The Wandering Soul
A Collection of Poetry by Y.B. Masdal
I. THE MYSTERY OF THE SEA c.1999
We are like the sea that stood against time,
In order to bear the wailing sirens of those marching storms
Bending and moving forward,
Backward and forward again.
Into the depth of midnight,
The cries we cradle with a crackling lullaby
Steadfastly in silence, in fear,
To harbor the promise of a glorious dawn,
A glorious morning.
We are like the sea that carries the remains of a thousand rivers,
Orphaned and without direction as they surged upon the boulders
And navigating the tumultuous pathways
That leads towards salvation.
We succumb at times to the flames
Like spirits rising towards the mighty heavens
To overwhelm the skies into a gentle dimness
That will give birth to a surging rainstorm
That fills the hunger of the earth below.
We are like the sea that lies unbending,
Unmoved and unchanged,
A hundred rains after and
A hundred storms past.
II. CONSTELLATION c. 2002
Substantial cognizance if I only have,
Of the house where you once forgot your name,
Intentionally, maliciously or otherwise,
I would have spared no minutes nor seconds
In order to stand before you and beside you,
And thereupon render my pleadings and other inquests,
Of which you were certain already even from the beginning
And which is a mystery no more.
I would have scoured the Earth from all ends,
Towards the East and the West, the North and the South;
Into the darkest and narrowest of caverns and underground cages,
Where fiery serpents slitter and savage beasts dwell,
Into every territories of water, into the graying Lake of Lochness,
Even into the bottomless pit of the Marianas.
I shall leave no earth unbounded and unsurveyed,
Untravelled and untresspassed, and no atmosphere unstained
By the heaviness of my desire.
Be informed finally my dear
That I have even summoned all the winged horses in the heavens
So that I may reach the farthest constellations,
To the very end where these stellar bodies remain
Unnamed and unseen even by the scooping eyes of men.
Thereupon, I shall vest title to these constellations
With names I could merely infer
By the deepness of your eyes.
III. THE ROSE BUD c.1994
Set your fodder widest
Like an ocean of yellow poppy field,
On an orange farm
That once ruled
The mazes of my perverted dreams.
Here I stand,
A smirking child
Lost in the underground caves
Where I set my Indian soul free
Always upon your magnificence.
You offer me your oriental meal
Flavored with salted tenderness,
Laced with diamonds of
Hopes and promises.
When you tamed a whispering storm,
The moon was a scarlet fire.
IV. THE ARTIC MONSTER BENEATH c.1993
I want to be with you always
While I continue to live for you,
Your innocent eyes strike me
Like warm lightning from the sky.
The sea is now a landless scenery
But your wind is present and I am comforted,
Further much to go,
I want you by my side.
If the sky hides the sun
This darkness abhors the wind,
When every sight becomes near
Each sound I hear is deafening.
I am afloat this wooden raft my sweet child,
I want to sail but I move slowly
The water that carries me
Contains a huge fearful creature.
When the sky is in thick gray oil paint,
The sea is icy solid water.
How I want you near me;
I want to be with you always.
V. AFRICA AND AMERICA c.1993
We traveled the difficult lanes
You with the china eyes,
Flowering like the sundews
Raining from the eastern sky.
The smell of your hair
Under my shoulder
Is like the coffee aroma that seethes
Into the recesses of my unrefined lie.
You set into a philosophical investigation
Of this muddled soul;
As you decided my dear:
“an eye for an eye”.
While we reach the end
Of those turbulent lanes
Under this bleeding moon without a sky,
We parted these roads in many directions.
Like Africa and America.
We were once a continent.
VI. THE SUN c. 1993
The sun does not shine in narrowed streets,
Does not travel into squatter slums
Where the miserable spread their souls
For the pain of their hunger
As the smell of alcohol lords
And the poor people hardly breathe.
No, the sun is blind to these kindred souls
As evil lurks and suffering reigns,
While wounded souls left unhealed
Within the narrowed world
Where the light does not venture.
The sun does not shine in truthful hearts,
As genuine love is enslaved in fear
Where emotions circle in stunted minds,
Narrowed beliefs and blinded perceptions,
As darkness continue to reign in terror,
Where the sun refuses to shine.
The sun is a parasite under a cloud of mask,
Feeding on children conceived yet unfed,
Straying into the dark alleys,
Selling their souls.
Blessed be their souls
If what is living is merely breathing the sullen air
Of slums and gutted streets,
Of those dark entrances and alleyways.
VII. THE RIVER OF MESOPOTAMIA c. 2002
In the ancient valleys of Tigris,
in the days of still molt and rock,
a river sung the serenade
of the beginnings of life,
as it moved in crystalline fluidity,
to brim with sparkles and light,
and come across upon a rock reckoned in time,
it is a moment set forth as a matter of design.
And the river became two,
the great parting of waters
in the dawning of the Earth,
to thread two different roads
and two different eras--
one found in the East,
another in the West--
to spread further and further,
until the sound they hear were
merely of their own
and nothing more.
Rushing in vigor and strength
each alone in the wilderness,
among the great wars of the world,
through the ashes of kingdoms burnt,
the mischief of kings and emperors,
through scorched earth of conquests,
of kingdoms and empires
both the fortunate and the inopportune;
as they run feverishly,
one oblivious to the other,
welcoming merely the beatings
of their own hearts
and of no other,
and every other beating of the heart they hear
was of the enemy and the enemy merely.
Amidst the rage of their marathon,
seemingly unending and without destination,
and with a ferocity so great that
even rocks of great prominence
would crumble into dust---
by the sheer strength of their pursuits,
or by the wave of their hands.
As another time was set forth,
where for once they looked heavenward
the journeys they threaded
finally found a single star,
to speak the truth in their own hearts
that in their own glorious runs,
no matter how magnificent and forceful,
still the Heavens are their own navigators,
upon the comets and constellations,
so that the rivers would find a path to travel,
a road set forth from the beginning of time
while they go nearer and nearer,
they begin to hear the same beat
that is not merely of their own separate hearts,
but of two hearts moving as one
running faster and faster,
like stallions in the hills of a desert
where in the beginning of time
there is only one river
that became two,
and then becoming one again.
VIII. AN EMPIRE UNKNOWN c.2002
This time, love may not give us the meanderings of hope
Like that ocean we saw last night, fleeing fearfully
In a whirling motion underneath a bleeding sky,
You may trudge around me like a lone star
But that would be as far as we can navigate
For there is no parallel in the heavens that bind us,
This time, there may be no harpsichords and violins like they do it before
By emperors and pretenders whenever the heart is aglow
For there are no symphonies that harks a longing,
You have sent your vicious army to surround my fortress
For you say I am an empire unconquered
And now I shall remain a province unknown,
My walls lay strong and unfettered for it is tended
Carefully by the last of the adventurer that passed me by,
There are no more enemies that hound me after that.
IX. PORCELAIN c.2002
The ground trembles by the mere sight of you
That every progression is taken back
Before the china breaks into a long forgotten era,
Not dated by the connoisseurs in Paris.
I have led a little voyage into a sunken sea
For the histories guided me to where you lay
And where you wait to pursue a journey
Completely lost a long, long time ago.
Once I knew you,
I feared to thread the jewels that adorn you,
For a trembling hand would lay to naught
The voyages you wish to fulfill.
Yes, I suffered a hundred storms on my way here,
But the stolen pieces of white and blue would be
Worst than any thirst I suffered adrift my ship,
This porcelain shall remain pristine in salty water.
X. INDICTUS c. 2000
In one warring afternoon,
It was a dog’s day afternoon,
I appeared before your court with my bag of bones,
Drifting in filth and warpath’s blood,
Crawling upon my knees and my labor was drudgery
That roared in stench under my heaving breath,
Towards the end of this volatile road.
I am besieged by your tempestuous whispers—
Of the typhoons, the hurricanes and storms that
Resembles the harshness of your threat,
The calumny of your indictment is fret
With the wafting stench of your soul,
Decaying into the commerce of man.
What ceased to exist is the candor of your warrior heart
That has sought this perilous path in the beginning,
Hence you must banish the serenity of the façade
For no amount of stonewalls would deify your ivory fortress,
An indefensible defense.
XI. THE SWORDSMAN IS ABOUT TO ENTER c. 2004
(An Elegy: Fernando Poe Jr. 1939-2004)
The swordsman is about to enter
Make him his way - for neither
witches nor shamans shall be of courage
To seek the flightiness of his saber that was molded
In a fire that burned like the oceans of fire;
There are fist to behold but be aware of his
For it rattles through the roof and the adversary
lays trembling like a pitiful cabbage on a long trip to perdition;
Whereas the lines he made between the stage and
the momentary air we breathe, is farther than we thought,
He is closer to the man who fights the every evil
of greed and selfishness, he was the man of the people
and his courage shall live forever long in the tarmac
of shanties and dirty streets that remains
the isolation of other men who pursuit
honor and vanity for themselves merely,
away from the guidance of the Light.
He sought the perilous road for once,
yet he returns to the Lord as the hero he portrays
In the caverns of our minds and in our hearts,
and not any fallen son
that sought power and self-gloriousness;
And now he returns as a rising son.
Behold, the swordsman
for he is about to make his entrance.
XII. KUNG IKAW AY LILISAN c. 2002
Kung ikaw ay lilisan at tataliwas sa aking mundo
at tumahak ng isang landas na tutungo sa naiibang paglakbay,
lubos na salungat sa mundong aking tinatamasa,
sa ganun ay lalo pang ipagkait sa akin
ang iyong mga halik na wala kasing bighani,
katulad ng mga rosas sa talahiban ni Makiling;
Ako ay lilisan na at susuko na sa bawat pagsamo
Ng ano mang pag-ibig na aking magigisnan,
Sa landas na aking patutunguhan
O di kaya ay sa aking pagbalik.
Aanhin ko ang mga tala sa kalangitan?
Maging sila man ay nabibighani at nagpapariwasa rin
Sa buong kalangitan habang ikaw ay pinagmamasdan,
Kung hindi man magigisnan ang iyung mga matang
Kasing lalim ng isang libo’t kalahating daang karagatan,
Aanhin ko pa ang aking makamundong pagnanasa,
Kung hindi man ikaw ang makapiling habang tumatangis ang gabi,
Sa taghoy ng ugong ng aking pang-uulila.
Sa isip ko, and mga labi mo’y naglalagablab
Habang kita’y pinagminamasdan, papalayo at papalapit,
Kung saan sa bawat pagtibok ng ating puso at damdamin,
At sa mga hinagpis ng iyung mga daliri,
At sa bawat pagtagpo ng ating mga halik,
Ang langit ay ating tatahakin,
Datapuwa’t tayo ay nasa lupa pa man din.
Black as the night,
Dark like the moon on this August evening,
While the sea heaves a silent sigh,
I can see black as the color of the night.
Black is the heart that yearns so mightily,
A sudden scream, like thunder and lightning,
And in the midst of the ocean by which once I claim,
Lies the blackest of all sentiments.
Black is the elixir of love
That heals the cut that you made,
And dances away the sorrow
Of a forgotten kingdom where no one lives.
So dark is the sky
That bore your wounds,
With lies and masquerades, so malevolent
Like the edges of a cliff.
Black is the color of dreams,
That once was had been laid on my shoulders, as Atlas once did—
That now, dark is the road
That once had led me to you.