miracles still happen, and they continue:
indigo tears still flow from scarlet eyes,
coursing down aquamarine cheeks,
heaven’s halcyon hello in staccato sighs,
endless in their empirical beauty,
lingering long in the laughters of leaves,
lighting the world, weaving its wonders,
etched in the timelessness of transience.

transcendence is the how of miracles,
umbilical strings matching mountains with mustard seeds,
mists of maybe melting into obelisks of is,
annihilus of nil; the becoming is the path,
negating the former, ascending new heights,
eternal progression at work. such are miracles:
nexus of all possibles. they happen still, and why not?
godhood is the summative design of faith.

written way back in laoag, maybe september-october 2000.


what keeps me dreaming

that the rainbow actually is,
because my eyes behold it.

that the stars at night really are,
because i see them.

that the clouds swirl and tumble in the sky,
and the breeze.

they are,
but they are not what keeps me.

i see a rainbow, but no,
i see a pot of gold waiting for me!
i see a star, but no;
i see a wish come true!
i see the clouds, but no;
i see me free, i see joy!

what keeps me dreaming
is that each melody
beckoning me,
is your voice,
each syllable smiling in celestial promise.

eight hours, and five seconds

i only wanted
to pay obeisance to a life
and well-loved.

the afternoon sun beckoned,
and time was no regard for me.
and so i went…

the ancient fortress welcomed me,
and the quiet roads winded along,
inevitably bringing me
to the heart of the fortress,
this cathedral of renown,
where the heroine rested,
waiting for the countless gratitude
of the people she served.

i joined the winding queue,
curiously weaving
like a tail
coiling and coiling around itself,
until we finally found its end.

i looked at my watch, and saw the time.
five of the clock, it said,
as i settled down to wait.

i thought, two, maybe three hours,
and i shall see her, pay my respects.

but the first hour saw us emerge
around the first bend,
as the clouds finally decided
to pour its own libations
upon the throng,

another hour brought us
to the next turning,
the streets beginning
to flood,
and many simply giving up the wait.

i thought, two hours…
can i possibly wait another two?
but the third hour brought me
an unwelcome realization:
that even as we were lining up
to pay our respects,
there were souls who cared less,
and sought to find
a shorter way to her
than honesty proferred to them.

and so the third hour ended
with the single line now two,
and even as tempers grew short,
still nobility shone,
as gates were opened
that should have been closed,
allowing relief for those who needed it,
and i, i found new friends
among the ones who bracketed me
front and back, left and right.

rain and damp were our constant companions,
as darkness swallowed the day,
and a starless sky loomed above us,
mourning, as it seemed, with this nation
bereft of another noble soul.

we kept the faith, the vigil, and the walk.

the fourth hour ended,
and i finally gave in
to the pleadings of aching knees,
as i crouched, not alone,
to rest my feet a little,
even as my umbrella, embarrassed,
tried vainly to fend off
the offending rain.

a single boiled egg
and one balut
sustained me through the hour.

the fifth hour saw us surging,
as one enlivened crowd,
pushed on
by a sudden downpour
and the unsought wind,
as the typhoon finally arrived.

we hugged the walls, squeezing
to find purchase
under the meagre shade of eaves.

but we kept on.
even as more people kept arriving,
even as more were hammered to submission.

but a group of old women,
shamed my soul to staying,
as i almost gave up.
if they can wait, my will insisted,
who was i to prove myself a craven
to the elements?
my body wept,
my heart quailed,
but smiling, i obeyed my will.

an hour before midnight,
and we were there,
the final bend crossed,
the final stretch attained.

by this time,
nobody could move.
we were trapped
by each other’s conviction;
but more convincingly,
by each other’s umbrellas.

we flowed as one.
one trembling meter at a time.

midnight saw us,
standing in stinking floodwaters.
the storm alternately raging above us,
or giving us reprieve of a few moments.
but none of us were spared.
by this time none of us were dry,
umbrella or not.
and all of us were ankle-deep
in fetid waters,
while only moving
a few agonizing inches
at a time.

until, at last!
the final gate beckoned,
and from the crowd,
i was paired to an elderly man
to approach the stoic cathedral,
in those last few stiled meters.
he asked me how long
i have been there,
and i said almost eight hours.

i asked the same question,
and he snorted his reply.
“i arrived after midnight,
and simply inserted myself
into the throng.”
i almost dinged his ear,
had i not remembered
why i was there.

and as we slowly entered
the portals of the place,
a reverence enfolded me,
an awe
that took away
the whole eight hours of pain,

and i approached the casket
in a daze,
hurried along by ushers,
and i stopped before her and looked,
but i could not stay
longer than five seconds
to gaze upon her,
she whom i have never seen before
in life.

but five seconds are too short,
to fully encompass
the jumbled feelings of my heart,
and all i managed, finally,
was a nod,
and i moved on,
shaking the hands
of her eldest daughter…

leaving the cathedral,
i laid my final oblation…

eight hours i gave
to see her for five seconds.

she gave her husband,
and her life remaining
in exchange.


the place
they call the skull
with haunting ghosts
that scream
the pain of years…

the rhythm
that has been bane
of the courage
of hardened men,
one final time again
pounds the universal
pins the hands
than healed,
to that wooden embrace,
the mortal mission
of the Son of Man….

the stone

condemn the one that i adore?
ah, no!
she has life yet!
she can yet shine,
and can arise
from the dust she kneels upon!
why should i choose
to rid my life of her?
let him who has no sin
cast first.
to her,
i echo back the voice
of the rejoicing father
welcoming the prodigal,
and that gentle admonition,
“go, and sin no more.”

written 2001, while serving as a missionary…


there is a reason under heaven
why planets must collide,
for thus colliding, they produce
the meteors of the sky;
these meteors, they collide some more,
and learn trajectory,
and plummet down into the earth,
a fiery show to be;
they dive, and give themselves to flames,
burnt offerings of space,
and man beholds their lifestreak fade,
and wishes, hopes, and prays.


i have not seen,
but ah,
what need have i?

this planted seed
is strong enough to grow,
changing my rocky soil
of soul,
into this fruitful loam…

and, changed,
i ripple my belief…
changing the world!