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Posts Tagged ‘sign’

I sense a dark storm is looming over.

Someone told me that I should not be afraid

of all the tragedy impending.  Even if the winds

blow me empty at will, I should not cower.

There are intruders- those unwelcomed visitors

breaking and entering the skin I lived in.

 

I forgot the keys, my memory slips

down in the labyrinth of forgetting.

I search for clues, deciphering a code

among the pages in the book of days.

 

I misplaced the sign- “don’t disturb”

among the shards of broken plates,

of broken glasses in the kitchen.

Where did I put our picture frame?

 

I can only hear whispers from strangers

whose faces I have seen for the first time.

Ruling my house as if they’re kings and queens

breaching  a territory, our serfdom of privacy.

 

I blame these disrespectful marauders

for letting me swim deeper into the pool.

I got tangled in the maze,  finding myself.

Don’t they know it’s an abyss down here?

 

Don’t they know how it feels to get lost

sinking deeper among piles and boxes

of photographs, of letters, searching-

a faint remembrance of the two of us.

 

They keep on robbing me of something.

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Look at me.

A corporate soldier.

Working wounded

in the company of men-

wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Deceiving as snakes.

Cunning as sharks.

 

And here, the desk became

my war machine. Riding

in the engines of my brain.

Words and strategies wielding

like speeding bullets, as weapons.

 

I must learn the art of combat.

 

And it’s going to rain today.

But not of the sky.

But with paper planes

piling up in my incoming tray,

touching down like flies.

 

The cubicle is a battleground.

 

I need a saving grace, ejecting

from this capsuled seat. When

life signals on a high wire-

blinking signs of warning.

Maneuvering survival,

evading a free fall.

Beating the deadline.

 

I’m burned out.

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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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We fail to keep promises

just as we are used to

stare like goats. Upfront

confronting strangers.

 

Inside this hallowed cavern

with  a burden of care while  

we share those empty gaze.

Needing to belong.

 

We don’t even dare

to twitch a smile- as a sign.

Filling void spaces to fit.

Caged and restrained

 

our little freedom.

Moving and hurrying

to destinations, crowding

one way streets like ants.

 

Knee to knee. Side by side.

Wanting to repel, burst

into the open, running away

with the world past behind us.

 

We fail to stay as we are.

Outpacing each other.

Chasing the dust cleared

of promises we can’t keep.

 

Finding it hard to believe

it was only inches away,

that we ought to  try

mending this great divide.

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Flipping through a newspaper  is like a world

in a still shot of words. A night sky of falling stars

against the backdrop of inkblots and faded graphite.

Filling out the whiteness of pages parched with yesterday

scenes captured and distilled in silence.  Here, where

its blackness became a cure to this ennui.  A distraction.

A flotsam of unhappy events, of somebody’s tale.

The never-ending saga of tragedies and its epic struggle

to survive. Looking for signs, of parallelisms

which might ephemerally keep that connection.

While tomorrow is another news rolling off the press

harping that life will still stay relevant. Each day.

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Your face tells much

and the crooked lines circling

your eyes, expressionless

but I have found a meaning.

 

You began to speak

but I can’t hear until

that voice, suddenly, came

from nowhere.  Sshhh. Quiet.

 

Keep calm. You wait-

for the one who sings the lullaby

to a child. Yes, you are a child

whose life will begin at forty.

 

And sleep will once again visit

to take away your silent screams

reverberating among these-

four corners of your reclusivity.

 

I have a hand that can grip

your shoulders from shaking disbelief.

The fears you have tried to put out

like a flame from a candle.

 

But no one said, it will go away

as easy, that one should get.

Only when that release of breath

would extinguish as a sign.

 

Your face tells much

not even a sound to decipher

the depth of words that was lost.

Searching for some kind of hope.

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Crossing  the pedestrian lane

whip lashed  by the  breeze.

He came by- unmindful

of the roaring traffic.

Green light blinked

turning yellow-

still he walks, only inches

away to his own shadows.

 

Merged in the crowd

in the heat of the sun

with eyes transfixed-

one solid direction.

He goes without turning.

He goes without swerving.

He talks without sound.

Keeping distance.

 

He exist but can’t be found

in the sea of strangers-

he lives but don’t belong

waiting buses, waiting lines.

To him, the world’s a square.

A face and a name where-

traffic signs blinking red,

life detours to dead-end.

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