Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Poems by Valorie Slaughter Bejarano


The following came from Dulce Capadocia. It is the manuscript of a poem by Filipino American writer, Valorie Slaughter Bejarano.
Writer's Bio: A poet/writer, Valorie Slaughter Bejarano was born in Cebu, Philippines on October 15, 1950. She grew up in the Los Angeles Filipino communicty. A self-proclaimed "Temple Street Brat," she attended Belmont High School and UCLA. Her writings were published in Journey of 100 Years: Reflections on the Centennial of Philippine Independence; Making Waves: An Anthology By and About Asian American Women: Urthkin; Electruim; Misc. Magazine; Ang Katipunan; and others. She wrote two chapbooks: Ladies First and Before the Sun Comes up. Valorie co-wrote two poetry shows: Voices from the Other Side of the Wall and Lovers Make the Worst Ex-Husbands.

Valorie co-edited two children's books: Seven Stories From Seven Sisters, and The Beginning and Other Asian Folktales, both PAWWA publications.

In November 1989, she was the only Asian woman and Los Angeles poet to perform with the celebrity cast of the Hollywood Women's Political Committee's Pro-Choice rally in Rancho Park as a representative of Asian Pacific's for Choice. She was also a member of Asian Pacific Women's Network and founding member of PAWWA (Philippine American Women Writers and Artists). And advocate for Amerasians, she founded Amerasian C.H.I.L.D. (Committee to help Include and Legalize Dependents) which helped many orphans in her beloved Cebu.

In her last years, Valorie was active in politics, serving as Parks and Recreation Commissioner for the City of Hungtington Park, California. She was editor and publisher of the Kiwanis Script.
She was awarded Woman of Courage for the Year 2000 under Assemblyman Marco Firebaugh. She was also the recipient of a Community Access Scholarship at the Writer's Program, UCLA-Extension.
Valorie passed away last November 26, 2000 at the age of 50.

Here are other poems by Valorie:



I remember the hot light

On that hot night

(Sometime in July '65)

And an acned blond

in a pink, plastic lei

Hustling old men & sailors

At 50cents a dance.

Things were really hopping

At Roseland.

It was a luau night and

We were cooking flip food

Adobo, rice, pancit & bibingka

$2 a plate no seconds

While Don Ho bubbled a little too loudly

Over a P.A. with only one good speaker

Booming from the corner behind me.

Manongs in their faded

Al Capone suits

Did the twist

Shuffling across the dance floor

Man they really had it

Things were hopping

Fingers popping

At Roseland.

WHY I'M NOT AFRAID OF THE DARK(Another in a Continuing Series of Life's Mysteries Explained)

I like the comfort of quiet dark rooms

Where shadows wrap themselves around you like lover's arms

Heavy with silence

Inviting you in for a small suicide in the afternoon.

No sighs, no tears

No intrusions.

The tyranny of time winds away

Spiraling back into the womb

Sanctuary inviolate as a fetal heartbeat

My eyes cat glow in the dark

My secrets are my own again

Safe in the breathless hush, my defenses fall away

Without the gauntlet, my hand is small and soft

Lacerated in brutal daylight.

There is kindness and healing in the dark


And sleep

Sweet, wine laced and opiated sleep.

(Valorie Bejarano
February 26, 1992


Picture of PAWWA (Philippine American Women Writers and Artists) - Valorie is third from left. 

Tags: Filipino American poetry #FilAmpoetry #FilipinoAmericanpoetry #filAmauthors 

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