Reminds me of you

I remember my father. He was a disciplinarian. We call him that although if it were at a different time, people would call him abusive. Every child remembers the pain of coming to terms with a father’s ways. But every child also grows, and if chance permits, they also become parents themselves. When they do, the pain gets viewed from  totally different perspective. This poem is for my dad.

I picked the pieces that you left
I built a new world out of it
The things you did to find yourself
The things you did to hide yourself
They cut a part of me inside
A scar that reminds me of you.

I know by now your peace you found
I wish I was there to see you off
Even as you struggle you keep your pace
You fought for life then say you lost

Never will I know the reasons you keep
I try to make sense out of those pieces
Maybe you fought to make it right
Maybe not, but I know you might

I wish there was a way to let you know
Every time I face a shadow, I think of you
What would you do, what will you say
You taught me much even as you go astray

There is no way to bring them back
Those years I lost you
While you keep to your escape
But know that I keep you here in my heart
And be assured I never strayed or lack

***

I previously posted this poem on another website. I got inspired to put it here after reading  ‘s “Bend Over. Grab Your Ankles.”

Pork Barrel Menace: This government should listen to its people.

Syria had 1,300 of its citizen die in a chemical attack. Egypt’s citizens are warring against each other. The monsoon winds is leaving devastation in my country Philippines.

I am not familiar with other country’s government system. Here in the Philippines, we are ruled by family dynasties. The senate, the congress, down to the governors and to the smallest unit of governance is run by politicians who have made our government a lucrative business.

The latest issue these days is the anomalous use of public funds by senators and congressmen. These officials take a big slash from the national budget yearly in billions of pesos for what is called Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). This fund is allocated to each congressman and senator with an intention to let them use it in their priority projects to help the people they serve.

This PDAF is also called “Pork Barrel”, a practice wherein landlords fill a barrel with goods and have them greased with pork oil. It encourages competition among his tenants and that whoever has the most goods appears to be most lucky.

The intention may be good, or it may be crooked from the very start. The expose’ being run today claims that this our honorable politicians have used the pork barrel as a means to rob the people of our money and put it in their pockets. Evidences show that they release these funds to bogus non-government organizations. These organizations, according to the whistle blowers give back a percentage of the amount to the politician.

Some of them have even have the gall to say that they are not responsible to monitor where the money went. For goodness sake!

I am a lowly Filipino worker who, albeit unwilling, has my monthly wage deducted for taxes. Taxes that might have helped me bring more food on the table. Taxes that might have helped me buy the essentials for my family. I don’t begrudge paying taxes, that is true. But with all these scandal of how my taxes have been stolen from me, and not even clandestinely, it just bring my blood to a boil.

These politicians knows no shame. Now, people will be marching the streets again to push the removal of PDAF/Pork barrel. But not even the President of this robbed nation would make a move to abolish the pork barrel! We are a pitiful nation!

I am not being unpatriotic. I am a citizen fed up with the crooked way this country have been run for decades now. We used to be #1 in Asia, now we are known as among the most corrupt nation in the world. And don’t let the statistics fool you. Those people living in the gutters, them who roam the streets for food in garbage bins, they are the true evidence of our country’s state.

Abolish PDAF! NOW!

***

I have previously published this article on another website.

Menace at Home

They can feel the heavy atmosphere in the room. Any moment now, it will happen.

He sat down in the dining table and his words were, “That again?”. A remark on the meal. Jessy is standing near the sink, filling the pitcher with water. She did not dare say a word about his remark. She knew his mood all too well. Any word from her will send the plates flying across the room. And they will be frightened. “No, I am not going to give him an excuse to hurt us tonight”, she thought. Little did she realized that the seconds it took her to fill that pitcher was all it take to fuel his uncalled for anger.

“Where is the water Jessy?”, his voice boomed. Frightened of his sudden outburst, little Henry dropped his spoon. Henry wanted to pick it up but he was afraid to move. “He will hit me?”, Henry thought.

“What is it with you and dropping things? I only asked for water. You’re scared of that? What are you? Too chicken? Come here and let’s man you up!”, he shouted at Henry. Henry is only 5.

Jessy hurriedly went to get the spoon and tried to comfort Henry. He was about to cry and Jessy knew that tears will only anger this man even more. “Now, now, no crying little one. Here’s the spoon, be sure not to drop it again or it will run from you.” She said. She was trying to make him smile. She was looking at Henry when splash of water covered her face. It has started.

They all stood up abruptly tipping chairs. The storm is coming. The plates went flying. “Why do you anger me Jessy? Why do you defy me? I am going to teach that shit of yours to become a man and you comfort him like I’m a monster!” He was shouting. The anger in his eyes, the fury in his voice, palpable.

He took some steps towards Jessy and the kids started crying, “Papa no!”.

“Please John, please, I wasn’t trying to defy you. I didn’t mean to. Not tonight John, not tonight, please.”

He grabbed her by the shoulder and shoved her to the nearby chair.The kids were crying, pleading.

“Papa stop, papa no, papa please, stop.”

John went to the counter, looking for something. Something to show them what his anger means. Something to tell them he is the god of this house. Something to tell them he means the lesson learned.

“Kids get out! Now!”, was Jessy’s command to them. The two elder kids went out, Henry lingered. He kept begging. “Papa stop, don’t hurt her! Don’t hurt her! Stop!”

John found that sharp something. “You think you’re a man now? Let’s see what you got!”.

Jessy got up from the chair, hurriedly ran to John, hoping to knock out that ax from his hand. She managed to shake it off his hand while John stumbled to the table. They both got up and tried to get to the ax together. Jessy got near first but only able to kick the ax farther. John got hold of her hair. He pulled her and then pinned her down.

It was a horror show for little Henry. Mama was pinned down, her free hand trying to shield her face from Papa’s blows. The show played on in front of him with no sound but the beating of his heart. Blood flowed from Mama’s broken eyebrow. “Mama, mama get up!” But no words came out of his lips. Now Papa is trying to reach for the ax.

A voice woke Henry. “Henry run! Run Henry!”

Little Henry run for the door, left the house into the cold night. There was no one around. No one to help them. No one to stop papa from hurting her.

Little Henry will have nightmares for a life.

**NOTE

This is an entry for the weekly writing challenge on the theme dialogues. More about the challenge here. This is my first entry ever to any challenge and I am very new to WordPress or blogging for that matter. I have published this flash fiction on another site.

Ten things not to say to a pregnant woman

So I’m 30 weeks pregnant and had been told/asked most of the things listed. I don’t actually mind because they say it lightheartedly. It just feels weird sometimes that I had to be asked so often.

Is This Thing On?

1. “I knew it!”

Even if you did know it, please pass on the opportunity to tout your psychic abilities (or your weird  claim that you unconsciously  smelled my pheromones.  ew).  When women say this, it usually means that they noticed your waist got a little bigger, or as one woman told me, “you had the waddle.” If it’s a man telling you this, then he might as well just say “Boobs,” because that’s what he noticed.    I promise.

2.  Any version of that horrific birth story you heard/witnessed/experienced

Just don’t.  Even if you think you are going to save your pregnant friend from pure disaster by recommending that she skip the epidural, or run screaming from the birth center, you won’t.  Chances are she has read all the horror stories and is staying awake at night thinking of them.  But as soon as you tell her those stories…

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Dreary Toll

Everything feels like work when you don’t like what you are doing. This is what we have been told all the time. Even the menial thing we do to exist feels like a chore, that we need so much strength to accomplish it.

No one has a one-shot solution to this. Each one of us bears some reasons that may not find weight to others estimation.

Life is one dreary toll. Everything about it is a tool provided so we can continue existing and moving through the cycle that we were programmed for since the beginning of time.

Image

You are but one spec in this wide universe, insignificant and dispensable. You do not leave prints that can change the course of human existence. Unless, you are able to find a way to reverse or stop the unavoidable fate that awaits everyone, impending death.

Dreary toll of existence is all this is unless we find a meaning for it. And yet finding that begins another addition to the cycles that we find ourselves in, consuming us, sapping out our energy until we succumb to merely existing.

Existence likened to the a driftwood, no direction, no foreseeable fruitful end than to be swept ashore only to be washed again by the waves of senseless fate.

Dreary toll it is.

Do I want this?

This blog is another thing to get my brain busy with. As of present, I am not sure if this will prove to be useful to me, or just another addition to the clutter that abounds in my life now.

I wanted to try this. That is for sure.

I have made several adventures in the writing world but none seem to have impressed in me that satisfaction likened to having a restful sleep after a long tiring day.

I need an outlet. Something wherein I can say everything I have in mind with no limits. There is this someone inside that longs to shout out to the world all those buried thoughts and ideas which may or may not agree with somebody else’s. The point is to put it out here in the internet cosmos.

“Stranger Than Life” is meant to be a thought pad; an exposition of the rawness of my beliefs and the madness that buoys them.

I am mad in more than many ways. My sanity is imposed by society. The apparent clarity of my thoughts in my daily existence is an offshoot of the responsibilities I chose to carry however unprepared I was.

Welcome to my blog!