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Like Music On My Mind: Poem #10

POEM #10


By midday, a poem was brewing. I felt it in my bones. It strummed the soul. No pun intended, but the surge of images and rhythms appeared just as coffee was literally brewing.

 I sat at table at home with my beloved sipping French Roast Coffee, richly aromatic, an ideal pairing with bites of enseymada, tasty Philippine brioche shipped overnight from Southern California. Our little luxury for this period of social distancing and staying at home for the sake of public safety during the corona virus pandemic.

 At first, I thought the words forming were about mental travel, travels in my mind, perhaps another rant about the useless Dear Supreme Leader. But no. I felt the passion, heard the music and a clear conscience standing up for the underserved. I would never have predicted where the poetry muse would take me. I even thought of my husband’s favorite photographer, Sebastiāo Salgado from Brazil. Once a World Bank economist, he abandoned that life and became a force in social documentary photography who uses his celebrity for social justice. It was a glorious ride, dear muse. Aches and pains from my chronic illness partially ignored, forgotten as they should. I don’t mind at all if the body pays by tomorrow for today's mindless acts of abandon. This was a day well spent.

I chose to pair the poem with a black and white photo taken in Santander, Spain. My husband, himself a certain kind of poet with his camera, captured a moment of content in the Summer of 2018, as we planned to explore the footsteps of my ancestors who purportedly emigrated from Santander to the Philippines in the mid-1800s.

Lazy Summer in Santander, Spain. ©James Sobredo



The day was humming in steady beat

of spontaneous random acts

filling idle minutes and indulgent hours,

falling wildly in love

with possibilities in my mind.


The morning commenced without a care,

One wakes up just whenever,

unrestrained by projects, lists and alarm clocks.

The body wakes up when it wakes up.


The body desires as it wishes.


Unscripted, invites desire and

lazily luxuriates to the rhythm

of sounds and silences,

lovers breathless like staccato

and pauses cleverly spaced.  

I’m almost certain, the already blushing bouquet

on the antique table by the bed

grew intensely flushed, its deep colors more vivid,

coherent thoughts in the mind

momentarily suspended,  

no less bewitched or bewildered.


These are moments fairytales or fantasies espouse,

deserving of a musical composition all its own,

in genres which capture the unique tempo

and daringly follow musical patterns

not too specific nor widely known.


Immensely unlike 

Janis Ian’s At Seventeen--

“with average faces, lacking in the social graces,

desperately remained at home,

inventing lovers on the phone.”

Except  these moments were authentically true,

without awkwardness,

without much need for inventing or casting lovers.

Both were already there, in the moment,

dare I say, strumming guitars with abandon.


This wondrous day was no illusion.

Its rhythm and pacing made room for writing letters

to officials in positions who make decisions

which potentially influence the fate

and future of our city’s children.

I did just that, morning’s passion spilling over

to things civically crucial

in recalibrating the public policy compass

for a landscape in uncertainty these days.


Ordinary citizens do what we can

to narrow the widening gap

between those with privilege and without,

a socio-economic reality often taken for granted.


How could a resolution for schools to resume 

be considered practical, 

or be considered at all amid this pandemic?

Not only is the act contrary to orders

issued by state and local authorities, 

it dangerously exposes

lives of children and adults alike.

Acted as I must, hoping one voice

could make a small but necessary difference.


The day was humming unpredictably

of spontaneous random rests and pauses

filling idle minutes and indulgent hours

foolishly embracing love--

love of my life, love for the land,

love of children and anything and everything

that should matter most while still breathing.


The day turned into evening,

lovers effortlessly sharing in the task

of preparing dinner and

clearing afterwards--teacups in the sink,

strewn clothes on the floor,

and sneaky cobwebs in the mind

boldly told not to bother; instead

invited to come dance, not unlike Ian’s lyrics,

“would call to say, come dance with me.”

My muse seemingly in cahoots with the likes of

Elizabeth Browning, Sebastiāo Salgado

and Pablo Neruda.

The clarity of purpose was sublime,

crescendos perfectly timed, imperfect chords resolved,

a day concluded like music on my mind.


Poem ©Lu Sobredo

Photo ©James Sobredo


About the Author 
Lu Sobredo is writer/publisher at Lu Travels Abroad, a blog dedicated to folks whose limitations do not hamper them from traveling. A year into early retirement her world collapsed from the diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Her total life changed, but she did not let RA define her. With love from family, friends and an awesome doctor, she regained some functionality--her new normal. She will have RA all her life. And she now writes about life and travel with RA. During the pandemic of 2020, she stays put and writes poetry and a first novel, a travel of sorts but in the heart and mind.






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