Only Echoes [A Tribute to Aleppo]

When I shouted
It used to be the honk of a hundred cars  that would answer back
Or the shouting of merchants
Or the laughter of children

It used to be pine trees and palm trees and bushes all over
It used to be buildings
and bright clothes
and yellow lights over glinting floors

Now there is dust, always dust
It hangs over the air like the airplanes that drop the bombs
Now there are only soldiers
Or dying people
Or the dead
They litter the road where the bushes and the pines and the palms used to be

Now there is only nothing–
there are people
but there is no life

And now when I shout
Only echoes answer

Note: Everything that has been happening in Aleppo is heartbreaking. This is a response to the Daily Prompt Echo

Drive: Daily Prompt

He drove

I rode shotgun

He opened the window

Like a mini whirlpool
The wind smashed itself
Into the car

Isn’t that a nice view?
he asks

I smile
I nod

I couldn’t tell him
That the best view
Was right beside me


Drive: Daily Prompt

Christmas [Daily Prompt: Memories of Holidays Past]

Christmas [Daily Prompt: Memories of Holidays Past]

T’was the night before Christmas, when all through the house
All creatures were stirring, yes, even a mouse
The stockings were hung by the walls with care,
In hopes that ole Santa Claus soon would be there.

Okay. I suck at poem making, even just editing them. Sigh. But I do love Christmas! And I love the poem (the original one, of course). It just struck me how different Christmas is in America (which was where Mr. Moore lived), and in our country. Christmas is usually just the same each year, but there’s always that thrill in your bones, so I don’t have any particular memory to write about.

Anyway, the first two lines of the poem already outlines the first difference. In the Philippines (or in our household, at least), most people stay up til 12am of the 25th, much like how everyone in the world stays up in New Year’s Eve. And that’s when we all open our gifts, with an appointed “Santa” calling out our names one by one. The next difference is in the third line, and is a bit, well, literal. We don’t have chimneys. Some houses do, most don’t. Too hot. Too expensive. And then finally, people in our country rarely call him St. Nicholas, so I thought it would also be appropriate to edit that out. Though it doesn’t make much of a difference. I could go on editing the whole poem, but there’s really no need to further mar something so beautiful.

It’s exactly 12 AM as I write. That’s eight days to Christmas. I. Can’t. Wait.


Inventions [Daily Prompt: Necessity is the Mother of Invention]

It’s a small black clamp, attached to the stem of small plants and bushes. From afar, it looks like a metallic device wrapped around the plants, but upon closer inspection, you will notice a bulb attached to its side. The bulb is see-through, and empty.

But it only looks empty. Because inside, the molecules are being compressed, stretched and rearranged into something else.

It has no name yet, but it assists the plants in its conversion of carbon dioxide to oxygen. Aside from making the process faster, it also expands the limit of carbon dioxide that the plant can take it in a day.

There aren’t any for trees, yet though. But we’re working on it. 


Love, Vani [Daily Prompt: Fifteen Minutes]

Dear friend/world,

I have a nephew. His name is Nate. He’s turning two in two months. A curious kid, learning to talk, learning to pronounce my name. I say he looks most like me, but all of my other siblings (there are seven of us), argue the same. I know I win, though. We’ve got the same big eyes, the same bald head when we were born, the same toothy grin.

I wonder how the world will be when he turns ten.

Will he climb the same trees I climbed in, or eat the same wild berries I did? Will he be able to climb the rice terraces, feeling the constant burn of the sun and the rough feel of the soil in his feet? Will he dream of dragons and mermaids, or a wizard who saved the world?

I read about it in the news a few weeks ago. The Black Rhino, extinct.

I remember when I was a kid, reading about lions and rhinos and pandas and bears. I remember when I dreamed to see them in person. All I got to see in our country were stray dogs and cats, house birds, and the occasional hamster in the pet store. So you can imagine how the giant horns and towering trunks amazed me. I have yet to fulfil those dreams, and here’s the news telling me I should hurry up.

I would, except I don’t have the money to go abroad and see them yet. I’m about to finish college, though, and maybe someday, I can. I beg them though, I beg the lions, and rhinos, and pandas, and bears, please. Wait for me.

But more than that, wait for my nephew.

Wait for my children.

And my grandchildren.

And their children.

Because I don’t want them growing up speaking of these animals as if they were fantastic creatures that lived long ago. I want them to be able to see them. Maybe, touch them.

Speaking of fantastic creatures, though, I also read a few articles about that. Parents placing dinosaurs around their house, so when their children wake up, they’ll think the toys were alive. Just to awaken their children’s imaginations.

I’m not exactly sure who to blame for how it came to be this way, but I know there was a time when parents didn’t have to go to that extreme. I remember when children dreamed—because that’s what children do. I remember when I could be a princess, and my parents could be king and queen. That’s what I thought. That’s what I believed.

I knew nothing of sex, of gadgets or guns. And I had one heck of a childhood.

I’m not saying, though, that all of these are bad.

I’m just saying that these things can wait.

There’s no need to put it up on every television channel, or advertise it on every mall.

My fifteen minutes are almost up, and I have to stop writing soon. So…please guys, the children can wait.

Nate can wait.

For now, let him dream.

And someday, let him see.