Category Archives: poetry

Poetry to celebrate Mother’s Day

By: Bhing Navato

 

A MOTHER’S LOVE

 

Nine months in her womb, it feels amazing.

Carried me with love and care, my weight for her is nothing.

Countless “I love you my baby”, the words she always says.

Especially on the days, that problem comes her way.

 

She introduced me to everyone around her,

Happiness can be seen in her eyes; no doubt she’s a mother.

She helps my father to get the family organized,

Everybody comes to her when they need advice.

 

She works so hard; I can see all of her struggles,

Between being a wife, a mother, to her work where she juggles.

A real superwoman, who endured everything,

A prayerful mother, with lots of understanding.

 

I grew up, everything has changed in me completely,

A nice child in her eyes , now behaved differently.

Her busy schedule, gave the wrong impression to me.

I started to argue, show no respect, and do things she doesn’t want to see.

 

One day, I saw her crying while she prays.

I stood still  and stared at her, thinking what will she say.

As I turned my back, I heard she called my name.

Then she said, “My love for you will always be the same.”

 

She continued, “You came from me, my precious one.

How can I not forgive you, when everything is done?

I nursed you and brought you up with love.

How can I forget you, when you’re the best thing I ever have.”

 

My tears flowed as I realized, how blessed I am to have her

Who faithfully understands me, loves me like no other.

Everything came together into my mind as we hugged each other,

God gave me the best woman, I called her mother.

SO IT’S YOU

By Fe Angela Callueng

SO IT’S YOU

Shattered as it was,

Broken a thousand times,

Dwelled in every path,

Pick yourself and smile.

 

Your love warms me,

Like a favorite morning tea,

Your eyes glitter every time you stare at me,

And I was stunned.

 

Every breath I take,

Enough for me to live a thousand years with you,

Whenever you touch me,

A million volts run through my veins.

 

From my eyes to my toes,

Your love means everything to me,

And I will never let you go,

And those memories of you,

Will always bring a smile to my lips.

 

Fe Angela is staying at HOME shelter, and this poem was written as part of a creative writing course taught on location by HOME volunteers

 

 

 

HUMAN RIGHTS

 

Rosita Madrid Sanchez, 34 and married with two kids, hails from the province of Guimba Nueva Ecija in the Philippines. She has been working in Singapore as a domestic worker for 7 years now. Rosita is a contributor to HOME MyVoice blog, and has taken cooking courses at HOME Academy. She joined  Human Writes: a rights-based spoken word competition, March February edition with the theme ‘Labour Rights’  Rosita won the first prize, comprising of a cash prize of $250, and an entry  to finals this coming June 2016  to be held at the Artistry in 17 Jalan Penang, Singapore. The competition was attended by journalists, writers and poets.

Congratulations to Rosita on this outstanding performance!

The winning poem can be seen below.

 

HUMAN RIGHTS

I am human.

I need rights.

We are all born free, equal in dignity, equal in rights.

Human rights are not only applied to the high society, to a prime minister, to a doctor, to a teacher. It is applied to all human beings, like you, like me. I am human and I need rights.

Human rights are not subjective, or have terms and conditions to apply. They all apply everywhere, without exceptions and conditions. But rights should always come along with responsibilities. People still have the right to follow or have the freedom to choose to do so.

As a foreign domestic worker, I have been away for 7 years, and within these years, I have been blindfolded myself. My rights were taken away by my employers and they took away the real me. I just let it go for the sake of earning dollars to send home for my kids.

I can’t be happy, I can’t be sad, I can’t feel the feeling of being a mother because I don’t have the rights to feel so. But you as an employer, do you feel the sadness when you are away from your kids, when you go overseas for work? Do you feel that from hearing the voice of your kids you will know if they are ok? How about me? I am a mother too, I am also human. I can feel these feelings, I can feel all that you can.

But starting this day, I am standing for myself. I am standing for my kids and I am standing for their future, for my future. Stop discrimination. Stop being blindfolded.

I will step out from the dark shadow I have, and I can tell to myself and I can shout to the world. I am human. I have the right to be happy. I have the right to express my feelings. I have the right to choose, the freedom to talk.

I am human with respect and dignity. I know I am. We all are.

I am human and I am a woman – a woman with all the rights.

 

Find  more information on HUMAN WRITES here

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SACRIFICE

By: Bhing Navato

 

SACRIFICE

When I decided to leave my country,

The hardest part was leaving my family.

When I looked at my children, it broke my heart

My husband’s teary eyes tore me apart.

 

I arrived here full of hope,

I prayed day by day so I could cope.

With three houses to clean in a week,

Rice and eggs for my meals, it really made me weak.

 

My sleeping area was inadequate,

Although I had a mattress, a pillow and a blanket.

Beside the fish tank was my place to sleep.

Every night, I told the fish,

You’re lucky, you have a crib.

 

I almost lost my temper one day

When she came to me with only harsh words to say.

I looked at her and thought this way:

The day will come when I will have my way.

 

Finally it happened, I finished my contract,

Asked for a transfer, but she wanted to send me back.

I was surprised, it was really unfair

I worked so hard, she didn’t even care.

 

So I decided to leave without permission,

Running away was my only option.

I went to HOME, they guided me all along,

They helped me in everything, taught me how to be strong.

 

My sacrifice didn’t happen in vain,

I got my new employer, now I just need to train.

 

THE CRY OF THE HIDDEN

By: Bhing Navato

 

THIS IS FOR YOU, YOU SHOULD START TO LISTEN

NOT JUST TO MY WORDS BUT TO THE CRY OF THE HIDDEN.

TO REMIND YOU THAT WE ARE ALL HUMAN BEINGS

FORBIDDEN OF OUR RIGHTS, TREATED LIKE WE ARE NOTHING.

 

I BELIEVE THAT WE ALL CAME HERE WITH ONE GOAL

TO PROVIDE FOR OUR FAMILIES, HELP THEM WHEN THEY CALL.

BUT HERE’S A STORY OF ONE MIGRANT HERE

WAITING TO BE HEARD, HER EYES ALWAYS IN TEARS.

 

I APPLIED FOR THE JOB, FULL OF HOPE AND CONFIDENCE

NEVER KNOWING THAT MY DECISION WOULD COST MY INDEPENDENCE

THEY HAVE A NICE HOUSE, AND NICE PEOPLE THAT I CAN SEE

BUT SOMETIMES, I KNOW SOMEBODY IS WATCHING ME.

WITH CAMERAS AROUND THE HOUSE, EVERY MOVE IS SEEN

EVEN IN MY ROOM; TO CHANGE CLOTHES, I’M NOT AT ALL KEEN.

 

MY REST DAY IS FORBIDDEN

WHEN I MAKE A MISTAKE, I AM NOT FORGIVEN.

SOMETIMES, A PUNCH IN MY BACK OR A SLAP ON MY FACE

WHEN I CRY, THEY WILL SHOUT AT ME SO LOUD, IT WILL BREAK THE VASE.

 

WHEN I’M SICK, THERE IS NO SICK LEAVE

NO MATTER HOW BAD I FEEL, THEY WON’T EVEN BELIEVE.

FOOD FOR ME IS LIMITED.

TALKING TO OTHERS IS PROHIBITED

A CELLPHONE IS NOT ALLOWED

WHEN I GET CAUGHT, THEY WILL SHAME ME TO THE CROWD.

 

BUT STILL, I WORK WITH DETERMINATION,

WITH MY FAMILY AS MY INSPIRATION.

I TRIED NOT TO COMPLAIN TO AVOID TERMINATION

BUT NO MATTER WHAT I DO, MY FATE IS STILL MY EMPLOYER’S DECISION.

 

I KNOW NOT EVERY DOMESTIC WORKER IS LIKE ME

SOME EMPLOYERS MIGHT BE AS GOOD AS CAN BE.

BUT I’M ONE OF THE HIDDEN THAT YOU CAN’T SEE OR HEAR

ALL I NEED IS YOUR HELP. PLEASE GET ME HERE.

 

 Bhing Navato is a domestic worker, who volunteers at HOME on her Sunday off, to assist other domestic workers at our Lucky Plaza Helpdesk

My Time

By: Jane Sucaldito Supapo

 

Early 2009 I left the Philippines

Because of dreams

Came to a foreign land, Singapore

To fulfil my plan to work and earn a living.

 

At first I couldn’t handle situations.

In my first and second employers’ homes I lacked food and rest.

I left them and found the third

They’re better and I am happily working.

 

I sacrificed and shed tears for my loved ones

It’s this love for them that I am here and holding

Determined I am to pursue my dreams

And fulfil the promise of a better future for them.

 

Being independent and a self disciplined individual

Wise and smart in a crucial world.

A breadwinner and a single mother to a girl

I learned to sacrifice my self-desires.

 

I thank God above all

For opportunities and chances

And facing forward to a better and brighter future

And one day will be proud of myself going back home where I truly belong.

HOME, an inspiration

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During our last HOME Academy graduation day one of HOME’s students, Indonesian Domestic Worker Maria Handayani, made a speech to all  graduates. During this speech she recited a poem. HOME likes to thank Maria for her wonderful words, which we like to share  with you all, hoping she will inspire many others like her. 

HOME, A Masterpiece of Inspirations

I remember the days, when I was not able,
To stand up.
I remember the days, when I was not able,
To speak up.
I remember the days, when I had nothing,
To offer.
I remember the days, when I could not make,
My own, decisions.

With your gentle care,
You lifted me up high.
With your gentle care,
You taught me, through learning.
With your gentle care,
You helped me, to be strong.

Now, I am able to to stand up,
Because of you.
I am able to speak up,
Because of you.
And, I, have something to share.

I can do, what I always wanted to do.
I can be, what I always wanted to be.
I can stand strong, and defend myself.
All this I can do, because of you.
And this is, what I share with you.
Because, this is, what I am, today.

I am beautiful.
I am strong.
I am smart.

I know, that, I am special.
I know, that, I am unique.
And I know, that, you, are special too.

I found, a masterpiece, in you.
You, inspire me, to be,  what I am today.
And I treasure you.
Dear HOME.
You are, a masterpiece of inspirations.

Writen by
Sri Handayani Sutarno.

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More information about HOME Academy and current courses on offer can be found on HOME website: http://www.home.org.sg/what-we-do/public-education/