Taming This Tyke's Voice Since 2007

Jeques Web Nook

Jeques’s Web Nook Turns FIVE

Today marks the fifth year anniversary of my web page, my web nook, the corner where I pour my poetic heart; the canvas of my life where the colorful palette of my soul comes home when he needs to exhale, to tell his stories, to write his verses, to compose his thoughts into songs, to share his travels and make his soliloquies be heard.

In celebration of this milestone, I now fully own the domain: Jeques.Me

Jeques.Me


Jeques on the NEWS during London Olympic, 2012

I made it on the news while among the crowd in London near the London Bridge when I was picked by a TV anchor to speak for their TV show about the London Olympics, 2012. Some stroke of luck I will forever treasure.

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Jeques on the NEWS in London Olympics, 2012


My Daily Photo-Blog for the Month of March, 2012

The need for change . . .

the longing for something new.

Springtime!

begin everything with the prayer.


Mid-Air: my poem that inspired my daily photo-blog for the month of February, 2012

Mid-Air

(prologue)

The curtain of the night drops.

The howling of the wind

That echoes in the canyon

Cloaked the silence of closure.

Heaven sends its final greeting

In the form of raindrops

Kissing hope

Goodnight.

~

(act one)

Where do I start, or

Did it ever end?

Words left me, or

Was I?

Should I pick up from where I left, or

Simply move by?

Had I left the palette black, or

Was it white, or

Simply the absence of colors ~

My absence.

A temporary recluse,

A self-exile from

My drawing board,

My writing table.

The easel put away,

As I lament

A closure of the page.

A quiet epilogue

Amidst the fading light

And sound Of the rain

At twilight.

(act two)

Slowly,

The heart begins to pound.

A sign of life

Among the rabbles

Like walking dead

With no direction

Lost

(In the dark streets to nowhere)

And found.

Signs of the bread crumbs

Leading home

Are apparent

As the sun breaks

Through the ridges;

Tapering the edges of the shadow.

The sweet mist of last night’s rain

Kissed the deserted page

Where words will begin to form again

Like spring sprouts

That would bring splashes

Of colors

And rapturous sounds

To a heart coming back to life.

~

(epilogue)

Where things end,

And where they begin is undefined.

Where I stopped

And when I begin is not known to me.

Everyday I awake,

I breath.

That’s what I know.


Waiting For The Sign

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Eyes  lie in wait ~

Day and night ~

Skies in surveillance

Waiting for the sign

That might be sent

From the future,

As the gentle streams of life,

And the rough currents

Of circumstances

That ever oppose

Mold the pebbles

In the bed of stones

By the river

Adorned by some weeds

Unimportant

Unknown.

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

Awaiting for some hands

To pick them up.

 

Awaiting for some great minds

To give them names.

 

Unaccounted for ~

Remaining like a worthless bead

In the infinities ~

Awaiting for some gifted hands

To weave him

In the precious thread

Of chance, to adorn

Like a pendant

To rest forever

Closest to your chest.

 

Pick me from the infinities

And carve my fingers

With marks to define my distiction.

Paint my blank facade

With a face

And buy me a name.

 

Find me in the dunes.

You’d easily recognize me

Among the pebbles.

Look closely

And find in my eyes

Your own reflection:

 

Waiting for the sign.

 

 

 

 


Quiet Fun

Watch the tides

In the bay,

Grub remnants

From erstwhile morning,

Of blithe facets gone by.

Hush frolic thoughts,

Soothe reckless times,

Sort out tangled memories

On a drowsy midday

And be ready,

And be ready,

And be ready to get hold

Of the hand of passing time

From this moment forth.

Know which rock to hold

When the cliffs are slippery.

Climb up with certainty,

But know when to hang on

Or climb down, if necessary.

And be ready.

 

Lay the spirit down

On the hay

Of the harvests

From erstwhile morning,

Calm and carefree.

Watch the clouds

Form

Dissolve,

And Resurface fluffy

Souffle and sweet

To the tongue of memories recalled

On a dreamy midday

And be ready,

And be ready,

And be ready to confront

The inevitable streams of time

From this moment forth.

Know when to sow

And to toil night and day.

Sprinkle the earth

With blood and sweat

That trickle on the forehead ~

Let the seeds grow,

But know when to stop

And celebrate the harvest,

When it is time.

And be ready.

 

Come home on a rainy day

To an aged couch, old and saggy,

That kept imprints

From erstwhile morning,

Of blots of ink and paint

Red and blue

From childish blows

And gentle touches.

Trace back  the stories

From stains and tears,

Unreeling,

On a quiet midday

And be ready,

And be ready

And be ready with soothing

But sometimes harsh whisks

Of the nearing eventide

From this moment forth.

Know the terrains,

And be guarded of the stings

Of each season, but be happy.

Be accepting and resigned,

And embrace the gifts

Of each moment

To build the plinth –

With stable bricks –

Of one’s equanimity

That mellows in time.

 

Take a moment

To keep your thoughts hushed

And tarry like the water in the bay.

Take time to glance back

To the parting waves

Of the erstwhile morning

And listen to the silence

Of the midday.

And be reay,

And be ready,

And be ready

 

To watch the sunset

In the bay

With me.

"Midday" a poem by Jeques Jamora, 2010


Bait

 

You are always ripples away,

The tides ever

Between us.

 

Series of hurdles

As it appears in the surface

That this meek soul

Secretly transcends beneath;

Away from the prying eyes

Of predation.

 

You are designed

For cruel intentions,

That is how the world sees you.

But for the many years

That I followed your lead,

I learned to give your purpose

A different meaning.

 

I am grateful

To the hands that keep my safety

Disguised in undulation ~

Of the sudden swell of  waves between us.

Oftentimes your absence disheartens me,

Scared of losing you to the crest of tides, 

But reassured to see you still there

When the morning after 

Calms the bubbling surfs,

That in many occasions pushed us apart.

 

I praise the hands that hold

The mysterious fishing pole

And for chosing you the bait,

And thank time, too,

For helping me understand.

You are the reason

Why I swim the extra laps;

Take another stroke,

No matter how helpless

My frail attempts ~

Against the raging currents ~

Just to be near you.

 

Reason that I doubt,

The world’s shallow definition

Of predator and prey 

Would ever come to comprehend.

 

Your lead brought me to the deeps,

You are the pivot that draws me to the blue;

A hope that keeps my buoyancy,

And not sink in the ocean,

In the heart of possibilities.

 

When are you going to consume me?

 

~

(Follow the lead of your dream, trust the hands that hold the fishing pole and His design where the bait is going to take you. ~ Jeques)

The dragonfly is always been my metaphor in following the lead of my dreams. I used to chase them in the green fileds when I was a kid, like my dreams that I continue to chase as grown up.

—–

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


Into The Woods

~

I advance onwards

Deeper, deeper into the woods.

A search for, an escape from.

To chase, or to run away.

 

To seek

Deeper, deeper into the woods

To try to understand. Perhaps.

 

I leave the familiar landscapes

Of my every day roads ~

The street signs,

The white marks, and yellow.

The lamp posts in the corner of the street,

The structures that lined my way

Like the waving of your hands 

That used to beacon me home

In my every day travels,

Now fading in the background

After I let go of your grip

That changed gestures driving me away.

 

Tears clouded my vision

But I need to move forth

Deeper, deeper into the woods.

No turning back.

 

I left the compass, and the map behind,

Safe in a chest where I keep the memories.

I brought only, an empty pouch

To stock things I would collect

From places unknown,

And strings to bind together

The twigs, and pieces of woods

I come to gather,

As I journey to the territories untamed

Deeper, deeper into the woods.

 

I am here to forget,

And also to  find a place to re-call the past clearly.

To connect the fragmented pieces

Of the quilt of the story

And to toss away what’s not needed.

To find time to sew  the vignettes together.

To find out how the complete picture appears

With new eyes, how the story goes

From a different perspective. Perhaps.

 

Here I am, a woodsman in a modern world,

A hermit in the jungle of people,

Wandering around the untamed highways;

Lost in the towering reeds of concrete and steel

Finding refuge in the man-made caves

That cost me my savings

To pay an over-night stay ~

Even the kindly service tagged with a price. Sigh.

 

The discomforts I paid to purchase comfort

In my entry to the lush forest of new discoveries

Where some keys are scattered

That would open me new doors of understanding

Deeper, deeper into the woods.

 

In the grounds of the forest are small packages

Of  seeds that encapsule wisdom.

They are gifts of the towering trees

From their fruits that mellowed with time.

They have seen both

The wider view of the lowlands,

And the best view of the heavens.

 

I am here to collect the seeds

To fill the pouch I carried for that purpose.

From these seeds I wanted to grow another forest

Where another wanderer from onother time

Would collect and sow them again, on and on

 

I trod deeper,

Deeper into the woods

Picking remnants of beauty of the past

Blending with the modern aesthetics,

Like an architecture

Built along the shore.

The reflection of its glass structure

Captured by the placid lake

At noon time

Create such a lovely contrast ~

 

Like a bird perched on a metal pole,

The blooms against the skyline,

A fountain in the middle of a busy street,

Like me, a waif in this streets away from home

Trying to blend in the landscape

Gathering woods in the not so common place

For a woodgatherer,

But I have used up my strings

In the bundles of woods of ideas

I gathered, enough to fuel my creations

From here

 

For you

 

It is time to return home.

~

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


Fortitude

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

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

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

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

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

My Genesis

~

I delight watching things from their outset,

I am soothe to see the genesis of things.

They remind me of the child, the curious eyes

Ever sparkling within.

 

I see beauty in simpleness of anything even at their lowly outset,

For they possess the genuine truth of precious purity.

They remind me of my beginnings

Like the water glorybinds(kangkong) growing wild in the marshes,

They bring back memories of the backyards

Of some houses I lived as a child.

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

In some quiet afternoons during my untamed moments,

I would sit motionless in a corner facing the swamp in our backyard

Listening to the soothing sounds, the slightest of movements

In the still water at one o’clock

When the world in my young mind

Takes a nap with my mother on her siesta.

I would sneak out of the house through the backdoor

To celebrate the joy of my earliest  found solitude

In the company of nature ~

 

Befriending the dragonflies hovering over my head,

The birds nestling in the reeds,

The snails petiently taking thier journeys from one rock to the next,

While my mind quietly travels to the unknown future

Interrupted by occasional sightings of the gourami

That stir the still water creating tiny ripples on the surface.

 

But the highlight of the afternoon is the rare sighting of the mudfish(dalag)

Making that splash and swashing sound and wild movements

In the dense growth of the water glorybinds as it swims back to the bushes of reeds,

Where the water of the marshes is knee deep and the herons(tagak) nest.

That magical moment of brief beautiful chaos tickles purest joy of childhood madness.

 

Cherished memories from my genesis ~

My earliest form of entertainment: my humble version of television,

Or a theatre; watching a movie or a concert ~ my idea of a grand show

Happening in our backyard in an atypic stage, in a silverscreen of water glorybinds

Where the dragonflies, the frogs, the birds, the gourami, the snails, the herons, the mudfish

Are the stars, and I, their sole audience.

 

The show ends with the voice of my mother calling my name at four o’clock.

That’s when the curtains drop,

The world wakes up,

As I walk back home to the door of my genesis.

"The Dragonfly and I"

 

 —

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

 


Things Empty

~

Not known, unborn,

Formless ~

Devoid of color ~

Nameless

Shape, undifferentiated;

Meaning, undefined.

Muted thoughts,

Page worthless

Awaiting, searching

Orphaned words

In pariah.

Things empty

Empty

Empty

Emptiness limns

This heart

This hollow chamber

Awaiting to be filled.

"reeds" ink on paper by Jeques B. Jamora, 2010

 Til something in the hollow

Begun to pound

In genial thumps

Of dreams, in black and white

Conceived

In traces of ambiguous outlines

Forming silhouettes

Of things to come

To fill

Things empty

Empty

Empty

Emptiness enfolds

Each tiny drop of hope

Building up to brim, in time.

The progress of time I befriend ~

Each speck in the passage

I give a name

As details unfolds

Now known, alive

In ripe colors

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

 Shapes defined, forms in certainty.

Words finding voice

Coming home

To the hearth of the longing page

Ending my moments of pariah

Waif no more

And learned.

All the elements in the passage,

Everything about myself

I accepted

Loving things empty

Empty

Empty

Emptiness begets fresh slate

And what’s next.

 

Now that excites me.

~

Footnotes:

I’m half through 2010. The first half of the year was a whirlpool of events for me with things happening fast-paced. In hindsight:

January, 2010 – preparations for my second home-coming which I started to plan in 2008 during my unplanned vacation for my father’s funeral. Ticket booking, pasalubong, sketching itineraries, and above that was submitting my resume to Hospitals I intend to get employment in my return from my grand two months vacation. And then the doubts from getting few calls considering my too long absence before I would be available for work. But I was certain of my priority – I’m going for my vacation, period.

February, 2010 – I didn’t renew my contract with my petitioner/former employer, and submitted my resignation in spite the uncertainty of my job hunting which I temporarily put on hold. February 7 was my last day at work. February 9 was my flight to the Philippines to catch up for valentines day which was part of my itinerary for a surprise Valentines date with my mother.

I only have one thought in mind: “Jump and the net will appear.” I’ve always been a risk taker, at 37 I still am. I just love the adrenaline rush that comes with it.

February to March, 2010 – Vacation, Reunions, Tourist to my own country, sweet moments with my nephews and nieces, memorable time with mamang, bonding with my siblings. Name it, I did everything! I totally shut myself from worries. I lived the moment. I did.

March 16, 2010 – I received an email from the Talent Acquisition manager of the hospital I am currently working, inviting me to submit my resume for possible employment. I did and put a note: The applicant is currently on vacation to his country until April 2, 2010. He will be available for interview after April 5, 2010.

April 2, 2010 – Flight back to Chicago – satiated from my vacation. It is something I did in life that I felt a certain fulfillment and there was nothing left undone from my plan. No single stone unturned, no unfinished business. I emtied myself, for it is only by letting go of our grips for something that we could open our palms and accept things new. I’m just so ready for things to come, like a fresh slate ready for new marks to form in my slab.

April 5, 2010 – I receieved a call from the same person who sent me the email and had an instant interview over the phone. After passing some series of questions, I was recommended to meet with the Chief Clinical Officer for a personal interview the next day. I missed this process of hiring, I’m enthused to go through the process. The interview went well and my application was forwarded to the next phase: Panel interview with a team to gauge if I would fit in to organization. I was found to fit the requirements for the job by the team of 5 during the interview and went further through the hiring process – it was a long process, but I found it fulfilling in the end and financially rewarding, too.

The company I’m working now belongs to the Fortune’s top 500, and was awarded by the renowned Fortune Magazine in 2009 as the most admired company.

May 10, 2010 – Start of my Orientation/Training. You thought my employment was secured? I also thought, and then an unannounced examination like a mini-NCLEX that could either make or break my present status with the company. Call it stress to the highest level. I passed the test and hurdled the last barrier between me and the company, now I feel like I totally belong. 

It’s adjustment since. I never felt vulnerable for a very long time like this. It’s like growing new skin, like taking new form from nothingness, like embracing each tiny drop of learning from every moment –  it is good to be here at this time – what surprised me most is knowing myself to be still receptive to things new like a raw material that could still be molded to my best form.

The first half of the year taught me a major lesson: to learn to love things empty. For at the end of the day it’s really upto us what we would become as we evolve from the new start point no matter which part of life we already are. This is mine.

I wish you well.

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

 

 

 


Deciphered

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

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

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

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

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

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

—–

Happy Mother’s Day to Mamang, my Sisters and all the mothers in the world!

For all the lines that I have written,

And every word that I have spoken,

A piece of me is taken.

For every time I send my greetings,

It is my heart that I am sending.

—–

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


Springtime

 
 
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Invaluable

 

Thoughts race past cobblestones.

Shadow trails behind

Unnoticed

In the green of day,

Rapture-tinged with blooms.

invaluable bloom

 

Gloom conceded.

The once empty lamp post

Now lighted.

 

Images popped

And dissolved in the air ~

Faces passed me by swiftly ~

Acquaintances sealed loosely

With fluffy smile,

Unsure hellos

And unsaid goodbyes.

 

There were no street lamps

To mark those encounters

(Forgotten)

Like the dandelions’

Worthless beauty

Here now in brilliant yellow

Tomorrow but fluffy seeds

Blown by the winds

To uncertainty grounds

That may welcome

Or uproot them as weeds.

fluffy smile

 

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.

 

lamp post

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.

 

For others,

You are but a dandelion.

For me,

You are an invaluable

Bloom.

“Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.”
~ A. A. Milne
 

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

 

 


Caught in the Moment

 
 
Dust settled,
The beating of the drums
Faded in the distance.
Chaos succumbs
To peace.
I am here
.
Caught in the moment
 
Not a ripple in the pond ~
Waters placid ~
Bowers’  reflection
Caught in its stillness. 
I am here
.
Caught in the moment
 .
Listening to the acoustical
Silence of the white bell
Serenading me with its
Sweet charm
 

"Gift of Home, The White Bell" pen and pencil on paper made some mornings during my recent vacation. Jeques, 2010

Wires Faded
In the backdrop
Walls unnoticed
Barriers forgotten,
Heartaches freed
Echoes of old sad stories
Replaced with fresh pages
Of new chapters.
I am here, and now
.
Caught in the moment
.
Today,
The silent ringing
Of the white bell
Signals a beginning
Of stories newly born
Taking shape
To florish
To be told

The White Bell clinging, rising, blooming embellishing the wire fence home

Hope surmounts the fences
Words demolished the barricades
Joy overtakes sadness
Shortcomings forgotten
Love prevails.
I am here
.
Caught in the moment
.
Healed and blossoming
Watching the reflections
Captive on the page of my heart
Caught in its stillness
.
I am here.

"Gift of Home: The White Bell," pen and pencil on paper of the white bell in bloom I wanted to take back to chicago, but I can't, so I drew it cpative on paper to take the gift with me anywhere in the world. Jeques, 2010

—–

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


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”


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”


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”)


White And Blue

 

And it’s as if some hands

Just suddenly

Switch the whites

The blues,

The lights off,

And everything else,

All the other colors 

Blend with black,

Dissolve to darkness;

Blue and white vanish

To shadows of memory.

 

Like white and blue

Of summer fun

Kite flying in my mind,

And then a raging storm came

To claim it

Paper kite dissolves

Never to return.

 

Like paper boats

Sent off to blue ocean,

Wilting to uncertainties.

 

Cotton soft clouds,

Pristine white

Smudge on blue 

Like powder

On cheeks of youth,

On the calm face of heaven.

And then came

Some turmoil to claim

Pristine mirths

Lost to time.

 

Like some hands

Just suddenly let go

Of their grips,

Leaves falling from the trees.

"autumn" pen and colored pencil on paper by Jeques B. Jamora, 2009
“autumn” pen and colored pencil on paper by Jeques B. Jamora, 2009

 

Canopies losing their verdant color

Green is naught,

Belonging to distant

Summer dreams

As green concedes

To the will of the season.

 

Like some hands

Switch all the street lamps off

Just like that,

And the once lighted alleys

Dimmed to fears of uncertainties.

 

White and blue

And all the vibrant colors

Dissolve to melancholy.

 

Would it be nice

To walk the dark alleys unafraid,

Holding hands with someone ~

To catch the falling leaves,

To feel warm around each other’s presence

In the midst of rain;

To watch the kite dissolve to skies of memories,

To sail the seas on paper boats,

Re-live mirths,

Summon lost colors

Celebrate white and blue

 

And to feel safe

Even in black.

The poem is written in memory of my white sony vaio computer, the only thing that stayed and gave me company for the last 3 years, just suddenly went black, and all files gone to untangible memories. My lost made me retrospective of things I lost that I could never re-claim, but my heart is large enough to contain all the memories.

It was total darkness for the past few days, and the leaves are falling outside my window as autumn claims vibrant life from the trees, to give my lost such a gloomy backdrop.

I found company in my new computer, it’s still our getting to know each other stage for now. And oh by the way, my new pc notebook, his color is black.