Taming This Tyke's Voice Since 2007

solitude

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.

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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.

 


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

 

 

 

 

 


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