Friday, December 12, 2008

La Belle Dame sans Amour

He saw her pass by
Crossing with familiar rush
A figure caught in strobe

A tree stripped bare in the Fall
Like watercolor blotting badly,
Rouge melting on pudgy skin

Is that she? He asked
Surely not she, he thought
There unmasked in stark light

He loved her truly
They all did, too
Who asked you? She said

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I tell you greed is grasping
It roots on acid ground
Sucks the juice of the muck
Even at the last gasp
Clings with avid vines
On broken slabs and angels
With cracked cement wings

I tell you greed is quenchless
It begrudges the sun its brilliance
Envious of the moon’s glow
Sweeps all the stardust and
Gathers them with a dustpan
And stores them in dark rooms
Gloating in demented joy

I tell you greed is without compassion
Thriving on hedonistic nurture
Denying closeness and amity
Cuts off the umbilical nexus
Shun familial obligations
Shrugs off the flakes of conscience
From the black dress of indifference

I tell you greed is shameless
Ecstatic in pelf and exaggerated self worth
Gloats over riches felt deserved
Forgetful and incognizant of God’s grace
Jingling patina encrusted coins
Amused and savoring the endless count
In glee…in endless count…in glee

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Amihan - A Season of Hope

Amihan played in the grove
Touching leaves and sprigs
Breathing on mango blooms
Leaving freshness on the gnarls
Stirring the furry caterpillars
Asleep on curled green sheets

Now the risen sun cast its glare
Striking out with its searing blaze
Soon Amihan shooed and scuttled
Moved on to friendlier milieus
Of green glades and cooler climes
Enjoying the comfort of amiable arbors

Oh kind and merciful Amihan
Let not the tyrant sun sow malevolence
On a withered and desolate grove
Come back and give succor to
The creatures of the green mantle
Threatened by the scorching glare

Come now and save your flock
Never again must you stray
Blot out the hand of the despot sun
Bring back freshness into our clime
Return the peace and the comfort
To a beleaguered and desperate people

Saturday, December 06, 2008

The Muse

Traipsing the mountain slopes
Even before the sun had crossed
The distant nebulous endless line

In flight with swifts, flitting motes
Scratching the inner eye
Blurred in the cottony haze

I know she’s somewhere there
In the velvet glow of dawn, but
Never in the glare of noon

Come let me feel your touch again
Restore my quills’ vibrant strokes
Put fecundity in my sterile pad

She comes only at her will
Flirty lady, insensitive bitch
I am but a waif at your whimsy


Strange fates and unwanted destinies
Stuck and ensconced on us like barnacles
Adding to our discomfort and dismay
Evanescent ease, inconstant joys
Our inheritance from alien origins
Undeserved legacy foisted on us

Our sojourn is not from ease to ease
But rather moving from worse to worst
Snatching bread from mouth to mouth
Living lives from barrenness to little worth
Can you find a hiatus from this affliction?
Yes, but, it's an infinitesimal wait.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

David's Poems

Poems written by my ten year old grandson, David Belmonte as part of school work.

My Magic Box

I will put in the box

The red roses in a raspberry field,
The silver in a gold mine and
The last Dodo on Earth.

I will put in the Box

The feathers of five flaming Phoenixes,
A soul from heaven and hell and
the last star in the Universe.

I will put in the Box

A golden summer whale on the sapphire sea,
A bird with four legs and a wolf that glides.

I will put in the Box

A scorpion with no stingers but seven claws,
The red scale of a blue dragon and
a mother’s last wish before death.


When I’m alone, I think of you,
When I walk around, I hear your voice,
Whenever I look at the moon, I always see your face,
Thinking you might be around,
But knowing that you’re gone…

When I was young, you took care of me…
When I was young, you left me here…
I believe you still exist today,
I believe that you haven’t left,
But still, I know that you’re gone.

When you passed away, I thought you weren’t gone,
I thought you were moving, I thought you were still here,
But then I realized, a part of me was missing.
But still, I knew that part was you.

Sorrow is the knife that stabs me in the heart,
Death is the sickly arrow that separated us,
Now I don’t know what to do,
Without your guidance I wouldn’t understand,
But still, I know that you’re gone.

It’s hard to be brave about it,
I wish you were still here,
But I know that we will meet again,
So I look forward to that one day,
Where I will be re-united once again…


You are the miracle that guided me to happiness,
The one that helped get through the darkness,
Who saved me from my own sadness,
The savior of my life and the giver of my heart.

The hero that guided my soul to victory,
You are the reality that does not end,
Continuing every day and night,
The dreams are sent by you.

Unusual in it’s own way, creating forms,
Forms of different kind, unique and untraceable,
These dreams can be anything or anywhere,
Every corner of a dream hides something,
Like a secret or a new feeling.

A land where nothing sleeps, eats or drinks,
A mysterious place where nothing rules,
Nothing hates, nothing likes,
A private area to relax in a bed of emotions,
Unknown to the world and a mystery to all,
Nobody knows, so it’s all mine!


I smite your happiness with my raging fist
It is I that fills you with negative thoughts
For I bring calamity and hatred to your soul
It is I, Anger.

Minding your own business
Then a corrupted surge goes through
Leaving you in a daze of black and red
Slowly entering your mind…

I am normal to those who hate
Those who disrespect others
It is I that makes them feel hateful
It is I that makes them careless

My box is styled with rocks, diamonds and bones.
It has steel on the lid and emotions in the corners.
It’s hinges are the toes of Ostriches.

I will fly in my box and land in the waters
of the calm sea and ride the creatures in it.
Then I will move the stars with it.

I will put in the Box

A poem’s end and a Final word:


Sunday, November 02, 2008


November one brings out the past
With trees pushing tombstones
Daring to put gaiety with somber blooms
Roots plowing the miry ground
Dig up marrowless bones
Upturning loam for lost loves
Nothing but twigs craving for affection

Last week’s inundation
Brought the merciful flood
Sweeping the steles and slabs
Washing off the mud from angels’ faces
Stirring worms from their stupor
Giving life and luster to the gloom
Stirring remembrances just for the nonce

Candles flickering, flowers wilting
Children balling up candle wax
Endless chatter and radios blaring
Pots simmering, candy wraps crinkling
Adobo and dried fish spread on banana leaves
Atop foot high whitened sepulchers
Sharing repasts with the dear departed

The grateful dead cast an approving smile
Reward enough that’s worth your while
You have to believe that this is true
To do next year what you’ve just been through

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

5 tanka trials (5)

A Christmas Moment
Christmas lights flickered
In the darkening twilight
I beheld a smile
A beaming more radiant than
Moonglow through leafy silhouettes

Black Beauties
Fearsome black twins
Growling at strange intrusions
Flashing hostile fangs
Feigning ferocity to all
But truly amiable dogs

Garden flowers wait
For the beautiful lady
With gentle hands pluck
Roses, Azaleas in bloom
To grace a potter’s fine urn

Where is yesterday’s
Colored mantle on the lawn?
Gone without bidding
Adieu to the vibrant scene
Leaving only boring green

Hush now and be still
Listen to the hustling ants
Leaves, kernels, grains
Busy lugging and hauling
Precious gifts to the Queen

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Taal Volcano

...........................Taal Volcanoooooo
a little
islet afloat
in an expanse
so serene and quiet
only a pulsating ember
creeps out of the milky mist
blazing violence now rarely seen
children on horseback on your slopes
unaware of the havoc you once caused

Light And Dark

Oh, the dark is a bottomless hole
Where evil and malice hold cabal
Conspiring against joy and delight
From fear and angst they brew
A maelstrom of nightmares
And watering roots of torment

Ah, Light, a boundless sky
Radiant with rainbows and
Swallows endlessly streaming
On a backdrop of green forests
And magnificent mountain crests
A display of God’s munificence

Darkness hides in inky pits
Conceals malice and malignant guilt
Light shines bright in splendor
Proclaiming truth and beauty
Yet Light thrives only in darkness
Without it no shine or glory

Leaving By Taxi

Tell him not to go
Tug at his coat sleeves
Cry out in plea
Won’t you?

He’s going now
All suited up in black
Sullen cabbie waits
In a gaudy hack

Cab fare is ready
Two minted coppers
On his very eyes
The flag went down

The taxi crept
In an unhurried pace
The radio droned a hymn
I heard him hum the tune

The hack sputtered
Bade goodbye to each block
Past known haunts and faces
Turning last into a gated arch

Being Human

Lord I do not wish
To hide from you
I’m too lazy, I say

You molded me
From lowly clay
Am I to blame?

Can I help it
If I err?
Only human, I say

Free will is
A handy phrase
Is it really there?

Glory I can’t own
The Fall, as well
Not mine to will, I say

It is God’s grace
If undeserved
Failure is the Devil’s

Conscience perplexed
Helpless yet blamed
Innocent but guilty

Simple minded me
In a quandary, accept
A mystery, I say


Don’t change the linen yet
It’s still warm
With charm and laughter

Pat the sofa later
The hollow could still be seen
On the silky cushions

Let the blinds stay folded
The sunbeam remains bright
Casting soothing shadows

The bud is not in full bloom
Hold the florist’s shears
For another day

Let us not be eager
To shut the gate
Not just yet

Friday, October 03, 2008

5 Tanka Trials (4)

The Lovers
Lovers cowering
In the long shadows of dawn
Fearful to be seen
Anxious of the consequence
Of last night’s wanton delights

Do you think in dread
That your indiscretion leads
To disaffection?
Fear not, a plucked rose remains
As sweet as those in the bower

The Quest
I sought in earnest
In secret paths untrodden
Neither man nor beast
Dare go the perilous quest
But only you can give me rest

At First Glimmer
I might chance to see
Your loveliness and your grace
In the first glimmer
Are you prettiest in sunlight
Or in the glow of full moon?

Divine Moment
I watched from the ridge
Careful not to disturb birds
Singing praise to you
The blooms blushed at your bare feet
In fealty to a deity

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Elegy In A Flower Garden

every petal that falls even
from the homeliest blossom
is grieved by the congregation
of blooms in the garden

a solitary demise
is not an isolation

though not heard nor seen
the emptiness it creates
hangs heavy and tumid
untunes the euphony of echoes
and casts thick darkness
in the serenity of white clouds
puts the glade, the lake in gloom

pink and yellow bells toll
an earnest elegy for each fallen

5 Tanka Trials (3)

The Sculptor
These calloused hands
Once sought classic ideal
Hewing marble, chiseling stone
Faithless Galatea shaped
Thankless heart as cold as gems

Summer Time
Summer came knocking
Stirring lads’ and lasses’ hearts
With amorous ardor
Youth danced at the throbbing beat
Maddened by the torrid heat

Your Name
I mentioned your name
And songbirds sang it like a tune
They gathered around
The rosebush and the green ferns
Humming the wondrous refrain

Surfing the vast net
Prodding the meek little mouse
Searching aimlessly
Going nowhere, everywhere
Lost in an ocean of clicks

The scaly night
Looms over the city sky
Casting dread and gloom
Bats empty the dark belfries
Singing Halloween’s evensong

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Centuries of delight reprised
Weaving thru the statuary
Peeing Eros, spouting lion
Cold naked maidens and
Olympians with lecher eyes

Doorway upon doorway
Leading to a gallery then another
Daylight to twilight
Midnight to dawn
Oh what irksome ennui!

You awe at wonders only once
Not felt, if all over again
First gladiator kill gives the most thrill
The first kiss divine, then just lust
A debut is grand, what’s next, a parody

A continuum of sameness
A season of repeats
A looped tape of events
An echo playing pong
God stammering

What Kind of Poet Are You?

Why can't a modernist be
more like an imagist? said one

A modernist's craft it seems
Plays hide and seek
Not wanting to be found out
In one easy read
Muttering gibberish-like
Imagery seemingly indiscrete
But couching a hidden gem

An imagist tells you what is what
No games nor riddles in his verse
What you see is what you get
Lyrical lines, image well defined
Gushing populist sentiment
Yet profundity lies within

Oh, why can't an imagist be
More like a modernist? said the other

It may be a matter of choice
No right, no wrong no doubt
No one no better than the other
Apples and pears cannot compare

Friday, September 26, 2008

5 Tanka Trials (2)

Parallel Lives
Whither will we go
I have traveled the low road
And you took the high
Ne'er shall we meet again
Lives in parallel chosen

You chided me then
When I asked for your sweetness
Slapping my hands
And I, tremulous in fear
Withdrew in the raging rain

Night Sounds
I whiled through the sounds
Frog's grunts, cicada's buzz saw
But not finding yours
Only the memory heard
A soothing wind borne whisper

Through Wild Flowers
Come let us gambol
Tramping through wild flowers
Skipping on fences
Scraping your knees on sharp thorns
And I'll kiss away the sore

The morning found me
Moping beneath the duvet
Denied a good night
Left clinging on unsteady vines
Sent home without a sweet kiss

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

5 Tanka Trials

Eloquence of Love
I hesitated
To say my true feelings
Soon after our tryst
The memory of your eyes
Told me to be eloquent

Can you stay longer?
At least until the rain stops
My bed is still warm
With your smoldering kiss
And your scorching embrace

Memories of You
My memory talks
In loud words and images
Of your poise and endless grace
A picture of elegance
A heavenly hymn of praise

The Eucalyptus
The eucalyptus
Rained its shimmering jade leaves
Below its bowers
Where you and I slept the night
Soft ground, a blanket of green

The Dawn
The dawn we failed to see
Neath blankets huddling in the cold
But no big regrets
We’ll wait for it tomorrow
And maybe miss it again

Monday, September 22, 2008

Haiku for Duffers

With a graceful swing
My pitching wedge struck the ball
Fell short of the hole

Fore! called the golfer
Atop the seventh tee mound
Splash! replied the lake

It was just two feet
But my buddy didn’t say “take”
Ooh, the ball lipped out

A butterfly looks nice
But not on the driver’s mound
Use your “mulligan”

Long Putt
Long putt’s a challenge
Two to three breaks from the hole
Glory to God it’s in!

At the Tee
Tee mound dilemma
Wind, club and stance decisions
Then swing hard and firm

Golf Widow
Anna, the golf widow
Cold husband always away
Sold “irons” in bazaar

Rara Avis
Birdies have no plumes
Bogey is not an ogre
Albatross, not cursed

An eagle soars high
So is the spirit of one
Who makes it happen

Duffer’s blessed round
Short par threes, also, even grass
And smart caddy tips

Fairways are real cool
Despite the noonday sun
After acing one

Putting Green
Greens are perplexing
Slow, fast, break left or right
Blasted hole so small

Sands are relaxing
On a balmy seashore spot
It stinks in the links

Missed Birdie
What could be worse than
Triple bogey on par three
A missed short birdie

Golfers’ Tongue
Golf helps your language
With each errant stroke you mouth
Expletives galore

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Haiku 115 to 130

115. Butterflies hover
In my flower filled garden
Making joyful hours

116. Frogs splashing about
Midst golden kois in a pond
Rest on lotus leaves

l117. I saw your tears drop
From soft and limpid eyes
The day has ended

118. Hurried and harried
After a busy workday
Rewarded by hugs

119. I felt your soft touch
A motherly kiss on my tired eyes
Your scent filled the room

120. Dip your head in ice
Don’t let emotions prevail, eight, nine, ten!

121. Venerable tree
You keep secrets well hidden
Let down your branches

122. Waterdogs romp downstream
Cooling heads and heels at noon
Mindless of the heat

123. Yellow ripe mangoes
Hanging tantalizingly
Nipped by a passing bird

124. Sun tanned boys through stalks
Startled rice birds taking wing
Wavy heat shimmer

125. A pebble skims
Rippling the pond’s green surface
Bullfrogs leap aside

126. Raindrops caught in leaves
Give life and shine to a tree
A breeze shakes them off

127. The torturous trek
Through mountain rills and falls
End up in a splash

128. Leafy veil parted
A serene beauty unfolds
Behold a calm lake

129. Geese swim in a queue
After a hard fortnight flight
Respite from the cold

130. Today it’s romp and play
Hunting skills honed keenly
Sharp fangs bag their prey

Friday, September 19, 2008

Political Haiku

Staunch anti-Glorias
Manny and Ping now grapple
Circus is in town

Politics is fun
Politics is fun
No holds barred spectator sports
No losers but us

Miriam shouts Cretins!
At the solons on the floor
Fermenting madness

Hero or Heel
Jinggoy acts the role
Of dad sans moustache in pose
Reel hero, real heel

Tear Jerk
Tear jerk Lozada
Cries innocence and kidnap
Sitcom? Soap? On 2

Joke Only
Jocjoc Bolante
Agri magic, not with rice
Joke, joke lang!

Lucid Loren
Loren in ad glut
Of glutathione challenge
Lucid back out move

Noli, like a lamb
With fleece not as white as now
But he’s sure to go

Ping surveyed the lay
Manny, Loren and Noli
Knock one at a time

Senate in a frenzy
With expectations galore
Prexy polls is near

Pollsters drool knowing
Hopefuls eager to rate high
Cost is no question


Political polls
Spawn hope for the solons
They grasp at straws

Chiz in a quandary
Polls encourage, others dissuade
High and dry or wade?

Pimentel accuses
Speaks in raspy gibberish
In between snores

Is there a statesman
In senate or congress?
Silence in the halls

Recto, Tanada
Is there anyone like them?
Listen, loud silence

Storm Signals
Hot air factory
Blow ill wind and puffery
Batten down hatches

Flash Gordon
Is Gordon running ?
He may be quick as a flash
Not in prexy dash

Lovely Loren
Last chance Loren
Belo may not be as skilled
The next time around

Extra Mile
Manny went ahead
And pushed for the extra mile
Ping caught him speeding

Through Her Teeth
President Gloria
Said my post will not extend
Through a bunny toothed grin

At The Races
At President’s derby
Manny, Loren, Noli, Ping
Run with gates still closed

Politics Is Business
Politics is business
Invest millions for post at stake
Rob millions to gain

Poor BF chided
Postered “Bayani” all over
His dreams now over

Obama you’ll lose
White Americans are racist
A black and white fact

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Laughing Haiku

The Mouse
Tim’rous little mouse
Slips through the bedroom at three
Rolling pin hits true

Tempt me not to see
Cross your legs in front of me
Your thongs hide little

Kiss the lady hard
Grab her with much gusto
Slap, such sweet sorrow

Mother In Law
The mother in law
Laid down the domestic rules
Price for daughter laid

Pick Nits
Pick critics brains here
In overused critique’s page
It is nitpicking time

The Poet
The words do not rhyme
The meter an iamb off
Yet he dares to write

Disarming Love
Futile affections
When Venus de Milo loves
In absurd embrace

Who Caught Who
Run after me
Beckon the flirty lady
Until I catch you

Poets look for a word
To describe his lady fair
Wrote epic instead

Failed Player
The world is a stage
Said Will, the bald poet
You forgot your lines

Spider Man
Peeping Tom Spidey
Swings across sills and ledges
Sightseeing lecher

Lady Godiva
Bare assed Godiva
Rode the streets of Coventry
Wish I was a horse

Through Her Teeth
President Gloria
Said my post will not extend
Through a bunny toothy grin

At the Races
At President’s derby
Manny, Loren, Noli, Ping
Run with gates still closed

Politics Is Business
Politics is business
Invest millions for post at stake
Rob millions to gain

Language Abuse
The King’s English died
With poetic license abuse
Hidden as free verse

Present States
Drunk! said the lady
Ugly! Retorted Winston
Ever, while I sober

Numbers seem so true
When quoted by politicians
Citing what favors

Friday, September 12, 2008

Haiku 1 to 25

1. Woodland nymphs gather
Elves frolic round misty boughs
Magical moments weave

2. Fly away sparrow
This meal is not meant for you
Listen! Birdseed spills

3. Such innocent eyes
Glaring from fiery red heads
Harsh beaks gnash fiercely

4. Creeping fearsome ghost
Lurking within the tall grass
Gruesome ambuscade

5. A real cool cat
With Cheshire smile smugly beamed
Climb down from your perch

6. Past the reeds she goes
Daffodils bowed in her wake
Rippling a placid lake

7. Gossamer snares
Delicate but treacherous
Fatal quiver felt

8. Butterfly afloat
With cathedral wings afire
Petals flutter by

9. Tweet goes the Pipit
Buzzing each shrub and flower
Withered blossoms fall

10. A blade of cogon
Is bent by a maya bird
A slingshot buzzes

11 .Oh elegant grace
Still the waters of the lake
Majesty passes

12. Blossoms overhead
Stand guard on regal swans
Let not ripples make

13. A gilded sky cast
Trees in silhouette yonder
Night softly signs on

14. Nothing here but death
Desolation and despair
Cracked lips plead for rain

15. Reach out in prayer
Cry out for a bit of rain
Dry throats utter thanks

16. Dare disturb the calm
Skim that pebble on the pond
Fish cower beneath

17. Looks peaceful today
Yet malevolent clouds hover
Zip up your jacket

18. Ominous warnings
Of impending wet and cold
Warm hands allay fears

19. Lord, divide your sky
Give me my share of colors
But the rainbow frowns

20. The mountain wind blew
Whispered wisdom, uttered truths
Here is where I’ll camp

21. Lonely sentinel
Saguaro has a sworn duty
Rest your arms awhile

22. Blinding, shimmering
Whiteness of the blustery snow
Come share your warmth

23. Your warmth eases cold
Like a setting sun’s radiance
A peaceful night comes

24. Never thought our love
Would create ugly ducklings
Push them off the falls

25. Raindrops and teardrops
Sear my cheeks and my heart
Oh, gloomy adieus

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Haiku 26 to 50

26. Midst shouts and slams
My beloved despot rages
The clock ticks and tocks

27. A cold heart's hollow
Echoes laments of past loves
I miss your cold gaze

28. Soft light pierces through
The morning’s window pane
Your yawn woke me up

29. Colored prints of you
Arrayed on doilied cover
Sonic boom explodes

30. I saw her today,
Aloof but with a coy smile
Now my cellphone rings

31. Dustin and David,
Mischievous kids both ten
Oops! A Ming vase breaks

32. Funereal fragrance wafts,
Midst earnest sobs and clasped hands
Snuffed candle falls

33. Old eyes squint in wait,
Faint sounds make feeble ears stand
Welcome youthful yells

34. As she walked past me
Stolen gaze I saw her make
Sunday I’ll be back

35. There you are li’l girl
Swathed in a field of yellow
Bees told me you’re here

36. Speak up old tree
She was here with him last night
Don't just shake your leaves

37. Embrace me hotly
Leave the cold and wet behind
Hang your love to dry

38. Ill wind blowing wild
Smashing and slashing at will
Crack! a tree trunk breaks

39. Nature's ire unleashed
Bullying all in its path
Crashing waters roar

40. The roar and fury
Of crashing, rumbling waters
Silenced by a sob

41. Sun sets on Jasmine
Scented twilight stirs my soul
Where has my love gone?

42. High atop a hill
The world looks bright and cheerful
Worms creep up to see

43. Amidst the rubble
Wasted ruins of the storm
New life emerges

44. Nature’s vanity
Musing its own reflection
Upon a clear tarn

45. Sunbeams light her path
Suddenly morning has come
Emerged from a dream

46. Shrilling buzz like drills
Cicada’s plaint close the day
Light sinks with the sun

47. Suntanned revelers
Frolic in raucous delight
Jesus impaled sweats

48. Memories are streams Of glorious times, sad failures Flowing out from time

49. Icons tumbling spin,
Flashing light and ringing bells
Sadly I drove home

50. Struggling to hold on Wiry roots cling tight to life Please don’t axe that tree

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Fallen Gods

I saw you
I told the breeze as he swooped
And lifted a lady’s skirt
With no one seeing us
But dust and a few scattering leaves
And with a hiss
He said hush…hush

So, Zephyr back off!
You gods have lost your right
To bedevil us mortals
Prometheus had lost his fire
Achilles had athlete’s feet
Hercules went limp…ahay!
Bacchus just another sot
And Zeus’ thunder went pfft!

Now you have Gabriela to reckon with
Wielding harassment laws so stiff
And battered wives have a united front
The Human Rights commissioner’s
Gavel struck hard at the abuse
These Olympians were once amused
The then dreaded divine elite
Meek as vestal virgins in the hearth

Sunday, August 31, 2008


Fear not the uncertain
For even he is not sure
Of what, of who, of when

Hold uncertainty by the ear
Chide him for his bullying
He who knows not, knows not

Of what’s to be or will not be
Live life without concern
As sparrows and lilies of the field


Ermita turned blue at six
Then burst into gaudy red
In the fading month of November
At seven

Passed through the narrow lanes
Congested by pied faced whores
On half moon doorsteps
Of smutty dives

Damsels with tattered wings
Fat and unguent faces
Emaciated crispy masks
With pasted welcoming smiles

Urchins in rags
Look at white thugs
Expecting silver drops
In their young slots

Lights off and on
Deafening blares of PAs
Incoherent attractions
Cling willfully to the senses

Now into the famed circle
Ephemeral fairies cavort
With thick pasted faces
And sagging eyelashes

Through quaint abodes
Of a bygone elegance
Reborn as couture houses
And campy discotheques

In another turn smugly sits
A neo-baroque church
Unmindful of the din
Indifferent to the sin

We made three rounds
Uncertain of intention
Not stopping at any
Papier mache distraction

Seeking comfort
In this desolation
Gentle love or tenderloin
But, we drove on

Friday, August 29, 2008

Strawberry Hill

On a hill of endless jade
Red strawberries dotted a swathe of green
I hurried to sate my bulging wicker
When you surprised me with a nudge
I thought…
You were happily busy with your chores
And didn’t even know I was there
On our neighbor’s hill of jade
Picking luscious strawberries on the green


What hat will I wear today?
To cover the bald spot and hide the gray
An obligation to human frailty

With smug but studied poise
Chin held high to hide the fidget
This charade willingly played

My shame and discomfort
For an inelegant noggin with
Scraggly growth sparsely strewn

Happy am I to be seen in
A dignified pose, a gentleman’s air
Topped with a Stetson in suede

Another Love Poem

I give you my loveNonchalantly, unaware
Like a day passing its memory
To tomorrow.

Today becomes brighter, warmer
Even before the sun woke up the dawn

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Night Cover

The gloom of the dark night
Blackens the filth, the squalor, the sleaze
Of narrow streets and inner city hives
Darkens the pavements, the curbs, the walls
The habitation of the wretched, the damned
Hides the sins of perverts, killers, pimps
Slimy, quivering loathsome lowlife

The gloom of the dark night
Covers the city in innocent black
All’s well in the world until the first light

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Tagaytay Mornings

Bare feet on glistening wet grass
A chorus of leaves rustling, humming
Wake my soul from its stupor

Black Labradors howling protest
Over the bread man’s honking horn
Gladden my jaded heart

Snails hurrying to greet the worms
Pacing through slithery trails
Ease my knotted sinews

Zesty sparrows collecting by the gazebo
Quarreling over seeds in a frenzy
Remind me of my daily grace

Frogs and turtles chatting by the pond
Placid water disturbed by their noise
Impress that silence is a virtue

Hungry blue birds avidly watching
Over tiny ripples made by wee fish
Stir my awareness of other’s needs

Carillon ringing its morning tidings
Clangor against brassy chapel bells
Arouse my lust for life

Evergreen giants brushing off
Wet mist from heavy shoulders
Teach me tolerance and forgiveness

A spectacle, a tableau, a pageantry,
Greet the dawning of each day
Tell of life’s lessons in Tagaytay mornings

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Leveler

Face with pride the dreaded Leveler
Follow his lead and not hesitate in your stride
The end is everyone’s fate
No argument has ever won its case
So quit a struggle that you can’t win

Face with pluck the dreaded Leveler
Honorable men proclaim their great deeds
With ignoble dealings veiled by deceit
Wastrels who spent the day and threw away the night
Rued their wanton ways and but not soon enough
Face the dreaded Leveler with head held high
Moribund journeymen with keen eyes see
Staring wildly at a blazing ethereal scene
Give up, give up, the rally is futile and tiring
And for you, my brother, the events are cast

Fight not fate, give up the struggle
Your fateful number has been drawn
Move on, you’re holding back the queue
At the rear they are giving a hefty shove
Face him now, the dreaded Leveler

Manila, Recently Dead

Manila, recently dead
Bowed under by a heavy yellow cloud
Ersatz forest in its midst struggled
But soon black soot effaced the green

Trudging wraiths crossing Quiapo bridge
So many dead men walking in a line
In silence but for footfalls on greasy cobble
Walking, not knowing wither they all go
Flowing downbridge into the plaza of demagogues
To where the women walked on shortened legs
As the cathedral belfry shouted at the throng below
Amulets, offer amulets to the blackened Messiah!

This city will not live, no not at all
Rouse your homeless and hamletize them
‘Til only mangy dogs beg in the filthy curbs
Oh Manila, recently dead, I leave you now
No one laments your passing

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Death Does Not Live Here Anymore (draft)

Death does not live here anymore
Stripped of name but one with the north wind
And the one who lives west of the moon
Whose meat has been minced by white ursine beasts
She will be honored with brilliant signs
Senseless she made better sense
Heavy shod trolls broke crags in rage
Lovers come and go but love remains

Death does not live here anymore
Nor in the deep chasms of the sea
She who was about to die did not die easily
Body racked in agony, hamstrings stretched
Straining torture racks creak yet not break
Even a heart with faith shall snap
And primal evil prevail in west of the moon
But earnest affection is impervious to pain

Death does not live here anymore


I sought shelter from the rain
In frayed book pages
I used to sit at the head of the table
And listened to by all seated
Dictating everything under the sun
The years have changed me much

Youthful heckling and jeering
And behind the back scheming
The shameless punks at their worst
At tweaking irreverently
On views of another time
The years have changed me much

No woman looked twice
At frayed book pages
Yet the damsels in my youth
Are etched deeply in my brows
Fie on tyrannical time
The years have changed me much


The venerable gentry claim
And this is a truth oft told
Nothing escapes change

Shedding leaf by leaf on the bough
Like long nailed yogis with bony knees
And limbs like gnarled mangrove roots

On shadowy floodgates
Youth and beauty ebbs away
Mirrored on receding swamp waters

haiku 51 to 93

51. What a lovely place
And yet so cold and forlorn
Warmth and light soon comes

52. Bathe in morning dew
Freshness filled the morning air
Withered before noon

53. With Godspeed I go
To conquests, fame and fortune
Dare burst my balloon

54. I will get through this
Stark and somber prison bars
Sunlight's shadows cast

55. Ah, the palms beckon
Leave the dreary icy cold
Balmy breeze await

56. Rest your tired wings
On a velvet purple bed
A long flight ahead

57. The silver lining
In our lives are all but gone
The sun let us down

58. Dream of Boracay
Palms swayed by the balmy breeze
Waves lap at white shores

59. Shark fins soup is nice
But it is vain indulgence
Save the man eater

60. Fairies celebrate
Elfin fireworks light the sky
With floral sparkles

61. Merciless beauty
You flaunt your allure to all
But deny pleasure

62. Brown and red leaves waving byes
To folks passing through
On the river bank

63. Not a stately tree
Grown from sapling with my care
Woodsman spare this one

64. What mystery waits
For us at a river's turn
A loud splash resounds

65. The fiery sundown
Protests the end of the day
Be my homeward light

66. I wish I could join
Trees towering above me
Beckoning breeze rustle

67. It is five thirty
Time and tide waits for no man
Bid goodbye on shore (7/18/08)

68. Warm glow envelops
My being at seaside dusk
Waves crash at the shore

69. A solemn moment
In a mysterious glade
A leaf crashes down

70. Dark clouds hovering
Over an unsuspecting sea
Soon thunder rumbles

71. A herd of sheep graze
Above the twilight's glimmer
A shepherd calls out

72. Village secrets flow
Washed and cleansed by the cascades
Still the brook babbles

73. Where kept secrets are
Lay beneath a placid lake
Fish scurry to shore

74. The rains have come late
The bowers are long dried up
Brittle branches crack
(Haiku contest winner (6/10/08)

75. My own private beach
Far from the maddening crowd
Waves break the quiet

76. Race the water flow
From rills to the great river
Slip on mossy stones

77. Apocalypse mounts
Gallop through the boding dusk
Thunder claps resound

78. Waste water buried
Into deep and dark chasms
Yet the redolence reeks

79. Drifting butterfly
At rest on crimson petals
Sweet nectar savored

80. Come out of hiding
Be vain little flower
Give shine to the world

81. The doggone dugong
Moves apathetically
No eddies swirling

82. Cool stream in the shade
Trysting place for a lover
How quietly he hides

81. King of the mountain
Youthful game we played before
Now a lonely place

82. It is never warm
Where the river meanders
The chill numbs the ears

83. Dimming light of dusk
Turns the world into slate gray
A cold night descends

84. It is summer’s end
The nestlings have flown away
Decayed nests crumble

85. A sitting duck floats
On a serene waterway
A blast found its mark

86. Through a running brook
Scurrying fish dodge pebbles
Hurrying to nowhere

87. Thoughtless north wind blows
Upon a desolate shore
Beachcombers have gone

88. How awesome God’s deed
Breathtaking patterns divine
Even in barren climes

89. The birds have flown in
Arduous journey from harsh climes
Swarm in lambent shores

90. A barren wasteland
Dry dust and shimmering heat
Dog day afternoons

91. A village stays calm
In the face of a looming threat
Of global warming

92. Pink blooms in display
Amidst a cover of green
Rare charm chanced upon

93. Icy cascades flow
In a rill with whitened banks
Laced filigree broke

Monday, August 11, 2008

Water Bitch

I adored you last night
Dainty in silky kelp
Swam into sight
Unmindful of the flotsam
And jetsam stream
Midst haughty pearls,
And blushing corals
Floated upward with bloated eyes
Fleeing softly, more inwardly
Your face grinning, breasts
Deadly smothering
But rising from the depths
Grasping wrists
Wresting, grappling limbs
Feigning postures
Then reverting
Quickly but gently on all fins
Through an opacious reverie
In the ebony depths
You sleazed on sea foam
In garments woven by the tide

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Today, Yesterday and Maybe Tomorrow

The morning greeted me with a loud irritating whirr of the cellphone’s ringtone that my wife had set at five thirty in the morning. She goes to mass everyday in the seminary just in front of our house in the country.As was my wont I rose from the bed to go to the living room to pick up a book of short stories which I left by the edge of the molave dining table.

There are about half a dozen paperbacks about short stories. One, which almost finished reading is an anthology put together by Isagani Cruz. The rest were all from American and British writers. What I like about short stories is the convenience of being able to stop at any page and return to it sometime in the day. Also it suits well my short attention span and this enables me to read the whole story before my mind starts to do a mental walkabout.

My wife passes the table on the way out and planted a kiss on my forehead before picking up an umbrella that was leaning on the kitchen wall. It was drizzling outside and the cold entered the house as she exited through the kitchen door. I stood up and went to the cupboard to get my personal mug from the shelves. My wife’s mug was not on the shelf. She must have used it the night before and could have left it on the bed’s side table or maybe on the counter of the “lavabo” in the toilet. Then I went to the cabinet where all the beverages were stored. There were boxes of tea of all sorts; jasmine, earl grey, oolong, flavored ice tea, Vietnamese coffee in powdered instant form, dairy creamers and some ground coffee in doy packs. I was looking for the sugar free coffee sachets. I found the box resting on a plastic container filled with splenda. There were just two left. I made a mental note to get another box either in Manila or in the Seven Eleven convenience store at the rotunda which was just two minutes away by car.

I started to riffle through the pages of the Filipino short stories paperback and seeing that I have read most of the contents, moved on to the next which was the selected short stories of John O’Hara, the author of the popular novel/movie during our time entitled Butterfield Eight. I have never read any of his novels but his name was memorable because of the movie which starred Elizabeth Taylor. What I like about his short stories had nothing to do with goodness of his writing style nor the interesting plots. It had to do with the fact that his stories were really short…way short than the average short stories in the other books of either Filipino or other writers in English. I took fancy on one which was titled No Mistakes. I leafed through to find out how many pages the story occupied and seeing that it was just about four pages on one and a half spacing I proceeded to read. Done after a few minutes I moved on to the next story. I did not check on its length and after reading a page remembered to check the pages and finding out that it was at least ten pages long I lost interest and put a bookmark on the page and stacked it with the rest of the books on the table.

Another early morning habit that I have is to go to the computer which was at the bottom second floor of the house. I switched on the computer and waited for sometime before the computer engaged the menu icons. Irritated by the waiting I repeated in my mind the resolution to subscribe to broadband. As the icons appearance appeared one by one I searched for the dial up icon and clicked it. Almost immediately the dialing sound started and after a while the bubble announced the connection.

My home page is My Yahoo. From there I click on the mail page to check on the new e-mails that went in the night before. The next destination was the Philippine Enquirer web page. Going through the headlines and stopping to click whatever interests me I, then, go to the sports page. As a last stop, on to the lotto page whenever I had tickets.What occupied most of my time with the computer are the blog sites. I have three regular blog sites where I post my writings. Most of them would contain the same posts. The reason for this is to have as much reader exposure as possible. The principal blogspot that I have is named Halcyon. The two others are the Filipino Writer and the Penster Community. Halcyon has the more international breadth of the three. I would receive reactions and other responses from bloggers in other countries, mostly from the US.

In the blogs I check on interesting new posts, reactions to my writings and occasionally I respond to the comments offered by the readers. As a last act I would do the postings of new materials in my blogsites.What comes next is creating new items for posting. Recently I have started to write poems. This is something that I have never done before, my writings having been restricted to prose as in short stories, essays, and my autobiography which is forever a work in progress. I sometimes do a series on a given theme or platform. The examples of these are Quote NotesX20 and Aesop’s Foibles. Quote NotesX20 are 20 essays that start off with a quotation mostly from famous authors while Aesop’s Foibles are modern adaptations of Aesop’s Fables which amplifies the moral lesson or in most case twists the story in such a way a new moral is formed.

With the usual things done I would click into the free slot machine games. In the freeslots website there are more than a dozen different slot machine themes to choose from. I flit from one to another depending on the kind of luck I would have on particular games. I kept on telling myself to stop this silly waste of time but it is really a great diversion from the routine. I am afraid the slot machines are become a part of my daily routine and I should firmly resolve to get out of the habit.

I have some seeds of short stories which I hope to germinate. A list of possible stories which I categorized as Tales From the Workplace are stories culled from the actual experiences from my years as a corporate creature. I must be careful to disguise the characters and the situations lest they be recognized by the persons I picked up the slices of life from. Another bag of seed stories are taken from Maria Cristina St. of my youthful days. I have quite a collection of short ones which have been labeled as Maria Cristina Tales. Included in this group are sketches of families and their members, incidents, boyhood friends and rites of passage. Another bag of seed stories are those taken from my boyhood experiences in barrio Wawa were most of my summer vacations have been spent. Like Maria Cristina, Wawa is a treasure trove of interesting characters, fantasy trips in an estate wrapped in an aura of mystery. Other sources that I intend to tap would be the days in Loyola Heights where I spent my teenage years. Loyola would include days in school first jobs, special friends, crushes, courtship and activities that were organized by the youth club we had in Loyola.

Then, there are the essays which are occasionally written. Topics like disgust with the present state of affairs in government, politicians and society in general together with reflections, random thoughts are what I write about. There are some personal pieces which may never see public exposure.

These should keep me busy and out of mischief for a while.


August is the tyrant month
Trees growing from graves blossomed
Upturning sod for lost loves
Rotting roots lusting for affection
Cursed mud flow with smothering sweep
Covering earth’s spongy face
Stirring subterranean low life brusquely

September’s calm was welcome in Wawa
Fresh cool winds greeted us at the pala-pala
Basking in the glorious sunlight of the strand
Then drank ‘coke’ while juicy gossip flowed
I am your cousin from Manila, no stranger at all
We played at hermana’s house all day
Then took the karetela ride back home
The horse bucked and we almost fell
Grabbed on, steadied your hold to break the fall
Out there in the inconstant sands I set myself free
I knew much of the perils and headed home
Before September ended

Sea Dirge (an exercise in modernist poetry)

Let me sing my song, a tale for all to know
In salty tongue, the unkind days
The harshness that had to be lived
And the strong longings I abided by
On a frail boat these have I borne
With treacherous billows, I had to suffer
Keeping vigilant watch at the prow
Brittle craft against perilous cliffs.
Oh, the cold froze my senseless toes
Even the ropes chilled; words froze
Wrenched my heart and hunger stirred
In sea-sick misery I mused
How lucky they are on firm sod

I despaired in the harshness of an indifferent sea
Endured the merciless cold, oh, what wretch am I
Away from my beloved
My face bearded with froth, in the roiling sea
Nothing was heard ‘cept for the churning waters
The creaking rigs, then I think of home
Sea-birds’ boisterous din was solace
The chatter of the gull was gaiety
Their song in the wind was a paean to my ears

Howling gale against the jagged wall, like a sea eagle
With ruffled mane, plummeted with a shrieking scream
Fateful claws like scythes open to the quick
Thus my deliverer came with violent sweep
In the watery fields

Friday, August 08, 2008

Heart Break Motel (with apologies to TS)

Come, I’ll take your hand and go

When the dark of night blots out the sky

Like a love struck swain stumbling

I will lead you to familiar, gaudy burrows

In mired floor cafes still wet with spits

Alleys that stalk you like unforgiven wrongs

From feigned conventions and politesse

You turned to rudeness that you couldn’t help

I babbled and you waited for me to quiet down

But then you took my hand and led me in

Oh heavens, I was not denied once more

Another discomfited tryst of a one night stand.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Putty Man

I come with my senility in the cold of December
Listening to raindrops and whistling for wind
I have become spineless, an aspic goo
Face plastered upon a limestone wall
Nose, eyes and ears trickling like dripping clay

I talk to you with sticky, gummy throat
Pleading words unheeded and ignored
A blustery gust smothered by an open expanse
Like a stray cat pussyfooting on bladed walks
Now a groan with hardly a sound, a weak mewl

Charon will meet me at the banks of Styx
Soon to cross the stiles with fare in hand
Think of me, now that I have become
A wretched and troubled soul
A spineless man, an aspic goo

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Disclaimers on TV

Cable’s on the blink?
Not your set folks
It’s that snake oil ad
With AdBoard seal but
No approved therapeutic value

Flash news
Gloria with her styrene
Belo complexion with
An energizer bunny toothy grin
Announces aid to calamities
Sulpicio or the drowned?
No approved news value

Segue way to the PBA
Big game James with a three
Saved the day for the Hotdogs
“Kaya mo ba'to?” mocking
Textless, talkless fans
No approved civility value

Switch to GMA seven
Gloria again with bunny grin
Gushing trip’s success
Palm rubbing first Gent astride
No approved moral value

Zap! Now NBN nine
Recycled tagalog movies
Vintage FPJ, Fofonggay,
Falayfay and agent Falcon
Guy and Pip, Vilma as Darna
No approved historic value

Zap to “Walang Tulugan”
Fat man, show man German
Coffee drenched all night stand
Inane antics and rehashments
No approved wellness value

Commercial breaks
With senators and other
Prexy wannabees selling soap
And other household whatevers
No approved delicadeza value

Hey! get out of that couch
The scratchy anthem is on
Salute our tired flag now
Signing off with relief
All in a day’s work
On primetime Television