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Posts Tagged ‘street’

I would like to remember

for the sake of remembrance

without fear of talking on corners

where echoes reverberate

within these four white walls.

 

I would like to visit a place

that is only half-remembered

where the streets are fading

against the foggy morning light.

 

Have they forgotten

or just being forgetful?

Frozen fingers of tree branches

on a bleak Friday morning.

Wisps of emotion numbed

by the chilly winds,

the pores of my skin

have forgotten to breathe.

 

The chances of longing

for somebody or someone

whom you have felt the time

when the blood on your veins

boil and burst with life. Inside

of you. That the world is

still a beautiful place, after all.

 

Just for this moment of expectation.

This soft prison cell will balm my soul

who wants to break out as a man

free like a butterfly

in its resplendent colors.

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A balloon hollow as air

I float miles farther away

no one could catch me.

I’m not here. Drifting

past the roofs of cities

and a maze of streets.

No one could see me now.

Lingering among clouds,

playing with dreams,

breathing a reality

of existing to survive.

In a skin I lived in

may not reveal who

a being- hidden within.

A face. A soul waiting

to be exhaled

and found again.

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Freedom is an open door to a cage.

Yet another cage must be opened

like animals, we are hesitant to move.

For the years we lived in it, self-made.

A niche. A home. A nest. A dungeon.

The city streets became a zoo

and life has turned us into one.

We migrate and roam like animals do.

Constantly in fear that patterns change.

Season after season. Year after year.

Territories we keep from somebody’s

breaching our personal space.

We accept no disturbance to our boundaries.

Yet we think we are free? Alone.

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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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We were among those hundred innocent feet

wheeling through the clouds of dusts.  So close

that someone shouted to stop the angry phalanx

from advancing the gates. We were young bloods then.

Brave as a collective force ululating vignettes

about homeless families, starving peasants,

weak indigents, landless tribes,

friends of disappeared and the exiled.

 

We stand like a hundred innocent moths

circling fearlessly around the flame. Ready

to extinguish our fates  for one day of glory.

The cups ready to be filled with the bitter

after-taste of seeking the truth on the matter

of state.  Of politics. Of international affairs.

We stomp them shamelessly beneath our sandals.

We ripped them off from our tattered jeans.

We print them on the plainness of black shirts.

That justice of the land is not blind and should prevail.

 

We debated doctrines. We fight about logic.

We push our pens. We clasp our fists.

We join the caravan. We live our days

marching  vigorous  in the streets chanting

the aged texts  on mass struggles by the red book.

Burning  effigies.  Donning the placards.

We abhor dictatorship. We hated imperialism.

Like waterbombs spouting heavily against our faces.

Like the many teargases  hurled against our defences.

 

We bled when the police beat us out of the line.

Isolated  when we are thrown into prison cells.

Humiliated when subjected into torture chambers.

Discriminated when hunted down in the mountains.

We rise and made each part of our bodies as weapons.

Our  mouths  without strained voices.

Our  eyes  without biases.

Our  ears without prejudice.

Our fists without cowardice.

Our hearts without fear.

 

This is our revolution against the world order.

And the phoenix will rise again and again

among the many moths that have died.

Resurrected and will never be silenced.

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I will have to catch the train

and leave you. For I am

a wanderer in search

of a destiny. Only here

squeezing in time,

making  a sidetrip

for memory’s sake.

Holiday is sweet

in these short hours.

 

Recollecting the good

old-natured yesterday

becoming vague now.

And in your eyes

there are outlines

of the life you wish

you had with me.

How could it be

so beautiful? Still

I cannot stay, if only

I exist in a fairytale.

 

There is a real world

outside your nutshell.

Breaking away beyond

here- that I must go.

I need to exist

day after day

among other strangers

flocking the city streets.

How can you keep

a dream from going on?

I am not so sure, while

 

I catch train after train

hoping not to return.

Ignoring the illusions

fulfilling your fantasy.

I found you, still,

a girl and a child.

With the same old

story to tell. And you

do not see that I have

become so different.

So far away, a distance

far too wide to belong.

 

Love is not possible

between you and me.

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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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