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Posts Tagged ‘word’

When my sisters began to marry their men,

I just stop talking to them. Eagerness

suddenly plummet into nil and I began seeing

an imaginary wall that divides me to them.

Those strangers’ hand snatching spaces,

of familiarity, never uttered a word about apologies.

Plundering the blood bond, the images of innocence

running away to far places where I cannot go… I hate them.

 

Suddenly somewhere appears picket fences,

territories, boundaries and cages

which were meant as a warning

not to encroach their line, their property.

And how then, for a split-second

they ruin the emotional investment

my sisters and I build relationships.

 

Ah, they would never understand

the weightier aspects more than

the union of two bodies to breed.

They would never understand how

my sisters and I share a lifetime-

that intimate part we found eversince

we are born, out of our mother’s womb.

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His muffled voice breaks

the long stretches of silence

while his hand guided

young and untrained hands

practicing calligraphy.

 

Watchful and demanding precision

of copied texts exacting translation.

As he unbuckles the leathery tome

of secrets in a wooden chest.

Tradition, theology and religion.

Diaries, recipes, scientific notations.

 

Inventories, census, receipts.

Readings of narratives and poetry,

astrology, proverbs and magic spells.

The volumes of letters, last wills,

songs and words of blessings.

 

Spending hours and hours sitting

among the piles of pages digging

for clues and answers to mysteries.

The labyrinth of a culture. A treasure.

Each of the fragile pages a wealth

weightier than silver and the gold.

 

Piecing each fragment in a mosaic

mapping an ancient civilization

long forgotten. He believed, it was

here  in his hands lies the fiber, sinew

and muscle of generations of man-

the society is ought to remember.

 

So he became a warrior, obsessed

with the written word wielding

weapons of passion and wisdom.

With his small army of juvenile scholars

continuing an unpopular legacy.

 

Waging the classic battle against time,

earth bugs, heat, rot and decay

slowly finding its way like marauders

pillaging the essence of our humanity

into oblivion and brink of extinction.

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Forever seems a word unspoken

upon seeing the herd of caribou

silently crossing an ancient pathway

under the pearly moon.

 

The soft glistening flutter of misty light

on the river finding its way to the sea.

Reflecting the stars painted on the sky

like little eyes- all knowing

since the beginning of time.

 

It made me cry.

 

Something within me springs

divine and humbly I begin

to wonder-

 

My smallness

in the scheme of things

pre-occupied with thoughts

of needing only to survive.

 

Creatures of this earth on the move

tracking down the maps of our lives.

Encircling this cycle waiting

for the sun to rise in the morning.

 

Travelling through journeys

winding as these trails

like the herd of caribou

silently passing by the route

 

with one life to live.

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That is when I would want to stop

thinking about numbers. Straining my eyes

glued to the pages of the calendar

pinned on the wall, I marked of days

in and out.  In a work life punching timecard.

 

You never knew how stressful it was,

to run alongside the clock ticking deadline.

And seeing life like a finish line,

guessing as if today  I would be fired,

saying this day would be toast to the last.

 

Number is a finite word.  For me, an illusion

that therein we draw our strength, our definition.

If dying is a painful exercise of keeping track,

and if calendars and clocks are its devices,

then I should shred them all together into pieces.

 

I’ll proceed cutting my fingers straight,

until I only have zero devoiding myself of order.

I would not want to buy the minutes,

and the hours.  And of the days expanding

into months and years wanting to live longer.

 

When I die, so sure that I’ll predictably belong

to some cold stark concrete listed with names.

Informing humankind of milestones in a file

cataloguing folder of the year I was born

and the year that I finally stopped counting.

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Sylvia, you struggled with the night, they don’t see you.  And the madness you have kept along since your youth, stand watch to the agony of your desire, I feel you, even if Ted fades away. They seem to like you and your outbursts of anger, unmindful of the things you are so capable of destroying; your fragility, your womanhood.  They had made you as faceless like girls of Kabul wearing burqa. 

But I must admit, Sylvia, that beyond with your innocence, beyond with the frailty and your true self repressed by layers and layers of hate and uncertainties, you will rise like a phoenix redeeming its immortality.  Like a golden lotus emerging from the fiery flames, and a thousand death might come but it will never win its argument against your indomitable spirit. Yet Sylvia, you left the world with a scar that won’t heal in time, putting a strong voice to silence unheard of, in decades past.

Have you ever met Frida Kahlo? Your fate runs almost parallel to hers and through your gift of art, the pangs of pain are shifted through the bittersweet beauty of your words, though they say it was staid and conventional.  But I don’t believe them.  Yours an endless laughter like the one you made with Ted when you first met him at the party in Cambridge. Yours a happiness since the first time you have published “The Colossus”.

How could you keep as perfectly as it was to squeeze in the time breathing life to a poetry waiting there at the dining table and lay you sleepless in the night?  How could you tear yourself apart open and shed the light withholding nothing and the truthfulness of the turmoil you’re going through?  The days that lingers almost unbearable, in between the soiled dishes in the sink, in the soapy suds of the dirty linen and in the keeping of your children who are innocent of the struggles your dealing with Ted. 

In the night, that you have sealed the doors by wet rags, have you thought of just keeping on, pressing on- to deal with your pervading loneliness and disillusion? When you precisely turned on the ignition of the cooker, as you inhale the gas, Sylvia, did you think of finally  avenging your fractured self against Ted?  Of how your  jealousy could have made you insanely and sweetly surrendering to impending death?  How intense is your longing for Ted to reconcile with you, knowing that he is just a man, and you are so afraid of losing him?

Sylvia, if you only have known that after forty years have past since your death, your son Nicholas might have taken his life, too; maybe because he might be carrying the gravity of questions left unanswered since the day you died.  Would you keep on existing? Would you be strong enough to let go of Ted and spend the rest of your lifetime for your children? And see them of what they have become in the twilight of your years?

But the time has run out.  And you have to choose between life and death.  But you chose the latter. Sylvia, you have chosen to end the sad stories in your life, cutting away Ted and his chains around you.  You have chosen freedom.

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I was on my way to a restaurant that late afternoon to meet a friend, hurrying and my mind was filled with gloomy thoughts. My mind just wandered aimlessly, battling inner fears. 

Rebel as I was, it seems that I am all wearied and fighting against the world, crushed in the agony of my self-defeat- I succumbed into powerlessness.  I have met a familiar darkness of my soul once again. In such a long time.

I am depressed that day.  Defeated by reason. I am filled with anger emblazoned across my face.  That day- I am not the usual masquerading, self-hiding chameleon in the cloak of coolness and charm.  I am likened to a ticking bomb.

I have questions.  And lots of them.  As endless as the broken road markings. My combatant nature would never accept any kind word- even from the most endearing. That was one time I had feared myself the most- who is capable of hurting myself.  Like a jagged knife ready to cut the ventricles of humanity in me.

Somewhere,  in a sudden mysterious way, I heard a helpless chirp.  I stopped and started searching the source  by my side.   And I have found a little bird, that has fallen from a bird’s nest from the nearby palm tree and landed on the ground.  It is too early for the little bird to take flight.  My hardened composure melts gradually into a compassionate being.  How on earth, this hapless sight would pour a cold, cold ice to my raging soul?

Then suddenly, out of nowhere, a stray cat emerged. Prowling as if it is finding something to devour.  In my quick thinking, I immediately snatched the little bird from the ground, rescuing it from danger. From harm and from the claws of the enemy-  so vicious and lethal.

Just when I thought, that what  I did, is the right one, I felt a sudden pain.  A stinging one.  The little bird had bitten me.  Surprised as I was, I accidentally dropped the bird away farther  into the ground. Then the next thing I heard is a scuffle in the bushes until the hopeless chirping stopped.

I am overwhelmed.  I just stand there and was filled with a sudden grief.  I can’t believe that life has been snatched away from my very hands.  The life of a fragile creature. A tragic lost.  Tears quietly streamed down my face until it became flood as pent-up emotions surged and overpowered my anger like a dam  breached loose.

That moment, I wonder,  how vivid  this circumstance made my soul saved from drowning and wallowing in despair?  My life, I learned, can be like the hopeless little bird, compared to a  child out of God’s hand.  How powerful can God teach me a great lesson, a stiff-necked person as I am, who never learned from His admonishing?   The questions that I have over-analyzed  for years has crumbled under the weight of God’s wisdom which is mightier than what I can comprehend.

Like a prodigal son who came back to his father’s arm, I did the same coming home to what God has purposed me to belong.  With the lesson of that hopeless little bird, I just knew that my life on earth rest only on His hands.  All I needed to do is to have an unwavering faith and complete trust on Him.  And God has impressed to me to stay in His dwelling place as long as I live.

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You chose not

to keep memories.

Not to keep promises.

 

But I chose-

to keep,

each single imagery,

each single scene

into a film.

 

Tell me  a word.

And whisper niceties.

 

I consummate,

each single  line,

each single thought.

You must know.

 

I had kept you.

 

Here

some faded photographs-

of us.

 

In the quiet corner

of my mind.

 

We dream.

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