Down a Dark Hall – A Poem

I wander down a dark hall

Peeking in this room

Throwing wide the doors in another

This door is locked

That door I quickly shut

One door leads me down a corridor/path that takes me a few hours to get through and back to where I was before

Now, I have to walk quickly

The light from my phone

Illuminating the way

I find a door and pull it

But it’s stuck

I jiggle it

I lean into it

I hip check it

I take a running start and slam into it

I slide down and sit

My back against it

It opens

And there sits my muse

She says, “Hello…Poet.”

I originally wrote this poem for Jamie Dedes’ Wednesday Writing Prompt to “write about our own creative process”. You can read other responses to this prompt here.

I also incorporated Christine’s Brave and Reckless October Monster She Wrote challenge #9, Down a Dark Hall into this poem. That title pulled the poem together for me as my writing process is necessarily compartmentalized otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to complete my other obligations during the day.

I had several different endings to this poem – the version I posted for Jamie as well as a few others, but after reading the synopsis for the book, Down a Dark Hall, I felt I needed to change the ending to make it somewhat more ominous (even though my writing process is anything but ominous…despite doing most of my writing in the middle of night in a darkened house where I’m the only one awake and the wind is howling outside and the tree branches scratch scratch scratch the window pane…).

So I changed the punctuation! Oh the power of a three tiny dots! Scary, isn’t it?

©️ iido 2019

OctPoWriMo Day 11 – The Growing Roar

The door opens and the roar begins

Begins as a rustle of shoes and bags

Bags of paper, projects, words, numbers

Numbers counting down to bedtime, dinner time…not yet time

Time to play and release the joy

Joy of unencumbered growing

Growing louder under the tree shadows

Shadows of night whisper but the roar continues

Continues with the clanging of plates and the chomping of teeth

Teeth that when brushed, sparkle like dreams

Dreams transform the roar to a snore

Snore is as silent as it gets.

This loop poem was written for Patrick’s Pic to Word Challenge #203 – Play and for OctPoWriMo Day 11 – Silence. Also, for the Saturday RagTag Daily Prompt – Shadows.

Silence is something that I rarely get during the day especially once the children come home. But their voices – whether laughing, singing, talking, arguing, shouting – remind that they are fully alive in their playing, working, eating even when they are disagreeing. Noise has always reminded me of life – I know this stems from growing up in a large, Filipino family. So silence was something I had to learn to be ok with, learn to love and cherish. But I know that playful noise will also be my favorite.

©️ iido 2019

OctPoWriMo Day 10: To Touch or Not To Touch – A Clarity Pyramid Double Poem


Enter my softness
Stroking smoothly. Polite
Petitions writ on slick skin

“Permission is a precious gift”

****** OR ******


Entered, my person
Rebels. Your entitled
Weight clawed tracks on my soul skin

“Permission was never granted”

The OctPoWriMo prompt from Maria for Day 10 is “Touch”. She further challenged us to use the Clarity Pyramid Poetry Form.

Of course, I was intrigued by this form although I was not able to format the poem correctly for this post. Maybe because I am using my phone to write this post, but when I tried to use the HTML code to center the text, it would just delete everything and write the word “center” in the middle of the page. Obviously, I’m doing something wrong.

But hopefully the gist of this set of poems comes out correct.

©️ iido 2019

OctPoWriMo Day 9: Looking Away

Sometimes, I cannot look at you
Because your adoring eyes
See what I cannot
I’d rather gaze upon a light
That – though bright – cannot see
The real me
That only brightens with a flick
Of my finger
And not when I enter the room

Sometimes, I cannot look at you
Because your eyes might hold anger
Or worse – disappointment, disgust
I cannot swipe left to get rid of
How that would make me feel
There is no X-out
Or control-alt-delete
There is only “I’m sorry”
Which doesn’t erase the memory cache

Sometimes, I cannot look at you
So I train my gaze on
What I feel I can control

Finally joining in on OctPoWriMo (6th Annual October Poetry Writing Month)! It’s Day 9 and the prompt today is hosted by Michelle, the theme is seeing/perception.

This poem came to me as I glanced at my phone thinking of a poem while ignoring my kids. Yes, it happens – probably more than it should, although I am trying to be more mindful of my electronic device usage. The kids are watching!

©️ iido 2019

The Maple at the End of My Street – A Quadrille

The setting sun filters

Through your leaves

Highlighting the new

Yellows and oranges and reds

I see you

When I return home

After I’ve gone

Through the motions

That life is ok

Even when it’s not

You filter the beauty

Back in my life

Joining in the fun this week with this 44 word poem for Merril at dVerse, Quadrille #89 – Are You Set. It was also inspired by Jamie Dedes’ wonderful Wednesday Writing Prompt to “moments and places where we enjoy the beauty and peace of nature and a deeply sensed connection with the source of our being”. You can read other responses to this prompt here. (Note: The poem above is an revised version from my original submission to The Poet by Day.)

I love sunset more than sunrise. Maybe it’s because I am inherently a night owl. It just seems so peaceful! I especially like seeing sunsets while I’m driving the car, with my kids quiet in the back – usually after a long afternoon of after school activities. My 6 year old son usually says, “Mom, look at the sunset! Take a picture! It’s so pretty!” I usually respond, “I can’t, I’m driving. Take a picture with your mind.”

©️ iido 2019

Author Bio Critique – A Poem

When I read your author bio

I want to know if you are brown like me.

I want to know

If you can understand the happiness

Of the autumn wind.

But also

If you have been confused for being the tourist

Instead of the tour guide

In your own hometown.

Have you doubled over

On the 6th of the month

And lain in your bed


You don’t have to wash the sheets


For the third time that day?

Have you been so angry

Because you weren’t sure

If the price was right

But know

That the man’s smile wasn’t?

I want to know

If you have struggled

With saying just the right words

So that

You know what you mean

But the other person

Thinks you’re agreeing with them.

All this

To avoid

The discomfort

Of not being like them

Not thinking like them

Not hating like them

Not praying like them.

When I read your author bio

Don’t make me guess

If your skin turns ashy

Without the cocoa butter cream.

Unless you write

Like how I talked

When I lived in Brooklyn

Wearing my big hoop earrings

With my favorite wide legged jeans and crop top

My bangs hiding my eyes

So when I said,


And did the up-nod

I could pass with my friends

Thinking I was some cool shit.

Unless you can capture that

In your first few lines

So that I would know

Without a doubt

That you get that

All-American point of view

Please tell me

What shade you are.

Because if there isn’t a picture,

If your name is that bland-from-no-where name,

Or the you’ve-changed-your-name-to-fit-in name,

Or the you’ve-taken-your-white-husband’s name

(Because we all know if they were your Partner, you would keep your own name so your parents won’t know)

If your author bio

Doesn’t say “where you’re REALLY from”

Then how will I know

If you can hear the tears

When the colored leaves fall?

©️ iido 2019

Runfession #3, September 2019 – A Running Update

September has come to a close – just in time because I’ve been needing this Runfession! Thanks again to Marcia @Marcia’s Healthy Slice for this forum. Check out this link to read other fabulous Runfessions.

Forgive me Brooks for I have sinned….

I runfess…I only got in seven (7!!) runs this entire month! Between traveling to Texas to visit my cousin and having a sick kid who needed and emergency inhaler…oh, and school starting along with after school activities…oh, and hubby traveling…did I mention I was able to get in seven (7!!) runs despite all this?

I runfess…my 10 mile run this month was probably my best run despite my pace being slower than my average. We had a great group of women for that MRTT run! Michele and I ran for most of miles until the end when she sped ahead since she had to leave. Michele has been so consistent with her training and it showed in this run! I’m so proud of her! She definitely inspired me to finish my miles strong!

I runfess…that towards the end of my 10 mile run, two elderly people (with white hair and everything!) asked me if I was ok or if I needed help! Yes, that’s right. I must have looked particularly more sweaty than usual or maybe like I was going die at the end of this run. On the one hand, I am thankful that other runners and bikers are kind and willing to help someone in need. On the other hand, how bad did I look that these old people thought I needed help? Yikes!

Only two and a half weeks until my half marathon. We have relatives visiting from out of the country so I am aiming for 3 runs for the next two week since I am on hostess duty. I have a long run planned for this Sunday – don’t worry, I’ve already alerted the local nursing home to send out the “oldies but goodies search team” if not back by a certain time!

©️ iido 2019

The Best Foreplay for Husbands – A Poem

you wrap your fingers
around the sponge
until the sink is empty
is how you make
me change into my lace thong

you brush his teeth
and read his favorite bedtime story
while making the voices of the characters
is how you make
me light the scented candles

you quiz her in spelling
and listen to how another girl stole her idea for her science project
you come up with a better science project idea
and promise to help her with it on the weekend
is how you make
me lie in bed
skin puckered
in love
in anticipation
thinking i am the luckiest woman in the world

This poem was inspired by Rupi Kaur’s poem on page 71 of her book, milk and honey. It was prompted by Jamie Dedes’ Wednesday Writing Prompt to write a poem inspired by one written by another poet. You can read the other fantastic responses here.

Rupi Kaur’s work was a revelation when I first read it. Her words, so heart-breakingly honest in its imagery and profoundness, showed me what it meant to “write your truth”, how the ugly can still be made beautiful. It was also the first time that a poet’s authenticity gave voice to my reality as a brown Asian woman. She “got me” and I was forever changed.

©️ iido 2019