In the Crack

“Look, child, everything the moss touches is our kingdom.”

“So, does that mean we only have this little corner?”

“Do not question our kind’s ever so subtle domination! One day, the moss will grow.”

“I…really don’t know how I feel about this.”

“Oh, they come. Be quiet now, child.”

“I don’t think they can hear us. They would’ve — ”
“ — Shh…be quiet, child.”

“Okay…”

“…”

“…”

“As I was saying, we rule our kingdom of rich, rotten nutrients.”

“Um…remind me why we know words like ‘nutrients’ and ‘kingdom’ again?”

“We live in a college campus, perched on the steps before their electrical engineering building. We have to have gathered their knowledge by the virtues of osmosis.”

“You…really lost me there.”

“You have much to learn, child. One day, you will turn red with knowledge.”

“I am fairly sure that you just turn red from all the communism in this place.”

“What was that?”

“Nothing, just…nothing.”

“Shh…they are coming again.”

“Oh okay…well. Fine, I will shut up.”

“…”

“…”

“Anyway, child, the first thing you must learn is that…wait, child?”

“…”

“Child?!”

“…”

“No, it cannot be. Curse you students and your heavy, blind feet. Curse you!”

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Painter

There’s something amazing about how far a brush can reach: it’s only limited by how far one’s mind can reach. He’s never been one to disrupt the beauty of nature, but sometimes, just sometimes when he reminiscences past hurts and remembered how cruel the Creator is, he would raise a small rebellion and dictate the clouds and colors of the sky. Most of the time, the Creator turns a blind eye on that.

He used to conjure rain or stormy clouds, too, but apparently that was too much.

This afternoon, he was merely sipping coffee, sitting out in his backyard and watching the 50,000th sunset — there were probably more — of his life when he suddenly decided to paint again. He wasn’t feeling too upset, the macarons that he got as a housewarming gift were exquisite, and it was reassuring to know that the girl was fine.

Perhaps, he doesn’t always need to paint sunsets in childish protests. As he watched the clouds unfurled upon a bloom of purpled orange, he was pleased, for once.

He understand that his work often resonate with many lonesome travelers or students away from home or poets. But, perhaps if he changed the motivation behind his brush, it would be different. They would felt the difference.

He was uncertain if the spell of optimism was a power he was unable to lock away for the child. So, he decided to paint, until he was pleased with the layered painting, excited to show case it tomorrow afternoon.

Paper Petals

People write about how the flowers wilts too fast,

that nothing beautiful are meant to last. Yet we

still cut them from the stem, trap them in a vase

from the worlds avast. I heard those poems

condemning mankind’s woe against nature, felt

the heat and pressure and water rising until

my mind drown in guilt and passive helplessness.

So, when I saw it sitting in the glass of water amidst

homely comforts I almost cried. It started as a bud,

content with what it was given: a mere sip and it

blooms, stretched towards the universe to scream

beauty and faith and love in brilliant pinks. Then,

it reached its greatest.

It grew limper, each petal losing the fight to gravity,

and I lost to the gravity of the situation, trapped by

the symbols and metaphors I used to trip myself on

my way to the table. I made it before the first petal

dropped into the water, now a murky mess with a

hint of pink only visible if I pretend that I remember.

I caught a petal, and tried to preserve it, searched up

ways to save the shades and beauty, sing to to it with

optimism to fight inevitability, and dried and wrinkled

the colors somehow remained. The only question if

it was merely a memory and if the petal in my hand

was just painted paper.

Moon Moods

The moon is but a reflection

of sunlight and civilization, a

disk capturing contemplation.

It’s also but a canvas for the

 

poets, characters for a story;

a dimpled rock forced to be

an allegory for our glory.

Our pride cannot be beat

 

and made the moon a symbol

of space exploration, national

pride and a logical fumble:

Put a man on a moon, phenomenal,

 

Put women in the white house? Just

Temperamental.

Fuck

This

shit.

Rooted

The day was bright, and so was her smile: any time she got to be surrounded by the harmonious buzz of nature — don’t get her wrong, she loves exploring the city and their strange contraptions of metal and glass — that just sing of home. So of course, she was delighted to accompany Mr. Solomon to his weekly hike.

Solomon is an interesting man, and as Saphira best put it, stereotypical portrait of a gentle scholar. It was difficult to see how he could easily adapt to the bumps and steepness of the mountains with his determined, willful wobble of a gait.

And embarrassingly enough, while Vega may or may not have tripped on more than a few unsuspecting rocks to avoid meandering snails, the old man maintained a steady pace of unhurried grace while offering explanations for each twig of vine that caught her attention.

They paused at the yellowing carpet of leaves, and he posed the question, “What do you make of these trees?”

“Hrm…” She recalled the way her father used to train her to attune to the songs of nature, to appreciate the sometimes harmonious melodies or their complete, organized chaos: then she realized, these trees, as she placed her hand upon one of the pale trunk, she could hear a deep, resonating tune.

As she shifted to another trunk, she found the same song. The motif rang with the other, and another. She suddenly realized that how strange it must have seemed for her to just pet different tree trunks.

Still, she had an answer, “They have a similar…energy. They are closely connected.”

Solomon appeared intrigued by her methods, but did not judge anything besides her assessment, “That’s one way to say it, I suppose. These are aspens, and they grow in large colonies of roots as to survive extreme conditions.”

“Oh…that makes sense.”

“How did you determine they are connected, Vega?”

For some reason, she assumed that the old man and his gentle smiles would understand, “It’s almost like a harmony they emit. A song that if you listen closely enough to, you can hum along, too.”

“…” Solomon settled on looking up at where the sun settled upon the gentle netting of tender, new, yellow leaves to highlight speckles of glistening gold. “Sometimes it’s not something that is visible, the deepest, strongest connections. But, what differentiate us from trees if we only realize our dependence upon our allies when all is gone into cinders?”

A metaphor should leave just enough room for the audience to immediately attach themself, and Vega was trying to decide which way would be the most meaningful, “A lesson of mutual appreciation, perhaps?”

“Yes, maybe even a lesson of realization. Or of family,” The old man seemed contemplative. “For someone like me in their old age, with most of their kin gone, it’s always good to remember that they still are my roots, and by reaching out to catch the ethereal bath of the stars and be a fine lesson to meandering passersby, I carried on their purpose. And, that we are always together because of it.”

When he averted his gaze from the skies to meet her, it was as though he felt the pain of those sleepless nights when the thought of never seeing her parents again won against her usual optimism, and when he smiled she noticed that dust got in her eyes so she wiped at them. She almost heard the familiar voices whispering back, “We are always here for you.” She shook the ridiculous notion out of her mind that her parents’ voices would just be there.

Instead, it was just Solomon, with his usual knowing, sorrowful smile as he, too, heard those echoes of the past.

“Let’s go before sundown, child.”

And so they retraced their step, the determined wobble accompanied by the light skip of a gait lightened by profundity.

Grayish Blue

Getting up was hard,

and Nature nodded, too, at

me: “the sun forgot, too, so hid, it did

behind the clouds, mellow.”

 

The bell tolled, hard,

and I paused, marveled at

the skies so grey. Sang, it did

with breeze so dull, leaves flapped, hollow.

 

They sang, “ ‘twas treacherous, too hard,

and calloused. A fool laughed at

A star so far.” Think, I bid

my pen to write some verse, ever so hollow.

 

To cry, is pointless: ‘tis too hard

a task for one who sat

around in selfish lights, a bid

for those words become more hollow.

 

I tried, regardless, with no regard

of the hard, harsh wind. I sat

by the window to think, to bid

the breeze and dust goodbye, hollowed.