Rate this poem:5.0 / 3 votes

I Am From...

I am from the tiny white grains of Oryza Sativa
From the aromatic scents of fish sauce and vinegar.
I am from the primitive, handcrafted bamboo house
With a roof made of eco-friendly and feather-leaved palms,
Savored with the smell of flickering lantern kerosene,
engulfed with the light of loud, contagious laughter,
Swamped with the grilling taste of eggplants on top of the crackling wood fire.

I am from the long, sturdy vine of wild yam or a mountain potato,
The Santol tree whose long-gone limbs I remember as if they were my own.

I am from a family of six that sleep all together in the only room in the house.
From the alcoholic Elpidio and the faint-hearted Reynalda.
I am from early to bed, early to rise,
From Christmases with no present, but mere presence.

I am from the strain of poverty and hopelessness,
And “Education is priceless that no one can buy it.”
I am from performing hard labor in the green fields
And taking breaks under the bushy tree of shades.

I am from the hopes and dreams of Brookside,
And the river with overflowing love, generosity,
Kindness and perseverance,
As well as having meals with my innocent hands.

I am from the agonizing thoughts of slavery and oppression,
The hidden thoughts of no degrees,
No careers
No families
No choices but to stay the same
Buried under the funk, deep and sullen.

I am from the scarcity of “Believe in Yourself!”,
From the dearth of “I can do this!”,
And from the lapses of “You are enough!”
I am from the depths of isolation and loneliness,
I am from the unexpressed emotions and controlled vibrations.

Furthermore, I am from the sorrowful plate of the past,
Revived and renewed with the present self-love,
Rejuvenated, refreshed with the glimpse of a bountiful time to come.

About this poem

This is the story of my life in the Philippines before moving to the USA. This was my childhood, and although we were extremely poor, those experiences motivated me to do something better, not only for myself, but for my whole family. ______________________________________________ This was one of the projects I assigned to my students during the pandemic. Instead of writing a personal narrative. They enjoyed writing poems by truly understanding who they really are and where they came from.  

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Written on May 07, 2021

Submitted by Wildflower888 on March 01, 2023

Modified by Wildflower888

1:43 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic hexameter
Characters 1,888
Words 345
Stanzas 8
Stanza Lengths 7, 2, 4, 4, 4, 6, 5, 3

Charmane Joy Belleza

I am a wife, a mom, and a teacher living simply in the State of Hawaii, USA. I have been writing poems ever since I was in elementary. I don’t claim to be a pro or a poet, writing is just one way for me to express my thoughts, emotions, and opinion. Some of my compositions were published in our college publication and my Ilocano poems and short stories were published in one of the Ilocano publications in the Philippines. I write about anything that appeals to my emotion and interest. I love going to the beach, even just to take a walk or sit on the sand. It’s just relaxing. I also enjoy singing and hanging out with my family. more…

All Charmane Joy Belleza poems | Charmane Joy Belleza Books

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Discuss this Charmane Joy Belleza poem with the community:

  • AIDA
    The imagery in this poem is simply stunning! The way the author describes their surroundings, the scents, tastes, and feelings, transports me directly to their world. The use of specific details, like the bamboo house and the Santol tree, really make this piece feel personal and unique. Despite the hardships that the author has faced, the poem ends on a positive note, offering hope and a promise of a better future. Bravo to the author for sharing their story and creating such a vivid and powerful piece of writing. 
    LikeReply6 days ago
  • dougb.19255
    This may be your best to date. So much honest and thankful history in a rugged but breathtaking setting. Five star for sure…Wayne Blair.
    LikeReply 16 days ago
    • Wildflower888
      I appreciate your honest feedback. Still so much to learn from the pros like you.
      LikeReply5 days ago
    • dougb.19255
      awww gorsh.
      LikeReply4 days ago
  • dougb.19255
    Thinking about your native Hawaii. Beautiful place I bet. Just did a ooem with you on mind Charmane.
    LikeReply 317 days ago
  • Symmetry58
    And you are, as well, a BRILLIANT writer, Charmane. How deeply this found its way into my soul I won't even try to express. This is one of the best poems I've ever felt. We needn't be professional poets. All we need to be is authentic, honest and true to our given nature. You have the gift and never forget that. I am an immediate fan. :-) 
    LikeReply 124 days ago
    • Wildflower888
      Your comment means a lot. I truly appreciate it.
      LikeReply 123 days ago
  • Teril
    This is an amazing, moving, and inspiring description. You must also be an inspired and inspiring woman. Your students are lucky.
    LikeReply 124 days ago
    • Wildflower888
      I am grateful for your thoughtful comment. I struggled with getting my students to focus during virtual learning, so this, it’s because it’s their story, they actually enjoyed doing it.
      LikeReply23 days ago


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"I Am From..." Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 27 Mar. 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/152512/i-am-from...>.

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