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My earliest memories
were only of an orange balloon
barely rising up, slowly deflating.
Could not recall whether it was my birthday
or that I only thought it was.
And of twilight
and girl cousins
singing Dios de Salve.

I grew
mostly far away from home
having nightmares at night
(mostly about the moon)
without a mother by my side.
I grew
not necessarily sweet;
street smart as one old woman said about me.
If that meant because I learned
how to cross a busy road
at quite a young age
I didn't know.

A few times
I shoplifted books
and got caught once
and was set free.
A few times I thought
I fell in love, and cried.
I took one girl up the mountains once
and lied that I would be dying soon
so she could give me a kiss...

I also learned
that friends either betray
or migrate
or die,
and that someone new comes along
and you start over again.
I learned that I must work hard
to be able to see Whoopi Goldberg
in the big screen
or own a Great Expectations
in hardcover.

Once mission knocked on my door
but I refused,
chose to wander aimlessly.
Without a purpose
except to find out
what could be at the end of my road.
I discovered the use for pen and paper,
wrote like a mad man for nights,
making myself believe
it could make me wealthy.
I painted faces with sad eyes,
and children with feathered wings,
kept them all in a shoebox.
Some nights I just stayed up late
neither painting
nor writing.

I thought of death,
and spoke of it with fascination.
Courted it?
challenged it one night,
but then it spat me out into the light!
I never felt though
that I died for one day.
Yet I felt I should live my life
for another century
to grow some more,
read some more,
write some more,
paint some more,
wander some more,
love some more...

Peter Paulino
March 31, 1975 ~ still alive

crystal face I kiss
tongue tastes like sweet cold rain
I fall into pond

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The following comments are for "The Learning of Pete"

The Learning...

That was such a captivating read. Moving, sad ,beautiful. You're so open and honest and that is what makes your work so compelling to me. WOW!

( Posted by: arc [Member] On: August 28, 2004 )

Street Wise

'I grew
not necessarily sweet;
street smart as one old woman said about me.
If that meant because I learned
how to cross a busy road
at quite a young age
I didn't know. '

We call it 'Street Wise' over here and as an 'Army Brat' I know you needed to be to survive.

I hung on your every word, when someone is able to open up his innermost feeling to others, it shows a confidence so strong that you are able to meet any new challenge however difficult.

Thank you for sharing,


( Posted by: ivordavies [Member] On: August 28, 2004 )

peter still learning
You touched my heart Peter and I shook my head at the raw honesty here. So beautiful. And all the while so poetic in expression, I love that about you, thank you for sharing this personal piece with us. h,

( Posted by: Huni [Member] On: August 28, 2004 )

Arc, Ivor, Huni
Thank you very much!
~Arc,for the big WOW. It means a lot to me.
~Ivor, for reading this blog and for letting that child know what 'street smart' means, I think it's not that late that someone told him this, very thoughtful I wished you were there when I had so many questions in my mind.
~Huni, I think it's time for you to upload an avatar that suits your feeling. I am now striving hard to show Lit the true me.

( Posted by: peterpaulino [Member] On: August 28, 2004 )

The real you!
Peter dear...Lit and I already know the real you.
It leaps out of the page whether you are writing or just commenting!

This was absolutely lovely and endearing. I'm proud to call you "son"!


( Posted by: Beatrice Boyle [Member] On: August 28, 2004 )

Peter avatar
Peter I do have an avatar that I just love. It is on the forums but try as I might I can Not get it to come up on I have lost the original file and can't remember where I got it, so till I can work out how to transfer, I am avatar-less.

( Posted by: huni [Member] On: August 28, 2004 )

Ma Bea
Thank you very much Ma, mothers often know their son best. Thank you for being proud of me always, I should tell you I am proud of you too as my Ma here in Lit, and now I am going back to read 'Emily'!

Huni, oh, maybe you could copy your avatar in the forums, I think that'll work, straight from the pages to a 'photoshop' or 'paint'.

( Posted by: peterpaulino [Member] On: August 28, 2004 )

The Learning
Peter, how wonderful to be able to peek into your world. I am so thankful you turned to pen and paper, you are such a joy to read! I caught your comment on Huni's poem, you are so bad! ;0)


( Posted by: nae411 [Member] On: August 28, 2004 )

Nae, Lucie, Tina
Thank you all for being there, my dear friends. Now I can fight the world because all of you are such an inspiration, each one of you a brave woman with a great principle. I love you all, too and Namaste.

( Posted by: peterpaulino [Member] On: August 28, 2004 )

missed reading

How poignant, insightful, and moving you are in this work. It's sugar, "a necessary sweet," indeed. Well put! ;)


( Posted by: idomis [Member] On: August 30, 2004 )

Idomis and Claire
Thank you very much.
~Idomis for liking that particular part.
~Claire, I am glad the bright side of this piece shone upon you. ;D

( Posted by: peterpaulino [Member] On: August 30, 2004 )

A really cool, moving, reflective poem, Peter. It's spartan use of syllables, I think, is what makes it so hypnotic. Loved it!

( Posted by: Viper9 [Member] On: September 2, 2004 )

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