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Posts Tagged ‘young’

We have to spend our whole life getting up

each morning and see the many suns

rising courageous from the horizon.

A simple life- who knows when to retire

at night time and hug long-time companions

called pillows and dreaming dreams.

 

There are episodes here, which send ripples

into our seemingly monotonous existence

everyday. And we have to wage battles

with boredom and her sisters- called mediocrity

and irrelevance. But not all were lost.

Somebody needs to learn how to befriend them.

 

Some may think that something was lacking,

but perhaps in the company of silence we find

orbs of thoughts in the usual grind of days

like the fowls of the air having simple cares.

Season after season. Day after day. Aged

but content to the simple things that matter.

 

The small country talks over the weather

and life in the farm begins with asking folks

how the young are doing these days at school.

The familiar warmth of seeing old friends at a gathering.

The joy of witnessing someone else’s milestones.

 

The farewells and well wishes when someone

is leaving our own little places to discover

the bigness of things. There goes a little prayer

and a hope that nothing is wrong when one decides

to stay and carry on doing their tasks each day.

 

We might spend our whole life thinking it’s good after all, 

though it has never been easy and there are rough times.

 

But it will never stop us believing that peace within

is the only dwelling place, our enduring shelter

when the day comes that we will never be able

to witness the sun and it has forgotten to rise.

 

In the darkness, we hope our soul in its own little spaces

can see the moon and stars light up the evening sky.

While the wind whispers- all is well, we’ll be calm as the sea.

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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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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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In the old quarter of the city,

in the nakedness of the cold walls

of this back street. I sit alone, outside.

Here. In the almost empty corner of the café.

Looking beyond many mornings

distant, from the crowd.

 

There is something.

In the stale morning air that reminds me

of one strange midnight.

 

A quiet conversation of two souls

connecting among the silver teaspoons,

teacups and porcelain.

 

Exchanged glimpses of a period

when things are new, young and free.

Reliving a story of the jaded past

within a single stretch of hours

waiting for the sunrise.

 

There is something-

which I failed to grasp

and took hold of.

 

Something in the dust-filled glass windows.

The peeled off paint from the ceiling.

The wallpaper shedding its ancient skin.

The tattered leather and cushions

of these vintage chairs.

 

There is a memory of a voice fading

like the sheen from this worn-out table.

Among the bread crumbs for the pigeons to share.

And this bronzed cup leaving off a tinge-

a certain warmth I could not forget.

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I

We came to know war as we see the carcasses

dance in the seawaves, lapping on the crimson shore.

Lulling back and forth to its mad rhythms.

 

The symphony of air raid bombs digging

graves for the fearless and the brave.

These patriot’s sons fading like the last puffs

of smokes from an old man’s cigarette growing

into mushroom clouds eclipsing the day.

 

Bullets strafing the night from the enemy’s line.

Strayed as wolves lacerating flesh upon flesh.

Blood upon blood. Our men tumbled half-dead

in deep trenches squirming the earth like worms.

 

Dead bodies heaped on a hill-mound.

where bayonet stands a flag of conquest.

In the name of the mortar fire, boys learn

the lessons on how to become a  man-

scarred and sculpted like a wounded bark

of a leafless tree bleeding young.

Whose innocence is his first casualty

snatched from the destiny’s hand.

 

 

II

Severed limbs- heads, hands and legs littering

this blood-soaked earth. Hungry of men’s bodies

spangled of exploded grenade shells. Their entrails

gushing out from half-cut torsos, splayed bones

and pulped brain from shattered skulls popping

like balloons. Amidst the stench of rotting human flesh.

 

Here is a feast. The slaughter of the lambs

for the gods of war. As real as it gets.

A montage of splintered and scorched

colors of midnight- this numbing blackness.

Where lives are lost in combat, felled

one by one. An unfathomable pain.

 

Survivors were left scavenging through

the wretched and the grotesque. Soldiers

with a  missing eye, a missing ear,

a missing  teeth, a missing heart,

a missing sanity and nothing remains

but memories of what have been.

Kept hidden within books and letters

among wooden barrels and wooden crates

longing for the warmth of home.

 

The gloomy spectacle has just began.

Pushing our luck for a chance to live

one more day in a battle waged in anger

and uncertainty of our fates. Our fear

to glimpse the fragiled face of death.

And an end to this misery and suffering

akin only to a soldier.

 

 

III

Somewhere

in a strange and foreign harbor,

when the battleship moored-

the world becomes so small

as the wandering clouds casts

its lingering shadows over

the returning and lucky.

 

Admired for the great sacrifice.

The news of the day.

A hero’s welcome.

 

In the deluge of confetti

and waves upon waves of flags.

Shoulder to shoulder, hard-pressed,

stinking and slipping away

from the remotest of islands

to wide open spaces prowling

for some intimate connection

curing their isolation.

 

Starving, gripping cold

over mugs of beer, vodka,

brandy and rum. Drowned

to the muffled voices of women.

And women seeing part of them-

like knights from some medieval era-

an illusion of the men concealing

their broken selves. As if this

is the last night of the world.

 

They seek in the arms of strangers

the completeness of their wholes.

Of their filed lives. The monotonous

order of a soldier’s life. Aimless,

and disconnected. No promises.

No excuses. No hope of ever returning

to the dreamy life they left behind.

Only the stark reality where sadness

cuts the deepest wound into their morrows.

 

 

IV

Jungle has become our greatest enemy.

The rain lashed endlessly as if-

heavens never run out of its tears.

Weeping for the impending farewell.

This tempest, the mud and the flood.

 

The rain became empty bullet shells

mourning at this God-forsaken place.

Lethargy stripping us down, our morale.

As mud sticks closer like the hands

of the dead soldiers we lost. Deepening

the burrows of sorrow and regret.

 

Man to man, we cry like long-lost brothers.

Hoping if the leafless trees will no longer be

prison bars that caged us in the necessity

of killing.

 

V

At noontime, the sun simmers the hearts

of the amateur, the frail and the unsure.

As soon as  the amphibian tanks

landed against the somber shore,

the replacement fighters crawl

like little crabs maneouvering

for the first time. Unscarred.

Advancing inch by inch for cover.

 

The reality stings when they begin

to witness the rushing bloodbath

from dead soldiers lying abandoned

atop sand bags, slumped in trenches.

Their bodies tattered and ravaged

by this war’s early conquests.

 

The warships sinking in defeat,

swallowed up by the crimson sea.

And warplanes crisscrossing

the vastness of the red sky.

Dropping bombs into hills etching

craters into the deep forest. Burning

tanks and the walled barricades.

Ashclouds falling like moondust.

 

The thinning battalion  outpaces the path.

The slow credence keep marching through

the columns of ash billowing and sifting

like fingers of fallen bombs scouring the earth.

Crashing like meteors from heavens clawing

for life. As stars flicker signals for the rescue.

We run the race sheltering for our safety.

 

 

VI

We are outnumbered and overwhelmed.

Waging a battle for a bitter peace.

The end is not in sight.

 

We have fought as vultures today.

Plundering for armaments and ammunitions

refilling our dwindling resources.

 

For every bullet costs an enemy’s life.

And the chances to survive in the game

of life over death lengthens.

 

The bullet is the only salvation, they say.

I think it’s true. Since the enemy also pray

to God all day. Soon, we will both die anyway.

 

Don’t look back, soldier.

Don’t retrieve the man behind you.

Keep your stance or get killed.

 

 

VII

Loneliness. Fear. Filth.

Hunger. Cholera. Lack of  sleep.

And a fellow soldier dies. Is like a boulder

of rock rolling away so steeply in the day

of no man’s rain but tears in agony.

 

You can’t dwell on it.

Men falls like leaves in autumn.

 

As the artillery come and go

And our heavy foot falls eager for home

as we walk on this shaky ground.

Our sagging spirits sinking in a quicksand. 

 

There is a silent lamentation growing

into a strange language of anguish.

The gnawing conscience inside of us.

 

 

VIII

We call the enemy as rats.

Deep in their fouled dug-outs and bunkers,

we drop the grenade. They storm out

disoriented, swarming for exit like flies.

We kill them like rats. Whose teeth

of resistance nibbling in our flesh.

 

We shoot them exacting our revenge and hate.

In fear and paranoia.

 

As the days of fighting drained our energies,

hoping to live for one more day. The sound

of distant bombs and the exchange of gunfire.

This killing field and the bloodshed.

The sight of dying soldiers and evacuees.

The crying widowers and children.

The torture of captured enemies.

They all became ordinary.

 

No one wants to give in. No one wants to surrender.

 

The grey mist of melancholy settles here. And we keep

our silent lamentations deep within our hearts.

This war still rages on through the many wintry days

and nights of young lives falling like snowflakes.

And the tombstones are crowding hills, growing

like little anchors for me to keep on. And try living

through these horrors of war.

 

As I am holding up that scarlet tainted flag.

 

 

IX

It’s raining ashes today.

Clearing away the embers

among the crevices of silence.

God’s pencil is being sharpened

and graphite is being pressed down

into the annals of men’s history.

Remembering acts of heroism

that flowed through these shores.

 

Soldiers who were born to fight

for liberty. Whose death-

their immortality engraved

in epitaphs. Their creed

of no surrender. Only victory.

Moving toward for a dream

to be free at last.

 

Blessed is the man whose wound

is worth much more than a thousand

medal of valor. Who brave the odds

and stand up for what he believed in.

Fearing no evil. Outlasting more

than the courage he could have

ever known.

 

 

X

The dust of war is over.

 

As light flares brightening the night sky

like my fellow soldiers twinkling as the million stars.

Did it really end? Am I waking up from a bad dream?

I walk past the familiar rooms, returning home.

 

Nothing has changed. But the boy is not there anymore,

only a stranger and its long stretches of silence.

With empty gazes through the window

from sunrise to sundown. Nursing the wounds-

the images of war that would not heal.

 

Free yet imprisoned- to a time and a place

when human suffering numbs compassion.

When freedom was fought in blood,

whose only hope is to outlive death.

 

Peace is here. But the inner voices of men

still never ceases asking why.  

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I wonder

how silent

the trees are

under the canopy

of the rainforest,

waiting for the old wood-

giving way a piece

of heaven for the

young to claim a space.

That’s how we are.

 

The rules reign supreme

in this cycle- a jungle

called life. They are

the ones who had

been there first.

The towering teacher

who holds the key

to wisdom.

 

We are followers.

 

Resilient and bending

gracefully like

an outstretched arms

begging for the time

of our liberation.

Asking permission

to shine and find

our way to embrace

the light.

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We abandon the place

after the flood. When

the alleyway became a river

detouring its natural course

meanders into two directions-

separate

 

until that gap

spans the vast expanse of the land.

Wider than the ocean,

for years now.

 

Long pauses between seasons.

Winter. Spring. Summer.

Fall. A silent  rain

muttering through the night

whispers becoming promises,

dewdrops of tears in the dawn.

 

Time have weathered

this young couple’s portrait

left hanging in the wall.

Silhouette and shadows

in muted remembrance

among traces of dry mud

and moss,

 

mildews

eating up the torn

and brittle edges-

the vows to our union.

The floodwater left

its ugly stains

of pain. Unreconciled

 

between two people

lost in the randomness.

Of things. Searching

to belong in another’s embrace.

 

Which can’t be found

 

even if the storms

have finally subsided.

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