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Posts Tagged ‘city’

A balloon hollow as air

I float miles farther away

no one could catch me.

I’m not here. Drifting

past the roofs of cities

and a maze of streets.

No one could see me now.

Lingering among clouds,

playing with dreams,

breathing a reality

of existing to survive.

In a skin I lived in

may not reveal who

a being- hidden within.

A face. A soul waiting

to be exhaled

and found again.

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Freedom is an open door to a cage.

Yet another cage must be opened

like animals, we are hesitant to move.

For the years we lived in it, self-made.

A niche. A home. A nest. A dungeon.

The city streets became a zoo

and life has turned us into one.

We migrate and roam like animals do.

Constantly in fear that patterns change.

Season after season. Year after year.

Territories we keep from somebody’s

breaching our personal space.

We accept no disturbance to our boundaries.

Yet we think we are free? Alone.

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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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I will have to catch the train

and leave you. For I am

a wanderer in search

of a destiny. Only here

squeezing in time,

making  a sidetrip

for memory’s sake.

Holiday is sweet

in these short hours.

 

Recollecting the good

old-natured yesterday

becoming vague now.

And in your eyes

there are outlines

of the life you wish

you had with me.

How could it be

so beautiful? Still

I cannot stay, if only

I exist in a fairytale.

 

There is a real world

outside your nutshell.

Breaking away beyond

here- that I must go.

I need to exist

day after day

among other strangers

flocking the city streets.

How can you keep

a dream from going on?

I am not so sure, while

 

I catch train after train

hoping not to return.

Ignoring the illusions

fulfilling your fantasy.

I found you, still,

a girl and a child.

With the same old

story to tell. And you

do not see that I have

become so different.

So far away, a distance

far too wide to belong.

 

Love is not possible

between you and me.

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There will be a single spark of light.

But not from the stars. Because even them,

they have shied away and have forgotten.

Here, only from my birthday candle

casting shadows waltzing the wall

and the chilly wind whistling a tune,

sending wisps of wishes, for tonight.

While the rest of the world snoozes

in its deafening silence. Getting used

with the normalcy of tragedies.

And in their lukewarm sympathies.

In the quiet corner of the city, littered

and battered of the rain-drenched

images of chaos and shattered hopes,

on the table a bowl of rice

and a can of sardine. In a color

charcoaled space,  I breath as a man

determined to celebrate my existence

among the ruins with this twist of fate.

I shifted my gaze from the table

to the broken windows and watch

the passing of the storm clouds

in the evening sky. I am happy

but no sound of laughter. Hearing

the incessant drop of water

from a leaking roof.  Contented

among the shadows. Decided

to bury the hatchet of what is past.

Gathering what’s left after the storm.

As I dream of patching the tattered

and pock-marked walls, then hide

the traces of mud  in fresh white paint.

Believing nature has a way to let people

start anew. De-cluttering my life of things

that entangle men of never-ending want.

Until now,  when I had less.

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Half of the world rising up

on the east welcoming sun,

watching the day unfolds.

Hoping for grace, a fresh start.

 

While, there is a nacreous pearl,

a shell of the western sky peering.

Through the ridges and ridges

of sand-covered castles in the city.

 

Orange gloom in the showers

of the sandstorm. Like an hourglass,

little diamonds in the seave.

Time slips down in a quicksand.

 

Then soon, the veil of the night,

sequined by stars melted wax

over Umm Ghuwailina.  Arabia

bends its knees reciting prayers.

 

The mind wanders away counting days

and counting nights, a farewell

meeting halfway at mid-air-

homecoming touch down years.

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