Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

by William Ernest Henley



My grandmother makes brew
Paregoric, Methiolate, Penicillin


Her hands quick day and night
concocting for the only botica
Farmacia Luz.

“A forbidden island!” they tell
with only myths of mermaids
and encantos –
grows an elixir of seaweeds, gold, and
working hands stretched
over the Pacific Ocean

A fountain of spring sprinkles
in a town once alien

“Hare mo kami paglingawan, O Maria.
Hare mo kami pabayaan huli ta kami sa imong aki.”

And whatever becomes of innocence
is a grip between the thighs of mountains
in my grandmother’s home of virgin islands
nature has become our free hands
our tough hands
and the big-boned giant.

/rosevoc. march 30, 2017 –
for my grandmother +Luz Palencia Alarkon
First Pharmacist, Caramoan Camarines Sur

photo from the internet



Hesitate is a word which means being unsure

It is neither a black nor a white

stop or go, day or night,

fast or slow.

It looks like shaking, as in a quake

or mumbling with no exact take

It is sometimes being undecisive…

To eat or not to eat?

To love or not to love?

To be or not to be?