Saturday, January 06, 2018

more or less

pre-text: reflecting on the past year and looking forward to the new year, i am caught in the limbo of more or less

let's have a more or less year ahead
more kindness, less judgment
more patience, less rushing
more real-time FaceTime, less Facebook (and other social media)
more compassion, less cynicism
more humility, less (humble) bragging
more liking the realness of people- flaws and all, less Instagram likes of filtered and posed photos
more empathy, less indifference
more friendships, less meaningless acquaintances
more wit, less hurtful humor
more learning from mistakes, less fear of making them
more ownership, less blaming others
more taking care of our health, less excuses not to
more picking up on subtleties, less dismissing the obvious
more courage to pursue passions and dreams, less fear of failure and rejection
more presence with loved ones, less meaningless presents for loved ones
more hope, less disappointment
more gratitude, less complaints
more truth, less lies
more forgiveness, less grudges
more empowerment, less antagonism
more encouragement, less criticism
more being a light in this world, less making the dark darker
more detachments, less attachment
more togetherness, less divisiveness
more staying in touch, less losing contact
more giving benefit of the doubt, less taking advantage just because you can
more courtesy, less rudeness just because you are the customer
more setting boundaries, less apologies for having them
more deeper conversations, less small talk
more doing, less talking about doing
more trust, less doubt
more love, less hate
more living, less existing
let's live a more or less life

Monday, December 18, 2017


pre-text: i was on the receiving end of someone who did not respond, and i myself did not respond when someone reached out to me. the act of inaction is still a form of action.

muse: cv and ng

sometimes inaction speaks louder than words
for inaction can be indifferent
it can be laziness
it can be avoidance
it can be negligence
it can be not making onto the list of priorities

sometimes inaction speaks louder than words
for inaction takes discipline
it takes control
it takes holding back
it takes letting go
it takes knowing actions do not always matter

sometimes inaction speaks louder than words
for inaction may mean giving up
it may not matter anymore
it did before but not now
it was spoken for by actions and words before
it is silent now

inaction, it is your move now.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

two minutes

pre-text: one of those rare ones you meet for the first time and yet in a split second, something within your soul leaps in excitement, maybe even recognition.

muse: cv

when i was searching for you and you found me
you leapt up to come greet me
i never realized someone could be so happy to see me
you trusted my food and drink choices
and indulged my crazy ficklemindedness
ending up in one bar after changing my mind 3 times in less than 15 minutes
entertaining my hotdog straw idea
for that mustard whiskey drink
and sharing my bowl of Angel Share
i told you i could drink on par with you
you are a good cuddly snuggler
and you did not snore!
thank you for being accomodating with my inability to tolerate 16C
and warming me up with your hugs
i am sorry the room was stuffy with no daylight or windows
i hope it wasn't too claustrophobic
being in there with me
it was easy being with you
so many times it was like you read my mind
i'll miss that left eye wink of yours
like i said, God is fair
your one good eye sees the things both my eyes always seem to miss
i loved rubbing your unshaven chin
and stroking that dog-like matted hair of yours
but mostly the way you chuckled when you laughed
don't be anxious about your anxieties
you can Lifeproof your gadgets but not your life
just do your best as a Vest
And if i don't see you in another part of this world
i wish you a (very) happy ending
in Life
Oh, and one more thing
take two minutes once in a while
to think of me
i hope that will make you smile

Saturday, November 25, 2017

i carry your heart with me, i carry it in my (broken) heart

pre-text: that lil tattoo was to remind me to carry the ones i love in my heart always wherever i go. who'd knew it will teach me that to carry the ones i love in my heart always wherever they go.

muse: e.e cummings

e.e cummings got it right
before i did
way before i knew i could
carrying love is a lighter burden
compared to hate
not that i could ever hate you
it is the cross i chose to carry

like an old injury that acts up when it gets cold and wet
i soothe the ache with a smile of memories of us
a tear may form, it may even fall
but the ache becomes more familiar each time
that ball in my throat becomes easier to swallow
the moment passes and i am present again

my heart may be broken
by a thousand shatters into million of pieces
but each time, it comes back together, bigger and stronger
held together by all the love
all the love that is gone
but never lost

it is tougher, stronger
open, raw and devastatingly ugly
yet remains quiet and obscure
aged by hurt, pain and forgiveness
cured by compassion
and underlined by understanding

my broken heart is not in pieces
it's held together by overflowing love
of all the loves that are lost 

the birthdays you do not celebrate

pre-text: not every friend gets to celebrate the birthdays we do or hit the milestones in Life, but yet they've lived more fully than we ever could.

muse: jpl, pk and xcf

the first reaction is always What
then How amd Why
but Why cannot seem to make sense
just like the When is never a good time
explanations and consolations
are unacceptable
they make rational sense
emotional sense even
but they are incomprehensible
i search for meaning
the light in the void you leave
"at least she went with her whole family"
"his heart could have given up way earlier"
"he was doing what he loved most when he went...traveling"
am i the only one who focuses on the irrelevant
maybe i am that half-empty glass person
i think about our last conversations
about boys, about love and about life
the little details, the inconsequentials
now are remnants of what I grasp unto
your last thoughts
were you scared? were you panicking?
were you in pain? did you suffer a long time before you were gone?
what about your family?
the ones you loved? the ones who loved you?
the ones who loves you but you never knew?
how are they holding up?
who am i to be so devastated, who am i to be so dramatic
i am just a friend
a friend who has survived you
someone who gets to live her life
celebrate birthdays you will never have
make wishes for things that probably won't come true
who am i to deserve this all
i tell myself each time
to take better care of myself
of the people around me
to be kinder to family, friends and strangers
to show the ones i love that i do
to let the the ones who love me know that i know
it should not take death to remind me to do this
abrupt endings to jolt me to kick start my living 
it should not take your death to remind me to live now
my heart suffers a daily dull ache
but on days like these, the ache cannot be assuaged
i don't need consolation, i am nobody to ask for it
nothing no one can say i have not said before
or have told myself to hold back the tears
i have played the different characters on this stage of life now
taking on the role
of sinner and saint, of the weak and strong
the meek and the powerful
the lover and the cheater, the lover and unloved
somehow this always throws a wrench
makes me want to run in the middle of it all
ramble a soliloquy, raise my over-poured glass of wine
a make a toast to life and living
proclaim my love and gratitude
to confess my secret sins, my dirty thoughts
lay my worst fears all out for the world to see
and hope they would love me for me nevertheless
because you taught me to that love is not meant to be quiet
or hidden
that you never know if you are holding unto a ticking bomb inside you
that life is not meant to be living on other's terms
your presence in my life i shall not let it go to waste
your absence in my life i shall fill it up
by channeling what you would have done, what you were doing
i will remember your smile, the twinkle in your eye
the laughs we shared together, the moments we briefly shared
how you made me feel, not everyone can do that
you are a loss to those who did not know you
and for those who were privileged to know you
we are indeed the luckier ones

t- 24 hours

pre-text: when you connect with a stranger much quicker in less than 24 hours than with friends you've known for years. the streets of Hanoi will forever be romantic to me.

muse: pb

You made my heart skip a beat
When you appeared right in front of me
The urge to hug you was instinctive
But I held back
Unsure if you (still) felt the same way
Once your hands touched my hip
Everything fell in place
Everything became alright
And then you leaned in to kiss me
I was not ready so I turned
And again when you kissed me
I kissed back
But I held back
Because I know I would not be able to hold myself back
Walking the streets in your arms
I have not felt so happy in so long
The hours are always ticking by with us
One of us leaves and the other left behind
I huddle closer and cuddle you tighter
Pushing my face into the nook of your neck
I feel you throb against my lip
I breathe in your essence so I will remember you
Your smell, your skin and your warmth
I run my fingers on your face
So I don't suffocate on kissing your lips
Your lips they are so soft and gentle and kind
And when you smiled while kissing me
I felt as beautiful as you said I was
At the end you told me you'll miss me
And I kept silent
I've missed you since I first met you
But such intensity is not a burden everyone can bear
I would never put it on you
The best memories are never captured in photos
But in moments, in songs
In the way the street light shines
And the smell in the air
Our love affair always had an expiration hour
Which made each minute and second all that sweet
I long for the next time I get to kiss those lips again
It may never happen again
But I will have the memory of you always

Monday, September 14, 2015

No Last Words

pre-text: When no words is more than enough words.

muse: WJ

With no last words
Our arrangement of non-arrangement ended
They say you cannot lose something you never owned
I say you cannot lose something you cannot win
Because you never had love for me to win
Just affection and attention
Still I lost
Bits of myself along the way
All the parts of me that I was proud of
You were too
Because your arm was around my waist
And all eyes were on you and me
Alone with you
I saw slithers of vulnerabilities
Even in the dark
I felt your unwillingness in the moments of silence
No, I would never blame you
The habit of being alone is a hard one to break
I understand more than you know
And honesty is sometimes a cruel policy
Thank you for enforcing it on me
I will miss you
Probably more than I will know
But I will not miss the feelings each time you left
Or turned away from me
And maybe you will miss me, maybe you won’t
I will never know
We never had a photo together
It is just as well
You are forever etched in my memory
I will think of you and my heart will ache
But still I will smile
For now, I must go
I have to break my heart before you do

Saturday, January 18, 2014

jagged edges

pre-text: written for someone who came with declared baggage. i should have ran off, instead i ran forward embracing it. it was then i realized like no one can unpack someone else' s baggage for them.

muse: JP

come here, come into me
take refuge in my arms
come into me
no, your jagged edges don't hurt
look, i have them too
you've been shattered again and again
i know, i know
hush my darling, i know
sometimes even a simple memory can cause a quiver
you shake with fear from within
always thinking the last one was the worst
and you survived
we're survivors, darling, we are
broken, smashed and torn apart repeatedly in ways we didn't know a heart could be destroyed
but look at us now
my uneven edges matches yours
the jutting corners don't prick, poke or hurt
and no, i am not the jigsaw puzzle piece missing from your big picture
our hearts had to be broken over and over again to come together to be whole again

Thursday, December 27, 2012


pre-text: wrote this for someone who celebrated Sinterklaas...tried to write it in the form of AABB with a couple of Dutch words sprinkled in. 

muse: MB

Sinterklaas is happy that you made it back home in time
I suppose I am the only one who thinks it is a crime
Since you did not give me your address to send you a cadeau
This gedicht will just have to do

On the road for months and months
All that freedom, all that fun
Did you find all that you were looking for
All the world has to offer, and still there is more

Hopefully all the people you met along the way
Learned you something that would always stay
Memories need not always be captured in pictures
But stored in the heart and mind, there they are permanent fixtures

I do not need to look at the photos we took
To remember how your beautiful your soul looks
From the first time your blue eyes looked over at me from across the boat
Feelings I have drowned deep inside came afloat

We do not need words, for looking into each other’s eyes is enough
You made me smile from within and when I cried you still managed to make me laugh
I felt your passion for life and love in every moment we touched
Kissing you, hugging you and sporting with you…I miss it all so much

But at las, reality with its responsibilities slapped us both in the face
Holland or Singapore, we are running the same rat race
Distance is just another hurdle, a big raised hump
Question is: will you jump if I jump?

So what is the plan, what now… after the 41-year plan
I guess the only way is to leave it in God’s hands
For now, we shall strive to be just friends
But who is to know, we may have our 4 kids in the end

No worries, ik still hou van jou
Even though you are a “poor farmer” that milks cows
I only hope this gedicht makes it in time for pakjes avond
And makes you have a warm feeling inside your heart and all around