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Posts Tagged ‘mud’

His past smells of a ditch

drying up its putrid stink

as stale as the street air.

It belongs to a smoggy neighborhood.

In the memory of tattered rags

flapping like flags on the clothesline.

As if dreams can be scavenged

out of the hilly mounds

of garbage, dumping its gifts

of someone else’s trash turning

into someone else’s fortune.

 

No one cared about armpits

getting wet and sour for hours,

as long as the bad odors

can promise him little money

to buy fish sauce for rice.

Sniffing heaven on earth-

little angel never complaining

about life, about the linger-

of those occasional whiffs

from the broken sewer.

Nor the rising sting of steam

emanating from his broken skin

pierced by the cruel sun.

 

Nor inhaling the dry cough of cars

and buses farted poison.

The way he exhaled yesterday

walking on a pavement slow,

feeling the throbbing locomotion

churn on his empty stomach.

A street urchin squeezing the crowd

like a fly hopping on a hope

above the grease and grime

that smeared a childhood.

 

He won’t cover the past

with today’s perfume

nor sanitize its images

in suds of detergent.

He’s not ashamed

of the scent of his past-

the smell of poverty

that swarmed his innocence

and have walked

the muddy line across

the nook and cranny

of his every bones.

He survived them all.

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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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We abandon the place

after the flood. When

the alleyway became a river

detouring its natural course

meanders into two directions-

separate

 

until that gap

spans the vast expanse of the land.

Wider than the ocean,

for years now.

 

Long pauses between seasons.

Winter. Spring. Summer.

Fall. A silent  rain

muttering through the night

whispers becoming promises,

dewdrops of tears in the dawn.

 

Time have weathered

this young couple’s portrait

left hanging in the wall.

Silhouette and shadows

in muted remembrance

among traces of dry mud

and moss,

 

mildews

eating up the torn

and brittle edges-

the vows to our union.

The floodwater left

its ugly stains

of pain. Unreconciled

 

between two people

lost in the randomness.

Of things. Searching

to belong in another’s embrace.

 

Which can’t be found

 

even if the storms

have finally subsided.

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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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