Excerpt for Between Manhattan and Mindanao by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Between Manhattan and Mindanao

by TF Badilla

Copyright © 2018 Teddy Francisco B. Badilla

Smashwords Edition

All rights reserved. Reproduction in part or whole is strictly prohibited.

Table of Contents



It Will Suffice

There’s That Song










It Matters Now


Perhaps Tomorrow


The Hope of Spring

Love’s Little Things


And They Go

To Sail Away





Your Song



Only Humans Marry

Love’s Story

About the Author

Other Book(s) by This Author


With the novel, as with much of prose, the reader delights in page-turning, high-octane reads.

But reader delight with poems often goes in the slow lane of the reading road: the longer one lingers on a page, the more likely one may enjoy the writer’s stuff.

With poetry (as with prose), the reader may come upon some insight. Or inspiration. Some readers find delight: others still, entertainment.

If this writer did some of his poetry in the imagist manner, it was not because Ezra Pound and others thought that poems be so done: rather, poetry is a matter of preference for anyone, including this writer—and not a matter of rule. And there be those of us who prefer imagist poetry to poetry otherwise, and so are likely to not take to the majority of the poems in this book. And this is understandable. (In this little collection of poems, only a little still, such as “Lips”, might qualify as being in observance of the imagist tradition.) After all, poetry is language at its finest—or at its most preferred.

I am quite certain that there would be those who would like these poems here as the poems are. To them, this collection is dedicated.

If we limited ourselves to imagist poems only, then we might not have had the poetry and songs that went into the latest movie rendition of Beauty and the Beast, for instance.

Not every poem makes its case of reader affirmation (even in its wide variety), but this writer hopes that every poem here somehow finds its human connection.

TF Badilla 02 November 2018


I love you, and I lose you just the same:

So now I kiss away your touch that bore

Some silenced passion of an angel flame—

If only such would last forevermore!

Shall I then whisper this pain to the night

And let these drops of manly tears distill?

Perhaps their dew would have found by first light

The morning rose, which then your kiss would fill!

For oftentimes—and this I now have known—

The sweetest things have ironies to tell:

Spring’s sweetest love finds wisdom all its own

To cast upon itself that winter spell.

And so I go, even as I possess

The memory that I never loved you less.

01 August 1982

It Will Suffice

So now you’d go; if only it were mine

To hold you for one season more, then I

Would take to winter’s ice and spring’s sweet wine

And summer’s glow, to hold back autumn’s sky!

Perhaps it wasn’t brave or wise enough

Of me to climb some way down from love’s crest;

Perhaps I am not one to calm seas rough,

Not one to warm a birdling on my breast.

And autumn’s touch has now let loose and fall

Brown leaves, which once were all as sparkling jade.

I couldn’t hold you longer—after all

I couldn’t keep one leaf as not to fade.

Go gently, then, and love as you deem wise;

You loved me well—to me that will suffice.

04 August 1982

There’s That Song

Life’s twangs and squeaks that play

Their cacophony through the years

Dispute the donkey’s bray

And stand up to each other’s jeers,

To keep their lodging in our ears!

But sometimes silence leaks

Its essence and pervades the air:

And gracious silence peeks

Into the soul to give its care—

But only for the moment’s dare!

How sparing, silence’s kiss!

But then its fleeting knows no wrong:

Some moments get to miss

The sounds so lulled some while by song—

By silence’s song that fleets along!

24 March 1982


In loveliness and buoyant grace

You tread your fascinating ways.

Yes, I’ve been looking far and wide

For meanings that you may well hide—

They say that you go fickle

And take to weather-possible!

Your eyes will find nine points of view.

And, having gone some way with you,

I’d come upon what eyes might miss.

(Might man perceive how woman is?)

Like one, who goes to roam some wood,

I’d go, if only letting should:

I’d take to my meanderings

And find your woman meanings.

15 April 1982



words have

space enough

in them to hold—

completely hold—

pulsing stuff

of love?


11 July 1982


We see no rainbow etched against the night.

The darkness there has drowned the colors.

Had there been just a little more of light

Than that of shrouded stars, we’d see moon showers.

Our world may have gone gloomier than should be—

May have seen less, than more, of brighter climes.

Perhaps we’ve stirred enough war dust to see

The darkness of the slaughter of our times!

No, I would not abandon Earth, but claim

It for my own—our prized inheritance!

For whether fire or smoke was it that came,

The same sky knows of visions times and once:

There go night rainbows—we shall find rebirth—

You know what priceless jewel is this Earth!

20 September 1982


The hardest rock must break—

The sturdiest oaks partake

Of breaking in the storm.

Strength varies much in form.

So wiser eyes know years

Sculpted in part by tears.

The tough heart knows no less:

Tears often mean no softness.

27 September 1982


You touch me to the heart.

Now I have known in part

The warmth that gently lingers—

Such as not that of fingers.

The glow goes gilded higher—

Gold-purifying fire:

To love you ever more

By love’s own timeless shore!

02 October 1982


A poem makes for beauty writ

Upon some ductile lines—

Each line embellished all in wit,

In lurking sounds and signs.

Go gently down each agile word,

To conquer all its might;

The haste can scare the little bird—

The music lost to flight.

05 November 1982


The father lark trills out some note—

His last—into the night remote.

And so his birdling breaks the dawn

To bring that note to the sleeping fawn!

Somehow life just goes right on living—

This lovely cliché of being!

So many things can pass away,

And yet as many, too, do stay—

And stay, all for the sake of

Reason. Or of truth. Or of love.

Truth gets clichéd. This is only

Time playing truth’s novelty slyly.

Clichés. Like a lark. Love. Or friend.

Take one. They go beyond the bend.

09 January 1983


Look closely. Even as it snows

Here’s opening of some petals’ rose—

A summer’s warming red aglow

Midst winter’s numbing play with snow!

For, in this world of what goes known,

There go some bloomings all their own.

And if they were as random,

I’d take my chance to find them.

Cocktails of time and space and life

Find servings at some bars of strife:

The autumn leaf in springtime goes

A-wafting—even as it snows!

18 January 1983


I took a golden moonbeam,

Waving it in dream—

The rosebud and the waking fawn

I touched at break of dawn.

I had to steal that starlight

In all its storied flight,

To wield a sword against the day:

Clash of ray and ray!

For this would grant no graceful stead:

That I be living, being dead.

23 February 1983

It Matters Now

That love should never touch my heart

Had mattered not to me,

Until the day you came, to start

The love that you can be.

It mattered not to me that I

Would breathe in loveless air.

(If time had shredded off the sky,

Then I’d have sighed, “Seems fair.”)

But you have come, somehow.

And, oh! It matters now.

08 March 1983


The faintest glint is greater than the gold,

As it is all the gold spun by the sun.

Hence, two make more than all of one and one—

And love-spun life tells more than life twice told.

We do not sip a draft of love to hold

The sweet sting locked up in the heart undone.

It would go all out soon, I’d say, to run

Enraptured races—else, it would run cold.

I’ve asked of Life to hold me by the hand,

To feel its weight against my earthly pulse:

She quaffed my draft and took me to my word.

And soon my questions fell from off their stand;

And faint glint turned to furious glow: the rules

Stood vindicated—which once seemed absurd!

13 March 1983

Perhaps Tomorrow

Perhaps tomorrow would arrange

To bring me few

Rose petals—worn and wearing change.

But I would think it not so strange:

When there is you,

They bloom anew.

Shared moments may not always stay.

And so I deem

It wise to store your smile away

In careful thought for another day:

At least in dream,

I’d see you beam.

15 March 1983


I softly whisper “Yes,” and all I know

Is that my answer knows sincerity:

Love’s timid question sways like melting snow,

Its place in crystal sought as honestly.

Now time refrains from asking me to try

What brought me blue wounds in the heart before;

But I have known enough to say that I

Still find some room to take some hurt some more.

The wholeness of a year knows summer’s shine

And keeps it lingering through the winter turns:

Love’s glory is when grape yields no more wine

And years know no more springs, and love still burns.

Shall love outlinger time? This road has lain

To rise from human to some higher plane.

23 March 1983

The Hope of Spring

Perhaps this wintry sting should freeze

The sun and all of summer breeze—

We go reminded best of sun

When snowing goes completely done.

But—if we’ve known enough—then, say,

Love will outlinger ice, to stay:

Somehow there’s still the glint, I know,

Of sunshine in the coldest snow.

29 March 1983

Love’s Little Things

There’s no pretense that I know much

Of love and all her vaunted touch;

I’ve seen it hasn’t yet been mine

To take drinks from her depths—I shine

And hover over her embrace.

Some wiser men have gone her ways,

Her gemstones they have touched and known—

I’ve only had the glints to own.

And since her big things I’ve yet to know,

I might not paint the words to show

How love would look like when she’d take

Her way down woods or by a lake.

But of love’s little things of late,

I’ve known that love, too, knows to wait.

23 April 1983


Take the sunset of a clear summer day:

Its angled rays of orange play the beams

Of softened morning and noon’s hottest way,

To give away day’s best-slept summer dreams!

And we don’t marvel at how Earth should be

The same orb, whether day or night it is,

As sunset brings us to a darkened sea—

And well on to tomorrow’s sun’s sure kiss!

For so it ends where it again begins,

To linger on when all else should cease being:

Love somehow goes to keep time ever since,

To keep itself by way of dauntless giving.

Love circles ’round in rhyme with the season—

Touching the rocks like some sure silent beacon!

29 April 1983

And They Go

The fleeting glance would not be kept.

Swift nights are those so sweetly slept—

It would be gallant to redeem

The colors of a hasty dream.

There have been times when I would try

To catch a moment—and to pry

It loose for secrets it might know.

But moments linger, and then go.

20 July 1984

To Sail Away

You hold me in that gentle gaze,

And soon I come to know

How starlight filters through the haze

To light the afterglow…

I know you’d lace my lips with wine

In some dream ’neath the palm;

Love knows to simmer—and to shine

Intensest at its calm!

And so I’d sail this dream away

In knowing what’s not mine.

The sun goes well beyond today;

And love, beyond this line.

14 September 1984


We’ve had more than what one whole year could hold—

We’ve shared a road that saw two summers’ show.

We met and found our traded glints of gold:

Since then it has been less than one year though.

You may remember that those days between

Us may have been few; yet they have spoken much;

I know the gestures gave more than was seen;

And all those silent spaces spoke as such.

But days have seasons and their ways to make.

This road we share goes branching out in two—

And would give each of us one road to take.

Would roads, then, cross again in rendezvous?

The years ahead should bring me no regret:

I can look back—delighted we once met!

27 December 1984


It was perhaps some playful chance

Or moment when I caught her glance:

I know I had not drawn the line

To meet those lovely eyes with mine.

Then glance would slip into gentle gaze

And step right through my dreamy haze.

But glancings linger just a while—

She disengaged ours with a smile.

26 February 1985


The pilgrim goes with food and drink—

I have your loving, which, I think,

Shines much like one sure stellar view

To look back and look forward to.

Some forty summers hence I’d go

Provisioned with the thoughts that know

Your olive shade by the cool spring’s line

Upon some desert plain in Palestine!

11 August 1985


You came like moonshine from above

To gently touch me—and then I

Was set free like a winging dove!

Red roses, sun, and morning dew

Tell of those lovely songs of love—

Thoughts of that day we met stay new.

Should bright stars fill this evening’s sky?

They’ve heard my sylvan songs of you—

Some skylarks sing them as they fly…

13 November 1985

Your Song

I understand. So, gently go.

I know I’d miss your warming glow—

But even sunshine knows of ice—

This smile you give me should suffice.

Perhaps a rose shall bloom for want

Of blooming. Or, perhaps it shan’t.

Go gently, then, my love. So long—

The world is waiting for your song.

08 December 1985


Do you also think of me at nights

Or spare me room in dreamy flights

You make beyond that faded star?

If not up there in space afar,

Perhaps you do,

When way down here you listen to

The echoed laughter fondly shared

In those golden afternoons we knew!

I go, as I have often dared,

To catch those few

Swift and yet careful moments when

We find the mutual glance. For then

My evening wafts down, as you beam

That smile that prods me on to dream!

20 December 1986



clasp the

naked hips

of Artemis.

and soon her kiss-

parted lips

heave a


21 March 2001

Only Humans Marry

(No Other Species Does It)

Marriage stands as a non-universal

Choice. And that may well be as it stands:

Breath finds its rhythm well, as when leaves fall—

None less so, in the scurry of desert sands.

And so we marry when we do, and not

When we don’t. This human breath finds its rise

And fall, finds other and self. Some have got

To seek and find in space what time denies.

We go, to the best of what one knows:

One went this way, the other that they did.

To marry, so to love my life-mate, goes

To be my primed and pulsing pyramid!

The delicate and complicating give-

And-take there makes for some more push to live!

24 September 2018

Love’s Story

Of course, love knows where to begin. It may

Start somewhere when you won’t, or sometime where

You aren’t—it doesn’t mind whether day

Or night it is: it just needs that you breathe air.

Love asks you to not die on it—and asks

For nothing else. (I’ve learned that with my wife.)

Love often takes to the Herculean tasks

Of finding “I” by way of “You” in life.

You can remember those grand times when you

Would bicker with yourself. And so you know

What grandest powers it must take, as to

Make someone else to take to you! And so

Love plays the helpless kitten up the tree—

But, grounded, makes my wife to marry me!

25 September 2018


Thank you for reading this book. If you enjoyed it, kindly leave me your review.

Thanks for that one, too!

TF Badilla

About the Author

Husband. Father of five. Former teacher, former brewery chemist. Self-published writer. Born in 1962 … and gratefully celebrating the birthdays!

Other Books by TF Badilla

The Sense in Selflessness

Our Storied Self

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