Tobby’s Poetic Notes on Poetry

Poetry is like a dancing midget

That comes from the world of fiction.

It hops, skips, and twirls

From your palm to your shoulder,

Where it blows your head away

Like the chorus of Kagerou Daze.


Poetry is like a Witch named Charlotte–

Tiny, weak, and light.

Smash it around and blow it up

Until you think that you’ve understood

And big, monstrous, and sharp-toothed

Will turn your head into food.

 

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Humanity’s Ultimate Mission

The enemies are those with lives

Centered greatly on themselves:

You and me,

Yourself and myself.

The allies are those with lives

Centered greatly on others:

You and me,

Yourself and myself.

The mission is to find true happiness

And spread it all around

For you and me,

For yourself and myself.

Sin will stand in the way,

Pretending to be true happiness,

Tricking you and me,

Tricking yourself and myself.

Humility is vital

And we need to remember our imperfections

For the control of you and me,

For the control of yourself and myself.

Synergy is key

And we need to remember our potential

For the success of you and me,

For the success of yourself and myself.

More details will be revealed

By the guides scattered along the way:

You and me,

Yourself and myself.

Properly Guided Click and Bang

In front of us foolish youths

Were replicas of a metal hand.

With only one form, it stood:

An upward thumb,

A forward pointer,

And a folded remainder.

They were close to the real thing.

They never released the full sting.

But I could feel a heavy weight

When one of them met my hands,

When my fingers carefully danced,

And whenever I moved to aim.

Some youths laughed with theirs,

Some tried to make them twirl,

And some thought that they were awesome with them,

But while I held my hands’ extension,

I could feel ghosts

Even though I actually couldn’t.

Perforated bodies stood around me.

Their fountain spouts were quite messy.

Cold air embraced my skin.

It seemed like their hands were touching.

Crying and screaming rang in my ears.

I could hear them begging.

The scent of a damaged blood vessel

Was magnified to levels that I’ve never experienced.

My mouth dragged itself down

As it tried to resist the foolish crowd.

Today’s lesson was a massive fate-changer.

Fools will die

If they failed to realize

The metal hand’s true power.

I do not want that to happen.

I do not want them to die.

I do not want these youths

To be like the ghosts around me.

Every click

Reminds me of flame fading from a wick.

Every bang

Reminds me of bodies crashing into land.

Every instructor’s command

Reminds me of the ghosts guiding my hands.

I have never held a true metal hand yet

But today’s lesson taught us how to handle one

So that we can use them to shield ourselves

And shield others as well.

Even a replica of a metal hand

Should never be treated like a replica.

The ghosts taught me that.

“Defend, not destroy.”

“Defend, not destroy.”

“Defend, not destroy.”

Dear ghosts,

As I aim and fire at sin yet again,

Help me keep my pointer on the sin

And keep it away from the captive’s existence.

Reflecting on Unclear News

As the TV comes to life

And as the newspapers enter my sight,

I sense a fog spreading out

From the unclear headlines that I can’t seem to count.

Which are truths?

Which are lies?

Turtles are carrying the scales of justice

Or maybe they’re crocodiles in a palace?

The fog is blocking my sight.

Did I just hear someone cry?

Which are truths?

Which are lies?

I see a lion

Being struck down by a tiger.

Or was it a liar

Striking down another liar?

Which are truths?

Which are lies?

The carabao is working hard

But is its master awake at this hour?

The field seems to be improving

But it still doesn’t seem to be growing.

Which are truths?

Which are lies?

Two roosters are fighting

And at them, many are staring.

While the viewers still keep on gambling,

I think I heard a distressed cry ringing.

Which are truths?

Which are lies?

The fog still isn’t gone

And its reach is still far.

It is time to take my medicine again

And clear the fog of lies within.

I can be great

But I have imperfections.

The deep blue sea of electricity

Has shown me many hopeful possibilities.

I hear cries and I see light

And I call to the Divine Guide:

With my eternally truth-seeking heart,

Help me find and spread the truth.

Lies will never clear the fog

And lies will never get you out of the sludge.

The truth can be bitter medicine

And the truth can be sweet as well.

The Divine Doctor’s prescription:

Habitually finding, absorbing, and spreading truth.

Which are truths? Which are lies?

Clear the fog one step at a time.

A mask tries to cover my face

And I keep on shattering it

Because who would trust a truth seeker

Who keeps on masking their true face?

The Gallery of Unclear Oral Communication

Here are some comics that I drew for a group report in Communication 3 (English) class that went really well (We needed to improve in making the audience participate with us reporters, though). Along with them are reminders regarding clear oral communication.

Use sensible language and remember to use proper grammar, or else people may get the wrong idea.

Use sensible language and remember to use proper grammar, or else people may get the wrong idea.

Be specific when you're expressing what you want to say. And if someone's talking to you, keep your ears and heart open and listen to what they have to say.

Be specific when you’re expressing what you want to say. And if someone’s talking to you, keep your ears and heart open and listen to what they have to say.

In oral communication, simple and short gets the point across better. Make sure that your audience easily remembers what you're talking about.

In oral communication, simple and short gets the point across better. Make sure that your audience easily remembers what you’re talking about.

Now then, see you again in the den, nutshellcrackers.

VOISes of Fiction: Mikoto “Mikorin” Mikoshiba

Welcome to Voice-Only Impersonation Skits of Fiction, or VOISes of Fiction for short, nutshellcrackers, where I try to imitate various characters from the world of fiction. Today’s character is Mikoto “Mikorin” Mikoshiba from Izumi Tsubaki’s Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun.

Here is the transcript for this impersonation:

“Oh, Sakura? You need love advice? From me? Dear, dear…you really don’t want to stop chasing Nozaki, huh…I thought he would bore you eventually…Hm? Why did I say that? It’s because I want to tell you that you’re free to call me if you ever get bored. I can be so much cooler than Nozaki…and my coolness can make you feel even hotter if you ever let me…warm you up……………………..Guh…Do I look like I’d seriously do that, Sakura? Huh? Stop looking at me like that. I wasn’t serious there! Why are you still looking at me like that!? It’s not like I like you more than I like galge heroines or anything! Tch…argh, leave me alone…”

I think my voice would sound more compatible with Hirotaka Wakamatsu’s character…

Safety in a Scorching Smithy

Author’s Note: Talking about how memoirs should be written in Creative Writing 100 class today led to me remembering a certain teacher and a certain time, which then led me to writing this piece of nonfiction. Oh, and thanks very much for giving feedback on this, White_Shadow!


何度世界が眩んでも陽炎が嗤って奪い去る。
繰り返して何十年。もうとっくに気が付いていたろ。

こんなよくある話なら結末はきっと1つだけ。
繰り返した夏の日の向こう。


Once, there was a time when I was in something that was similar to the Japanese lyrics above, which is the bridge of the song called “Kagerou Daze.” Most of my days during high school were like repeats of a nightmarish and scorching August 14 and 15, where many things seemed like they wanted to kill me. There were times when I found the way out, only to find myself blacking out after getting wrecked by something I didn’t expect. Then, I would find myself waking up to another burning summer day filled with death.

Now, when I reached the point where it was like the bridge to the final chorus part of Jin-sensei’s breakthrough hit, I wanted to get out of the repeating days of being bullied and being pessimistic. With the help of certain caring people, such as my parents and that one doctor who dealt a big blow to my selfish and pessimistic mindset, I was able to do a feat that was similar to throwing myself in front of a speeding truck in order to save a friend who was about to get hit by said vehicle.

I reported a bully to Ma’am Julie.

And a killer truck never killed me after that. No deadly iron poles, no sudden slippery surface on a steep staircase, no traces of the sadistic image of the strict Filipino teacher/High School Department Assistant Principal for Student Affairs. Nothing harmful came to kill me. In fact, the bullying stopped!

Heh, if you were someone who had Ma’am Julie as a teacher, you’ll probably find what I’m about to talk about next very unbelievable. My batchmates and I first saw her as this really serious and really strict teacher who tended to fire harsh comments at any student who didn’t behave properly and any student who didn’t take their studies seriously. The homework that she gave seemed like extreme stunts all the time, and her presence was like a moving police car with gigantic warning lights on top to any misbehaving pupil. Eventually, while I was in my fourth year of high school, I ended up thinking that she was a sadistic teacher.

And then I found out that she was actually very nicer than expected.

So, about how I discovered how nice Ma’am Julie was…from what I remember, it happened during the morning break of a certain day during the fourth quarter of my fourth year of high school. I came out of the classroom after an Electronics class, worried about the really clear act of bullying that a fellow classmate did to me during that class. Back then, I wasn’t actually bullied as much as I thought. I was bullied during high school, yes, but my pessimism had been exaggerating the gravity of the bullying that was being done to me. Now, during that time of my fourth year high schooler life, I understood that if someone else was being bullied and if they don’t want to be helped in reporting the bullies, I shouldn’t be forcing them into reporting the bullies, ’cause it’s freaking disrespectful to make someone do something that’s against their will. I also understood that if a bully was aiming their bullying at me, I should be reporting it to the proper authority.

I knew that a fellow classmate was calling me insulting names. I knew that he attempted to snatch my lunch bag from me. I knew that he was forcing me into giving him a piece of pad paper, and I knew that he angrily asked me to eat pad paper after I didn’t give him a piece of pad paper.

I knew that the bullying had to stop, and I knew that I had to report the problem to Ma’am Julie as soon as possible. So, as the morning break was nearing its end, I stood in front of her office, nervously walking around. I think I heard “Saint John Bosco, Our Loving Father” loudly play through the speakers while I moved my gaze back and forth between the door to the small room and the towering beige building across the road, but I didn’t let being late be an overblown problem to me. Sure, I might miss some valuable lesson time…Sure, some classmates would question me about why I was late…but right next to me was a shining opportunity!

And I took it.

She was in the office, which I knew before I even entered because of the door having a transparent glass window. I don’t remember the exact words of the conversation that we had back then, but I do remember the emotions and actions.

I was nervous as I entered the air-conditioned room.

She let me in with an attitude that was far from the scorching smithy that she was in the classroom.

I told her about the bully, and my voice had moments of haziness again.

She gave me an incident report sheet, and when she asked me to speak more clearly, no insults were fired.

I tried to do my best in writing the report, making sure that my facts were clear and making sure that I didn’t withhold and/or exaggerate any facts.

She took the paper once I was done, and she assured me that the problem will be dealt with.

I left Ma’am Julie’s office and went back to my classroom, feeling relieved and thankful.

Perhaps the memories that I wrote down here might have inconsistencies if it were compared to what really happened, but long story short: There was a bully, I reported him to Ma’am Julie, the bully was dealt with, the bully stopped bullying me (to the point that he was scared of me thinking that his further attempts to socialize with me were acts of bullying), and Ma’am Julie didn’t seem like a sadistic teacher in my eyes anymore. Yeah, she still had the air of a scorching smithy while I finished my high school years, but she didn’t seem as scorching as I imagined back then. Her roughness in dealing with struggling students isn’t something I’d be imitating, honestly, but I eventually understood that she has good intentions behind that tough teaching style. If my past self had the level of calmness and optimism that I have right now, then I may have learned so much more from her Filipino classes.

Anyway, that time…that time when I reported a bully to Ma’am Julie…It gave me hope, and I don’t think I’d be as optimistic as I am today if I never experienced that. From a “Heat-Haze Daze” filled with pessimism, I got out with the help of a “snake with optimistic eyes.” Well, the Snake of Optimistic Eyes isn’t a part of the Heat-Haze Daze construction set, and it probably doesn’t exist in the Kagerou Project, but you can only get out of the freaking Daze by having a snake with an eye power. And that “snake…” that “snake” which was filled with the all the love and care that my parents, teachers, and all those precious people who helped me out…it helped me get out of the “Heat-Haze Daze” that I was stuck in for several years.

You’re a part of that “snake with optimistic eyes,” Ma’am Julie, and I thank you very much for helping in making my life better.

Now, I’d like to be a part of a “Snake of Optimistic Eyes” that would reach out to anyone stuck in a “Heat-Haze Daze” as well.


文句ありげな陽炎に「ざまぁみろよ」って笑ったら

実によく在る夏の日のこと。
そんな何かがここで終わった。

You Need to Have Healthier Sleeping Habits, Tobby

Not having enough sleep sucks so much.

Here’s a little drawing about me during my latest sleep. Oh, and by the way, I haven’t been getting enough sleep during most of the past days, which I guess is why I still think that the amount of sleep that I had last night was not enough. There are times when I’ve been having less than seven hours of sleep in one night, and there are times when I fall asleep in between 11PM and 12AM (Oh yeah, I’ve been sleeping late more frequently recently, too) and then suddenly wake up in between 3AM and 4AM. And then there are times when I become sleepy in the morning. Freaking nuts, not having enough sleep sucks so much.

You Can Be A Nutshellcracker, Too

Humanity may be crappy

With their self-centeredness.

Humanity may be stupid

With all their ignorance.

Humanity seems like it really is hopeless

With all these wars,

With all these crimes,

With all this selfishness.

But, I assure you:

Hope is immortal.

It may sound crazy,

But hope is immortal

Just like despair

And these two forces

Will always be locked in battle.

If you were to ask me

About why I keep on trying to help

In the seemingly stupid idea called

“Making the world a better place,”

Then my reasons would be

Parents who never stopped taking care of imperfect me,

A seemingly unfair but actually kind teacher who helped me stand up against bullies,

A doctor who told me that I can choose to be good, even if a lot of people don’t want me to,

A friend who gave me encouragement,

A YouTuber who believes in his subscribers’ potential for goodness,

A bus conductor who willingly gave money to help a penniless passenger,

A taxi driver who returned a lost suitcase filled with a large amount of money,

A stranger who gave me directions while I was lost,

And so many more reasons that are near and numerous.

With all these beautiful reasons,

I dedicate my life to cracking nutshells.

Not literal nutshell cracking, though.

I mean spreading virtues and stopping sin.

So, I’d like you to keep this in mind:

You can be a nutshellcracker, too,

And if you think that the above statement isn’t true,

Then I’d like to say:

I’m sure that there’s at least one beautiful proof near you.