Taming This Tyke's Voice Since 2007

reflections

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

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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.


Recluse

 

It is not what I intended,

But it’s what the moment

Calls for.

 

I have great reverence

For the higher laws;

I humbly surrender myself

In acceptance

To this moment of recluse.

With epenness and faith,

I trust the will

Of the greater power.

 

I will come out

From this passage

Equally enriched,

Like my efflorescence

Amid the bunch.

 

 

 


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Breaking Grounds

 

Here I am pursuing

In endless circles

On and on

Wandering, wondering

Where’s this circular course

Taking me,

Where’s this ring going?

 

Like the fan blades

In the dining,

Grating, squeaking in the ceiling

Racing overhead.

 

Like the propellel

At the boat’s rear

My mother once showed me

Stuck in my memory

Of things turning

Around an axis

Aimless.

 

I did my laundry

The other day,

And lost myself

With the motion

Of my clothes spinning,

So did my head

Juggling with thoughts

As the Wheels,

And mills,

The clock running

Round in circles

But really,

Where is it going

When it ends where it begins?

 

I hear an alarm

Of high pitched signal,

My laundy is done.

The machine pukes

Fragrant vomitus:

My clothes smelling the scents

Of spring and renewal

Like my mind

Finding new meanings:

 

The fan in the dining

Brings me air

Of homey comfort

Makes beef stew rice topping

Tastes like what my mother

Used to feed me

From my distant memory of home.

 

The propellel at its rear

“Mamang” directed my young mind

In my first boat ride

Brought me faraway,

Closer to my destination.

 

As the Wheels,

And mills

The clock running

Round in circles

And me pursuing

This ring course,

Breaking grounds

Widening scope

For reasons

 

That some day,

 

My nephews and nieces

Would grow up

To understand.

 

* “Mamang” a name we call our mothers in some regions in the Philippines.

(Jeques, 2009. From his A Traveler’s Soliloquies poetry collection)

 

 


Caged

 

Briefly

Our hands clasped

Against the grated wire screen

Separating

Keeping

Our worlds closely

Apart.

 

It’s a painful union.

 

We see the flowers,

But we can’t pick them.

A banquet is laid 

On the table,

But we can’t celebrate

The feast

Together.

We both have wings

Watching the unfriendly

Sky

But only one

Of us 

Is free to fly.

 

You pulled me

Closer ~

“Does love hurts

Like when the barbs

Pierce the palms? “

Being close to you

Feels painfully

That good.

 

I draw you

Towards me,

But you hesitate

Acquiesced to the customs

Of your world

That defines

A different you

From what I know.

 

I don’t have a heart

To force you out

To my world,

Even if it would mean

Your freedom ~

 

If the barbs

Pierce your wings.

 

I know how that hurts.

 

I let go

Of our clasped hands

And free you

In your cage ~

Aversely ~

I claim the Sky

To a lonely flight.

 

I am free.

 

(Jeques, 2009. From his A Traveler’s Soliloquies poetry collection)

 


Candle Keeper

 

I unearthed you that winter,

And discovered in solstice

That I am your keeper.

 

You’re the incessant blaze

That burns inside me,

You’re my built-in hearth.

Like the fireplace,

My chamber is made of bricks

I guard your flame,

I am the candle keeper.

 

You need me to keep your light

I need you to warm me.

 

Together,

We await in hope

For the vernal equinox.

But remember,

That even in the gray

Of frozen days,

 We endure

The turmoil

Of the seemed endless blizzards ~

We bloom in gloom.

 

You’re the relentless flare

That lit the wintry alleys

When doldrums

Overtook my sanguinity.

 

I coat you,

Steadfast,

Bearing frost bite

And the stings

Of Defeat.

 

I am in your keeping from inside,

I safeguard you

From the harsh world outside.

Your glowing amber

And my unwavering strides

Steer us forth.

 

I see us,

Together,

 

In springtime.

 

(Jeques, 2009. From the Traveler’s Soliloquies poetry 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

  


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