Waves Without Sounds

When things come crashing on the shores of the mind.

Month: July, 2015

The Scent of Lilies

The Scent of Lilies

This soul is old and weary, but in its brief infancy,
It once had recognized a home in a land far away.
Up above the mountains high and further beyond the sea,
This young soul once passed a man in one distant springtime’s day.

This man carried with him a glow as bright as summer’s sun.
He walked with grace that every pace was like a traipsing faun’s.
Upon seeing this soul, he smiled, and this soul came undone,
And that young soul then knew it has become that fair man’s own.

This soul then followed that fair man to meadows just as fair.
Together then, they frolicked through, picking pretty flowers;
Roses, lilies and irises– there’s nothing they did spare.
Hand-in-hand they roamed the land for many happy hours.

As beyond the western hills the sun began to lower,
The man had turned to the young soul and said, “the day is done.”
As he said thus, he handed the soul a pristine flower,
And he told the soul to remember him though he has gone.

But the soul said, it will forget him when the flower wilts.
Instead it asked him for a heart if the man’s power wills.
“Allow me to carry the scent of lilies in my heart,
“And it shall be my memory of you while we’re apart.”

The man then smiled and he replied, “I do not have such powers.
“But there will come a time when you would find your own body.
“Until you do so, I will then hold on to these flowers,
“Hoping whenever you see lilies, you’ll remember me.”

On that same day, they had parted never again to see
Of one another anymore after that springtime’s day.
Though now I have that once young soul, I’m still hoping to be
Back where beautiful lilies grow in that land far away.

For in this weary soul, the scent of lilies linger still,
I still remember irises and the fair spring day’s sun.
And whenever I do, I know that long years never kill
The memories and the love this soul has of that fair man.


The Third Path


Photograph by Malory Columbretis

The Third Path

Many who walk this road are met
With the same plight so commonplace
To choose between two paths ahead–
To which a daft poet would say
“Choose the path that is traveled less!”
And the mundane would then reply
“Travel the one that has been paved.”
But both of them would then agree
That there are two paths to choose from.

However, one day, I have met
A unique one who’d somehow come
To choose from more than just two paths.
He saw the path that was less trod,
He saw the path that has been paved,
But he saw trees and shrubbery.
“There are three paths ahead of me!”
He said, and I looked at him
Thinking he must be quite insane.
“Do you think yourself a monkey?”
“No,” he said, “but I sure once was!”
And I concluded him crazy
Before choosing to take the path
That many dreamers often tread–
The dirt road that was less traveled.

And so I had traveled ahead,
Leaving the one who lost his head
To trees and shrubs and greenery
And never heard of that man since–
Well, maybe not until this day.

He sent me pictures of forests,
Of mountain peaks that rose so high,
Of setting sun and sickle moon,
Of crystal streams and desert dunes,
And to me wrote, “O dreamer,
“I hope your dreams are just like these,
“Beautiful and magnificent
“As the places my eyes have seen.”

Though he meant well then, I had felt
Envy towards this crazy man
Who walked the path that he had seen
Was his and only his to take
While though I chose to take the path
That was less traveled by many,
That choice till made me dream of things
I would have seen if I only
Had walked into the shrubbery.



You have left,
But your scent lingers
In every corner that I turn.
You crossed the threshold
To never return
And yet,
I hear your footfalls
Upon the floor.
You stood up and left but
Your clothes still drape over
The bed, the chairs and balustrades.
You are not here–
Not anymore–
But your laughter still echoes
Throughout these empty halls
In my loveless heart.

Though I hold you in my arms,
I cannot bear to say
How or why or when did I
Stop loving you.
I would not be able to explain
How you merely faded out
Of my once amorous heart.

There’s no one else
Who took your place,
I assure you this.
Only cold entered my heart
And drove the warmth away–
That same warmth that made my heart
Swell just by loving you.

Hence do not turn to me for blame
Because I would not know
Who or what to blame or why
I had stopped loving you.

Our bodies may still lay side-by-side
But our hearts had ceased to beat the same.
My heart had ceased to beat for you.
The void in my being has
Frozen my heart to stone.

I do not know what to do.
You have left my heart and I have lost
One reason to live for.
The more I see you,
The more this guilt
Consumes my empty heart.

Perhaps it’s best to wait
For me to do the same
And fade out of your heart
As well.
Meanwhile let us remain
Holding each other close,
And maybe–just maybe–
Your warmth and this heat
Will thaw
My heart that has frozen.

The Best Things in Life


Taft Avenue, Manila | Photograph by Malory Columbretis

I often get anxious or stressed out and then drive myself into thinking that no good can be had in this life. In between these bouts of sorrow, though, I have surges of happiness that I take from even the most mundane circumstances of my life.

This morning, I was rifling through old notebooks in search of a certain story I wrote down some time ago. I found the story, but I found a more interesting entry in one of those notebooks. The entry was dated 30th of May, 2014, and I was so thankful towards my past self for listing down the things in life that are worth living for. The title of the list is ‘THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE’ written in capital letters, and I thought it is something worth sharing, so here it is!

THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE: (according to Malory Columbretis)

  • That time of day from 3pm-5:30pm
  • Long rides alone, especially during the night
  • Trips that pass the way from Quiapo to SM North EDSA*
  • Rainy weekday afternoons
  • Windy Sunday afternoons
  • Walking in the park or the mall alone
  • Starry midnight skies as seen from the rooftop
  • Being alone in the classroom
  • Climbing mountains in a ride
  • Feeling the ocean breeze and hearing the waves during the afternoon
  • Constant tinkling of wind chimes for more than 5 minutes
  • When you can smell the rain and different bodies of unpolluted water without seeing them
  • Befriending strangers without certainty of meeting them again
  • Exploring unfamiliar places alone
  • Walking against the wind
  • Birds on trees
  • Daydreams. Undisturbed daydreams.
  • Companionable or comfortable silences

*This is extremely personal, and it is also my favorite. I grew up constantly frolicking in these two places and the route from one to the other is my own memory lane because I pass by my high school and my childhood home.

I remember writing that list to cheer myself up with when I’m drowning in gloom, but I am easily distracted and as such, I forget many things that I am not supposed to forget. Now, I will remember what to do when I am blue–I will just look at that list and smile at how such simple things are the ‘best’ things for me.

In sharing this, I hope those who read this list will remember their own ‘best things in life’ no matter how simple those things are. I believe it is best to have sources of happiness that are easy to have instead of constantly worrying and pushing oneself towards something big which is difficult to obtain. We all walk our own paths towards great things that we deeply desire, but when your feet are sore and you need something to ease the pain, you just have to look around and see the little things that make you happy.


Banaue Rice Terraces | Photograph by Malory Columbretis

The First Shooting Star

The First Shooting Star

That night I sat surrounded by flowers
And friends both dear and old
Atop the roof over my home.
Our heads were almost in the clouds
As the evening’s mist began to gather
Around us who sat together.

We talked of city lights and silly frights
And memories that need recalling
As we make yet new ones.
And as I gazed at the starry sky,
I saw a flash of light
Slash its way across
The black night sky above.

If I have before seen a shooting star,
Then I forgot it the moment I saw
This one with my dearest friends.
Because to me that was the first
Time I saw a shooting star
And make a wish upon it–
To never let sever the bonds
With the ones I saw the shooting star with.

The Fray

frayThe Fray

I have nothing great to live and die for
Only little things in life
That I tell myself are enough to stand for.

Dusks, dawns,
Midnights, mornings,
The sun, the wind,
The moon and the waters.

I live for all these little things
That when accumulated would sum up
To something beautiful in the least–
Like plumes on a magical bird.

The movie of my life
Would be a boring indie film,
With a mundane storyline
And cryptic dialogues
Only few could entirely get.

It would be like a poem
With disjointed verses that never rhyme,
That could only be understood by those
Who have been intimate with me–
No one, in other words.

It is a song with repetitive tones
And incoherent words
Sang too slow to actually
Entice someone to listen.

My life is uninteresting
Even for myself.
Too mundane, too bland to care.
Everyday is the same,
Hence I know what happens tomorrow.

But what happens in my mind
Is the opposite of life.
I have dreams so vibrant and exciting.
I have thoughts that do not bore me.
And in my mind is a lively world–
A universe where I live
When reality is not demanding
The entirety of me.

I do not know how strong this rope is
That binds me to the ‘real’ world,
Because I would give all just to
Divorce my whole being
From whatever binds me to reality
And live in that world inside my mind
For all eternity.

Ah, but dawns and mornings lay in wait for me
In that harsh reality.
Dusks and eves and midnights sweet
Demand me to live through them.
I can still feel the sun wishing
To kiss my skin another day,
And the wind is howling–calling me
To feel its fervent caresses.
I see the moon is still attempting
To shed some light in my dark nights
And the waves that come crashing
Upon the shores of my mind
Want to carry me back to where I should be.

Hence I heed the Mother’s voices
That–though thousands–sing as one
In the beautiful nature and darling earth
Only reality holds.


Hypnophobic Musing

If I close my eyes tonight
And succumb to sleep’s embrace,
Will I wake up tomorrow
To the rays of a different sun?
Or will the sky remain the same
In a world both new and strange–
Or worse,
The world does not change at all.

Do I go on with this hellish dream?
Or never wake up from this splendid nightmare?
What happens
When my consciousness is not
In the world as we know it?

Do things get better when I am not looking?
Does the world worsen when I close my eyes?
Does anything change at all
While I remain asleep?

What of it, then,
If I ever wake up
Or if I never wake up?
What difference does the opening and closing
Of a pair of eyes
Cause upon the universe?

I am just a speck of dust
Whose consciousness keeps swaying
From one world to another
But whose eyes never see
One true reality.

But what?
But why?
But how?
I ask and ask until I see
Another dawn birth a new day
Until I learn to fear
The clutches of sweet slumber
And decide for myself
To never again
Close my weary eyes.

A Moth’s Lament

A Moth’s Lament

I ask my heart every second it beats
Why it chose you to be loved
Wholly, wholesomely, distantly and chastely.
Why you?

We live in worlds that cannot meet
While I speak words you will never hear–
Some petty declarations of love
That I know you are deaf to.
Yet my heart soars to catch
The slightest glimpse of yours.

A love so forlorn and desolate
Is what I feel for you,
But it is no tragedy.
This love is a romance with only one actor,
A farce of something real and great.

My love is true
But unreal,
For it seems to me you are a star
That this moth blindly chases
Thinking you are a nearby flame.

Yet it is not for naught because
You do not burn my wings.
You keep me flying, instead,
To great distances and heights
No moth has ever reached.

I will keep yearning for the luminance of your smile.
I will keep hoping for the gentle warmth of your gaze.

Now I know why my heart chose to love you.
Now I know my heart is not a fool.
You inspire me, love.

Reaching for you keeps me on my toes.
Thinking of you keeps me dreaming

I love you,
I will never question this.
If forever is true, then so is my love,
And it will last just as long.

My muse, my thoughts, my heart and my poetry–
Thank you, love, for being all of these.
Thank you for being the light
In my otherwise dismal life.
Thank you for letting me love you
From a distance we both cannot traverse.

This is for you, o star,
From your moth lightyears away.




Do not scream at the world of who you are,
Let the world find out for itself.
For the world demands and the world expects
So high you would disappoint.

Hence do not scream, child.
Let the wind speak for you.
Let the tides bring your name to different shores
As you continue to be yourself.

Express but do not announce.
Do not take a label from the shelf
And wear it as your own
Because many bore that name before
And many more will claim it.

Do not seat yourself on the shiny shelf
That makes us all mere commodities.
You are not a product manufactured by greed,
You are a human borne of passion,
Of truth, of love, of a boundless history that is never done.
You are who you are and you are everything you do,
A single word will not fit the entirety of you.

When the world knows of you,
They will give you names,
Like artist, poet, entrepreneur, scientist, politician
And many more that they make
Out of their judgment of your person.

Be that as it may,
But do know in your heart of hearts,
In your soul and mind,
That you are who you are
And not just a single word.

You are not a title,
You are not a label,
You are not just the cover of your life’s book,
You are every single word, every single letter, every single mark
And every single stain that you wrote on your own blank pages.
You are not whom others wrote on theirs.
You are not a passing verse or phrase on the pages of another.
You are your own.

Do not let the frame the world put around you
Limit the canvas of your growth.
Grow out of it. Draw out of it.
Paint past the borders the others have set
For you, dear one, are boundless, indefinite and infinite.
You are beyond definition.

You will always be a work in progress
Even after your death
Because you will leave a legacy
As exquisite as you are.

And yet
You are a name.
You will always be a name.
A name for which you stand as definition,
A name that you give meaning to,
A name to take care of.
A name that perhaps could be
The only thing to depict who you truly are.
But then again, this matter is yours
And only yours to decide upon
Whether it may change or vary.
But never forget who you truly are–
A soul that knows no limits.