Poetry by | May 5, 2019

There’s a vein – blue
running across your face
a striking contrast
to your pale skin
like grains to a marble
add character to
an otherwise expressionless
mask you wear playing
a geisha China doll

There’s a light – green
flashing in front of me
a persistent signal
to my eager hands
like trained lab rats
my fingers trace
the contours of your face
which is smooth and gentle
and cold and dead

There’s a thought – red
ready for a full stop]
an intention killed
before it can free
trapped desires and
demons from pretty boxes
your dwelling place
in most cases outlined
by faraway glances

Rory Ian is a physics teacher.


Poetry by | May 6, 2018

as the afternoon breeze

gently brushes the reflection

of the early moon on

the surface of this puddle

as it distorts the image

which is the face you make

as you held your breath

when you came

as we made love

in the yellows and oranges

golds and silver linings

painted the treads

as you slowly crawl

out of bed with the sun

you finish this affair

almost eagerly by yourself

Be still, katingon.

Rory Ian Bualan is a physics teacher at Nazarbayev Intellectual School in Petropavlovsk, Kazakhstan. He is from Mati, Davao Oriental.

Tulo Ka Matang

Poetry by | April 26, 2015

nitugpa sa bulak
pako di mabuklat
nawagtang ang kiat
sa hangin mukalat
nilupad kapaspas
nikirig ang lawas
gibitbit ang hawak
sa tubig gilamat
ang apan niambak.

Rory Ian Bualan usa ka OFW sa Indonesia.

Attack on Words

Poetry by | August 10, 2014

I am beneath your words
I climb up
Holding on to each word you say
I cling
To the nice adjectives
I am beneath your words
I stand up
With my chin up I look straight
I stare
On paragraph walls
I am beneath your words
I run fast
Sprinting towards the blockade
I hit hard
Your privilege speech –
down it came
yo ur
p er
su as

Rory is a physics teacher in an international school in Indonesia.


Poetry by | March 2, 2014

It is not fun, you know,
standing here in Claveria
with the jeepney barkers
mocking my uncertainty —
shouting names of places
where to go.

Where should I go?

It is funny, you know,
when vendors offer sympathy
besides sliced fruits or fried skins
and you nod, force a smile because
you don’t eat street food.
But then you go look around
the streets of Bolton, San Pedro,
even Torres to satisfy a craving
for crabs and eat-all-you-cans.

Perhaps, perhaps.

But them barkers’ voices ring loud:
Sasa! Panacan! SM Lanang! Toril!

Then, red light.
You cross the street,
walk aimlessly.
Hands in pocket,
jacket zipped up,
your steps doubtful.
Then you feel:
it’s time to go.

But where?!

Rory is a Physics teacher eating, praying and loving in Indonesia.

Thanks, Mayor

Poetry by | July 7, 2013

Nagpa-fireworks si Mayor.
Nagpakaon, nangimbita
Nagdala ug artista.

Bag-ong elect si Mayor.
Nagpalabas, nagpasikat
Ang army giimbita.

Nang-invite si Mayor.
Alfred Gatchalian, etc.
Kapamilya diay siya.

Nag-”thank you” si Mayor.
Sa namoto, sa kalaban
Nagpalapad ug papel.

Nag-speech si Mayor.
Plano sa kalambuan
Nangayo ug pagsabot.

Nag-end ang speech.
Si Mayor nilingkod.
Milabas ang mga dancers.
Nisayaw si Mayor.
Palakpak mga tawo.
Salamat! Salamat!
Mitugtog ang band.
80’s disco ang peg;
Nanayaw mga tao.
Lima, unom, pito ka kanta.
Pagaw na ang vocalist

Last song for the night:
”Boys do fall in love -”
Mayor is out of sight
Slipped through the VIP pass…
So the party ended –

And there goes my vote:
One night of band music,
school girls dance mix,
local showbiz celebrities
and transvestite hosts.

Next election na pud.

Rory is a physics teacher who likes to write poems.

Walking Alone in Ilustre

Poetry by | December 16, 2012

You stand there,

fixed with an intention

as I walk with uncertainty,

looking for street lights

in this cold, dark eleven thirty air.

The damp cement casts 

small, vertical white clouds,

breathing out the day’s frustrations 

telling me it’s empty; save for some 

taxis lining up for a late catch.

Tall, intimidating walls of 

this giant we hail ‘GS’ greet

me in a nonchalant way.

And my feet carried me to its

lonely, awkwardly angled corners – 

where fixed intentions meet.

Taking a sharp turn, 

I walk towards the
almost-erased street sign.

There I stand feeling pierced

by sharp, eager eyes probing.

But then, there you are.

You with your intention, 

heading toward me.


Poetry by | June 17, 2012

Today, I decide to become
a co-creator of God.
I decide when mornings come,
and the colors they will fashion.
I decide how the skies will be
in the dawn, noon, dusk and
during the last part of the day.
I decide where the winds blow,
what songs they will sing and
which blades of grass to bend.
I decide how water comes forth,
from the sky as rain, hail, or snow;
from deep within the earth or from
the vast depths of the teal ocean.
Yes, I decide on the color of things.
I decide how the flowers and trees
greet the daylight and moonlight;
what colors they wear, what hue
or tint of this and that; I decide that.
I decide how loud or soft the birds’
singing, the animals’ calling and
the thunder’s clapping, I decide.
I decide which nation leads and
which ones bow to its glory!
I decide who and what will come
to pass: life, time, or money.
I decide on peoples’ dreams,
their will, what future they’ll keep.
I decide on fate; I decide.
And oh, I decide on love.
I decide on who gives it,
receives it, needs it, wants it!
Even the glitters on a butterfly’s wing,
the order of the afternoon rainbow’s skin,
the number of drops of the scheduled rain,
I decide on that!
I decide on creation.
I decide what ends, what begins,
what moves, what sits still!
I decide this, yes, I decide.
Today, I decide to become –
a creator of
g  o  d.

Thirtysumthing, physics preacher, poem writer, instagram avid user (which disqualifies me as a photographer/DSLR expert) and lover.