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I would like to remember

for the sake of remembrance

without fear of talking on corners

where echoes reverberate

within these four white walls.

 

I would like to visit a place

that is only half-remembered

where the streets are fading

against the foggy morning light.

 

Have they forgotten

or just being forgetful?

Frozen fingers of tree branches

on a bleak Friday morning.

Wisps of emotion numbed

by the chilly winds,

the pores of my skin

have forgotten to breathe.

 

The chances of longing

for somebody or someone

whom you have felt the time

when the blood on your veins

boil and burst with life. Inside

of you. That the world is

still a beautiful place, after all.

 

Just for this moment of expectation.

This soft prison cell will balm my soul

who wants to break out as a man

free like a butterfly

in its resplendent colors.

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We have to spend our whole life getting up

each morning and see the many suns

rising courageous from the horizon.

A simple life- who knows when to retire

at night time and hug long-time companions

called pillows and dreaming dreams.

 

There are episodes here, which send ripples

into our seemingly monotonous existence

everyday. And we have to wage battles

with boredom and her sisters- called mediocrity

and irrelevance. But not all were lost.

Somebody needs to learn how to befriend them.

 

Some may think that something was lacking,

but perhaps in the company of silence we find

orbs of thoughts in the usual grind of days

like the fowls of the air having simple cares.

Season after season. Day after day. Aged

but content to the simple things that matter.

 

The small country talks over the weather

and life in the farm begins with asking folks

how the young are doing these days at school.

The familiar warmth of seeing old friends at a gathering.

The joy of witnessing someone else’s milestones.

 

The farewells and well wishes when someone

is leaving our own little places to discover

the bigness of things. There goes a little prayer

and a hope that nothing is wrong when one decides

to stay and carry on doing their tasks each day.

 

We might spend our whole life thinking it’s good after all, 

though it has never been easy and there are rough times.

 

But it will never stop us believing that peace within

is the only dwelling place, our enduring shelter

when the day comes that we will never be able

to witness the sun and it has forgotten to rise.

 

In the darkness, we hope our soul in its own little spaces

can see the moon and stars light up the evening sky.

While the wind whispers- all is well, we’ll be calm as the sea.

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His past smells of a ditch

drying up its putrid stink

as stale as the street air.

It belongs to a smoggy neighborhood.

In the memory of tattered rags

flapping like flags on the clothesline.

As if dreams can be scavenged

out of the hilly mounds

of garbage, dumping its gifts

of someone else’s trash turning

into someone else’s fortune.

 

No one cared about armpits

getting wet and sour for hours,

as long as the bad odors

can promise him little money

to buy fish sauce for rice.

Sniffing heaven on earth-

little angel never complaining

about life, about the linger-

of those occasional whiffs

from the broken sewer.

Nor the rising sting of steam

emanating from his broken skin

pierced by the cruel sun.

 

Nor inhaling the dry cough of cars

and buses farted poison.

The way he exhaled yesterday

walking on a pavement slow,

feeling the throbbing locomotion

churn on his empty stomach.

A street urchin squeezing the crowd

like a fly hopping on a hope

above the grease and grime

that smeared a childhood.

 

He won’t cover the past

with today’s perfume

nor sanitize its images

in suds of detergent.

He’s not ashamed

of the scent of his past-

the smell of poverty

that swarmed his innocence

and have walked

the muddy line across

the nook and cranny

of his every bones.

He survived them all.

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It’s like a white plate.

Soiled and you try to wash it afloat

with suds of soap and rinse repeatedly

at the sink.  Letting it dry and wait

until the film of water subsides down

into its gleamy surface. You try to contain

the glister.  The immaculateness of being 

unbroken, unsplintered.  Fragile.

 

It’s like a white paper.

Someone will throw dots and smears.

Smudges  and graphite dusts messed up

into your  page and jag the lines into visual noise.

But then, an eraser is a confident friend,

swiping them all.  Albeit,  the indentation

marks a heavy trace on the heart. Not quite

visible at the distance, I know.

 

You didn’t notice how I try to write the lines.

Ambiguous as it seems, indirect in its approach.

You think flaws are the darkness of the soul, but wait-

it isn’t that way you know, though. For in it you hope.

You dream.  You strive to become the light.

You seek to define the completeness of your whole,

unwavering  and uncompromised to the mold-

the dictates of the common.

 

No matter how broken it may get, the mosaic

of the plate is still a creation on a canvas.

No matter how crumpled the paper was,

someone will see it as a great work of art.

You try to accept the way you live your reality,

where living doesn’t stop there, it’s in how

you would be able to discover something new.

A difference you can call your own.

 

It’s like a white space.

When the horizon of doubt blurs

the line that separate you from immortality.

And all you see is your own lightness

that no shadow would keep you

stalled towards your destiny.

There,  you would know that peace

is the only way to move on.

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It’s a rope that won’t go, tugging left, tugging right.

Strength upon strength, the hands bleed pulling in

never giving up. While the feet keep raking deeper

and deeper. Planting and churning the ground,

taking a hold for something. Priceless.

But what? A rope or for missing the line?

You said you got the numbers, the monopoly of muscles

careening into the free struggle, a high tide.

Your fate hangs by a thread slicing your morrow,

all by winning the plum, a brotherhood of man.

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No hero’s welcome.

No grand parade.

Is waiting for the door left ajar.

Only its creaking sound

breaks the silence. And the breathing air

of some familiar spirits. I am once-

a familiar visitor in this house.

 

All that remains are lifeless forms

who have patiently waited here

Am I? Like a hermit crab

occupying this once solitary shell.

Called to embrace the shadows again.

Recapturing the lost and faded

photographs and memories

of the distant past. Forgive me.

 

For I came back not to rebuild

your imperiously alienating walls

I have suffered to endure. The magnanimity

of this abode, on which I failed

to contain the tension. Conquering

the many days and the years living

in the fear that haunted me. As I

have walked away to seek my own.

 

Yesterday will be torn into relevant bits

and pieces. As mementos and snapshots

I will keep them at bay. Never again would

memories imprison me into its walls

like ancient ghosts wailing, begging

to bring them back to their immortality.

 

I will clear away the cobwebs.

I will swept away the dust, making room

on these lonely spaces. I came back.

To cleanse this home of its sad sequences.

I will peel away the white sheets

that has covered the flaws, the lapses,

and the many inconsistencies in our lives-

we are ashamed to show. But instead,

we kept hidden for so long.

 

I will open the windows, taking in

the sunshine and the country air

and hope- as its constant companion.

Savoring the remaining days

choosing to be happy. A pilgrim

transforming this house into a habitation.

The dappled lightness of my being.

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The past are days

like pages in a book.

On the first few pages

you can’t figure out

what the story is all about. 

 

Prologue.

 

“There is a man struggling

to find his place in this world.

Had his share of hits and misses.

Of crossroads where-

it is hard to decide

which road to walk into, and

on which doors to knock.

Afraid, that somebody may not

be there to turn the knob.

And open up.”

 

If only, these eyes can pause reading

and stop for a while at these words

that almost made me yawn and sleep.

Insignificant hours of keeping on.

Hoping this story will not lead

into another unhappy ending.

 

“Why do we have to be serious

all the time?”

 

Don’t ask me. It’s your problem.

The questions still left

hanging in there, moments.

When pages stood unclear,

incomplete with the sentence.

Waiting for somebody

to knock the door. I’ll open up.

 

“Is that all?  Is that all?

Is that all there is to wait

and it all boils down to this?”

 

Tempted to return to the first few pages.

Back to the parts when I remember

breaking down halfway through a paragraph.

As if not knowing how did it start

somebody talking to me. It should have

been better not to have read at all.

No clues from the beginning.

 

And the countdown to the hours

remains. Finish reading parts

on the last chapter- I confront.

Today- no happy ending.

 

 

Epilogue.

 

“And fear creeps in like a mirror

he have to face everyday.

There was a time when he need

to jump into the pond of uncertainty.

Searching the man in his reality,

faced with nagging bouts of questions-

What’s next? What’s on the other side?

What’s the  future?”

 

I can’t figure out.

What this story is all about. 

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