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Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

We have to spend our whole life getting up

each morning and see the many suns

rising courageous from the horizon.

A simple life- who knows when to retire

at night time and hug long-time companions

called pillows and dreaming dreams.

 

There are episodes here, which send ripples

into our seemingly monotonous existence

everyday. And we have to wage battles

with boredom and her sisters- called mediocrity

and irrelevance. But not all were lost.

Somebody needs to learn how to befriend them.

 

Some may think that something was lacking,

but perhaps in the company of silence we find

orbs of thoughts in the usual grind of days

like the fowls of the air having simple cares.

Season after season. Day after day. Aged

but content to the simple things that matter.

 

The small country talks over the weather

and life in the farm begins with asking folks

how the young are doing these days at school.

The familiar warmth of seeing old friends at a gathering.

The joy of witnessing someone else’s milestones.

 

The farewells and well wishes when someone

is leaving our own little places to discover

the bigness of things. There goes a little prayer

and a hope that nothing is wrong when one decides

to stay and carry on doing their tasks each day.

 

We might spend our whole life thinking it’s good after all, 

though it has never been easy and there are rough times.

 

But it will never stop us believing that peace within

is the only dwelling place, our enduring shelter

when the day comes that we will never be able

to witness the sun and it has forgotten to rise.

 

In the darkness, we hope our soul in its own little spaces

can see the moon and stars light up the evening sky.

While the wind whispers- all is well, we’ll be calm as the sea.

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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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The sanctum smelled of incense and human sweat.

An airless space reverberating whispers of prayer.

She folded a piece of cloth with the holy verse

dipped in animal blood. This is an amulet.

For someone who is afraid of thieves.

 

She knelt across the table ready with her questions

“Do you need a husband? Do you need a wife?”

“Do you need another? Do you need a child?”

“The lines on your palm says you will be rich.”

“The card says you will find your true love.”

 

Then she brought in her candles, started

to light it with a match. She began to read

from a withered book- in its brittle leaves

filled with strange symbols of spells and magic.

Summoning wisdom from the invisible.

 

“Someone wants to harm you, better beware.”

“Keep this stone in a bottle and hide it in your closet.”

She has seen it all- customers come and go

leaving her money for that token of gratitude.

And accepting them as a way of getting by.

 

She keep on caressing the old crystal ball,

ignoring the signs of her grey and thinning hair.

She believed she has power to prevail death.

But  time slowly creeps like a thief in the night

when she can no longer be speaking about

 

the future.

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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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The clock strikes the twelfth hour.

As the familiar sound of wind chimes signals

another year of moving on,  slow and steady.

Remembering the images of the man

within the constant, shifting revolutions

of sunrise and sundown in this woman’s life.

 

Witnessing how lifelong travels have ended,

forging across countless dinnertime of growing old.

Around the fireplace, rekindling romance.

Recalling the stories of the fishermen,

of sailors down the Mediterranean.

Of cowboys in the Wild West

and the wildlife in Africa.

Of the mystical journeys

from the sands of Arabia

to the sands of Samarkand.

 

Those intimate exchanges of lofty dreams

and grand ambitions traveling marvelous

distances of north going down south.

The eastern spring and the wintry west.

Witnessing how she listened. And almost

forgot the difference, whether it is

the story of this man’s life in the stories.

Or simple make-believe.

 

Witnessing how she wobbled achingly

at her feet standing up and lighting a candle,

whispering a prayer. Memories became

mighty flexing arms reaching out for the years.

Discovering the man who makes her laugh

and who makes her cry the silent tears.

Witnessing a love that will never grow old.

Those quiet devotion as ageless and tireless,

pacing along with the hands of time.

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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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Half of the world rising up

on the east welcoming sun,

watching the day unfolds.

Hoping for grace, a fresh start.

 

While, there is a nacreous pearl,

a shell of the western sky peering.

Through the ridges and ridges

of sand-covered castles in the city.

 

Orange gloom in the showers

of the sandstorm. Like an hourglass,

little diamonds in the seave.

Time slips down in a quicksand.

 

Then soon, the veil of the night,

sequined by stars melted wax

over Umm Ghuwailina.  Arabia

bends its knees reciting prayers.

 

The mind wanders away counting days

and counting nights, a farewell

meeting halfway at mid-air-

homecoming touch down years.

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