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Posts Tagged ‘signal’

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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A series of opening.

Waiting. Closing. Life.

It started when you came

out from your mother’s womb.

With a cry loud enough

to rouse the world

from its deep sleep.

And the breaking of dawn

opening the earth’s curtains

like little fingers of light

slipping into space, entering

by the window.

 

For the longest time,

you inhabit that space,

eager in the waiting

of opening your eyes

each morning to see

that the world changes

outside while taking it in.

Waiting for the signals,

the pulses and heartbeats.

Speeding along with days,

pacing with hurried footsteps

in that familiar cycle.

 

Only to find that beginnings

anticipate endings. A book

closing its chapters winding

down through changes until

reaching its climax. At last.

Ending with the earth’s curtains

closing like womb, too. With you.

Like clods of earth falling

down into that space, night

softly crying to its deep sleep.

Shutting off the light, leaving

by the door.

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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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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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No string quartet.

No conductor to signal the baton.

No orchestra to anticipate my usual swoon

of randomly plucked staccato

alternating octaves

like a mad man in Vienna.

 

Alone in the stage,

I would linger

unvigorous in vibrato,

punctuating this sadness

in glissando. A solo part- how I wish

to serenade the muse. Longing

to tell her story in music-

under the sweet  delicate pitch

sorrow of Cremona.

 

The episodes, I have written on

mellow notes, resonant harmony-

bowing cello. Passionately

romancing my fingers to the smoothness

of her nape, the ebony board. While

sitting on a chair, I am a young lover

in blue, embracing memories.

 

My gentle touch travels

her body,  her maple waist

to her bridge, her sensual curves.

Choreographed my movements

spiked to her gravity. My slow breath

became whispers reverberating,

counter-pointing her lucid melody.          

 

I chose to be soft rather than loud,

my cello swooning treble of a tenor-

overwhelmed by a mezzo-soprano.

Quenching beneath this segmented,

disjointed and abruptly shifted

monotony of a lifetime

asking for her forgiveness. 

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To this semi-privacy. An epitaph reads,

“in this sanctum, a restless, herein lies,

its opaque remembrance failing to breath

devoid of oxygen, rousing to the grind

like  a zombie of the worst kind”.

Against the ancient cracked walls, my fingers

will then, smear red letter stains of anguish.

 

The light bulb is my flickering moon

cocooned in cobwebs, I dread.

It went dead as it signals the start

of the many battles I will wage against,

tonight. My anger boils up, my teeth gritted

to someone’s snoring and the other’s whispers.

One-eyed as a pirate I will set to sail the hours

struggling against nocturnal enemies, those

bloodlust critters diving into my sea of sheets.

 

This nightly tryst to its mattress,

and bed covers sweat stained,

sagged by bouts of insomnia-

wasted and nauseated,

by the stench of coffee.

A back-breaking day

I will not slumber away.

Square inches of a shared space

I rented, a coffin to say a bed.

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Room gravitates with clacking sounds from T-square and triangles repelling each other at drafter’s boards. Blood races with time. Sweat drips left watermarks on vellum as inkblots nervously travels the maze of light pencil strokes. There were smudges of graphite dusting above the immaculateness of the paper that the fruity-smelled eraser had not breezed through. Then, forms of squares and circles began to metamorphose into a perspective with depth and of casting shadows meticulously calculated and shaded. I was peeking over my seatmate’s work and my hands are trembling in fear without knowing where to start.

My drafter’s board draped in salmon-colored grid paper  and vellum lay motionless for some minutes. Pencils started to rattle like little earthquakes at its sides. Then my fingers reach out the Pentel Pen and in desperation, I scribbled these words, “no fear, God is good all the time” on its wooden face. I fixed my eyes to the letters, and it appeared as if they began to switch places, jumping like shrimps out of water.

Dimmed visions ensued. I was blackened out. It was half past one in the afternoon, when somebody cursed the other and summoned him to speed up. I was driven like a nail to my senses cutting short a wasted lull. Then like a lightning, I was in a trance. Having invoked the muse, juggling pens upon pens and pencils upon pencils worth of architectural beauty, there was no chance of changing pace. Everybody is on the rush.

Then the noise grew like mighty cacophony of sounds from the drafter’s weaponry. From the other side of the desk, a poor lad accidentally poured water on the sheets, and in  final attempts of rescue, relentlessly waved a piece of cardboard to create pools of air to dry out the accidental and unfortunate wetness. My focus is waning but in great resolve, I need to be a victor over my own strength and exceed what my expectations can afford me.

Every stroke became a heavy etching on the vellum, emphasizing authority. Sketch lines became crooked, consciously hugging traces of sure, finite  lines. I panted and I am beginning to lose my breath. Two hours still, and time is up.  Sheets upon sheets I am flipping through plans and elevations. Of hit and misses. Of trials and errors. Worried to the hilt, if I could catch the time on its tail.

The bell rang. A flag to the finish line have been raised up.  Signals surrender.

The drafter’s board had witnessed a battleground, where black blood stained its wooden face and created slight ebbs and crest on it. Surprisingly alighted out of the tremendous pressure of the examination room. As if the weight of the world on its shoulder vanished after the bell rang.

That was five years ago. The drafter had become an architect.  And the battleground on that drafter’s board had ended on that once glorious day. Its glory that has waned among the many cobwebs of dust which strapped  its once perilous journey to the examination room.

And the day is coming, that these trembled hands will once again redeem its glory. With words “no fear, God is good all the time” written on its face, all will never be erased from one’s memory.  Surely, it will not fade through this architect’s humble life.

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