not poems, just words
is an homage to the romantic poets—the likes of Pablo Neruda, Walt Whitman, John Keats, e. e. cummings, Robert Frost and W. H. Auden.
let me lead you
to the bosom of my fate
where the sun only rises
when the shadows seep back
into the mirror of day.
this is where my heart sleeps,
a room full of memories
from a time of longing
where his hand touched my skin daintily.
that is when my soul weeps,
a moment brimming with hope
that he comes around again
and lays himself beside me gently.
these are the fragments of a life
not unfamiliar to my mind,
scattered across the room
where every day is a retreat
from the world outside.
those are the marks he left
that remind me of my destiny,
written across the walls
with a sketch of an arrowed heart,
spelling love for eternity,
wistful now as i am empty.
round the corner, you may turn,
left then right on the next post,
stride along the deserted playground
and straight ahead the narrow alley.
when the sun finally sets
and the shadows creep slowly in,
you will find me against the wall,
huddled underneath the canopies.
just so you don’t get lost,
let me lead you
to the bosom of my fate,
it is not hard to find at all,
it all comes around in circles
and the sun always rises
when the shadows seep back into
the mirror of day.
this is the landmark you will find
on your way to my heart
that has long ago lost its road sign
to the passing wind and rain
that came with his soft kiss,
faded now as he has gone away.
© 2014 Ramon Loyola
on old parchment,
as wrinkled texture as his skin,
he writes, believing its coarseness
shall somehow reveal the purity
from wooden cup,
coffee as bitter as the bile coming forth
from his mouth, he drinks, tasting foul
the slime of wet licorice
on nicotined gums.
against decaying columns,
burrowed on by busy termites,
he stands, warily carving in his own mind
that the thought of his passing shall elicit
yet the words he leaves
only ever matter until the next big thing
spouts more bullshit than he ever did;
so that his name fades
in the browned pages of logs.
he never smiles without a reason
for only the memory of the parchment
can remind him of the value of fame.
in his dying bosom lies the hope
of only ever the single ear that will listen.
then, and now, shall he rest. finally.
© 2014 Ramon Loyola
she’s always there
in the darkness of the night,
under the dim lamplight.
when I’m in bed,
she whispers, ‘I’m with you honey’.
and when there’s nothing said,
she just sits there lovingly.
night and day,
throughout the hours,
we share whatever we may
and the whole world is ours.
i gaze around my square room,
she gazes around with me.
staring at the ceiling as if in doom,
i feel the gloom and weep.
then there she is again,
crying her heart out,
reminding me she’s with me
in my soul and all throughout.
her name is
© 2014 Ramon Loyola
It’s hard to imagine life without words, at least that’s how I see it. Yet, one of the most difficult things I deal with every day is expressing myself vocally. I am not articulate, to say the least. Often, the sound of my own voice and the way my tongue seems to get stuck inside my mouth get in the way of enunciating words and phrases clearly and properly. As a result, people tend to not understand it when I say ‘fluctuate’ or ‘prurient’ or ‘cessation’ or ‘croissant’ or ‘assessment’ or ‘ochre’ or ‘preponderance’ or ‘zeitgeist’—pretty much everything—and I just get a confused look in return.
It could be because of my teeth or my lack of tuition in proper elocution. It could also be because of the extreme shyness or the low self-esteem that has come back to plague me today, after being unrestrained by it since my late 20s. Whatever the reason may be, I find myself here, a grown man, old enough to be a youngish grandfather, still fumbling for words, rambling on incoherently. It is a minefield of embarrassment, a gold nugget chamber of humiliation. Still, I plod on and can only hope to transgress that difficulty by putting words onto paper instead.
This collection is a result of more than two decades’ struggle to be heard, if not aurally then internally, to be read and listened to by another person who can look me in the eye and understand (even vaguely) what I’m trying to say. There is no intention to be pretentious with these prose poems; I only wish to reach out to anyone who expresses an interest in words that amuse, amaze, inspire and baffle me.
Ever since I was a kid—full of wondering in my young mind—the act of writing poetry has always been a difficult but rewarding form of expression for me. Early readings of the poignant odes and lyrics of W. H. Auden, Robert Frost, e. e. cummings, John Keats and Walt Whitman in my younger years led me to a late journey into the varied expositions of Dorothy Hewitt, Pablo Neruda, Judith Wright, Maya Angelou, Adam Aitken and Luke Davies, to name a few, as I plunged headlong into my writing life. There were plenty of times when I marvelled at the sheer beauty of their words, but there were equally bewildering moments when I fought with my inner voice in order to understand what their words meant.
Needless to say, poems can be difficult to understand and digest. They are also arguably difficult to write. Yet, they are mere words—the fundamental element of our collective ideas, hopes, dreams, aspirations, imagination and contemplation.
And so, as I launch this vessel of ideas without the conscious restrictions of metre and foot, I carry a fervent hope that these verses illuminate my desire to simply communicate, soundlessly gesticulate and sincerely articulate that which has eluded me all these years—the opportunity to offer my own truth that I am but a simple man, breathing, thinking, rambling, stuttering, lisping, living, loving, longing and being. On this journey, I hope to find a port—a harbour—where I can drop the anchor of my vessel and an island where someone at the dock recognises the very fact that the things I am trying to say need not be construed and read as poems, but just words.
This book is for anyone who takes my hand as I reach into the wild blackness and towards the otherwise brightly coloured canvas of life and love. My hand is outstretched wide, beckoning anyone to sail away with me. And to you who have taken and clasped it in your own, may the words grow inside you abundantly until you sprout your own wings. Then, apart from sailing, perhaps you can go flying. Thinking only of these words.
-- ramon loyola, 2014
‘This is a poem—a carol of words—these are hints of meanings,
These are to echo the tones of Souls, and the phrases of Souls…’
--- ‘Carol of Words’ (from Leaves of Grass)
by Walt Whitman (1819-1892)
Ramon Loyola is a writer, legal author and lawyer, and is currently working on his first novel. His poems have appeared in the tablet, STU magazine and online at emanilapoetry.com, narratorPRIDE.com and narratorAUSTRALIA.com. By day, he works as a government lawyer. By night, he is a piece of vegetable sitting in front of the television, with the remote control in one hand and a half-finished book in the other. He lives in Sydney with an imaginary dog named Boris.
Ramon blogs at http://www.ramonloyola.org.