09.Apr.14 1 week ago

Poem #8 of 30: Back to Us

Poem #8 of 30: “Back to Us”

You know those moments when
You know
That you are stepping into speaking words
that don’t just dig a hole for you to drop down in to
But your words spill out razor sharp- shoveling,
Breaking the soil below you
They bulldoze you so deep you just can’t see how you’ll be able to
your way out
From sinking to the Earth’s core
Without burying yourself whole
In the process

That moment is happening

And my defensiveness
My ego
Is talking
That I’ve lost track of what exactly
I’m upset with
I can’t remember where it began
I can’t remember if it was even something that was relevant to what we’re talking about now

Yup, I manifested this
I looked straight into your eyes and
am going to let my fire be fueled in this situation
With uninhibited negativity
I am going to ride it through
I am going to start with a stern voice
And a stoic face
And then you’ll ask me
“Ummmm… Are you okay?”
And I’ll say
“Yea, I’m fine”
And when you ask me if I’m okay the 3rd or 4th time
Because I’m making it obvious
In my body
My stance
And my face
That I am

I’ll say EVERYTHING else
but what I really mean to say

I am going to raise my voice
To emphasize my point
And when I’ve lost my direction
And you bring attention
To my
Complete illogical,
highly emotional,

I am going to ignore you

Trying to keep my tears in
And then ask for your attention
In a way that saves my pride
And hopes that you will give it to me without me having to really ask
And when you don’t
Or even if you do…
Ignore you again
And then cry, sob, wail and sink to the ground
Because I am out of words
Even the ones that I had to begin with or the ones that express
Wanting this situation to end,
Hoping you’ll pick me back up
But instead
When you come to hold me,
I’ll push you away
And then you’ll ask me:
“Do you want me to leave?”
I’ll tell you:
“If you want to leave then just leave.”
But what I really mean is: “Stay.”

I know.
This is not okay.
And I play in my head
The cliche
That you don’t realize what you have
Until it’s too late
Until you’ve pushed it away
Until you don’t realize it, but
With all your doubt
You’ve wished it away
Until it really goes away
Because you always thought it would
And you called it forth
Into reality
With your worry
With your doubt
With your inability to fully
trust him
or yourself
To make it through


I tell myself in this moment
Exhale it out
Shake it out
And get ready to manifest something new

In this moment
I realize how much
Even though…
It’s already gone somewhere far from it
I recollect myself
To reconnect my self
To you
I understand and I trust
Somehow I must
I can
Bring myself back
To us

09.Apr.14 1 week ago

Poem #7 of 30: “Deep Listening”

"Deep Listening"

You reveal to me
What is locked within
Where stories have been laid
to rest
In safety and
in comfort
In the space between
your chest                and your throat
Where your soul’s most sacred scripts and recordings
Have been archived away

Your breath gently pulls
A page of your life’s telling
Neatly lined and shelved
between bones
in the place your rib cage
guards your heart

And humbled,
I open up my own heart-
To hear you

You shake free in trembling
your stories
As they spill over in scattered remnants
Into the space between us
And I see you piece your humanity back together before my eyes
In uncertainty
    and discomfort
And as your story re-membered finds shelter
In this space we create
Shielded by my silence
Cradled by my listening in wholeness
I hold your words shared
I hold your story shared
I hold your spirit shared
I hold your hand
I hold your heart
I hold you as I hear you
In gratitude

07.Apr.14 1 week ago

Poem #6 of 30: “In Me”

Poem #6 of 30: “In Me”

Deep within the belly of the crocodile
Ansister’s Cry
For the liberation of her spirit
Spirit so powerful and tremendous,
That oppressors feared it
They thought that without her body breathing life
That they would erase her existence and all her light
But they didn’t know how alive she would breathe
Beyond the clamping of crocodile’s teeth
Her spirit would continue to grow
Her power underestimated, colonizers did not know
She would live on through generations to come
Overseas, pieces of her spirit would travel- leaving motherland sun

I, in all my being am blessed to be one
Who carries Babaylan in all I be
And each day I wake-
I see,
I know,
She lives on through me

I know the Teacher in me
Who seeks knowledge in not just the written word
But looks to what is written in the Earth
And the Stars
And on bodies written on by invisible scars
Wounded by traumas from Ancestors’ past
She sees their faces in her own
Knows she holds their memory of migrant movement in her muscles and bones
That their, love affair with the sun, lives in her skin
She understands that all she seeks to learn begins with discovering stories that live upon her flesh and deep within

The teacher in me knows this truth
She carries wonderment and curiosity many lose in their youth
And she is constantly, aching, digging to unveil the unknown, and all we’ve forgotten of self
She knows attaining all this knowledge is wealth

I know the Warrior in me
Who seeks change, she does not wait for it
But facilitates its becoming
And she won’t be caught running
From what is of risk or threat
She will stand firm and will not let
Injustices hold her down from her rising, instead she’ll sweat
Fight harder, cry louder,
Until her people’s demands are met
Makibaka, closed fist
Moving forward and upward until she flies
Holding courage and inspiring it in all our Brother Pinoys and Sister Pinays
To find the power within Self and let it live in every breath
Every word, every act, embracing all life and the certainty of death
Knowing that she was meant to make movements
By all means necessary to keep her people movin’
Without fear, she keeps her breath steady
Huwag Matakot, courage filled and  ready

The warrior in me is voice for all who cannot speak
She is strength and force for those who may feel weak
She is fire when hope fades
With the light to lead brigades
Out of the darkness, and dismay
Forward and upward the Brown Movement, revolutionary way

I know the healer in me
Who seeks wholeness in living
Who is so giving
Of self
Because she is not selfless, but self fulfilled
She knows when you are whole you can truly help others to build
Themselves up to be well in being,
A healer is gifted
In easing others to be open
Reminds us wounds need to breathe
And she holds our hands as we bleed
And washes away Dis-ease
To let it flow
Let it go
And replant new seeds to grow
Where the weeds of doubt, worry and insecurity once thrived
She keeps our minds, bodies and spirits revitalized, alive

I know the Seer in me, the visionary
Who seeks Truth and connection to the soul
She takes the silence and holds it
And even if it is never spoken she knows it
She trusts her intuition and has faith in what she feels
She understands that what reality is
Only becomes real
When you believe it
She sees beyond living bodies, bones and skin
And sees true living within

The seer in me knows that
To understand whole of self,
You need to know where your spirit has been
You need to understand that all that was before
Is actually still living in
Thousands of ancestors carry your life to each waking

The Seer within me wants for more knowing , for all our shared and individual growings
Understanding in each other,
Seeing how self connects to brother,
And sister all the same,
those in future generations
And those who came,
lifetimes before
The seer in me discovers Kapwa in all, is awaken and then only hungers for more

Babaylan Ansister lives on
In every Pinay invoking Urduja and Gabriela Silang
In the Lorena Barroses, the Trinidad Tecsons,
The Cory Aquinos, Leny Strobels, Perla Dalys, Letecia Leysons, Baylan Meginos
The list continues, Babaylan Legacy lives on
Every scholar, every nurse,
every wom*n in migrant work,
every sister soulja that fights in wars and in the streets,
every revolutionary Pinay who stands up to speak,
every artista and cultural bearer who seeks
To imagine and manifest in light of our Herstory
Revealing truths of our people in all they create,
Every spiritual leader, and all the migrant mothers that hold tight to faith
Through all of us Babaylan lives to be

In every Sister, Woman, Leader, Warrior, Healer, Seer,
Everyday I pray in gratitude that
Babaylan lives
in Me

07.Apr.14 1 week ago

"A Call to Pin@y Writers, Speakers, Creators"


Poem #5 of 30: ”A Call to Pin@y Writers, Speakers, Creators”

"The question is- what impelled me to write? The answer is- my grand dream of equality among men and freedom for all. To give a literate voice to the voiceless one hundred thousand Filipinos in the United States, Hawaii and Alaska. Above all and ultimately, to translate the desires and aspirations of the whole Filipino people in the Philippines and abroad in terms relevant to contemporary history. Yes, I have taken unto myself this sole responsibility."- Carlos Bulosan 

Our narratives must breathe,
Be released from
Being chained up
Concealed and caged up
Covered up

By History page after page
That speaks Master narratives
fictionalizations of who we be-
Our narratives in our voice must be freed
Let story flow from within
Pay homage in continuing
on the path of revolution by-
Pinoy and Pinay
Tell of our people’s trials and triumphs-
our stories, opposing oppressors myth and lore
In our words,
through our experiences,
imaginings and visions
Tracing storyline that was spoken and laid down in ink
for us to follow
Never ending story living through me and continuing through the youth that hold the stories of tomorrow.
Let our people become the tellers, makers, creators
of our truth
Know the same power of pen and speech, of word lives and wants to be freed in you
And give thanks to the author, poets, oralists who have kept our story living
Take time to read, listen and take in all of their prolific givings
Leny Strobel
Jessica Hagaedorn
Joe Bataan
Nick Joaquin
Claro M. Recto
Jose Rizal
Carlos Bulosan

Know yourself deeper, from what they have passed down in their words
Let it awaken sense of being- and let your story connect in truth, to theirs
Speak it out, be heard
Let our narratives free, rooted and ever rising emerge

- Jana Lynne Umipig

05.Apr.14 1 week ago
05.Apr.14 1 week ago
05.Apr.14 1 week ago
05.Apr.14 1 week ago
05.Apr.14 1 week ago
05.Apr.14 1 week ago