Poems for 2018 World Poetry Day

In celebration of World Poetry Day, we’ve compiled some verses on various topics penned by our friends. Enjoy!


Crescia Lactao

On the days
I wake up with my eyes closed,
My breath scratches the edges of my teeth

My blood vessels are rushing,
Lighting, running like a woman
But my skin is tearing insides,
Falling leaves, and bleeding gums

This does not feel like a woman

This is a woman:
A person who treats the solar system like play doh,
Tells herself that it’s a matter of jagged nails and fingers

My mother was a pillow with arms
She would push up the whole world,
So i could sleep peacefully on her back

She would whisper in my ear,
Enveloping me in blanket hugs,
That it’s not about how breaths
Should smoothly slide from your mouth

My dear, she tells me with her woman eyes, it’s time for your heartbeat
To feel comfortable drumming under your lungs

You nail-biter, skin picker,
Pin and needle limbs with a face,
Today, you are not a woman
Because of the new skin
That peeks from the surface
Self-created and newly scraped
From the battered connection between
Skin cells and nerves

It looks like leaves—
—a seedling—
Breaking out from the soil
A new sky, a new day, new time
Everything clean slated
For the new skin settling

At that moment,
You ant-crawling pairs of bones,
Ticking time bomb organs,
You are not man,
Nor are you a woman,

You are something else
In the making


Crescia Lactao

One day,
I’d like to knock on your door
And walk past your living room
With no skip or kick

In your house,
During couch conversations,
I’d like to compare
The warmth of your hand
To the warmth of your breath

And to weave my laughter
Into the air of your house
So that my feet and my heart
Wouldn’t feel as light
As it does inside

I’d like to step into your garden
And use the dried leaves
To spell out what you mean to me
I’d like you to breathe the sight
And finally notice the array
Of sunset colors and pink skies
Of the wonderful artwork laid in front of you

I’d like to someday be that person
Whom you wouldn’t need spoken words
To feel close to

I’d like to feel like I’m hugging you,
Whispering all the sweetness,
Kissing you,
In pockets of silence,
Which I want to roll in with you
Smiling, laughing, touching
Warm mushy bliss

One day,
I want to see you
Glimpse at the tapestry
I’ve made in the air
And the strings of every interaction
We’ve shared together

It’s a me because of a you
It’s not a masterpiece,
But it’s enough to feel like it’s perfect

I hope you’ll see
Everything some day,
Not today,
Maybe not tomorrow,
But one day


Crescia Lactao

Ala sais sa umaga ng Lunes ngayon.

Kakagising lang ang bata sa berdeng kwarto. Hindi niya masyado gusto ang umaga, pero okay lang yan. Kukurap siya para alisin ang kanyang antok tapos hihilahin ang sarili sa lababo ng kanyang kubeta,

Ang bata may gusto sa kulay na kahel ay bumabangon na, ngunit nawawala siya sa kanyang naririnig na tunog. Sumasayaw siya at ginagalaw ang kanyang ulo para tugmaan ang huni ng hangin pumapasok sa kanyang nakabukas na bintana.

Kumikinig ang bata galing sa pulang pader sa isang mahinang tunog, ang dalawang nota tumitibok sa relo nakadikit sa kanyang pulso. Nandoon na siya sa baba ng bahay, kumakain ng almusal at naghihintay nang tahimik.

Ang bata pumapabor sa bughaw ay nananaginip pa rin. Hindi niya pinapansin ang alarm clock tumutunog sa tabi ng kanyang kama. Gayunpaman, mapayapa siya—nawawala—pero kalmado at mapayapa.

Hindi sila parehong uri ng mga tao, ngunit kahit anong ginagawa nila, magkasama sila.

Sa hakbang nila palabas, magkasama sila. Dahil dito, nanatili silang lahat sa kwarto ng bughaw na bata hanggang sigurado handa na siya umalis.

Kapag sila’y lumalakad, magkasama sila. Magkaiba ang kanilang hakbang sa bangketa, ngunit lumilikha ito ng kanilang sariling musika.

Sa panahon noong kailangan nila ng bahay, lumatag sila ng pundasyon at nagsimula itayo ang katawan dahil iyan talaga ang ginagawa nila: nagpapatayo.

Ang bahay nila naman may maraming kulay. Ito’y kulay puti na mayroong maliliit ng berde sa panloob at basta lang nakasalansan na bughaw. Sa ibabaw, mayroong maraming pulang guhitan at kahel na bilog.

Hindi na siya mukhang bahay.

Parang siya’y kaguluhan.

Pero maganda siya, hindi ba?

A pair/poems

Dbee Quema

Waiting ;
Sometimes, you’re on your bed attached to an old but still soft pillow.
Glazed eyes stare at the bunk bed above yet seeing nothing but a Resemblance of a cage.
It’s cold all over your body even if you try to wiggle your toes because Everything’s so numb all of a sudden.
You can’t even hear your heart
For the only sound that was heard
Was the ticking
In your head.

There was a timer somewhere, anticipating for the loud alarm to go off.
You didn’t see the point as you were already awake;
As you were still awake.

(It must have been this immense burden of black bile oozing off your shoulders.
Ah, maybe, you were not well today.
Maybe there was a plague of rats crawling in your head, itching for you to Get up but begging for you to stay back down.
There was something saying
That something’s wrong.)

Most of the time, you’re able to force yourself off this damned comfortable bed.
It would feel easy to get up after 1, 2, 3 – and now you’re ready to live again.
The sun would shine from the window across your bed, and you’d feel warm.
Wiggling toes and breathing lungs was the reward for getting up on fresh mornings.

There was no need for an alarm because you could sit up on your own and smile.
You slept well;
You didn’t need to wait for morning to come because it came as soon as you Opened your eyes.

Tonight, you tried to blink again.
The window was still pitch black.
You’re still on the bed,

Bruise (free write);

There was the tap of fingers on the chair.
It played a repetitive sound; the only thing you could hear.
Your heartbeat fell into a rhythm, following the beat of the fingers.
You felt safe but not with the pair of warm arms wrapped around your waist.
It was tight on your body; the fingers laced comfortably.
There were whispers in your ear, convincing enough to believe that there is beauty in you.
The fading red on your neck and the fresh purple bruises on your highs were signs of encouragement.
This was supposed to be a happy moment like the flickering lampshade on the bedside.
Instead, those fingers of yours switched it off, leaving both of you in the dark with your body no longer safe.


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