Taming This Tyke's Voice Since 2007

reveries

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.

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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.

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I really thought my many years of incessant thoughts of New York ended when I finally answered its invitation. But I fear, No! I left many stones unturned with my brief weekend visit last year that continue to frequent my reveries, courting me with new angles of possibility. This is what New York mean to me now. For many years, it’s something impossible and far away, and when I reached to touch its grounds, it remained mystical and distant. I felt ignored during my visit. I even wonder it  noticed my presence. Perhaps it’s my fault for ignoring the invitation too long that fate have forgotten about the christmas card and didn’t recognize me when I finally stepped into the picture to answer its long time invitation.

 

I love New York

But it didn’t love me back

 

A love that endured

Years of dreaming

And wake up

To walk its streets

For fleeting moment

And temporary bliss

That dissolves

With its rushing time.

 

I chased you

In the fast lanes

Of my recurring dreams.

I run after your affection

In the weekend

I spent with you,

Unnoticed.

 

I love New York

But it didn’t love me back.

 

I contented myself

With passing glances

A vagabond

A tourist

A spectator

A stranger

A passerby

An audience

Until the curtains dropped

And the show ended

When day light shied away

From your night lights.

But that’s when I start to dream,

Again, where you become real.

 

Only in dreams

That I belong to you

And when I trully walk your streets

And leave marks

Of my footsteps

In your heart.

 

Tomorrow,

When you wake up,

I hope you recognize

My footprints

Among the many vagabond

That walked the paths

That meet in the intersection

Where dreams alight

And don’t dissolve

With the fumes

Of your heavy traffic.

 

Only then that my dream

Would really come alive.

New York is one of the places I visited that intrigued me to fathom its relevance to my journey. It is like a hole in a lock where a key would fit one day awaiting to be turned to reveal me many things behind the shut door. I doubt the possibilities no more when fate put me in that picture and walked the streets of the postcard of long ago that gave me the preview of what was to come and in fleeting moments became a surreal reality that weekend. I know I need to come back to complete the story and when I do, I would not leave a single stone unturned.

Our dreams may reside in many different places. Places that would speak to us in many different languages, giving us messages, revealing to us secret codes that would help decipher the mysteries of our journeys.  I wish my pictures would work like the old postcard did to me and reach the eyes and hearts of dreamers to invite, to entice and reassure that dreams still come alive if we believe. And I hope you would answer that invitation soon.

 Don’t make your dreams wait too long.

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

 

 

 

 

 


Midday

 

Watch the tides

In the bay,

Grub remnants

From erstwhile morning,

Of blithe facets gone by.

Hush frolic thoughts,

Soothe reckless times,

Sort out tangled memories

On a drowsy midday

And be ready,

And be ready,

And be ready to get hold

Of the hand of passing time

From this moment forth.

Know which rock to hold

When the cliffs are slippery.

Climb up with certainty,

But know when to hang on

Or climb down, if necessary.

And be ready.

 

Lay the spirit down

On the hay

Of the harvests

From erstwhile morning,

Calm and carefree.

Watch the clouds

Form

Dissolve,

And Resurface fluffy

Souffle and sweet

To the tongue of memories recalled

On a dreamy midday

And be ready,

And be ready,

And be ready to confront

The inevitable streams of time

From this moment forth.

Know when to sow

And to toil night and day.

Sprinkle the earth

With blood and sweat

That trickle on the forehead ~

Let the seeds grow,

But know when to stop

And celebrate the harvest,

When it is time.

And be ready.

 

Come home on a rainy day

To an aged couch, old and saggy,

That kept imprints

From erstwhile morning,

Of blots of ink and paint

Red and blue

From childish blows

And gentle touches.

Trace back  the stories

From stains and tears,

Unreeling,

On a quiet midday

And be ready,

And be ready

And be ready with soothing

But sometimes harsh whisks

Of the nearing eventide

From this moment forth.

Know the terrains,

And be guarded of the stings

Of each season, but be happy.

Be accepting and resigned,

And embrace the gifts

Of each moment

To build the plinth –

With stable bricks –

Of one’s equanimity

That mellows in time.

 

Take a moment

To keep your thoughts hushed

And tarry like the water in the bay.

Take time to glance back

To the parting waves

Of the erstwhile morning

And listen to the silence

Of the midday.

And be reay,

And be ready,

And be ready

 

To watch the sunset

In the bay

With me.

 

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


Always The Right Cup

 

Some days,

Like now,

I turn the faucet on

But nothing comes out.

I stare,

Turns it back off

And wait.

 

There’s this thirst inside.

Sometimes I thought,

Perhaps I picked the wrong cup

To catch the down pour

That would not come.

 

I waited too long

To quench this wanting.

But still waited.

Waited

And forgot about my thirst.

 

Some other times,

I slide the sill open

Needing the sun

That’s hidden behind the walls

Of clouds

Portending storm.

But what would I need rain

Those times when my heart is flooded?

 

Often I thought,

I should have shut it close,

But still kept the sill open

And waited.

Waited

Until I slept waiting

For things

That would not be there

When needed.

In waiting

I forget. And still

Wake up to another day

With hopes

Renewed.

 

The water runs

From the faucet most days.

There’s rain when it’s the season.

Not all days,

But there’s the sun ~

They happen in succession

For a reason.

 

Dreams – nights, days – and reveries.

In your absence,

And in waiting

I understood:

 

There’s no such thing

As a wrong cup.

It’s in how I fill it up

And with what.