vegetable stew (a poem)


she stood at the sink, mesh in hand

water flowing tepid, hot mixing with cold

scrubbing mud off food bank carrots

limp, bruised, shrunken

revealing pockmarks and knobby joints

where there should have been none

thick woody skin entrenched in weak orange flesh

nothing much is left

for stew.

©Cindy Lapeña,  20142014-11-12 23.45.37

the seagull on the rooftop (a poem)


(because i saw a seagull on a rooftop…)


dead centre there it stood

the seagull on the rooftop

watching the world for all it stood

in a standstill where it chose to stop


did it see the truck was blowing steam

did it know the rain would fall

did it ever, like you and me, dream

did it know the meaning of all


the seagull on the rooftop stood

where it stopped on the centre of the roof

watching the houses as they stood

eyes empty maws shut silent with reproof


was there life within those wooden shells

were the people happy there

what sort of folks did there dream and dwell

of what did they truly care


on the centre of the roof the seagull stopped

like a carving carefully placed

like a weathervane that had rusted stuck

contemplating what it might face


did it know what roof to choose or why

does it care the way we do

does it ever care if it lives or dies

do we stand on rooftops too


© Cindy Lapeña, 2014




























Return to Poetry

Like the sunset (poem)



“A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart.” ~Goethe

I see magnificence and beauty
and a certain sadness with the sunset
and yet again calm as my world settles down
with the hope that I, too, will rest
with a certain sadness like the sunset
and that irreplaceable calm after a storm
when my world finally settles down.

2014-04-20 19.52.42

© Cindy Lapeña, 2014

To Justin, On Your Graduation (A Poem)


Debating with myself for years

Undecided until the final moment

That you would graduate from 12th grade.

Another huge milestone in a year when you

made several: Halifax, New York, your 18th birthday.

How can I tell you, dear son, how proud I am of you

Of your accomplishments, your skills, your talents

Your intelligence, your character.

I wanted to share this moment with you

As much as a million other moments that I missed

But wanting you to be comfortable, relaxed

at such a grand day was more important to me

Than my desire to be with you

I stayed away.

As I have stayed away

If only to let you find yourself

Learn for yourself, decide for yourself

Some truths about life

I only hope that you have found

The right mentors, the right models

To guide you when I could not

To listen when I was unable

To cheer you on

Encourage you

Remind you of the lessons I taught you

As you were growing up and very young

Before you were taken away from me

Body, mind, spirit

Heart of my heart,

blood of my blood

body of my body

My wound opens anew

each time I think of you

No less painful than the day I lost you

and my blood pours out in tears

and in silence

I congratulate you.


© Cindy Lapeña, 2014



Because I can’t say good-bye… (a poem)


For my Mom, Rosa Pilar Roxas Amador, who passed into another world at 11:10 p.m. on April 26, 2014 (Philippine time). She was my mother-in-law, but more of a mother to me. I will never forget her.


Because I can’t say good-bye, I will remember

Days of loving and caring, sharing and laughing

When we first met I will never forget

Into your home you took me

You made it mine and made me yours


You loved me

As a mother would a child of her blood

Into your fold you took me like one of your brood

You gave freely what you could

And even what you could not

Without second thought

Without hesitation

With far-reaching hands

With large heart

And open mind

Giving to a fault

Mindless of means

You heard with your heart

Listened with love

Counseled with care

There was nowhere I could go that you did not find me

And what I could not say you always knew

Now, everywhere and nowhere, you will be with me

Always in my heart, in my mind

Forever in my words because I can never say good-bye to you

I will remember.


© Cindy Lapeña, 2014



there’s a tug-o’-war for spring
summer in no hurry to come
lazing somewhere in the tropics
winter struggling hard to stay
throwing temper tantrums when told to go away.

Charlottetown, 2014


how can i say goodbye… (poem)


how can i say goodbye

when we haven’t said hello

haven’t shared a moment

haven’t heard each other’s voice

where in the world should i look

that i might find you

that our paths might cross

that our lives might intertwine

that i might hear your voice

and meet you eye to eye

so i can say goodbye

after i say hello


Charlottetown, 2014

snow days and ice days (poem)


can’t see the fine rain
but the tree branches are getting whiter
by the minute collecting ice
on every twig and bough
it’s not so much a snow day
as it is an ice day
with the frosty breath
of winter freezing the spittle of march
on everything it touches.

after the morning has dawned (poem)


late at night with sparkling wine

watching a movie alone

wishing for company that isn’t here

that might never call this home

distracted by myriad thoughts

things that all need to be done

all these things i put off tonight

till after the morning has dawned


© 2014, Charlottetown