Category: Poetry

To the Only Once: Black Tea

A disposable cup
comprised of compressed cardstock
bleached in an acid dissolving solution
stamped with red ink.
Folded by mechanical limbs
guided by a computerized brain
designed by industry,
schooled in mathematical arts,
to hold 16 ounces of boiled water
only once.

Heat escapes
Energy runs out
Burns the hand that holds it.
Dress it up
cardboard sleeves
to shield the hands
only once.

Black tea,
harvested from Chinese fields
where camellia sinensis bloom
white petals golden centers,
dried in cold rooms,
welted sits blacken
inside a porous bag of plastic.
only once

Dip into boiling water
leaves bleed
through and into.
Their essence
leached from them
only once

When the cup runs empty
when the heat is gone
when the tea is colorless
then the cup is thrown
then the tea is thrown
then the heat is thrown
to the only once.



Found Poetry and Random Acts Of Inspiration

Hi all,

This week is spring break but I’m still writing (just not on days when I would have had a class . . . that was converted to sleep time).

I “finished” (as finished as a 1st draft can get) a new poem done in a form I’m not that use to yet. I basically wrote a Found Poem; a poem where the text does not originate from the poet. Instead, the text is found and then rearranged to bring about new meaning, context, clarity or what-have-you to the words themselves. Think of it as collage for poets who have having a hard time dealing with the deadly blank page.

The poem itself is tentatively called Golgotha. I recently was praying the rosary for friends, family, and Japan when I came across the word. For the life of me I had no idea why it mattered that Jesus is said to be crucified at Golgotha, nor did I know where the place was. So I hit the Wikipedia pages and found some text that was ripe for poetry. A bit of cutting here, some rearranging there, and vola! A new poem.

The poem is actually addressed to other believers in Christ who may not be in touch with Him in the way that counts. You see, over the last, oh say, 10 years anyone who believed in God has been lumped with extremist who believe that what is written is verbatim what God meant. However, this is not true.

Language is ever-changing, so how can the words that have been largely mistranslated from the get-go be the direct words of God?

Conversely, what is so amazing about language is that as it evolves (and is allowed it) the root meaning can still be gathered in some way.

Why does Golgotha lead to the skull?

What is the significance that Jesus died at a place called the skull?

Is it simply further Christian critics against inquiry or is it something more?

Why does it matter that Helen of Troy may or may not have named the place in the first place?

Why is Golgotha in reality flat like a plain but in the Bible round like a skull?

My poem begins to (very roughly) address these questions.

It is my belief that to believe blindly is to not believe at all. You must go through the valley of the shadow of doubt and come out of it with your faith intact after seeing all that this world has to offer through language, science, history, animals, plants, biospheres, and ultimately each other.

It is hard to be Christian in today’s world where the very history of Christian Warfare is attached to each King James translation. However, it is my hope that someday everyone will focus on the root that connects all beliefs and that is simply one large truth:

We humans need one another.

This need should be enough to begin to settle differences. I may be naive to believe this, but at the end of the day I at least have this hope, this faith.

And to all my non-Christian friends and loved-ones: that you for respecting my beliefs and helping me grow as a person. I could not have gone half as far without you.

Peace, love, and pancakes,



Poems, poems everywhere, but never enough ink.

Hi Everyone!

Got two new poems coming right at ya. Both are inspired by The Network by Jena Osman. It’s a fabulous book and I highly recommend it to anyone who has an open-mind and likes poetry of connections.

The first poem is directly inspired by her work and by Gargoyles.

Yes, these guys. I always wanted to write something related to them, but what came out was something unintentional. This poem is  very very rough so if you ever need an example of a bad first draft here it is:


The next poem was more of a technique-based exercise combined with a theme I’ve been mulling over. Ever wonder if there is a right way to fail? Well, there is and I think this poem will explain what I mean.

Failing Better

Anyways, that’s it for this week’s poems. Please, as always, comment with critiques. Thanks.

Peace, love, and pancakes,



Hi Everyone,

Today my class had off because Prof. C had to go to Maryland for a literary business trip (the best kind!). So, the class was told to dedicate the time we have off to writing. Truth be told a good portion of the time I used was for resting and relaxing but I soon kicked my little literary butt into gear.

Next week we have to recite two poems: one we wrote and one from an author we admire. My first choice for poems from other authors was Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky, simply because Jabberwocky is awesome to recite and to be able to at any given moment would be sweet.

HOWEVER, after I thought about it for a while and realized that for the type of poems I write and the more serious literature that make up the literary cannon, I decided on Emily Dickinson’s 712. It is a marvelous poem that demonstrates one way of envisioning death that is devious in its simplicity.

BUT, I do not like all work and no fun. So to balance off DEATH I wanted to add in something a bit lighter to my repertoire . Still serious in subject matter, but lighter in tone. So here is my second take on Plug in Plug out.

This one is for you Michael Jackson!

Is that all I did for class today?


I liked Dickinson’s poem so much that I decided to use it as a template for a new poem. So here it is for the first time ever: Because!

As always, comments and critiques are welcome. Thanks for the help.




2 new poem drafts! (I’m on a semi-roll here!)

Hi everyone. Thanks for the feedback with the last poems. It always helps to have extra eyes look over your work and give you good advice (and to catch any un-intended grammatical mistakes).

This week’s poems are both responses to works I’ve encountered recently either directly or indirectly through Prof. Dungy’s classes. The first one is in response to Sarah Messer’s Bandit Letters. I highly recommend reading this book if you are in any way interested in contemporary historical poetry set in the West. Her work is simply sublime!

My response poem tried to combine the south, steam punk and pirates (because pirates rock). Hope the poem does some just to Messer’s work.

You’ll be Rewarded Within a Month

The second poem is in response to Barbara Jane Reyes’s poem,“Where Did Your Mother Live?”

Prof. Dungy introduced me to Reyes’s work last year, recommending that I read her books because of my interest in Filipino-American poetry. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet read any of her books but I did get a chance, recently, to visit her site. She is a CAL alumni who graduated from SFSU with a MFA in creative writing and has published nervous books of poetry related to identity, the Filipino-American experience, and living in the SF Bay Area. In short, she is what I aspire to be! Her poetry also hits home for me, as a mixed American with Filipino roots. I borrowed heavily from here in this next piece, especially where form is concerned. However, I tired to vary the theme through the type of repetition (instead of “in” I use “the,” because my emphasis is on identity as apposed to place) and images I used. Hopefully I was able to capture the same kind of emotion. I’ll let you be the judge:

What are you

Hope you enjoy the poems. As always feel free to comment and critique.

Thanks a bunch.


A treat for you all: Two new poems (drafts)

Hi everyone,

This is your writer-in-training Rose here. Just finished two new drafts of some poems. One is from another course I’m taking, called Contemporary US Poetry and History. It is in response to Afflicted Girls, a poetry book by Nicole Cooley.

My poem’s working title is “The Rosary Revisited”. Here it is:

Rosary Revisited

The second is from the workshop class. It is much smaller than the other poems because I placed a limit of about seven lines. After last week’s workshop, I decided that this week’s poem should be about facing your anxieties head on . . . well in this case, I did it through a persona poem. Hope you enjoy it:

Loquat Tree

Also, FYI, Loquat trees are flipping awesome in their weirdness.

As always, critiques are welcome. Thank you.

All the best,


3rd poem (draft)

The following poem isn’t entitled math, but that’s the basic assignment/prompt related to this poem. You see, two weeks ago (when the assignment was given) Prof. Dungy told us, her wide-eyed pupils, to think hard about the scaffolding, the architecture, of our poems. Poems need structure and rules. These may be something the poet comes up with, or things based on past traditions, or both.  For the assignment, I decided to go with past style/forms of poetry. This poem is technically a villanelle. One of my many strange attempts to hearken back to an era where poetry could pay the bills. The poem’s title is “Zodiac Tattoo.” Hope you enjoy.


(Note: Boreal Owls ROCK!)

As always, if you have any constructive critiques, I’d greatly appreciate it.

Thank you.

1st poem of the New Year (Draft)

The following is the first poem of the new year. It is also the first poem written for Camile Dungy’s Advanced Poetry class at SFSU. This poem mixes Tagalog with English. It is one of my many attempts to do this well. It is also a poem for my mother. I hope you enjoy it. All constructive criticism is more than welcomed. Thank you.  (o^_^o)

A Prayer on a Ying Yang Rosary

The Rose has Spoken!