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Posts Tagged ‘desert’

It’s not the imitation of a scene

of a snapshot perhaps.

A memory perhaps

 

beneath it.

 

I see words

swirling past shadows

of a hand restrained to speak them

but paint the sky

with reds, blues and yellows

in circles and dots

of dreams I am afraid

to wake from.

 

Sunny days

in my weekend beach walks.

Windswept cold and bleak winter desert.

And the frozen grey and snow

collecting at my window pane.

 

Still

 

on paper water diluted tones,

shades and hues wandering

the landscape of my memory.

It may be the translucence

or opacity of colors. The absence

of whiteness and blackness

that leaves neutrality

 

of the wide space. I dwell,

linger and fade into horizon.

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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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Someone had it written clear-

that one should not just keep pacing

on this earth, like a  somnambulist do.

Instead, he should lay beside the grass.

Ears close to the ground hearing

faint sounds and whispers coming

from the earth’s bosom.

 

Hearing how the rhythmic breath

of stillborn seeds of coniferous trees

waiting to break out of its shell,

awakening to the hymn of the spring.

 

Hearing how aquifers running deep

into crevices, into rivers, carving

canyons, gorges, fjords to the open seas.

Sailing away, riding with the wind.

 

Hearing the tides keep pushing,

and pulling in. Or the breaking waves

into the cliffs. Scouring the shoreline

of an island down to the ocean floor.

 

Hearing how the mountains gliding

its terrestrial skin past each other.

Like a potter reshaping and remolding

the land into a new continent.

 

Hearing how it grumbles beneath,

venting out ash plumes and lava streams.

A force roused from deep slumber

churning mood swings in its womb.

 

Someone had it written clear-

that one should not just keep pacing

on this earth, like a  somnambulist do.

 

We should hear the gathering storms

of the impending avalanche. Iceberg splitting.

The glacier receding.  Oil gushes, spilling

over the gulf. Helpless cacophony of wildlife

endangered. Landslides and the levees

breached by hurricane. Rainforest on fire.

Desert sands advancing. Clods of soil

drying up. Locusts swarming over fields.

Ground crumbling into sinkholes.

 

We should hear how restless it gets

day after day, when  the clock is ticking out.

Faint sounds becoming loud voices

sending distress call to reckon with,

summoning mankind to listen. The earth

finally eclipsing to its perilous journey.

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In the distance

after the crash-

 

strong winds

lingers cold.

Unsettling

the desert,

 

a constant

epic battle.

Forgotten.

 

Silent torment

 

gathering

storm clouds.

Marching sound

of thunder

and lightning

invading sky.

 

World in sepia

fragile scenes-

blanket of dust

and scarlet tide.

Flames

embers

cinders

ashes

fall

fall

 

Fall.

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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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I skipped my regular routine attending church services in the morning that Friday.  A week ago, I have already informed our pastor that I plan to attend the Industrial Area church service instead in the evening.  I also missed out our church choir practice that night, which I am so sad about. 

We braved the dusty road leading to Industrial Area. When we have arrived at the place, it was a regular accommodation building intended for company workers.  The road leading to the building is quite notorious with potholes and mountain of construction debris on the side.   We reach the worship place after winding up seven staircases worth of our stamina, of climbing the steps. The place of worship is located in the rooftop.  About 24 sq.m. approximately, capable of seating around 20 people, right there along with the clothesline of wet laundry left out to dry.

The truth is, I am not expecting it.  Of all places, to hold a church service.  A rooftop towering over other rooftops of factory buildings in the midst of desert wind and the usual darkness of the evening.  I am used to attending house of worship with the comfort of sheltering oneself against the external elements, such as rain, heat and dry wind.  That night is a wake up call.  Believers are called upon to honor the Sabbath, wherever, whenever and whatever it takes.  Be it under the shade of the tree, or under the canopy of the bridge, or an open field. 

I am deeply humbled by the fact that here in the wide stretch of the desert, away from the comforts of the homeland, people who are disciplined in faith, are braving the routinary grind of their overseas life, partially isolated to the urban centers.   This is mission’s work,  a life dedicated to the cause of bringing the Gospel to the far reaches of places.  Administering the continuous flow of the message and strengthening people’s faith in God.

I admire my pastor, who is a missionary himself, for the kind of passion he have for the lost  souls and bringing them all to Christian faith.   His silent ways are a steady yet constant reminder that complacency has no place in Christian service.  Believers are ought to steer clear of their comfort zones, sacrificing time and effort for building up Christ’s work and taking upon each the individual God’s calling in putting into action all the Christian training they have learned.

I admire my friend Grace, who chose to become a full-time missionary, while administering translation of the gospel to the native tounges of the tribes among the hinterlands of Mindanao and Luzon back home.  She already had the chance to go to India, for some introductory mission’s work as part of her trainings.

Sometimes, it is a pity, when I hear myself, complaining about being so tired to get up early in the morning to begin my morning prayers.  Sometimes, it is a pity, when I see myself, scrambling over reading best-sellers in the night rather than having a bible reading of a chapter or two. Now it occured to me, that what I am doing for the kingdom is not enough.  Christian life calls for able and willing men of faith to stand up and do the work.  Whatever the circumstances may be or a situation they are in. 

The next time, I will go to the Industrial Area to have my Friday church service there.  I need to listen to what God is saying to me, visually.

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Outstretched are

green mighty arms

of thorny crowns

prickly under the sun.

 

Lowly shrubs

worshipping the sand

winding tapestries

of the golden strands

 

It swirls. It whirls.

The desert breath

summoning the clouds

to quench its thirst.

 

Its parched hand. 

Its speckled face,

lips of heaven planted

its misty kisses.

 

When the sun wearied,

will the cold rain

Preciously sparkles jewels

such in the night time.

 

Of  the dewdrops

cusped into little ponds,

clustering brown cakes-

the food for the gods.

 

Eastern winds

will etch  its caresses.

Like a lover

embracing the earth

 

Ah, in the arid landscape

a desert nymph beckons,

resplendent amidst  glory

divinely renews a vow.

 

Surrendering,

welcoming back

a pilgrim finding respite

on its oasis.

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