Weaving a home

The spider’s web
The nuisance of it
I seemingly sweep it up
in a flash
But there is more
one more strand

What do they call
That itty-bitty thing
Hair, fiber, the last life line perhpas
The little spider in its web
Does it hate me back?

Itsy-bitsy spider
weaves herself a web
of many more strands
Undeterred by the war waged on her
and her strands

My web, my home
built on a single strand
Was swept up with a single blow
Was it the wolf?
I wonder and search the land

It is me, and us this time
We must weave again
not one, but many strands
People, spiders and wolves
Together against the faceless man

Insomnia

Where do days go
When they go?
What happens to them
When they end do they die?
What happens to night
When dawn arrives?
I know not
But my eyes track the moon
Stars and the sun
Insomnia

The rules

It is easy to break the rules
The rules that don’t make sense
To me
Growing up in a place
Where cover was a virtue for a girl
Smile was a sin
Where looking down and avoiding eye contact
Was admired
Not being noticed, not being seen

I broke the rules
Only a little
The result you ask?
More than little trouble
More than little shame
When in Rome
I didn’t do as Romans do
I still don’t

Breaking the rules that don’t make sense
Is easy for me
What if I don’t make sense ?
Do they break me?

It takes more than courage
More than a cause
To stand up to rules that don’t make sense
It takes knowledge
It takes resilience
Patience too
I don’t have much of those
But I hope some do

It isn’t enough to break the rules
To disobey them.
We must change the rules
Rule makers must change too
Though they refuse

Changing the rules
Needs many little things
More than me and you
It takes a whole bunch of us
Some stronger than others
Together is the only way
The only way to change what we do

The good news is – that it won’t last

Have you heard the news today?
The lion nursing a mouse
or the one about the puppy
Designed to make you happy

Did you hear the bad today?
An earthquake killing many
must have made you sad
The ship that drowned
cops shooting another man
and killing of a hero in Pakistan

The bad news about happiness
is that it won’t last
but worry not
The good news about sadness and outrage
is that it too goes fast

Being swung from one end to next
The pendulum goes on
puppeteers on top decide
Which way, which one

With no light of my own

I am the moon
No light of my own
But I’m not doomed

See me shine
A luminous silver glow
I am the moon

My gentle embrace
covers darkness with light
mending wounds of sorrow and heartache

I am the moon
The tiniest sliver of me
Ignites the night

and I shine
With no light of my own
I am the moon

Nothing

The one who broke nothing
Built nothing
The one who lost nothing
Gained nothing
The one who mourned no one
Loved no one
The one who tried nothing
Learned nothing

Knowing this
Doing it
living it
That is something
The most important thing of all
Yet I still sit here
timid
Pondering
Wondering
yet nothing

Beautiful Hands

My hands
I look at them
and see ugly

They were never beautiful
Not even in my prime
large knuckled short fingers
With small sunken nails

When did I learn
What beautiful was
Who decided what was desirable
Delicate white hands
With perfectly painted nails
Those were never mine

But these hands
They have held babies
Fed dogs and cats
They have cooked and cleaned
Played music
They have written and played
They have held
Onto other hands

These hands
The only ones I’ve got
How carelessly
I’ve called them ugly
Yet they haven’t failed me
These beautiful hands

Dissolve into Spring

I’m tall
and I shine
as one with the sky
as one with the sun
the rainbow too

A moment I can’t explain fully
beyond limits of my certainty
It defies these hands
my words
my voice

I disrobe and step outside
to dissolve into spring
It will pass and I too
but I’ll be luminous
as the morning dew

Do dreams die?

Do dreams wither and die
as they go unrealized
do I?

was it yesterday
or years ago
when I

had a wish not so grand
to sing and dance
play too

when paint brush called out
my name, “come!”
I heard

never to reach and hold
the hand that sought
mine

piano keys black and white
their music unheard
silenced songs

I thought I had forever
not now I said
later

years went by as they do
my unspoken words
gone too

they did not wait for me
to arrive, they thought
I had died

This poem was inspired after reading Harlem by Langston Hughes. 

A gentle wish

Wivenhoe Park (John Constable 1816)
Wivenhoe Park (John Constable 1816) taken from Wikipedia

It is today
A quiet invitation
to step outside
and see lightest of clouds
sprinkled over the blue
and a mild breeze
gently blowing the leaves

Warm glow of the sun
kissing my skin
with promise of spring

Be happy I say
Be well
my wish for me
my wish for you
and for all

Dream leaden eyes

Gustave Courbet: Portrait of Juliette Courbet as a sleeping child
“Portrait of Juliette Courbet as a sleeping child” by painter Gustave Courbet. Taken from wikiart

Dream leaden eyes
I won’t refuse
you
except this once
A sonnet
a song
a word of any kind
This intersection
between day and night
I surrender
dreaming
in bliss

Rock, Paper, Scissor


Rock, paper, scissor
never though myself conventional
not a rebel
nor a pioneer
the odd one
didn’t quite belong
though tried to
not quite normal
nor overtly abnormal

Rock, paper, scissor
in the wrong times
or right
never thought myself conventional
married
kids
living the suburban life
looking at magazine
cookbooks and such
picking colors
clothes
furniture
way too much
Consuming
Consuming the nothings that come
Moments of my life
Not lived
Consumed
By the monsters within
and those around

Rock, paper, scissor
always the wrong pick
never thought myself as conventional
in this so called life

Dressed for happiness

Dressed for happiness


Silky shawl wrapped around her shoulders
in the streets of Florence
That summer night over ancient roads

Her summer dress
and chestnut colored hair
playfully flows to unsung tunes

Mesmerizing
the sound of her laughter
Penetrats the air

Tapping of her heels
Long legs dancing
On cobblestoned streets

A few steps ahead
miles and miles away
her joy against my bitterness
as our distance grows

“Someday” I thought
Many dresses have passed
and I’m still searching

SAID A BLADE OF GRASS – by Khalil Gibran

Said a blade of grass to an autumn leaf, “You make such a noise falling! You scatter all my winter dreams.”

Said the leaf indignant, “Low-born and low-dwelling! Songless, peevish thing! You live not in the upper air and you cannot tell the sound of singing.”

Then the autumn leaf lay down upon the earth and slept. And when spring came she waked again — and she was a blade of grass.

And when it was autumn and her winter sleep was upon her, and above her through all the air the leaves were falling, she muttered to herself, “O these autumn leaves! They make such a noise! They scatter all my winter dreams.”

~ khahlil Gibran 1883-1931

Tired of divisions

I am
That is it
I am.
no explanation
no apology
no justification
I am.
You are.
no additives
no preservatives
We are.
not this nor that
Tired of divisions
color, race, religion
we belong
we – humans
done with pride
done with shame
We are.
this shared experience called life
trees, mountain and rivers
they are.
no tallest, highest, deepest
without anger, envy or regret
They just are.
We are.
In life
In death
and between the two
the same
that is all
we can claim

Broken with joy

http://shop.kmberggren.com/Depth_Of_Possibility_mother_with_sleeping_child_p/depthofpossibility.htm

Every night
my heart breaks a little
My little one
Softly asleep
Growing ever so slightly

Crib much too grand
On those precious first days
the tiny thing
I held to my heart
You felt not separate
A part of me

Week one became two
Days passed and you grew
my darling
A year and some gone by
so fast

And every night
My heart breaks a little
As it makes room
For the bigger and stronger you

I am a black hole

A black hole
I am.
Infinitely dense
I am
Not knowing it
Not knowing me
But I am
Here

The black
against the light
Burns through
Absorbing me
As I absorb it
Buried deep
Within the unconscious
I am awake

Today is Stephen Hawking’s birthday. Today I read about him and I read this lovely poem i am by dear blogger friend Alice Keys. They were inspiring and I am truly grateful … 

As always, thanks for reading

The hurt feels wrong

So came a new year
Another number as in the past
In the vastness of universe
This insignificant moment
Is something
or nothing perhaps

And the cruelty of mankind
One against another
That hurts
In this shared experience called life
Even if insignificant and meaningless
The hurt feels wrong

Love – Faith – chocolate

Last night I fell in love in a dream.

He was a man of faith (as I came to learn) and worked at a chocolate store. He showed me boxes of beautifully arranged and deliciously made chocolate. The colors and the arrangements were so vivid. He showed me his favorite flavors. I don’t remember them. I remember this one particular dark chocolate creation that was simple, elegant and seemed interesting. I blurted out “it looks like an adorable little black bible!” I immediately regretted saying it. I got this sense that he was a man of Christian faith who would take offense to it. I tried to apologize and followed with “I meant to say a cute little Quran, not a Bible!) He smiled and faded away. I “felt” his disapproval of my comparison, and of me. I don’t know why I remember this as a “falling in love” story. It felt as such.

These days my usual religious views have taken a radical turn to the left. I no longer respectfully disagree with them. I despise them. I see them as a major source of pain and suffering in the world. I don’t know about God. I can’t be sure, but for me, religion is done. The only exception may be Pope Francis and my beloved deceased grandmother who was a devout Muslim.

I do like chocolate though. I can understand the pairing of chocolate with romantic love. But that of religion was rather peculiar!

As always, thanks for reading.

Power of words

Words
Words that I told
Those that I hold
How they hurt
Words
Hurting you
Hurting me
How I wish to cleanse these lips
And to rid this mind
Words
Let them flow
Nothing but gravity pulling them
Away from my soul
Plant them into soil
Deep within the ground
Plant them onto paper
The dagger
Becomes a rose

The disease: Too much, not enough

I live in America
where three cases of Ebola
throws us into hysteria
We buy survival kits
We dress in a hazmat suits

I live in America
Were a common disease
The disease of gun violence
Contagious as sin
sparks no action

I live I America
among the givers of death and its takers
We who do nothing
in the face of this common threat
We become the disaese

Different but the same

PR30
We all smile in the same language

A Jew, a Christian, a Muslim and an atheist go to a pizza place. A jew, a christian, a muslim and an atheist go to a pizzeria. Or was it a bakery? It was a coffee shop perhaps, or the corner bistro …
They go and share a meal, some cake and coffee. When they are finished the muslim says: this was delicious. The christian says: It was devine. The atheist says: Outstanding! And the jew says: “pretty good. Pretttty, prettty, pretttty good”! Different but the same, don’t you agree?

As I was trying to write this, my spell checker autocorrected christian to capitalize C. It underlined jew and muslim but for the atheist, it didn’t bother to do anything. In the eye of Word, and for the “godless”, lower case seemed just fine. I initially capitalized the A of atheist to give it more power, more legitimacy. But ultimately I decided to keep all of them lower case. In my opinion the struggle for power and superiority in any or all these ways of life and philosophies is a problem. The, “I know it better” and “I have it all figured out”. The “my way is the right way”.
I was watching a travel show about a town in Spain where people of different faiths appeared to live together peacefully. The travel guide said something about how people from different cultures and religions were living together at peace. The local person gently corrected that it was people from the same culture but different religions who were living together.

In a way, aren’t we all of the same culture? The culture of humanity. The culture of people. We all eat when hungry, sleep when tired, smile when happy and cry when sad, we enjoy good friendships, fall in love, and strive for happiness. We have so much in common, beyond that of religion, politics, race and geography. In a world where differences are emphasized and CAPITALIZED, I wish to celebrate our commonness. The seemingly ordinary similarities are rather extraordinary.

As for the above image, those are my kids of course, enjoying a lovely autumn day in our front yard.

As always, thanks for reading!

Being me

The art of being me
is not an art
To be me
it takes practice
and many mistakes
Every day
As wrinkles deepen
and gray takes over
I shall perfect the art of being me

Faith

I have faith
that things will be OK.
and if not
they won’t matter as much

I have faith
that time will dilute
the most toxic of thoughts
feelings too

I have faith
not in a supernatural
not in the divine
But that of human resilience

Faith in time
and that of patience
I have faith

The Hole

My daughter loves to read. She has gone through all the books we have at home several times over. Like most kids, she loves to read her favorite books over and over again. She also demands that we read them to her over and over again. Unlike her, we get tired of reading the same stories. So I decided to find her new good books to read. After reading rave reviews I bought “The Hole” for my daughter online. It was praised as a funny, meditative and philosophical book for kids. Once it arrived, it looked interesting. There was a real hole in the center of its recycled cardboard like hard cover. I eagerly opened it and began reading. Well to call it reading is a stretch. It is a picture book and has very few words in it. The graphics are very simple pencil drawing in black and white. It is a very plain looking book about a “Hole”: A guy moves into an apartment and discovers a hole in it and the hole. He (unsuccessfully) tries to figure it out and get rid of it. I hated it! I felt ripped off having spent over $ 17 for what appeared to be a pretentious fluff. I put it back in its box determined to return it.

Later that day, my daughter arrived from school and asked if her book had arrived. I had told her about some books I ordered and she never forgets such promises. I told her it is not a good book. Nonetheless, she wanted to see it. So the box was reopened and to my surprise she loved the book. Since that day we have read this book every night. My daughter taught me how to read it. She showed me things I hadn’t noticed in there. In between those seemingly simple drawing, she saw and understood so much. She found some parts funny and some parts scary but over all she loves the book. I must confess that I do too now! It is funny. It is philosophical. It is meditative. It has layers of depth. It is thoughtful. What an amazing book about a hole! A hole in someone’s life that is initially puzzling and scary. He tries to understand it, to get rid of it, and he does, sort of. The hole comes back, perhaps it never left. He either doesn’t see it anymore, or accepts its existence.

I wonder why I like it now. Do I like it because my daughter likes it? Did she teach me how to like it? Did she teach me how to see it?  Other than the story of the Hole, I learned that my perception and impression of the world, and the things I like or dislike are highly unreliable and ever changing and that is not such a bad thing.

The tree

Once upon a time there was a tree.
It lived in small yard.
It had little fruits each summer, lost its leaves each fall, slept in the winter and grew little green leaves in the spring.
It wasn’t the tallest tree and didn’t have the greenest leaves. It didn’t give the most fruits.  
One day, they chopped it off.
Soon there was a pool in its place.

Inaction

I almost didn’t see it
and wish I hadn’t
Such tiny
baby animal
A rat or
A possum
A rodent of kind
Waiting to die
On the ground
So passive
Yet alive
Rapidly fluttering chest
Tiny little thing
I turned my head
Too late
Momma rodent
Come on back
Your baby is
Dying like a rat
I hate this woman
That I am
This privilege
that I have
I glance in my rearview mirror
My four year old happy in her seat
And the pregnant me
With the fetus who kicks
We are alive for now

This was a year ago …

Beautify

Nip here
Tuck there
Shave off
Peel that
Pluck this
Pull it taught
Tweeze and tweak
Paralyze here
Inject there
Cut to please
Only if they could
nip the bad
Tuck the ugly
Cut out the rude
Peel off the nasty
Remove the insecurity
Tweeze out meanness
Inject some sense
Only if
But till then
Cut away at the flesh
It only costs money
and sometimes lives

Ugliness

There is so much ugliness
In me
The polite me
The pretty me
The one who nods
And behaves nicely
There is so much hate
And anger
So much shame
Full of flaws
Only if I could
Wash it away
Peel it off
Cut it out
Only if

Two days ago I talked to my daughter’s daycare teacher Ms. T. She was baby sitting for us so my husband and I could go out and celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary. Ms. T is half black, half filipino. Her son is a few months older than my daughter and used to go to her school. Every time I saw him, I secretly wished my daughter could be more like that. He is the cutest little boy who was always smiling and was very polite. He listened to his mom and other teachers, a very “proper” little boy.
Her mom told me one day when they were on the bus going home, she noticed he was rubbing his arms rigorously. She asked if he was hurting or itching or something. He replied he wanted to “wipe off” the color. That he did not want to be this color anymore and to be the same color as his friends in school. After further probing he told her some kid in school made fun of his color. He was 4 years old at the time.

I am outraged and saddened and ashamed. I don’t know how to convey what I want to say. There are so many thoughts and feelings and words are not cooperating. This poem came as I thought about him, about how I idolized his “proper” behavior and about all the character flaws I have. I must clarify this is not a poem about him.

Thanks for reading.

You in my embrace

You in my Embrace

A lump of joy
stuck in my throat
Making my eyes tear
and my heart float

A million little thoughts
dissolve in my mind
I have no words
as emotions rise

Gazing in your eyes
With a love so strong
I weep and laugh
this is where I belong

Many unspoken words
in so small a place
contain all the riches
you in my embrace

A lump of joy
A million little thoughts
Nothing but this moment
I hold you in my arms

Sick and well

When I’m sick
That’s all I am
I’m no longer “me”

When I feel ill
That is all I feel
My other senses
all disappear

I merge with sickness
No way to escape
This thing I became

That is how it goes
A sick and whiny thing
It becomes my fate

Yet when I feel well
Sick is forgotten
Gratitude gone

Is there a way
To take some of ill
Back to wellness
For gratitude
If for nothing else

The pencile

Once upon a time, there was a pencil.

It belonged to a little boy.

He drew picture in a big drawing book.

Ever day, the pencil grew shorter.

Every day, more pictures appeared on the book.

Until one day, there was no more pencil left and all the pages were full.

A beautiful picture book.

– The end

 

I wish I could draw or illustrate. I have the images in my head but I can’t bring them onto the paper. There is a little bit of that pencil in me, a bit of that book and the little boy too … 

 

 

A little bit of truth

There is a little bit of truth
In the bad things that are done
The cruel words that are said
a little bit of truth
In the tears that are shed
the laughter too

There is a little bit of truth
To the shame
the regret
A little bit of truth
To what they said
and still do

There is a little bit of truth
But there is a lot of truth
In what is yet to be
A lot more
Keep going

Happiness happens on a bicycle

Happiness
Happens on a bicycle
With a basket of flowers
Rolling hills
On a summer afternoon

It happens
In a cup of tea
Take a sip
And taste that happiness
As it tickles your mouth

It happens
In a song
Sing it softly
and sway

It happens in you
When no one’s watching
Dance to this tune
All the way to happy

The only thing I know for sure

The only thing I know for sure
Is that I know nothing
and even that
I can’t be sure of

Appearances
Thoughts
Feelings
Experiences
All my senses
Memories
My past and present
My hopes and dreams

Of these words
As I jot them down
I can’t be sure
If they are mine
If they exist
Or if I

My imagination
My truth
Stand on a shaky ground
So do I

One way today
Another tomorrow
How I can say with certainty
That my way
Is the right way
How can they

The key to life

Once upon a time
I lost the keys
to my life
I’ve been searching all this time
Decades have passed
The house is gone
The land too
Skin and bones crumbled
Blood drained and dried
I’m still searching for those keys
But the lock is broken
The body too
In its place
Nothing at all
but freedom

Conversation with God

Once upon a time
I was a child
Innocent?
They said not
That I was born
a sinner
Doomed from the start
So I sinned
And they punished
Now a child no more
Beaten and abused
Where is my savior
Where is God?

***

I
Have been a saint
For too long
Now I’m done
Take me down
From the cross
Let the sins be
The sinners too
No sacrifice
No saints
Let this be the end
of blaming God

If my life was a piece of land

My precious baby boy turned 8 months old yesterday. Time has flown by. They said it would. I knew it would. It did the first time. Sophie is now 5 years old. She will soon reach and surpass me in every way. I can no longer carry her. When she sleeps, I see the baby in her innocent face. She is innocent and beautiful. I miss the baby times, the toddler times, the wobbly walker and the babbly talker. I miss her falling asleep in my arms. I miss the occasional breast feeding time I had with her. I really miss that. I wish I had tried harder. I wish I had trusted my instinct over what I was being told. I wish things had been different.

But I have now. Now with my 8 month old Aidan. Now with my 5 year old Sophie. I have these precious moments. When she wants to dress like me, go to walks with me, go shopping with me. When she wants me to read her a bedtime story. I have that. I have the kisses and the hugs. She hugged me so strongly last night, it stained my neck! She is strong, she is healthy, she is wonderful, she is my daughter and she loved me. What else can I ask for? She makes my life a better place. Can I call life a place? If my life were a piece of land, with her in it, a garden has blossomed. Full of luscious fragrant blooms, full of tall beautiful trees, full of magic. It has. The land requires more attention, more care, more of everything. But it gives more, so much more than the easy to care for dry and bare piece it was before.

IMG_3335Aidan is 8 months old and I am already mourning the loss of these precious moments. I miss him being this little baby as I hold him in my arms, as I rock him to sleep, as I bathe him, give him kisses on the nose and those precious little toes. As I make him giggle and he makes me laugh, as I nurse him, as I sooth his cries, as I glance in those eyes. I miss him while I have him. I have him. He has me. I have these moments and I am so full of joy, it makes my heart ache.

There are always regret, along with those, there are wishes and hopes. That is a part of my life and I accept that, the joy, the laughter, the worry and the sorrow. It is all a part of me and I accept that. All those together are the ingredients to my happiness.

I want more of me

I am tired
But I want more
More of this
More of me
me in here
Being this
and that
Has taken a lot
Chunks and chunks
What is left?
Most days
I am absent
From day to night
I am here now
And I want more
More of this
More of me
More of now

He was the Devil’s child

He was a child
Mother was God
he was unlovable somehow
“I’ll put you in an orphanage”, she said
Punishing him for his sins
He was deviant
He was unruly
She hit him
Put hot pepper in his mouth
He was bad
He said bad things
He hit and destroyed things
He believed her
She would give him up
She was his world
His God
He feared her
She was perfect
He was not
He was the devil’s child

When did life become a smoothie?

To crave a smoothie, not the drinking kind but a smoothie of life and all it has to offer. A smoothly blended mixture of all things delivered in a glass to be consumed through a straw. Facts, news, information, products, literature, music, arts, science, friendships, relations, education, thoughts and feelings. Put them all in, press start and blend them together to reach smooth easy to swallow liquid. Suck it all in through a straw. Suck life in. An easily digestible, life. A smooth life. If unpalatable add more sugar, more fat or more salt. Do it until you no longer have to pretend and nod in agreement. When you don’t have to fake conformity. Until it becomes you and you it.

This afternoon I made myself a cup of coffee. I added coco powder, sugar and milk. I put less sugar than normal, only half a tea spoon. The drink was bitter. I had to search my palate and focus really hard to taste the sugar. I took another sip and closed my eyes. The aroma filled my nose first as I held the hot liquid in my mouth. I tasted the thick foamy milk, then my taste buds were once again overwhelmed with bitterness of the coco and espresso. “More sugar!” My reptilian brain demanded. But I paused and resisted the temptation as I swallowed my concoction. Sure enough there it was, the subtle yet unmistakable sweet sugary taste tantalizing my mouth, ever so lightly enticing me to notice, and to want more. I took another sip. This time my brain went to the sweetness first. I noticed that before the bitterness, or perhaps simultaneously. Midway through the cup, which by now had cooled to lukewarm, I had grown accustomed to its taste, its bittersweet taste, I appreciated it and was content to receive this stimulating boost of energy and satiety.

I wonder how many times I have failed to notice the sweet, the delicate and the pleasant core of things because I were too impatient. That I didn’t pause long enough to appreciate the painting, or keep the radio station because the music piece was too slow to peak. How many storied I missed because I didn’t listen long enough to get to the heart of it. A tragic, beautiful, important, humorous, or nonsensical story that was being shared by a friend, a family member, someone at work, or in a book. How often I didn’t hold on to people …

I wonder about my tastes, likes and dislikes My opinions and judgments. How and why the have shaped in this way – the fast way. When did I lose the ability to appreciate things individually, to pause and understand them. I still have teeth and can digest life. I can chew on the ingredients, the delicate ones and the hard ones too. When did life or my expectation of it become such a smoothie?