Category Archives: Poetry

The Old Shepherd’s Chief Mourner

*Wrote this ekphrastic (a poem written describing a piece of art) poem for my poetry class. It’s about Sir Edwin Landseer’s painting of the same name. I’ve said it before, I’m not very good at writing poetry, but it is something that I really want to improve on.

Once in this sparsely decorated room, sat
an old man and his dog. Here they endured
cold summer nights, and golden autumn noons.
Sitting on the same wooden chair.
Watching the wooly sheep walk by.
On the evenings, they would take a walk,
and the old man would let him free
to gambol through the grass and chase
at an unsuspecting frog or bug. He would
smile at him, and his heart would flutter, not
at the feel of the breeze on his wet nose,
but of the very existence of this being
he has loved since he could remember.
Even in his sleep, only the darkness kept
them apart.

Now, in this sparsely decorated space, sits
the old dog, laying his weary head over
his master, patiently waiting
for this wooden box to fling open.
The hollow space he feels, in the veins
of his beastly heart confuses.
Is this how human loss feels like?
How much longer?

It was instinct that told him to love
unconditionally. Now, instinct
whispers, words that even instinct
tells him not to follow
—“Go, let him go.”


To The Doveglion

I once strove, to write
with commas, the same
way you did, so
eloquently as if
combining salt and pepper to stale
meat – add just enough to
entice. Receive a natural, gustatory
high that would linger for days.

Uplift — like feathers does to a bird. Oh!
I have almost forgotten — wings.
But on some days, when there is
largesse in the shape of crowns
inyour hands, and you sprinkle in
just a little bit too much of salt,
you put in too much taste until it is tasteless.
But nothing a little bit of pepper
could fix.

Clara’s Song

Clara and the Nutcracker.

The clock strikes
12, and once more,
the room is still. Even the
moon knows that
it is nearly time
to hear the pitter and the patter
of the mouse army
that has come to invade and take
you away from me. But
you should know that
I would never let them,
even if I had had you
for barely a day. For
you hold my heart now. I
have known — since that first
glance, and by the time we danced
around the tree, with your hard–
wood body wrapped in
my hands’ embrace — not even
the evil Mouse King and
his zealous wrath could take you away.

I will follow you, to save you.
Even if it means leaving
behind this world, to enter your
world of eternal snow.

For You

The sky is emptier than the last
time we were together. Sitting
beneath a walkway, You and I
speaking in undertones we didn’t
even understand. Not
because we didn’t try harder,
but because listening was not an option.
at that time. Just staring
into seemingly blank spaces
of whiteness and dark spheres.

At that time. That was enough.

Now, those moments don’t exist
as before. The stillness disturbed by
unspoken undertones remain– still.
Only the staring into blank spaces
continue. But the whiteness
and dark spheres has finally disolved into–

2 Poems (Of the Brokenhearted)

Sticks and Bottles
I once smoked a joint. Three inches, straight. Not even stopping
to take a breath. Oxygen didn’t matter. Just smoke.
Dried lips, limp limbs. I didn’t stop. Just inhaled deeper.
Until my lungs expanded and I died. They found nothing.
Just clogged tear ducts and a lighter
with your name.

I once drank a bottle. One litre, straight. Not even looking back
to take a breather. The alcohol was hot. Warming
my blue fingers. Making the blood rush back to my heart.
I drank until I drowned, and my lungs collapsed. Then I died.
They found everything. Wrapped in a towel, the one with your name
stitched on it. Eyes drier this time.

J.C (Just Crumbs)
I looked behind the fallen
bread crumbs. They left
a winded trail. Even the birds refuse
to nibble at them. The ants have too much
on their backs, roaches don’t eat dust either.
Should I pick them up and throw them
into the pond instead? Let the fish gobble them
up. Lead none to waste. You wouldn’t like it
when I’m wasted. Did the road trip to Bataan go well?
You must’ve been numb, like you always were.
Teach me how to bake your blue velvet cakes,
without the artificial coloring. Don’t leave
behind a winded trail, you’re not bread.
No one would pick at your fallen crumbs.


Not my photograph.

Claws for nails, hands that
clamp love at first.
Set up that final need
for lust. Gains trust, harder,
deeper, betraying even myself.
Why do I want you so? Closer,
until the faint embers of yellowed eyes
are all I see before you
take in that final deep breath.
Even humming birds fall into your trap

— goddess of rebirth flawlessly
populating the drying earth.
Glorious skies, with hands folded,
as if in eternal prayer.

Love, Lie Still…

Valentine’s Day is over, but since February is considered as the month of love, I believe that it is appropriate to share this wonderful poem written by none other than the “Love Woman” herself, Ophelia A. Dimalanta. 

Love, Lie Still…

What the body wants
Is the fecundity of forests
And not the forgetfulness
Of sedatives, the hinterlands’
Brief spreading, fluffs of clouds
Alighting noiselessly
Upon the shanks of space,
Skies shaped upon awnings
Of nights, bland breasts
Inevitably resting upon mindless
Hands… just there, serenely
Dreaming, so naturally together.

This unthinking laying of flesh
Upon flesh is honest speech
Caught still in the middle
Of a lie… this is the beginning
Of the truest voyage to the other
Secret zones, access into
The most intimate places.
Let us lie no more, glaze, pad up,
Camouflage in various subterfuges
The color of our helplessness.

Let us be sane before
We even start to dissemble,
Pick up from this erstwhile
Void as if we never minded.
Let this wilderness in us
Not ever begin to seek a clearing,
Knowing the impossibility
Of discerning the line
Between the lie of silences
And the truth of utterance,
The lie of naked complicity
And the declarations of sheathed faiths.

Let us lie, still as time,
Conspirator,stands by
As still, looking smugly
Shrewdly the other way.

Let us not ever speak again
Of the fictions and collusions
Of true love so-called;
Our instincts have been punished
Enough; let us now get on
With our lives and ever
So quietly naturally move
Into each other, and
Into the heart of need.

About the poet:

Ophelia A. Dimalanta (1932-2010) was a poet, writer, editor, and teacher. Being one of the Philippines’ premier writers, she has published books on poetry, prose, drama, and literary criticism.