Faith In The Dark

Eventually you learn
how to feel your way in the dark. Everything looks the same,
but feel different; unlike the usual days
when all looked different yet felt the same
as if time never moved, neither space
nor you in it.


In the dark you start to remember
where you came from, before your mother
heard you cry
(you sounded like a child who had strong opinions
and an abundance of tears
and something resembling the other side of the gate.)
It feels cathartic, like redemption
from an opportunity unchosen
where you make the best of it.


There is an unspoken word of grace
when you bow down on your knees, and legs,
your forehead touching the cold floor,
your heart shaking as if every beat were a prayer
that would somehow be answered, as if
your faith had been restored.


It still worries you that if you didn’t believe enough
god wouldn’t hear your voice, and how sad would that be – to carry a voice unheard,
an identity unbeknownst,
a lifetime unchanged
by a power larger than yourself
manifesting itself in so many ways
even your darkest doubts gradually turned into beliefs.

(October 21, 2018)

The pains of my being

I feel that everything I’ve ever done goes into the flow that would keep bringing me down the stream, that one day I’ll reunite with the ocean of my truth, my being, my permanent impermanence.

I feel that this life, with all its trials and tribulations, can still embrace me with a tenderness that moves anger to tears. Can I be angry and still be loved? And still be able to love? And not wanting anything back but candor and fairness?

There are no eyes in parts of the woods. I can stand there and listen to the trees. They speak the same language, one that is written in its own meanings, allowing no deceit. They tell me what I will have always known. When I weep, they hold me with the same winds that make their leaves sing.

I sometimes break myself apart in order to put it back into another order of my choosing. Or at least what feels more like a choice I am free to make. Freedom, in this world, is still relative. It exists within boundaries that are a bit wider than the last ones that I grew out of. As I keep on growing, I am yearning for a larger container, like how my plants tell me when they need bigger homes to accommodate their thriving roots. The bigger the roots grow, the deeper and wider the containers or the holes in the soil need to be — to have more of the earth, to become more one with the earth.

Whatever one’s personhood entails, it goes beyond a list. Yet sometimes there are attempts to break it down into bulletpoints, because everything is easier when you look at its parts rather than the whole, which is always larger than the sum of its parts. How do you define a person?

“Who are you?”

“I am.”

That’s all there is.

All there is, is a world in which I am, you are, we are.

did you?

did you walk on this earth five hundred years ago?
did you hear the voices of the ancestors?
did you taste the sweat from long journeys across the continents?
did you write the words that would later be misinterpreted?

did you ask questions because the answers were never enough?
did you assemble your own truth among others’ lies?
did you look for the things you could never find?
did you meet those you were always meant to meet?

did you say anything you truly meant?
did you do everything you could ever do when you said you did?
did you believe enough to take a leap of faith?
did you see in your heart that which resembled a heart?

did you seek to be understood or be loved?
did you feel what it was like to have said goodbye without knowing it?
did you realize the way everything turned into something exactly the same?
did you know that you too one day would become someone different?

did you love because love was all you could ever do?
did you hate because love was all you had given away?
did you know there would always be another way?
did you understand the meaning of that moment that day?

dreamed

not a dream – when words fall down, and the curtain closes:
hands reach out to find only remnants of days
from many nights ago, when breath used to be faster
like that of a monster being chased after
by one yet even bigger, scarier,
calling out in whispers, “wait
for me –”

Time Witnesses

What a time, what a time
to watch the world change
day by day, number by number,
name by name, one of which
can be yours, any moment now,
and yet the heart stops
even when it isn’t, because every life
matters, in a world where nothing seems
the same. A ‘new normal’ is deemed
to happen, either a promise
or a warning. Wherever the eyes land
there are masks, and gloves,
and sometimes the absence of such:
so much meaning behind
objects, so much on the line
every time we choose to walk outside
in search of the normalcy we used to have.

What a time, what a time
to be alive, to grieve over those who have died,
those who are dying, those who are struggling,
those who are taking care of others,
those who are being taken care of;
to grieve over ourselves
as part of a wave
that has taken over this island earth.

This is not an ode, but rather a moment of quietness
in which I think about you, and me, and us,
and where we are going from here,
how we are leaving from here,
what we are becoming from here.
And I see nothing but hope, among it all,
so much hope, because more than anything
we have shown love and strength
and watch the air cleared up and the birds come up and sing every morning
and the neighbors and friends asking one another,
“how are you doing?”, this time really mean it,
unlike any time when it was but a passing social note
having faded just as quickly as it had appeared.

What a time, what a time
to be witnesses to time, to where history happens to have us,
and to an opportunity to reveal what must be changed
for life to sustain, for our children to thrive in the world,
for our fellow human beings to safely come together
for a long, long hug.

Let Me Remember You

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Let me remember you
even long after our time has passed
and our wisdom turned into dust
along with us. Let memories
stay among themselves on the pages
that preserve your words, and mine,
in silence, while our emotions
are so fiery they would make anyone
blush. Do you remember
when I said I forgot
everything? I did, but these letters
keep my mind awake.
It won’t be long
before we too will become the trees
from which this paper is made,
be inked upon, and thus become
somebody else’s memories –
isn’t that great? That you and I
will not only be forever, but we
get to immerse ourselves
into the multitudes of others?
I am so grateful
that this time around
once again
I get to meet you.

Intimacy

Even in the coldest days across this city
he has a warmth that you can seek
even when his bones are cold.
You have a warmth that only comes out of your skin for him
You reach across the pillow
and touch his smile;
he draws you in
until it touches yours

Is this love? Many a time you’ve asked.
It’s not a question needing an answer
but more its source. Why do you wonder
when this feels so good, so much better
than anything you felt before
or anyone has ever brought your way
and put down long enough to convince you
that they are here to stay
that not every lover will eventually leave.

If this is love, then you love him,
in a way that no one ever loved you.
You begin to feel
that sense of solidness,
in which you can close your eyes,
and there he will be, in the very darkness of your soul
lighting it up.
And if you call his name the universe will respond
bringing you a warmth
you can count on
even in the coldest of days
and nights

Little did you know

Little did you know that you would think of all those days, one day, when the sun finally came out, and everyone was gathering ’round the street performers singing “there will be an answer – let it be” – this would be the moment when suddenly you realized the answer, or better, the question, and in that very same moment, already let it go.

acquaintance

we made acquaintance
in this remembering, and forgetting,
and unforgiving
of the unjust treatment of the heart,
its irregular beats, to a rhythm that did not exist
until you walked into my life – i took you in
but you got afraid –
of our mutual vulnerability, so you ran –
and for what? an ounce of safety? (or, the illusion of),
or the mistaken belief that us splitting apart
would bring forth the peace which we once searched
in one another?
what do you hear
in the concave footsteps you had left,
taking that terrible moment of tenderness
away from me, away from us,
away from when you needed me most?

The Right Side of Humanity

We are of striking similarities
underneath all the differences
in how we look, of remarkable uniqueness
across these things we share in common.

The language you use to access your emotions
speaks to the way I, too, have felt
where we’ve witnessed the beautiful, the unspeakable, the terrible, the sublime,
the realities of others popped up against ours,
and the truth we know to exist, the fundamental truth
of who we are, as a species on Earth, cohabiting, co-creating, co-observing
among others,
yet destroying – all by ourselves –
the very things that make us human
that make this world your world, my world,
a place where we only stay for a time
when we have a lease on life,
from which we will leave with nothing,
not even fame, which only lasts
for as long as history lasts.

And who writes history but the immortal,
those who aren’t always willing to let go,
as the current of time inevitably progresses?

We are all immigrants
from one life to another.
We cannot be banned from time,
from the nature of life, and death.
Nor can anyone resist
the natural order of things
always looking to restore themselves toward balance.

Power, possessions, privilege
are only means to and by-products of anything that is ever worth it.
If you have forgotten that, don’t you remember
the love you might have for your own family,
and friends, and whomever you choose to love,
the happiness you wish upon their hearts and faces,
and the pure joy of a beautiful child
who just learned how to crawl this earth
for the very first time?

We want that too.
We want our families and friends to unite
We want to discover the grand beauty of this world and life
We want to communicate and understand and connect and love our brothers and sisters
regardless of, and given, the many ways we write our words, shape our cultures, embrace our gods,
because the human race is one
and this planet is one
and the universe is one
in our inextricable connectedness, our diversity,
and our desires for life, liberty,
and the pursuit of utmost happiness.

Live with love.
Think with love.
Lead with love.
There is always a path away from hate,
anger, or fear.
It is never too late
to be on the right side of humanity.