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April 15, 2007

Across the Ocean

Tags: Poems — 1:01 am Comments (0)

Across the Ocean

Have you seen me in your dreams
in your memory, that time
when you and I were the only
two people left.
It was time to go you said
I could have stayed forever.

Where are you from,
I know you from somewhere,
We could not have just met
four hundred years ago
twenty years from yesterday
I touch your lips
and still you tell me to leave.

How can I not love your eyes
that let me look across the ocean
I was there with you then
you have seen me before.
My fingers across your skin
barely touching you
holding you like a flower holds a branch.
This time you stay, you said.
From the moment we met,
I never left.



April 2, 2007

Someday

Tags: Poems — 10:59 pm Comments (1)

Someday

One day, there will be more somedays.
The somedays when the sun kisses your skin
the cherry blossoms shade your path
and all the world hears my heart beat
with the anticipation of Spring.

The somedays when the bronze lion and heroes glisten
flowers even those that don’t usually bloom greet us
in orange and violet and red and pink and blue
a park bench in the middle of the world and an embrace
of rough hands strolling through a park.

The somedays with the blackest coffee or one spiked
with chocolates and almonds,
just enough dessert where old photos smile at us
the right amount of smiles and the right amount of laughter.

The somedays when the stories unfold of fathers and mothers,
how bees carry honey and the burdens of butterflies
whose song fades in the air where we both hear that
one day, there will be more somedays.



April 14, 2006

Tonight I Can Write

Tags: Poems — 10:25 pm Comments (0)

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

Write, for example, ‘The night is starry
and the stars are blue and shiver in the distance.’

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

Through nights like this one I held her in my arms.
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

She loved me, sometimes I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.

To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.

What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
The night is starry and she is not with me.

This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

My sight tries to find her as though to bring her closer.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.

The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.

I no longer love her, that’s certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.

Another’s. She will be another’s. As she was before my kisses.
Her voice, her bright body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, that’s certain, but maybe I love her.
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her.

– Pablo Neruda, W.S Merwin translation



January 6, 2004

Ode to a Cool Sister

Tags: Poems — 9:28 am Comments (0)

Ode to a Cool Sister

Cezanne and his workshop,
two sunny eggs pierced with a fork,
at Pugsleys and “there” killer blueberry muffins
served in a red basket with a large pat of butter.

Across the country and back three many times
I knew I shouldn’t have had that pork cutlet
and that cheddar cheese ice cream with corn bits.

An educated fool with money on my mind.
It didn’t work out with me an your mom.
Bonjour tous le monde, bonjour. Wait,
I don’t speak French. Or do I.
To the East Fabrice. To the tire swings we’ll meet.

Those coupons are expired. Fuck, shit,
why don’t you go read a book. And while “your”
at it, get me some pudding. And a pair of Doc Martens
with some clotted cream. Is it soft? Peut-�tre.

Victoria Falls, Turkey, Israel, Thailand,
well I’ve been to South Carolina, Myrtle Beach
Damn it, I need to rest. Can you wait?
I’m scared. There are no handrails at the steps
of Rome. Suck it up ‘ol man. So how many toes
do you have?

Some birds aren’t meant to be caged while some birds
vanish like a fart in the wind. Get busy living. Wish
I could come with you. You’re only 34. I think.



December 11, 2002

sometimes

Tags: Poems — 4:41 pm Comments (1)

Sometimes

Sometimes things don’t go, after all,
from bad to worse. Some years, muscadel faces down frost;
green thrives; the crops don’t fail.
Sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.

A people sometimes will step back from war,
elect an honest man, decide they care
enough, that they can’t leave some stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for.

Sometimes our best intentions do not go
amiss; sometimes we do as we meant to.
The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
that seemed hard frozen; may it happen to you.

–Sheenagh Pugh



October 7, 2000

Sunshine

Tags: Poems — 4:44 pm Comments (0)

In the middle of
a chilly-warm Spring downpour,
he blossoms
tall and eagle-eyed in the sky
raining sol onto my skin,
petals of light, licking
the cold bottoms of my feet,
warmth that rises
to heat the wings that lift me up
buzzing, buzzing
near the branches of waking cherry trees.
He tickles aching buds
that burst
with joyful laughter.
His light is the loving kiss
of possession
that turns my breath
to happy song.
More priceless than still life,
precious as once-given gifts,
this sudden shower
of god-like sunshine.

– KA



cientos poemas del amor como prometí

Tags: Poems — 4:19 pm Comments (0)

Number 1

Tell me you love me because you know you do.
Rain reminds me of that night,
a struggle to say a few simple words
the rhythm of your tears on my chest matched
the rain drops on the earth.

Tell me you love me because you know you do.
I see those words etched through the shadow
of my face, behind those brown eyes
Have you not been loved before?
Don’t you know what it means?

Tell me you love me because you know you do.
The smell of you gives me comfort.
Inhale. Inhale and breathe you in so there’s nothing
left in me. Let my skin smell like you.

Tell me you love me because you know you do.
I shout for the third time. Clutching you safe.
Shaking, trusting, not knowing, out of place.
What’s the answer? What do I say?
Say nothing and he will go away. But he’s not leaving.

Tell me you love me because you know you do.
I love you. And I love you too.



Number 2

Tags: Poems — 2:53 am Comments (0)

Number 2

A basket of orchids and a poem,
not mine someone else’s words
who can honor you the way I wish I could.
Too afraid to say how I feel.

A long basket from home,
to carry three stems of cymbidium
the most fragrant I could afford.

Whispers as you stroll through the large halls
with your basket now covered
no one carries baskets anymore.



June 22, 1993

The “Risks” poem

Tags: Poems — 10:49 pm Comments (12)

Risks
To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out to another is to risk involvement.
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your dreams, ideas before a crowd is to risk their loss.
To love is risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.
To hope is to risk despair.
To try is to risk failure.

But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, and is nothing.
They may avoid suffering and sorrow, but they cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love, live.
Chained by their certitudes, they are a slave: they have forfeited their freedom.

Only a person who risks is truly free.

— Anonymous (?)

I got this poem the summer of ’93 I believe, a turning point Summer for me when I also went to the Philippines for the first time since immigrating to the US in 1981. Paper is neat, I still have my original print out from way back then.



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