Tones of Green – Poem for Mom

ReadinginBetween_Tones of Green Poem

Because it’s Mother’s Day on Sunday, I wrote a poem for my mother. I hope she likes it.

ReadinginBetween_Tones of Green Poem


We are not so different, you and I
we are both, for example,
green like the sense of discovery
or the knowing eyes of cats—we
are moss, survivors on slowly-dying rocks

and yet we are
quite different tones of green;
I, with lime-sharpness on the tongue
and you, with vine-crispness at the teeth

clashing hues
missing cues

We are different enough
to make a forest of two trees.

Happy Mother’s Day 2013!

It’s 4:48 in the morning on May 12, 2013 here in the Philippines. It’s Mother’s Day here, and as I’m typing this I can’t help but reflect on the kind of upbringing I had, care of my mother. Many times, I’ve talked about how my father had pretty major influence over my life–I became a reader like him, I became a writer like him, and he basically bestowed me with a love for geeky things that I couldn’t adequately describe.


I also know that I wouldn’t be as well adjusted as I am if my mom hadn’t been my mom. I’m not saying that she doesn’t have a crazy side that we, as a family, actually indulge. My mom absolutely loves extremely alcoholic fruit punches (only at family parties, of course), for one thing, and would laugh at some of the most inappropriate things. When she and I get into an argument, it dissolves into a bout of melodrama that my brother and sister have to diffuse–I am embarrassed to say that this happens on a regular basis.

My mother standing by Taal lake
My mom also poses close to volcanoes in bad weather. Granted, it’s dormant. But that’s risky, in my book.

I’m not even mentioning the bear, because that will take too much explanation. But in comparison, I’m pretty sure that my mom is the sanest out of all of us. It’s frightening and comforting at the same time. Frightening because she’s almost as weird as us, but still quite functional in the real world (it must be some sort of superpower). Comforting because I managed to somehow took after her in the ways that matter.

I have what my mother calls “a creative temperament”, which basically means that I fly off the handle in the very worst way. It also means that I am in grave danger of being extremely irresponsible with my resources. But mom raised me in a way that made me completely aware of some of the PRACTICALITIES of life. This is why I’m not living under a bridge somewhere, trying to peddle bad poetry to passersby. Sure, I’m still living with my mother; but I’m earning a decent salary doing something that I actually like doing. It’s not high literature, but it’s WRITING. And it’s my mom who inspires me to stick to it. It’s my mom who insists that I insist on getting paid really well for something I do really well. I’m grateful for that.

Marmee? I know you’re reading this because you stalk my blog. You drive me crazy, and we get into a shitload of fights because we’re so similar and so different. But I want you to know that I love you.