Monday, December 30, 2013

ARABY by James Joyce


ARABY by James Joyce

North Richmond Street, being blind, was a quiet street except at the hour when the Christian Brothers' School set the boys free. An uninhabited house of two storeys stood at the blind end, detached from its neighbours in a square ground. The other houses of the street, conscious of decent lives within them, gazed at one another with brown imperturbable faces.

The former tenant of our house, a priest, had died in the back drawing-room. Air, musty from having been long enclosed, hung in all the rooms, and the waste room behind the kitchen was littered with old useless papers. Among these I found a few paper-covered books, the pages of which were curled and damp: The Abbot, by Walter Scott, The Devout Communicant, and The Memoirs of Vidocq. I liked the last best because its leaves were yellow. The wild garden behind the house contained a central apple-tree and a few straggling bushes, under one of which I found the late tenant's rusty bicycle-pump. He had been a very charitable priest; in his will he had left all his money to institutions and the furniture of his house to his sister.

When the short days of winter came, dusk fell before we had well eaten our dinners. When we met in the street the houses had grown sombre. The space of sky above us was the colour of ever-changing violet and towards it the lamps of the street lifted their feeble lanterns. The cold air stung us and we played till our bodies glowed. Our shouts echoed in the silent street. The career of our play brought us through the dark muddy lanes behind the houses, where we ran the gauntlet of the rough tribes from the cottages, to the back doors of the dark dripping gardens where odours arose from the ashpits, to the dark odorous stables where a coachman smoothed and combed the horse or shook music from the buckled harness. When we returned to the street, light from the kitchen windows had filled the areas. If my uncle was seen turning the corner, we hid in the shadow until we had seen him safely housed. Or if Mangan's sister came out on the doorstep to call her brother in to his tea, we watched her from our shadow peer up and down the street. We waited to see whether she would remain or go in and, if she remained, we left our shadow and walked up to Mangan's steps resignedly. She was waiting for us, her figure defined by the light from the half-opened door. Her brother always teased her before he obeyed, and I stood by the railings looking at her. Her dress swung as she moved her body, and the soft rope of her hair tossed from side to side.

Every morning I lay on the floor in the front parlour watching her door. The blind was pulled down to within an inch of the sash so that I could not be seen. When she came out on the doorstep my heart leaped. I ran to the hall, seized my books and followed her. I kept her brown figure always in my eye and, when we came near the point at which our ways diverged, I quickened my pace and passed her. This happened morning after morning. I had never spoken to her, except for a few casual words, and yet her name was like a summons to all my foolish blood.

Her image accompanied me even in places the most hostile to romance. On Saturday evenings when my aunt went marketing I had to go to carry some of the parcels. We walked through the flaring streets, jostled by drunken men and bargaining women, amid the curses of labourers, the shrill litanies of shop-boys who stood on guard by the barrels of pigs' cheeks, the nasal chanting of street-singers, who sang a come-all-you about O'Donovan Rossa, or a ballad about the troubles in our native land. These noises converged in a single sensation of life for me: I imagined that I bore my chalice safely through a throng of foes. Her name sprang to my lips at moments in strange prayers and praises which I myself did not understand. My eyes were often full of tears (I could not tell why) and at times a flood from my heart seemed to pour itself out into my bosom. I thought little of the future. I did not know whether I would ever speak to her or not or, if I spoke to her, how I could tell her of my confused adoration. But my body was like a harp and her words and gestures were like fingers running upon the wires.

One evening I went into the back drawing-room in which the priest had died. It was a dark rainy evening and there was no sound in the house. Through one of the broken panes I heard the rain impinge upon the earth, the fine incessant needles of water playing in the sodden beds. Some distant lamp or lighted window gleamed below me. I was thankful that I could see so little. All my senses seemed to desire to veil themselves and, feeling that I was about to slip from them, I pressed the palms of my hands together until they trembled, murmuring: 'O love! O love!' many times.

At last she spoke to me. When she addressed the first words to me I was so confused that I did not know what to answer. She asked me was I going to Araby. I forgot whether I answered yes or no. It would be a splendid bazaar; she said she would love to go.

'And why can't you?' I asked.

While she spoke she turned a silver bracelet round and round her wrist. She could not go, she said, because there would be a retreat that week in her convent. Her brother and two other boys were fighting for their caps, and I was alone at the railings. She held one of the spikes, bowing her head towards me. The light from the lamp opposite our door caught the white curve of her neck, lit up her hair that rested there and, falling, lit up the hand upon the railing. It fell over one side of her dress and caught the white border of a petticoat, just visible as she stood at ease.

'It's well for you,' she said.

'If I go,' I said, 'I will bring you something.'

What innumerable follies laid waste my waking and sleeping thoughts after that evening! I wished to annihilate the tedious intervening days. I chafed against the work of school. At night in my bedroom and by day in the classroom her image came between me and the page I strove to read. The syllables of the word Araby were called to me through the silence in which my soul luxuriated and cast an Eastern enchantment over me. I asked for leave to go to the bazaar on Saturday night. My aunt was surprised, and hoped it was not some Freemason affair. I answered few questions in class. I watched my master's face pass from amiability to sternness; he hoped I was not beginning to idle. I could not call my wandering thoughts together. I had hardly any patience with the serious work of life which, now that it stood between me and my desire, seemed to me child's play, ugly monotonous child's play.

On Saturday morning I reminded my uncle that I wished to go to the bazaar in the evening. He was fussing at the hallstand, looking for the hat-brush, and answered me curtly:

'Yes, boy, I know.'

As he was in the hall I could not go into the front parlour and lie at the window. I felt the house in bad humour and walked slowly towards the school. The air was pitilessly raw and already my heart misgave me.

When I came home to dinner my uncle had not yet been home. Still it was early. I sat staring at the clock for some time and, when its ticking began to irritate me, I left the room. I mounted the staircase and gained the upper part of the house. The high, cold, empty, gloomy rooms liberated me and I went from room to room singing. From the front window I saw my companions playing below in the street. Their cries reached me weakened and indistinct and, leaning my forehead against the cool glass, I looked over at the dark house where she lived. I may have stood there for an hour, seeing nothing but the brown-clad figure cast by my imagination, touched discreetly by the lamplight at the curved neck, at the hand upon the railings and at the border below the dress.

When I came downstairs again I found Mrs Mercer sitting at the fire. She was an old, garrulous woman, a pawnbroker's widow, who collected used stamps for some pious purpose. I had to endure the gossip of the tea-table. The meal was prolonged beyond an hour and still my uncle did not come. Mrs Mercer stood up to go: she was sorry she couldn't wait any longer, but it was after eight o'clock and she did not like to be out late, as the night air was bad for her. When she had gone I began to walk up and down the room, clenching my fists. My aunt said:

'I'm afraid you may put off your bazaar for this night of Our Lord.'

At nine o'clock I heard my uncle's latchkey in the hall door. I heard him talking to himself and heard the hallstand rocking when it had received the weight of his overcoat. I could interpret these signs. When he was midway through his dinner I asked him to give me the money to go to the bazaar. He had forgotten.

'The people are in bed and after their first sleep now,' he said.

I did not smile. My aunt said to him energetically:

'Can't you give him the money and let him go? You've kept him late enough as it is.'

My uncle said he was very sorry he had forgotten. He said he believed in the old saying: 'All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.' He asked me where I was going and, when I told him a second time, he asked me did I know The Arab's Farewell to his Steed. When I left the kitchen he was about to recite the opening lines of the piece to my aunt.

I held a florin tightly in my hand as I strode down Buckingham Street towards the station. The sight of the streets thronged with buyers and glaring with gas recalled to me the purpose of my journey. I took my seat in a third-class carriage of a deserted train. After an intolerable delay the train moved out of the station slowly. It crept onward among ruinous houses and over the twinkling river. At Westland Row Station a crowd of people pressed to the carriage doors; but the porters moved them back, saying that it was a special train for the bazaar. I remained alone in the bare carriage. In a few minutes the train drew up beside an improvised wooden platform. I passed out on to the road and saw by the lighted dial of a clock that it was ten minutes to ten. In front of me was a large building which displayed the magical name.

I could not find any sixpenny entrance and, fearing that the bazaar would be closed, I passed in quickly through a turnstile, handing a shilling to a weary-looking man. I found myself in a big hall girded at half its height by a gallery. Nearly all the stalls were closed and the greater part of the hall was in darkness. I recognized a silence like that which pervades a church after a service. I walked into the centre of the bazaar timidly. A few people were gathered about the stalls which were still open. Before a curtain, over which the words Café Chantant were written in coloured lamps, two men were counting money on a salver. I listened to the fall of the coins.

Remembering with difficulty why I had come, I went over to one of the stalls and examined porcelain vases and flowered tea-sets. At the door of the stall a young lady was talking and laughing with two young gentlemen. I remarked their English accents and listened vaguely to their conversation.

'O, I never said such a thing!'

'O, but you did!'

'O, but I didn't!'

'Didn't she say that?'

'Yes. I heard her.'

'O, there's a... fib!'

Observing me, the young lady came over and asked me did I wish to buy anything. The tone of her voice was not encouraging; she seemed to have spoken to me out of a sense of duty. I looked humbly at the great jars that stood like eastern guards at either side of the dark entrance to the stall and murmured:

'No, thank you.'

The young lady changed the position of one of the vases and went back to the two young men. They began to talk of the same subject. Once or twice the young lady glanced at me over her shoulder.

I lingered before her stall, though I knew my stay was useless, to make my interest in her wares seem the more real. Then I turned away slowly and walked down the middle of the bazaar. I allowed the two pennies to fall against the sixpence in my pocket. I heard a voice call from one end of the gallery that the light was out. The upper part of the hall was now completely dark.

Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger.

posted by rosevoc on iwrotefiction

Friday, December 13, 2013

Ispiritu Sa Cake

Pag-aari ng pamiliyang Santos ang Bakery 1528.

Ang pamilyang Santos ay may tatlong anak. Si Mayra at Clara ay anak ni Criselda sa unang asawa, at si Diana, ang pinakabata, ay ang tunay na anak ni Domingo. Balo si Domingo. Ang ina ni Diana ang dating nagmamay-ari ng Bakery 1528.

“Tatay, ano po ba ang hulma ng cake na gagawin ko para bukas sa anniversary?”

“Bahala ka anak, basta kulay puti ang gusto ng mag-asawang Zoan.”

“Ah sige po. Marahil ay hugis puso ang gagawin ko para sa kanila.”

“Mabuti pa nga.”

“Ang arte arte mo naman, tatanong-tanong ka pa, e ikaw din pala ang sasagot sa tanong mo,” ang pasaring na bulong ni Myra.

“Ano ba ang gusto mo Ate?”

“Ewan!” Pasigaw ni Myra.

Si Clara naman ay kain ng kain ng mga panindang tinapay sa bakery, habang pinupuno ni Criselda ang plato ng iba’t – ibang masasarap na pastry at mga tinapay.

“Myra, ano ang gusto mong ipa-bake kay Diana?”

“Mommy, gusto ko po ng chocolate cake na maraming bulaklak.”

Sige anak. Hoy! Diana igawa mo nga ng chocolate cake itong mga kapatid mo!”

“Opo, Tiya.”

Kahit pagod sa pagluluto si Diana ay sunod pa rin sa nanay-nanayan. Si Diana lamang at walang katulong ang nagtatrabahao sa Bakery 1528. Minsan tinutulungan siya ni Mang Domingo.

Ngunit madalas ay siya lamang sapagkat ayaw ni Criselda na siya ay mag-amoy pugon.

Minsan nag-bake si Diana ng cake para sa kaarawan ng ama. Nakita ito ni Cirselda at ni Myra. Inggit na inggit ang mag-ina.

“Wow! Ano yan?” Tanong ni Criselda.

“Cake po para kay Tatay.”

Nginudgod ni Criselda si Diana at isinubsob ni Myra sa cake na ginawa.

Humagulhol ng malakas si Diana at sumigaw ng “Inay ko po. Nanay, Nanay!”

Nakita sila ni Clara ngunit wala naming magawa sa hindi maawat na pananakit nina Criselda at Myra.

Maya-maya umusok ang pugon. Tumunog at nag-ingay ang oven, nagsi-galaw ang mga hulmahan ng cake.

Ang ilaw ay patay-sindi, at ang icing sa mga cake ay nangagsi-tunaw.

Ang icing ay tumalsik sa mukha at dumikit kina Criselda at Myra, hanggang sa hindi sila ay tinabunang parang tinapay

“Patawad po, patawad po,” ang sigaw ni Clara.

“Inay, tama napo – bayaan ninyo na sila, bahala na ang Langit” sabi ni Diana

Nagpumilit tumayo si Criselda at Myra at takot na takot na lumabas sa bakery 1528.

Mula noon ay nagbago ang mag-ina sa pagtrato kay Diana. Ang bakery 1528 ay nagkaroon naman ng marami pang ibat-ibang cake sa tulong ng Ispirito sa cake.

/rose flores martinez, 08062006

Tuesday, December 10, 2013



Alas dose ng hatinggabi: Chat time naming ni Bruce.

Antok na ‘ko hintay ko pa rin siya. Wala kasi ‘kong lagging kausap. Ewan ko nga kung bakit ako nagityangang makipag-usap sa isang taong hindi ko pa nakikita. Feeling ko kasi, napakabait niya.

Minsan nagkaroon ako ng ga-daigdig na problema. Akala ko ‘nun magbibiti na ‘ko. Bumagsak kasi ako sa Forensic subject namin. Hiyang-hiya ako sa bahay. “Lam kasi ng lahat iskolar ako. Pero si Bruce – binigyan niya ako ng pag-asa. Hindi niya ako kinutya at hinusgahan sa nakuha kong mababang grade sa iskwela.


Ayan na si Bruce.

“How are you?” (Kumusta ka?) bungad sa ‘kin.

“I’m good.” (Mabuti ako.) And you? (Ikaw?)

Ganyan kami mag-usap ni Bruce.

Amerikano si Bruce kaya “speaking in dollars kami. Tuwing chat time namin, okay lang ako ng okay kasi hindi ako masyadong magaling sa Ingles – tapos tamad pa akong magsulat … Pero, feel ko si Bruce.

Ikinukuwento ko siya sa aking mga kaibigan. Sabi nila, nasisiraan na raw ako ng bait kasi, baka manloloko raw ‘yun tapos hindi ko naman kilala at nagtitiwala ako.

Hindi ba uso na ngayon and internet? “yung iba nga sa internet nakakahanap ng trabaho, ng mga nawawalang kaklase, at ‘yung iba nga – asawa pa ang nahahanap.

Nakita ko ang litrato ni Bruce, okay lang. Matangkad at luntian ang mga mata. Parang X-men. Kung. Kung bakit hanging sa internet, sa mata pa rin ako nakatutok. Nag-save ako sa PC ko ng litrato niya para lagi ko siyang naaalala kasi kaibigan ko siya. Tanging kaibigan.

SI Bruce din raw – may printed na litrato ko sa kanyang wallet, syempre sa PC din niya.

Tuwing mag-uusap kami sinasabi ko sa kanyang “take care” at “God bless.” Tuwang tuwa siya sa akin kasi raw, mabait ako. Heheheh – kung alam lang niya na ako ay suplapda. Takot nga sa akin ang mga lalaki, kahit ang mga kaklase kong magpupulis.

At siya naman sugar ang tawag sa akin. Wow ang sweet! Pwede rin pala akong maging pusong babae at sweet. Minsan may itinanong siya sa akin at sinagot ko naman siya ng walang pasumbali – noon, parang nakadama ako ng pag-ibig.

Mula noon si Bruce na ang aking araw at gabi.

Ganito pala ang bagong teknologi. Sa isip lang- kaintindihan na. Walang malisya si Bruce, kaya nga, minahal ko na yata siya ng totohanan. Hangang sa natapos ako sa kolehiyo ng walang boyfriend.

Minsan habang ako ay kumakain ng donut, alas diyes pa lamang ng gabi kumalantog ang PC ko. Sa isip ko baka may dumagan. Tiningnan ko ang paligid, wala naman. Itinuloy ko ang pagkain ng aking donut.

Naku! Ang PC ko parang nag-spark … Naisip kong bigla si Bruce.

Mag-oonline na nga ‘ko.

Maaga pa, pero … ‘Yun connected na.

Nag-surf ako sa internet – ano ba at puro ospital ang lumalabas sa screen. Search ako, at ‘yun pa ring mga ospital ang nasa monitor.

Pero sige, magbabasa na lang ako tungkol sa Forensic subject naming. Naghintay ako ng alas dose para sa chat time naming ni Bruce. Miss ko na tuloy si Bruce.

Ngunit, alas dose na wala pa siya.

Naghintay ako hanggang ala-una.

Hangang alas dos pa.

Ewan, inaantok na ‘ko. Pero parang matindi ang aking lungkot.

Ayan! Ringggg, si Bruce tumatawag.

Sa kabilang linya – “Sorry,” ang sabi ng tinig. Pagkatapos nawala si Bruce.

May email na dumating sa akin. Sulat galling kay Bruce, pirma ng Mommy niya. Patay na raw si Bruce, dinala nila sa ospital dahil sa asthma attack kaninang umaga.

Copyright Rose Flores – Martinez, August 12, 2006
/published 10.7.2009

Sunday, December 8, 2013

December 9. Sa Gulod ng Makiling

Sa Gulod ng Makiling

Sa gulod ng Makiling ay maraming kakakibang bulaklak. Mala-bahaghari ang mga kulay nito, at iba’t ibang klase ang mga bulaklak. Ang kuwento ng mga taga-makiling ay may matandang maputi ang buhok na nagdidilig ng mga bulaklak tuwing hatinggabi.

Minsan may isang dalagang pumitas ng abuhing makintab na mga rosas. Ibinigay raw ito ng dalaga sa Nanay niyang may sakit. Gumaling ang Nanay. Ang pinag-pitasan ng mga abuhing rosas ay nagkaroon pa ng maraming suloy at mga sanga.

Tuwang-tuwang raw ang matandang sa gulod.

Minsan naman ay isang bata ang kumuha ng mga orchids para ipalamuti sa grotto ni Santa Maria sa kanilang bahay. Umusbong raw sa paligid ng bakuran ang mga orchids. Tuwang-tuwa uli ang matanda at lalong walang patid ang pagdidilig gabi-gabi. Marami raw ang nakakakita sa ibayong pagdidilig ng matanda na mga taga-Makiling.

Takot lamang silang lumapit dahil kapag nagdidilig raw ang matanda ay madulas sa gulod at may napipilayan sa pagkakadapa. Nahihirapang makalakad muli.

Ngunit minsan isang hapon ay may isang binatang dayuhang pumitas ng mga bulaklak at inialay sa isang kasintahang dalaga. Ang pinagpitasan raw nito ay nangamatay. Bumaho raw ang paligid ng isang araw. Ang dalagang pinagbigyan ay nagka-sakit ay namatay ng tuluyan. Ang dahilan: Hindi nagging tapat ang binata sa dalaga. Hindi nila alam ang nangyari sa binata at may balitang nawala siya sa kanilang tirahan.

Kaya ingat na ingat ang mga taga-Makiling pumitas ng mga bulaklak sa gulod sapagkat magkamali raw ng pagbibigyan o ang magibibgay ay may kasamang mahigpit na babala ang matandang nagdidilig gabi-gabi.

Nag-usyoso ako sa gulod. Sinubukan kong pumitas ng isang malusog at kaakit-akit na bulaklak. Naghintay ako ng dilim, wala naming tao. Marami pa akong pinitas, para akong namili galing Baguio o Dangwa.

Itinanim ko sa bahay ampunan ng mga madre ang ibang sanga. Sabi sa bahay ampunan lumago raw ang mga itinanim na bulaklak at inaalagaang mabuti ng mga bata. Pagbalik ko sa gulod nakita ko ang pinagkunang lalong sagana sa bulaklak. Totoong ngang nakabungad ang kumpol kumpol na mga bulaklak at maraming basang damit sa gilid. Kinuha ko ang ilang damit. Dinala ko sa mga madre. At simula noon tuluyang nawala na raw ang matanda sa gulod.

Aug 18, 2006
copyright Rose Flores - Martinez
revised 11.19.2009

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Motive For Metaphor

December 7. Mata Sa Bintana

Mata Sa Bintana

Sabi ng katulong naming si Ate Liza, kapag hindi raw ako natulog ng maaga ay may dudungaw sa bintanang mga mata.

Sino? Mata ba ni Spiderman o mata ni Bubbles ng Power Puff?

“Hindi raw nakakatawa dahil mga mata raw ng White Lady.”

Sa bahay kasi, laging pinagbibintangan ang White Lady, dahil sa White Lady… Minsan naawa na ako sa White Lady. Siguro kung makapagssasalita lang siya, lagot silang lahat. Ako lang ang kaibigna ng White Lady.

Minsan, nawala ang pera ni Tiya Azon, at wala naming pumasok na ibang tao sa bahay. Nag-usap usap sila.

Sino ang kumuha? Wala naman, may nagtago raw.

Pagkapos isang gabi sabi ni Tiya Azon may isang babaeng mahaba ang buhok sa paanan ng kanyang kama. Mala-rosas ang mga mata, na gustong makipagti-titigan, sabay naglahong mabilis. Nakatinging raw sa kay Tiya Azon. Kung ganon hindi lamang kami ang nakatira sa bahay. Mabuti malaki ang bahay dahil pati ang White Lady at ang kanyang pamilya ay may magandang tirahan. Lumaki ako sa ganitong kapaligiran.

Isang gabi tumitingin ako sa album ni Tiya Aon. Naramdaman kong malamig at mainit sa silid niya. Nag-jacket ako, pag-katapos hinubad itong muli para buksan ang electric fan.

Binalikan ko ang mga larawan at nakita kong ito ay nasa ilalim nang kama at wala na sa tabi ko.

Ininilipad ba ito ng electric fan?

“Ate Liza” matututlog na ako. Halika at samahan mo akong matulog.”

Mula noon, abot langit ang aking dasal para sa mga kaluluwa, para sa maga ispiritu, para sa mga White Lady. Marahil sa takot.

Bilog ang buwan. Sa azoteya ako nakatulog – nanaginip ako, may mata sa azoteya. Ityon na yata ang sinasabi ni Ate Liza…

.Umusok sa paligid ng itim, , may malaking mama, walang mukha. Hindi ako makahinga, wari’y ungol ng ungol para magising. Alam ko ako’y natutulog, alam ko ako ay binbangungot.

Kahit sa pikit kong mga mata at tulog na katawan, sa aking isip ako ay gising. Paulit-ulit kong dinasal ang Aba Ginoong Maria at isinigaw ang Lord! Jesus! Jesus!

Dito bumalikwas ako sa gising. Parang sinuntok ng malakas at naglaho ang maitim na mama sa aking panaginip.

Wala nang mata sa bintana.

Wala na ang White Lady.

Marahil kung ano man ang kailangan nila dito sa aming bhay, hindi ko alam – at hindi na importante.

Ang sabi ko sa aking mga kasambahay, kay Tiya Azon, at kay Ate Liza ay magdasal sila, ipagdasal ang mga taong hindi natin nakikita. Dasal ang kailangan ng mga mata sa bintana. Dasal ang kailangan nating lahat.

copyright rose flores martinez
revised 11.19.2009

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Imagine Dragons

On December 6. The Miracle


By Rosalinda Flores and Ben Crisp

The coffee was still too hot, so I cradled the foam cup between my knees and lit my last cigarette.

My last ever, I promised myself, as I had done the day before.

The park was mostly empty. The sun had not yet crept above the horizon, to burn the dirty greyness from the dawn sky, and it would be at least an hour before the rest of the city left the their homes to brave another miserable taglamig day outside.

There had been reports of another journalist shot in Manila. I had long grown used to such news, acknowledging it with a kind of postured indifference that my ex-girlfriend had found no comfort in. It didn’t matter to her that I was relegated to the smallest sections of the sports pages; I was white, and besides, could not an outraged sports fan be just as violent as a vengeful gangster or deranged terrorist? She was probably right. Still, I found comfort in my own sense of insignificance. Speaking barely a word of Filipino, and – some had argued – only just enough English to get by, I would never rise to the ranks of martyrdom like my braver, more talented brethren. I may have been white, but with no money, no connections and no friends I was worth nothing to anyone.

A familiar figure appeared from behind the trees that formed the arched entrance to the park. She always wore yellow dresses, or perhaps the same yellow dress, that danced beneath her knees. She was pretty, or at least she gave an impression of prettiness from across a distance too far to know for sure. She meandered, indecisive, between the benches scattered beneath pines that brushed the air in the morning breeze, before choosing the one she always chose.

It faced the statue of the Madonna that stood upon a plinth in the centre of a small pond. It was a simple carving, as they all were; achieving no greatness in aesthetic or skill. The virgin’s head tilted to one side, serenely, eyes opened wide and her hands stretched out in blessing - not, as it had always appeared to me, shrugging as if to say: what?

To the pinay in her yellow dress she was captivating. She sat before the statue, alternating between long, lingering stares and moments with head bowed, eyes closed, I guessed, though I was too far away to know.

I sipped my coffee and watched her watching the Madonna, killing time as I waited for my day to begin.

There was no place to go, but here.

I was raging as always, to imperfections. As such, at least, be perfect in front of this holy woman.

Something stirred into my memory, while I uttered chants I couldn’t even understand. So, this holy woman people called their mother, and the Catholics believed to be the mother of Christ, had always stunned me. No, she did not stun me like ghosts scared, but her benevolence scared my sins and inspired me to hope. At least, in this way, I could re-organize my undecided life.

At least, I’d be prim in front of her, confident in front of her; complete. Apart from my whoring affairs to get money, I wished some guy would come back for me, as my yellow dress meant waiting.

In a few weeks, my boyfriend, a married man, would decide whether to marry me and annul their marriage, or leave me for his wife. Of all the men in my life, I just got into material quests so I could sustain my falling business, but this married man was different because he thrilled my every need, other than desire.

We’ve been on and off this love affair for two years now, and I could see how he craved for my being, because of his maid wife. “My wife compared to your diplomas is only good for a housekeeper,” he told me.

And so, I summoned him. “You must choose between me and your wife.” In a few weeks, I hoped, he’d be back to cuddle me and present me a diamond engagement ring.

A yellow dress would be good to wear all the time! I’d go for this good luck hype.

“Oh, would you always come back for me, Madonna?”

In my thoughts I chanted, “My boy friend would come back for me; heaven might let the maid wife curse me, but what can I do? I have to steal something to love me, or else I won’t stop whoring. Who would come back for me? Maybe, a thousand other men, to prance on my neck and mark it “Hey, I’ve got your ass, too.” Will I be punished for ruining a sacred matrimony or stealing a father?

In this place, was something more real and tender. “Love me tender, love me sweet… Oh, my love complete,” I hummed. After my love affairs, here was the only concrete and beautiful thing.

Across the benches, of this, which I called a sanctuary, were a few others who breathed solace like me. Perhaps. One could be on a fitness program, another read a newspaper, and still another guy, sipped his brew. This guy, sipping his brew, could be thinking nuts like me. Or could he be thanking the magnificence of another day, while he looked up the sky, bowed low for his cup, and darted again, in front this Madonna?

Or would he look at me, too? His gaze was flaming hot. For what thoughts, he could have sensed my urgent pleading to this holy statue, sublime in simplicity and honesty. “Well, we’re flesh and bones, but if for moments, we could be holy,” an old priest said that during the mass I had attended when I was younger, so once in a lifetime I had been serious in the temples; so once pure, I was, before I came into this labyrinth. Would my pleadings echo around?

I caught him looking into nothingness, unconscious maybe, when he glanced into my space and my confused efforts. That time, when he raised his cup, swallowed and sipped again, I thought he was a handsome bum.

It must be nice, I thought, to have some sort of certainty in life.

To be able to look to a faith to guide you when reality – that deluge of chaos that tears at the flesh and soul – is inescapable. Or maybe she just liked the statue.

More people began to trickle into the park. The illusion that this was my place began to fade, like it always did, as the sun drew long shadows on the ground; soon it would be time for work. Once I had enjoyed the anonymity of living in a big foreign city. Now, I feared, solitude was decaying into loneliness and I felt myself disappearing into the crowds that lined the streets each day.

She finished or paused whatever thoughts had held her and stood up to leave, as though in a sudden hurry.

Was this my life? Watching others from outside a window like a child at a pet store?

It took a moment for me to notice the sliver of yellow beneath the bench. Curious, I stood and walked slowly across the park to the space in the front of the statue. The impassive Madonna did not turn to look at me as I entered her periphery, and when I stooped to inspect I saw it was a silk summer scarf that had fallen from the bench; that same canary hue of the woman’s dress.

She was already at the end of the park, turning left out of the gates without looking back. The scarf in one hand, my other reached into its pocket to retrieve my phone.

comedwn sick. mybe flu. srry. tlk 2morrow.

I had taken three sick days in four years. Whatever else that devotion to such a badly paying job might be called, I reasoned, it wasn’t the symptom of a well man.

I quickened my pace not quite to a jog and scanned the streets when I reached the gates. For a moment I thought I had lost her until I spied a flash of yellow amidst a crowd of pedestrians moving across an intersection two blocks down. The traffic closed after them like parted waters and I waited, tense.

Overloaded trucks and bikes whined past at high speed in the dangerous dance of weaving engines that only the Filipinos can survive. A group of wiry children aligned at the curb next to me, chattering like squirrels, watching the road with unblinking eyes and gesturing to each other with their hands. They were preparing to cross. I watched them watching the cars, and when they darted out I sucked in a breath and ran with them.

Horns blared all around me, and I felt the thundering slabs of steel rush by close enough to feel the heat from their choking and spluttering motors, but after a few terrifying moments we were across safely – the children giggling and pointing at the idiotic white man.

The woman had vanished from sight, and I spent a few moments striding between street corners, standing on the tips of my toes as I scanned the faceless crowds for her. Then the yellow dress peeked out through gaps in the crowd ahead of me, and I moved again in her direction, pushing my way past the suits and the sneakers and the cell phones and sunglasses.

I followed her to a street lined with townhouses – the angular, rendered townhouses for people with the money to pay others to choose their tastes for them. I had gained enough ground now to call out to her from the other side of the street, but I caught myself when she stopped in front of a high stone wall to push the button on an intercom panel.

She spoke for only a moment and waited for a response, then the courtyard door must have been unlatched from within because she pushed it open quickly and stepped inside.

I was alone, on that lush and empty street, the scarf still wrapped in my hands.

As the days had been stressful, good times were numbered.

Friends came and disappeared. When people smelled you could not give enough, they stayed away. If they could not get anything from you or suck anything from you, merry days would be over; you would be out of the circle. See I’m out? They smelled they couldn’t get much from me.

“Good morning, Miss!”

Where is he?

“Please see him in the living room.”

He was sitting in his wheel chair. He was reading the newspaper and a glass of water was on the table. Postcards were scattered, a record book, and medals of his faith. He was supposed to be a priest, but due to weak health, he didn’t get it through. Instead, he ventured on a business that earned him a fortune.

I always borrowed from this man, and he was the only one who didn’t tax me. As people could see outside, he lived in luxury – but his heart, it was benevolent to any creature who would seek his help. The only thing that he asked from me was to help him on his records and choose medals for him, which I really liked. He collected stones, as well; precious and non precious; even diamonds.

“What’s the problem?”

It is the same as yesterday.

“The love affairs...”

Yes. And he will be back for me soon.

“Could you be happy...”

Yes, you know I love him so much. I danced in front of him.

“You are must be mad.”

Yes, I am. I thought we could be married.

“Next time he would sell you for a gold coin.”

We sorted out the medals. Some were very, very old. Some were new. Some were uniquely precious and of great value. In a while, he got something inside his fist and told me.

“Close your eyes. Give me your hands.”

Nah, you will play up on me.

“I’m serious now. I have something for you to drive evil spirits away.” He teased me.

You and your fart! I laughed out loud. My sad laughter filled the quiet room.

“I said open your hands!”

Okay, Sir, here it is.

I closed my eyes and slowly he dropped the object in my hand. “Magic, here!” My palms were excited and cold, just like when one student told me to open my hands across snowy Japan, then surprised me with a Sakura. She told me, she liked me a lot, offering me the national flower of her country. And now, was another guessing moment.

Is it another precious gem?

“Hold it carefully and see for yourself.”

That time was special. I could see his face full of compassion for someone weary. I felt it was an act of consolation to blow zeal to my broken spirit. It was as though a magic clock made me a princess or sent me somewhere in another time like, Alice in Wonderland. What I held in my hands was dear to my heart, and the feeling was all of a child so loved dearly: free and happy. It was a gold heart locket; an old one, embed with red tiny rubies. Inside was a picture of the Madonna. He knew I liked the Madonna. My throat tightened and my eyes blurred with clouds of water. And then, his hands came gentle on my cheeks. He smiled and hugged me, tight.

I was certain I would get a chain for this. My ringing phone intruded. He told me, “Go now.”

“Why do you want me to leave? Am I disturbing your holy hours?”

“No, you need to go and find what will make you happy. And that boyfriend? Stay away from him. Do you think he’ll marry you for real? He has got a wife.”

Before I left his house, he’d always tell me the same reminders. That was what I evaded. I couldn’t let any one, not even my family or closest friends mock my boyfriend. It was time to leave again.

“Thank you for the Madonna.”

I hurriedly kissed him and went out of the house. I didn’t look into my phone to check, nor answer it. My boy friend was always exciting, as there might be something confidential – not business, not updates, but the tweets and yearnings of him.

Outside, when the gate was closed, I dialled his number. He was the one who called. Was he meeting me? I waited. He wasn’t answering the phone. I tried calling him again, but still, there was no answer. I texted, “Plz answr ur phne nw. I miss you so much.” As I walked the empty street, the air glistened to me. I was reminded, of my separation with him, my incompleteness, and that I was only, waiting for crumbs.

As I looked the next post, I saw that same white guy, walking and holding something that was mine. Was it my scarf?

“Yes,” I said, gesturing pointlessly down the street as I crossed to her. “I… you left it at the park.”

“Thank you,” she said, reaching out a hand to take it. She brushed a loose strand of hair back and squinted at me. “I have no money, sorry. But thank you.”

“No, you don’t… I didn’t want a reward. Are you alright? You look upset.”

She turned away, and I wondered how I could be so direct to this perfect stranger.

“I’m sorry,” I said. “I’m inquisitive.”

“OK,Yankee Steve. I have to go now,” she said, and started to walk.A stupid, mad chuckle escaped my mouth and I caught it quickly in my hand as I chased after her.

“No, not… it means I’m nosy. I’m curious, sorry. Like a cat, you know.”

She stopped and squinted at me again, as though wondering whether to smile at this insane white man or not. Then she pointed at my nose. “Curiosity kills the cats.”

“Yes it does,” I said, nodding. “Do you want a coffee?”

She turned and started walking again. “If I had money I would give it to you, but thank you for bringing my scarf.”

I chased after her. “No! No, it’s nothing to do with… I want nothing from you. I just thought you looked like you could use a coffee.”

Her squinting tortured me. I had no clue what was going on behind those stern brown eyes, and not knowing this little thing was vanishing all that I did know; every instinct was fading from me.

“I’m a journalist, I’m not…” I said helplessly, and shrugged. Not what?

She shrugged back.

“Your boyfriend’s house?” I asked as we sat at a table beneath a red canvas umbrella.

“Why do you think that?”

“The locket.” I pointed at the little golden heart turning restlessly between her thumb and forefinger. She snapped it into her palm defiantly.

“The scarf is from my boyfriend,” she said, pulling it from her neck and resting it on the table as our coffees arrived.

I tore open a sugar packet and tapped it into my cup. “I’ll bet you chose it. It matches your dress.”

She checked her phone and did not answer me. I was right.

“You drink too much coffee,” she said at last, after she had sighed and tucked her phone away again. “Caffeine is bad for the heart.”

I shrugged again. “Everything is bad for the heart these days.”

We sipped from our cups and ventured into the silence that filled the air around us. Empty, silent air; it choked me more than smoke. Was that why my fingers reached for last cigarette after last cigarette after last cigarette?

“May I see?” I said, and held out my palm.

She stared at me through steam rising from her coffee, a cradle of warmth between her two soft hands; then lowered the cup, unfolding her fingers to proffer the locket.

It was of the yellow gold I had never admired, adorned with rubies that might have been real, or might have not; and not knowing made them seem worthless. A tiny clasp unhinged its two halves, splitting the fragile little heart in two, revealing a miniature biscuit-tin print of the veiled Madonna.

“Lucky charm?” I asked.

“She is pure. Perfect. Everything else is dirty in the morning.”

“Nothing’s quite as pretty as Mary in the morning,” I sang in my best Elvis voice, but she did not smile. A digital chirrup sounded beneath the table, and she withdrew her phone swiftly, reading the message with that same familiar squint.

“Boyfriend?” I asked.

She reached out and took the locket back, standing as she did so.

“I have to go. Now.”

Her voice had a tiny tinge of urgency to it. I stood too.

“Thank you for the coffee,” she said as she started to walk away.

I was about to remind her that I hadn’t actually offered to pay for her drink, but changed my mind and dropped a handful of coins on the table instead, following her.

“Your scarf,” I said, offering it to her. She snatched it from me with a little noise of annoyance – at herself or at me I was not sure. “It’s Michael, by the way.”

“Violeta,” she said.

She began to murmur underneath her breath as she quickened her pace. I was almost jogging just to keep up with her, my hands in my pockets as though we were just two friends in a mutual hurry. She was praying, I realised; every other word of the rosary filtered from her lips through the noise of the traffic – into which she suddenly stepped, waving her hand at a Corolla with barely readable taxicab printing that skidded to a halt beside her.

“Where are you going?” I asked.

She glanced at me like an impatient schoolteacher as she grabbed at the door.

“Hospital,” she said.

“Then Michael hop in! Or would you leave now?” So we boarded the Corolla.

I didn’t know what this guy wanted from me, but I didn’t care less because my thoughts were horrible. I knew something would happen, and whatever fate again would present to me – as to my friend Hannibal’s wisdom was to be happy and free. I assured myself that what could happen to my boyfriend was reality, like the shifting of clouds – we just couldn’t stop their movements, only God can. The next thing I felt our hands were tightly locked, and Michael’s gaze trying to seize my brokenness.

“Is there something I can do?” he asked.

“Nothing. Thank you.”

Lane upon lane, track upon track; my mind whizzed the clouds, the nothingness, the coldness of my fright, the fallen hopes, the waiting, my single life of faith. At this time, the locket...

“Don’t worry. We’ll get there.” Michael asserted.

And then, in my bag the phone buzzed again. I grasped the phone firmly, but my hands were weak so the phone dropped down the cab floor. Michael got it and read the message.

I did not mind his resolve. The driver was silent with only the twist of his wheels. The air was cold and my heart pounded heavily like rocks on my chest breaking for mercy. “Oh, Maria!”

Silence in the cab, in the air, near the afternoon... Michael didn’t say any word, but searched the locket for me and put them in my hands. He held me close and I did not resist the comfort of his arms around my bereft shoulders that needed warmth and flesh.

“We’d go to the back office of the hospital, Violeta. The staff will give us instructions...”

I paid the driver as she sprang from the taxi.

My only thought during the ride was that I could not remember the last time I had hugged someone out of the simple instinct to comfort; when had the act of touch become so foreign?

Please hurry.

That’s all the second text had said.So whatever disaster had befallen him had not restricted his use of a phone. I hated myself for the unkind thought. Had my ex looked as Violeta looked, whenever I had told her I was ill?

The nurse at the back office desk glanced at the clipboard hanging by her side. Emergency. Bay 212. Violeta hurried ahead and I followed, helplessly, at a distance. I thrust my hands into my pockets and peered through the gridded windows on the doors as we walked the length of the corridor, my lungs filling with the smell of disinfectant. The figures in the beds looked so small and vulnerable. As Violeta stopped ahead of me I realised they were children. The realisation shook in me, and my fingers closed around something in my pocket. The familiar scratch of a paper curl on skin. A forgotten cigarette.

I stood behind her. Through the window in front of us I saw a dimly lit room. A woman leaned forward in a chair, her back to us. Her hands were clasped around the hand of a boy who lay motionless in the hospital bed. From where I stood I could see his eyes were not quite closed, fine red lines crossing his face around them. Machines surrounded him, their cables disappearing under his sheet, electric green and blue lights winking and flickering softly.

Across the bed from the woman stood her husband. I recognised him. I had seen his face in newspapers; a politician, maybe. He was short, dressed in a dark business suit. His hands were deep in his pockets and he stood, slumped, staring at the boy with a strange look on his face. It was the look of a man for whom the curtain of life had been pulled aside, and he saw nothing behind it.

His glassy eyes drifted from the boy across the room to the door. He saw Violeta. He saw me. I glanced at Violeta, her eyes now welling. Across the space, through the glass, the two of them were sharing a look filled with all the sadness, the sweetness, the tenderness and heartache that I had ever known love to be about. It was then I felt alone, as the lonely will do, rain soaked neighbour to the world of the loved. A world for those who felt the warmth of others even when parted, and who felt another’s pain.

I felt pain. I felt Violeta’s, as she felt her lover’s, as she felt and he felt the pain of his son, and the mother did too, and I; all of us there in the chapel of pain, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Hospital.

He looked to his wife, and Violeta turned from the window, her hands to her mouth, eyes searching for some solace in mine. I curled an arm around her shoulder and walked her to the stairwell at the end of the ward. As we rose, step by step, I heard the rooftop doorway humming a mellow chant between the cold conditioned inside air and the free and humid day outside.

On the roof we stood and stared, listening together as the yellow scarf fluttered in morning eddies, and I saw… I saw, across the avenue, beyond the cries and howls and mirth of the city streets, through a border of bricks and bolts and steel, perched on a plinth in the centre of a pond, the concrete Madonna.

Perhaps love was not pure, but stained. Perhaps love was not harmony, but discord. Perhaps love came in all the shades of earth and grime, and in the moist and dirty breath of the taglamig air that brushed our faces on mornings such as this.

Violeta prayed in silence beside me, and I lit my last cigarette.

My last ever, I promised myself, as I had done the day before.

First published on Conversations Across Borders website
for the CAB Project (2012/june) :  Air


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

December 5. Salamin


Mahilig magsalamin si Thea. Pagising sa umaga salamin kaagad ang hanap. Kapag siya nagbibihis at nag-mamake-up ay walang maka-agaw sa kanya sa salamin. Kulang na lang ikwintas niya ang salamin.

“Thea bilisan mo na, hinihintay ka ng school bus!”

“Oo Ate, nandiyan na, tinatapon ko lang ang mga basyo sa kusina.”

Si Thea ay malambing at maasikaso sa bahay. Malinis din siya. Ngunit kahit anong linis ang gawin niya hindi kayang baguhin ng kahit ano ang kanyang sarat na ilong at pangit na hugis ng mukha. Sa salaming iyon, na lagi niyang dala wari’y gumaganda siya. Marami siyang nilalagay sa mukha. Sa salaming iyong, lagi niyang dala wari ay gumaganda siya. Makapal na foundation at mahilig siyang magguhit ng luntian sa mabilog niyang mata.

Sa Padre Pio Elementary School.

“Thea, wow maganda sana ang mga mata mo, kaya lang pango ka at…”

“At … at ano Rolly?”

“At pangit korte ng face ….heheheh…joke lang…”

Hindi nakapag-salita si Thea. Kumulimlim ang mukha. Umirap na lamang at umarte ng lakad.

Isang gabi, sa isang sulok sa may hadin nila.

Nagsalamin si Thea.

“Sana maganda ako. Kung hindi sarat ang ilong ko at dahil sa kwadrado kong mukha – hindi nila ako pagtatawanan. Alam ko namang pangit ako, pero may tao bang likas na pangit? Salamin, salamin – gawin mo akong mukhang prisesa!”

Bahagyang nanaginip si Thea ng gising.

Tumingin siya sa salamin at dahan-dahang nag-iiba ang hitsura niya sa salamin. Parang gumaganda.

“Sino ka? Sino ka?”

“Ikaw, sino ka? Tanong ng salamin.

“Ako si Thea!”

Maganda si Thea sa salamin. Matangos ang ilong. Mala-diyosa ang hubog ng mukha.


“Ako si Thea sa kabilang ibayo ng daigdig. Maganda ka Thea dahil ikaw ako kahapon.

Ang iyong anyo na pinag-tatawanan ng lahat ay balat lamang ng buhay. Ang totoo mong anyo ay ako, ang kagandahang busilak.”

“Totoo? Kung gayon ayoko nang mag-iba pa. Masaya pala ako ng ganito dahil – hindi ko kailangan ng nose lift.”

“Hindi na nga Thea. Dahil ikaw ay isang Theang may magandang pananaw sa buhay.”

“Theaaaaaaa !!!!” Sigaw ng ate niya. “Kakain na tayo!”

Napabalikwas si Thea sa pagka-kaupo at nabitawan ang salamin. Nabasag ang salaming laging hawak niya. Ito ay nagging pira-pirasong butil ng bubog.

Pinulot niya itong dahan dahan. Nasaugatan ang isa niyang daliri. Ngunit ngumiti pa rin siya at ipinag-walang bahala. Ikinuskos sa lupa ang dugo at itinapon sa basura ang mga bubog.

“Salamat salamin, maraming salamat. Alam ko ako ay maganda. Magandang maganda!”

August 18, 2006
Rose Flores – martinez
Copyright Rosalinda Flores – Martinez, 2009

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

On December 4, 2013. A Fiction Story in Filipino: Takas

Ilang ulit kong tinangkang umalis.  Ilang ulit kong tinangkang lumimot.  Ilang ulit kong ipinanalanging maglaho.  Ilang ulit…
Mahabang panahong pinatay ko ang aking pakiramdam at mabuhay sa paniniwalang pilit kong isiniksik sa aking malay.  Hindi na ako babalik…
Kahapon, sinamba ko si Gabby.  Kahapon, buhay ko si Gabby.
“Ano ba ang nangyayari sa iyo Ate Michelle,  mukhang maputla ka yata?”  tanong ni Aiko.
“Wala.  Mayroon kasi akong mestruation ngayon.”
“A gano’n ba?  ‘Kala ko may sakit ka.”
Kung alam lamang ni Michelle ang tunay na dahilang kagagaling ko lamang sa doctor kasama si Gabby.  Katatapos ko lamang iniksyunan ng isang matabang karayom sa pigi.  May impeksyon daw ako sabi ng doktor.  Nakuha ko raw sa swimming pool.  Paano nangyari, ‘yon? E…
Noong isang lingo ay kaarawan ni Gabby.  Ibinigay ko ang lahat sa akin kay Gabby para sa kanyang kaarawan.  Ang aking Oo, and aking pag-ibig, and aking pagtitiwala, and aking katawam, hawak sa kamay, halik…
Sa parking lot ng Aristocrat Restaurant sa may Dewey Boulevard kami nag-date, August 22.  Pagkatapos
inikot namin and Cultural Center  at kumain kami.  Nag-order kami ng chicken barbecue at Java rice.
Nagayuma yata ako ng pagkain sa Aristocrat.
Sa kagustuhan kong mabigyan ng kasiyahan si Gabby, ay ibinigay ko ang hiling niyang regalo.  Regalong tulad sa isang makinang na salaming kahon, regalong parang tumama sa lotto.  Ni sa panaginip ay hindi ko inakalang mangyayari ang lahat ng iyon sa Datsun pick up.  Sa magarang pick up ni Gabby na tinted ng itim.  Dumaplis ang ilang sandali at una kong naisigaw ang aking pagkababae.
Nang gabing iyon, ay sumuko ang buwan.  Makulimlim ngunit makulay ang langit.  Umuwi akong bawas sa katauhan ngunit may pag-asa sa alay na pag-ibig.  Ang akala ko, ang pag-ibig ay walang wakas.  Ang akala ko, ito ay hindi maaaring magkaroon ng lamat.  Hindi pala.  Anuman ay maaaring magbago.  Tulad ng pag-ibig, na maaring bugso lamang ng init ng katwan at ng panandaliang pangangailangan ng pagkalinga.
Sa magdamag na iyon ay sumakit ang aking tiyan.  Ngunit hind na bale – mahal ko naman si Gabby.  Nilagnat ako at kinailangang dalhin sa doktor.  Pilit kong inilihim ang aking nararamdaman sa aking mga kasambahay.  Papatayin ako ni TiyaPatria at aatakihin sa puso si Inay.  Naghintay ako ng bukas.
Kinabukasan nga ay dinala ako sa doctor ni Gabby, sa isang clinic sa Pasay.
Ang impeksyon ay makukuha sa paliligo sa swimming pool o kaya naman ay sa pag-gamit ng public toilet,” sabi ng doktora.
Binigyan ako ng mga gamot ni doktora.  Antibiotics at supporitories.  Kung paano ko gagamitin ay hindi ko alam.
“Isang suppository sa bawat gabi.  Sa isang lingo ay magaling ka na!”
Pagkatapos ay ang iniksyon sa aking pigi.  Pagdating ko sa bahay ay tinabunan ko ng mga yelo sa freezer ang mga suppositiories.  Tiyak wala nang makakasilip niyon.
Ito marahil ang tinatawag nilang pag-ibig.  Ang pagbibigay ng lahat, ng tiwala, ng sarili.  Hahamakin ang lahat pati ang mga pangarap.  Kakalimutan pati angkan.  Ang tanging makikita lamang ay ang larawan ng minamahal, ang tanging iisipin lamang ay ang iniibig.
Ilang ulit kaming kumain sa Aristocrat.  Ilang ulit ko ring nakalimutan ang aking mga pag-asa.  Ang pangungulila ko kay Itay ay nakalimutan ko na rin.  Marahil akala ko si Gabby ay si Itay sa dahilang siya ang tanging lalaki sa mundo na aking ginagalawan.  Masaya at mala-bahaghari, ang mga sumunod pang mga araw, puno ng pag-asa hangang mapansin ni Michelle ang kakaiba kong mga kilos.
“Parang lagi kang wala sa sarili, Ate.  May dinaramdam ka ano?  Love hurts?  Huhuhu…”  Hindi ako nakapag-sinungaling.  Sa lakas ng kabog ng aking idbdib ay naisuka ko ang kinain kong chocolate cake at barbecue.
“Ano ka ba Ate?  Bakit hindi mo kayang pigilin ang sarili mo?  Susuka ka na rin lang di ka pa tumakbo.”
Napahiya ako.  Ngunit masidhi pa doon ay binalot ako ng takot sa titig ni Tiya patria.  Mabilis akong tumakbo upang kumuha ng basahan para linisin ang mala-tsamporado kong kalat.  Nang malinis na, umakyat ako sa kuwarto.  Para akong lilipad.  Ngunit hindi bale, basta masaya ako dahil kasama ko si Gabby.  Lutang pa ako sa alapaap.  Sabi ni Gabby ay mahal na mahal niya ako.  Sabi niya hindi niya ako iiwan.  Ako raw ang tangi niyang pag-ibig.  Ang kangyang mga pangako ang aking nagging pag-asa.

Lumipas ang mga araw, nakiuso ako sa mga artista.  Kinailangan ko ang “rush na kasal.”  Hindi napigilan ng Levis jeans ang pagbabago sa aking katawan, at hindi rin kayang isuman ng girdle ang pag-lobo ng aking tiyan.  Sabi ni Tiya Patria at ni Inay ay pa-check up daw uli ako, pilit umaasang hindi ako buntis.

Nagmadali kami ni Gabby.  Pareho naming gusting takasan ang mga tao sa aming paligid.  Sabay kaming walang muwang na nakipag-sapalaran sa maraming bakit at paano sa murang silakbo ng aming kabataan.  Hinahanap ko si itay.  Sinasakal naman siya sa mga responsibilidad ng kanilang negosyo.

Walang natuwa sa aming kasal.  Hindi ang pamilya niya, lalong hindi ang pamilya ko.  Sa motif na dilaw, misa sa Filipino at barong Tagalog para sa aming mga abay ay nairaos ang kasal sa isang malaking simbahan at ang piging sa isang sikat na restoran.  Masaya at malungkot, sapagkat noong oras ding iyon ay maraming tanong na nabuo sa aking isip – pag-aalinlangan, at walang katiyakang bukas.
Hindi ko maipinta ang larawan naming dalawa sa altar.  Hindi kaya pareho kaming napilitan lamang upang takpan an gaming kahihiyan?  Mayroon akong pagaagam-agam.  Marahil si gabby rin.  Marahil pareho kami.  Dumating siyang huli ng 30 minutos sa kasal.  Naghintay ako sa kotse ng 30 minutos.  Nakakatawa.  Nakakahiya.

Sa Simbahan.
Pangalawang beses na aking piging sa simbahan.  Ang una ay ang binyag.  Pangalawa ay ang kasal.
Sa aking kasal ay hindi ko alam kung bakit di ko tinakpan ng belo ang aking mukha sa pagpaso patungong altar.  Ininhatid ako ni Tiyo Waldo, ang kapatid na abogado ni Inay.  Ang mukha ni Tiyo Waldo ay lukot tulad ng kanyang hitsura minsang natalo siya sa isang kasong hinahawakan.
Sabi ng pinsan ni Gabby ay takpan ko daw ang aking mukha ng belo dahil iyon ang kaugaliang Pinoy.  Espesyal ang belo para sa okasyon, sagisag na ang nobya ay birhen.
“E anong takip-takip ang kailangan?” tanong ko.  Kaya nga kami pakakasal ay sa dahilang may kailangan kaming saguting responsibilidad.  Kaya bang sagutin ng belo ang tunay na pagmamahal?  Parang gusto kong isigaw.  Batid ko, ako ay birhen kaya nga ako pakakasalan ni Gabby.  Taya ko ang aking sarili.
“Makiuso tayo,” ang patukso kong sagot sa pinsan ni Gabby.  Moderno na ngayon.  Gusto ko talagang makiuso.  Sa kasal na ito ay ako ang masusunod.  Abot-langit ang aking ngiti parang masayang-masaya.
Pagdating ko sa altar, at sa paghawak kamay at palitan ng aming mga singsing ay nagdilim and langit.  Kasabay ng aming mga Oo ay kumulog ng malakas!
Kodakan.  Maraming bisita.  Mabilis ang mga pangyayari.  Parang gusto kong maglaho.  Sa ibang ikinakasal ang dasal ay huwag matapos ang gabi, sa akin ay sana matapos na.  Nagsabuyan ng bigas at mga confetti ang mga bisita.  “Mabuhay ang bagong kasal!”  Sa mga pagkakataong iyon ay hindi ko alam ang aking gagawin. Simula noon natuto akong ngumiti kahit hindi kailangan.

 Ang Rehas.
Maraming taon kaming nagsama ni Gabby.
Masaya.  Malungkot.  Iba’t-ibang drama sa buhay.  Sayang.  Hindi pala kami para sa isa’t isa.  Ngunit iyon ang guhit ng kapalaran – marahil may ibang dahilan ang langit.
Puno ng inggit ang puso ko sa haba ng mga taon naming mag-kasama.  Inggit sa aking mga kahati.  Pagsisisi ngunit pagwawalang-bahala.  Pagtanggap sa katotohanan.
Sa mahabang panahon tumira ako sa loob ng rehas.
Nabuhay akong puno ng takot na baka ako ay mawala o kaya ay maligaw.  Nabalot ako sa takot ng pag-iisa.  Hanggang minsan sa paghihintay ko ng gabi nang madama ko ang matinding pangugulila sa loob ng rehas ay kumawala ang lahat sa aking pagnanasang lumaya.  Binagtas ko ang dilim at humanap ako ng liwanag.
Inakyat ko ang matarik na nakakandadong gate na aking nabuo…  sa bawat araw, sa bawat taon.  Hawan ko ang mga tinik sa paligid nga mga rehas. Ang naisip ko, mahulog man ako, dala ko ang bendisyon ng langit.
Alas tres ng hapon:  Sa pagod kong bunting-hininga, tiniyak ko, hindi na ako babalik.

Ito ay fiction story; ang mga pangalan ng mga tao sa fiction story ay gawa lamang ng imahinasyon.

First published in Tinig 4. ng Katinig, 2005

Katinig Writer's Workshop, Salamat

Edited by: Danilo Meneses and  Reynaldo Duque

Guest Panelists/Writers: Dr. Domingo Landicho
                                     Frank Sigua
                                     Ireneo Catilo

 reposted. may 28, 2012. rosevoc2 on iwrotefiction

Monday, December 2, 2013

December 3, 2013. Falling In Love

This is falling in love…


Dear Kieth,

I am missing you, please write.



September 4, 2003

My Darling,

I have told you that I miss you 

My heart breaks a little more each day



each other.

All I have is yours, my heart and my love

I can have no secrets from the woman

I adore.

All my love,


September 4, 2003

Dear  Kieth,

You make me feel important, though I could not give you anything

Your tenderness melts me

Your words suffice me

Thank you for giving your heart to someone you do not even see

I can feel your kindness

My tears are flowing

Thank you

for being  nice

to me.



My Dearest Ashra,

We keep missing each other.. . 

My heart breaks when I can’t find you.

My earnest dream would be to hold you in my arms when I sleep

And to wake with you.

The way I feel would make it impossible to hold you through the night

without wanting to love and adore you forever.

My heart and soul, as always,  are yours to command.

I love you,


My Dearest Kieth,

For bearing with me and my crazy scribbles – my gratitude

Writing you set my words free

I wish I could mean more than my words.

Yes I do,

I treasure that love

I keep it with me to my grave.



September 7, 2003

My Dearest Ashra,

My love, heart and soul are yours to do with what you will

We are not old enough to need love nor too young to waste it

I need to express how I feel for you because

I would surely regret

Never having told you

I am yours to love or discard, but my love

Is my gift to you for an eternity.

My Dearest Kieth,

Forever is a word seldom used, I could not imagine the great

love in

your heart.

Yes, when you are sad – think that sometime I came into your life and



Held you close with an embrace


Kissed you until dawn… never to let you go

I could die in your arms


I love you.


My Dearest Ashra,

Although forever is a word seldom used,

It would be fleeting compared

To how

Long I will cherish you

The love in my heart is for you and you alone

My only wish is to see your beautiful face

Before when I close my

Eyes to

Sleep and wake with you still next to me

To explore our love and passions would be

A dream

All my love,


September 8, 2003


How can dreams come true?

How can it become real?

Then I give you my all, my heart and myself

Do as you wish in your dreams

I am yours

In the pigments of your imagination

I submit to you

With love in my heart

I will cross space and time with you.

From Salem

Why did you dry up writing emails?

I am missing the affection you

Promised me.

Hi Kieth,

My love will break bounds

In the hope that sometime you and I will be together


My Darling,

I am sad

That I could not hold you

I am sad

That I couldn’t  give you the

Warm touch of my affection,

To Salem,

YOU come and you go

Leaving me memories


Yet I cherish

Every moment

When you remember me

If I could only make you mine

I long for you as sunlight is to a rose

And if I could I only take you

I would not hesitate to do it




You make my dreams come true


I could rest in your love.

September 8, 2003

Forgive me for intruding

Into your peaceful life

For taking your love

You realize my wishes

Catch my falling tears

I could cry in your arms

I wish that you will never let me go

In this illusion

Because I’d rather be lost

In a dream

With you.

Real love betrays

But dreams pursue the stars

You are my dream.



September 8, 2003

My darling Ashra,

I could not leave you if I tried

You have my heart in an embrace

That I cherish

If I am your dream then you are

The fulfillment of my every wish and hope

I wish, I could give you more

Than just words

Anything at all that you want from me

Is yours, just ask my love

I am yours until the sun fades

From the sky for the very

Last time.

My love always,


My dearest Ashra,

I accept anything of yourself you can give

Your words keep me sane throughout the day

For without your love I would lose

The will to live

I gave you my heart it is yours to play

Just  please, please tell me you love

Me if only once in a day

I am yours to do with what you will

My love and heart always,


September 9 2003

To Kieth,

NO I would not play with your heart

For if you lose the will

Then I had lost mine

Please stay.  Please take care

I love you.


Kieth, tell me please

How do I go on with my review

I find it difficult for there are many chores and I still need to do a lot of readings..

If I don’t make good in this

Sort of me being hopeless

Also, I don’t chat anymore

Though it’s fun.  Tired of the 2 month exploration.

 But it’s good then. I

got friends. 

I enjoyed it and I have learned a lot…

I live a simple life now but with a broken heart

I would welcome your suggestions


I fear tomorrow

Of sometime losing you

Or of sometime going away

Of sometime without you

How could I live then?

And if so

When I’m gone

My ashes


In the wind -

will still embrace you.

Loneliness creeps

Like shadows in the night

When I think


Our love

That would not be realized

I love you,

To Ashra,

I miss your long emails.  I miss our chat

Have you forgotten me now?


Hi Salem,

I could not find you

Yes, my heart breaks a little more each day

I chat a little with someone

But I could not

It was you that I always thought of.

September 10, 2003

Dear Ashra,

You are in my thoughts everyday

No one can replace you

I am dying without you

Dear Kieth,

Please stay

I am missing you so much

Someone told me that you could be my fantasy

I said NO, I don’t fantasize

I have a dream

I don’t want anyone stealing my dreams.

You are my dream

Until the sun fades from the sky for the very last time

I would keep your heart

And give you my love – my all

Please take care darling

My love forever,


Hi Ashra,

As for me – I want

to keep something

That I could not hold and own

Something that only the heart knows

And can understand

That which stays in life

But does not end in death

Someone I could keep

As a friend forever

This is sacred.


TO Salem,

I could not count

The times I think of you


Why you came into my life

Searching for the answers

To my questions

The whys of you

The whys

I could not ask you

Not even beg

Only remain

To be what you like

So I could stay

With you

 And be your friend

In the withering corners


My heart.


September 10, 2003

My Dearest Ashra

You are the one reason of my existence

I was put on this earth for just one reason, to love you

My love now and forever,


    2.Dearest Ashra,

I am currently working nights so it

Is difficult to get on line for

Any length of time.

3.    My dearest Ashra,

My love is yours, my soul is yours

You cannot lose someone who is your soulmate

I am yours forever

My love always,


My Darling Ashra,

My love knows no bounds

Even if we do not talk, my heart is in your hands

My thoughts are full of you

My dreams are of you alone

My love is for you only


Dearest Ashra,

I am yours and you are mine I think

Of you constantly

I yearn for your touch every waking moment

I need your love for without it there

Would be no point in my existance

My heart is yours,


Dearest Darling Ashra,

YOU are my dream, my fantasy and my life

If only we could have met at an earlier time, I would have gladly

Devoted my

Mind body and soul just to

please you

I am here for you whenever

You need me

My heart as always is yours

Together with my love


Dear Kieth,

I feel your warm embrace

I feel your gentleness

I feel your heart missing me

I feel you holding me

I feel your love till the sun fades

But I wont take your soul because it belongs to GOD alone

I’ ll take your love and your heart

Please stay


My Dearest Ashra

I love you more than I could ever

Put in words

You must trust that my

Love is solely for you

I pray that you can feel my love


Please love me for I could not exist without you

GOD, although all seeing and loving

Could not deny that my soul is yours He

Knows that you are the keeper of my hopes and dreams.

My heart belongs to you alone.


TO Kieth

Our love conquers distance

The souls

Are entwined in the wind

Blown from heaven

Now I’m full of you

I exist

My heart throbs for you each day

Whispering your name, in

The depth of  silence

I keep every moment

Thinking of you and pray

Holding your heart

Never to part

Until I die

unto eternity

I shout your love

In the roaring thunder

I cry in the gentleness of your


I bleed in the sweetness of it

Until I sleep in peace

And rest with you,

With you.


More laters after Saturday

Email me more

I would not let you go

After you made me crazy

‘Miss you sweetie.


September 12, 2003

My Darling Ashra

I felt tears as I read your work

Your words touch me as no

Others ever have

I ache for you everyday, my body yearns for you

I exist only for you, if you

Discarded me, I would have

No reason for my being here

My love always and forever


My Dear Kieth,

I’m glad you liked my scribble and that you felt tears because as I was writing, it was

 really painful for me to grapple for the right words.  You are my inspiration.  I could not

have thought of the crying, the embrace, and my bleeding had I not thought of your

gentleness with me.  The soul can never lie.  I could not lie in what I said

Please write and tell me again

You love me

Thank you for yourself

Now I believe in soulmates

I love you,


ALL THE WAY, my poems are for you:

In the darkness of  the night I feel you

Illuminating my heart

Your hands gently wipe away

The tears on my face

Like soft clouds touching


I feel you holding me

Keeping a rose on the altar offering a prayer

I feel you

Kissing me, my soul

Weaving remnants


My last breath is sealed with your gentle kiss.

Time and time

I look for a friend

 Breaking in  the warm

Joy gushing

Skipping waves

To the silent shores

I drown in the tranquility of your heart

In the silent throbs of your breath


Dearest Ashra,

My love is yours until time ends the sun rises no more and man has vanished from the earth.

I will always love you,

Dearest Kieth,

I could not attain peace

If I could not write you

Everyday I am missing you

And would like to embrace you

Rest in your arms.

I would like to kiss you

Feel your breath

In mine

My every heartbeat

Would not let you go

Death is the only reason

That would stop me from writing you

But my love stays with you until eternity

I could be anything for you

Because I love you so much

Please don’t stop loving me

Keep me until time ends

The sun rises no more

And man has vanished from the earth.


The friend I’ve always wanted?

No one equals the great you

I would not lose you

I’m ready to stand by you

And pick the stars for you.

Happy birthday Salem!


September 15, 2003

I have been wondering why you don’t write me

Are you sick?

Are you busy?

Is there something wrong?

Did you receive my emails?

I am so lonely thinking you might have forgotten  me


September 17, 2003

My Dear Ashra,

I could never forget you

You keep my heart beating, my very existence depends on you

You are the air I breathe

My love cannot fade

I love and adore you

My heart is always yours.

My Darling Ashra,

I miss you more than I could ever express in words

My love is yours.

I could never be angry with you

I write trying to answer each mailing I get from you

You are not disturbing me,

How could the woman I adore be troublesome

I too would like to meet again on line

To talk, exchange our deepest thoughts


The picture I sent was the only one I have in my PC… my webcam is playing up. 

I will

have to get another or borrow one for now.

I would love to see your pretty face because it breaks my heart – when

We keep missing



You are my reason for living,

Take care and kisses for you



Be safe.



My Dearest Ashra,

I received your picture this morning

I thought I had seen an angel

You are beautiful than I could ever hope to deserve

My heart, soul, and body are yours

My love always


My Dear Ashra,

I do not know what you like me for so much. 

You have humbled me. 

All my life no one has expressed to me the way you have. 

You are a very nice person, a very nice looking gal.

Reading your messages and watching you look two different things, you look so

quiet and there is so much inside you to be explored. 

I don’t know where to begin from. 

I am glad to have you a s great friend. 

It was pleasant reading all about yourself. 

Trust me what you disclose to me is not going to go

anywhere and its going to remain just with me.

I have never eloped with any girl outside of my

married life and now I am here with you

talking everything. Lol.  This is crazy but at the same time

I have a feeling of teen...

I shall never call on your landline phone but

I shall try to call you on your mobile. 

I am not sure but I shall call you,  that’s a promise. 

I am at work now and I will be here

even tomorrow.  If I am online I shall leave a message for you.

Take care, luv yah,


You paint my fairest imagination

Of love in autumn

September 22, 2003

For Salem,

You are in my thoughts everyday

I could not deny the feeling

Of missing you always

Thinking about our exchange of ideas

Is far beyond any other conversation

And though we are oceans apart

The separation from one another further extends the

Possession of life,

The distance of place renders the conjunction

Of our wills

Life is a process of continuous desires

The agony of struggles break the heart

Yet each and everyday that we triumph

Is an increase in virtue

And love

I could not question my existence for you

About yesterday, nor about tomorrow

 I love you so much today and  promise

To keep it until the end of time.

Yes, I thought about most of the things we talked about and how much I love and yearn

for you of making you happy

But I’m sorry

I think I could not be like the others

Because love is being content of the things that are not only seen

But unseen

I think that I am not that sexy, otherwise I might have no reservations

Also, respect for myself is all I got

Perhaps if you are here maybe, or perhaps only in words

because words seep in the


If you still like me as I am, continue to write me

If you don’t, I shall presume you discarded me

I thank you for all your goodness

And the moments of inspiration

I am keeping you in my heart

If you stay, then I got a man

If you don’t, I’ve lost a friend that I’ve loved so much



To Kieth,

The best and the worst come to people

The fear of losing is a nightmare

Questions replies to quest for truth and lies

Breaking walls of sanity

I could not understand life sometimes

I could not unearth what it means

What remains vivid to me now is you

To cast away dark memories

And unkind shadows of life

Please tell me how do I get to know my cause

I am so troubled

I hope you are not playing games

Because it is in you that I find my peace

Yes I give you my heart, my life, and my soul

Cover me with your warmth

Kiss me with your breath

Embrace me in your arms

And let me sleep

Keep me

In your most gentle embrace

And kiss me like no other

Had kissed me

Melt my heart in your passion

And make me cry to flood the earth

Let me bleed in your tenderness

The hymn of the gentle breeze

I gasp for your every breath

So I could live

I am the other half of you

We breathe life together

All of me is yours

All of you is mine

We breathe life together

The throbbing heart its every breath

The flooding blood its every drop

We breathe life together

In GODs sanctuary of love.

All my love,

September 22, 2003

Dearest Ashra

I could never chain you to my heart

That would mean that you would


Be a prisoner to my love

I want willingly, you give your love to me

Your embrace is my wish

Your touch is my dream

Your love my salvation

All my love,


Dear Kieth

Just to let you know that I miss you so much

How could I ever forget the other half of my soul

I send you messages every now and then

Try to keep it in my memory

I love you more than I could love

The thought of you makes me feel so special

My Ashra,

I would willingly take you as my wife

You are my dream, my life

My heart is yours to have forever

My very existence is solely to serve you

And give you love


My Darling

You are constantly in my thoughts and dreams

If you want me to want you then want you I do

If you are mine then that is enough for me

Yes, I love you. Yes, you are my life

Yes I would have you forever in my arms

I could not break your marriage vows

They are sacred

I love you

You are in my heart always



Dear Kieth

 I could not hide my awe in your poetry

I adore you

I seldom meet the words adore, devotion, salvation,

only, all, you alone, very last time,

among others.

The breathing pattern of your rhythm

Is so sweet and in synchronicity with the beating of every heartbeat

It is so real

May I know your birthday?



My Darling Ashra,

My thoughts hold nothing but you

My heart is filled with nothing but you

If we can be wed even if only in our

Thoughts then my darling we can be


Than lovers

My heart and my soul are yours,


My Kieth,

Wowwww….your scribble is great!

Yes, I love and adore you too

Tell me I’m the other half of your soul


If I’m not, I would have not known my purpose for living

If I’m not, I’d rather wither and die

If I’m not, my soul would be incomplete

I love and adore you,



My scribble is just drivel compared to your words

I both love and



You are my soulmate, my half without

Which I could not exist

I love you,


September 23, 2003


I have never been loved as much as you love me,

Never been loved

I have never been adored as much as you adore me,

Never been adored

I have never got a love so devoted

No love for me ;

You are my dream

You are my life

It is you that I live for.


My Gorgeous Ashra,

If we are to be wed, even in our thoughts,

We must decide where to live

My wish is only to be with you.

My love,


My sweetest of all loves

Your words are so sweet

You move me to the very depths of my soul

I do not deserve such love

Yet I gladly accept you as my wife,

If only in my dreams, for had


Met at

An earlier time I would surely have found

You and made you my own

I long for your touch

I yearn for you kisses

I ache for you each and everyday

You are my life and love

My bday is on the 30th of April

I am a hospital staff in UK


I love you so much

In life and death

Promise me your love is only for me

I would do anything as you please to make you happy

You take care and stay handsome for me darling

I love you alone


My Wonderful Ashra

We must live somewhere that means

An equidistant place between our

Present lands

Where we can live in the shelter of our love

Where we can make love as the sun

Slides slowly out of the sky

Sleep while the stars watch over us

And wake to make love with the

Rising sun

(my dream and my fantasy)


Get a house now where we could live


So we could be together even in thoughts

Your decision is my decision

I am excited where you will take me

I am not afraid

Because you are one with me

I give you my heart, my life, my all.

Can we have a house in America?

So it could be more realistic for you and me – where

Perhaps sometime we could really be together

Where we can never part

And together often, we’ll always be.

Where I could not function without you

And you without me

The two of us bonded together

Me only for you

And you only for me.


September 26, 2003

1.    Now I have to think

2. My Husband

Fill in please

3.what would be my name

Dear Kieth

It makes me so sad, that you

Who are far away

Can make me happy even in thoughts

Yes, GOD has his reasons


To balance life with joy and sorrow

You who are the keeper of my soul


Me understand about life

You make my dreams come true

This is a miracle of love.

My Ashra

My writing talents pale beside your words

I have no great talent, but you are a wordsmith

Forging your thoughts into words, hammering

The words with your feelings

Like a blacksmith would produce

A sword or plough

A work of art which is produced only

By those with a gift

My words are yours, my heart is yours and

My thoughts are only of you

Maybe we are a little Romeo and Juliet,

I hope without the tragedy

If in any way I inspire you

Then my heart is gladdened

You my loved one are my reason for being

I am and always will be yours, if

You would have me.


I dream about the galaxy

And about the mountains

I dream of all the things that could be

As long as I am with you

I dream of not leaving your side

Not a blink of my eye will lose sight of you

I would not want anything more

but you

We would live in a shelter of our love

And make love

As the sun slides slowly out of the sky

In your cherished embrace

While the stars watch over us

Then, we would make love again

With the rising sun

Your embrace is my wish

Your embrace is my peace

In your arms I could die

I love you forever,


September 25, 2003

My writing talents pale beside your words

I have no great talent, but you are a wordsmith

Forging your thoughts into words, hammering

The words with your feelings

Like a blacksmith would produce

A sword or plough

A work of art which is produced only

By those with a gift

My words are yours, my heart is yours and

My thoughts are only of you

Maybe we are a little Romeo and Juliet,

I hope without the tragedy

If in any way I inspire you

Then my heart is gladdened

You my loved one are my reason for being

I am and always will be yours, if

You would have me.


I dream about the galaxy

And about the mountains

I dream of all the things that could be

As long as I am with you

I dream of not leaving your side

Not a blink of my eye

I would not want anything more

Nothing but you

We would live in a shelter of our love

And make love

As the sun slides slowly out of the sky

In your cherished embrace

While the stars watch over us

Then, peacefully we would make love again

With the rising sun

Your embrace is my wish

Your embrace is my peace

In your arms I could die

I love you forever,

September 25, 2003

My Beautiful Ashra,

I want you so much, may I ask to address you as my wife

You are everything to me, my love is for you and you alone

I wish that someday I would be allowed

To touch your flawless skin

And hold you in my arms

All my love always

My whole life would be devoted to your pleasure

I would never make you cry

You will only ever see and hear smiles and laughter

And only ever experience joy

These are my wishes for you my love

I love you and you alone,


My Husband Kieth,

Yes, you could touch me now

Touch my skin and feel every breath of my pore

See the marks of time

The beauty of my youth

The creases of my wisdom

Feel the fragrance and sweat of who I am

Kiss me with your breath

I want your every breath

Every beating of your heart

The gentleness of your love

Which had been a dream to me

A gift of your love

Touch me, yes touch me now

I am adored by your touch

Like a goddess

Who becomes a mortal in the name of love

To kneel to you

And become your slave

I kiss your feet.

My love forever,

September 26, 2003

Wished you were here

In the lament of my writing process

Together we could

Make up a fantasy

You who are my inspiration

Offer me every word to write

A bliss in my life

To cover my strife

I am nothing without you

My wish other than our writing

Would be to see each other sometime

As husband and wife

And while we go on

Our souls could never be parted

By distance.  Together we are

Keeping promises

Keeping thoughts

Keeping each others breath

2.    I am your wife

My thoughts are only of you

Naïve, fresh from the falls of Eden, this is my resurrection

I pray that you would love only me

Because you are mine now

If by chance there is another love

Then I would go, or perhaps stay again if you asked

To keep our covenant

If I get jealous my heart would sink

Into the deep

Form a boulder

Standing on seas

I could never be moved then

My grief would turn the sea red.

I am your wife

Love me as no one had ever loved me

Wind my heart

It is beating your name

Thanking GOD  time you came

I am tired

Let me lie beside you now, my husband

Press your lips unto mine

Let me sleep in your most cherished embrace

Let me touch you

I desire you.

There is only one Salem,

I love you

September 23 2003

My Darling Wife

I am currently working three night shifts

So we might miss each other

For a

Short while

I will try and get on line to answer

Your mails but if I don’t please

Do not

Get angry or sad

I both love and adore you

My Darling Wife,

My love one, I adore you and hope that

Any union between us can be a


My love heart and soul are yours to do with

As you please

I ache for you each day

I am your devoted husband

Your words move me as no others have

I want to desire you even from afar

My love does not diminish

Even though it is just in dreams

I need you more each day

My love as always is yours

My wife whom I adore

My wish is to be one with you

Your are to me is one of the most beautiful woman on earth

I ask nothing more than to be loved by you

I am your servant and your lover to do with as you will

My love grows stronger everyday

September 27, 2003

My work as hospital officer is always hectic… always needed by people

People never

Stop being sick or injured

I have a Bachelor of Science degree which I obtained whilst working

I have never been polygamous, I am yours as long as you want me


My Dearest Ashra,

What wonderful words, they seem to fall

From your pen

You have a talent which I could never equal

I carry your words in my heart



September 29, 2003

I tried to check my emails tonight.  I was so surprised that I got mails from you so soon.  I was trying to catch you if you were online.  But maybe you just did the mails.  I am missing you my darling. Il will be waiting and sending you mail while you're away.

I know you are not polygamous…LOL.  You make me believe that.  LOL. Just be safe .

Thank you for your care. I could go nutsss, feeling you really are my husband.  Maybe I’m crazy ---  to die for you.


I am happy that you worked your way towards your dreams and goals in life
And study whilst you work….wow that’s great of you.  You must be a real genius!

My Ashra

I have one wife …. You

My love always,

 My Darling Ashra

I both want and need you

I ache  for you touch, your words

And your love

I am yours forever

My love as always,


Dear Kieth

My body yearns for you

I am missing you so much

I love you


My Wife,

Please, please do not cry

I could not bear it if I was the cause of

Your tears

My heart and soul belongs to you

September 29, 2003


You could never be forgotten

You were always there for me

Your Bestfriend,


September 29 Monday

My Dear Wife

When I heard your voice it was as if angels were talking to me

I thought nothing could compare to your picture, your beauty is breathtaking

But your voice so pure and full of life moved me

I love you so much.

My Husband

I got so excited to hear your voice

I missed you, too

Yes you are my life and my reason for living

My heart is yours

My thoughts are yours

My soul is for you to keep

I could cry in happiness

I yearn for your embrace

I love you, my husband.

My Darling Ashra,

When I heard your voice I was lost for words

I have never been so happy

Please be mine and think my name

Let your love be for me

You are my sole thought through night and day

I would love to see you, I know in real life it would be impossible


I love you so much and I need you

More than ever.

My Love,

If I could turn back time to a day before

I would take you to be mine alone

My Darling Kieth,

May I ask for your address/location in UK if possible?

I am trying to review my geography.  Wished it were me, so I could see the castles and get to go where you are –

Sometime maybe if there will be a miracle

I am praying sometime we could be in one place and be together for real

I am serious

Take care,

My Darling,

I live near to a place called Middlesbrough.

Or should I say halfway between Middlesbrough and Whitby

Whitby is the initial setting for the story by Bram Stoker,  “Dracula.”

We have castles, ancient priories and scenery to die for…

the weather on the

North Yorkshire Moors this time of year

Has the most wonderful shade



If we could be in the same place for real at some point, I am sure

That I would get us arrested

I would not be able to keep myself in control, I

Would be unable to stop myself making love to you where we were.

I love you my darling.

My Husband,

Please think of me when you are in bed and asleep

Please think of me when you are awake

I want you and need you so badly

My heart aches

My love one, please take care.

Thank you for making me your own

Find union with your thoughts

I want to grow old with you

Take care of you

Age gracefully in your love

You are the other half of my soul.

On November 26, that same year Kieth and Ashra got wed in Sacred Heart Parish, Scotland.  The honeymoon was spent in the Philippines.  And then, they traveled to different parts of the world.  Ashra died of heart failure and left Kieth with no son or daughter.  After Ashra’s death, Kieth had his acres of farm planted with beautiful flowers and named the  farm Lady Ashra Fields.

The End

Copyright rose flores – martinez 2009
Author:  Ma. Rosalinda Flores – Martinez



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