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 Jan 2016 Jedd Ong
Sofia Paderes
Di niyo ba alam
na nang pasimula ay nilikha ng Diyos
ang langit at ang lupa?
Na ang mundong ito'y
Kanyang binigyan ng hugis at anyo
gamit lamang ang mga salitang
dumaan sa Kanyang bibig?
Na nung sinabi Niyang, "Magkaroon ng liwanag!"
Nagkaroon nga.

Di niyo ba alam
na kaya Niyang humarang
sa agos ng dagat,
ipaawit ang mga bituin,
ipaluhod ang bulubundukin?

Di niyo ba alam
na ang kapangyarihan na ito,
ang kapangyarihang ginamit Niya
para ibuo ang mga planeta,
ang kapangyarihang ginamit Niya
para tigilan ang pag-akyat ng buwan
nung lumalaban sina Joshua,
ang kapangyarihang ginamit Niya
para bigyan muli ng buhay ang yumao
ay nasa

ang Kanyang pangako:
Na tayo'y binigyan ng kapangyarihang
tapakan ang mga ahas at ang lahat ng kapangyarihan
ng ating kaaway

niyo ba
alam na
may kapangyarihan sa pagsamba
sa Kanya?

Di niyo ba alam
na nung ikapitong ikot
sa ikapitong araw,
mga trumpeta at boses ng Kanyang mga anak
ang ginamit ng Diyos para ibagsak ang Jerico?

Sumigaw na tayo sapagkat
nasa atin na ang tagumpay
Sumigaw na tayo sapagkat
sa Kanyang pangalan ang pag-asa ng mundo
sa Kanyang pangalan,
lumiliwanag ang dilim
sa Kanyang pangalan,
lahat ng takot ay nadadaig

Sambahin natin ang Panginoon
ng buong galak
ng buong puso
nanginginig at mga demonyo
sa pangalan ni Hesus
tumutumba ang mga harang ng impyerno
sa pangalan ni Hesus

Tayo'y magkaisa,
itaas ang mga kamay
tayo'y magkaisa,
itaas ang iyong boses gaya ng mga trumpeta
tayo'y magkaisa

Sambahin natin ang Diyos na buhay,
ang Diyos na dakila!
Written as a call to worship during our church's prayer meeting. First Tagalog spoken word piece.
 Jan 2016 Jedd Ong
Don't Go
 Jan 2016 Jedd Ong
i know you'll leave me breathless and blue
yet i can't help but think about your sparkling eyes
and the way you creep into the space beside me at four in the morning,
when at 2 am you were probably still at some bar,
watching girls and boys from afar and feeling hollow.

i know you'll leave me dumbfounded and empty,
yet i can't help but think about the way you look at me intently
and take a smoke on your never ending cigarette
then you close your eyes and blow wisps of grey that surround us
for some reason, you'd look so beautiful in the haze and night
but that same smoke suffocates me so slowly.  

i know you'll leave me broken and silent,
yet i can't help but think about the way you wrote me that post card
when you said you hated writing
or the way you held me close the first time i got drunk,
and the next morning, half asleep with the sunlight piercing my eyes,
i felt you getting ready to leave without saying goodbye
yet you kissed me on the forehead.

and someday, i know you'll leave
yet i can't help but love you with the way you make me want to disappear
with the way you talk and write songs and drive to other places
without ever telling me when you're going to go

but i don't want you to go.
 Jan 2016 Jedd Ong
Dear Children,

You do not deserve to live in fear.

You do not deserve to lift your hands in surrender when you have done no wrong,
To hide in fright at the sight of the ones who claim authority,
To come home to your houses destroyed,
To have your playmates beaten before your very eyes,
To have mom and dad abused for beliefs they do not live by,
To have your neighbors shot for reasons you do not understand,
To struggle falling asleep when the sound of bombs and gunshots fill the airwaves,
To have military planes speed above you instead of kites,
To have your brothers and sisters hold you close as you tremble and sob,
To have danger and war as all you know.

But children, please remember that what you see and know isn't all there is to the world.

Somewhere out there, perhaps quite far for now, beautiful places await you
Where there is love in the arms that will welcome you,
Gentleness in the touch of strangers,
Parks to sit under blue skies and watch the clouds pass,
Homes where you will be safe and sound,
Quiet nights where you can sleep at ease, the stars watching over you,
And no more war and what you have known all your life.

For now, I only hope that the barren lands you walk on barefoot will begin to grow greener pastures,
I hope flowers grow amidst the rubble and destruction,
I hope the sounds of war will be softened with lullabies,
I hope you will soon be able to play street games and watch sun set,
I hope you will snuggle between your parents at night to sleep soundly,
I hope you will be able to fly kites and build dreams,
I hope you will never grow to become angry and miserable all your days,
I hope you will never feel at fault for things you have never done.

And I wish that you remain hopeful for the day you will be free to wander to better places, away from the turmoil you've come to know, the way you deserve to.
 Jan 2016 Jedd Ong
Matsuo Bashō
Winter garden,
the moon thinned to a thread,
    insects singing.
 Dec 2015 Jedd Ong
Sofia Paderes
Woman, you have the backbone of an earth
and a faith that Abraham would have marvelled at.
You walk and you follow with your eyes above ground,
your feet leave imprints of peace.
Woman, you laugh at the sun
You bathe in rays that scorch because you know
That pain only lasts through the night.
You of all people know what it's like to have beauty rise from ashes.
 Dec 2015 Jedd Ong
Sofia Paderes
Note To Self:*

If the world were to end tomorrow, today would just be today. Lunch would just be lunch, depending which day, the sun would rise and the sun would set and I would probably be leaving a lot of things unsaid, because how am I supposed to know the world is going to end tomorrow?

If the world were to end tomorrow, I would leave the idea of tomorrow to gather dust ‘till the sun’s fingers came to pluck it from my grasp, and I would not mind letting it go.

For if the world were to end tomorrow, tomorrow would be the most beautiful thing to ever happen to this world since God first sang, “Let there be light.”

And there was light. And tomorrow, again.

Things To Do:

1. Cook some hot, sticky rice for breakfast. These little legs of mine will be needing all the energy they can get for some spontaneous visits and last attempts at trying to save the child who dug his own grave and is now standing at its mouth asking himself if this is what heaven looks like.

2. Make my way to the resting place of the one I loved the most.
Smile. I don’t know if it would be wide or not.
Leave a note in green ink —
“See you soon.”
Hug the stone angel that used to give you comfort when you had just lost your mother.
Hum a hymn on my way out.
Leave the gate unlocked.
Let the street children pour in.

3. Run back to the walls placed in my path,
dance around seven times while singing psalms
until they fell
they fell
or maybe I would stumble around seven times
while crying and screaming mercy
until they fell
they fell.

4. Love harder. Carry around words of fire, vomiting flames of spirit and life to keep the virgins’ lamps burning, remind them that their groom is returning, He just needs to make sure that everything will be pure in time for their vows, and they need to remember that death is not the final destination, but only the beginning of a new journey in which everywhere you go, your car window view is a valley of dry bones coming back to life, and if still they refuse to listen, I will only love them harder.

5. Pretend as if I’m dying then whisper stories of hope into the ear of the kind stranger that kneels down to help me. For some people only listen when shouts have become echoes.

6. Ask around for directions and instructions on how to finish off this list I am making. Take the hands of whoever has the right answers or of whoever has at least one of the same on their sheet of paper, run to any place we can call shelter and sing praises. Quietly. Loudly. Sing with nasal tones and chest tones and head tones, sing until our lungs collapse beneath us, sing like our shakey notes can pierce the darkness, sing like the moon is still shining and the sun isn’t darkened and all the stars haven’t yet fallen, sing until we see glory bleeding from the sky and

7. Weep with gladness. For here comes God singing for the second time,

“Let there be light.”

And there was light. And today, again.
Another spoken word poem written for Sali Productions' event, What If: The World Ends Tomorrow.
 Oct 2015 Jedd Ong
Sofia Paderes
I will always remember you, too.
You must be so beautiful in autumn,
You, with your golden brown smile
and clear blue laughter.
Someday, I will hear it again, and I will listen
with my heart as your fingers glide across continents.
She messaged me in her native tongue, "I will always remember you." This is how I would have replied, if only I could speak the same tongue.
 Oct 2015 Jedd Ong
Sofia Paderes
You are so much more than a pair of green eyes.
Your heart is golden but sometimes your thoughts dull its shine.
It might take some rain and maybe even a thunderstorm, but I promise you,
It will be worth far more than the pain
to see you
see for the first time.
And you are nearing that day.
One day you will fix more than just people's teeth.
 Oct 2015 Jedd Ong
Sofia Paderes
I miss the boy who sells fruit in a place where people say no good comes out of. I miss his shorts that look like fields ripe with harvest and his ocean of a t-shirt.

I miss his little mop of wavy black hair, his green eyes that become crystals in the sunlight and deepen in its absence.

Is your name Garik? Or is it Garo? Or am I getting you mixed up with someone else? I may have forgotten the symbols for which represent you but I will never forget what made you you to me, here:

Your smile as wide as the watermelons you sell. Your heart warmer than the strong coffee your mother makes. Your scrawny legs that always made their way a little closer to me no matter what time of the day it was and your voice that crossed oceans with a melody that sang "We are here."

And we were.

We were two people-- you of pomegranates and fresh sunflower seeds and I of mangoes and mangosteens, two entirely different shades of earth, you with your snow flakes and I with my sun rays, you with your black robed monks and I with my white clothed priests, yet there we were.

Oh brave little boy, I love how different doesn’t scare you.

My slanted eyes did not seem strange you, nor did you question why my skin looks like the browned sides of baked bread compared to the floury white of your arms. You did not find it funny that I must be at least five years older than you are yet must be at least half a head shorter. It did not matter to you that the only words we had to give each other in the same tongue were “Hello!”, “How are you?”, “What is your name?”, “Where are you from?” because sometimes those words are all it takes to make your way into someone’s heart and stay.

As for mine, stay you did. Language, cultural, socio-economic barriers were nothing to you.

Instead, you simply played the boy who wanted to know the girl. And so I played the girl who responded, the girl who saw the boy's clouds of smoke in the sky spelling out "We are here.”

And we were.

And it’s been three months.

Now you are there.

And I am here.

But to you, it's the other way around. Because here is a matter of who is telling the story. Maybe we will never again be characters in the same chapter. Or maybe we will be. And maybe I am counting the pages until for us, here is right where we both are.
Aystegh. Here.

For everyone who's ever missed someone they never really knew-- whether it be that school guard who was transferred somewhere else or that cashier at a fast food restaurant who was there every time you went.

This poem is for that little boy I met in Armenia who sold fruits in front of my friend's house. He would greet me everytime I passed by him. I hope you still remember me the next time I see you.
 Oct 2015 Jedd Ong
Sofia Paderes
You have a gaze that imprisons,
the kind that no one would ever want to leave,
yet they dart here and there, don’t
you see your purpose?
He is not your purpose and he doesn’t see it
Do not let his gaze imprison you.
One day, you will no longer see yourself inside a prison. You will learn that you are exactly where you should be and when that day comes, I will teach you how to make a piano sing, just like I promised.
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