New Beginnings

Everyday grants us a new beginning. Making a habit at looking, living each day as new is possibly one of the greatest gifts we can ever receive the entire year. But we take it for granted, live as though it is a continuation of the dreariness that followed us from yesterday and we become burdened by that which we think is inescapable. I know, I know… easier written, but if we just shift our perspectives, everyday can be a renewal, a rechristening of our lives. We can at least attempt to make new our lives before we dismiss it.

rain gathered me under the sky, prodding
like needles under my skin; the uncertainty
was bothersome until i looked into your
violet eyes and knew i would be reborn
as your spirit takes shelter under your
fragile skin, and as your thirst beckons
its first milk against your tongue.
holding you was easy; making you believe
my love as brilliant as stars in the
night sky… even if am mere shadow–
a lifetime i think i may have, each day,
with each renewal, convince you my words
with every letter are more than embraces,
but testimony to the unconditional that
shall not ever waver from my heart

[for SJP… my heart on this day… Happy Birthday]

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Christmas: A Time for Giving

I’m jumping ahead on resolutions and Christmas hasn’t arrived. I can’t help it… it’s the season of giving and though we might be scrambling tonight wrapping gifts, thinking about what kind of gifts to buy tomorrow, I can’t help think that there’s more we can offer than just material things. A time to listen or time spent with children being patient, baking someone a dozen muffins from the heart. Sure, electronics are wonderful… a new Samsung tablet would be really nice, but a gift from the heart is one that I am appreciating lately. The extension of my hand and thought putting together flour, sugar and eggs and creating something delicious over and over. To show someone how much I appreciate them… that’s what I want to say. To wish them a Merry Christmas, not just today, but for everyday that I am alive because everyday ought to be Christmas through kind gestures we gift one another. This is the spirit that should prevail all year long. So why not start today. Merry Christmas y’all!

Christmas we are love and joy,
the fervor of generosity that wishes
to prevail while the spirit dangles
from every doorway like mistletoe
whose desire from kisses align hearts
with mirrored goodness, unparalleled,
without compromise; judges less and
concerned more for you than I… these
hands relay from thought the word
merry encrypted in this bow, red as
the season allows, a vow to give i’ve
wrapped in this gesture with embrace
to blanket you from the cold rain

a gift to give away in time for Christmas

We are gifted. There are things about us that we are strong in, undoubtedly our best attributes which regenerate itself once we let go and share to this world. There was this quote shared over the radio the other morning on the way to work. I almost ignored it, but only in time did I turn back to that station and catch that bit of wisdom. I can’t remember the quote verbatim, but only to the effect that it is our purpose to find what our individual gift is and it is then our purpose in life to give that gift away. Something about this quote just hit me somehow. The gifts we are so doubtful about; the gifts we participate in and then hide because we are so afraid of criticism… well, these gifts are exactly what we should be gifting this world with, whether it is our writings, our paintings or our songs. Whether it is the bread we make with our hands or the joy we express through our words, these are the gifts that we ought to be sharing with one another. In the spirit of Christmas, locate these gifts within ourselves and find the strength to unleash them because there might just be that one person left inspired to do the same thing. In doing so, we might just nurture positivity and joy throughout the years to come.

when i can no longer hold onto, i
simply open my hands and let go
what isn’t mine in the first place,
but to this world i owe a present
to have, one blessed utterance of
joy and love are still gifts inside
these words no matter how they are
unwrapped with hearts heavy, no
doubt, feeling so depleted,
un-embraced for so long… with this
gift, never shall you be alone again
so long as i can write to relieve you
from the melancholy and the sadness
endured from time to time

lies, lies, lies

Don’t lie… never lie or, by any means, try not to lie. It’s a challenge, I know because most of us at some point have participated in a lie. Of recent, I experienced an elaborate story concocted in front of my face, an insistence from the other party that it was the truth, only to come to the end and have it be discovered that it was a lie. It made me angry and I might still be in the same state of mind, but the next step for me is to try to understand why someone would lie? Of course, in the end, submerged lies rise to the surface and eventually unveil itself because there’s nothing solid about a lie. It’s so porous that it will eventually float to the surface for everyone to see.

lies diminish what trust has built,
cemented brick by brick to arrive
where we are because our past is
what we’ve been, the dangerous
trench we’ve crawled and climbed
out of… shall we return to the
place of conscience war brewing
from within or shall we walk a
straight line forward beyond
potholes and craters that trip,
abandon these vices by any means

Even in Darkness… There is Hope

When darkness pulls us under its spell, at times it is difficult to get out and rise from. It traps us underneath, forces beyond our control and all we can do is wait. Try fighting and it only makes it worse. A cloud hangs over us and there’s no telling when it will vanish altogether.

I couldn’t explain where it was coming from. I couldn’t even describe it. It was there. Just like my cough… it was there. There was a need to be alone, cut off everyone trying to make conversation and disconnect. Only the world around me won’t allow it. They wanted to talk, to sit next to me, spend time in the small tolerable spaces I yielded them. Every happy noise seemed like a nuisance and I wanted to shoot it down right away and distance myself from it, but as soon as I turn the corner… another form of joy accosted me.

Opposite’s attract, I guess you could say. These dark episodes was somehow attracting light. People were sharing light even as I tried to run away from it. I couldn’t explain it at the time, but I think this was happening to me in an effort to restore my own light to spread the kind of joy I dispersed before this cloud happened upon me. In this manner, meeting with people instead of dodging them, I was able to escape from under the darkness and restore myself with some form of light inside.

when darkness plunged me deep in its fold,
unbearable is the heft that pulls me down
into its pit and presses me further into
the cold abyss where laughter echoed from
inside the ice building around me, a
fortification from the irksome joy trying
to catch me with its sordid string, entangle
me with its embrace and shave away any frozen
particles that convinced me for a moment to
believe there is no warmth left to cast out
the hope long harbored from inside of me

Grateful For…

Warmth is a luxury during the winter months. We duck into malls, offices and coffee shops where we know it will be warm; our homes with working heaters and thick, Korean blankets. I’m grateful for the availability of heat because I know not everyone has the means to keep warm. They are on the streets, mere shadows dodging cold nights, even colder mornings tucked away inside their winter coats as their protection, their walls, their winter homes. I know they are everywhere and they are out there craving heat, this luxury coming out of my vent. I am one of the fortunate ones who don’t have to be out there fighting the cold, all that is zero below. As I can’t help but be grateful tonight, I know that there’s not much I can do but hope and pray that for those battling the cold weather, may they find relief under a heated lamp, inside a room with a fireplace or the heater on. Some sort of shelter I pray to protect everyone during these really cold months. I hope that they are well. I hope that they survive.

cold, you smother my warmth,
this heat, this calorie burning…
i add on pounds instead; i’m ready
to hibernate except i can’t just
leave and hide in a cave somewhere,
sleep all winter knowing some child
shivers, another trembles from the
heavy precipitation of snow charging,
the cold accosting each cheek with
frozen hands. i’m slipping into a
winter coma… pray i wake up before
summer; may the heat disperse, never
surrender as i hope you win over frigid
thoughts that make winter even colder

Epiphany

It’s funny how epiphanies arrive… you never really know what form it may take until it lands in front of you. The idea of not giving up the art inside us, that which makes us breathe… makes us feel alive even if it is just a couple of brushstrokes on a canvass or a couple of stanzas on a random paper napkin. Sometimes, there are dark places we enter and in that space lies the tempting thought of just surrendering the craft that bleeds from our hands. Because it would seem that this would make everything easier and therefore, perhaps, life more livable. Giving up would be easy, but I’ve seen the faces of those who have surrendered, the faces who quit and gave up on the dream inside themselves. Darkness too have tempted and cajoled me towards this direction until a beacon of hope was sent my way and now I’m choosing to fight that darkness, refusing to become one of those faces who surrendered. Even if it means just writing one stanza, one line per day, we can never give up. If for some apparent reason we chose to surrender, we will terminate that connection with our art. In doing so, we can potentially terminate that connection with God who is the oxygen and true blood behind the art inside of us.

too much to loose inside these
parameters; had darkness caught
me and turned me over to night,
i may have fallen over and
disappeared altogether like
dreams robbed from faces who
have given up without a fight,
who stir in the middle of sleep
only to wake up to nightmares
haunting them like weary ghosts
who prey on the hopeless and the
disconnected… the passionless
who lay shattered, moved no more
to stir about our colors inside

Never Give Up

I realize that I haven’t written for a while and I don’t know whether it’s the weather or this sudden bouts of coughs that I’ve been blessed with lately that deters me from seeing clearly the lessons that I’m supposed to be learning. And honestly today it came to me. We shouldn’t give up on ourselves. Despite what we may think or what sort of mindset we’ve managed to put ourselves in, we owe it to ourselves not to give up on us or our potential. Because God hasn’t given up on us nor have the people who love us… they haven’t given up on us, and this knowledge alone should be enough to stir us back up from the tundras we’ve trapped ourselves under and get back out there and do what it is we need to do in this world.

so long as love grows strong
and the light that fortifies
glows inside… there is still
a chance: never give up

the world is large enough, for
certain there will be a time,
opportunity to shine, i repeat
again: never give up

if one other soul hasn’t
surrendered, nor their flames
of hope drenched… neither
has God so never give up

rise above

How lost we have become sometimes looking for answers when the answers are already inside of us. It is just a matter of taking the first step and making that choice to commit to it wholeheartedly. Only through this do we begin to chisel out the shape of who we really are, what we are meant to be. For we are more than what we are now, distracted and numbed individuals, afraid to feel and reach for the world. We are what our bodies have been telling us along… strong and capable individuals meant to achieve, meant to bring peace, meant to rise from the physical or spiritual poverty we live in.

rise above the horror
which conquers; release
from the mind what glues
you to the ground, when
light elevates and still
you refuse to rise…

rise to the level of
your love, that which
lives and propels you
from the bog, the
quicksand that pulls
you down

for no gravity
can attempt to shake
you from the clouds
where you belong;
when you believe so
shall you rise, rise
above the ground

Be Brave About Us

There’s a path for all of us to follow and it’s been calling us all along. It’s right at the center of us. We must have felt it all our lives, but we continue to ignore it because we’ve been afraid. We’re afraid because it isn’t safe or we feel that there’s nothing to gain from it. The thing is, the more we ignore it, the more we have to loose from doing so. Who we are is that being we ignore, whether writer, artist, doll-maker, creator and when we don’t give it a chance to express her/himself, we die. Whatever this calling is… have the courage to give it a chance. Because nothing feels like anything can ever proceed right if we don’t take the chance. So give expression to that divine gift inside us. This is who we are after all and we all deserve a second chance. It’s never too late, if this is not far from your mind. If you recognize this about yourself today, seize your chance and begin immediately! For those who have answered their calling, then I applaud you because most of us haven’t been brave enough to do so. But it’s there, it is waiting for us to pick up, to speak and nurture. All we got to do is push through the fear and be brave about us.

brave me out
into this world
missing still one
other point of view,
my perspective—
me. who fears
herself unworthy,
hides behind the
fallacy, without
courage to seek
the truth. brave
me out for the
winds, the sun
and the rain;
wash me, baptize
me, christen me
once more with
the light of
Your rays and
ignite me with
passion and
wonder… to
discern the path
between my lack of
courage and brave