Jonel Abellanosa





Inspired by Fazil Say’s Kumru Ballad


The moment stills into glass,

The raven lifting off the page

To carve the word “Nevermore”

In the mind’s chamber door,

Time a condensation of its

Intensities, caving in upon

Brevities, on the precipice

Of its crumbling, made more

Fragile by its self-annihilating

Desire for the fleeting

The Waterbed


Would rather be called lonely

Than smart. It sees and hears

Thoughts, its oceanic murmurs

Lulling, the dark with the brine’s

Phantom smells as you sink

Deeper, deeper, deeper.


If it senses your struggle

It chimes hypnotic bubbles,

Piccolo sounds. If you still

Find it hard to fall asleep

It sprays your mind dreams,

Geometric shapes shifting

Like screen saver, sudden

Vividness and the way

It fades into the numbing

Seepage in your face.


When you’re asleep

It calms its ebbs, stilling

The waters - decades

Of tears.

The Wireless Table Lamp


Doesn’t need a nervous system.


It wears its shade like hair

Hiding its omniscient bulb –

The eye no one suspects,

Watching and analyzing

Words you put on paper.


How it gets its energy

Is the secret it hides

In plain sight



A few examples of my dualities: endings and

Beginnings, war and peace, barbarisms and

Civilizations, sun-moon, tidal highs and lows,

Daybreak and gloaming. I hide my other face,

Expressions of my inner doppelganger, my

Fortuneteller other behind shoulder-length hair.


Gates and doorways were sacred, planting and

Harvesting prime among my transitional rites.


I no longer preside over wars, enjoying the

Jeepney ride in a time when Filipinos are

Keen for peace in their homeland. I teach

Love and its passages in the university,  

Motion and time. Jupiter gave me this

New body to test my theory of humanness,

Ordinariness as catalyst for change.  


Planetary peace is my advocacy, and I work

Quietly in the sidelines, distributing leaflets,

Reconciliation with nature among my topics

Since even trees (of denuded mountains) are

Thought now to feel pains and know sorrows.

Understanding is lush in the plant world, our

Voice tones like sustenance, and they refuse to

Wilt. I play Vivaldi’s Spring and orchids

Express joy with flowers like dilating eyes,

Yearns for life abloom with blues and violets,

Zestfulness like the air with red bouquets



“Nature is aware and responding.”

            – Terrence McKenna


As U.N. Chief Negotiator for Planetary Peace, I

Break barriers of religion, sexual orientations,

Cultural biases leading to bigotry. My father Zeus

Demanded I atone for millennia of bloodlusts,

Ethnic cleansings, conflicts like the Trojan War,

Floods of blood, skull pyramids, mass rapes; of

Guarding my anointed like Genghis Khan, Adolf

Hitler, Atilla the Hun and Alexander the Great.


I should’ve known it before I became a man –  

Jeepney rides for reflections: human beings will

Kill without divine whisperings, human nature

Like a bomb. No killer quakes can match the

Manmade tragedy, nothing darker than the heart’s  

Nights of shards and rusty smells. Greed

Oscillates as it lowers, the sharp blade of its

Pendulum over our planet like a death convict.


Questing is a bird of prey to the idea of change.

Reversing the climate’s slide to hell means the

Securing of the heart like a sanctuary where

Trees are wild for the sky, and the air spreads

Unguent smells of petals and bees. The new

Vision reveals the lies, conflicts and falsities of

Wars. Nature is indeed aware and responding,

Expressive of pains, its protestations tsunamis,

Yearns deep as the Earth’s core. Grounds crack,

Zones one day swallowing us unless we heed


Jonel Abellanosa resides in Cebu City, The Philippines. His poetry has appeared in over a hundred magazines and anthologies, and been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, the Dwarf Stars and the Best of the Net Awards.  His fourth collection, “Songs from My Mind’s Tree,” is forthcoming from Clare Songbirds Publishing House. Bienvenue au Danse, Jonel.