About the Poet:
Manette Yuzon Cortes, a Filipina, is the youngest child of Fortunata Aquino and Amado M Yuzon, the founder of the United Poets Laureate, International. She is married to Eduardo J Cortes with whom she has three sons all of whom are married.
Manette finished her degree in AB, Child Study at Maryknoll College which is run by American nuns; and her post graduate studies in MS, Guidance and Counseling from the De La Salle University. After her studies, she trained at the Teacher’s College in Columbia University for the intervention of language learning disabilities. She put up her private practice as an educational therapist, and as a counsling psychologist in Manila from 1993 until 2013. She was one of ten Awardees for Distinction for her work with children from Maryknoll College in 2003. In the near future, she intends to pursue her PhD in Clinical Psychology.
Writing poetry came rather late in Manette’s life. Her first passion is dancing as she was into ballet early on in life. In the early nineties, she switched to ballroom dancing, and eventually went into professional competitive dancing as a sport.
Her inspiration to write poetry started about a couple of years ago. It was spurred further by the demise of her older sister, Maria Remedios Brown last year. From then on, “poetry has become her line.”
The following is an excerpt from her poem “Seasons of Life” which she dedicated to her beloved sister, Maria, whom she fondly calls Dette.
“It was in the midst of autumn
When I was with you last
Weakened and thin
Your shadow almost unseen.
We trod through the fallen
Red leaves of autumn.
I spoke my heart.
‘Dette, I cannot imagine life without you.”
“No words escaped your softened countenance
As we walked through the leaves.
I held your right hand
My tears watered the ground,
Crying out, ‘Live on, please live on!”
“In the winter of life, at death’s door,
I held on to your right hand
Which I clung to in life.
My love for you, my dearest Sister,
No words can describe!
Now that you have finally reached Paradise,
Where there are no more seasons
Godspeed, dearest Dette,
Until we meet again!”
Poetry has become my line!
It pours out of my thoughts
Like a bottle of wine
It intoxicates me into a frenzy!
Of words with rhythm
Hyperboles and rhymes
Fall into place
Everything ends up sounding sublime!
When I was young
Poetry was an alien language
Stringing beautiful words together
Was akin to birth pangs!
After Dette passed on
My emotions were jolted
Into a passion beyond control
‘Twas then my mind became a decanter of rhyme!
A quiet witness to our lives
The first to see our faces in the morn
Over decades that our kids were born
Transformations kept rolling by!
Hello! A smile for you today!
Do you like my hair?
Am I your lady fair?
I’m off to a party what can you say?
Sigh! Puffy eyes blink at you!
The baby got sick
I lack sleep
Or at times, life can be so burdensome!
Oh quiet witness on the wall!
You’ve been there for so long.
Watching our lives and faces
Slowly changing along with time!
Although, more than the physical
You saw deep within our souls
The hope we had
Sometimes turn to mere despair.
Dear quiet friend, we hope and pray
That someday, through our eyes
You’ll fathom from the depth of our souls
The softened countenance of peace, contentment and quietude.
It is difficult beyond any wisdom
To fathom man-made smear.
We do not live in God’s Kingdom
Where everything is clear.
The ironies of life are confusing
Praying is all we
Yet trusting can be doubtful
So what is it that is true?
The ways of the Almighty are beyond understanding
Just as the back of a tapestry is mangled
Yet its beauty is finally revealed
When the front piece is fully dangled!
We have a choice:
To believe and live
Or to despair and not to receive
This is our decision.
Amidst all the confusion, be still!
Enjoy listening to the inner voice from within
For the sound of water is soothing
As God’s word to you is healing!
Life can be difficult to understand
People send confusing beats and sounds
Yet listen to the inner voice from within you
For it speaks of Peace without bounds!
I close my eyes and the child in me
Walks towards the bridge by the brook
To meet my dear Friend, a Man in robes
His head is covered with a shawl.
I run towards Him in eagerness!
To hug Him ever so tightly!
Tears of joy mixed with sadness
Flow down my eyes.
There are no words spoken between us
But His eyes seem to understand
He kneels down to reach this child within me
His eyes assure me that things will be all right!
I need not speak for He understands my sorrows
His eyes look deep into my soul
Healing takes place and
I am at peace once more!
His lips break into a smile and His eyes sparkle
As if to say, “I am with you always!”
I feel His mercy and my heart
leaps with joy!
Knowing that my Savior has spoken to me!