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

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

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.

The "Risks" poem

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.