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Posts Tagged ‘care’

You see the bookshelves collecting dust

and the pages of books banded together like

comrades and no one stop by to break the line.

Or a lyric sheet spread at a piano stand I suspect

the sound would be bland as no one cared

to touch the keys for a long time.  And the strings

of the violin were like my hairs loosened from

its follicles. Aged and unkempt.

 

Or the watercolor pans caked and its oil evaporated

in time without seeing a day on the paper

and all the images just lay there in the mind.

Each night you stare on the pair of begging hands

reaching out and nagging at your conscience.

Where does the time go? Does anyone know?

You may gone flirting into new diversions

gobbling your attention and forget the allegiance

you made to Mother Art and create orphans

watching when you’ll pick enthusiasm.

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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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We fail to keep promises

just as we are used to

stare like goats. Upfront

confronting strangers.

 

Inside this hallowed cavern

with  a burden of care while  

we share those empty gaze.

Needing to belong.

 

We don’t even dare

to twitch a smile- as a sign.

Filling void spaces to fit.

Caged and restrained

 

our little freedom.

Moving and hurrying

to destinations, crowding

one way streets like ants.

 

Knee to knee. Side by side.

Wanting to repel, burst

into the open, running away

with the world past behind us.

 

We fail to stay as we are.

Outpacing each other.

Chasing the dust cleared

of promises we can’t keep.

 

Finding it hard to believe

it was only inches away,

that we ought to  try

mending this great divide.

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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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Be still. Please focus. Would you wait

until my iris capture you of snapshots? I am here.

Don’t notice. Your portrait on my mind, I dodged

and burned. Don’t worry. I won’t

over-expose the sequences of the memory

fleshed out from my canister, the last strip of film.

 

On my negative- your wavelength of light escapes

through my lenses, I would carefully unfold and record.

Don’t look. Deeper. While single color vanishes

with intensity into highlights and into shadows.

Frame by frame, I would filter the black against

the white. Your reality becomes my abstraction.

 

Would you mind, if I convert the colors of the spectrum,

your seemingly pixilated illusion to just shades of gray?

Tracing back the images in a locomotion, so slow.

My camera obscura. Clear and sharp, as you illuminate

a world forgotten just for once. A neutral silhouette

Don’t notice. Keep focus. Don’t cry. I am here.

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