Photographs

Leftovers of last night’s party scattered on the floor

Grandma’s old dress hanging by a hook inside the closet

Photographs of old friends stowed inside a chest, rotting

Away like the memories fading off from my mind.

People with funny hats, children with flashy grins

Twinkling bright eyes, forever smiling into the camera,

Their movements always still. A birthday party at a friend’s house,

Spring carnivals filled with colors and game shows and dances and

Trips to museums; everyday activities inside a bright small classroom.

A teacher standing by the board, silent students listening,

Their eyes all following the movement of his hands.

At the cafeteria, at the hallway, at the library, at the playground –

Dozens and dozens neatly placed inside an album.

Dozens and dozens – only scenes remembered vaguely.

Faces I used to know, laughed with and cried with; faces I used to

Dream of and liked for years; faces that still remain clinging

From the edge of my memory, slowly letting go as the years

Pass by. Childhood friends, high school crushes, best friends and

Friendly neighbors – Life separates them into different directions,

Without them knowing why. Life leads us on – each one to his own

Destiny, leaving memories to falter and trails on the dusty path.

– I.K.

Summer Night

Summer. She tasted salt on her lips as the waves sent the cool breeze rolling against her hair and her cheeks. Her strawberry-colored beach dress with dotted patterns flapped against the wind, revealing her burly calves. Across the distance, the sun was settling in, a giant red orb pulling the waning clouds and the blue sky into its orbit. The sea gulls with their squawks echoing in the air, raced towards the sun, leaving her and the lonely beach behind. Reminders of their existence, their feathers scattered all over the shore and the little food remains they left near the pebbles and rocks, faded among the shadows with the retreating sunlight. The lifeguard had heaved his equipment bag over his shoulder as he headed to the parking lot. He started the engine and was already out and into the streets, passing cars on his way to god-knows-where. No one had seen her. Even the man with the sharpest eyes who could spot the tip of the sails of a ship from nearly a kilometer away had failed to spot her. She had tried her best to stay out of sight.

Above, the blue sky had melted into a ravish violet, which she felt looked like the color of her own heart. Full of mystery, esoteric, complicated and confused. Thin ribbons of clouds trailed along the sky. Then as she watches, an amber glow emanated from the sun. It enveloped everything in its way, into a blanket of orange and gold until it stopped at a point where the remaining indigo of the sky seemed to linger around, casting a soft ombre. She moved her gaze to find herself staring into the ocean. It was dark, daunting and ominous. She had never seen the ocean to be this formidable before although at this moment, it was reflecting off the remaining glow of the sun. Soon, the twilight will completely fade away; the sun will be making its way towards the other side of the earth and if she is lucky, the moon might shine tonight which might save her from the monstrous ocean that was waiting to devour her at any moment.

One, two, three. She walked towards a black opening at the far end of the beach. From a distance, it looked like a cave but smaller in size. Away from the darkness, from the low rumbles of the ocean and the beam of the pale moonlight held against the black sky, she delved in closer and closer to her hearth, to her sanctuary of solitude and peace. The summer wind blew into the opening of the cave. But it had already vanished.

Lament

(Dedicated to victims of the Nepal Earthquake on April 25, 2015)

I heard their cries among the noises of buildings falling from their bases, roofs and shafts tumbling onto its dwellers, women and children shrieking for help as the walls gave away and buried their cries under its weight.

I heard their cries even as the rain dragged on, even as men shouted amidst the chaos, pulling out the dead from beneath the rubble and, carrying the injured and the ones who are minutes on their way to death.

I heard their cries as the cities and villages trembled to the force of the earth, as the ancient mountains swayed, being disturbed from their aeonian slumber and awakened to the call of Mother Nature.

I heard their cries as children huddled in the corner of streets, women wept to the loss of their kin, men hung their heads in sorrow to the death of their families and a boy watches his mother die in his arms.

I heard their cries even as relief efforts are sent, even as the doctors treated the injured, with beads of sweat trickling on their foreheads, their eyes heavy with tiredness and grief, knowing their job would never be over.

I heard their cries as soldiers risked their lives and civilians braved their way towards the ruins, courageous hearts saving and fighting, realizing that it’s a test of their fear – that the warriors always stand last.

I heard their cries but I couldn’t do anything. I could do nothing but watch in silence and think of how life could be so fragile and unpredictable. Within seconds, all you have could be swept away from you and that you could die not knowing where you would go afterwards.

I could do nothing but think of how this world we are living is no heaven or paradise. We are all vulnerable and this could happen to you or to me.

I could do nothing but wish that these people found comfort in their times of trouble, that the world is with them and that there is a chance to rise up again.

I could do nothing because all my savings and all my wealth would not be enough to recompense the depth of their loss. Because no money can fix a broken heart.

I only wish that somehow you could learn to gaze at the stars, see how they shine despite the darkness around them and know that those stars are shining only for you, bringing you peace in the darkest of your nights.

A Dear Diary Kinda Post

Whew, boy am I glad to be on here again, voicing out my thoughts and continuing with my writing. After a three hour exam in an auditorium where I was thrown in with two hundred other students, I hurriedly filled in the answer sheets with vague theories and facts I crammed in at the last moment before entering the room. I didn’t stop but kept on writing and writing as I raced against time. By the end of that grueling three hour session, being glued to my seat and with my ink splattered across the desk, I had to call it a day off. So, I spent the rest of the afternoon reading Jhumpa Lahiri’s, Interpreter of Maladies, while bearing the painful cramps on my right palm and my delicate little fingers. Never in my whole three years of college had I written so much than I did today. It was scary and all the while I heard the clock ticking away, I kept thinking to myself I was running out of time. When I looked back at my question paper, there were five more questions left to answer!! Thank God, I managed to finish it all in time and thank God, it’s almost over. There is nothing worse than failing an exam especially when you have studied so hard for it. But hey, hard work always pays off in the end.

With two other exams left and a three day gap between each, I am left with a good amount of time to study and just relieve myself of all the stress. I also feel that my writing has gotten a bit worse after having not written anything during these past few weeks or maybe I am just being too critical of myself? I don’t know. With a summer internship ahead of my schedule, it’s going to be a struggle finding the time to write and practice my writing AND review all the stuffs I learned this year. But first thing first, I need a proper vacation and fresh air. I have been imprisoned in my room for so long it feels like a different planet outside.

(Btw, I know the featured image has nothing to do with the content but since I like it, I thought it may fit in somehow.)