Taming This Tyke's Voice Since 2007

journal entry

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.

 

 

 

 


The Morning After

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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.

~ Jeques


The Day After Tomorrow

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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.

Tomorrow.

An Attempt will be made.

I am ready.


Turn Between Two Voices

I received a text message from my mother early this morning from the Philippines. The ever warm concern in her voice is evident as I read her message half awake, asking me if I’m OK, if it’s safe where I live because if not, she would rather want me home.

What happened to the voice that ever propels me to move forward, why so sudden it calls my retreat? She must have been watching the news lately about some overseas Filipino workers in Libya trying to flee the country in siege and the worsening insurgency situation where many Filipinos are trapped and some are even held hostage in their work place calling for help. But more than that, I understand where the sudden fear of my mother coming: The recent earthquake in New Zealand left our family in deep sadness with my cousin still missing among the rubbles of the CTV building that collapsed during the February 22 Christchurch, New Zealand Earthquake. We are in agony after days of waiting and still with no official confirmation if she’s been found. I feel for my Aunt. I feel for my mother who must be so scared back home thinking of my safety being away from home and alone, which made her send that message calling my retreat to return home.

I replied reassuring her I’m OK and not to worry, and rather asked her to pray that I would do well on the very important event in my journey as an artist on March 5 that would mark my first attempt in trying my chances in the Art field with my scheduled whole day appointment at  the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for a group interview. My mother never made me feel she ever doubted what I’m capable of doing even as I was just starting to draw at 3 when she taught me my first art lessons at home drawing flowers. She made me believe at such a young age that my gift could send me somewhere to some doors that would open great opportunities for me. She is the voice that continue to propel me in my journey.

But today, when I read her text message, I am turned between listening to her voice that once fueled my young imagination to reach this doorstep where I am waiting for some hand to open the door for me, and the voice calling my retreat to come home. My will is being tested to move forward or withdraw from the journey I started to trod long ago when she first handed me a pencil and a paper that made me draw my way to this chance within reach.

My mother’s message shows to prove her unconditional love. Love that is not measured by how much accomplishment I take home, for more than anything, she’s more concern of my safety.

The voice of my mother remains a powerful propeller of my journey – it is the voice that sends me to distances trying every chances. But it’s also the voice that could call my retreat to return home.

I wrote this piece to understand the depth of her message. I wrote this piece to reassure my mother I am safe.


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.


The Woodgather

My state of mind for some time now is like that of a woodgatherer which I mentioned earlier in my previous post. I thought of my recent travels as going to the woods gathering inspiration to fuel my works as I go forth from here.

Last weekend is one of my trips to the woods when I travelled to Milwaukee for the weekend to celebrate my birthday filling my cup with everything that the place has to offer.

Here’s the highlight of my trip . . .

Milwaukee City, over-looking my hotel window (Day 1)

Days Inn Hotel and Suites – the place I stayed is popularly known as Milwaukee’s Hotel of the arts.

Miller Park – Baseball field and sports arena where some of USA olympiads are trained.

Funky Friday boat ride around Milwaukee river and Michigan lake to view Milwaukee’s skyline by the boat. Nice music, great food and refreshing Rhum and cocktails!

The breath-taking view of the Milwaukee Art Museum from the lake – the architect who designed the museum is the same man behind the Sydney, Australia landmark. Notice the similarity.

July 31, my birthday. Bouquet of flowers, why not?!

Breakfast by the lake in Milwaukee Art Museum compound.

The stunning architectural interior design of Milwaukee Art Museum. Notice the details.

View from the outside.

There’s no ugly angle to this building. Every side is picture perfect.

I found an art work that’s parallel to my present state of mind – The Woodgatherer.

A stroll around the museum.

Becoming part of the Arts.

Tour-break in the popular river-walk restaurant. Time to sit back and feed the stomach.

Late afternoon stroll.

Back to the hotel.


The Year I got Two Summers

Summer, again.

Last february and march, I bathed in the sweetest summer sunshine in my country during my home-coming. It was the beginning of summer in the Philippines and my way of cutting short – to escape – the Chicago winter. When I came back last April, it was springtime and the flowers were in bloom.

This year’s seasons came in such a peculiar cycle for me. I had a short cut of winter, had an early summer that came before springtime and now, it’s summer, again! The precious gift of travelling: it could alter time and the seasons. It did for me.

I am spending most of my summer time outdoors. I’m like a beaver gathering woods building dams to enrich myself with the tools I need for my next writings and paintings or like the old adage said, saving for the rainydays. I thought I need a change of landscape in my works. I need to widen my perspective in both my writing and art and the best way to do that is to spend more time outdoors exploring, gathering woods to build new forms in my creations.

I am afflicted once more of the itch to travel. I don’t really need to go far. A simple walk in the lakeshore, or go further in some corners of the park I have not seen, or discovering some green patch in the city where the fresh air is free, or picking wild flowers along the railroad, or driving through the narrow alleys of the city,  or going to exotic markets of other immigrants like me, or driving interstate, or exploring and viewing the city from a different angle like I did yesterday going for the breath-taking River and Lake architectural tour of Chicago.

We can’t just sit and write poetry or create arts all the time, sometimes we need to go out and live it, too.

Breath-taking river and lake architectural tour of Chicago.

(formerly)Sears Tower, now Willis Tower.

Closer view of the Willis Tower

The bridges we see in movies that give way to ships.

Water gateway to the great Lake Michigan

Short break at the boat’s cafeteria

The Trump tower and hotel

Jeques, July 26, 2010. Wendella River and Lake Architectural Tour of Chicago.


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.

 


Underneath Your Sheltering Canopy

~  

Under your sheltering canopy  

In the safety of your embrace  

Beneath your reassuring grip  

Certainty returns.  

Like the shadow of the clouds  

Passing by on a midday.  

Such fleeting moments  

Of alternating shadow and light:  

Long absence,  

Brief presence,  

And the silent anticipations in between  

Fuel hope, keep the heart pounding  

To reach another waiting shade  

Along the way  

To rest  

Underneath your sheltering canopy.  

"Ethan" is my Bonsai tree I planted when I was 13, he is now 24 years old.

"Portrait of Ethan" Pencil, ink and pen on paper by Jeques B. Jamora, 2010 ("Ethan" is my Bonsai tree I planted when I was 13, he is now 24 years old).

His Name Is Ethan

 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. 

 His name is ethan 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 >>>

 

His name is Ethan

Hi name is Ethan, 24.

   

   

 


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.


“Amistad”(Friendship)

 

"Amistad" Pen and ink on paper by Jeques(drawing and poem started while waiting for his flight to the Philippines, 02082010 and was completed and polished in his return to Chicago)

I searched your eyes

Amid the souls

That flock the streets

I travel.

 

Where were you?

 

Among the lips

That sipped the juice

Of simple joy

I offer

 

How would I single out

Your smile?

 

I ride the tides

To ambiguous blue

With hopes

To find you

 

Where were you?

 

The isles dissolved,

And lost my hope

To see you

 

Where would I find

Your waiting arms?

 

I climb the mountains

But the fogs had seized you;

I reached the summit

And you’re not there

 

Where were you?

 

When the rains

Washed away everything

Down the mountains

 

Would you catch my tears

In the streams?

 

I left the stars

And slept in the cradle

Of the waning moon

 

Where were you?

 

In dark nights

When dreams didn’t visit

My sleep

 

Would I catch a glimpse

Of you at daybreak?

 

I search your eyes

Amid the souls

That flock the streets

I travel.

 

I guess I’d be forever this way

Til the day I catch true friendship

In the eyes

 

Until the day

When fate lay on my empty hands

The gift of ‘Amistad’

 

Where were you?

 

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

 


Highlights

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to see hightlights

 

of my recent home-coming

 

and fun-filled vacation

 

to my home land:

 

The Philippines

 

 

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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”


Eventide

 

I feel its presence 

Unsually more often lately.

Hint of air implies

Impending  cold

With undertone of blue,

Entices.

 

Brilliance wanes;

Vigor slowed, esprit concedes

As vibrant colors fade to shadows

On its advent.

 

Soon the eyes of day

Would close to a lengthy blink,

As spirits would seek refuge

And safety in the burrows.

 

A small space

Under the covers

Would suddenly be home

To weary souls

As warriors come home

From battles completed.

 

Birds would seek their roost;

Shepherds would gather their herds,

Hens their flocks

As lovers cuddle each other

In their arms,

Embracing eventide.

 

Would you kiss me goodnight?

 

—-

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