Lately, I have been on this unconscious journey of rediscovery. Probably has something to do with stress but I find myself drawn or given opportunities that bring me back to what I used to love.
A few weeks ago, my office friend forwarded an invite to a poetry workshop. Since it would be held at the office, I readily accepted it. After all, what’s one-two hours away from my laptop? It’s even after office hours already and I can always go back to my never-ending task list after.
Anyway, so the workshop was last Wednesday and Friday, conducted by a Palanca awardee and judge at the last Palance contest. I was nervous, knowing she knows a lot of my poet friends. Haha. Plus, I haven’t written new stuff in over five years, except for my blog entries which are hardly award winning.
So naturally, I almost dreaded the Friday session. We each submitted a poem about a memory and take turns to critique it. I wasn’t able to free up enough time between Wednesday and Friday to concentrate on writing a new poem so I ended up giving one I wrote back in college. A few friends have seen it already and Ipe as well, and they all liked it but I wanted to know what other people think.
I almost breathed a sigh of relief coz they were unanimous in saying they loved it. My officemates even asked if they could read some of my other works and our teacher said (after I confessed I actually wrote it almost a decade ago) that I write like an adult already at that age and I sounded like a veteran poet. It was somehow a validation of sorts.
I’m sharing the poem with you. Just sound off in the comments if you love it too (or not – I’m open to criticism).
SONG FOR ENDYMION
Sleep well, beloved, so that I might lie beside you and gaze
at your face undisturbed by your resistance.
Sleep, so that I might visit you in dreams.
For my world lies not where I am awake, but rather, it starts where you
Dream. There, I am your only
and you are my only
There, the songs of praises need not be heard;
Worship needs not mouths to create them.
I will be your praise. You are my worship.
I belong to you.
And our world shall lay a secret to the eyes of men: for we shall
the vestiges of paradise left in dreams.
Sleep the eternal sleep; lie with the eternal night
To whom you are now consecrated.
I shall be your star.
Perhaps, Zeus had wisdom when he gave you eternity.
Your youth is yours.
You are mine.
Last Saturday, I was on my way home from Megamall and as usual , I told the taxi driver to take Shaw and exit at C5 to avoid the traffic at Ortigas and Lanuza. Right before we turned from San Miguel Avenue to Shaw, I saw a sight that instantly brought tears to my eyes.
A few meters away from us was a boy knocking on each car window he would pass, carrying a baby girl on his left arm and holding a plastic cup on his right hand. He couldn’t have been more than eight and the girl was probably less than two. Both looked like they haven’t eaten that day (or even the day before) and had rags for clothes. The sight was touching enough but what really tugged at my heart was the way the boy would look at his sister and stroke her hair while she sleeps. It was like his way of reassuring her that everything’s going to be okay.
It all happened in less than a minute but it was long enough to bury the memory deep into my mind. And before we can even turn around the corner, I was crying full blast, never mind the manong driver who was looking at me curiously through the rearview mirror.
Part of me wanted to go back and take the kids with me. Part of me blames the parents for having kids they can’t even provide for. I can only imagine if I see my own son begging on the streets.
I want to do something. I don’t know. Nothing big, but I want to help those kids and others like them. I’m thinkig of asking Ipe to go there this weekend and I’ll bring food and some clothes for them.
When I was still single, I would buy Dunkin Donuts and sandwiches at the MRT station where I get off after work and give them to the children sleeping there. On Christmas Eve, my parents and I would cook spaghetti, buy Zest’o then hop on the car and give the little Noche Buena we prepared to kids along Quezon Ave. And we would collect all the clothes we haven’t used or outgrown during the year and give them to the orphanage down the street from my parents’ house.
I want to be able to do that again.