Bonsai by Edith Tiempo

All that I love were with me tonight. Well, maybe not all, because that would mean the world. But it was enough. And it was a moment I can relive for always. Do you know the feeling of being swept away? Of just losing yourself completely, just for a moment, or for all time, or both? That’s how it was. And it was the perfect way to end my birthday month, and it was just fitting, to be standing in that room, filled with strangers and friends, of people I’ll never see again and music that will be with me forever.

So, here, a poem for celebrating:

Bonsai
Edith Tiempo

All that I love
I fold over once
And once again
And keep in a box
Or a slit in a hollow post
Or in my shoe.

All that I love?
Why, yes, but for the moment-
And for all time, both.
Something that folds and keeps easy,
Son’s note or Dad’s one gaudy tie,
A roto picture of a queen,
A blue Indian shawl, even
A money bill.

It’s utter sublimation,
A feat, this heart’s control
Moment to moment
To scale all love down
To a cupped hand’s size

Till seashells are broken pieces
From God’s own bright teeth,
And life and love are real
Things you can run and
Breathless hand over
To the merest child.

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~ by T. on March 31, 2010.

22 Responses to “Bonsai by Edith Tiempo”

  1. its a very interesting poem…especially to our literature…this is one of the most amazing piece of her life’s work…also one of the topics in our Phil. Lit. subject… ^_^

  2. NICE ONE..

  3. i will never get tired of reading and rereading this poem :)

  4. Always a favorite of mine.

  5. i like this poem as a future educator

  6. […] Edith Tiempo – Bonsai Favorite Lines: The whole poem is amazing. […]

  7. So honored to have participated in Edith Tiempo’s state funeral in Silliman University.

  8. Wow ang galing naman ni Ma’am Edith Tiempo gumawa ng mga tula….. hahahaha.. It’s all about LOVE..

  9. what is the meaning

  10. ,,,a very nice poem,,i relly like it.

  11. i love this poem …..

  12. sorry , i can’t understand ehh.. :'(

  13. simplicity beyond the implicitly brilliant structure.

  14. aw

  15. poem for niña

  16. nice …. :)

  17. [...] Reader Krissa Celestino the classic poem Bonsai, by the late National Artist Edith Tiempo. Read it here to find out why it’s a classic. [...]

  18. it’s a very nice poem:)

  19. Hats off to a great literary mother. May you rest in peace.

  20. oh wow….this is beautiful…thank you for sharing

  21. [...] she has made on my life — I didn’t go to the workshop, I wasn’t one of them. But one of her poems has been with me since I was twelve. She has my heart. I don’t know if I’ll ever be [...]

  22. Such a brilliant poet. You will be missed! :)

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