Thursday, April 2, 2015

My "religious" poems (so far)

...or 10 poems with references to my Roman Catholic religion (sort of):

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


My arms form a chalice: my wrists joined together,
its node; my hands open, its cup. And your face,
like wine, fills its void, perfectly, and I drink
all the world’s beauty, burning in my
palms, your eyes searing my heart.
Time freezes,
to this
of soul
But you
 are also
grains of sand,
slipping through my fingers,
emptying my hands, till only your spirit remains.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

DUI (Driving Under Thy Influence) 

Driving at breakneck speed,
colorblind at the stoplights.
Dyslexic and semi-literate,
dumb at the traffic signs.
Stereo conveniently amplified,
drowning all city sounds.

She professed love or hate
naked, at the top of her lungs -
King James Version.

Maybe I preferred it with
Today's English Version.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

John 8:1-11

Jesus straightened up and said to them,

"Let the one among you
who is without sin
be the first to cast
a stone at her."

And Jesus, He who is without sin,
again bent down and wrote
on the ground, without
casting a stone.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Catholics in a Passenger Jeep

The rickety jeep passed by the Sacred Heart of Jesus, 
and five of us seven passengers began making 
the sign of the cross, hurriedly --

more Quadrate or Square, more Greek than Latin: 
forehead, mid-chest, shoulder, shoulder

-- executed somewhere between 
force of habit, and genuine 
expression of faith.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

It's Snowing in Manila

"The snow is always falling in "Fargo," cloaking the world in metaphysical confusion." - Jessica Zafra

The militant chided the child for singing "White Christmas" when the longest Christmas season
isn't white, in the absence of snow in these parts. (The movement would not give its imprimatur.)

But it gets almost-white cold up in Baguio City. But snowflakes allegedly fell in some parts 
of Metro Manila, said the news. And there's Snow World in Star City amusement park.

Suddenly, snow falls and cloaks Manila in meteorological confusion; the street children 
began inhaling more feverishly, setting the mean streets and themselves on fire.

Soon, snowmen start throwing corpseballs at each other, across frozen feces-strewn streets  
unfamiliar with swathes of ice, now covering the familiar (and multiplying) burnt flesh.

The whole world winters; its entirety imagines, suffers, and melts with the snow... 
just as it realizes, and burns with, the fires of hell in the here and now.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Empty Spaces

That empty space is fine with and in itself; it has no need for or of us.
Or, it has emptied itself of its abundance, upon seeing us closing the distance
(threatened of rape, plunder, and the other imperatives of colonization).
It is best if we just walk on the path that cruelly cuts through them,
and just let the sliced and side spaces breathe -- and air to pass through
or settle in their emptiness. Our burdens are our own, our own crosses.
Spare the rest of the world the heavy load, as we proceed to our private Golgotha.
Let the empty spaces do nothing more than bear witness to our procession.
Or, nothing more than being or not being, as we plod on to our crucifixion.
Still, our declaration of faith steadfastly remains, "We believe in Resurrection."
And soon we, who have been running empty, shall perish and ash --
neither in victory nor defeat -- into the quiet brotherhood of empty spaces.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


To consume beauty and be consumed by it...
right or wrong, in heaven or hell,
in sin or in grace...

Monday, March 9, 2015

Adam and Eve

He was the neighborhood pervert, and must be avoided,
they said.

He preyed on young children, but was never prosecuted,
the elders said.

But he had a biblical theory, alive in his head,
I said.

When Adam started touching himself, it was decided,
he said,

To create Eve, and that's the story never decoded,
as he said

To me when I was seven years old, sitting on his bed,
I said.

With his hand pressed on my thigh, but it never ascended,
I've always said.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Paternal Defense Mechanism

I have long accepted, being my father's son myself,
that parents (fathers, in particular, as a father myself)
will always love their children so much more 
than the other way around.

Now my children are children, but they will grow up,
and discover my misdeeds -- sins or crimes, even! --
and may end up despising me, cursing me, till I die.
And perhaps wish me dead as soon as possible,
sooner than God or nature plans.

But how much should it matter? It's a given
that I'll try to win back their love and respect.
And if it would be in vain, though they may curse me
every second and every day till the day I die, 
I'll still love them more and more till the day I die.
(That is, if ever love can be measured 
via hourglasses and calendars.)

Monday, March 23, 2015

The sermon

The priest delivers his sermon, in English
and Tagalog, with his Spanish accent.
I hardly understand most of it,
but my soul is at rest.

*  *  *

Wow! I didn't realize that this collection, in chronological order, would begin and end with poems referring to parts of the Sunday Mass: the elevation (Chalice) and the homily (The sermon). 

Check out My Personal Anthology (12 Poems)

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