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Posts Tagged ‘year’

What will it take you to remember?

The light and shade of beauty

in minutes and seconds within hours

in a day or a year. A lifetime

 

about colours mixed in a palette

about anecdote in a story

about a scene in a play

about a line in a poem

or a montage in a song

 

I carry within me

waiting to be expressed

in time. Little by little

a masterpiece.

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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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She took out a folded piece of paper

from her pocket. A handwritten note

she would read again. Then say,

“He loved me and I still believe”.

“He is from Oregon, an American”.

 

She hid this keepsake along with

a photograph.  Of a white man smiling,

in uniform, besides a military truck.

Her fingers would trace the line

of the man’s face, remembering.

 

When she first served him a drink,

seeing him there ever since. Then,

to her the bar transforms to a place

where promises of crossing oceans

were not so distant like a dream.

 

But they left. Leaving behind sadness

that will fill her days as she waited-

for her man to return and take her away.

To a place where the color of her skin

will not matter but a heart that she fully gave.

 

Year after year, she stayed while clearing tables

and washing dishes. Cleaning them spotless

and white again, counting them like days

she will have to wait. Leaving this place

crossing oceans to dream with her man.

 

Still, no news of him. Maybe, tomorrow.

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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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There was a time in our lives

when we thought of the raincloud

as omen, spoiling the day

for us to play in the open.

 

The rain fills the street canals like rivers.

And if it has stopped, then hurriedly,

we rip pages from our notepads

to make us- paper boats.

 

We were so young then.

 

We are fond of races. We will race to see.

Whose boat comes first crossing the finish line?

 

If our paper boats were like voyages

of our little dreams. Would it be?

I didn’t cross the finish line first.

As mine have wilted wet, moving slow.

 

I have to be content coming in

as number two, a  second placer.

You always come away as the victor

in almost every races we used to play.

 

We are not so young anymore.

 

The tough gets going and it’s me

who have stayed behind, year after year

bobbing at sea. Sailing the ocean because

I didn’t win. Crossing first the finish line.

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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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Before the midnight sky  becomes cluttered by glittering show of the fireworks and the revelry of people shatters its silence,  I am lying here on my bed tracing back what this year the world had gone through.  It would be selfish for me to say,  that I am only too concerned of what had happened to me, knowing that on the far sides of the world, there are also people who like me, are in their silence thinking about the substance of it all.  Time has trodden a lonely and eerie path for some and here, most of us await for another new year to come.

The countdown begins. From the hours and the minutes gone to the last sixty seconds, and its ticking runs out to the finish line.  A tensioned stance that will be eventually released celebrating a new beginning of another year’s end.  And the cycle goes on.

I imagine.  About a child in Sudan begging to be fed.  A man in Chile waiting anxiously for the birth of his son.  An elderly woman in Russia staring blankly into the space in the cold of the night. A bargirl in Thailand sitting silently, waiting for a customer to come.  A seaman in a dock in South Africa, miserably misses his family back home. A teenager in Japan, held in her hands a knife, ready to kill herself.  A woman in Ireland, lying there in comatose in the hospital for a year.  And a father of three in India, unemployed, worrying about work that didn’t come for almost six months now.

There maybe thousands or even more souls out there, who welcomes the new year, not hoping, but filled with fear of how could they struggle to live one more day.  And fear has slowly crept into their being and deafening their enthusiasm to get on surviving.  Everyday, in our waking life, do we care to think about what’s on the other side, when half of the world is still in darkness?

What is the worth of this pondering on last sixty seconds before the clock strikes twelve?  I do not know how to calm down, when the world is on fire of succumbing to its continual decay and destruction.   And the day will come, that survival guarantees only the strong and the able. 

What an escape is there to whitewash with revelry the truth that we are coming nearer and closer into an end?  And all is vanity and a gasping in the wind.   Perhaps with this last sixty seconds, it is a reminder of what things may come.  In an eventuality that all of us cannot deny, where the headlines read that these are the worst of times.

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