Taming This Tyke's Voice Since 2007

prose

Turn Between Two Voices

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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

 

 

 

 

 


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.


Message From A Wreck(Prose Poem)

Message From A Wreck , A Prose Poem by Jeques for summer poetry workshop at Evanston, Week 4

message from a wreck for poetry workshop

message from a wreck for poetry workshop

My greatest fear is to lose the photographs I neatly arrange in the pages of my heart, and ultimately drop myself in the dark chasm of oblivion, soaking the memories’ negatives like a wrecked ship watching it’s own decay reflected on the steady waters of some unknown harbor, in some nameless deserted island. But that’s exactly what’s left of me, a wrecked soul, after my head on collision with reality, finding the photographs of memories we keep together stained with lies ~ here I am marooned, watching the grayed horizon, unsure if the sun would ever rise again for us. Frail and  crawling, I pick each grain of precious thoughts strewn in the shore and scribble them in the blank pages of heaven, slowly taken away from my sight by the twilight. Perhaps you will forget, and against my will, perhaps I would, too. but the heaven never will. So I send this letter to the lone witness of what we had, I send these words to heaven for her keeping.

Our story begun in the young hours of our life when the flower has not yet seen the rays of the sun that would pierce the delicate fabric of the pastel skies. We met in the eyes without really seeing each other’s souls in those brief glances, our vision hazed by the sea of strangers criss-crossing the cold space between us ~ together, but we’ve never really been. I look up to watch the flocks of birds criss-crossing the skies and I go back to the days when the closest moments we’ve really been is the touching of our palms in the conversations of whispered soliloquies we never told each other, and that only the heaven heard. For how would you call a rendezvous without even just a single picture to prove it happaned. It is nothing but a fancied romance, a fictional story, a hollowed dream that vanishes at daybreak. Why should I continue to weave a love-tale with someone so afraid to pause for a portrait with me, or to even cherish my company. But don’t feel guilty, my father could not even love me.

The fabrics of our horizon in the past, hand painted by God, were washed empty by the rain and we never really saw the sunrise that morning when our story begun, just like now that the gray clouds dance in the blue void above me threatening a heavy down pour, and just like our sunrise, I’m afraid again that we’ll have to content ending this story not seeing the sunset, not bading goodbye. 

The sound of the soft touch of drizzles in the shore, along the threnody of the winds and the rumbling of breakers are the repertoire of goodbye we never said. The scent of the first few raindrops mixing with the brine permeates in the air, this is the smell of our unnoticed parting. The liquid beads from heaven conceal my shy tears hidden in the corners of my eyes, their union caused a genial trickle of loneliness inside me that I poured down the ocean where the immensity of humanity’s sadness are emptied and purified in the heart of the earth for hopes to be born again out from the ruins, out from the many wrecks stranded in this island of loneliness where I am, where you left me watching the twilight in the grayed horizon devoid of color ~ where our story ends.

I don’t hope you to read this, but the heavens will. Some morning, this scribbling will float ashore, some soul from  some coast would pick this message from a wreck to rescue my memories from the dark chasm of oblivion. The photographs I neatly arrange in the pages of my heart will be safe. I’m ready to embrace the fate of the nightfall, I close my eyes to an ending, or is it the beginning?  

I fear no more my greatest fear.

This week is our 4th in the poetry workshop, and we are doing Prose Poetry. This week, let me bring you to a deserted island and let me whisper words from a wreck heart. The poem is inspired by the classic tale of the message in the bottle. I wrote, prepared and presented my prose poem from the inspiration and yes, it perfectly fits the idea of telling something you wouldn’t want to tell anybody unless you’re stranded, lost, nameless, dying.

message from a wreck 2

 


Morning Panes(tanka/painting series)

  “Morning Panes”(Tanka and painting) series #1 of 3
   
Dreams sojourn ~
 Whimsy reflections
 On morning panes ~
 
Coquetting the mind
Crooning dormant soul.
 
"morning panes" #1 oil on canvas 30x40, by Jeques B. Jamora “morning panes” #1 oil on canvas 30×40, by Jeques B. Jamora

 

"morning panes" series #1 to 3 “morning panes” series #1 to 3
“Morning Panes” (Tanka and Painting) series #2 of 3 
  
Dormant soul
Hatching, awaiting
Dawn’s misty kiss ~
 
Artist awakens
Broods nestle on trees.
 
"morning panes" #2 oil on canvas 30x40, by Jeques B. Jamora, 2009 “morning panes” #2 oil on canvas 30×40, by Jeques B. Jamora, 2009

 

 
morning panes
 
“Morning Panes” (Tanka and Painting) series #3 of 3
 
  
Courage ingrained
Inside broken soul’s
Callus chest ~
  
Anticipating sunrise
Awaiting to exhale.
"morning panes" #3 oil on canvas 38x48, by Jeques B. Jamora “morning panes” #3 oil on canvas 38×48, by Jeques B. Jamora
.
I have paintings conceived from poems.
 
The images of these paintings initially presented themselves to me in words. Morning Panes, a painting series of 3(at least for now, there is more to it) is one of them. It first came to me in a poem I composed in 2003. The poem visited me in a peculiar dream of a dream within a dream. I believe many of us had experienced that, dreaming in our dream, waking up still asleep. Or is it only me?
 
That dream is a tiny drop of inspiration that created ripples of poetry series. I used to write a lot, I had the freedom of time back home and I can afford to really sit down and study my thougths and dreams in my morning pages. In 2003 I wrote the poem, Images Of You. . . 

 
In my dream
I watch you in your sleep.
My heart feels glad,
My heart leaps.
  
Images of you haunt me ~
  
From the time I wake,
‘Til my sleep.

 

That dream was so vivid I immediately wrote a poem when I awake. The imagery from the dream and the words in the poem lingered in my thoughts which I first expressed visually in a drawing, My Morning Pane, Februay, 2005. It is a self-sketch of myself on bed in my room back home in the Philippines which is the original setting of the dream, the poem, the painting.
"my morning panes" pencil on paper by Jeques, 2005 
“my morning panes” pencil on paper by Jeques, 2005
 
In 2006, I wrote another poem from the same inspiration, Evanescent Romance, this poem fits well in series #2 of the painting. Note the change of the window from the previous, it represents the many rooms we sleep and the multitude of window panes we wake up with in our lifetime yet dreaming the same dreams. Here’s the poem: 
 

We are joined by our hearts’ seeking radars.
 Our souls converge at midnight’s deep blue skies.
 We talk, our words are the infinite stars.
 We feel so intimate with our closed eyes.
 Our unions are chronicled by my pen.
 The winds’ soft whistles signal your presence.
 Your image flickers through my window pane ~
 Silhouette of my dream-lover’s essence.
 In my mind I touch the face of heaven,
 When you croon to me lovesongs of silence.
   Bliss is what my thoughts of you has given.
 You illumined my lonely existence. 
Romance confined in shadows of the night. 
 ‘Tis evanescent with the morning light.

 

These are some of the few poems I wrote that ended up on canvas, in visual form, in paintings.
 
But there are also inspirations that presented themselves to me first in visual arts. They become drawings, or sketches, or paintings instantly. In these instances, my brushstrokes are my words to create imageries that frequent my thoughts.
  
To complete the circle of poems becoming paintings and paintings becoming poems, I used the painting series, “Morning Panes” as subject and inspiration to my poems for this week’s workshop on the ancient poetry form: the Tanka. It dates back to the 7th century. A poem of five lines of 5/7/5/7/7 syllable count respectively. I strictly followed this rules in the previous Tanka’s I composed but in the workshop I attend, I learned the freedom from the Tanka minimalists, and the modern american tanka which is less restricting as to the syllable count and rather focusing on the importance of expressing an emotion or deep thought in a concise manner in the five lines which is the true beauty of writing a Tanka. Shorter syllable count in each line when achieved in 19-24 or even shorter in 15 counts at the very least instead of 31 is preferred in the modern tanka.
  
Using the Tanka structure, I took out pictures of my paintings and from the deepest recesses of my core extract words that would best express the brushstrokes. Series #3 of the painting fully express my sentiments as a dormant artist awaiting to exhale, an egg hatching, a seed awaiting for springtime, a child awaiting to be born.
And when I come to think of it, this circle of paintings becoming poems, and the poems’ metamorphosis becoming paintings, I come to realize that there’s really no single strand or line that separates them. When I paint, the brushstrokes are my words. When I write, the words are my brushstrokes to create imageries. Sketches and drawings are my scribbles, my drafts.
  
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.
 
  
 *For more of my paintings, please click image to navigate to my art portfolio >>> 
 
 waif

  


Where Hearts Converge

Where Hearts Converge 

 

This sad ending would be our beginning ~

Face to face, you and me, aboard the train.

Together, albeit our roads parting:

Mine bounds north, yours south. Then it starts to rain.

Would time and space bring us happy ending?

Would we converge in this station again?

 

 

 

"where hearts converge" pencil, pen and ink on drawing paper by Jeques

"where hearts converge" pencil, pen and ink on drawing paper by Jeques

 

 

 

And just like that, we’re on our own again ~

Watching the blankness of our beginning

Through the panes of an uncertain ending

Like errant souls on board the express train

Listening to the sad notes of the rain

Heaven’s soundtrack to our fateful parting.

 

Time slips our palms like the daylights parting ~

‘Tis dark, and gloom embraces us again.

But our sorrows will be washed by the rain.

This railroads meet to a fresh beginning.

We will get there, let us allow the train.

And then we’ll entomb these woes to ending.

 

We travel through this passage’s ending ~

The railroads fork and we see hearts parting.

Tons of broken souls carried by the train.

But rails would weave them together again.

To debark in frontiers of beginning,

Like seed sprouting, bathed by the springtime rain.

 

As pains’ dusts settle soaked by the rain,

The turmoil alights to a graceful ending.

The heart learns to hum tunes of beginning,

And understands that even the parting

Is part of it all, then we smile again ~

As we weave our stories inside the train.

 

I get off, now enlightened, from the train ~

Mind’s pellucid like skies after the rain.

Heart’s calm awaiting to see you again.

May you look forward to the same ending,

May your thoughts not be hazed by this parting.

‘Til we reach our station of beginning.

 

Last night’s rain crooned our sorrows to ending.

Trains meet again in our point of parting ~

Where hearts converge to a new beginning.

 

(Where Hearts Converge  a Sestina I wrote for the poetry workshop I attend every wednesday. Jeques, 2009)

Have I told you I started attending a weekly poetry workshop last wednesday? I think not. The workshop will run for 6 weeks this summer. I chanced upon the Ad when I got me some books for my painting studies in Evanston, IL public libruary. I missed one session but I was able to submit a poem for the first poetry form : Cento, a poetry made up of lines borrowed from a combination of established authors, usually resulting in a change in meaning. For me, the beauty of composing a Cento is it makes you read poetry and appreciate more the lines. This poetry would be very helpful to beginners, it could be a starting point because to write poetry, a poet needs and should read first the works of other poets and Cento just  help you do that, it makes you appreaciate the work of others, makes you compose from their inspirations and perhaps help you find your voice along the way.

I was cramming when I put this cento poem together. I called tuesday(July 7) afternoon if it was possible for me to catch up since I missed the first week. Joshua, the moderator, said yes and told me about the Cento which was discussed the previous week and that I have to bring a piece the next day if I’m interested to attend. I work night shift, but I brought with me one of my favorite poetry books to work that night, and during dead hours read poems of great authors and line by line composed a Cento. The first line I got from the song, “Eversince the world begun,” the soundtrack of the 1989 movie: Lock up.  Here is the piece I put together and I read during the first session(July 8).

 

This Wanting

 

I never knew what brought me here

You entered my life in a casual way.

The dream we dream together here,

All paths lead to you where e’er I stray.

 

There is nothing that last, not one.

Yet still the story and the meaning stay.

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done.

Yet it well might be that never for me.

 

I need so much the quiet of your love.

A love like this can know no death.

I need your calm all other things above.

Your precious presence is the air I breath.

 

I want you through every changing season

If not, then let me live this life alone.

~

(This Wanting a Cento poem. Here are the poems and the authors I got the lines of this poem from: line #2 TO A FRIEND by Grace Stricker Dawson, #3 IN THE ROSE GARDEN byJohn Bennett, #4 ALL PATHS LEAD TO YOU by Blanch Shoemaker Wagrooff, #5 HER ANSWER by John Bennett, #6 THE RIGHT KIND OF PEOPLE by Edwin Markham, #7 SOMEBODY SAID THAT IT COULDN’T BE DONE by Edgar Guest, #8 OUR OWN by Margaret Sangster, #9 AT NIGHT FALL by Charles Hanson Towne, #10 AD FINEM by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, #11 AT NIGHT FALL by Charles Hanson Towne, #13 I WANT YOU by Arthur L. Gillom. Lines #12 and 14 are my original)

Last wednesday(July 8), we discussed the poetry form: Sestina. I have been always interested to try writing a poem in this form but the structure is too demanding thereby forbidding, so I always end up throwing first drafts. The reason why I’ve always longed to get myself into a workshop is to get the chance to be crafty again with poetry, and this just works that way for me. Since I’m now slowing down with painting nearing the completion of my collection, I find time to write again and the poem included here is my first produce when I finally got myself sitted again to study poetry structures and working the craft. The sentina we compose this week will be read and discussed on our next workshop this coming wednesday(July 15).

Let me share with you sestina’s definition from the Academy of American Poets

The sestina is a complex form that achieves its often spectacular effects through intricate repetition. The thirty-nine-line form is attributed to Arnaut Daniel, the provencal troubador of the 12th century. The name “troubadour” like comes from trobar, which means to invent or compose verse. The troubadours sang their verses accompanied by music and were quite competitive, each trying to top the next in wit, as well as complexity and difficulty of style.

The sestina follows a strict pattern of the repetition of the initial 6 end-words of the first stanza throught the remaining five six-line stanzas, culminating in a three-line envoi. The lines may be of any length, though in its initial incarnation, the sestina followed a syllabic restriction.

Note: I followed a 10-syllabic count in each line respectively in my poem.

The form is as follows, where each numeral indicates the stanza position and the letters represent end-words:

1. ABCDEF

2. FAEBDC

3. CFDABE

4. ECBFAD

5. DEACFB

6. BDFECA

7 (envoi) ECA or ACE ( I used ECA, please note that I also used all the 6 end-words in the last three lines)

The envoi, sometimes known as the tornada, must also include the remaining three-end words, BDF, in the course of the three lines so that all six recurring words appear in the final three lines. In place of a rhyme scheme, the sestina relies on end-word repetition to effect a sort of rhyme.

The poetry idea using the train and the train station as backdrop have been chasing me and been resurfacing my mind for more than a year now. I first got the idea when one time we took the subway here in chicago(hence, the reference to the north and south bound directions of the train), The place just poured me such an overwhelming poetry inspiration, but I did not act on it instantly for many reasons, and one of them is I’m still finding the right structure to give the poetry idea a body that it would need. Last year, I wrote the poem Summer, Gone. The poem contains some of the ideas that are infused in Where Hearts Converge. Here’s the poem Summer gone:

You came to bring me summer sunshine,

You left to leave me autumn gloom.

Like a speeding train,

Summer came

And Gone.

What happened to the vibrant days,

Where have my sunshine gone?

Why do the clouds just suddenly

Hid you?

My smile, don’t fade away

Please no!

Why do you have to give up

Your sunny yellow ~

Have I not brought

Your life some bright lights,

Why do we have to go apart

In blue?

Would the evening light

Sustain us

In this changing season,

Would it ease

The growing yearning

With its subdued

Glow?

I rest my heart

In this lonely season.

But I would keep our paths

Clear

Of grass growths.

May the railroad

That took you away

Would lead you

Back.

And when you’re tired

Chasing the changing seasons,

You could always return

To an endless

Summer ~

Here in my resolute

Heart.

I think it is also important to mention here that the heart of this poem and the sentiment I expressed here was originally conceived in the poem One Heart which I composed in 2003.

 

Two different people

 Living separate lives

Wanting different dreams

Going to opposite directions.

 

  But then they met.

 

And they become one

One heart in two different people

One in their thoughts

Going towards the same direction ~

 

  

Living the same dreams.

 

Where Hearts Converge is one of the poems I’ve written that really went through a very long process. The idea, the sentiments and the heart of the poem came and present itself  to me in fragments, but I believe I was able to gather the elements in a piece which I put together here and give it the perfect body in the sestina structure.

I already have a painting idea in mind for this poem which I conceived some few months back. The title is “Convergence,” a painting series of 4 pieces and I will be using the Kois and the elements of the railroads in the painting which I will post here when I finish the series. Until then, but for now, I included an illustration of the poem in pencil, pen and ink sketches on drawing paper.


Dreams Alight

The child had a vision he will arrive at this moment. He saw everything before all these happened, the images was clear in his reveries, the picture was complete in his imagination. His mind’s feet had walked this path, his mind’s senses had lived this moment. It was not easy for his young mind to understand the vision, It was not easy for his young heart to contain what he saw. All he knew then was to dream. There was a map engraved in his heart, the mind followed the direction that took him to the present.
 
The child grew up to be that man in his vision. Standing still, he look back, following the tracks of his journey back  to the child who told him many stories they weaved together: 
 
The child dreamt.
 
Him, lives. 

 

 I sketch a landscape in my mind’s canvas;
Tracing the figures using my child’s eyes.
Paint it with colors just the way it was.
I feel brimful of joy that my soul cries.

 "Rendezvous" series #1 oil on canvas 20x20, by Jeques B. Jamora, 2009   "Rendezvous" series #4 oil on canvas 20x20, by Jeques B. Jamora, 2009

"Rendezvous series #2 oil on canvas 20x20, by Jeques B. Jamora, 2009   "Rendezvous" series # 3 oil on canvas 20x20, by Jeques B. Jamora

(“Rendezvous” series 1 – 4 oil on canvas 20×20, by Jeques B. Jamora, 2009)

There’s the refulgent streams of the river
Flowing beneath the bamboos’ lush bowers.
Their drowsy whistles I still remember.
When winds blow through the leaves and the boulders.

 

There’s the rock that rests on the reef of stones,
Where the tyke sits when he would go fishing.
Silence croons him with nature’s pristine tones.
When a fish pulls his bait, his heart’s dashing.

 

There’s the lily that cupped the morn’s dewdrops.
Frogs stay motionless on their giant leaves,
Until an insect strays by their tongue traps.
Their prying eyes ever alert like thieves.

 

 There’s the damselfly that hovers above
My head and the tip of my fishing rod.
A scene I always remember with love,
It never fails to cheer me when I’m sad.

"Dreams Alight" study oil on canvas 30x30, by Jeques B. Jamora

"Dreams Alight" study oil on canvas 30x30, by Jeques B. Jamora

 

 There’s the sun peeping through the verdant trees;
Casting their shimmering hued reflections
On the running waters like pageantries.
Moving me to profound contemplations.

 

Ah, idyllic landscape, ethereal arts.
We always have that child’s nook in our hearts.

(“Childhood Nook, Revisited!” From the poetry collection by: Jesus B. Jamora, 04/21/06)

  "Dreams Alight" oil on canvas 36x36, by Jeques B. Jamora, 2009

“Dreams Alight” oil on canvas 36X36, by Jeques B. Jamora, 2009

I am now  beginning to slowly understand the child’s vision that used to scare me. I am now starting to polish the rough edges of the images and lay the pictures on the frames as I translate the vision to become my breathing, throbbing realities.

I awake to the present to write on the pages the stories that the child once told me. I alight to this moment where his dreams had landed long before I arrived.

I used to think I was chasing my dreams, I now understand I did not. Like  the damselflies that alight on my palm as a kid, dreams, too, alight when I learned to open myself and keep my heart still.

 

~ Jeques


My Oasis

There are times when we need to leave the safety of the harbor and answer the beaconing of the future in the horizon where the skies kiss the seas ~

The unfamiliar arched skies and the daunting blue of the ocean may appear uncertain, and there may be no written guarantee accross the seas but we take out our anchors from our sunctuaries, take the chance and sail anyway.

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"Our Sunctuary" oil on canvas 20x24 by : Jeques B. Jamora

There are moments in life when we have to leave the roads that are very familiar.

It is our human nature to explore uncharted terrietories.

There’s that part in us that needs and longs for the change of landscapes.

And so we leave the paths that are safe and take a detour, stray away from our every day roads, throw the maps and just go ahead and get thrilled with things new.

We all need to face our fates at a certain point and take that arduous trek in the desert to fulfill the only obligation we have in this life to reach our destinations.

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"Our Fate" oil on canvas, 18x18 by : Jeques B. Jamora

Such things happen many times in our lifetime. Sometimes we do it awake and aware, but often it just happens and we wake up one day in the middle of the desert, or in a new road, or sailing in the ocean’s uncertain blues like we are inside a dark hole and that only our presence could fill that void.

I chose to be aware and awake when I take a detour or sail – I don’t want to be thrown in the grounds unguarded. We can all control our destiny. We can all choose the kind of battle and our kind of journey.

Now for those who are wondering where I’ve been?

I’ve gone painting!

I feel like I need to leave the familiar roads, the safety of my harbor in writing and take a plunge into the uncertainty of the blue horizon that’s been beaconing me for the longest time. So I left the safety and the happy company of the language, of the friendly words that coquet my thoughts and the pages to answer another call of traveling alone in my journey with my art. 

It is important that even how far the distances we reach in our travels, we need to be in touch with the isles that once became our harbor, and the trails that would lead us back to the roads that we once took that brought us where we are at the moment.

"our trail" oil on canvas, 24x30 by : Jeques B. Jamora

"Our Trail" oil on canvas 24x30 by : Jeques B. Jamora, 2009

No matter how long we travelled in the deserts of this life, we need to be in touch with things and people that once became our oasis. Poetry and writing are the oasis of my soul. And I will always be back here, now and again, to drink and dine in the bounty of their  inspiration.

~

You are my daily dose of life,

My daily drop of hope.

You are the reason I’m moving on,

And why I need to cope.

~

You are my oasis

In this life’s desert

So I can stand up

And walk.

~

My love,  you are the oasis of my heart, and I will always be back in your sunctuary, in the comfort and warmth of your presence for it is you who makes my journey worthwhile. 

 


A Prelude To A Million Dreams

My creative muse prompts me to begin writing on a fresh page as I start a new process of knowing. This is the time of my life when I do things because I feel like doing them. Like, I write because I would like to read my thoughts tangible in words taking form written on pages, so I would get a better grasp of them.

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Like the damselflies of my childhood, I don’t chase my thoughts anymore now that I’m grown up. My mind, like my palms to the damdelflies, I will open so dreams and thoughts could freely alight to show me their beauty. I will befriend this elusive guests instead of running after them like I did during my reckless youth. Perhaps this way, I could encourage their frequent visits.

"to the deeps" #1, oil on canvas by : Jeques B. Jamora, 2009

To The Deeps

At midnight

When half the world is asleep,

The prying eyes of the nocturnal owl

Stay alert for mice dozing undergrownds.

."to the deeps" #2, oil on canvas by : Jeques B. Jamora, 2009

A turtle slowly prowls in a swamp

Disturbing the resting fishes

On the shallow waters.

."to the deeps" #3, oil on canvas, 20x20 by : Jeques B. Jamora, 2009

Somewhere, you are confined

Asleep in your room dreaming.

While I stay awake questioning.

.#to the deeps" #4, oil on canvas, 20x20, by : Jeques B. Jamora, 2009

Am I part of your dreams tonight?

Would I take part in your life

When you awake in the morning?

.to-the-deeps-010

The night ends

With the owl catching no mice.

The fishes has gone to The deeps,

But the turtle hasn’t reach where ’tis going.

Just like me with my doubts never fading.

."to-the-deeps" #2 and 3

But nevertheless always wishing

That one day I’d stop questioning

And to The deeps I’d just let the fishes

Swim.

"to-the-deeps" #3 and 4

Unhurried thoughts and dreams come pellucid like the reflection of the summer skies on a placid river. I aim to write my thoughts that way: to achieve such clarity. These thoughts, my dreams reflected on pages as I allow the readers to grasp them like viewing the river and the skies on a clear summer day.

But sometimes, words are just ain’t enough. There are thoughts and dreams conceived that come in defined shapes, definite forms and rich colors. So I capture them in sketches. Such thoughts and dreams come alive on pads as my pen and pencil give them skin and the ink give them blood and the images from my mind come throbbing alive in sketches.

But then again, oftentimes, I am haunted by vivid dreams and thoughts that not my pen and the pencil nor the ink are enough to breath them life, to bring them the colors like the coquettish fishes flirting my mind with their exotic dance moves in the river where my mind often hovers. They demand to be born and inhabit the canvas, and only my brush strokes could give them soul, only the pallette could bring to life their hued reflections flickering in my imagination ~

Conspicuous in light and shadows.

This is the time of my life when I am fully in touched with my creative muse and the river of my mind is on its calmest state, where any minute movements are reflected that could stir ripples of dreams, and rapture of colors like the blossoms in springtime. The pages and the pads and the canvas are like the verdant fields where my dreams bloom. They are like the river in my mind where the fishes swim to the deeps in their coquettish dance moves that preludes to a million dreams.

The damselfly is within reach – I am taking time to appreciate his beauty as he hovers and I, motionless wishing the damselfly would soon alight in my palms.

Who says that dreams are black and white?

oil on canvas 20X20 by : Jeques B. Jamora


While You Are Away

Suddenly, a dike that held the ideas I searched for more than a year now, just burst open and flooded me with inspirations I was caught by the current of the gentle streams, and found myself stranded in front my easel painting again.

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(“Our Eden” Oil On Canvas 24X30 By: Jeques B. Jamora, 022709)

I stopped painting in November, 2007. That was when my father was hospitalized for the last and the longest time before he died in January, 2008.  My painting with the working title,”Pending Life,” is still unfinished and I decided to just leave it that way. When I went home to the Philippines for his funeral, I have planned in my head that when I return to Chicago, I will continue where I have left off but things didn’t turn out easy for me. There was a long drought of ideas, and I was just demotivated returning in front my easel.

I came back with a heap of image materials I collected from home I planned to use for my paintings, but I let them sleep in my computer. It was a year of dormancy, of distance from my arts, but I have written rich poetry and prose. The leave of absence of one passion, the working season for the other.

And then it returned, images suddenly haunt me. I tried to capture them in words at first mistaking them for poetry but they are so vivid they are tangible, I can almost touch the colors. Winter was the season of courtship with the ideas. One by one I befriend them, I tried to capture the hue, the contrasts, the idea, the images that formed in the canvas of my imagination and I listened to what it is telling me.

And then came the title, WHILE YOU ARE AWAY: Memories From Home. This is a collection of painting ideas I conceived since I was a kid, but didn’t have the resources to put them on canvas. The collection is the union of the rich ideas from childhood with my present state of mind. They use to be just dreams, and time had given me power to give them forms and shapes and colors.

This is my journey, a walk back to my art path I strayed many times.

This is the new beginning, my new frontier to my passion that appears to be new, but the road is strangely familiar like I have been here before, in my dreams, as a lost young artist, before you found me.

Have I finally stepped into our eden that I created long ago?  

For us ~

While you are away.