My Book ‘Life in 17 Syllables’ is now available on Amazon Kindle

© Moira G. Gallaga

For those interested, Life in 17 Syllables is now available on Amazon Kindle. It would be highly appreciated if you could kindly spread the word to your friends and vast network. My heart is full, obrigadissima!

Life in 17 Syllables
Registered Author/Writer

29 June 2021

First Impressions and Life’s Contradictions

©Moira G. Gallaga

From the President himself, “DO NOT BE A YES MAN.”

First impressions count, they say;

Yet do not judge a book by its cover.

Ah, life’s awash with contradiction.

What should one make of the situation?



Power and wealth are highly sought.


Easily making us in awe of authority,

Blinding us to their deficits in virtue and integrity.

Title confer status, but does not guarantee respect.


What should one make of this situation?

A world inhabited by paradoxes,

A life awash with contradiction,

Where truth is never easy to see.

“Beware of the half truth. You may have gotten hold of the wrong half.” – Unknown

One must gaze through masks and blinders,

Built by prejudice to obscure reality.

Our sight has need to pierce with impartiality,

To ease the path to seeing equitably.


One must listen with acute discernment,

For the winds carry whispering voices,

Loaded with roiling insecurity and hostility,

In order to hear the message in its purity


And what of our emotions and feelings?

Easily swayed by what people in power say,

Sights and sounds, distorted and deceptive,

A situation to which we are continually captive.

Unfortunately, they are either far outnumbered by those who aren’t or don’t merit attention from the powers that be who prefer more compliant allies.

We often are blinded by the trappings of humanity:

Titles, degrees, positions, hierarchies, and affiliations.

What are these if not mere accessories,

Which, regrettably, people worship unquestionably.


07 June 2021

Street Food on the River Bank

© Moira G. Gallaga

Oh! The aroma is ever tantalizing

the freshly baked cakes

at this street food corner

Feeling pity for those

Feeling nausea at the sight of such heavenly delight!

It is a crime to watch what we eat anywhere we go, as cuisine for our family is a cultural endeavour.©

Smiles are contagious here

The boy wipes the stool for me smiling each time

I sat on it looking at his mom when she looks back to me smiling

We never talked as we cannot understand each other!

Why should I bother when her cakes talk

On our behalf.

Exotic food/
arouses the tongue/
and pleases the empty belly.©

Attending a party tonight

On the other side of the river

A fancy restaurant, spreading its evening glitz

I will miss the freshly baked cakes, the aroma and

Yes! The smile!

04 June 2021

The Ship – A Villanelle

© Moira G. Gallaga

The ship sails soon
Either climb aboard or stay on land.
It is nine o’clock.  The ship sails at noon.

You may fear being a buffoon
If you sing and dance with the band
The ship sails soon.

It is scary to balance atop a shaky dune
But how it feels when you can stand
It is nine o’clock.  The ship sails at noon.

This Azure Window in Dwerka, Gozo was the setting for Khal Drogo and Daenerys Targaryen’s wedding. It’s where we’re also introduced to Jorah. – Game of Thrones (Island of Gozo, Malta)

Should you ride in that balloon?
It is not even manned
The ship sails soon.

To truly live in the colors of June
Or only see in shades of bland
It is nine o’clock.  The ship sails at noon.

Will you stay in your cocoon?
Or live a life that’s big and grand?
The ship sails soon.
It is nine o’clock.  The ship sails at noon.

01 June 2021


Driving

©Moira G. Gallaga

It may at times seem like a task.
But there’s no way of avoiding it
Mundane routines get boring.
Caught in gridlock, the worst thing.

Once in a while an opportunity
To drive like there’s no tomorrow,
Accelerating rapidly,
To feel the rush of extreme velocity.

I consider scuba diving, skydiving, bungee jumping and ziplining as therapy. The tamest is going on a road trip to drive as fast as I can, clearing my mind and enjoying the sensation of the wind. A mild adrenaline rush, but nothing compared to other zen-like sports like the 4 above.

Doesn’t matter where I go.
It’s about the adrenal flow.
Driving at the edge of safety,
Risking with alacrity.

I find it quite soothing:
This driving that’s way too crazy.
With Arias blaring loudly,
My mind just swelling.

I revel in the pressure, the adrenaline … the feeling of being on the edge and the fast pace that characterizes life. ©

It’s great to hit the road,
When I’m in this manic mode.
‘Course, can’t do it whenever.
 Once in a while is better than never.

Holding Out for a Hero

©Moira G. Gallaga

Our Earth is a damsel in great distress,
enchained by shackles of iron-gray smog,
only tatters of her once-lovely dress
cover her body, surrounded by fog.

Since I stopped working full time, I tracked the changes in nature as avidly as I do with world news. (Atlas Mountains, Morocco. For this view, we hiked along the Atlas Mountain range, setting off from Setti Fatma in the Ourika Valley in Morocco. The massive mountain range stretches from Morocco through Algeria and Tunisia.)

Where are her knights, her saviors, to rescue
their maiden from the villains of this tale?
With time running out, how can they get through
the downpour of acid rain, faces pale

Whenever there tends to be an ecological imbalance, Mother Nature has ways of letting us know about it. (Porto Moniz, Portugal)

against the polluted sky? Bravery,
cunning, and dedication, refusal
to let their world lapse into slavery
at the hands of corporate ritual.

We’ve all experienced how scary it is when Mother earth is making herself felt. (Jardim Estrela, Lisbon)

The princess is choking in her tower,
she needs fresh, clean air to help her flower.

30 May 2021

The Other World

© Moira G. Gallaga

The fingers breaking the waves and then the ears,

immersed in silence.

The simultaneous sinking and floating, oblivion,

the other world.

The wonderfully deadly feeling of pressure on the ribcage,

bringing to life my small and simple mortality-

the adaptation of the body.

All divers are created equal(ized) – it’s just that some of us handle the pressure better.

spinning slowly through the dark abyss,

spiraling upwards with the power of risky physics.

Movements both of grace and power- more than I could articulate on dry land.

The other world.

Where I dare become all of the things that juxtapose ‘self’, where I understand my

smallness

and carefully observe my own

dexterity,

as though through a camera lens.

All becomes clear. Like clean water.

One of the things I learned from scuba diving. Enjoy every descent …that’s what it’s all about. (Praia dos Pescadores, Algarve)

25 May 2021

The Value of Forgiveness

© Moira G. Gallaga

When enough time has passed to heal the wounds
gashed by words careless or intentional,
nothing could be more soothing than the sound
of relief, easily detectable

from the one you forgive once you pardon
their crimes.  They will sigh, perhaps even smile
in gratitude that you did not harden
your heart against their own. You could revile

Forgiveness is not always for those who wronged us. It’s also for ourselves so may we move on and have peace. (Lourdes, France)

their name as long as you live, but that might
only embitter your remaining years.
Better, then, to lighten the darkest night
of a guilt face enshrouded with fear.

“Forgiveness: You cannot afford to withhold forgiveness. Nothing will destroy your life more surely, for there is a great hidden grief in the denial of forgiveness. Your heart is so heavy from what you have not forgiven that you bear the offenses of another as if they were your own.” – Glenda Green

The best of men know well how to forgive their enemy
Their magnanimity cements their reputation for posterity.

Mistakes were my teachers/
I’ve learnt well. ©

14 May 2021

Like a Garden after a Rain

© Moira G. Gallaga

In life there can be terrible showers

High winds and drama can shake you

Like leaves are taken and twisted by the wind.

These high disasters can make life barren

Like a patch of garden that never sees the sun.

Washington Sycip Park, Legazpi Village

But there are roots even in the bare ground,

Potential flowers just waiting for the day

When they can spring up into life again.

And like a garden, after the bad storms

There will be new shoots springing up all around

Filling the garden and making it beautiful.

Washington Sycip Park, Legazpi Village

Like a garden after rain you must blossom

From the challenges offered by the storm.

Bow your head against the wind but

Keep strong and upright even in the worst.

Spread your petals to receive the water

And take it in to nourish your blooms.

Washington Sycip Park, Legazpi Village

Without the rain the garden would be dry

Nothing would grow within its bounds,

And like a garden you can take the cold

The downpours and the storms life holds.

And like a garden after rain you can recover

Push through your blooms and rise above the ground.

12 May 2021

Misguided Brilliance

© Moira G. Gallaga

Our crafty hands and mechanical minds
have built a wide world awash in wonders,
but our cleverness has us in a bind
as our achievements turn into blunders.

Never insult nature with bad poetry. She retaliates by confusing you,changing her climate, ways of being, so that your words can’t grasp her anymore. (Istanbul, Turkey)

Take the industrial revolution,
a well-deserved homage to iron and steel,
but we didn’t know that air pollution
would change our planet’s entire look and feel.

As we leisurely assess the damage,
impersonal clipboards and pens in hand,
we seem to have crossed out the old adage:
burning bridges leaves so little dry land.

I’m all for taking risks, but I don’t mess with nature and face its wrath. (Salamanca, Spain)

As we torch the sky and all beneath it,
let’s write our planet a lovely obit.

02 May 2021