from where i'm sitting



After an overly long meeting at The Presidio this afternoon, I decided to clear my head and take a short walk around area. Eversince the school year started, I have been constantly running around, if not physically, also mentally. For even if I'm not doing anything, my mind is still thinking about all the things that needed to be done.

During my walk, I kept reminding myself not to think about my "to-do" list, just concentrate on the walk itself, one foot after another. That didn't work. But I kept on walking anyway. After a while I found a tree stump and decided to sit and write a poem from there. Actually, its still a draft but I want to share it here because of its significance today.

{notes from where i'm sitting}

still life bay. sky, trees,
mountains, sailboats, all
at rest. even the water,
not a ripple or sound
as if everything here is
standing still, paused.

i see the bridge, picture-ready
in red. i ask, does it ever
grow tired of posing for the
camera? if it wasn't painted
red, will it still be famous?

red, burning, deep red.
the color of monks' robes in Burma,
a splash of blood on the streets,
a light that says stop - red.

no wonder everything is standing still today.

* * *
This is my (early) contribution for the Thursday Travelling Poetry Show, hosted by Tracie Lynn over at The Red Door Studio this week.

writer's island

For some reason, I only want to write small poems lately. Maybe its because so many things in my life is so disorganized right now that my writing is an attempt to at least be as short and as neat as possible. This one was inspired by Cletus Nelson Nwadike's The Poems in My Heart:



I locked the poems
inside my heart
and never gave
the key
to anyone.

somehow they
escaped
and gave me
a voice
instead.


* * *
Explore the Writer's Island and read more responses to 'The Key' here.

sunday scribblings

I've been writing this poem in my head all this week, trying to find words to describe how I feel about the changing season and its overall gray skies. What started out as a random list of word associations finally came together as a small poem. Coincidentally, over at Sunday Scribblings today's prompt is "Hi, my name is..."

autumn

autumn falls
to explain the word
melancholy -

scattered leaves
trailing behind me
in a rustle
of collective
sighs.

a thursday poem

Peace Lily

This morning before I left
I saw pleats of your leafy
skirt hanging low, spine bent
as if taking a bow before
the last of the summer sun.

Was it only four months ago
when I picked you out in a
nursery brimming with hope?
Someone told me you are
easy to grow, he must have
known I'm no green thumb
starting small with you.

Now I look at your yellowed
edges and know its only a
matter of time. The wind
beating impatiently on
the windowpane tells me
none of this is my fault
that I had you blooming for
a season should be enough.

And yet, why do I still feel
like I committed a crime?

* * *
Check out more Thursday poems over at
jillypoet who's hosting this week's Traveling Poetry Show.

back from SoCal

I just want to give a huge shout-out to Max and Jane who are now honeymooning in Maui. Yay to the newlyweds! That said, what is it about weddings, flowers, and churches by the sea that makes one sigh and dream of ever-afters?

My friends and I, mostly single and happy to be, laughed it off as a temporary aberration of our overworked brain. But still, wouldn't it be nice to have a candlelit wedding in this glass chapel overlooking the ocean and have your names inscribed in those lovely garden bricks?


a postcard


No Thursday poem this time. Things are just (too) crazy at work right now. But as always, the world gives me a reason to catch my breath. If only for a moment. And enjoy this spectacular view from the corner of 19th and Noe Sts. Then I'm off to sunny Orange County tomorrow night for my dear friend's wedding. Wishing you all a great weekend filled with unexpected joys along the way! =)

my imaginary life

When I was little, I wanted to be a gypsy. Though I wasn't even sure what a gypsy is, I just imagined a life completely different from my own. Mine was full of rules which I never broke, predictable, unexciting. I wanted to live a bohemian life, to see different places and cultures, belonging to no one. Here is a poem about my imagined gypsy girl with a lovely collage I found over at Holly Loves Art:



She smiles, giving nothing
away, hiding a caravan
of stories between the
layers of her billowing skirt.

She dreams, finger-walking
along ridges and maps
written on the soles
of her wandering feet.

* * *
Explore the Writer's Island and read more imaginary lives here.

la valse d'amelie

Finish paperwork. Do laundry. Buy dress for Jane's wedding. Prep for treatment activities. The list goes on and on. Just even thinking about it is enough to make my head spin. The word "swamped" is an understatement. But what can I do? I can either whine and start pulling my hair or take a deep breath and try to relax a little. I decided to do the latter.

So here is a glimpse of a movie that never fails to make lift my spirits. Paris, unforgettable characters, and falling in love - all in the wonderful world of Amelie. This film is so lighthearted and whimsical you can't help but smile and wish you have a bike so you can pedal anywhere. And the colors, oh the colors, are just lovely! I read somewhere that the director portrayed a bright and clean Paris to show Amelie's view of the world around her and it works perfectly. I want to curl up in her lovely couch and watch old movies there. And oh, I just LOVE this song:

a thursday poem

The Path
by Jack Hirschman*

Go to your broken heart.
If you think you don't have one, get one.
To be one, be sincere.
Learn sincerity of intent by letting
life enter, because you're helpless, really,
to do otherwise.
Even as you try escaping, let it take you
and tear you open
like a letter sent
like a sentence inside
you've waited all your life
though you've committed nothing.
Let it send you up.
Let it break you, heart.
Broken-heartedness is the beginning
of all real reception.
The ear of humility hears beyond the gates.
See the gates opening.
Feel your hands going akimbo on your hips,
your mouth opening like a womb
giving birth to your voice for the first time.
Go singing whirling into the glory
of being ecstatically simple.
Write the poem.

* * *

The first time I read this, I felt like it was written just for me. Poetry has been a part of my life since I was little but after some of those love poems in my youth, I never really allowed myself to write poetry anymore. For a long time, it seemed that this poetry path is something that wasn't for me. I thought I didn't have the courage to put myself out there and be vulnerable in such skinny string of words.


But this past summer, I found poetry again. Or rather, poetry found me. And I have never been more in touch with myself. Yes, there's still those times when I ask "Do I really want to write this? What will they think of me? Who wants to read this anyway?" Every time this happens, I always tell myself to stop. Stop and just write the poem. That's all you really need to do.

*San Francisco's current Poet Laureate

jeepneys and a lot of love



My first thought when I saw this truck was, "Oh look, a Philippine
jeepney at the Summer of Love!" I was so excited to see this familiar fixture of my childhood, one where I spent too many hours sitting in traffic going from one place to another, that I actually elbowed my way amongst a tie-dye wearing crowd just so I could take a picture of it. Ah, I miss those good ol' jeeps.

According to CNN, some 50,000 people showed up for the
40th anniversary celebration of the Summer of Love at the Golden Gate Park last Sunday so you can only imagine the craziness. It was fun though, luckily we found an empty patch of grass and spent an hour or so people-watching from there. Love and peace everyone!


See more pictures on my Flickr photoset here.

sunday scribblings: the end

Since I started writing poetry again this summer, I've been going through all my journals to find my poems. I've kept a journal since I was 15 so you can only imagine all the digging that I have to do. It was so much fun though, some of the poems were so cheesy I was rolling my eyes and getting side-stitches from laughing too hard at the same time.

What struck me about my sophomoric poems were three things. First, they were all about love. Second, they were mostly unrequited love. Third, they all had this air of finality about them. Like these lines:

Why does it have to be this?
Everything leads me to you
and I can't remember
without you.

This was my first heartache, not that the boy even cared. Last time I heard he dropped out of college, got someone pregnant and moved to a different island. He was always a player. But I liked him anyway and at that time it sure felt like he was the only one for me. Here's another poem:

How long is lone?
it begins and ends
with the thought of you.

I guess when you're young, it seems like all endings are just that - endings. And it was so hard to see beyond your pain. You want the rest of the world to stop and mourn with you. But as your heart gets broken again (and again) you'll learn that endings are really just beginnings - the chance to believe and start over again. My poems also started to evoke these feeling as I grew older. Like this ending lines from a poem I wrote in college:

Soon, you will give your life to another.
Soon, I will relearn how to laugh again.

And soon your presence will become
but slowly fading echoes
surrounding my heart.

* * *
Ah, this might be the first and last time that I'll post something about luv here. But who knows? Read more responses to prompt #75 "the end" over at Sunday Scribblings.

hoarding summer


View of the city skyline from Dolores Park

Remember this poem? I realized that just because I'm back to work now and the season is changing, it doesn't mean that I can't enjoy the outdoors or do something creative anymore. Yes it will be tricky and I will have to stay on top of getting organized with paperwork but I can do it. I need to do it.

September and October are San Francisco's warmest months so at least the weather will be on my side. From now on, I will try to post an entry of 'My Everyday Summer' in this blog which can either be a picture, a poem, an event, a video or anything else really as long as it relates to my favorite season. Since I live in SF, the photos and events will mostly be in and around the Bay area. Stay tuned.

And here's to making everyday a summer day wherever you may be!