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You see the bookshelves collecting dust

and the pages of books banded together like

comrades and no one stop by to break the line.

Or a lyric sheet spread at a piano stand I suspect

the sound would be bland as no one cared

to touch the keys for a long time.  And the strings

of the violin were like my hairs loosened from

its follicles. Aged and unkempt.

 

Or the watercolor pans caked and its oil evaporated

in time without seeing a day on the paper

and all the images just lay there in the mind.

Each night you stare on the pair of begging hands

reaching out and nagging at your conscience.

Where does the time go? Does anyone know?

You may gone flirting into new diversions

gobbling your attention and forget the allegiance

you made to Mother Art and create orphans

watching when you’ll pick enthusiasm.

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Think about the pen and the fingerprints

romancing in the glistening dust against the sunlight.

The faded photographs with watermarks

of remembrances salvaged from the past.

Brittle to touch and slowly turning to ashes.

 

Think about the bookmarks of dried rose petals

and the faint smell imprinted to the pages,

rescued from the years of forgetting the ones

that mattered most. And the dreams that never

meant to be owned like the earth where I stand.

 

If the promise of coming back becomes a distant memory-

counting each sunrises and every new moons. Let hope

travel its feet while I sit beside by the window waiting.

For innocence will turn my graying hairs to white

and youth will leave me like the wilted leaves of autumn.

 

The season changes and they say time heals every wound.

But the scars of our love-thorned lives remains relived

in our book of days. I wish the summer winds will carry

the ashes until forgetting. I wish sleep will banish the things

which I failed to tell you when you left me. I moved on.

 

I have written letters with the pen until it dried out of ink

I have recorded our memories for fear that it will be lost too.

And my waning mind gave birth to words I have bookmarked

with fresh flowers that blooms from the same earth I will lay

with my dreams. I am not afraid anymore of the longest night

 

until tomorrow.

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A balladeer sings a song.

Serenading his heart’s reflection

in wine glasses rippling its rhythm

navigating strange passages

of tenderness that filled

water canals of romance

he witnessed everyday.

 

His voice knows the direction

where to bring new lovers

bowled over by the moon

and the stars, sailing

their feelings away.

Smooth gliding inch

closer to tranquil

crying of a love lost.

He forgot, almost.

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It’s like a white plate.

Soiled and you try to wash it afloat

with suds of soap and rinse repeatedly

at the sink.  Letting it dry and wait

until the film of water subsides down

into its gleamy surface. You try to contain

the glister.  The immaculateness of being 

unbroken, unsplintered.  Fragile.

 

It’s like a white paper.

Someone will throw dots and smears.

Smudges  and graphite dusts messed up

into your  page and jag the lines into visual noise.

But then, an eraser is a confident friend,

swiping them all.  Albeit,  the indentation

marks a heavy trace on the heart. Not quite

visible at the distance, I know.

 

You didn’t notice how I try to write the lines.

Ambiguous as it seems, indirect in its approach.

You think flaws are the darkness of the soul, but wait-

it isn’t that way you know, though. For in it you hope.

You dream.  You strive to become the light.

You seek to define the completeness of your whole,

unwavering  and uncompromised to the mold-

the dictates of the common.

 

No matter how broken it may get, the mosaic

of the plate is still a creation on a canvas.

No matter how crumpled the paper was,

someone will see it as a great work of art.

You try to accept the way you live your reality,

where living doesn’t stop there, it’s in how

you would be able to discover something new.

A difference you can call your own.

 

It’s like a white space.

When the horizon of doubt blurs

the line that separate you from immortality.

And all you see is your own lightness

that no shadow would keep you

stalled towards your destiny.

There,  you would know that peace

is the only way to move on.

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I can feel it now across this table

in the old diner of this no man’s land,

The sound of shuffling deck of cards.

Or is it the leaves in autumn falling

in September- that he will remember?

 

Do you know what it feels like

to be buried in cans and tins of paint,

blurring away the sun, moon and the stars?

The distance masked from the past

drowned in ebbs and crests of time.

 

He searches his soul among the shambles,

the printed letters fading on the pocketbook.

I sense the mad rhythms and cadences

of cursives and scribbles in melancholy.

The dead poet speaks uneasy like this.

 

He seems to be trapped. A vagabond.

A tyke on his cell who think he’s free.

Swimming away like a salmon

undisturbed by the changing seasons,

lost in migration to the new world.

 

He traded a king of hearts

and settles for a jack of spades.

The wind is rough, blowing in with sand.

This is not the gentle breeze of the prairie.

A tune. Unfamiliar, humming in my ear.

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In the old quarter of the city,

in the nakedness of the cold walls

of this back street. I sit alone, outside.

Here. In the almost empty corner of the café.

Looking beyond many mornings

distant, from the crowd.

 

There is something.

In the stale morning air that reminds me

of one strange midnight.

 

A quiet conversation of two souls

connecting among the silver teaspoons,

teacups and porcelain.

 

Exchanged glimpses of a period

when things are new, young and free.

Reliving a story of the jaded past

within a single stretch of hours

waiting for the sunrise.

 

There is something-

which I failed to grasp

and took hold of.

 

Something in the dust-filled glass windows.

The peeled off paint from the ceiling.

The wallpaper shedding its ancient skin.

The tattered leather and cushions

of these vintage chairs.

 

There is a memory of a voice fading

like the sheen from this worn-out table.

Among the bread crumbs for the pigeons to share.

And this bronzed cup leaving off a tinge-

a certain warmth I could not forget.

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Someone have told me

that when your feet begins

to dig deeper into the ground,

as if you are carrying a heavy rock

upon your shoulders.  Do not fail

to look up and turn your eyes

from looking down.  And you will

discover  the big sky above you.

 

Let the wide space fill your mind.

Embrace the world and fathom

the depth, the height and width of it.

Let the wind carry your spirit-

a dot in the sand completing

this tapestry of life. You belong

to a grand plan, ever since

when the universe is born.

 

No matter how fearsome it would become

No matter how fierce the odds are.

No one will take away your piece of sky.

Be steady and look beyond the horizon.

Drift like an eagle  among the clouds.

Redeem  your place in the sun.

As hope burn brightly like a new day.

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