Carlo Rey Lacsamana

Carlo Rey Lacsamana

Carlo Rey Lacsamana is a Filipino writer, poet, and artist born and raised in Manila, Philippines. Since 2005, he has been living and working in the Tuscan town of Lucca, Italy. He regularly contributes to journals in the Philippines, writing politics, culture, and art. His works have appeared in Esquire Magazine, The Citron Review, Drunkmonkeysweb, Amsterdam Quarterly, Lumpen Journal (London), The Wild World (Berlin), Literary Shanghai and in other numerous magazines. His short story Toulouse has been recorded as a podcast story in the narrative podcast Pillow Talking (Australia). Follow him on Instagram@carlo_rey_lacsamana

Mornings in San Terenzo


Waking up at the seaside
Palm trees opening doors in the sky
The day flares up yellow on the hills
Tenderness a phoenix emerging from yesterday’s ashes
Sun scattering its golden dust over the sea
My heart still in the sunshine
has stopped yearning for elsewhere
I spread my arms as wide as a balcony
That welcomes everything that is there and not there
There is grace in losing one’s way
In not finding the answer to the riddle
Who knows the colors in the bottom of the sea?
Who knows the heart except that which it deserved and betrayed
At the tail of the seagull’s flight the music of everything we loved
And failed to love us back
I open my palms and receive the unblinking gaze of old men
Who make the past a staff to lean on taking each day as a homecoming
And discover once again the magnanimous scent of bread
The coffee in the morning
I believe in starting all over again and in
Finding things to wonder about the cactus the blue berries in the cup
The rocks the orange trees
Failing to understand I come closer to the freshness of things
Losing my words silence comes to me running with a dictionary of praise in hand
What are we here for if not for this moment alone
What are we to take if not this abundance that grows in every void
I never wanted the answers to be easy
I must climb the steep hill to reach the town
To view the horizon to see one’s labor of love disappear across the sea
And be humbled by this
Our hands are too small for so much beauty as the morning
That we must give and keep on giving
Even waking up is a kind of gift that we receive and must give
A chance for love to find its way in the sun-tanned arms of our loneliness
In the clarity of beginnings in sorrow’s ochre light
In the words that ignite light


The morning wants us to be nothing
But to grow quiet as the landscapes
To be aimless as the birds lightning
Through the window
It wants us to notice neither
The good nor the bad
Only the untold gentleness
That never disappear
I am a guest in this beauty that cannot be mine
I take off my shoes
And strip my heart of all desires
I submerge my prayer in the waves
I say nothing ask for nothing
In a world that keeps on talking and taking
To be astonished to the point of stillness
Is a kind of praise
Beauty alone saves


In your still green eyes
The boats are passing by
I see my life approaching your tomorrow

Poetry in this post: © Carlo Rey Lacsamana
Published with the permission of Carlo Rey Lacsamana