I’ve been running a mile
non-stop for a while. The exhaustion
is like scattering, escaping
with no trajectory. Circles and
spirals, dips and laborious climbs.
Patterns with no discernible
uniformity, just even shapelessness.

To take form, to move with
thoughts that swirl around you, like
birds of different feathers
in a never-ending rice field. The rumbling
noise of your machinery is the only
thing leading the flock. They ought to stop.

When the thoughts move
again, they fall into a file. When you
settle like a kettle, on
a stove, they flutter into discourse with
the treatise they can’t assuage. Why
not? Recover. The ducks will tell you, that
it’s just all luck.


Photo: Rice Field, Biñan Laguna, Philippines (February 2019)

Acid Dreams

Sometimes it’s about being left behind, by a bus that leaves for a field trip, or by the only plane that can take you home.

Sometimes it’s a crowd in a football stadium, frowning and pointing at you as you stand naked on the field.

Sometimes it’s about an accident, driving blindly in the dark, and running over a woman crossing the street.

Sometimes it’s everybody recognizing your face, knowing you’re the person who ran over the war hero, and mother of six.

Sometimes it’s a family reunion, relatives asking if you’re proud of yourself, eyes filling every inch of your vision.

Sometimes it’s the immortal woman in red, chasing you with a sinister smile and a long knife in her hand.

Sometimes it’s just yourself, floating in a cold and empty ocean. Screaming with no voice, breathing with no air.

You wake up at the ungodly hour, your stomach churning, your mind returning. It’s just another night. What a sad thing to get used to.

You try to go back to sleep, but you shuffle until the night is gone, and you wonder when you will ever feel safe again in the arms of a sweet surrender.

Our Destinations

We walked into the forest,
and talked about how different it was,
compared to the jungle of city lights.

The woods, the path, and song of birds,
are unlike winding jammed up roads.
We move from dwellings to packs we load,
supposedly to find the nature of our own.

We follow the strides of our consistent feet,
with aches we decided was taking a toll.
But since there was no route to begin with,
we discover the quest has an infinite string.

I wish that the compass would point back to home,
but even the maps don’t know which way to go.
We stumble on a clearing, and there we laid,
and think that maybe we’re finally saved.

Travel was no longer the movement we made,
our feet relieved from their daily pain.
But now the hands must continue the work,
for the journey is no longer on the road.

Forward was suddenly moving upward,
and walking turned to piling up stones.
We talked again about how different it was,
compared to the forest, and nature’s choir.

The packs, the compass, and maps we own,
now hang on the hooks of the walls we loan.
Soon the names we make from our branch,
will pick up these tools and kiss us goodbye.

And on that day we’ll talk again,
hold each other’s hands,
as the arrow points to the ground.


I wonder why anyone
would ever want to leave,

this encasement for
the fragile system of beats.

The sheets wrap
around the tenuous winds,

a veil that hangs
to hold the smokescreen.

Hush now, and listen,
they are always on the prowl.

They step imperceptibly,
to pounce unannounced.

Soon the pieces
will find their fit.

Until then I pray,
for the hands to let me stay.




For all I know, you could be waiting for me, to make the first move, and meet you at the scene. To sit, exchange wit, and sip wine in between bouts of laughter. My hand wanders from the fork to your fingers, and put you under the scrutiny of my gaze. I love the way you pull away and cross your arms. And I love the way you surrender them when I ask you to give them back. My skin, my lips, my surplus of things, they await your call at the end of the receiver. But after all this time, you still haven’t said it, and the words I dream, unspoken in my head. Locked away in wild imaginings, my desire, a spark thrown in wet kindlings. Unable to catch fire, the light is but a flash, momentary and swiftly gone. A photograph kept in a box of made up histories, and not for long, it too will be forgotten, along with all the memories of what could have been.

In search of ground

I was there.
And fell again.
A broken floor caved in and I sunk into the dark.
Like a switch that clicked, the light has gone.
That’s how it is when you haven’t hit the bottom,
living every day in anticipation of the fall.
Always in fear of not knowing how deep the next one is going to be,
and how much the impact is going to hurt,
when you fall into nothing more than just another platform.

Loud thoughts

What are we without the noises?
Without the wailing of a baby?
Without the panting of a runner?
What are we without the incessant chatter?
Just silence and emptiness
And maybe patience and independence
We wait for someone to make a sound
Someone to smile and say hello
And then the world becomes loud again
We run away from each other to find silence
And in that silence, we find that all we need is each other
So we shuffle from busy offices to solemn places of worship
From blaring streets to calm lakesides
From a raucous market to a warm bed
In stillness we find self-awareness
And in noises we find expression