are the poems and the authors I got the lines of this poem from: line #2 TO A FRIEND by Grace Stricker Dawson, #3 IN THE ROSE GARDEN byJohn Bennett, #4 ALL PATHS LEAD TO YOU by Blanch Shoemaker Wagrooff, #5 HER ANSWER by John Bennett, #6 THE RIGHT KIND OF PEOPLE by Edwin Markham, #7 SOMEBODY SAID THAT IT COULDN’T BE DONE by Edgar Guest, #8 OUR OWN by Margaret Sangster, #9 AT NIGHT FALL by Charles Hanson Towne, #10 AD FINEM by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, #11 AT NIGHT FALL by Charles Hanson Towne, #13 I WANT YOU by Arthur L. Gillom. Lines #12 and 14 are my original)
Last wednesday(July 8), we discussed the poetry form: Sestina. I have been always interested to try writing a poem in this form but the structure is too demanding thereby forbidding, so I always end up throwing first drafts. The reason why I’ve always longed to get myself into a workshop is to get the chance to be crafty again with poetry, and this just works that way for me. Since I’m now slowing down with painting nearing the completion of my collection, I find time to write again and the poem included here is my first produce when I finally got myself sitted again to study poetry structures and working the craft. The sentina we compose this week will be read and discussed on our next workshop this coming wednesday(July 15).
Let me share with you sestina’s definition from the Academy of American Poets
The sestina is a complex form that achieves its often spectacular effects through intricate repetition. The thirty-nine-line form is attributed to Arnaut Daniel, the provencal troubador of the 12th century. The name “troubadour” like comes from trobar, which means to invent or compose verse. The troubadours sang their verses accompanied by music and were quite competitive, each trying to top the next in wit, as well as complexity and difficulty of style.
The sestina follows a strict pattern of the repetition of the initial 6 end-words of the first stanza throught the remaining five six-line stanzas, culminating in a three-line envoi. The lines may be of any length, though in its initial incarnation, the sestina followed a syllabic restriction.
Note: I followed a 10-syllabic count in each line respectively in my poem.
The form is as follows, where each numeral indicates the stanza position and the letters represent end-words:
7 (envoi) ECA or ACE ( I used ECA, please note that I also used all the 6 end-words in the last three lines)
The envoi, sometimes known as the tornada, must also include the remaining three-end words, BDF, in the course of the three lines so that all six recurring words appear in the final three lines. In place of a rhyme scheme, the sestina relies on end-word repetition to effect a sort of rhyme.
The poetry idea using the train and the train station as backdrop have been chasing me and been resurfacing my mind for more than a year now. I first got the idea when one time we took the subway here in chicago(hence, the reference to the north and south bound directions of the train), The place just poured me such an overwhelming poetry inspiration, but I did not act on it instantly for many reasons, and one of them is I’m still finding the right structure to give the poetry idea a body that it would need. Last year, I wrote the poem Summer, Gone. The poem contains some of the ideas that are infused in Where Hearts Converge. Here’s the poem Summer gone:
You came to bring me summer sunshine,
You left to leave me autumn gloom.
Like a speeding train,
What happened to the vibrant days,
Where have my sunshine gone?
Why do the clouds just suddenly
My smile, don’t fade away
Why do you have to give up
Your sunny yellow ~
Have I not brought
Your life some bright lights,
Why do we have to go apart
Would the evening light
In this changing season,
Would it ease
The growing yearning
With its subdued
I rest my heart
In this lonely season.
But I would keep our paths
Of grass growths.
May the railroad
That took you away
Would lead you
And when you’re tired
Chasing the changing seasons,
You could always return
To an endless
Here in my resolute
I think it is also important to mention here that the heart of this poem and the sentiment I expressed here was originally conceived in the poem One Heart which I composed in 2003.
Two different people
Living separate lives
Wanting different dreams
Going to opposite directions.
But then they met.
And they become one
One heart in two different people
One in their thoughts
Going towards the same direction ~
Living the same dreams.
Where Hearts Converge is one of the poems I’ve written that really went through a very long process. The idea, the sentiments and the heart of the poem came and present itself to me in fragments, but I believe I was able to gather the elements in a piece which I put together here and give it the perfect body in the sestina structure.
I already have a painting idea in mind for this poem which I conceived some few months back. The title is “Convergence,” a painting series of 4 pieces and I will be using the Kois and the elements of the railroads in the painting which I will post here when I finish the series. Until then, but for now, I included an illustration of the poem in pencil, pen and ink sketches on drawing paper.
There are times when we need to leave the safety of the harbor and answer the beaconing of the future in the horizon where the skies kiss the seas ~
The unfamiliar arched skies and the daunting blue of the ocean may appear uncertain, and there may be no written guarantee accross the seas but we take out our anchors from our sunctuaries, take the chance and sail anyway.
There are moments in life when we have to leave the roads that are very familiar.
It is our human nature to explore uncharted terrietories.
There’s that part in us that needs and longs for the change of landscapes.
And so we leave the paths that are safe and take a detour, stray away from our every day roads, throw the maps and just go ahead and get thrilled with things new.
We all need to face our fates at a certain point and take that arduous trek in the desert to fulfill the only obligation we have in this life to reach our destinations.
Such things happen many times in our lifetime. Sometimes we do it awake and aware, but often it just happens and we wake up one day in the middle of the desert, or in a new road, or sailing in the ocean’s uncertain blues like we are inside a dark hole and that only our presence could fill that void.
I chose to be aware and awake when I take a detour or sail – I don’t want to be thrown in the grounds unguarded. We can all control our destiny. We can all choose the kind of battle and our kind of journey.
Now for those who are wondering where I’ve been?
I’ve gone painting!
I feel like I need to leave the familiar roads, the safety of my harbor in writing and take a plunge into the uncertainty of the blue horizon that’s been beaconing me for the longest time. So I left the safety and the happy company of the language, of the friendly words that coquet my thoughts and the pages to answer another call of traveling alone in my journey with my art.
It is important that even how far the distances we reach in our travels, we need to be in touch with the isles that once became our harbor, and the trails that would lead us back to the roads that we once took that brought us where we are at the moment.
No matter how long we travelled in the deserts of this life, we need to be in touch with things and people that once became our oasis. Poetry and writing are the oasis of my soul. And I will always be back here, now and again, to drink and dine in the bounty of their inspiration.
You are my daily dose of life,
My daily drop of hope.
You are the reason I’m moving on,
And why I need to cope.
You are my oasis
In this life’s desert
So I can stand up
My love, you are the oasis of my heart, and I will always be back in your sunctuary, in the comfort and warmth of your presence for it is you who makes my journey worthwhile.
I thought of writing notes and sending you letters, but what this mind has to write? What words could my hand form with the pen or the keyboard to create the lines that would tell you exactly what I wish for this season?
I thought of buying you cards, I searched from store to store for greeting cards hoping that some minds had put my thoughts into phrases, and placed them into colorful images of the season, but no! All I see in the shelves are emptiness for nothing could have really said what I meant to say, and I could not just buy the thoughts I’d like to tell you this season.
I thought of buying you gifts, but how much does my thought really costs? Is there a gift that could equal its worth? Could I really put a tag on it and could the price really make you feel the love that comes along my gift? No! For I could ot really give a price to my precious thoughts of you.
I thought of sending you flowers, but they wilt with time. I thought of inviting you for dinner, but it’s not the stomach that I really wanted to fill with love – but your heart. I thought of calling you, and talking to you but the telephone lines are seem so cold they could not really send the warmth I wanted you to feel.
This Christmas, you need to know that you’re in every strand of my thoughts. I see your face in the gentle snowfalls I watch through my window. Please listen to the songs of my heart in every christmas carol you would hear, find my affection in the deepest scarlet red of the poinsettia, it is the star that tops a Christmas tree, it is carried by the christmas breeze along the sweet scent of the pine, When you see children, my feeling sparks like that look in the wonder of their eyes when they see things for the first time which outshines all the flares of the fireworks and the twinkling of all the christmas lights combined.
My love is like the morning star at dawn that never wanes outlasting a million seasons. At times, you would doubt its presence but it is there for not a cloud of thoughts nor cloak of doubts could ever wrap its brilliance.
This season let us give out a piece of us to the people we love and to everyone, for it is in giving away a piece of us that we could welcome and take in precious pieces from other hearts.
This Christmas, I will be wrapping my heart in every gift I am giving away. I will seal my heart in the letters and cards that I would be sending, I will give away a piece of me this chritmas, for that’s the only way I could fully tell you my thoughts and make you know how special you are.
For all the lines that I have written,
And every word that I have spoken,
A piece of me is taken.
For every time I send my greetings,
It is my heart that I am sending.
Merry Christmas , everyone!
Lessons From Autumn
BY: Jeques B. Jamora, fall, 2008
The earth calls the leaves to come home
My crying couldn’t stop the changing season.
Like my tears falling on my chest,
The autumn leaves return to the earth’s breast.
The winds of fall sing lonely tunes
The shy smile of dawn turns the day to gloom.
The heavens weep soaking the trees with rain,
As I watch you leave and endure the pain.
Destiny’s taking back my joys of spring,
My crying couldn’t stop you from leaving.
Like the leaves falling to the earth’s bossom,
I’ll await in silence ’til you come home.
The trees and the leaves taught me acceptance;
The earth taught me to wait for second chance.
Note: for background music, please click and play this >>> If I could be where you are
click audio to play soundtrack
I feel for the tree this season
The autumn leavings make me sad.
The tree must be cursing the winds
He doesn’t want his leaves to fall.
Like I sometimes loathe
The changing season
For I don’t want to lose a friend.
I feel sorry for the leaves this season
Their descent makes me sad.
The leaves must be praying
Their would be no rain,
For they’re afraid to fall.
Like I pray the departings
Would be less painful ~
Though I need to set a friend free.
For no matter how the tree keeps its strong grip;
How the leaves keeps on clinging,
And me keeps on holding on ~
I know we need to let go
And accept the changing season.
The tree, the leaves and I
We are sad of the Autumn leavings.
For we don’t want to lose a friend.