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Posts Tagged ‘ancient’

Water drop in my universe,

echoes from afar becoming distinct

sound. Drip, drip, drip

circles expanding colorless

and still blue. Little waves

breaking long stretches

of silence seemingly placid.

Roll. Roar. Rage. Stirred deep

from the abyss chasing the shore.

Falling endless in a waterfall

like inner voice thunders

slicing the river into gorges

and deep canyons. Ancient

ages and weather change

patterns and paths, yet

only to be heard and seen

the cycle of life again.

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His muffled voice breaks

the long stretches of silence

while his hand guided

young and untrained hands

practicing calligraphy.

 

Watchful and demanding precision

of copied texts exacting translation.

As he unbuckles the leathery tome

of secrets in a wooden chest.

Tradition, theology and religion.

Diaries, recipes, scientific notations.

 

Inventories, census, receipts.

Readings of narratives and poetry,

astrology, proverbs and magic spells.

The volumes of letters, last wills,

songs and words of blessings.

 

Spending hours and hours sitting

among the piles of pages digging

for clues and answers to mysteries.

The labyrinth of a culture. A treasure.

Each of the fragile pages a wealth

weightier than silver and the gold.

 

Piecing each fragment in a mosaic

mapping an ancient civilization

long forgotten. He believed, it was

here  in his hands lies the fiber, sinew

and muscle of generations of man-

the society is ought to remember.

 

So he became a warrior, obsessed

with the written word wielding

weapons of passion and wisdom.

With his small army of juvenile scholars

continuing an unpopular legacy.

 

Waging the classic battle against time,

earth bugs, heat, rot and decay

slowly finding its way like marauders

pillaging the essence of our humanity

into oblivion and brink of extinction.

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Forever seems a word unspoken

upon seeing the herd of caribou

silently crossing an ancient pathway

under the pearly moon.

 

The soft glistening flutter of misty light

on the river finding its way to the sea.

Reflecting the stars painted on the sky

like little eyes- all knowing

since the beginning of time.

 

It made me cry.

 

Something within me springs

divine and humbly I begin

to wonder-

 

My smallness

in the scheme of things

pre-occupied with thoughts

of needing only to survive.

 

Creatures of this earth on the move

tracking down the maps of our lives.

Encircling this cycle waiting

for the sun to rise in the morning.

 

Travelling through journeys

winding as these trails

like the herd of caribou

silently passing by the route

 

with one life to live.

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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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In the old quarter of the city,

in the nakedness of the cold walls

of this back street. I sit alone, outside.

Here. In the almost empty corner of the café.

Looking beyond many mornings

distant, from the crowd.

 

There is something.

In the stale morning air that reminds me

of one strange midnight.

 

A quiet conversation of two souls

connecting among the silver teaspoons,

teacups and porcelain.

 

Exchanged glimpses of a period

when things are new, young and free.

Reliving a story of the jaded past

within a single stretch of hours

waiting for the sunrise.

 

There is something-

which I failed to grasp

and took hold of.

 

Something in the dust-filled glass windows.

The peeled off paint from the ceiling.

The wallpaper shedding its ancient skin.

The tattered leather and cushions

of these vintage chairs.

 

There is a memory of a voice fading

like the sheen from this worn-out table.

Among the bread crumbs for the pigeons to share.

And this bronzed cup leaving off a tinge-

a certain warmth I could not forget.

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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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On the passages, it says

of a prison, an exile. In Babylon

where walls and ceilings are gone.

Watching the blue sky

turn into darkness, blotted out

by billows of smoke and fire

over ruins of crushed bricks

and pulverized sandstones.

 

Three hundred and sixty five days.

And life now are moving images

of evacuees and troops,

of tanks and warplanes

from a distance. Boundaries

of earth mounds and trenches.

Through my camp’s window

is a restive realm to which I stand

invaded by bombs and gunfire.

 

I daydream of home-

while placidly inside,

a vision of seed emerging,

growing into a tree.

Whose blossoms

quite imaginary

at the old hanging gardens,

the fruits at its season

drops by the waters

carried  away into streams.

And rivers, down into

the Persian Gulf.

 

Freedom and peace-

these wandering thoughts

and the desert winds

whispering to my soul. As restless

as the river currents shifting

from Tigris to Euphrates.

 

Like Nebuchadnezzar- whose ancient cares

flocking like grebes by the floodwaters

inundating history. The centuries old

slipping  away a kingdom whose

former glory will never be restored.

I have changed. 

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