Taming This Tyke's Voice Since 2007

Poem

Self-Portrait of the Artist: In Words

Jeques turns 41: A walk in the mist at Sans-Souci Lake, New Buffalo, MI. July 31, 2013.

Jeques turns 41: A walk in the mist at Sans-Souci Lake, New Buffalo, MI. July 31, 2013.

  Jesus “Jeques” B. Jamora, 41

Case Manager/BSN/Registered Nurse/Self-taught Artist/Poet

“Dots and lines on the right place is Art” ~ Jeques

My romance with art is a-love-at-first-grip kind of thing. The moment I first held a pencil, I knew it in my heart that it is something I would love to do for the rest of my life.

I started to draw when I was around 3 years old: creating dots, connected them with lines and then my mother taught me my first art lesson to form the dots and lines to flowers: my first subject. She stopped teaching me when I drew better flowers than she did; outgrowing her art lessons quick. She advanced and became my first fan and art collector. My first art exhibit was in her convenient store when she would show my drawings to her clients. That was my childhood version of an art gallery. My earliest art portfolio was my mother’s record books lost to time, but never in my memory.

My first art critic was my father. He thought my works were insignificant and told me to do other things. The hardest thing he asked me to do was to use my right hand, I was born left handed. It was a subtle way to suppress my gift, and then he put me in the seminary where I had my first rejection at 13 when I was expelled. I drifted like a waif, then he decided the nursing course for me, ignoring my pleas to put me in an art school in college. I could not blame him though, I was born in a third world country, the Philippines; we need to choose a career that could bring food on the table instead of joy to the heart.

I was caught in the middle trying to balance early on: between my nurturing mother and my highly critical father. I never had formal education in the art. Alone in my room, close doors, is my childhood version of an art institute where I had my art classes as a kid. It was lonely. There was only one person I would seek every time I finish a piece: my mother. Her sincere appreciation of my works nourished me to keep going. The gift is ingrained. I was born with the passion that not even my father was able to control from flourishing.

Somebody encouraged me to join my first painting contest in college and won every competition that followed. It was a tiny spark that kept the torch of my dream lighted in my passage through the dark gorge of dormancy. It put my inner compass back to place to follow the direction that my destiny would take me.

I trod many paths from that point, connected directions that my journey took me. I arrived in Chicago, autumn of 2006 as a nurse, but my solitude nurtured and awakened the dormant artist in me sleeping for a very long time. My first attempts were paintings in words through poetry, but my inner itch intensified and found myself buying materials that my nursing profession made me afford and just started painting.

I am still that kid who would seek my mother’s appreciation every time I finish an art piece to get her nod for me to go on. Only now I seek that appreciation from people who would chance upon my works, like my mother’s friend in the store she would show my drawings of flowers as a kid.

I, too, still am the kid who feared the criticisms of my father that made me rip many pages of my sketches, and toss away many of my earlier works unfinished. I see my father’s image in people who thought my works are insignificant. I find courage in people who tell me otherwise. But deep in my heart, I have to admit I still seek for his approval that he was so selfish to give. He died in 2008, and I thought I’m free now, I always was!

I had since come to terms with my resentments to my father. I thank him for being distant, for it brought me closer to myself, to my soul. And for that, he taught me to fight a good fight. Wherever he may be right now, I wish he look down to see I found my way.

Deep inside this heart, ingrained, is a gift that I’m entrusted to nurture alone, close doors, away from people. I remain that waif inside my room as a child connecting senseless dots and lines to create images hoping that people would find them significant, so I could finally find my grown up version of an art gallery, a home ~ your hearts.

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.

"Waif" Oil on canvas, 30x30 by Jeques, 2009

“Waif” Oil on canvas, 30×30 by Jeques, 2009

Through my works, I would like to represent the displaced artists in different fields for some reasons, becoming like waifs, that I am, searching for home. I share the sentiments of artists unable to do their arts, caged in the jobs that are far from what their hearts purely desire to do. I aim as an artist to speak to that audience, to inspire them through my works and to make a statement that it is possible. Every art piece I finish is a struggle, but each is a step closer to home.

My paintings are conceived from my poems. In poetry, the words are my brushstrokes to create imageries in those times when I still can’t afford the painting materials back in the Philippines. Poetry still serves me well now in my study for painting subjects. All my paintings are titled because they are clear in my mind’s senses before they took form on canvas. Many of my paintings complete the circle becoming poems. My brushstrokes are the words I use to conjure imagery in the mind’s senses.

And when I think of it ~ this circle of my poems becoming paintings, and the paintings’ metamorphosis to poetry ~ I am enlightened that there’s really no single strand that separates them. Sketches and drawings are my scribbling: my drafts. Each completed painting is a finished poetry.

It is my commitment to my craft to achieve such seamless fusion of my paintings and poetry, for both are conceived and born from my heart.

I wish you well.

~ Jeques

Jeques turns 41: Sailing in the mist at Sans-souci which literally means life without a care.

Jeques turns 41: Sailing in the mist at Sans-souci which literally means life without a care.


EVENTUALITY a poem by Jeques, 2010

Jeques

Don’t fear
Sleep well now.
Dream dreams and find solace in the hearth
Amidst the cold of his absence.
Shadows shall pass,
The clouding of the moment
Shall clear. Eventually.

Don’t waver
Walk this day now.
Step your foot forward
In synch with the ticking of the clock,
For we’re part of the veinal flow of the universe
This slow procession of prolonged agony
Shall reach its end
In her chamber. Eventually.

Refuse to cede
Get up now.
Endure the inner battles that defeats you.
Holdfast to your courage
Even when the last ray of hope sets
And throws twilight on your face.
Stay awake for twilights always
Transit to dawn. Eventually.

Raise your chin
Look up now.
Aim to climb the mountains once more
Where a new summit awaits.
Cling your tendrils of faith secure
And leap.
The makeshift shelter I offer may be frail,
But it could send you off
To your journey
To the stars. Eventually.

Find solace in my meek heart.


The Succumbming

Jeques
.
THE SUCCUMBING “ang magparaya”
a poem by Jeques, 2009
.
I cling to the filaments
Of the past to the last strand
For a long time.
Until I can hold no more,
And gave in
Succumbing to the will
Of changes.
.
I awake from the dream
I once lived
That’s hard to keep my distance,
But the fine grains in the time glass
Emptied to its bottom,
So I gave in
Succumbing to the calls
Of the moment.
.
I reached a point
Where the river flowed no more
Where the springs halted
And the last puddle of hope emptied.
.
How could I paint the pain of yielding?
So I just whispered my sighs
To the mangroves
Hoping when the tides return
They would carry my muted chants
To your heart.The winds of long ago
Shall return to visit,
They will blow through the leaves of the mangroves,
The tides shall rise and recede below,
And chant the antiphons of my stories
Again and again and again
‘Til they reach you..

The pain of succumbing to the will of changes,
The acceptance that lost moments never return.

.

No more silent breakfast to share
That I dreamed about many mornings.

.

No more lazy walks in the streets and allowing my feet
Where it would take me.

.

No more reading, finding quietude in the crowd
In some busy coffee shops.

.

No more memories to weave
For the story concluded to a silent halt

.

Like when the last flare of the fireworks
Faded in the night skies ending my fancy
And what’s left is the fume of longing.

.

I gave in and endure
The pain that comes with changes.
I succumb to the over powering force
Of the inevitable end.

.

I awake to the dawning of tomorrow
To breath the fresh air of its promise
Of the bliss that I still have to live.

~
ang magparaya

.

“Mailalarawan ba ang sakit ng pagpaparaya? Ibubulong ko nalang ang nararamdaman sa mga puno ng bakawan. Ang hangin ng nakalipas ay babalik at iihip sa mga dahon ng bakawan. Ang tubig dagat ay tataas at bababa. Paulit-ulit nilang aawitin ang tula ng aking mga kwento hangang ito ay umabot sa iyo.”


Jeques’s Web Nook Turns FIVE

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

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

Jeques.Me


Poetry Becomes Me

No words, just images that tell volumes of thoughts . . .


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.


Quiescence

Piquance retires to dormancy.

Cold besieged the waning blaze

As days take longer sleep

For now,

And I take shelter in dreaming.

.

My spirit drops

To quiecence

This time.

I travel still, but ~

Only now my journey

Moves inward.

Winter wouldn’t freeze

Life’s pagination.

Snowfalls bring

Frosty slate

Of pristine pages

Ready for my thoughts

To carve icy tracks.

As my mind skids down

To quiescence ~

For now.

.

I wrap myself

To nothingness

From your view,

Retiring to my cocoon

For my travels

This time

Points inward.

.

I chase the wake of change

Where sunrise breaks on ridges ~

The towering ridges

That lies on quiescence

.

Within.


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.

 

 

 

 


Quiet Fun

Watch the tides

In the bay,

Grub remnants

From erstwhile morning,

Of blithe facets gone by.

Hush frolic thoughts,

Soothe reckless times,

Sort out tangled memories

On a drowsy midday

And be ready,

And be ready,

And be ready to get hold

Of the hand of passing time

From this moment forth.

Know which rock to hold

When the cliffs are slippery.

Climb up with certainty,

But know when to hang on

Or climb down, if necessary.

And be ready.

 

Lay the spirit down

On the hay

Of the harvests

From erstwhile morning,

Calm and carefree.

Watch the clouds

Form

Dissolve,

And Resurface fluffy

Souffle and sweet

To the tongue of memories recalled

On a dreamy midday

And be ready,

And be ready,

And be ready to confront

The inevitable streams of time

From this moment forth.

Know when to sow

And to toil night and day.

Sprinkle the earth

With blood and sweat

That trickle on the forehead ~

Let the seeds grow,

But know when to stop

And celebrate the harvest,

When it is time.

And be ready.

 

Come home on a rainy day

To an aged couch, old and saggy,

That kept imprints

From erstwhile morning,

Of blots of ink and paint

Red and blue

From childish blows

And gentle touches.

Trace back  the stories

From stains and tears,

Unreeling,

On a quiet midday

And be ready,

And be ready

And be ready with soothing

But sometimes harsh whisks

Of the nearing eventide

From this moment forth.

Know the terrains,

And be guarded of the stings

Of each season, but be happy.

Be accepting and resigned,

And embrace the gifts

Of each moment

To build the plinth –

With stable bricks –

Of one’s equanimity

That mellows in time.

 

Take a moment

To keep your thoughts hushed

And tarry like the water in the bay.

Take time to glance back

To the parting waves

Of the erstwhile morning

And listen to the silence

Of the midday.

And be reay,

And be ready,

And be ready

 

To watch the sunset

In the bay

With me.

"Midday" a poem by Jeques Jamora, 2010


Bait

 

You are always ripples away,

The tides ever

Between us.

 

Series of hurdles

As it appears in the surface

That this meek soul

Secretly transcends beneath;

Away from the prying eyes

Of predation.

 

You are designed

For cruel intentions,

That is how the world sees you.

But for the many years

That I followed your lead,

I learned to give your purpose

A different meaning.

 

I am grateful

To the hands that keep my safety

Disguised in undulation ~

Of the sudden swell of  waves between us.

Oftentimes your absence disheartens me,

Scared of losing you to the crest of tides, 

But reassured to see you still there

When the morning after 

Calms the bubbling surfs,

That in many occasions pushed us apart.

 

I praise the hands that hold

The mysterious fishing pole

And for chosing you the bait,

And thank time, too,

For helping me understand.

You are the reason

Why I swim the extra laps;

Take another stroke,

No matter how helpless

My frail attempts ~

Against the raging currents ~

Just to be near you.

 

Reason that I doubt,

The world’s shallow definition

Of predator and prey 

Would ever come to comprehend.

 

Your lead brought me to the deeps,

You are the pivot that draws me to the blue;

A hope that keeps my buoyancy,

And not sink in the ocean,

In the heart of possibilities.

 

When are you going to consume me?

 

~

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

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

—–

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


Into The Woods

~

I advance onwards

Deeper, deeper into the woods.

A search for, an escape from.

To chase, or to run away.

 

To seek

Deeper, deeper into the woods

To try to understand. Perhaps.

 

I leave the familiar landscapes

Of my every day roads ~

The street signs,

The white marks, and yellow.

The lamp posts in the corner of the street,

The structures that lined my way

Like the waving of your hands 

That used to beacon me home

In my every day travels,

Now fading in the background

After I let go of your grip

That changed gestures driving me away.

 

Tears clouded my vision

But I need to move forth

Deeper, deeper into the woods.

No turning back.

 

I left the compass, and the map behind,

Safe in a chest where I keep the memories.

I brought only, an empty pouch

To stock things I would collect

From places unknown,

And strings to bind together

The twigs, and pieces of woods

I come to gather,

As I journey to the territories untamed

Deeper, deeper into the woods.

 

I am here to forget,

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

To connect the fragmented pieces

Of the quilt of the story

And to toss away what’s not needed.

To find time to sew  the vignettes together.

To find out how the complete picture appears

With new eyes, how the story goes

From a different perspective. Perhaps.

 

Here I am, a woodsman in a modern world,

A hermit in the jungle of people,

Wandering around the untamed highways;

Lost in the towering reeds of concrete and steel

Finding refuge in the man-made caves

That cost me my savings

To pay an over-night stay ~

Even the kindly service tagged with a price. Sigh.

 

The discomforts I paid to purchase comfort

In my entry to the lush forest of new discoveries

Where some keys are scattered

That would open me new doors of understanding

Deeper, deeper into the woods.

 

In the grounds of the forest are small packages

Of  seeds that encapsule wisdom.

They are gifts of the towering trees

From their fruits that mellowed with time.

They have seen both

The wider view of the lowlands,

And the best view of the heavens.

 

I am here to collect the seeds

To fill the pouch I carried for that purpose.

From these seeds I wanted to grow another forest

Where another wanderer from onother time

Would collect and sow them again, on and on

 

I trod deeper,

Deeper into the woods

Picking remnants of beauty of the past

Blending with the modern aesthetics,

Like an architecture

Built along the shore.

The reflection of its glass structure

Captured by the placid lake

At noon time

Create such a lovely contrast ~

 

Like a bird perched on a metal pole,

The blooms against the skyline,

A fountain in the middle of a busy street,

Like me, a waif in this streets away from home

Trying to blend in the landscape

Gathering woods in the not so common place

For a woodgatherer,

But I have used up my strings

In the bundles of woods of ideas

I gathered, enough to fuel my creations

From here

 

For you

 

It is time to return home.

~

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


Fortitude

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

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

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

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

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

My Genesis

~

I delight watching things from their outset,

I am soothe to see the genesis of things.

They remind me of the child, the curious eyes

Ever sparkling within.

 

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

For they possess the genuine truth of precious purity.

They remind me of my beginnings

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

They bring back memories of the backyards

Of some houses I lived as a child.

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

In some quiet afternoons during my untamed moments,

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

Listening to the soothing sounds, the slightest of movements

In the still water at one o’clock

When the world in my young mind

Takes a nap with my mother on her siesta.

I would sneak out of the house through the backdoor

To celebrate the joy of my earliest  found solitude

In the company of nature ~

 

Befriending the dragonflies hovering over my head,

The birds nestling in the reeds,

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

While my mind quietly travels to the unknown future

Interrupted by occasional sightings of the gourami

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

 

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

Making that splash and swashing sound and wild movements

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

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

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

 

Cherished memories from my genesis ~

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

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

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

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

Are the stars, and I, their sole audience.

 

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

That’s when the curtains drop,

The world wakes up,

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

"The Dragonfly and I"

 

 —

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

 


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.


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.

 


The Pictures Speak

Before I gain weight

Before wrinkles set in

Before grey hair overtakes my crown

Before aging claims my youthful spirit . . .

 

Here I am, 37, single and Happy!

Jeques, 37, single and Happy!

 Weaving memories from colorful yarns of fun reuniting with old friends and family back home.

 Let the pictures speak . . .

My mother welcoming me home

breakfast at home after years of being away

fun in the sun!

going green

shared fun is doubled

shared laughter

communing with nature

to take part in praise of nature

ethereal moment

moments you wish would freeze

nature's gift

gift of the river

calming and free

relaxing and free

peace and quiet

such a great escape from the freezing winter of Chicago


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


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”