The World I Knew

Is the sky much bluer over there
than it is here?
Will the wind still whisper its secrets
in my ear?
Do their smiles ring truer
than the ones I’ve always known?
Is the world really so different
now that I am grown?

Is the view more beautiful
from above than it is below?
Does the sea smell as glorious
as you keep telling me so?
I wish I could bottle it all up,
take it back home with me,
treasure it, remember it
carve it in memory

For as the years have gone by,
I seem to have forgotten
all the beauty life once showed me.
How could memory be so wanton?
So show me those places again,
take me there with you
I wish to see it all again –
the world I once knew.

first kiss

i remember my first real kiss
with a boy close to my own age
it was the summer i turned sixteen
barely out of that awkward stage

he was tall and very handsome
with a mischievous glint in his brown eyes
and when he smiled, i simply melted
my heart laid bare, i had nothing to disguise

until the night he kissed me
when i learned the differences between
that first kiss i wanted from a boy so badly
and the ones before that left me unclean

Share Your World 2016 – Week 28

share-your-world2I hate missing SYW posts but somehow I got so busy with an author rebranding and major writing that I missed a week because these questions are for Week 28.

But I’m on time for Week 28 though, so here goes…

What is your earliest memory?

Watching a caterpillar outside in the yard while my mother and her friends played mahjong inside the house.  I was probably about four or five then.  I also remember being in a hospital as a patient and thinking it was so cool that the bed was so high I couldn’t jump down.

File Jul 23, 8 53 59 AMWhat was the last photo you took with your phone?

Can you believe it? I finally read The Lorax by Dr. Seuss for the first time??? Yep, my little guy went to the library to get his very own library card last week and came home with two books, Arthur Meets the President by Marc Brown, and The Lorax.  And I got to read it out loud to him.  Wow, but the book is deep, and so true and so profound I had to snap a picture of that last page.

It felt like a cliffhanger…

Have you ever danced in the rain?

When I was much younger and living in the monsoon belt, yes, I danced in the rain.  And given that this is all I can say about it, it must not have been as exciting as I initially thought…

What is the longest you have gone without sleep?

Probably 24 hours, when I had to work at a top secret video game event 60 miles away, and it started at 11 pm at night all the way until morning.  Why I didn’t think of sleeping before I went to work, I have no idea, but the adrenaline from being there and watching all the gamers sit and play for hours – and coffee – fuelled me through the whole gig. I don’t know about you, but I love my bed too much to go without sleep any longer than 18 hours now.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

My ongoing Wattpad novel, In Love With A Young Man, got featured on Cosmopolitan last week and while there’s not much fanfare there, I didn’t realize just how much of a big deal it was to me still, like #screaminginternally kinda big deal.  The last time my stories got any attention was this time last year when RT Book Reviews picked Collateral as one of the best romances for July.


I’m looking forward to going through a seamless author name/platform transition from Liz Madrid to Liz Durano while finishing up my current novel.  Rebranding can be such a pain but now that I can see what a pain it can be, I should have just gone with some crazy-sounding pseudonym instead of a real name, in this case, my maiden name. Eh, but it is what it is.

But wait! I could have just changed it to Morrighan Muse!

via Share Your World


Does Summer Know How Winter Feels Like?

Goodness gracious! I was just going to post summer pictures because I’m in Southern California but I’m supposed to post something that depicts my “own” season, as well. And since I’m no spring chicken, this was the best I could do from the depths of my iphone photo library!

When I was working in physical therapy, I remember how this one Physical Therapist in his late 20’s was pushing this middle-aged man to do certain exercises, and the patient said something that’s stayed with me since then.

“Twenty don’t know nothing about fifty.”

The PT laughed but to me, the older man was asking for respect for his own limitations based on his age.  A 20-year old body will not have any idea what a 50-year old body will feel like, though that 50-year old will surely remember what it feels like to be 20.  And now that I’m getting up there, those words always come back to me especially when I go to the gym and all the young guys and girls want to get me in tip top shape even after I finally told them that my doctor has put me on hypertension meds and I need to take it easy.  I’ll still work out but don’t let me do freaking 20 sit-ups just because they can, and definitely not on my first day at the gym.

So, yeah, twenty don’t know nothin’ about fifty.  Who knows, maybe the seaons are like that, too.  How can summer know what winter feels like?

Daily Post

Evasive Action

This secret I’ve kept for so long now
that I’ve forgotten what it is
hidden in the depths of memory
no longer able to give me the answers that I seek

for I’ve kept it tucked away for too long
and now even its secret is a mystery,
random acts from the past when I had long stopped caring,
the pleasures of the moment all that I could see

yet even as time goes swiftly by ,
I know one day, it will emerge again
this secret I’ve long kept hidden in the darkness,
betrayals forgotten, but the guilt remains.

Daily Prompt

Memento Mori

the group message said she died of a
major aneurysm and i find myself
double-checking my age
trying hard to remember her face
and coming up with nothing.
but didn’t we attend the same school
and she stood in the back of the room
because she was tall and her last name
started with a Y?
i find myself wondering if this is how
it’s going to be from now on
as i get older though not exactly wiser,
my timeline only telling me
who’s passed on
till it’s my turn and no one will remember
who i am.

Food for the Soul

My favorite foods are no more, and that’s because as of eight weeks ago, I stopped eating meat.  These days, if I find myself yearning for food for the soul, instead of reaching for chicharon dipped in vinegar and garlic, I look for a few ears of sweet corn and remember my late cousin, Randy.

Randy used to come over to the house after school with a huge bag of freshly harvested sweet corn purchased along Banilad Road, and while he and the other cousins and my brothers sat outside on the stoop trading stories, or by the kitchen table in my small two-bedroom apartment, I boiled the corn and then afterwards, we’d sit and shoot the breeze.  Sweet corn always brings back my memories of Randy, who died shortly after he passed the bar with honors, his dreams of becoming a city mayor like our grandfather, gone in a blink of an eye when a decorative boulder along a resort waterfall topped over him while he was on vacation.  A freak accident, sure, but it’s one that I still find so difficult to believe over 15 years later.

But with every bite of sweet corn, his memory always returns.  I see him.  I hear him.  And he’ll always be there.

Daily Prompt



It’s been a year since you died,
since a distant cousin posted a video of your body
being pushed into the furnace – on Facebook, no less –
out of goodwill because none of us could be there for you,
only because your last request of us
was not to.

It’s been a year since I learned about yet
another indiscretion of yours –
another woman to get away from the other woman you fled to
when you ran away from our mother
I often wonder and ask myself if you left her
because you felt smothered.

But this time you bought this other-other woman
a house, paid for in cash
so even in death, in the midst of the craziness
and the mess you left behind
No one could take it away from her,
how could we be so blind?

You loved with a love that was without end
but only as long as that love prevailed, I guess
you loved to show that love to anyone
there who could see it
But now I wonder, if it was really you
who needed most of it.

Since you’ve been gone, I’ve realized  that I never knew you
the man I wrote poems for as I was growing up
the man who got away, who could do no wrong
But that was before I learned of the pretense
and the multitude of lies
to keep up with the farce of being rich, happy, and wise

So now I find myself wondering
if my love for you is shallow, and only skin deep.
I’m such terrible daughter, you know,
for when you left, I did not even weep
How could I allow those things that you did towards the end
erase all the good deeds that you did before then?

But they did,
and no matter how hard I try now,
I can’t remember the man that I always thought you were
You’re just a palimpsest of what you used to be
and I fear each day that what you became
is what will become of me.

Daily Prompt


I remember the mahjong tiles
clickety-clack, clack, clack, clack
Never ending, all through the night
Always going even after first light

I remember the money chips
going click click click!
I remember that argument
over the missing money clip

I remember the buttered toast
your friend told me to make
with sprinkled sugar on top
Don’t you make a mistake.

I remember your friends
though they were no friends of yours
only there to play a game
just a bunch of well-dressed boors

I remember the tiles
clickety-clack, clack, clack clack
I heard it every day,
even on a Sunday.

Weekly Writing Challenge