By: April Mae M. Berza
Dale As I Dream of the Stars at Night
I’ve seen you before in one of my dreams,
gratitude embraced you and the universe of verses
conspired to make you a reality, you smiled
at me, and I shared the divinest joys with you.
We listened to the orchestra of stars and moons
as they sang the soul of music, and I was
fascinated with every bit of rhythm inside you.
When the hands of the clock wrote a poem
to bring you back to my dreams, you said no—
the constellations waltzed to stop time,
I began to wander in the kingdom of lexicons
as you invited me to read the saddest lines
while every raindrop worshipped your name.
The pregnant clouds gave birth to songs
of thunder and lightning, I whispered a wish
and you wished for a whisper. We shied away
from taking a bath in the slowest of drizzles
of dreams and joys and smiles. Will there be
more moments between us, or will there be
more of us in between these moments?
You kissed me on the forehead. I giggled.
Your memory was fading away like a caesura.
I could only remind myself that you were present.
Once, and sooner or later, I’ll fall asleep
and wake up to find you again in my arms.
Dale As The Art of Music Embraces Our Nature
Are there paeans shining on your neck
or a kiss from a garland of sampaguitas?
The world echoes your sweetest songs
in every continent of desire, even the sirens
and Philomels are envious of your voice,
my heartbeats are slaves inside your heart.
This is the mystery behind every breath
of waves and islands, the bluest eyes
of the oceans as the tides ebb and flow
in the rhythm of passion. Mountains
pray for the hands of time as we both
succumb to the chorus of chirping birds
waking us up. When the bittersweet
sirocco embraces our evenings, we kneel
before the altars of poetry and music
and the arts, the entire universe at our feet.
The warmth of your voice glows
and we share the heartbeats of music,
verses kiss my skin and my skin kisses
back. I enjoy basking in this paradise.
This is nature trying to dream with us
as it is our nature to dream about
trying to end up in each other’s arms.
April Mae M. Berza is the author of Confession ng isang Bob Ong Fan (Flipside, 2014) and Berso de Berza (Charging Ram, 2012.) Her poems and short stories appeared in numerous publications in America, France, Canada, Belgium, Romania, India, Japan, Great Britain, and the Philippines. She is a subtitler and translator in Hollywood (Netflix, Amazon, Disney+, HBO, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Hulu, Paramount, Apple TV, etc.). Her poems are translated into Crimean Tatar and Filipino. Some of her poems are published in the Philippines Graphic Reader, Liwayway, Belleville Park Pages, Haiku Journal, The Siren, Poetica, Three Line Poetry, Calliope, Maganda, Metric Conversions, Ani, The Manila Times, Letters to my Bully, Remembering Rizal, Voices from the Diaspora, Madswirl, The Stardust Gazette, The Riveter Review, Asahi Haikuist Network, Contemporary Verse 2, and elsewhere. She used to work for the associate editor position of Toe Good. Her poem “E-Martial Law” was broadcast on IndoPacific Radio on KPFA 94.1FM/kpfa.org and her poem “A Page from History” was broadcast on WYCE Electric Poetry 88.1 FM in Michigan, USA. She is a member of the Poetic Genius Society. Her two haiku entries were featured in the 9th Yamadera Basho Memorial Museum English Haiku Contest Selected Haiku Submissions Collection, July 2017. She received an Honorable Mention in the 19th HIA Haiku Contest and the 7th Akita Russia-Japan Haiku Contest. She currently resides in Taguig, Philippines.