Rose Marie Juan Austin

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Cruel Days Did Pay

The time that I first saw the light
Sun turned into darkness
Of the billows of smoke
From the warship
Lifeless bodies sprawled
Tora, Tora, Tora
A shout from one of the Axis Powers.

The moon did not shine
Stars were hidden by the dusty clouds
Tremors shook the earth
Hunger, thirst and nakedness
Enveloped my childhood.

In my youth
As tender as the rose bud
I just hold on to dear life
While my friends danced
Laughed out loud
Turned nights
As their happiest lives.

Like an owl
I made nighttime
Into daytime
Used my hands
Until they were tender and swollen
Pounded my mind
Until it was numb.

Same as the ants
I worked during hot and rainy days
Hoarded all things
I can hold
Trash of others
I made them
A mountain of fortune
Clothes that I have worn
Were all hand -me- down
Tears that came down my eyes
I made them
My daily table salt.

Now stars are hiding no more
Crowned with laurels of my own
But I will never
No, never
Intend to sit on them
Afraid to let them go
I continue
The cycle of my life
Haggled over every last dime
To ensure
That cruel days
Will not take control.


Copyright 2018, Rose Marie Juan- Austin, All Rights Reserved

Topic(s) of this poem: life

Poem Submitted: Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Poem Edited: Wednesday, January 24, 2018

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

Cruel days did pay is a favorite line ofmy mother. She lost her mother, a great teacher to war when she was just 3 days old.

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Comments about Cruel Days Did Pay by Rose Marie Juan Austin

  • robert m smith (4/26/2019 1:03:00 AM)

    Just a beautifully constructed poem. Imaged so well.

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  • Valsa GeorgeValsa George (3/25/2019 10:45:00 AM)

    When the pendulum of life swings, ups and downs also will come in circular rotation. Never be depressed by the trials and tribulations of life. Face them with composure. In the same way when we have reached a safe height, don’t sit and relax forever. See each rung of the ladder as a means to climb higher. Only such people will be able to move from progress to progress. Top marks!

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  • Valsa GeorgeValsa George (3/25/2019 10:42:00 AM)

    This is the soliloquy of one who has passed through very bitter times. But hard times will not stay
    forever. Normally as there is a dawn after each dusk, hard times will be replaced by pleasant times. This hope pulls us on. But once when bright days come, never expect them to continue all the time.

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  • Valsa GeorgeValsa George (3/25/2019 10:36:00 AM)

    Tears that came down my eyes
    I made them
    My daily table salt.

    A powerful and touching delineation of a life tossed by fate! It has the power to shake any hard mind. It is the saga of one who turned adversities into possibilities! This poem gives hope to many who are weighed down by the burdens of life. Excellent presentation.

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  • Dr Tony BrahminDr Tony Brahmin (12/2/2018 6:02:00 AM)

    Afraid to let them go
    I continue
    The cycle of my life
    Haggled over every last dime
    To ensure- - - - cruel days shall not come. my wish and my prayer. a very fine poem depicting the sufferings.. tony

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  • Kumarmani MahakulKumarmani Mahakul (7/17/2018 2:22:00 PM)

    A touching write. To miss mother for an infant of of only 3 days is sad and cruel, but we have nothing to do as we all are the slaves of our fates. Beautifully penned.

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  • Robert Murray SmithRobert Murray Smith (5/10/2018 11:51:00 PM)

    A beautiful composition. Many memorable stanzas.+++10

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  • Sylvia Frances ChanSylvia Frances Chan (5/1/2018 1:28:00 AM)

    Part TWO: True fascinating poem I have read time and again. Very impressive creation of poetry. A most magnificent poem with a touch of irony but melancholy reigns here. A myriad of tens for the Vote. God Bless You and your family abundantly, Mrs. Juan-Austin, poetess with the sharp mind.

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  • Sylvia Frances ChanSylvia Frances Chan (5/1/2018 1:25:00 AM)

    Part ONE: This poem most tender and clearest worded, touched my heart, which has never known this war as described. In reality, haven't known any war. But even though I haven't known the atmosphere here, the events and occurrences as described, I can feel as my own experience. This is my grandest compliment for you, Mrs. Juan-Austin, this poem tells more than our eyes can see and our ears can hear.

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  • Edward Kofi LouisEdward Kofi Louis (2/9/2018 2:11:00 PM)

    My daily table salt. Thanks for sharing this poem with us.

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    Rose Marie Juan-austinRose Marie Juan-austin(2/9/2018 10:15:00 PM)

    Glad you liked it, Edward. Thank you.

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  • Yiyan HanYiyan Han (1/24/2018 2:47:00 PM)

    This is well written poetic biography
    Of your dear mother......heart felt suffering.

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    Rose Marie Juan-austinRose Marie Juan-austin(1/24/2018 3:34:00 PM)

    I feel honored, Yinyan. Thank you for the great comment and visit.

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  • Chris EmbrickChris Embrick (1/24/2018 12:46:00 PM)

    Your poems touch the soul. Those who do not choose war are often the ones who suffer most. A poignant write. Thank you. 10+++++

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    Rose Marie Juan-austinRose Marie Juan-austin(1/24/2018 3:31:00 PM)

    Thank you so much for your heartwarming comment, Chris.

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  • Dr Dillip K SwainDr Dillip K Swain (1/24/2018 3:26:00 AM)

    The cycle of my life
    Haggled over every last dime
    To ensure
    That cruel days
    Will not take control.....epitome of your poem! Liked the use of simile in fourth stanza! Excellent!

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    Rose Marie Juan-austinRose Marie Juan-austin(3/3/2018 5:52:00 AM)

    A great comment, Dr. Dillip Thank you very much.

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  • Bernard F. AsuncionBernard F. Asuncion (1/24/2018 12:33:00 AM)

    Rose Marie, such a touching poem and inspiring too.. a huge 10+++

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    Rose Marie Juan-austinRose Marie Juan-austin(3/3/2018 5:12:00 AM)

    An inspiring comment too, Bernard. Thank you.

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  • Akhtar Jawad (1/23/2018 11:25:00 PM)

    To loose mother for an infant of of only 3 days, is sad and cruel, but we all are the slaves of our fates. Who writes our DNA and for what He writes, nobody can explain. A touching poem.

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    Rose Marie Juan-austinRose Marie Juan-austin(3/3/2018 5:10:00 AM)

    An amazing comment, Thank you, Akhtar.

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