Saturday, June 25, 2011

the excite

i know this unrelenting rain is coming from the typhoon. as i rested on my mattress, i remembered the news flash.  falcon, that's the name they gave to the typhoon, will be bringing not much wind but much water. hence, these rains.

i could not sleep immediately. my eyes and my ears are focused. especially my ears. i can hear the pounding of the rains outside. on the leaves of our avocado tree, on the roof of the house. waters pouring. building up on the old, rusty roof gutters. i silently chided myself for not climbing up to the roof during the sunny days to rid the gutters of the fallen leaves that had accumulated.  soon enough, i heard the water spilling over the roof troughs. it wont flow to drop down via the downspout. the gutters are clogged with leaves. oh, i promised myself, just give me one, just one, sunny day, and i'll climb up the roof immediately and take care of those leaves.

i listened as the rains intensified. i'm expecting something to happen pretty soon. and it did. my ears immediately picked up the familiar sound. water! dripping. dropping. dripping. dropping.

from my old ceiling. i hurriedly got up and looked for the sources of the sound. i always thought i had fixed my leaky old roof. during one fine sunny day, an off day from work, i spiritedly  traced the holes in my roofing and plastered them up. i even made some forecasts. i tried to guess as much as i can where future holes might be and plastered these locations as well.

i carefully placed catch pails below the spots where the waters dripped or dropped or dripped or dropped.

i guess i'd be looking forward to another fine sunny day. to fix the holes again. i'd have to guess well though.

i lied down on my mattress again. i can sleep now. i'd like to dream of getting the entire roof overhauled. replace all the old, rusty corrugated g.i. sheets, all the old, rusty roof gutters, cut off some branches of the avocado tree where the leaves drop off.

this is what makes life exciting. this is what makes life precious. the challenges, no matter how small they might be. as i closed my eyes to catch sleep, i silently sung a line from one of the songs i was blessed enough to write --

life is something we must learn,
life is something we must earn.

i focused my ears to the rhythmic drip, drop, drip, drop of the waters being caught by my catch pails, and then,


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

of singing songs, of seeking joy, and finding john denver

i  had just closed the yahoo messenger. done chatting with the wife. my daughter had just left for school. it is about 9 am in the morning but the sun's behind thick clouds so my open windows did not catch much of the usual light from the sun. i found the house a bit dark but i dared not open any lights. i am trying to save on electricity consumption as much as i can. suddenly, i got hit by this feeling of being alone. i can hear the twittering of the birds feeding on the crumbs of rice that remained on our dog's dishes and the swishing of the branches and leaves of the tall avocado tree beside my house but somehow these even intensified the twinge of being solitary. i took a deep breath. i know what to do in times like this --

nothing like singing a good, old country song to chase the blues away.

i went to the corner where my daughter's guitar was stashed and pulled out the old guitar from the case. it is her very first guitar but i believe it had gotten more playing mileage from me than from her. she had pasted several stickers on its body and it still bears the graffiti written by her high school classmates. it has scratches and the varnish is wearing off in some places. what disheartened me was when i realized that the cracks along its body's front seams had somehow lengthened. i remembered her telling me the initial cracks resulted from her having accidentally dropped it. oh. careless youth!  well, anyway, i just told myself that these cracks will lend this guitar its own unique voice. ha, ha, of course until i am able to buy a better one. i gave it the usual fond caress and let its curved body nestle on top of my right thigh. tested the strings, still in tune. i robotically let my left fingers slide over the fretboard and automatically when they reached the second and third frets they formed the finger position for the key of d. this old guitar knows this key is where i can sing more confidently and more comfortably.

nothing like singing a good, old country song to chase the blues away.

i let my right fingers and left fingers dictate how the song will go. they know the chords, they know my rhythm. i hummed the old, familiar tune. one of my favorites. annie's song. -- "you fill up my senses, huhuhummm huhuhummm..". but, blast it, i can't place the lyrics of this song. i can't remember. annie's song -- huhuhummm, huhuhummm.. i know the tune. i can hum it. can't remember the words. i brought out my harmonica and played the tune on it. still, i can't get the correct lyrics. tsk, tsk, tsk. i clucked my tongue. ok, i said to myself, as i turned towards the computer, nothing like good Google to fish out the lyrics of this song. i was able to retrieve the info in less than 2 minutes.

annie's song written by that great singer, songwriter, poet john denver for his wife annie. john had died but his music and his poetry lives on. annie's song goes

 You fill up my senses like a night in a forest
Like the mountains in springtime, like a walk in the rain
Like a storm in the desert, like a sleepy blue ocean
You fill up my senses come fill me again.

Come let me love you, let me give my life to you

Let me drown in your laughter, let me die in your arms
Let me lay down beside you, let me always be with you
Come let me love you, come love me again.

You fill up my senses like a night in a forest
Like the mountains in springtime, like a walk in the rain
Like a storm in the desert, like a sleepy blue ocean
You fill up my senses, come fill me again. 

thus, i sung it. in my own humble way. yet, i'm not singing it for annie. what attracted me to this song beside its melody is its lyrics. as i ponder over the words, it is as if john denver had written it for a different Beloved. so i sung it for the Infinite, the Divinity inside me, the Divinity which is in each of us. and i found joy immediately and companionship.

incidentally, while "googling" and "youtubing" this beautiful song i came across these john denver clips:

and my joy had multiplied. my heart was exceedingly glad. i am not alone anymore in this small house that did not get its fair share of the sunshine today.  my senses have been filled up again.

thanks a lot, john denver!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

a sonnet for one who despises poets

you say that i'm a lazy, worthless fool
whose bones are better left to flake, to rot;
whose body's sap should to the earthworm's lot
be given, and be of use to worthy rule.
wide-eyed, always you see me here sitting
'neath this lovely shade, near these blades of grass;
just writing, the soil not endeavoring 
to loose, that roots may their curled numbness pass.
so you loathe, and cursing this luxury,
wonders how God could keep such fool as i,
who know nothing but to sit, to write madly,
as if Time, Golden Time, would never fly --
ah, fiery rage bothers me not, for i,
Worthless, ever His works will glorify.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

the student answers

where is my school? you ask
there, in yonder open plain
where countless fragrant bouquets of flowers
ever will remain.

but, it's devoid of walls ! you say
no roof, no tables, chairs, fluorescent lights,
no air-conditioners or electric fans
to keep one at ease in humid nights.

i tell you
my roof's the sky azure
my table and chair, the solid ground
that any weight endures;
my lamp's the effervescent moon,
the blazing sun, the twinkling stars --
you say they're faint, and yet,
you could not hide your smallest scars;
in humid nights the wind is free
my hair to comb
i feel
as if i am once more a fetus
in my mother's cozy womb.

where are your lessons,
again you ask of me?
look around you
feel, smell, hear, see:
the crawling ant,
the river's chant,
the sprouting seed,
yes, i have all the lessons
my life would need.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

a pinch of melancholy

the afternoon was quiet. i just completed running an errand for the wife. submitted some documents for her office. it was my day off. i decided to drop by my favorite coffee nook and while the time away. another hard earned forty-five pesos eased out of my wallet. i'd admit it's worth it though because right there in that coffee stall i am able to unwind, to de-stress. i am able to gather the pieces of my jigsaw puzzle self that unwisely got scattered during these five days of stressful work of this week just passed.

my nose quivered at the bitter aroma of the freshly brewed coffee in front of me.  the wisps of smoke rising from the surface of the black liquid faintly betray its hotness. i dared not touch it to my lips yet. i can wait. i dropped half a teaspoon of brown sugar and about three spoonfuls of fresh milk and stirred the mixture.  wisps of smoke escaped upwards again.  i recalled the first line of one of henry david thoreau's poems -- "light winged smoke, Icarian bird". i could not remember the rest. it is of course a reference to Icarus of Greek mythology.

the hot liquid in front of me turned khaki now. this is how i like it this time. i held the waxened paper cup lightly with my right hand and turned it around slowly. there was this fine print in the cup. i think this was the first time i've noticed it. it read -- "love at first sip." i smiled in amusement and nodded in agreement.

it's time.

i lifted the cup slowly and held it about an eighth of an inch near my lower lip. a few seconds later, i felt the coffee's cozy heat hovering gently over my cheeks and my nose. i know i can tolerate the hotness now.  i took my first sip. immediately,  relaxing warmth filled the insides of my mouth and my tongue welcomed the bittersweet taste. i took a bigger gulp and swallowed. warmth slid down my throat, caressed my chest, and settled in my abdominal area.

i am gathering pieces of my jigsaw puzzle self. i am becoming whole again.

i silently recited a verse i love from the writings of that great spanish mystic, st. john-of-the-cross:

" the conditions of a solitary bird are five:

first, it flies to the highest point,
second, it does not suffer for company not even of its own kind,
third, it aims its beak to the skies,
fourth, it has no definite color,
fifth, it sings very softly. "

i am whole again.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

questions to ask when you're alone

i am sad
because i sense your sadness;
i am joyful
because i  feel your joyfulness;
being so attached to you
i find these emotions.
if i detach myself from you
will i find them too?
if i detach myself from you,
if i dissociate,
what then will i find?
what will the heart communicate?
what ancient feelings will emerge?

if i detach myself from you,
if i dissociate, 
whom will i feel sorry for?
whom will i feel happy for?