LAUREL LEAVES POETRY


Monthly Poetry Magazine



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POET AND POEMS OF THE MONTH

MANETTE YUZON CORTES



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FEBRUARY 2018

MANETTE YUZON CORTES

 

About the Poet

Manette Yuzon Cortes, a Filipina, is the youngest child of Fortunata Aquino and Amado M Yuzon, the founder of the United Poets Laureate, International. She is married to Eduardo J Cortes with whom she has three sons all of whom are married.

Manette finished her degree in AB, Child Study at Maryknoll College which is run by American nuns; and her post graduate studies in MS, Guidance and Counseling from the De La Salle University. After her studies, she trained at the Teacher’s College in Columbia University for the intervention of language learning disabilities. She put up her private practice as an educational therapist, and as a counsling psychologist in Manila from 1993 until 2013. She was one of ten Awardees for Distinction for her work with children from Maryknoll College in 2003. In the near future, she intends to pursue her PhD in Clinical Psychology.

Writing poetry came rather late in Manette’s life. Her first passion is dancing as she was into ballet early on in life. In the early nineties, she switched to ballroom dancing, and eventually went into professional competitive dancing as a sport.

Her inspiration to write poetry started about a couple of years ago. It was spurred further by the demise of her older sister, Maria Remedios Brown last year. From then on, “poetry has become her line.”

The following is an excerpt from her poem “Seasons of Life” which she dedicated to her beloved sister, Maria, whom she fondly calls Dette.

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“It was in the midst of autumn

When I was with you last

Weakened and thin

Your shadow almost unseen.

We trod through the fallen

Red leaves of autumn.

I spoke my heart.

‘Dette, I cannot imagine life without you.”

 

“No words escaped your softened countenance

As we walked through the leaves.

I held your right hand

My tears watered the ground,

Crying out, ‘Live on, please live on!”

 

“In the winter of life, at death’s door,

I held on to your right hand

Which I clung to in life.

My love for you, my dearest Sister,

No words can describe!

Now that you have finally reached Paradise,

Where there are no more seasons

Godspeed, dearest Dette,

Until we meet again!”

 

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Poetry Has Become My Line

 

Poetry has become my line!

It pours out of my thoughts

Like a bottle of wine

It intoxicates me into a frenzy!

 

Of words with rhythm

Hyperboles and rhymes

Fall into place

Everything ends up sounding sublime!

 

When I was young

Poetry was an alien language

Stringing beautiful words together

Was akin to birth pangs!

 

After Dette passed on

My emotions were jolted

Into a passion beyond control

‘Twas then my mind became a decanter of rhyme!

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Ode to My Mirror

 

A quiet witness to our lives

The first to see our faces in the morn

Over decades that our kids were born

Transformations kept rolling by!

 

Hello! A smile for you today!

Do you like my hair?

Am I your lady fair?

I’m off to a party what can you say?

Sigh! Puffy eyes blink at you!

The baby got sick

I lack sleep

Or at times, life can be so burdensome!

 

Oh quiet witness on the wall!

You’ve been there for so long.

Watching our lives and faces

Slowly changing along with time!

Although, more than the physical

You saw deep within our souls

The hope we had

Sometimes turn to mere despair.

 

Dear quiet friend, we hope and pray

That someday, through our eyes

You’ll fathom from the depth of our souls

The softened countenance of peace, contentment and quietude.

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The Brook From Within Us

 

It is difficult beyond any wisdom

To fathom man-made smear.

We do not live in God’s Kingdom

Where everything is clear.

The ironies of life are confusing

Praying is all we

can do

Yet trusting can be doubtful

So what is it that is true?

The ways of the Almighty are beyond understanding

Just as the back of a tapestry is mangled

Yet its beauty is finally revealed

When the front piece is fully dangled!

We have a choice:

To believe and live

Or to despair and not to receive

This is our decision.

Amidst all the confusion, be still!

Enjoy listening to the inner voice from within

For the sound of water is soothing

As God’s word to you is healing!

Life can be difficult to understand

People send confusing beats and sounds

Yet listen to the inner voice from within you

For it speaks of Peace without bounds!

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By the Brook

 

I close my eyes and the child in me

Walks towards the bridge by the brook

To meet my dear Friend, a Man in robes

His head is covered with a shawl.

I run towards Him in eagerness!

To hug Him ever so tightly!

Tears of joy mixed with sadness

Flow down my eyes.

There are no words spoken between us

But His eyes seem to understand

He kneels down to reach this child within me

His eyes assure me that things will be all right!

I need not speak for He understands my sorrows

His eyes look deep into my soul

Healing takes place and

I am at peace once more!

His lips break into a smile and His eyes sparkle

As if to say, “I am with you always!”

I feel His mercy and my heart

leaps with joy!

Knowing that my Savior has spoken to me!

❤️❤️❤️

???

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Of Life and Death

 

Such a morbid thought!

Oh, Death, you scare us all

You represent grief

The end of life and happiness!

Like a thief you rob us of life.

Many times, sickness and pain

Herald your arrival.

Being clueless is the worst thing that can ever happen!

Death what are you?

Do you announce the end of existence?

Do we turn into dust

As in wasted life?

I think the answers are revealed by Mother Nature.

As a seed from a withered fruit falls to the ground,

It gets buried and grows back into a small plant

Which gradually grows back into a tree.

Life is a cycle, as the beginning meets the end.

Our origin is the Creator, and our end is also He!

He intends the seeds of our beings to evolve

into better souls

Our lives to tell stories of productivity just like the fruits that we enjoy!

We see the stories of our lives in a fruit or a flower!

One is nourishing, the other beautiful

Both are very sweet and oh so delightful!

God has intended us to be exactly like this.

As it grows, a tree undergoes challenges of all kinds.

The tree faces various threats in the change of seasons.

Drought, floods, forest fires, and the greed of some.

It has a choice to get tough to survive and bear fruits bountifully!

The seed is a witness to the tree that it was.

Generous with its abundance despite the challenges it had faced.

Just like the seed, our spirits reveal the lives we have led.

The seed of our existence is the meaning we bring in death.

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