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Posts Tagged ‘men’

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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When my sisters began to marry their men,

I just stop talking to them. Eagerness

suddenly plummet into nil and I began seeing

an imaginary wall that divides me to them.

Those strangers’ hand snatching spaces,

of familiarity, never uttered a word about apologies.

Plundering the blood bond, the images of innocence

running away to far places where I cannot go… I hate them.

 

Suddenly somewhere appears picket fences,

territories, boundaries and cages

which were meant as a warning

not to encroach their line, their property.

And how then, for a split-second

they ruin the emotional investment

my sisters and I build relationships.

 

Ah, they would never understand

the weightier aspects more than

the union of two bodies to breed.

They would never understand how

my sisters and I share a lifetime-

that intimate part we found eversince

we are born, out of our mother’s womb.

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I hear them screaming through

the sound of falling and splashing

and stumbling down staircases.

Of mangled steel twisting glass

and concrete skins ripping away

from the building’s skeleton.

 

I hear the slithery rush of jet fuel

scrambling down chases and elevators

at first and second impact, the aftershock.

Igniting fireballs through the hallway.

Explosions rocked the foundations

trembling in little earthquakes.

 

I hear the mad stampede roar.

I hear the panic bars unlatch.

Then the cacophony of sirens,

the tolling of alarm bells,

the symphony of shock,

the avalanche of horror,

the carnage of the missing,

and the agony of the trapped.

 

I hear them- peoples of the world,

helpless among the tangled mess

of floor slabs toppled like a deck of cards.

The gradual weakening of their hearts,

the whispers in pain, the unison in prayer.

The slow fragile breaths silently eroding

and extinguished like wisps from a candle.

 

I hear the distant cries of children

who lost their fathers and mothers.

The anguish of fathers and mothers

losing their children in the rubbles.

The lamentations of men and women

losing their wives, their husbands,

their brothers and their sisters.

 

I hear them all within the sound of the water

trickling down over the polished slabs of stones.

I hear them while I listen in the reading,

of engraved names whose innocent fates

were like the powdery dusts in mid-air

frozen, suspended, undiminished in time.

 

I hear the grieving sighs. The silent tears.

The ashes of remembrance, the memory.

The extraordinary day when the world

will never forget the ground zero.

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Look at me.

A corporate soldier.

Working wounded

in the company of men-

wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Deceiving as snakes.

Cunning as sharks.

 

And here, the desk became

my war machine. Riding

in the engines of my brain.

Words and strategies wielding

like speeding bullets, as weapons.

 

I must learn the art of combat.

 

And it’s going to rain today.

But not of the sky.

But with paper planes

piling up in my incoming tray,

touching down like flies.

 

The cubicle is a battleground.

 

I need a saving grace, ejecting

from this capsuled seat. When

life signals on a high wire-

blinking signs of warning.

Maneuvering survival,

evading a free fall.

Beating the deadline.

 

I’m burned out.

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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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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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The walls are coarse to touch, hard and steely,

it was a challenge not to see but to feel with our fingers

sharp points that will prick a skin and bleed. By then

the grave of the earth has avenged its loss. The stair

is a winding wonder of wooden realm. Forest scent

permeates like sweat staining musk to the olfactory.

Curtains we plucked from the fibers of the grass

that exist  in some temperate savannah, polished

and handwoven by the nomads of Siberia.

The glass came from the silicates we scoured

from the rivers of Babylon, coal-fired in a furnace

by a hundred men impoverished with ten cents an hour.

And the floor is a polished limestone quarried

from some majestic mountains of the Far East. White,

cold slab, for our feeble feet resting on a tombstone. The chairs

are fabricated in hides separated from the meat of animals

domesticated and cultured for a trade in an African jungle.

We commercialized the organic in the will of the greedy generation

crazy for the avant garde. We are fond of collecting. Prized.

Natural. Unique. All, for the sake of a want  that cannot be satiated.

And at a cost, we hunger for more as we build our little kingdoms,

looking for some definition. Until we find that there is no more left

of the skin of the earth, we have stripped of its clothing

to cover our shelters.  Unless we travel to the moon

digging kryptonites to embellish facades of our own vanities.

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