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Jeques Web Nook

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.

 

 

 

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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.