Category Archives: poetry

My first meals

My first meals

 

Javanese was my first language

Like a first breast milk, fed by mother 

Be my flesh and blood

Indonesian is my national language

School forced me to learn it well 

Then English?

It was horrible 

Because of work, I have to understand it well 

 

I squeeze my brain to remember them 

Javanese, Indonesian, English

Ora, tidak, no

Iyo, iya, yes

It surprised me as well 

When I’ve known, not only my languages around me 

 

As simple words

When I said “aku cinta padamu”

Philippines said “Mahal ko Mahal Kita “

Hindi said “Mee tumsai pyar karti hu”

Bangladesh said” Ami tomake bhalobasi”

Then Telugu slowly answered me ” ninuninu pramestunanu”

Chinese said “wo ai ni “

In my heart then I was mumbling “hallah wong arep muni aku tresno kuwe wae kok kangelan” 

The simple words I want to say

“My ice cream melted

While I was busy eating avocado”

Hi sweetheart

I love you

 

From all of those

I learnt something

Not only Javanese as my first meals

But I have to taste many meals

It makes me feel more amazing

To this beautiful Creator the difference

 

By Artika Honey 

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Forgive me, child

FORGIVE ME CHILD

(by: Jean Ragual)

 

The mother is the light of home

A mother, who has a big role in the family

A mother, who will do everything

As a mother I need to find a job

It is hard to me to leave you

But this is for you

 

My child forgive me, if I am far away from you

Forgive me, if I left you at your young age

Someday you will understand everything

Thank you for all your stories to make me happy

When I talk with you

You give me strength everyday

 

Forgive me, Child

If you wonder why

Our home is not already complete or

Why you never see your father already

 

You are my only strength, my inspiration to continue our dreams

You are my treasure that GOD gave to me

Not all I can give to you

But I do everything I can, to make you happy

My love for you is forever

 

And no one can replace in my heart

My child, you are my flesh and blood

You are the reason I am strong and brave

While I am far away from you

 

Forgive me, my child, I love you forever

 

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Sunday Beauty Queen

Sunday Beauty Queen

 

Heavy make up, curly hair

Red lips on my glossy face

Wearing silver high heels, matched with my long black gown

 

It’s Sunday in Singapore

Look at their faces,

Everyone is happy wearing their crown

They look so beautiful that everyone adores

 

I walk to the stage and take my first walk

All eyes are on me, staring and someone is amazed

 

I notice a lady at the corner of stage

She is eyeing me from head to toe

 

I pose, and smile

Cameras are flashing on my face

I feel like I’m celebrity in Hollywood

 

At centre of the stage it’s time to make a half-turn

My stage time is finished, my show is over

I know she saw me and I know I make her smile too

But I am unsure if this makes me happy or scares me off

 

The special lady follows me backstage

No words come out to mind or from my lips

What should I say

I greet her with a hello ma’am in a whispering sound

 

She smiles and a hug from her makes me comfortable

I know it’s my off-day and today is Sunday

 

She holds my hand and says

I’m so proud of you

You are my beautiful helper

I smile in return, I know in my heart I was the winner that day

to have a supportive employer like her

 

  By Rosita Madrid Sanchez

Salary

By Rosita Madrid Sanchez

 

Salary

I have been counting days since day one

I thinking, what should I buy?

Nice clothes, shoes, what else?

I’m so excited…

 

Time flies, the end of the months arrives

The day I am waiting for, has come.

Where is the list?

I didn’t put new shoes and clothes…

 

What can I do? My family is way back home…

Waiting for this money to help them and support their study

OK then… nothing for me this months

Maybe next month or next time…

 

My hard earned money…. all fly away in the wind

with only a penny left in MY hand

Bye salary see you next month.

But at least they are happy….

 

 

Disco

By Rosita Madrid Sanchez

DISCO
The lights are on
The music is loud
Every one screaming
Shouting it out

Too dark to see
Smoke in my eyes
What is that smell?
Perfume or ghee?

I walking inside
Everyone is smiling
Singing and dancing
A happiness you never see

The music plays (despacito)
I find myself at the middle too
Laughing screaming as in shouting too

The time runs so fast
My day gone so quick
Change back my clothes
From dress to pants
Remove my heels and put my slipper one

Looking at he mirror
Smiling telling to myself
See you again the place where I belong

Tears In My Eyes

By Rosita Sanchez

 

Tears In My Eyes

It started one day

When I fell in love with you

My days were filled with laughter and happiness

I was content and I felt complete

 

My life has changed because of you.

I am not the same girl as before.

My days, my time, changing so fast.

Even the sun and the moon are competing with each other.

 

But what happened one day?

Where are you? Why can’t I see you?

Is there something wrong my love?

Please tell me, I’m dying to be with you.

 

Days, months and even years have passed us by.

I feel a deep sadness and my tears keep flowing.

Have you forgotten me? Have you left me?

 

You just walk away like the wind.

What I feel will never be seen.

 

A gift from you makes me feel strong.

A life with you makes my life continue on.

It feels like yesterday that we were together.

 

I thank God for the son that we have.

I trust Him and surrender my questions because right now I am happy with our son.

 

Tears keep falling from my eyes, that one day you will wipe them off and make them dry.

Now the time has come and this little voice says to me, “Mama, stop crying, I’m here, I love you.”

This sweet voice makes my heart calm.

 

Where ever you are, where ever you go,

Thank you for the day that made me feel a woman. It made my dreams come true to be a mother and to have a son with the man I love so much.

 

I have these tears in my eyes but now the tears are flowing because of the happiness that our son gives me.

Who am I?

The writer of this poem, Anna Rose, stayed in HOME shelter for some time after a bad experience with an employer that left her very upset. Anna Rose struggled with her identity, and what to do with her life going forward. She has now returned home to the Philippines. 

 

Who am I?

 

I am a child

Who will never stop believing

I am the dreamer

Who will never stop dreaming

I am the woman

Who will never stop caring

 

They see the finished adult

That they expect me to be

But I don’t know

Who I want to be?

 

So many pressures, do this

Don’t do that

Wear this, don’t wear that

Buy this, don’t buy that

 

Who to believe? Who to trust?

To help me be the person I want to be

Still not sure who that is

Who am I and what will I be?

 

Two different questions

But people expect one answer

 

Which career will I choose?

But really is that the most important?

What about good or bad,

Lazy or hardworking

It depends on the task if I like it or not

 

So the question is not, who am I?

But who will I become?

Who cares?

Who cares if we are a helper
Who cares if we have a bad employer
Who cares if we have a problem
Who cares if we can’t dance with the rhythm
Can you feel us?
 Who cares
When we’re being maltreated inside the house
When we’re being abused and scared like a mouse
When we’re being locked up and no one to turn to
When we don’t have enough food yet too much work to do.
Can you see us?
 We’re not perfect but we are doing our best
We always  wanted to satisfy your needs
We’re working hard to accomplish the tasks on your list
We follow everything as you say so
But you are not content with everything we do
Why must you say we’re stupid
Why must you say we’re a lazy and idiot maid.
 Who cares?
Who washes your dirty clothes
Who does the cleaning of your house
Who cooks your everyday meal
Who does the marketing and budgeting
Who washes your cars
Who looks after your kids or your sick parents
No other than this idiot maid you are referring to
And who cares?
You’re a manager and I am a maid
But we still both earn money
You eat pizza, I eat noodles
But we still both eat to our satisfaction
You drive your car, I ride a bus
But we still both reach our destination
You wear branded clothes, I wear simple one
But we still both cover our nakedness
We’re both human but don’t have the same way of living
You were treated highly
We were treated lowly
We’re both human but are treated differently.
And who cares?
Can you feel us? Please hear us
Don’t treat us like a prisoners
Don’t treat us like a robot
Don’t treat us as if you own us
Yes you pay, but we work so hard
You pay for the service
but you don’t own our life.
We respect you
Hoping you will respect us too.
By Rea Maac

Happiness where are you?

Happiness where are you?

by Rosita Madrid Sanchez

 

At the age of 16 I am already a mother

People said I was too young to handle

I didn’t experience teenage life

To be free as a bird and to be as me.

 

Poverty has led me in this situation, one of the reasons I can blame on

I thought at an early age, getting married to the older man would show me direction

But I was wrong, its all my fault, I’ve been used and abused.

 

I have decided to work as a domestic helper

To the place far away from my nightmare

Leaving behind my kids in the care of my mother

It felt like I was dying a million times when I stepped in an airplane

Tears flowing, running nose dripping

Heaven showered me with thunderstorms and lightning.

 

Days, months, even a year moved

Time flew so fast like running

Now my contract is ending

What should I do? I kept thinking.

 

In the foreign land, I felt love, I felt that I am important and great

I had the freedom that I kept looking for

To gain myself and to be the real me.

 

Even if I have all of this, why do I still feel incomplete?

Some parts of my body are missing

All I want is to be happy

Why happiness is so hard to get?

Now I need to wake up to reality.

 

To face my family, to see my own kids

The life that I keep hiding on

Am I scared? I’m scared of my shadow that doesn’t want to leave

All I need is to be happy to find the real me.

Hear me

HEAR ME

 

What lies beneath is unknown.

Nobody can see you, you are on your own.

Worries and fear will surface without realizing it,

No matter how you pretend that you are not beat

 

Life is hard for some of us here.

Difficulties to others, abuse that is severe.

Forbidden to communicate with the people we love

I feel like a prisoner, photos are all I have.

 

I start before sunrise, end before midnight

Long hours of work, it does not seems right.

There are times that I wake up in my sleep in pain

Leg cramps that are unbearable are acting up again.

 

The food they give is not enough for me.

Leftover in a week, they give for free

But if there is nothing, I need to sit and wait

For them to finish dinner, I can have something on my plate.

 

I tried to reach out to others to let them know,

But their blank stares tell me, just go with the flow.

They listen with their eyes, not with their ears

Words they tell me, they bring me to tears

 

Life is hard for some of us here

Difficulties to others, some live in fear

We need a heart that listens and empathises

To feel our woes and hear our cries.

 

 

By Bhing Navato