Breakup poem where it is raining

by Abner Dormiendo

the monsters turned out to be just trees

Let this conflict be a lesson to everyone: not everything
is a tree we should climb. Or in the first place,
not everything is a tree, although the window wants us
to think otherwise. This is what all of this is anyway,
an attempt to know. So we take our seats
and watched the signs play out in this show:
fire from the sky, owls in the barn shed,
the score of lightning against the parting of rain
as it douses everything outside in the image of itself
like darkness taking the shape of darkness, so the trees
are not trees but rain, and the mountains are rain,
and all the movement outside is nothing but water
taking form although the form is more like the
non-existence of it, that moving and moving on is
if not the absence, the elimination of outlines,
that an arrow is not going to reach its target
if the arrow does not even exist, but aren’t we
here anyway, atoms alive as tadpoles in
the stagnation of our sorrows, and thank God
the philosophers are wrong, thank God for the rain,
for the curtail of the mountains vanishing
in the grey of the rain saying we’ll get there but not now,
the claws of trees saying Don’t come any nearer
or on the other hand, Do, but not tonight.


It’s NaPoWriMo season again! Another grueling month of churning and squeezing and regurgitating subpar poems out of my system. Not that I did not enjoy the past years—on the contrary, it has been fun and I even have grown to like some of the poems I put considerable effort in conceptualizing and writing—but this year’s going to be a bit different.

The past years had me dividing the thirty days into writing an even number of poems in English and Filipino. This year, I’ll be writing solely in English, for two main reasons:

1) I think I need to sharpen up on my English poetry skills
2) I want to make my first thematic collection (call it a sequence) of English poems, since I had already made at least three decent poetry collections in Filipino.

This month, I invoke a famous poet’s words on writing poems, that it is usually easier to write poems about things you haven’t experienced. So the theme of my poems for this NaPoWriMo is all about breakups and ends of relationships. If at first it might seem trite or overdone, I’d like to think that it is more of a challenge for me to spin the genre on its head. That’s what I hope to do, anyway.

For the first day’s prompt (apologies for posting it late), participants are asked to write a negation poem, something that rather than describe something for what it is describes it instead for what it isn’t. I tried to incorporate that here, but I think it didn’t show up as prominently as I wanted it to be. (Also: an epigraph from Taylor Swift!)

If you are also participating in this year’s NaPoWriMo, please comment below with a link to your blog so I can check it out. I always want to see and be inspired by fellow poets.