the year of lyrics: a poetry project

my search for inner-peace, one poem at a time


4 Comments

Day 314 – You Bring Out the Filipina in Me

Inspired by: Sandra Cisneros’ “You Bring Out the Mexican in Me” and Bao Phi’s “You Bring Out the Vietnamese in Me”

You bring out the Filipina in me.

The jeepney-riding miracle worker.
The island sweetheart of art.
The gutom na ako, but not really in me.

You bring out the Filipina in me.
The war-stricken tropical paradise,
pained by martial law under Marcos,
trampled by the feet of Imelda and her closet of over a thousand shoes.

The anti-Colonialist mindset that might set the world on fire.
The tainted skin that refuses lightening creams.
The Illocano and Kapangpangan and Tagalog and Spanish
rolled into a single dictionary in me.
The easy to assimilate into American culture
because of English-infused classrooms in the motherland.

The Magandang Gabi, lechon-eating,
Soon-to-be doctor and lawyer in me.
The OFW working in the Middle East,
sending remittances back to children,
or the daughter of a US Navy officer,
for he joined the Americans out of necessity.
And yet you still bring out the true Filipina in me.

The young, activist peacemaker,
that yearns to clean up corrupt acts that plague the Philippine Sea.
The “I want to return to the homeland to give back”
because that all I’ve worked for.
The wealth of knowledge,
once I graduate from college,
need to make a difference in me.

You are the one I turn to,
and turns to me for love,
for my home is built with always-open doors.
With it’s plastic-covered couches,
fully-stocked pantry piled high with
cans of Spam, dried manga, sweet condensed milk
walis-swept tiled floors,
and sometimes kneeling on piles of kanin for being naughty in me.

You bring out the feisty,
ghetto-fabulous wannabe itim in me.
Yeah I said it.
The lover of all R&B and jammin’ to old school rap in me.

You are the rays of sun on my very own flag,
the guiding stars that surround me.

You have taught me the truth of mahal kita and salamat,
for I love to give thanks when it is not required.

Oo : you, have been woven into the mosquito nets that shield me.
You are the protector of me.


Leave a comment

Day 312 – Confession #3: Give Your All

To Love Unapologetically is to:
Love more deeply than the depths of the tallest Venezuelan waterfall

You have served your heart up on a platter

Yes, to give your all is to impress upon the earth your deepest dedication

And love without consideration for temptation
Annihilation
Obliteration

So if today seems a day for you to love
Know that you must also be loved
You cannot just give your heart in jest
This is a serious commitment


Leave a comment

Day 310 – Confession #1: Surrender

To surrender is to:
Breathe in the unforgivable toxins that assault your most precious lungs

Yes, you know the danger that awaits you and you continue to welcome it

You inhale the negative possibilities,
The indiscriminate liabilities,
The physically-impairing invalidities

Allowing them to consume you

But presume that you, for a second,
Stopped this? Well, maybe not this
Time
But, in time? And with time?

Perhaps you’ll learn to not surrender so easily
Reconsider your strengths and rid of failed attempts
For failure is just a mistake in disguise
Ready for transformation into realizations of new visions

See, each incision
Heals.
With mistakes you carve into you the most unique scars
That toughen your skin, make you stronger within.

So if today you must surrender to the whims of defeat
Know that your damaged lungs and scars do not stop you from moving.
You have feet left to follow,
And mistakes left to make.


1 Comment

Day 304 – Trust Your Voice

I tell you, brother, I’m giving you the words that I write
Take the ink from my pens, they bleed as dark as night
With conviction, not contradiction, spin words out of control
Leave some scratches on the record, for the record’s got some soul
Soulful sounds echo lightly, sending vibrations down the spine
I’m sayin’, just trust yourself, and it’ll work out every time
Spring forward, don’t fall back; step up against the clock
Allow the rhymes to be the actions, and the power when you talk


Leave a comment

Day 246 – Stop Searching, Just Go

To search the mind is a dangerous thing.
Often we choose to organize our thoughts into neatly tied packages.
Or we leave them astray, tossed in an untidy sprawl of confusion.
But our downfall is not from the action of searching.
Our demise comes from that which we dwell on.
Single out one thought, and another cycle of fear is created.

What if I get hurt?
What if I lose against Love?
What if I am not accepted?
What if I am not recognized?
What if I fail?

Too many what-ifs – Too many questions.
And from these fears, we are introduced to a discoloration of life.
And we are starved from our potential.
Too many questions of what might not happen,
As opposed to welcoming what could happen.

Ah, tonight let it be heard.
Let it be sung on high,
And let it enter your mind yet again:
Harness your thoughts, and be only an acquaintance with them.
Introduce yourself, then let them pass.
Let them live on, but not stay hostage in your mind.
And once you learn to let them enter and depart with the movement of time,
And acknowledgement,
You will learn.

You will get hurt, but you will heal.
You will lose against Love, but she will always hold you close.
You will be rejected, but you will accept more beautiful offers.
You will be overlooked, but you will shine with humility.
You will fail, but you will learn of a new answer.

And that new answer will carry you home.


Leave a comment

Day 244 – Be Vulnerable

I tell you, bring me your finest
All that you have to offer
Give me your life’s worth
And everything I need to prosper

Provide me with plenty
Of meals to satisfy a hunger
Take pride but give me patience
For you’ll lose hours of your slumber

Disregard my persistence
This invasive interview
This is not mere jealousy
It is my fixation with only you

I tell you, you must bring me your finest
All that you own and more
Because if you do not surrender fully
You might as well walk out the door


Leave a comment

Day 242 – Beyond Shadows

I was the one you always dreamed of,
You were the one I tried to draw.
How dare you say it’s nothing to me?
Baby, you’re the only light I ever saw.
-John Mayer

To be dedicated to another is more than love
In its purest form it is understanding
Boundless lifetimes of listening
The will to listen, the courage to understand
And allow your soul to shed humility.

For after earth-shattering depravity
Arises triumph of one’s inner-spirit
And to give with no expectation
Of receiving or breathing
Comes a most pleasurable reward

Not one of tremendous proportions
Nor riches, currency, and credit
Rather, an unidentifiable satisfaction
That cannot wave its flag high
As it is beyond the reaches of our atmosphere

For what is true love but self-love?
The love of acceptance of one's honesty
In order to listen and understand to one's calling
No, it is not egotistical to love you,
But with vulnerability, there will be no need to run away.