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Posts Tagged ‘pilgrim’

No hero’s welcome.

No grand parade.

Is waiting for the door left ajar.

Only its creaking sound

breaks the silence. And the breathing air

of some familiar spirits. I am once-

a familiar visitor in this house.

 

All that remains are lifeless forms

who have patiently waited here

Am I? Like a hermit crab

occupying this once solitary shell.

Called to embrace the shadows again.

Recapturing the lost and faded

photographs and memories

of the distant past. Forgive me.

 

For I came back not to rebuild

your imperiously alienating walls

I have suffered to endure. The magnanimity

of this abode, on which I failed

to contain the tension. Conquering

the many days and the years living

in the fear that haunted me. As I

have walked away to seek my own.

 

Yesterday will be torn into relevant bits

and pieces. As mementos and snapshots

I will keep them at bay. Never again would

memories imprison me into its walls

like ancient ghosts wailing, begging

to bring them back to their immortality.

 

I will clear away the cobwebs.

I will swept away the dust, making room

on these lonely spaces. I came back.

To cleanse this home of its sad sequences.

I will peel away the white sheets

that has covered the flaws, the lapses,

and the many inconsistencies in our lives-

we are ashamed to show. But instead,

we kept hidden for so long.

 

I will open the windows, taking in

the sunshine and the country air

and hope- as its constant companion.

Savoring the remaining days

choosing to be happy. A pilgrim

transforming this house into a habitation.

The dappled lightness of my being.

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This pilgrim slowly falls

into longing.  Loneliness

hums along a prelude

to twilight.  The olden days

forgotten. Of distant past

revealed and was found-

in the lines of her song.

 

She sings of a sad refrain.

 

As if she knew the way,

retracing tracks to wounds

of a love lost.  A trip,

down the memory lane.

 

She sings

 

as if she knew this pilgrim.

Whose heart is keeping

a sad, hidden melody

left here at the station.

Unsung of someone else’s

 

story.  She sings

 

about broken promises.

About dreams fading

into the horizon.  About

memories slipping away.

Like trains not returning

 

this song’s sad ending.

 

Loneliness runs along

here at the station.

Tomorrow is another day-

down the memory lane.

 

And this pilgrim chose

to stay awhile, alone

past midnight.  Waiting,

as she begins  to sing

another sad song.

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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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Outstretched are

green mighty arms

of thorny crowns

prickly under the sun.

 

Lowly shrubs

worshipping the sand

winding tapestries

of the golden strands

 

It swirls. It whirls.

The desert breath

summoning the clouds

to quench its thirst.

 

Its parched hand. 

Its speckled face,

lips of heaven planted

its misty kisses.

 

When the sun wearied,

will the cold rain

Preciously sparkles jewels

such in the night time.

 

Of  the dewdrops

cusped into little ponds,

clustering brown cakes-

the food for the gods.

 

Eastern winds

will etch  its caresses.

Like a lover

embracing the earth

 

Ah, in the arid landscape

a desert nymph beckons,

resplendent amidst  glory

divinely renews a vow.

 

Surrendering,

welcoming back

a pilgrim finding respite

on its oasis.

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