Monday, February 16, 2015

Blog of the Week - The Bystander

I have a special treat for you today, kids. It was with joy that I saw Kelvin S.M. 's name pop up again in the Poetry Pantry recently. Kelvin is an amazingly talented young poet, living in the Phillippines, whom I interviewed in 2013. You can read all about him here,  if you wish. Kelvin writes at Just Bystanding. He went quiet for a while, as poets do from time to time when life gets busy. So I asked him if he might grace us with an update, to share what he's been up to since we last heard from him. And to say "welcome back!"







Sherry: Kelvin, we are so happy to see you, and to enjoy your poems once again.

Kelvin: This is unexpected, to be honest, but I am glad that you have invited me for this series in Poets United. Smiles.

It has actually been 6 months since I last posted something on my blog, but it doesn't mean I have stopped writing during those times. I just got too busy on my day job as an accountant in an expanding real estate company. More reports were asked to comply on  extremely tight deadlines, making what supposed 'a day' to be 'a night job' as well. The company went through a series of transitions,  adapting  new accounting software to improve  current operations, so that's why. 

The company is now in a recovering phase and hopefully, after this, everything will flow back to normal. Well, all the efforts I have invested is not wasted, as I am currently expecting something bigger in my career. Smiles. On an aside, in between busy hours working in day & night, I somehow was still able to find time writing new poems, revisiting old poems, rewriting old poems, & reading random poems. My sister (Karla), also graduated in college & now is a Certified Forester landing top 5 in her board examination. We encountered testing times as well during the past 6 months like surviving several typhoons that hit the country, falling down of my grands ancestral home, & loss of a loved one. It was quite a busy 6 months, wasn't it?

Sherry: Oh, Kelvin, I am so sorry for your loss of a loved one, and of your grandparents' ancestral home. That is a very big loss and, yes, it sounds like almost too much to have occurred in six months. 

Kelvin: So, what's new now? Well, I recently got back into blogging & decided I want to have a title for my blog---"Just Bystanding", that's it! No big deal about the name. It's just simply how I describe my writing, a by-product of 'just bystanding'. I like to observe people & places and be able to tell stories about them beyond what the world only knows. A sort of delving into the world of humans without being noticed. I'm a certified weirdo but that's what I enjoy about being a poet, to be weird & all. 

The poems I've written before weren't deleted. I have only reverted them to my draft folder for many reasons, like planning to revise / rewrite to improve my crafts.

Sherry: I am relieved to hear that. When I couldn't find them on your blog, I was worried, as you write so wonderfully, I don;t want a single poem lost. Would you please share a few of your recent ones, and tell us a bit about each?


blue.
that is the colour of my eyes
in the morning.

deep gray at night.

when i think
i know well this world---

what the trees pray in december---
what the earth buries under---

the colours suddenly change.

like hot blue in summer days.
like plain gray on a rainy day.

interesting.

this morning
my eyes are blue again.

blue as in lapis lazuli.

my whole is peeping
through a window like a bird

virgin at knowing
when the deepest shade of gray

will arrive.

 In the poem "The Novice" I tried to explore the different shades of the sky before my eyes, how rapidly each shade changes from time to time without you even noticing it. Every day I have the sky before my very existence, and I standing void, a beginner of every today and tomorrow, knowing nothing of the coming of new life and how quickly it will end.

Sherry: I know the feeling only too well, my friend. I have been a sky-watcher all my life, so this poem really resonates with me.

  after Joyce Kilmer's "Roofs"


It is time now
      for my feet to roam in
          open, wide road like
              a gypsy-man.

I will sit
      on the grass, seize
          the stars and the night's
              sweet breath.

I will pay
      the sky with tears for
          starlight, bed life
              in highway's canvas.

It is time
      to go home in the dark
          where sleep is
              good and gold and long.


"Road Sleeper" is actually a found poem from another poem by Joyce Kilmer, "Roofs". It aims to portray a life of someone who wanders, a vagabond's last remaining time on the cold, dark road where he finds home.

Sherry: (Kids, did I not tell you you were in for a treat?) Your writing is so beautiful, Kelvin!




Red Sky

a bullet speaks to a pigeon:

do you know i watch you (many times)
from behind dark drawers of nature?
how often you fascinate this eye of a lurk-
ing lover with your proud, laudable gesture?
do you know i always kneel in 45-degree
angle---this is how i pray---and
wait the sky to open its curtains
for your wide-spanning wings
while i meditate?---

no more. no more faux pas---

for this time, your heart and my love
shall never part as we paint this sky

red.

“Red Sky” is a bit abstract. It documents the brutal scenario of shooting birds but in lighter tone & approach. I have turned the whole scene in a complete opposite, making it read like a romance between two lovers.

Sherry: Well, that is an interesting approach.


Night Walk in Paxton St.

1.
imagine this:

i, wearing bear-skin,
walking slowly in close mid-
night hour crossing Paxton St---
tired and hungry and drowsy.

i stop.
the sky is a crawling river
hosting a school of tiny salmons.
i chase for the biggest one.

2.
the brightest of salmons
rests before my eyes
unaware of this bear intention
to conquer after loud silence.

i smell the night,
quaff a few saliva.
i jump (just before the dawn
kills the plan)---

i swallow the salmon, hide it
deep down my throat.

3.
i open my eyes, and there are
the moon, the stars, the same
old street in urban setting.

there is the poet
who writes about the river,
the bear, and the salmons,

and more and more,
and more and more.


“Night Walk in Paxton St.” completely describes my life during those extended hours at work and going home late, walking my way to Paxton St. between witching hours. The bear and the salmons are metaphors for myself and the bright stars in the sky.

Sherry: I love the image of the young poet, under the stars, going to and from work, but with his thoughts as broad and free as the night sky. So what are your plans for the coming months, Kelvin?


Kelvin: Currently, I am venturing my time submitting  poems for publications  online & in print. I am also into writing a series of poems for an annual major poem writing contest here & abroad. Smiles.
Thank you, Sherry, for inviting me to do this. 

Sherry: It is truly our pleasure, Kelvin, and thank you for allowing us to catch up with you, and to enjoy your wonderful poems.

We need to keep our eyes on this young man. He is so talented, I know he will fly far on his poetic wings. Do come back and see who we talk to next, my friends. Who knows? It might be you!


37 comments:

  1. When after all this absence I say Kelvin's comment returning I was so excited.. that meant that I once again would be able to read his. (that's what happens with timezones .. Kelvin almost always manage to comment on mine before I can comment on his).. but I have to say I remember how Kelvin always managed to capture so much in so few words. You have a poet's heart my friend.

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    1. Ah, yes, timezones... sometimes, i got the advantage over it... ha.. it's lunch break back here now...& most of you are probably sleeping already... smiles.. thanks, Bjorn!

      - ksm

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  2. Hello again, Kelvin! "Night Walk . . . " just blew my mind! Wow!

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  3. always fun stopping by Kelvin's place... so glad you've found time for blogging again... a bit unusual reading longer poems by you; from your shorter verses... I like them... these lines remind me of the type of poetry you write:

    It is time now
    for my feet to roam in
    open, wide road like
    a gypsy-man.

    Welcome back!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I admit, writing micro poems are a lot easier for me than writing in longer, epic verses. But, I like to be challenged & go beyond my cup of tea. Smiles. Thank you, Patricia!

      - ksm

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  4. Welcome back, Kelvin! Like how you work every word for the poem, makes me totally be absorbed into its texture.... Glad to see you at PU today as featured poet! To your success!

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    1. Thank you, Humbird! If you only knew how many times I'd revise a poem before I'd get somehow a bit of confidence to publish it & be read by the world.. hehe..

      - ksm

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  5. Kelvin, I am so glad you returned to writing poetry; and I really like the title of your blog. I am happy for your career advancement too. Thanks for sharing those poems (I love your imagery & metaphors), Kelvin, and for your explanations - which I sincerely appreciate. You are a fine poet & have a fine (poetic and otherwise) future ahead of you.

    Thank you, Sherry, for reconnecting with Kelvin here!!

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    Replies
    1. I'm more than glad to be able to blog again & share my writings to my friends here in cyberspace. I have actually considered many possible titles for my blog and 'just bystanding', i don't know, something about that phrase really speaks to me & gives me more of ideas to write about... Thank you, Mary, for your friendship then & 'til now. You often inspire me with your dedication & energy, & your poetry always speaks of simplicity & wisdom I considered gold. Smiles.

      - ksm

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  6. Your return has made me happy too. Thank you for sharing poetry here with us today. I really like 'Night Walk in Paxton St.' and am looking forward to reading more of your poetry. You are a very gifted poet!

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    1. I am humbled, Gabriella, as I often think many will forget me soon because of my constant absence. What a guy to do when commitment to work becomes more demanding... or maybe I'm not really good at managing my time well. Smiles. Thank you, Gabriella!

      - ksm

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  7. I have watched and read as Kelvin's writing skills have blossomed. It is a delight to read this more personal view.

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    1. Thank you, Kim. I'm hoping to write more about some personal views of mine & commentaries as well. But writing in general views is one I'd like to accomplish too. Smiles.

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  8. I am so pleased to see Kelvin's work featured here ~ His verses may be terse but they are sharp & meaningful ~ I am happy to see you writing again ~

    Thanks Sherry ~

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    1. "Sharp & meaningful"---I can, too, associate these words with your beautiful poetry, Grace. Your choice of words often amazed me seriously. As a kababayan, I am proud of what you are accomplishing today with your poetry. Thank you!

      - ksm

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  9. I too missed Kelvin during his absence and was delighted to see him return — with a new blog title and a new style of poetry. Micro or macro, your poetry is always distinguished by a uniquely beautiful use of language. I think I also see a new maturing in these. Red Sky is, I think, more ominous than if you had emphasised the brutality. Thanks Kelvin, and thanks Sherry, for this timely catch-up. I hope the next six months will be free of distressing events!

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    Replies
    1. The absence & almost countless nights of walking alone on going back home from work probably gave me more chance to develop a deeper relationship to myself & the silence that surrounds me while everyone were asleep. Maturity is something I also aim for my writings today, trying to be more current at the same time, hopefully, improving my craft. I, too, hope for a less stressing months ahead in this year of the wooden sheep, my birth year. Smiles. Thank you, Rosemary!

      - ksm

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  10. Kelvin, it is so nice to see you featured here my friend. I have always enjoyed reading your poetry. So glad to see you around and about again and I look forward to reading more of your work. Best of luck in your submissions. Keep us posted.

    Thanks Sherry for featuring such an inspiring poet.

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    1. I will, my friend. The fun & energy that you always managed to bring in your poetry is what I truly enjoy & appreciate, Truedesa. Thank you for the friendship! Smiles.

      - ksm

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  11. As always, it is my pleasure to feature our wonderful poets. I am hooked on hearing peoples' stories, that means I have the perfect job, LOL.

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    1. I am still surprised that you asked me to get featured, Sherry. Really did not expect it after quite a long absence & not able to share any. I thank you beyond measure my friend. Smiles.

      - ksm

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    2. You are more than welcome. I knew everyone would be as thrilled as I am at your return. Welcome back!

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  12. So happy to see you back Kelvin. Imagine my surprise when I discovered 'bystander' to be you yesterday. It's amazing being so young you write with such depth Kelvin. You are super talented. may God bless you.
    And Thank You Sherry :)

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    1. I still have a lot more to learn & practice before I can, at least, be considered really 'super talented'. Smiles. Thank you, Sumana!

      - ksm

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  13. Thank you, Poets United, for your generosity to me & my writing, for always making me feel at home, for the frienship I have discovered here. Thank you, Sherry, for writing these beautiful words about me. To Mary, Susan & Rosemary, thank you for all the efforts & energy you bring to keep this li'l space feels like home filled with inspirations, creativity & camaraderie. I am hoping to more chances of sharing good memories & learnings with you all. Smiles.

    - ksm

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    1. It is our pleasure, Kelvin. We look forward to enjoying a lot more of your work.

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  14. It is so nice to have you back in the poetry world, Kelvin~ I love how you paint nature in your verse~ Welcome back!

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  15. it is great that kelvin has made his way back...his youthful voice and creativity are a breath of fresh air...i have followed him for some time through several iterations but i am always intrigued to see what he will write next....as his creativity challenges me....

    hope the busy season at work does not take you away from us anytime soon my friend...

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  16. Kelvin, I'm honored to know such a delightful and talented young man. I wish you the best.
    Thank you Sherry for asking Kelvin all the right questions. I love the poems reposted here.

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  17. Nice to see you back Kelvin! Have always looked forward to your short lines before. Now I see longer lines. That is a bonus! Your poetic language is a fascination!

    Hank

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  18. what beautiful set of poetry,
    thank you for posting, Sherry.

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  19. A lovely surprise this morning- to hear Kelvin's news and read his wonderful new writing. I had just re-read one of his poems from several years ago and so happy to know we will be reading more from him.
    Always happy to eavesdrop on Sherrys conversations - thanks!

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  20. Kyle glad to see that you haven't stopped writing. Your expression is excellent - a hint of Impressionism. All the best to you in 2015 (and beyond)

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  21. Kelvin and Sherry this was wonderful. I enjoy my visits to Kelvin's blog and I also enjoy when he visits mine....his comments are very insightful. Looking forward to reading more from you Kelvin!

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  22. Thank you Sherry and thank you Kelvin! I am so happy to read your work again Kelvin--just beautiful!

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  23. Such a wonderful and great read Sherry!

    Kelvin, kabayan, I particularly liked the The Novice. Also, got the chance to read your previous interview, read that you were once a part of a movie. Showbusiness is such a tough world in our country. :-)

    Keep on writing. Hope to read more from you.

    Thanks again, Sherry and Kelvin.

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