_the other side.
I came from halfway around the world,
I’m from the other side.
Kids with cracking yolks for a future,
So they never see the sunny side.
Stagnant in development,
So basically they’re mummified.
Think it’s hard to picture?
Just imagine that you’re colour blind.
See, we’ve got great skies, great floods
And stubborn skies.
Think the rain will never stop,
Then the sun will rise.
Bird songs in the trees, blue skies,
But even when it’s clear, you can hear
Another mother cry.
One kid’s crying because he’s hungry
And another ‘cause his brother died.
Youngin’s better run inside.
See, government’s corrupt,
So justice is always undermined.
Earthquakes cracking as a pulse
So the waters, they all come alive.
So we crossed the Pacific Ocean,
Said good bye to the summer vibes.
But came to find out that poor streets
Aren’t the only place on this earth
Where the struggle lies.
Opportunity’s hard to find,
It’s a fact they never televised.
I said, “This wasn’t what was promised.”
But the devil says, “I never lie!”
I said, “This ain’t new to me, but truthfully,
It’s always us against the other guys.”
They complain about dark clouds,
I say “Oh, you think you’re funny now?
Because above me I’ve got thunderclouds.”
They used to write me off
Every time that I would come around.
But subconsciously, they’re telling us
We’re diamonds in the rough
The way they try to keep us underground.
I’m from the Philippines!
So I’m more than just the tint of my skin.
Have more than crimson in my veins but I keep it within.
I’m from the Philippines!
A country once ruled by lakans
Meaning “paramount ruler”.
Rajas, governors, and now presidents.
Ruled for thousands of years
By natives on its thousands of islands.
Traded with the Chinese.
Colonized by the Spanish.
Property of the Americans.
Occupied by the Japanese.
You call me Asian on general principle
But my blood carries ultraviolet between my fingertips.
We had no choice in the matter.
Even had religion fed to us
In the palms of Ferdinand Magellan and Miguel Lopez de Legaspi.
Roman Catholics in the North.
Islam in the South.
Even our country is confused in which God
To believe in.
So we’re not in the spotlight for a reason.
Because we let them keep us down like it was in season.
We’re lost out here.
We almost have no identity.
We don’t know where we fit in,
Have a culture for our children,
And they’re all steady drifting
Down the stream where this backwards society
Wants to take them.
I have revolution in my wrists,
And change in my chest.
Because everything that’s gone through my blood
Now makes sense to me.
We’re rainbows after it rained blood
On the pages of our history.
See, my heart pumps 5 centuries
Of colonization and occupation
For a future you try to papercut with my past.
When blood runs thicker than gunpowder.
Because we’re more than just a race full of:
Caregivers and nurses religiously all packed into churches.
So you better get off that
Before you get Pacquiao jabbed into hearses.
I’m from the Philippines!
So if they ask me why I’m here,
Let me tell them why.
They would say I’m firing shots,
But no. I let a hundred fly.
They think so little of us,
So we’re always going to be undersized.
It’s just a prelude to success,
So let me summarize.
They’re never just going to hand us opportunities,
So I’m staying on my humble grind.
Trying to lead by example,
And change the trend of success
For those coming from the other side.
We all have scorpions on our backs.
Their sting in the small of our spines
Remind us of the sweet sensation
That feels a lot like singing sometimes.
Symphonies that shed tears
That race like windowpane blessings.
To orchestras of past pains
Playing melodies with notes
Scribbled into margins
Just trying to tell the pain
To wait a little longer next time.
To give us a few more minutes.
Before the poison creeps into our brains
Like bad memories.
We’ve all got trust issues.
And I know you’re scared.
Scared that I might reopen old wounds
You’ve spent so much time
Trying to heal well enough
To let you live like light.
Without wincing at the world.
That I’d fall for someone
A little more secure
And a little more pretty
Not knowing you’re already
All I could have asked for.
That security can come with time.
And I’ve been scared
Of handing my heart over to you.
Thinking that one day…
You’ll feel like you don’t trust the weight
Enough to believe that it’s real.
That it’s all yours.
Just like I’ve been telling you for months now.
So maybe I’m holding on a little too tightly
When I’ve already spent the last few nights
Praying you’ll hold my heart like a home
That held mistakes like honour.
Knowing that I’d do a little better
The next time.
Until the empty silences and falling tears
Turn into laughter and a little more sunshine.
Hold my heart like a home
That never knew trust
Could be anything but perfect.
We’ve all got trust issues.
I’m just hoping ours will be enough
To try working out.
An Open Letter To Miel.
I want to squeeze you so tightly
Your skin will forget
What it feels like to miss mine.
I never want to get used
To the feeling of your lips.
I want every time I kiss you
To feel like the first time
That my lungs have hugged oxygen.
I want to kiss you until the sunrise.
And when it finally comes,
I will start all over again.
Until I’ve memorized the taste of your lips
The way I know my momma’s cooking.
They’ll probably taste
Like every reason that I fell for you.
Regal in the way we suit each other
We could almost be a royal flush.
And maybe you could be queen…
And then I could be your king.
Dressed head to toe in the most royal apparel.
But I won’t propose with a ring.
But with a handful of diamonds.
A fistful of the forever I can’t promise you
Until I’m done working on our now.
We both never had a thing for clubs.
But I would still watch you dance
Or spin and twirl your words
To the choreography of your penmanship
Until the sun decides to call it a day
And the moon calls it a night.
And if you teach me
Then I could be your partner.
Or I could be your music.
Just to show you that the static lullaby
In these satellite signals
Don’t do anything to make us feel farther.
In fact, they make me feel closer to you.
On those nights when you fall asleep
And I can listen to the hum of your breathing.
It sounds a lot like
A thousand love poems living in your lungs
Just waiting to be freed from your ribcage.
You make me feel
Like I have enough Muhammad Ali in my legs
To butterfly past bullets.
And the moment we clicked…
I may have spent a second
Mistaking those sparks for stars.
A silver streak in the night sky
And this supernova was only getting started.
See, I haven’t put my telescope away since.
And I keep telling myself that the number of stars
Probably match up with the reasons
I like you so much.
But I’m sure they’d run out
Before I ran out of reasons.
And I’ve heard
That you only see the light from a star
Thousands of years after it has died and exploded.
Then that means that I’m sure my reasons win
Because I see the light in your laughter
Even without the darkness
Of the night sky to paint it against.
While your smile sows seeds
To give birth to every butterfly
That’s ever grown to call my stomach a home.
And I wouldn’t mind waking up every morning
Ready to count them both all over again.
Even though sometimes…
I know it’s painfully obvious
That I don’t know what I’m doing.
And the tense silence hangs heavy
Every time sorrow and strife
Finds a way to creep into our conversations.
When I seem to do all the wrong things
At all the right times
And you probably regret why you didn’t take
Wondering if you were a lesbian
A little more seriously.
And my apologies seem like broken records.
That don’t carry the same weight
When all I’ve been doing
Is lifting boulders I had no business boxing with.
When I should have been
Throwing pebbles at your window
With a boombox in my hands instead.
Maybe I’ll play the theme song from Dawson’s Creek.
And we’ll slow dance to all the songs
We’ve tied memories to.
More like knots in our stomachs
Than chains from past experiences
That we’ve both wished would rust.
And it will.
Because I’ve had too many wishes
Of overwritten soundtracks
That you can waltz in your bedroom to, alone
When I’m not there to lose myself
In the curves of your hips
And the taste of your presence
Like it was the only alcohol
I ever want to get drunk off of.
So let me pour you a glass oo.
And we can drink each other in
Until we memorize the feeling of celebration
Every time our minds find a space
To hold each other in.
While our bodies do the same.
I want to study every inch of you.
Memorize the archives
Hidden behind your eyes
The archeology in your bones
And the biology in your blood.
I want to make a library out of you.
Lay you in front of me.
Study your curves
Caress the braille in your goosebumps
Like I was trying to decipher
Bible passages from them.
Like there’s something divine in your touch.
And study the penmanship scripted into your skin
Until I lose myself in their cartography.
Map all the places I’ve kissed and explored
Until the candles burn low.
And we can make records
Out of all our conversations
With the wax.
Just so I could play them over and over again.
And over again.
Until I hear the music of your voice in everything.
Like my world was a musical
And the soundtrack was of our conversations.
Or hours of you singing along
To your favourite songs.
And I won’t say you do it well…
But I admit
I would listen to it like it went platinum.
There’s just something about the joy
I hear in your voice…
I can almost hear you smiling.
And I love it.
See, I want to study your scars
Like there was science behind them.
I want to study the stories they tell
Like they were ancient hieroglyphics
Just so I can understand where you came from.
Not in the, I understand why you feel like that, kind of way.
But in the , I understand the pain you’ve become accustomed to
And it hurts me too that it does, kind of way.
Until I can make your soul smile again.
Then we can have a music lesson.
I will play your ribs like xylophones
And I could lie next to you.
Listening to the heaven held
By the harp in your vocal chords.
But I would probably be a horrible musician.
Because I’d lose time too often
Holding your hands and playing with those digits
Like mathematicians, and my hands…
Feel a lot like an abacus tonight.
And you could play with them too, if you want.
Or we could spend the night
Looking for the fault in our stars.
Shining against the darkness
Of all our mistakes.
But we never let them tell us our future for us.
Because if there’s anything I’ve learned
It’s that we’ve been fated to make something immortal
Since the day we first told each other
What we were holding in.
How much you liked me.
How much I like you back.
And I have to remind myself
That you couldn’t see the brightness of the stars in the sunshine.
Without the darkness of the night.
A canvas backdrop
That shows me just how strong you are.
And just how much I want this to last.
I want us to last like empires.
I want us to last like places.
I want us to last like suppers.
Hoping I’d be worth the work.
All of the sacrifices you’ve made on my behalf
Every time you share something divine with me.
Like your understanding.
Something I couldn’t do.
But I’m hoping that maybe…
You could teach me too one day.
So for those who don’t know, I am part of a slam team…or more of a slam poetry family called The Messengers.
Since our creation 2 years ago and through all the growth, the competitions, the performances, the joy, and the heartbreaks…we’re here. Starting from 4 inexperienced youth poets from Toronto, we have expanded to 10 members of all equally amazing artists. Each of us has a profile on the page that you can check out, along with a picture you can…check out. We’ll continue updating the page with news, competitions, performances, poetry, new material, videos, and everything else it is that youth poets do.
So show some love and LIKE our page! There’s going to be a lot of big things happening in the future. So walk with us!
Take your time with me.
I have this bad habit of breaking easily.
And the edges of my pieces
May not fit together so well anymore.
If you want to be happy…
Take your favourite book. Go to the park on a warm, sunny day and lie down on the grass, preferably on the side of a hill. Make sure there’s a breeze. Lose yourself in the world inside of the book until you forget what your own body feels like. What your own sorrow and sadness feels like. What the idea of mortality is. Close the book and remember how beautiful everything around you is.>
_17 things I wanted to tell you.
1. The sound of your voice IS one of my favourite things about being alive.
2. And so is your laugh.
3. And your smile…and your face…
4. …and everything else.
5. I’m sorry for turning you into poetry. But I would be lying if I didn’t say it made me notice and appreciate you more for all the little things.
6. If one day, I told you that I knew you by your curves alone, would you believe me?
7. That would be the one thing I wouldn’t mind studying for hours on end to memorize.
8. I’m pretty sure that I would remember you better than any of my poetry.
9. But I’m sorry for forgetting so much. For the little things. For the big things. For the sand leaking through my memory that I try to hold on to like the last gasp of oxygen I could put on reserve before I drowned…but I always forget.
10. I like you more.
11. You made me realize that I shouldn’t save compliments for special occasions. To give them like they were going out of style and I had too much left in my pockets to save.
12. As much as I wish I could be, I’m not amazing.
13. If I was a butterfly, you would give me humans in my stomach all the time.
14. Every day that I could wake up next to you would probably feel like Christmas morning. And I would unwrap you slowly from the tangle of your bed sheets so I can hold you the way the moon dances with the ocean.
15. Please smile for me.
16. If you’re finding it hard to, I will help you.
17. Let me know when you’re smiling, and I will call you tonight.
_a mother should never outlive her son.
Can you picture your baby boy
Clipping his wings to drop his feathers
For a war he was bred for?
To a soundtrack of shells clattering on concrete.
A future like thousands of cracking yolks.
A generation of posterboys for war:
Both murderers and martyrs
Traded to firearms from fathers
Graduated from books to combat boots.
And these days…
Hopes, are harder to hold onto than hand grenades.
We are weapons.
Raised by national pride to die for peace
Aren’t expected to have a long life expectancy either.
They might as well call us shooting stars.
See, there is nothing like the pride
Of taking a bullet for your motherland.
But there is nothing like the pain
Of knowing you’ll never see her again.
Things that are classic:
Walks on the beach. The feeling after watching an amazing movie. Rain hitting your window. A summer breeze. Sincere hugs. The smell of fresh cut grass. The passion in a person’s voice when they talk about something they love. Ice cream trucks. The feeling of stepping on a crunchy leaf. Physical books. Sunsets. Blasting music in the car. Boyz II Men. Physical photographs. Running through sprinklers. Muhammad Ali. The voice of a saxophone. Well fitting suits. Manners. Chivalry. Sun dresses. A dozen red roses. Photographs. Casablanca. Love.>