Four Seasons in Canada (Poems and Letters, 2003-2004): Winter Poems & Letters
Despite the materials for it being already complete, Volume Three: Summer Poems & Letters had to give way to another book I wanted to finish, Engkanto: A Bestiary of Philippine Mythical Beings Book One: Bantay-Katubigan, which should have actually been done already but, perfectionist-to-a-fault as I usually am when it comes to my literary works, I've decided to delay it so I can add at least three short tales (featuring the adventures of a sirenito named Traydon [the real owner of the Engkanto's Book One]), which will animate the featured mythical being--the Bantay-Katubigan (Philippine aquatic fairies), specifically the sirena'o (Philippine merfolk) and the syokoy (Philippine locathahs).
Volume Four: Autumn Poems & Letters is in the making, since Fall is yet to give way to another Winter.
Anyway, for the benefit of not only my friends--so they can have a glimpse of the books I hope to publish and see in print someday--but also of myself, so I may be inspired by the comments of the same friends, thus giving me sparks of inspiration to double-time my writing, I hereby feature on my blog site excerpts of the books I'm blabbering about.
Here are six poems from Volume One: Winter Poems & Letters of my book Four Seasons in Canada (Poems and Letters, 2003-2004):
Winter usually evokes a feeling of awe especially in children and the young at heart--what with the spectacle of such purity and pristine glow of snow. The thought of snowflakes falling from the sky will perhaps curve dreamy smiles on the faces of people who are yet to experience a Winter day. Unfortunately for me, however, many a cold Winter day and night had been gloomy, not because I failed to touch the smoothness and softness of snow when it fell fey but because my loved ones are from me so many miles away. Thus, Winter, instead of delighting me through and through, stabbed my heart with sadness and wounded it with yearning to return to where my thoughts always dwell--home.
Inevitably, Winter provoked my poetic pen to bleed profusely yet again.
“Save your dreams
for the Spring that comes off that Winter.”
--Joe Pintauro, Kites at Empty Airports
The Prodigal Poet
I’ve abandoned her for quite a while—six long years to be precise
But now I’m back! I’m back within her cuddling guise
I’ve been so blind on many Lindar nights
So deaf to hear even the sound of flickering lights
Or even mute to utter silence-shattering words
Wrought from thoughts that conjure a thousand lonely worlds
Was it loss of inspiration or of my treasury of words?
Or, perhaps, of imagination; or because I journeyed other literary worlds
Of myths and mores and other sheathless swords?
But now I’m back, I’m back nestled in her embracing fjords
I dip my quill and yet again
Skate it intricately on the paper’s white-
Ness Of softness Slide! on smoothness with elegant phrase
My cursive hand glides—what a sight!—across the surface
With the splotch of ink I now intend
To indite whatever words ascend
From my thought to someone else’s thought
Invoke whatever moons and suns they’d taught
But now, my Muse, I chant once more:
“Hark! I’m back!
“I’m back in lore and lust with your verses’ luck.”
- 6:30 p.m., December 4, 2003, Thursday; Surrey, British Columbia
(While listening to “Years Later” by Cactus World News, [Urban Beaches; 1986, MCA])
Cold as Snow
I used to wish for Winter days and snow
Back home, back when I was too young to know
The thought of such immaculate and enchanting sight
A wonderland where wishes beamed—so bright!
Soon, at last, the first fall of flakes has come
and awakened me on a dusky dreary morning
Silent little feathery bits of immaculate falling
from the sky above Gently kissing
the damp green grasses below in aplomb
Child-eyed, full of awe, I hurried and opened the windowpane
There I stood and stared, then smacked on the face
By the sudden whip of ice-cold brazen haze
I closed my eyes and felt the breeze of cold-hearted pain
And then I wondered to myself once more
Where went my smile? Oh, it was killed!
It flew against my will
The smile I kept when Winter was still a lore
Are wishes grand only when they’re still
deep in our hearts and unfulfilled?
Another whip of Winter breeze has lashed my face
Right there and then, in a faint wintry morning daze
At last, I witnessed my first-ever sight of wished-for snow
Alas! It turned my heart into something as cold as floe
O Cold! So cold! Because I was so far away from home
The mirth for a wish-come-true was gobbled by a winter gnome
So now, how could I wish again for the return of snow
When home’s the only wish that sets my heart aglow?
- 10:15 p.m., December 4, 2003, Thursday; Surrey, British Columbia
(While listening to “Life in a Northern Town” by The Dream Academy [The Dream Academy; 1985, Warner Bros.])
(To Elena, the first to assure that many others suffer a similar fate)
Every night at the same time
I find myself nestled in my bed—my eggshell
In the lamplighted nook of my bedroom—my nest
Thinking of everything and nothing at best
My glorious past is flashing back like a spell Sublime!
In my mind in my head Is there anything else I can do
Other than listen to these bittersweet songs anew?
I’m jaded and out of bliss
How much longer can I endure this?
Will I reach the end of this tunnel
Unscathed and once again spirituel?
Will I emerge after all still whole
A stronger person, a better Soul?
When days no longer differ from one another
I wonder if there are many others
Who suffer a similar fate
And begin to lose their faith
Sucked into oblivion into some unwished-for plight
And all I can do is languish in this forlorn mental flight
- 1:45 a.m., December 15, 2003, Monday; Surrey, British Columbia
(While listening to “The Ghost in You” by Counting Crows [Clueless OST; 1995, Capitol)
Finally, I Touched the Sky
I used to write poems about the snow
The whiteness the purity
Immaculate oh how it percolated my throe!
But now I’ve realized they were half-lies
Well, at least, in my own guise
Pretentious me oh I succumbed to Vanity!
For how could I have written about the snow
When I hadn’t even touched its glow?
But that Saturday, my Muse bestowed me another chance
To weave something about the jaded snow
And this time, believe me, I was in silent lucidity
For I beheld its fall in nonchalance and woe, not in revelry
Morning came, outside the window-
Pane Silent cottons of feather-bits a-flow Pain!
From the sky above to the ground below
Kissing the waiting grasses ever so slow
O smooth o smooth-
Ness silent and white
West! I never thought it could be so bright
Less than love o loveli
Ness so soft and light
Towards the windowpane I sauntered
Slowly and opened it bliss-
Fully a chilly breeze embraced my skin
O how I wished I was with my closest kin
I just closed my eyes and let my soul fly free
A vague smile on my lips uttered unmistakably
Mustering words that said: “Finally, I touched the sky.”
I finally touched feathery bits of the unreachable sky
- 7:20 p.m., December 4, 2003, Thursday; Surrey, British Columbia
(While listening to “The Sun Always Shines on TV” by a-ha [Hunting High and Low;
1985, Warner Bros.])
Sorrow in Lieu of the Snow
Suddenly the child in me about came prancing
When against the windowpane one morning
Snowflakes started to patter
Delightedly my lips did mutter
“At last! It did finally embrace me—
“The scent and softness of Winter potpourri.”
I never imagined upon waking
Trinkets of white would do the greeting
On my lips, however, were only half-smiles
For the loves of my life were far away a thousand miles
So the enchantment summoned by Winter that morning
Waned and was replaced slowly with sorrow and with yearning
To return to where my thoughts always dwell—home
- February 20, 2004, Friday; Surrey, British Columbia
(While listening to “Home and Dry” by Pet Shop Boys [Release; 2002, EMI])
After the Snow
As long as there is
Winter there is
A reason to dream
Gloomy and sad
These days and
Nights may seem
A snowball of sorrowful
Sure to melt
Into a palmful
Full of memories
After the snow
- January 12, 2004, Monday; Surrey, British Columbia
(While listening to “Hands Across the Sea” by Modern English [Ricochet Days; 1984, Sire])