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Posts Tagged ‘pavement’

Sometimes,  I catch myself

wondering about you

on some moonless evenings

or misty mornings, drifting-

where have your pages brought you

on some ride in the wind

or tail of a comet’s end.

 

Somewhere

hidden beneath the shadow of stars

thinking

 

who’s reading you now.

Whose hands walk

the landscape of your soul.

A borrowed moment

inhaling your scent

and leaving fine, little circles

of fingerprints

much softer than mine.

 

Sorry if

I left you-

 

like letters I burn in the fireplace

while watching the ashes float in winter air

and fall sadly to the pavement. Like rain

 

remembering the sweet hours.

The blur images of innocence

and immortality you believed

then, but honestly, I realize how beautiful

it was

 

and I kept you

for awhile but good things never last.

I wonder

 

who’s reading you now,

whose mind can fathom

the deeper meaning of you.

Whose hands were

much cleaner than mine.

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Here, walks people

wasting not a second

navigating urgent missions.

Without halt, in cycles

coming to and from,

fast and slow. We walk

alongside the bobbing sea

of heads and shoulders.

 

There goes a man

who is in a hurry

to catch his train.

While the woman

will just be in time

to make it with an appointment.

Some guy chases a girl.

And a working mom

squeezing in the crowd while

talking on her mobile phone.

 

Like them,

this pavement

lay a mute witness

to strangers who make their way

onward to destinations-

to directions

precisely peg-marked

as milestones to life.

 

Turning left and right,

brushing past signals

and pedestrian crossings

colliding like busy ants.

Our back’s two steps ahead

to the ones whom we have left

behind. Existing as familiar

tourist walking our two legs

in an imaginary life machine.

No one notices the other.

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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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There’s a suitcase in the hall.

And emptiness will soon occupy it.

Something which kept me immobile,

quite undecided to test the wind

or its aged leafless trees outside

 

where the silent pavement beckons

and my own shadow as a companion.

How should I, in the permanence of seasons

would not be keen to grasp the clues

that promises were never made to last?

 

I thought I could be strong enough.

I thought I would not have a glimpse

of that leathery box which collected

my yesterday’s dust of missed chances

that dried up in the passing of years.

 

I thought I could forget the barrenness

of autumn’s leaving another space

which I tried to fill with the leaves of days.

Un-withered, but soon became faded letters

that I will be keeping in this humble suitcase.

 

Memories of old coming back to me now.

I will turn the knob to open another door,

and walk into another painful journey

of beginnings. Never ending days catching

the falling leaves as remnants of moments.

 

And when the falling snow in the winter comes

and rest on the branches of those leafless trees,

like the way I carry the weight of my suitcase.

I will try picking up the pieces again and slowly

survive another night without the moon nor the stars.

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Imagine yourself playing the part.

The melody in a slow tempo

touching the white bones in mine.

The blank spaces glide

filling the staves into octaves

where rhythms of silence

are aching to be heard.

 

The approaching train

in locomotion slowly halting

to a rest and the muse

steps out in a sudden hush.

Whose inspiration reminds me

of the autumn breeze

that shifts its weight

among the rustling of leaves.

 

The sounds in the pavement,

and the trickling of the rain

drops of minims, crochets,

semibreves and quavers

into unfamiliar serenade

awakening the restless

in the night’s peaceful embers.

 

I remember the beating pulse,

the sharp pause counterpointing

the pace and the careful movement

of that forgotten harmony

smoothly entering my soul.

 

When all love was just a dream

and tonight I hear applause

thundering under my own skin.

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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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A Moth In The Flame

Idealism is one glorious

iridescent flame-

a magnet to young blood

swathe in innocence. How

with our simplicity,

our winged resistance-

singed and burned. Died

 

until our ashes will mix

in the wick, obliterated

by mediocrity and irrelevance.

Our lives wasted and fading

to wisps of smoke-

in a country where poverty is

a usual sight. Everyday

 

like cockroaches,

we swarmed the sewers of society

and its livid pavement. Of placards-

waving vituperatives.

Flaunting invectives for a change

we vaguely understand. We

 

solicit publicity.

We paraded wearing black

signifying protest. While

those frigid walls, we painted red

in grafitti seeking sympathy-

disguising under the mask

by being a pro-masses. A peasant.

A proletariat. Civil

 

disobedience. We clasped

our fist imitating Che.

We lined up first against

tear gases and waterbombs,

provoking a phalanx

of uniformed men.

Maximum tolerance.  How

 

dangerous, how close

we have trodden

by knowing so little.

We advertise poverty

as a face to a cause,

bannering struggle for

autonomy, sugar-coated

manifesto of national democracy.

A sovereign common rule. Blindly

 

we morph

into mouthpieces. And fronted

as cynical puppets,

high decibeled in echolalia-

against powers in the high places.

Contending reasons

constricted within the bounds  

of our manufactured rhetoric

on utopia. We are

pre-conditioned

 

to see the world

as our oyster. We read

in our books a twisted history

of our beginnings. Taking

a stand by that rostrum

endlessly kvetching

the capitalists.

We became subservient,

as willing subjects to-

 

a coward. Who

shielded himself in

the backdrop of its

Nordic friends.

An ailing lion,

such an imperialist-

remotely controlling

his serfdom, extending

influence. Like a poison

to the minds of the horde

of pseudo intellectual-

moth as we are.

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