Sijo – Break-up

This is an open invitation to those who are bold enough to try new forms of poetry. Actually a response from darkdatu, one of the enthusiasts in the Cinquain thread, this hopes to generate as much positive “riders” as the “train” did and a more cooperative dynamic on the site. Those who are inclined to use our native language may post their pieces at “Sijo – ‘Di Bagay”. It is also worth-noting that a fellow Filipino, Victor P. Gendrano, offers this link for a more detailed peek into the originally Korean poem The Sijo Ship is set to sail, jump on in.

“If I can’t handle your worst
I do not deserve your best.”

She did not sniff like a bitch.
He was not built true to plumb.

She could have put up with him but
he haunted like Hamlet’s father.

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avatar About Abraham de la Torre

I'm married to a lovely, loving woman who blessed me with two wonderful sons. Poetry is my passion, even if it's on a mood level. Like, I'm a geyser one moment and drained the next. Each outpouring, however, is a personal testament to truth, a poem being empty were it phony. I got the genes from my Dad, who passed away, in 2003, at 77. He was my most avid audience. There are other inspiring sources but Dad was the darnedest. Instead of miss him, I fill the void with verses.


  1. a parent’s duty ‘til death
    aye, indeed, ‘til the last breath

    will keep on loving, serving
    with a li’l bit of clowning

    a chance given that’s inspiring
    maybe too short for complaining

  2. maybe too short a complaint
    is not apt to merit it

    a retort whether tacit
    or rude is not implicit

    a concern needs to be addressed
    with plain sympathy not hatred

  3. with plain sympathy not hate
    can the Southern war be won

    a volley of true caring
    will hit the heart much harder

    than a rain of hot metal rage
    but then its easier to shoot

  4. it is easier to shoot
    horses than men unless one

    is inclined to be kinder
    to animals than his own

    whose limp is not enough excuse
    to bludgeon him with steel crutches

  5. try to bludgeon them with steel
    and with steel they will meet you

    but take time and share a pot
    of steaming rice and dried fish

    and you may break down that armor
    and glimpse the wound that drives them on

  6. glimpse the wound that drives them on
    maybe stare a while longer

    is their blood your own color
    or does its taste gnash your teeth

    having found out, will you linger
    or let the victors herald death

  7. let the victors herald death
    for a system of pure rot

    let them sound the horn and bells
    for servants who do not serve

    when the people rise up to claim
    their rights denied – everyone wins

  8. their rights denied, people win
    a sense of ignominy

    like being allowed to to roam
    in a jail without sentry

    a beetle hovering above
    its wings’ end of the taut string

  9. wings strain against the taut string
    of failing to admit a wrong

    The reason why she can’t leave
    is admission that hearts fail

    The bruises she hides, however,
    paint a landscape of clear secrets

  10. avatar blue angel says:

    paint landscapes of clear secrets
    thought there’ll be no more regrets

    ah, the bruises remind her
    of the night spent together

    the loving, cuddling, and kissing
    while the spouses have gone missing

  11. while the spouses disappeared
    a pair of culprits emerged

    usurping the unmade bed
    and did not mind that it shed

    tell tale signs of each other’s
    post-haste gone secret lovers.

  12. While I greet everyone a Happy 2110, let me correct the last two lines (it’s been quite a spell, sorry, blue). It should contain 13 syllables; here is the corrected copy:

    the tell-tale signs of each other’s
    post-hast banished secret lovers.

  13. avatar blue angel says:

    post-haste gone secret lovers
    a hungry pair of sinners

    flames of love aggravating
    new rendezvous awaiting

    could have snuffed it off from day one
    but the illicit plan has won

    …no worries, ham.. happy new year! c”,)

  14. the illicit plan has won
    to keep two hearts bleeding on

    mum to still iniquity
    while theirs bask in foul glory

    silent the victims bend their knees
    and leave the criminals in peace

  15. avatar blue angel says:

    leave the criminals in peace
    let alone their trifle schemes

    private conversations tease
    hearts welling up in a breeze

    foul play’s what everybody sees
    yet true love was what they just seized

  16. true love was what they just seized
    careful to muffle struggles

    as the lovers try to writhe
    just to reach each other’s breath

    for in the throes of agony
    their end is one shared destiny.

  17. avatar darkdatu says:

    ends are just shared destiny
    the pause in the eternal

    parting should not be costumed
    in the word “melancholy”

    celebrate the ships departure!
    throw the champagne! Hear the lute’s strain!

  18. Hear the lute’s bubbly strain
    it froths for you

    and your anticipatory angst
    for the other end of unknown

    drink up and be cheery
    for the advent of misery.

  19. avatar blue angel says:

    the advent of misery
    the onset of tragedy

    the demise of happiness
    the perfection of solace

    yet the wheels of change are turning
    a brand new hope is arising

  20. a brand new hope arises
    and with it many crosses

    as diverse as the colors
    shapes and sizes and odors

    sniff so carefully for the stench
    you smell may be under your bench

  21. avatar blue angel says:

    the smell be under your bench
    whence you laid your little wench

    stroked you up and down all night
    straddled you with all her might

    thought she just couldn’t do it right
    and then you whimpered with delight

  22. avatar Aeron Paul Manabo says:

    Then you whimpered with delight
    When you noticed her in sight

    She’s so lovely as ever
    A dream you can’t have, never

    Maybe when you’re alone you may
    With her own picture while you play.

  23. With her picture while you play
    how can you keep lust at bay

    and you don’t even take care
    to close the blinds for the stare

    that the little woman may stab
    you with should she catch your hard grab.

  24. avatar blue angel says:

    should she then catch your hard grab
    lucky her it’s a real slab

    better not stare and pretend
    that it’s tough to comprehend

    she wants to get your attention
    and use your imagination

  25. avatar Aeron Paul Manabo says:

    Use your imagination
    In doing your creation

    Message in a form of art
    A masterpiece from the heart

    Soar until you reach the sky above
    Reach the clouds by beauty and love

  26. Reach the clouds by your beauty
    there is no limit you see

    you can either fly or soar
    roam the skies forevermore

    it’s entirely up to the mind
    to look for what one hopes to find.

  27. avatar Ham de la Torre says:

    look for what you hope to find
    it is only in the mind

    beauty, sorrow or the face
    of joy in taking pain’s place

    the heart’s lonely hunting process
    inhabits kindred loneliness

  28. avatar blue angel says:

    dwells in kindred loneliness
    basks in fleeting happiness

    the rain drops, the flowers bloom
    his warm presence in my room

    with sparkling eyes and sunny smile
    fragments of his ludicrous guile

  29. avatar Ham de la Torre says:

    about time, blue! how do you do?

    fragments of ludicrous guile
    left a bitter taste of bile

    untasted by intended
    trusting the faith of bethrothed

    the denouement will wait and watch
    while the ritual heads for the rocks

  30. avatar Ham de la Torre says:

    the ritual heads for the rocks
    delivering gasps and shocks

    more in utter disbelief
    than what they at first conceived

    a marriage made in heaven
    behold the battered maiden

    Dear Fellow Versifiers,

    I picked up the last post in (prayer and) hope that you’ll follow my lead once more. Happy hearts month to one and all!

  31. The battered maiden folds in
    since touch became twin to pain

    An origami heart bent
    out of shape by callous hands

    She dreams of free flowing streams
    and casting herself adrift

  32. avatar Ham de la Torre says:

    Erwin, it’s my fault you picked up the error of my 7-syllable ending (which should’ve been 8). I’ll pick up yours and rectify. Good to see you back!

    And, casting herself adrift
    threw all caution to the breeze

    it did not mind catching her
    and cradling her woes with swift

    gentle caresses enough to
    cause her spirits from dumps to lift.

  33. avatar blue angel says:

    spirits stirred from dumps to lift
    pray’rs and honeyed words as gifts

    all given in truth and love
    a warm push to rise above

    genuine friendship knows no boundaries
    its strength like castings in foundries

    ** ham, your selfless concern is highly appreciated **

  34. avatar Abraham de la Torre says:

    strength like castings in foundries
    hugs bowels of miseries

    seals their seams before they burst
    reduces remnants to rust

    leaves the caution up to the wind
    while cuddling the now-erstwhile pain

    **yo, blue, what’re friends for, eh?**

  35. avatar blue angel says:

    cuddling the now-erstwhile pain
    soothing all of the heart’s strain

    cursing memories of shame
    dampening voices that blame

    life, indeed, is not just a game
    life must be honored like your name

  36. avatar Abraham de la Torre says:

    life must be honored like name
    or else carried with some shame

    it is bidden with blessing
    both with love and liquid thing

    the choice entirely the owner’s
    good or evil in his powers

  37. avatar blue angel says:

    good or evil in power
    a struggle to be greater

    no one can make it clearer
    because we all know better

    for what is truly your treasure
    only your heart holds the answer

  38. avatar Abraham de la Torre says:

    your heart only knows answer
    to an unasked question where

    you may not quite decipher
    if the code is here or there

    it will probably take a whiz
    to get the hieroglyphics blitz

  39. avatar blue angel says:

    got the hieroglyphics blitz
    saw the silly facial ritz

    tired of those sad umpteenth fits
    too frightened out of one’s wits

    a life without reaching a snit
    a prayer refusing to flit

  40. avatar Abraham de la Torre says:

    prayer refusing to flit
    is probably snug to fit

    into a perpetual plea
    to kindred folks to agree

    the time is opportune to say
    one from the heart for all souls day

  41. avatar Erwin Fernandez says:

    One from the heart, for all souls
    self and society are rolled

    into an entwined fabric.
    Each strand woven so tightly

    that you begin and end with me.
    We thread each other’s destiny.

  42. avatar Abraham de la Torre says:

    Thread each other’s destiny
    we do with sheer clarity

    you lull me to sleep afire
    I wake you up with desire

    no day will ever turn to night
    without you wrapped in me so tight.

  43. avatar Erwin Fernandez says:

    You wrapped in me so tight
    stitched in, skin against skin

    threaded through even breath,
    my dreams end when you wake.

    Even our bones will rattle together-
    a duet of dust, song of the last.

  44. avatar Abraham de la Torre says:

    a duet of dust, last lust
    that did not really exhaust

    to its last shred, thinnest thread
    of smoldering thoroughbred

    of dueling desires: combat
    aimless like a bat in daylight

  45. aimless like bats in daylight
    lifeless bodies in plain sight

    makeshift shelters in rubbles
    withered spirits in shambles

    distraughtly clinging against hope
    like climbing a very steep slope

  46. avatar Abraham de la Torre says:

    climbing a very steep slope
    a chore difficult to cope

    with unnecessary load
    on your back and on the road

    there is no alternative but
    traveling light when in a rut

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