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This man’s bohemian

and the weird symphonies-

the whining of fan blades;

the sharp screams of children

vibrating on the window pane;

and the crackling sound of

my bones tired of standing up,

shuffling back and forth

turning to see the bed

tempting me to lay down,

get lazy and do nothing.

 

And the sight of garbage can

nudging me about the litter

which keeps on piling up

and the sink flowing over

of soiled dishes. The hour

and the minute hand,

my body clock’s monotony

winding around the disc.

I wait and wait

when the light changes

from blue to augur yellow.

My head’s been heavy

and sleep won’t come.

 

It feels strange. Someone

speaks in a muffled voice

and you float being chased

around in dreams. Awake,

its bitter after-taste linger,

through the drab grey day.

The eerie whisper of shadows

on the white-washed wall

bouncing like myriad echoes

slower than the speed of sound.

And I can see vague visions-

on this mind’s glass screen

etching tattoos bleeds

the insomniac in me.

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The sanctum smelled of incense and human sweat.

An airless space reverberating whispers of prayer.

She folded a piece of cloth with the holy verse

dipped in animal blood. This is an amulet.

For someone who is afraid of thieves.

 

She knelt across the table ready with her questions

“Do you need a husband? Do you need a wife?”

“Do you need another? Do you need a child?”

“The lines on your palm says you will be rich.”

“The card says you will find your true love.”

 

Then she brought in her candles, started

to light it with a match. She began to read

from a withered book- in its brittle leaves

filled with strange symbols of spells and magic.

Summoning wisdom from the invisible.

 

“Someone wants to harm you, better beware.”

“Keep this stone in a bottle and hide it in your closet.”

She has seen it all- customers come and go

leaving her money for that token of gratitude.

And accepting them as a way of getting by.

 

She keep on caressing the old crystal ball,

ignoring the signs of her grey and thinning hair.

She believed she has power to prevail death.

But  time slowly creeps like a thief in the night

when she can no longer be speaking about

 

the future.

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His face is a map of caravan years,

weathering the desert sun and

the seasonal flood by the riverbank

which brings in salt for a modest living.

 

As the sand windblown and collected

in the seams of his linen turban,

anxiety constantly snake through

the mazes of his troubled mind.

 

He needed money.

 

Like how the puff of smokes

from his cigarette escapes

are fragments of his ancestor’s past

excavated from walls of antiquity.

 

He is mulling to leave the landscape

of ancient ruins, the mud-dried bricks

and clayed houses and desert wilderness

for the glowing lights of the city.

 

The mosque signals the call to prayer

and he sat down on his cushion

unfurling a sheaf of parchment,

reading through his mangled glasses

 

the fragile scribbling of faded ink.

On its brittle yellowing pages appears

like gold. This manuscript he wants to sell

to tourists he is waiting to pass by.

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The sweet girl has finally became a complete woman. A mother. As I watch little Rian in the webcam, kicking the football toy held by his mom, I cannot hold back the tears from welling my eyelids. I am so happy with this friend who once had the sweetest smile, with her good-naturedness and hearty laugh. I miss her so greatly.

So many years had passed. Thousand miles apart from islands to islands. Friends do come and go. But there will always be some friendship that is meant to last.  Whenever I remember  Che, my memories keep flooding in with happy thoughts. Of clowning around. Of joking around. Of running around like horses out in the playground. Of mimicking our classroom teachers’ usual mannerisms.  Of talking loudly along the hallway as if there is no tomorrow.

The zest for life has never left from her eversince. Or is it, really her lifestyle to be happy even if things around her are less likely ideal? I never had seen her crying over petty things.  I never had seen her quarelling with somebody else. She is our Mother Teresa.  She lead us to be more spiritual. She beams with positivism.

She just enjoy being young and free. But early on she has a well-defined purpose to become a better person. You will expect her looking always at the bright side of things. Being around her, is such an oasis, a place where you can have a respite among the oddities of life.

Her faith in God has somehow lead her to be a wonderful mom to Rian.  It never had in any moment dampen her will to be happy.  Her happiness somehow reflects on how Rian manage to kick his football toys in sheer enjoyment. Her jolly spirit is indelibly marked down on Rian’s personality.  And in her child’s eyes I see the happy kid I was once had the chance to become friends with. In her child’s giggly laugh I hear the infectious enthusiasm that she always had throughout the years.

These few frame images  in the webcam, shown how well my friend has become. But how well she had always been true to herself. And how wonderful person she had always become. And the fear, that maybe she too has changed immensibly, dissipated in the thin jolly air of laughter and joking around.

I know someday Rian will be proud to have a mom like her. I know someday Rian will realize how beautiful life is.  Sooner or later, he too will be one of those kids running around like horses out in the playground. And for that he will always be thankful of what he become a happy kid.

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Consumer nowadays had become subjected to a more deliberate persuasion from the cyberworld. With the advent of high technological advances in the field of communication, millions of people are having been reached by e-advertising and e-commerce.  The Internet has become a portal to unlock possibilities in the cyberspace and make it as an accessible medium to promote a wider range of products ranging from personal care to educational certifications.  The distances have been obscured. Age is not a matter to be considered.  And this capability to connect has empowered a lot of people to demand for more and more entertaining modes of communication.

Behaviourally, the trending of businesses and its processes have become anchored to enticing and persuading consumers to utilize this capability.  Consumers are now fast becoming computer literates wherein they can compare product quality on the basis of what they can actually see and feel in just a click of the mouse.  This pseudo-power to decide what fits their economy and personality has become for them a  potent strategy to search for a much superior product or service being proliferately advertised.

On one hand, major businesses and some creative organizations has fully exacted its masterplan on the consumer.  They have formulated, created and machinated a different kind of strategy to monopolize and economize on the consumer’s voracious appetite for information and technological revolution.  They have provided a platform wherein the consumer can participate in the making and concept building of a product, since the consumer has this hidden desire to initiate a different take on things. 

For example, the growing trend of virtual websites catering for people expression and niche commercialism has sprouted over a period of time.  People loves to share, connect and  communicate like Friendster, MySpace, Blogger, Yahoo and MSN to name a few. It has provided effective avenues for people to meet and exchange idea. 

Niche commercialism means a product or service promotion mechanism for just a select group of people sharing a common interest.  It is somewhat intimate in the joint exploration of a craft, games,  hobby, art, how to’s and that sort of things.  No wonder, in many affluent societies, its the "in" thing.  It has become a powerful specialist branding tool for some emerging businesses nowadays such as Starbucks for example.

Based on a study, sixty percent of trendsetters and 33 percent of mainstream 14-34 year olds have a social networking pages on the Internet. These synthetic worlds has about 10 to 20 million inhabitants, where the truth about catching this big bulk of a market to display have put many businesses frantically mad about e-advertising and e-commerce. 

Here are the latest statistics where you can find how some of this so-called virtual worlds exist and command loyalty among  consumers to connect like a regular umbilical cord. 

Guildwars- 2 million members
Ragnarok Online- 17 million
World of Warcraft- 5.5 million
Virtual Magic Kingdom- 1million
MySpace- 68 million
MSN Spaces-30 million
MSN Messenger-100 million
Yahoo Messenger- 63 million

In the universe of this virtual worlds, it has often been told that  consumers dictate the shape of the future. Or it may be the other way around?  The future shapes the consumer to become a cyber animal.  Herein, this so-called pesudo-power  is being demonstrated three- dimensionally and an enough reason for people to  abandon realities.  Such like In the film "the Matrix",  it is no different to the reality that is happening now in the way  our culture has been transformed.  Multi-universe of consumers that keeps on creating their little self-made worlds. And has allowed themselves to be subjected from the intoxicating rule of avatar kings and queens of the Internet.   

 

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Each rainy day on this side of my life is a quiet and lovely moment.  Where palette of memories and aspirations are painted on that fragile canvass of my mind.  It is a fine time where the four corners of my isolation will become the universe and the walls become the vast horizons of my own imagination.

How simple are those days of hoping and drifting to spaces I am longing to go.  And the days of dreaming stretched like long shadows in the past moving forward.  And they have become partly a reality now. 

I am longing to go home to the place where I am safe from the vanities of this world.  To my Wuthering Heights. To my manor houses and beautiful bridges.  To commune with Robert Frost and Edgar Allan Poe.  And have a romance with  Sara Teasdale and Emily Dickinson.  To view each sunsets with Jane Austen.  And listen to the rhythms of Phil Collins.  Or hear the piano symphonies of Richard Clayderman. 

Here in this four corners of my sanity, that the expectations of the world extinguishes.  Here in are the murmurings of the soul are heard audibly and each emotions are truthfully expressed.  Here in no one will ever enter to criticize my inner fragilities.  And where shedding of my tears is allowed. Here in the loneliness is a friend and not an enemy.  Here in, my tears are the proof of courage.

I will watch the sunset and salute to eternity.  In each farewell is a golden ray.  Where glory is never lost but always remembered.

I will not fear the night, because the raven will sing the sweet song to lull me to my sleep.  It will bring me back to the good friends and people I have lost to the day.  Yes, I will not fear the night, where the stars of Orion will be on guard to watch over me as long as the day breaks.  And angels await there basking in the dawn. 

I am coming home again. Coming home to my dwelling place that comforts this world-weary traveller.  As if the universe of my humanity will be there to welcome their once lost child.

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