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Posts Tagged ‘linen’

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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My child, grow as you would hope to be.

 

I am here, washing the dirty linen

and the soiled clothes thinking of you.

Who can tell? That the world in the future,

its circumstances be better. But I pray

that you may have the strength to face

each day with courage and dignity-

of choosing what is true and honest.

Defending what is right over wrong,

uncompromising to the virtues that I

am going to teach you. Please listen.

 

I am not the best and I am not perfect.

 

And I dream for you my child, a life anew.

Realizing the chance to fulfill the purposes

destined for you. Keeping steer of the pitfalls

I have done. Make a difference of your own.

Striving the very best that you can.

Standing up for what you believe in.

Though you may fall, there will always be

a chance to pick yourself up, to stand again.

 

Never quit. Never fear. God be with you.

 

And I hope you learn from my mistakes.

The misjudgment I did when I was

once a child like you. Growing up too.

Through my adulthood, deciding to love

another being and brought you along

amidst the pain, the hurt and the turmoil.

May it be- your life like these soap suds

clearing away the dirty traces of my past,

vanishing all the fears that I had before.

 

Starting the days wearing clean clothes.

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We have cried together, seeing

the pages of our lives torn into pieces.

And how we knitted to rebuild it,

and washed them like dirty linens

in the laundry. Just like a potter

we build and sculpt in us

a new mold of the world

we never knew existed.

 

We exchanged our boxes

of secrets and a set of keys.

 

We swore by the heart. And

made a vow that we would keep

them locked and tightly sealed.

That we would be keeping each

other’s stories, only to ourselves

and no one else. And for the longest

possible time, it  has come to a point,

a reckoning. The seal of promise

had been broken.

 

Unlocking my box and spilling

the foam of words into little teardrops-

they fall like brimstones and fire

from the night sky, now. And the moon

must have hidden its face turning

into red, in anger and in shame. Bleeding

in the agony of a broken promise.

An impending death to a friendship.

 

Still, I am keeping my silence, thinking deeply

if it is worth to hide your keys in my pocket?

If keeping your box tightly sealed, or at once,

let them out in the open, will exact revenge?

While my flesh quivered at the thought

of why would you dare crossing the line,

betraying my trust. While my bones splintered

at the thought that I would dearly want you

squirm in your own bloodbath, redeeming self.

 

But I decided not to. 

 

Letting the ghost of your betrayal haunt you down

into your grave. A tormented soul, wandering

the dark halls searching for some kind of atonement.

Asking forgiveness.

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you  reposed-

contoured in a shape

 

          formed ridges,

          dividing horizon.

 

          my fingers were

clothespins.

 

my legs were

propping

 

while you stretched

receiving weight

 

some wet linen

hung, to dry

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Sylvia, you struggled with the night, they don’t see you.  And the madness you have kept along since your youth, stand watch to the agony of your desire, I feel you, even if Ted fades away. They seem to like you and your outbursts of anger, unmindful of the things you are so capable of destroying; your fragility, your womanhood.  They had made you as faceless like girls of Kabul wearing burqa. 

But I must admit, Sylvia, that beyond with your innocence, beyond with the frailty and your true self repressed by layers and layers of hate and uncertainties, you will rise like a phoenix redeeming its immortality.  Like a golden lotus emerging from the fiery flames, and a thousand death might come but it will never win its argument against your indomitable spirit. Yet Sylvia, you left the world with a scar that won’t heal in time, putting a strong voice to silence unheard of, in decades past.

Have you ever met Frida Kahlo? Your fate runs almost parallel to hers and through your gift of art, the pangs of pain are shifted through the bittersweet beauty of your words, though they say it was staid and conventional.  But I don’t believe them.  Yours an endless laughter like the one you made with Ted when you first met him at the party in Cambridge. Yours a happiness since the first time you have published “The Colossus”.

How could you keep as perfectly as it was to squeeze in the time breathing life to a poetry waiting there at the dining table and lay you sleepless in the night?  How could you tear yourself apart open and shed the light withholding nothing and the truthfulness of the turmoil you’re going through?  The days that lingers almost unbearable, in between the soiled dishes in the sink, in the soapy suds of the dirty linen and in the keeping of your children who are innocent of the struggles your dealing with Ted. 

In the night, that you have sealed the doors by wet rags, have you thought of just keeping on, pressing on- to deal with your pervading loneliness and disillusion? When you precisely turned on the ignition of the cooker, as you inhale the gas, Sylvia, did you think of finally  avenging your fractured self against Ted?  Of how your  jealousy could have made you insanely and sweetly surrendering to impending death?  How intense is your longing for Ted to reconcile with you, knowing that he is just a man, and you are so afraid of losing him?

Sylvia, if you only have known that after forty years have past since your death, your son Nicholas might have taken his life, too; maybe because he might be carrying the gravity of questions left unanswered since the day you died.  Would you keep on existing? Would you be strong enough to let go of Ted and spend the rest of your lifetime for your children? And see them of what they have become in the twilight of your years?

But the time has run out.  And you have to choose between life and death.  But you chose the latter. Sylvia, you have chosen to end the sad stories in your life, cutting away Ted and his chains around you.  You have chosen freedom.

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