Taming This Tyke's Voice Since 2007

memories

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

Please Click sound button for the soundtrack >>>

 

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

Please Click sound button for the soundtrack >>>

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


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.

   

   

 


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.


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.


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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Around Visayas

Festivals Around Visayas in one place.
One Visayas. All the fun in one festival!

Dinagyang Costume of Iloilo during One Visayas

Around Visayas in one place


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.

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Jeques at Stairway to heaven. Time Square, New York, January 2009

 

 

 

 

 


Tamed

 

A free-spirited cub

Laid on the holy slab

Donned by my mother white.

A willing sacrificial lamb

To get the approval of my father.

 

He offered me to the altar

In fulfillment of a promise

To pay his dues,

And left me waif outside a shut door

Of a dome I din’t belong.

He dropped me off the road, unknown,

To a journey never understood.

A life he ordered me to live,

Without a map to follow

And lost myself along the way.

 

I strayed into the wilderness,

Cruel and unforgiving,

Like a vulnerable cub

Bullied by laughing hyenas.

There was no armor

To shield me in the battles

I didn’t expect exist

Inside the dome

That I thought was holy.

I was an easy prey

To predators in school

And the obloquies of my father

When I returned home.

 

The life raft

I thought I could cling on

In times of storm

Pushed me away,

Drifting, hitting rocks in the shores

That would not welcome me.

I sustained wounds

That bleed inside me

Nobody understood

I leaked many years in silence

To healing ~

Nursed the white cub inside me

And made myself whole again.

 

I was a reject at 13,

A loser at such a young age.

A picture of defeat,

Expelled from the dome

That many thought

Would determine my future.

The once free-spirited cub

Suddenly became a pariah

Retiring to his digged burrows

Leaving behind no egress,

Descending farther

To a different kind of confinement.

 

I tried to mimic the hyenas

For awhile to earn my protection

From the harsh world.

A symbiosis I welcomed

Like the anemone

To a clownfish taking shelter

In its stinging tentacled folds

While I build my backbone,

Training my fins to swim

And find the lost me again.

nagpangita ko nemo  25 ginpangita man ko nemo

 It was a moment

I’m not proud about,  and remorseful.

I feel for the souls I stung with words,

For who could understand them better

But me who once was a dartboard

Of ridicules of the hyenas.

I learned to sound like their laughter

But never become them,

For caged within me was a crying cub

I  heard clearly

When I chose solitude.

 

I didn’t belong to any herd

And refused to take their colors,

For I chose to become a new breed 

That grows its claws

Not to harm, but to protect.

To weave words not to distroy,

But to re-build the broken spirits. 

 

It took me years

To understand my purpose,

Like the clownfish to survive

Free of my imaginary anemone.

It took me awhile to recognize

The true sound of my laughter

Muted by the loud hyenas.

In solitude I redeemed my voice

I once lost in my desperate attempts

To seek the approval of my father.

 

I swam the ocean, arrived in the shore 

That my creator intended me to be

And found the white cub still clad in white

His mother once donned him,

But now grown

And tamed.

 tamed original

—–

HAVE A WONDERFUL YEAR OF THE WHITE TIGER, EVERYONE!

I wish you well.

 

~ Jeques 

 

 

 


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”


Midday

 

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.

 

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


What About The Morning?

 

When all the grains

Of smile are drained

Through the lips

Of the time glass,

All the joys gone,

Or so it seems,

 

What about the morning?

 

When the refraction of ray

Doesn’t reach you,

Barred by layers

Of  doldrums, and soak you

In the dark marshes that drown

Your spirit slowly

Down the quicksand,

Or so it seems,

 

What about the morning?

 

When all the fragrance

Has left you

Suffocating in the unsought

Scents of things,

You’re ready to succumb

To obloquies that knock you

Black and blue,

Or so it seems,

 

What about the morning?

 

When the sweet tang

Of moments

Tinged your heart

With gawky bitter taste

That numbs you,

And forget their better flavors after,

Or so it seems,

 

What about the morning?

 

When icy days

Suddenly embrace you,

Chilled in the midst of strangers;

Unclad even with coats on, and shivering.

Cold in summer sun,

Or so it seems,

 

What about the morning?

 

When music halted to a final note,

Lyrics suddenly turn to threnodies

As mirth fades to distance,

And absence.

Duet losing words, and songs,

Or so it seems,

 

What about the morning? 

 

View everything

From the bottom of the time glass

Ever accepting each speck of grains

Engulfed by its lips,

Collected in the base

 

Joys

 

Sorrows

 

Memories

 

Moments ever feed you

With fresh grains again, and again

And again, no end. Once more,

The gifts of the morning 

Bring back lost smiles

In the lips of your time glass

To fill your heart,

And think of me.

 

What about the morning?

 


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)

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


Unrequited

 

 

I understand the books in the shelf,

Untouched. Covers gathering dusts

Pages turn yellow, words unread,

Wisdom unhearkened.

Banquet prepared by writers

Wasted to termites

Leaving disinterested heads unfed,

Hearts failed, voices neglected.

 

I understand the bud in the wild

That awakens at dawn, 

But nobody drops a visit til midday,

Not a single butterfly, not a bee,

And wilts unnoticed at the end of day.

 

I understand the tree along the river

Bearing fruits all summer;

Realeases sweet odor filling the air

Inviting reapers, but nobody came.

Fruits dropping in the stream like tears,

Wasting her gifts again this year.

 

I understand the green patch of meadow

Hedged by dense forests, bordered by a cliff

Pruned by gazelles and deers

Year after year,

But nobody ever arrives with a mat to picnic;

Not a single soul carrying an easel reaches to paint.

Picturesque view wasted on the wilds.

 

I understand the sea-shells stranded

In a far-flung coast, unfrequented,

That the surf polish

And washed white by the brines

But no one comes to pick them for souvenir.

Encapsuled songs of the ocean

No one hears.

 

I understand the fate of weeds that grow

In the unwanted crevices

Of the concrete pavements of the city, 

Sprouting to embellish her flaws

Cruelly treated, uprooted, tossed.

Seemingly, life undeserved.

 

I understand the child begging for mercy

Strayed in the maze of life

Without the guidance of a father.

Growing without a map to follow

With promising tomorrow to give,

But dreams wasted on vagabond.

 

I feel for the logs decaying in the forests;

Treasures lost in the ocean;

Shipwrecks forming rusts in the harbor.

 

I feel sorry for a bench 

That awaits in the park

Comes sunshine or rain;

Pews empty on sundays.

Envelopes not opened,

Letters left unread, unanswered.

 

I understand the purity of intentions,

Unrequited.

 

I feel for every little things

With so much to offer,

But are never given the chance.

 

Unanswered beaconing of the church bells.

 

When are you going to pick up

My heart’s calls?

 

 

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


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.


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.