I’m thinking of ways to write

on paper the signs on your cheeks

when with every glance I see the Creator’s beauty

stamped on each smile.


(Iniisip ko kung paano ko isusulat

sa papel ang mga tanda sa iyong pisngi

gayong nakikita ko ang kagandahan ng Maykapal

sa bawat ngiti.)


My hands will shake

for I am yet to learn how to write a poem

with eyes closed. Your eyes cannot handle the light

of the sun, when you try to stare at it.


(Manginginig ang aking mga kamay

sapagkat hindi ko pa natututunan ang pagtula

nang nakapikit. Lubhang nakasisilaw ang araw

kapag ito’y iyong tinitigan.)


Ruth Solitario

From Rote

From Rote

The master sat on his stool, his paint with him. 

The colors were handpicked by the master’s hand,

and the canvas was spread out before him. 

The blue was a true one, from the sky. 

The red, a heart that is bleeding,  

The pink, a love that won’t die. 

The black, a night without an ending. 

And all the other colors, from the finest

of the stars commingled with his suffering. 

Matched by the orchestra that plays in his heart,

now, his baton must sway with his feelings.

But alas, oh, the lady was fading,

and no color can restore what is going — is gone. 

The master sat on his stool with the most beautiful colors

to paint a memory.

Ruth Mostrales

Last revised 19 September 2010

blossom friends


When God made friends

He must be thinking of flowers

with lovely colors and

splendid scents.


Flowers grow from seeds

that sprout from the ground;

friendships abound

because of kind deeds.


Flowers are pretty and

charming, too —

friends make days blue

a little sunny.


When God sowed seeds

Flowers grew…

me and you

among the weeds.


Ruth Mostrales

August 3, 2009



I smelled chopped wood from faraway
Lands, embossed with flowers
Of words by an artisan whose
Preoccupation is historiography
re: the conquest of uncharted forests.

One reads his accounts out loud, as one reads time
in anticipation of the hour. I can only
imagine what events will find themselves
on the barks gathered for the blaring paper mills —
will a territory be won with reforestation,
or will one get lost in a denuded labyrinth?

august 23 2010

The Conclusion

The morning she left me, I knew she intended to break the engagement without any explanation. The seminar ended earlier, unexpectedly, so I was home by Tuesday, not Wednesday. I called her on the phone.

“Please, let’s talk about this…” I pleaded, then.

Nothing, no word from her, but she was breathing. At least she gave me a hint she was still alive, though I wasn’t sure about myself.

“I’m coming over, and we’re going to talk,” I pleaded, again. The rain has just stopped but on my radar, a storm was afoot.

If I knew the ending of our story, I would have changed the plot. My friends laud me for the conclusion I gave to my last novel. It was satisfying, they said, though unconventional. One can only tell if a reader is satisfied with the story if he reads up to the end. Endings are for peace of mind.

When I saw her on the porch of their house, she was texting. It wasn’t me, I supposed. The whole time I was away, I didn’t receive any message from her.

“Can we talk?” I said.

“I already told you before… it’s not going to work,” she whispered. Tears fell from her eyes. I tried to hold her hand but she evaded my touch.

“But, at least say something. Give me something to think about. Give me a clue, a resolution to this,” I begged.

The silence that followed was unbearable. It’s like having ten thousand copies of your scheduled to be released book, only to find out that the publisher made a mistake — the last chapter is gone. But I waited, with pen poised to jotting, as one waits for any manifestation of his muse…

“Goodbye…” she muttered, finally, her shoulders relaxing with the utterance. I must have been cruel to her, I thought. Having nothing in common except love — it wasn’t enough for her.

I looked at my hands, and put them together, as if to pray. The word did not stir me to question. I felt her puzzled gaze.

I stood up, and recognized that a weight had been lifted off from my shoulder, too. I had an ending. It was satisfying enough and I wrote it down in my heart. I walked slowly towards the road.

ruth v. mostrales
august 19, 2010

i miss you, looloo

I used to teach Korean children, and one of my favorite students is Looloo.  I kept this letter, and will be keeping it in my inbox as long as technology allows.  🙂

“Hello?    teacher?  this is looloo how are you? me?  i am fine…………    when i am come back home   i am happy……but that time i think about you and ather teachers.

i miss you     i want go there but my father do not like that.       i will explain about teachers.    and    i  going to  the good academy.    if you  did not teach me, i can not learn english there.

 thank you.  please do not for get me…. ”

I will never… TT