Language Barrier

i’ll carve our names on a tree bark

with long-twig runes of elder futhark.

dead language, ancient sweethearts

and no one would know it was us.

unless someone appeared out of the blue,

figuring out what to do

with those markings made blissfully,

decoding how we weren’t meant to be

and antiquity shall lay eyes on me

for our love is not too prominent to see.


i think we are hiding behind metaphors

when there is no reason for,

and neither one of us is good at hyperbole

when our hearts talk, it’s just a folly.

but we can speak with eloquence,

shower ourselves with big words

until to the point, we would not understand,

“why does this language sounded dead to me?”

maybe your shallow feelings can’t be freed

and mine, perhaps, was stuck in that tree.


still, i keep a library of what you would say,

composed of poetic remarks and terms of gold

i would want to collect and decode

every witty expression or sentence,

but it’s tough to comprehend.

all the time, i knew his phrases,

i’m just a dead language translator

going through phases.



NOTE: The long, doozy title of this short story is called “The Parable of the Painter Who Never Paints” And it’s actually a parable, there’s definitely a hidden message in this.

Plus, I was inspired by my own poem called “The Untold Tale of the Painter Who Never Paints From the Optimist’s Perspective.

Nevertheless, I wrote this story for our English class’ project and we were tackling a topic about parables, fascinating.

Didn’t get a perfect score, but I’m totally alright with it.

  There was a painter who never paints. He always proclaimed his artistic values, even though, he is reluctant to paint a single being. Every time he sees a blank canvas, it burdens him as it reflects on him and his inability to paint. As a composed person, he accepts his own incompetence as he held his paintbrush closely to his heart- his opportunity shall be worth the wait. 

  The painter attended a masquerade wherein he recluse himself from the crowd. While he enjoys the solitary output of his life, someone unexpectedly interferes with his solitude; startling him. 

  “You must be a painter! Please do paint a portrait of me,” said the sophisticated vagabond.

  The painter’s eyes were wide with disbelief, he almost forgot about the fact that he is a painter. (Well, sort of.) Then, he sighed and explain his inabilities, sincerely.

  The sophisticated vagabond pats his back and philosophically enunciate the certain aspects of life. He also states his adventures and his great achievements with many stories fit for a king, despite being a homeless person, he considered himself a wanderer of freedom.

  After hearing the life story of the vagabond, the painter was crestfallen and became insecure. The vagabond felt a pinch of remorse as he noticed him. He, then, encourages the painter that he would one day be the greatest painter who ever lived.

  All that inspirational talk was overheard by the lady with the top hat, she suddenly became infatuated by the vagabond. Her oblivious-self started to arise- coming to the days of being naive with romantic pleasures. 

  When the vagabond and the painter went to their separate paths after a great colloquy, the lady appeared in front of him, take his hands and dragged him in the middle of the masquerade dance. He was in a state of confusion at first, but he decided to play along. The vagabond and the lady- a trusting pair of strong bodies, lacking in worries, performing “Pas de Deux.” 

  When their eyes met each other, her heart was racing and she was prepared to kiss him. However, a thought from the back of her mind was preventing her from doing it as she realized how oblivious she was with her purity. The lady quickly apologized to the vagabond who chuckled and compliment her dancing skills.

  Out of the eyes, there was a misanthrope who has been observing the two and mumbles to herself about how she despised them due to their childish acts that represent humanity and the insufferable ignoramus.

  After the lady and the vagabond waved farewell to one another, the lady noticed the misanthrope and approached her as she was seemingly lonely in the crowd. Suddenly, the lady grabbed the misanthrope’s hands and danced around the room.

  The misanthrope thought that it was an unpleasant thing to do, but as they kept on dancing, she found herself enjoying the music and following the rhythm which the hate could ever eradicate, but she chose not to expose such hatred.


  When the misanthrope went out to get some fresh air, she felt someone rumbling through her purse, when she turned her head, it was a gentleman.

  The gentleman tipped his top hat, “My apologies, m’lady.”

  She has an intuition that he is obviously trying to steal her money. Instead of aggressively exposing her loathe like she would often do to mortals, she generously gives the money that he was trying to snatch. The gentleman gave her an odd look as she walks away.

  “What a magnanimous human being,” the gentleman mumbles to himself as he counts the money.

  To his surprise, she gave him more than what he expected to have. With his extra money, he felt the urge to be benevolent to others in order to get rid of the guilt that has been stuck in him for almost eternity.

  As he walks along the footpath, his attention was caught by the girl who doesn’t have enough expenses to buy her meal. Looking at his money, he walk towards her and gave her the money. The famished vigorous girl was surprised and thanked him repeatedly.

  “It was my pleasure,” said the gentleman as he leaves.

  The famished girl bought her meal with a refreshment and she sat on a bench while she ravenously eats her food. Although she is seemingly healthy, her stomach was hungry while her mind wanders off thinking about the endless possibilities of having unlimited food.

  Then, a man with one and a half leg(s) came and sat beside her as the two watched the runners sticking to one another, running as if they are completing a marathon. The girl looked at the crippled man, he was wearing a running attire. 

  With curiosity, she asked, “Why aren’t you running with them?”

   The crippled man showed his leg(s), “Well, isn’t it obvious? Plus, I would rather sit here than run with those fools, I need to relax.”

  “You certainly are missing an opportunity, here take this,” the girl handed him a refreshment as she left him alone- thinking that he would reflect on his ne’er-do-well self.

  The crippled man drank his refreshment and stand on his two feet, he realised that an achievement would come at the other side if he would take a step. He began running funnily. Then, passersby saw him and began cheering and chanting. The crippled man felt the wind of courage as he break into a sprint. There were people clapping and putting their fists into the air in delight. Except for one, the painter who never paints. Seeing the crippled runner reminds him of a blank canvas and his insecurities came back to break him. He wishes he was as industrious as the crippled runner who sets as an image of someone who would never give up.

  Feeling hopeless, he wanders off and began reflecting. He realizes that if he were to paint the world, the universe, and the people- a blank canvas would be the only thing existing, his reluctancy does not make him self-absorbed and he knew, personally, he can’t paint. He’ll still call himself a painter, though, even if the people mocked or bashed him. Surely, he is not an arrogant one, he is not selfish and neither is he a hypocrite. 

  Because he too was never painted picture perfect.