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Posts Tagged ‘dying’

Some say love is never about speed but a slow

unfurling of beauty- gentle and unhurried.

That makes the difference between the passing

of time and the crafting of masterpiece-

not everyone is interested reading about angst.

 

And you fail to notice that everyone’s engaged

to their own brand of narcissism- they maintain

to survive and keep up one’s reputation.

 

And if you think that poets spend their lives

holed up in their four cornered walls and a window

looking in from the world changing night and day.

Self-absorbed about  feelings or digging of the past

and wanting for love that they never have.

 

Or won’t have.

 

Some say about exiles to another country

or to another time or another space would

make people stalk on your mysticism.

Or the lyricism of recording things-

one have chosen to leave behind.

 

You can be exiled even without a room.

That is easy- while you walk around nonchalant

and pretend you didn’t carry anything.

You must know how heavy it is to bring

one line of a poem and to bravely express it.

 

Who says poetry is a dying art? I say otherwise.

For centuries, poets mined gold, toiling the minds

of men and keep them going on despite travails.

Ranting about their lost loves, lost paradise

or lost keys of their hearts.

Or lost childhood. Or lost future.

 

Art that was losing chances and losing hope.

That made poems became songs sung out loud.

It became pieces of conversation. In the streets.

And in the way people speak. To sell. To buy

affection and things people would want

and impress people whom they would want

to belong with. But this will never be.

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I had a future

of keeping yesterday.

Think of your broken machines

worn-out hands-me-down

wrecked and rusted

and shattered and cracked.

Objects of sentiments

and old coins in a jar.

 

Think of promises

in need of restoration,

clearing carpet stains

and cigarette burns.

Your broken bottles

peeled plaster left

pockmarks on walls

bruised on my skin.

 

The bible’s missing pages

incomplete like my faith

transfixed on a television

watching silent movies.

Wondering what is it

that Chaplin mouthed?

Isn’t it ‘God, why thou

has forsaken me?’

 

And the world laughed.

 

At car’s not starting.

At chair’s needed fixing.

Ceiling’s leaking

ugly watermarks

life, slowly dying.

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We were among those hundred innocent feet

wheeling through the clouds of dusts.  So close

that someone shouted to stop the angry phalanx

from advancing the gates. We were young bloods then.

Brave as a collective force ululating vignettes

about homeless families, starving peasants,

weak indigents, landless tribes,

friends of disappeared and the exiled.

 

We stand like a hundred innocent moths

circling fearlessly around the flame. Ready

to extinguish our fates  for one day of glory.

The cups ready to be filled with the bitter

after-taste of seeking the truth on the matter

of state.  Of politics. Of international affairs.

We stomp them shamelessly beneath our sandals.

We ripped them off from our tattered jeans.

We print them on the plainness of black shirts.

That justice of the land is not blind and should prevail.

 

We debated doctrines. We fight about logic.

We push our pens. We clasp our fists.

We join the caravan. We live our days

marching  vigorous  in the streets chanting

the aged texts  on mass struggles by the red book.

Burning  effigies.  Donning the placards.

We abhor dictatorship. We hated imperialism.

Like waterbombs spouting heavily against our faces.

Like the many teargases  hurled against our defences.

 

We bled when the police beat us out of the line.

Isolated  when we are thrown into prison cells.

Humiliated when subjected into torture chambers.

Discriminated when hunted down in the mountains.

We rise and made each part of our bodies as weapons.

Our  mouths  without strained voices.

Our  eyes  without biases.

Our  ears without prejudice.

Our fists without cowardice.

Our hearts without fear.

 

This is our revolution against the world order.

And the phoenix will rise again and again

among the many moths that have died.

Resurrected and will never be silenced.

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Farther and farther apart

the road stretches oppositely

into two directions. I came

to home only to find I did

not belong there anymore.

 

Strangers fill the rooms,

I keep communing with ghosts.

Speaking to the walls and floors

absorbing echoes and heartbeats

from a dying man.

 

Like a bird lost in migration

without a nest to lay its wings.

Through the labyrinth of dreams

I am not yet found.

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Please

don’t make promises

you wouldn’t keep.

As I am trying to feel

 

the traces of the past

deep in the crevices

of my wounded heart.

You never know how

 

words linger

in the precipice of hope

I am searching

the many mornings

 

rising to find, and wait

for the sunlight dying

down by the door.

Hoping still.

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To Pablo Neruda

I write these letters in smoke. They are fog

to the starry night of the south where you existed,  

circumnavigated the world, then extinguished

as a flame, long before I was born.

 

You said you had lived in the springtime

among the cherry blossoms of the west. While

here on this island, I had lived humming

lullabye amidst the scorched patches of sand.

 

I cannot sit still and my memory was filled

of your presence here. I can hear your voice

from a distant time and place. Your voice has traveled

and finally touch down inwardly and it lingers.

 

Tonight, the sad lines of your verses haunt me forever,

love is short and forgetting is so long”.

I chewed the words on my empty stomach

as the light from your waning moon fills my room.

 

I have no windows, they are shattered.  There is no door to enter,

so you don’t need to knock.  Inside my house is fire left by bombs

and gunfire.  And on my earthened floor are scattered pieces

of limbs and severed heads of dead dogs and cats devoid of shelter.

 

I have seen the heaven through the bullet holes on my tin roof.

And the fire is still burning from within. I have seen the clouds

unfolding and unfastened as I became the enemy of the gods,

pot-bellied in the pulpit- imposing cruelty to fools purchasing piety.

 

I have been an inheritor of misfortune, like a stubborn root

of an old dying tree, digging the earth to its graveyard, a tomb.

I seek to find in this endless tunnel, a repose for my corpse-

stiff, in pain and left there naked, writhing in the cold.

 

I can no longer find the stars in the night sky, Pablo.

And the tears begin to fall like rain on the tin roof.

Outside, you wailed a storm, flooding my being,

persistent, engulfing me with the soliloquy of the night.

 

This bed I made out of the coconut tree, lacerating my body

of little knives, that have sliced and shredded my soul. And I

smelled of the blood through the blade of your words

as I whisked them away to the westerly winds to reach you.

 

I ask you. Why things happened this way? History blood-stained.

And the sea mourns while changing course of the mighty river.

In the horizon, a crimson tide of the many who died seeking the meaning

of their lives. And the night birds still singing their lonely dirge.

 

I ask you. Where are the lilac? Immortalized in sonnets by men,

those middle-aged aristocrats. And the women becoming birds of prey,

caged and waiting to be sold.  Incessantly knocking on the doors

to see some faint hope traversing the day into their neon light.

 

Where are the language of stars? Deciphered by hypnotized strangers

who quest for clues and signs and wonders.  Why does the rain

did not stop from falling? I am bailing out to exist from this deluge,

finding redemption while concealing my cowardice. I cannot fight.

 

I am poor, Pablo. But I know your name. And the dense earth that

we both lived, became the pavement for  marching foot falls

of the many striving to live to see until their dying day- freedom,

justice and equality. Unanswered like prayers, unheard of the divine.

 

Your verses did not speak of dreams and leaves and great volcanoes

of your native land.  Your verses did not promise the opium

that will heal the wounds of time.  But your verses have spoken

of the blood in the streets.  And the blood in the streets, I have seen.

 

I will offer an elegy in my homeland. I will sing your song in vain,

hoping for someone to hear and join me singing your immortal chorus.

Your ashes I would want to scatter into the night clouds until tomorrow.

When morning will be awakened by pilgrims sojourning the other world.

 

And still, I am waiting for the stars to appear in the Far-east. I had

only a rose to your funeral.  I will not be able to attend. But I will

whisper to the westerly winds my discontent and the endless despair

you will hear from the shore of this island, questioning existence.

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You have stood tall-

emperor of the land.

Full of life. Your arms

canopied seedlings.

 

Your limbs sturdy

nobody can uproot.

They worshipped

a father -like a son.

 

Head salutes

to heavens, serenading

earthly hymns

among the clouds.

 

The core of the earth

by your strength you drilled.

Sapping ground

of the living water.

 

And seedlings you tended,

basking in your glory.

Swarming like children,

sheltered and pampered.

 

The days went by

and so, the nights.

The seedlings became

like little parasites.

 

Draining strength

after strength

Lifeblood wanes

to season’s change.

 

Weeds encroaching

your landlocked territory.

Locusts hovers

the prey to the winds.

 

Of fungi ears

and holes gaping,

when time begins

the bark is rotting.

 

To destiny

of one lifeless tree,

isolated and bare.

Emperor bowed down.

 

Now, your crown

of thorns and vultures.

The death dropping

of frigid icicles.

 

Ages will come,

all lead to nothing

but old driftwood

to a woodcutter’s fire.

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