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Undas 2012 -- Day of the Dead

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Undas 2012 -- Day of the Dead

There I was, for the second night, visiting you.
It’s that time of the year again
where graves don’t seem so lonely,
all lit up
with flames, flowers and faces 
I find it so beautiful, Undas...

We all might be contained
within our own circles, 
but thoughts and feelings are somehow linked—
similar in remembrance
of what was lost, of what is loved.

This time always reminds me of regret.
Oh yes, my sighs are so pregnant with them,
giving birth to a nursery full of wailing cry babies.

Death.  
Of someone, of something. Of anything.
How final it seems. 
So much lost, so much taken.

Then the operative word, “seems”, jumps out at me.

I am reminded of grass razed by fire,
seemingly dead—hopeless.
Brown, dried, burnt.
Some might leave it be and move on with their lives.
But some
might dig beneath the dirt, dust it off,
then they might find hope.
The roots are still there, alive.

A second chance to make things right.
To nurture it better this time around.

Maybe, this is why I cling so hard to the thought 
of an afterlife.
Why so many people do.
I don’t want to think of death as The End.

You’ve graced my life, our lives with so much
and I still catch myself seeing you in other people.
In this manner, you are still very much alive.

This is also why I kiss the day that you were born.

You were given to us, albeit for a short while
but you are still here in some other ways,
and I am thankful for that.

I light one of your candles, whisper my prayers,
and something touches past my right hand.
(Ah, I’ve always felt that certain emptiness with that hand.)
I see what it is, and it embraces my heart.
It is small yet so profound for me.
A white butterfly. 
Choosing that moment 
to flutter past me, touching me in that darkness.

It lands on one of the leaves of your floral arrangement
and stays there with me.




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** For my brother, & to all my loved ones who have gone on. I also want to dedicate this to all who have lost their loved ones, either recently or long ago—the void will always be there, but the memories & love that they have given us will never be forgotten in our hearts.

Undas is a yearly tradition here, where most Filipinos flock to the cemeteries to visit their dead. Ok, I will not rule out that some go there not exactly to visit the dead but to join in the hmm, festivities (if walking through cemeteries is your thing), being with friends, eating, since of course there are lots of food stalls present during this time.

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  1. Date: 10/7/2013 10:46:00 AM
    Amazing tribute. I hope we get to take the love with us!... That was an amazing work you performed on Drake's. No one can guide us on our path. I've learned to enjoy the ride. I impressed with your delivery, you dictate the emotions of your listeners, perfectly!

  1. Date: 4/18/2013 1:26:00 PM
    Aha..Nikko Palmario..I remember the name from some time ago. Pleased to meet ya! Again, this poem is captivating...and sad...Caleb

  1. Date: 1/3/2013 8:01:00 AM
    Dear Nikko - How can it be that I have found you and your exquisite poetry again? Joyful indeed. Please write and post more. Day of the Dead is so riveting and universal in it's sadness. The emptiness of the right hand cuts deep. The party atmosphere of Undas sounds like an Irish wake. Stay safe in all your storms. love you, Kathy

  1. Date: 1/2/2013 1:24:00 PM
    Enjoying this one again, Nikko - it's just beautiful. Thanks so much for all your kindness and support

  1. Date: 11/29/2012 10:57:00 PM
    Wonderful words, it is good to read of rituals of other countries. Undas, the word flows freely I wont forget it or its meaning. My Tad (father) died earlier this year. This year all firsts, so hard, Christmas being the next. Again I say Diolch(thank you) for your poem.....Seren

  1. Date: 11/29/2012 2:29:00 PM
    "Nikko the Sweet" how I have missed rhyming treat... I hope you are well and that life is treating you well.. if not let me know and I will see what I can do lol.... hugs and bigger hugs to you... Michael

  1. Date: 11/23/2012 10:01:00 PM
    hey, where is the turkey story??

  1. Date: 11/23/2012 5:20:00 PM
    This is very intresting, you have introduced me to a world apart from my own. In the end with death all from all worlds will be joined. I enjoyed your poem!

  1. Date: 11/22/2012 8:54:00 AM
    Nikko, i appreciate you stopping by my Pink poems. BIG hug to you, my super sweet friend. I am so busy and gotta get off real soon to put the turkey in the oven. I almost got caught up here this morning but had to get up early to do it!!! Luv ya, Andrea

  1. Date: 11/18/2012 1:15:00 PM
    had to read this one again, Nikko - such a lovely custom and a beautiful poem. Thanks again for all your kindness - love to you and your family x

  1. Date: 11/17/2012 5:40:00 PM
    It is good that the country has a day to visit the place where one's loved ones are buried..Enjoyed reading your work and learning of your custom...Thanks for stopping by my blog and the soup mail..Sara

  1. Date: 11/17/2012 1:55:00 PM
    Nikko, I hope you are well. Seems like we just don't talk as much as in the old days. Miss you!

  1. Date: 11/7/2012 10:38:00 AM
    Missy this is a beauty, you can feel the love and the warmth you and your brother shared. This is also a testament of your beauty and inner strength. Really an amazing piece. Hope you are asleep by now ;) love & mwahugs

  1. Date: 11/7/2012 8:45:00 AM
    a very, very awesome poem, Nikko. I read it earlier, but did not comment then, so here I am. sending love and hugs your way. Catie :)

  1. Date: 11/6/2012 9:22:00 AM
    BEAUTIFUL AND TOUCHING WORK OF ART SWEET FRIEND NIKKO .. SINCE HURRICANE SANDY HIT OUR AREA AND LEFT SO MUCH DAMAGE AND LOSS YOUR WORDS SPEAK VOLUMES TO ALL THOSE IN THIS TRAGEDY.. MOST BRILLIANT COMPOSITION FOR ALL IN NEED LUV ..WE R ALL SAFE BUT WHAT A JOLT .. AND ANOTHER NOR'EASTER BRINGING SNOW AND FRIGID TEMPS TOMORROW ..OH.. HOPE ALL IS WELL WITH U ..HOW IS MOM?? MISS U MUCH.

  1. Date: 11/4/2012 2:42:00 PM
    if only we did something similar over here - really love this one, Nikko. I'll read it to my wife and mum later

  1. Date: 11/3/2012 6:07:00 PM
    Its a wonderful tradition and such sadness around your write at the same time.You Fillipinos have some great traditions,like the house-blessings too.Amazes me! A very moving poem my dear friend Nikko.Have a peaceful and blessed weekend:) Hugs and Love,Arild

  1. Date: 11/3/2012 10:23:00 AM
    wonderful poem, wonderful tradition, nikko, i sure do miss your quality of poetry here,,,,...

  1. Date: 11/3/2012 8:36:00 AM
    A moving tribute and excellent poetry, ..We are firm believers in rebirth except for those who attained Enlightenment in this life!! Jag

  1. Date: 11/2/2012 6:50:00 PM
    Nikko, your poem is beautiful, one day I wish to view my passed loved ones with such a sight and feeling. A very loving and heartfelt dedication. I feel the emptiness you are talking about. Sometimes we need to feel that hold once again. The canvas fluttered by my heart like the butterfly, that touched that moment.. enjoyed, xox~PD

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