Persons find community through love
sustained by creativity
transformed by experimentation
both of which constitute faith
striving for justice
the fullest giving of one
to another’s extreme growth.


Not the blandishment of liquidation,
or the capital of potential targeting,
neither attrition nor conquest
interests the focus of this tale,
the successive orderings
have stripped the thinking bare,
rendering it susceptible to containment,
cowed by preplanned requests.

To the point that even the anachronism
regrets the outburst,
its irregularities, self assertions, foolish arrogance,
the mass scrubbing will not happen in chaos,
not even a whimper,
rather by the attentive desire to appease
the executioner.

How if the lever is itself trained,
the honesty of emotion rests in its screening,
that to deliberate and hesitate
becomes the cause for calling decrees down,
as if to resist required being pathetic.

So shall it who communicates,
the composure to falter
while the gentility presses with ruthless piety,
stumble instead,
apologize for the strain,
but still stall the queues of loyalists
who drained of mercy fall
as they defend and serve.


altar boy knife
journey up
two vows absolute
one for life
the other death

in the rule
choice goes missing
the patriarch
would not have acted
had not he decided
to surrender

the giving
refuses return
the release
cannot presume
the stubborn despair
pieces of soul

wandering renders contentment
a fatal store
in the abandonment
to possibility
never one’s doing

Water lily of today

Water lily, so nice to see
At the shore of a lake
As you smell the bay breeze

They’re all bound up not scatter
A company of flowers
That crawls on water
Never fails me to wonder

Back then when I was a boy
We bring them up in our school
In a crack skull of a coconut
There we place then as décor

Some discovered a thing that’s cool
About its fibres which can be useful
Dried them up and slice into strands
You can make them bags of good brand

So now, water lily’s, not only good musing
They’re also great to support for a living
– – – – – – –

Notes for a Poetry Workshop, by Way of a Poem

A poem is the smallest package
containing the biggest things.

It should speak volumes upon volumes
without saying as much.
It should paint a thousand pictures
and sculpt a thousand statues.
It must possess power enough
to send a million ships around the world
a million times.

Note to the Temp

Drats! I forgot to feed the cats.
Anyway, should you come early today,
which is as likely as snow in Sta. Rosa,
do not complain if the fried rice is without
margarine, you did not buy
it off the grocery list yesterday
and insisted on butter. I have bathed
the dogs so you won’t have to gripe
that the laundry is piled up.
I implore you not to love me more
than the creases you make on my trousers
(if you hope the jerk in the office gets it).
Please eject the DVD before you unplug
the entire Home theater. Touch anything
in the fridge but my San Mig. Wipe off the rings
on the counter later. If anybody calls, do not pretend –
again, please – you’re my girlfriend. And
don’t ask him how to break the locking mechanism.
Lastly, try not to shred this
as you probably already have told Kuya Ed.


The night settles in and rouses unfamiliar, untethered feelings.

Your mouth is but a whisper from mine.

Every touch, every caress, every drift of your fingers leaves a burning trail of gold.

Your breath mingles with my sighs, and your eyes relentlessly – shamelessly – lure me.

I cannot help but be scorched by the fire – trapped in the flames.

All thought, rational or otherwise, has fled my mind.

Only my heart, and the love that threatens to consume it, remains.

I am shattered by the first union of our lips – that foremost tantalizing taste.

Exquisite torture; a piece of heaven.

The entire world fell into oblivion, and I with it.

I dove headfirst into the storm, cresting wave upon wave of unchartered emotions and sensations.

Nothing had ever felt so right; and nothing had ever seemed more dangerous.

Your fingers wound themselves about my hair, and I twine my hands at your nape.

We are so close that the intimacy is already past bearing.

Together, we took from and surrendered to each other.

Breathless, I let you overwhelm my senses.

The clouds gathered and raged. Thunderclaps roared while angry lightning streaked across the sky.

Our bodies are alive with light and sound and freedom.

The wind and rain joined us in a wild, frenzied dance.

Through the blinding pleasure and the haze of distant consciousness, we come upon the universe.

I have come so high that I can catch the stars.

I have all that I need: you, and this love.

This love, which made you my slave, and I, your prisoner.

This love, whose existence I had not known to be possible, until you entered my life.

This love, which I never expected to obscure all of my reason, to drown all of my senses.

This love, which has easily rendered everything else unimportant – including my husband, my children; my responsibilities.

This love, which made me selfish; whose demands caused you to disregard your wife, your children – your responsibilities.

What burned in desire, now burned in shame.

I almost choke at the guilt; it filled my lungs like smoke.

It stung my eyes, and I sought take comfort in your arms, find solace in your words.

I have never been so complete, so content.

But at what cost did we attain this joy?

The pounding in my chest is but a small echo of the storm that has passed.

But in its wake, dreams, hopes, and homes have been destroyed.

Sugar on Trees and a Cat in the Snow

Golden lights shinning in the east
excite all creature, man, and beast
a beautiful blue with a bright yellow brooch
gives a smile on young faces at noon

Well six days slipping, get the crackers and toots
the dogs are all howling, and the children are too
Round the fire and hearth, dance and sing in delight
Young and old men and women and child

Sugar on trees and a cat in the snow
beckoning me with her eyes all aglow
leaping bulls freeze with the stars in the vault
the red bags all ready to go

Oh, it’ll be a wonderful season
a season for you
a season for families, too.

Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas! and a Happy New Year!


War For Life

A clarion hailed to the sky.

Another day for men to fight,

women waving flags upright

upon the mounds of love and pride.

The little children with their pipes,

their drums and voices harmonize.

In this there’s beauty, there is life,

no death can wrong what seems so right.

Let spirits of each citizen,

the actions wrought through innocence,

in shadows, lay and let it stem–

the cross of promises on ‘hem.

And on the cornice scribe the end

of jubilations– merriment,

‘pulchritude in combat mends

each penance in the souls of men.


Thanksgiving Day

Blown in the wind are the Puritan hats!
Let feathers of turkeys be flustered and plucked
for gatherers of friends and families, too;
employers and bosses from each avenue
and feast on this beast of reptilian ilk
with stuffings no red necks can honorably bilk
in smiles and in kisses; in tender embrace,
this is the day that all nation say, “Grace!”

The Night of the Headhunters

The flame tree is in a mantle of red explosions
The ladies and young lasses watch by the window sill
Gazing at the flaming spectacle from the living room
Unaware of the blood lust this carmine display
Provoked among the young men in the village

The menfolk sauntered in pairs, in larger groups
Moving restlessly, listlessly in the dusty street
Into the alleyways and sitting in the corner stores
Taking swigs of gin in quarter peso cups
Primal instincts in restraint, innate urges on hold

The old men talk about the forays into other villages
At the first night of the flame tree’s full bloom
Young men, then, eager to gift the village lasses
Ghastly trophies of truncated heads impaled in poles
As proof of valor, manhood and intense devotion

But that is just old men talking, some boastfulness
Coming from barren bodies and the bragging of the ignored
The young lads gather to listen to tales of their headhunter past
Wreaking havoc, sowing terror upon hapless hamlets
Heads of their prey strung together like hanging coconuts

The full moon cast a beam on the treetop blooms
But the red was not there, only darkened patches
More stories went on as the time and the gin dissipated
A wizened elder fell asleep in the middle of his tale
As village boys staggered back to the safety of their huts


The townspeople are watching with a terrible flame in their eyes;

spitting venom and disdain, as if they have all the right to judge, vindicate, and condemn.

The foulness of their breaths are surpassed onlyby the poison of their words.

They believe with such conviction the lies that live off a reputation – a name.

The sensationalism and scandal feed their hungry minds, appease their appetite for excitement.

Who or what is there to blame, but they themselves and the dreary lives they lead?

What else is there to do, but to scatter a rotten, defiled truth to the vultures that may gorge from it?

Is there no choice? Must we continue to look with veiled eyes and think with contemptuous, albeit false, thoughts?

A malignant human defection, is what it is.

Lest we cower in our own secrets, there is no end to the malicious ways of diversion, or concealment, or naked slander.

It is what is it is, as it has been for centuries and millenia afore.

ikaw naman ang taya

pagbibigyan kita

kaya’t humanda ka

bibilang ako ng sampu

magtago kana


tumakbo ka man ng ilang milya

mahahanap kita

kahit sumisid ka pa sa vermuda triangle

maghihintay ako sa pag-ahon mo


isa, dalawa, tatlo

magpalit ka man ng iyong ngalan

apat, lima, anim,

kahit ipabago mo pa ang iyong mukha


pito, walo, siyam,

magpapalit ka man ng ari

wala ka paring ligtas

kaya galingan mo, dahil



heto na ako,


ikaw naman ang taya!!!

Mobile Church

The jeepney has an entry way and corridor
leading to an image of Christ above
the windshield.

Here, a poor boy serves  like a sacristan.
He cleans the shoes of passengers,
as if to make them holy.

When his service ends, he raises his palms
as if to pray but really to collect for your alms,

Before his improvised altar, he looks up
at the Christ gazing down on this crowd,
busy with their own poverty.

Another passenger gets in
with his own Bible and pouch.