Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Three Simple Words 

I tried to send you three simple words
etched on a pebble cast out to sea
thinking it would find you
wherever you are. But it rushed
back with the waves
that foam the shore.

I went up the farthest valley, 
shouted my message to the wind
hoping it would travel far and wide
but it echoed back to me.

I looked for migrant birds
taking refuge in the swamps,
whispered in their ears
the words I need to convey
knowing they will return
to this land of Spring where lovely black tulips,
African Lilies and dahlias abound.

There is nothing more I can do
but hope for you to find
my words written on every pebble
by the seashore,
hear my voice in the echoes
of the valley,
and listen to the birds sing
your name as I utter the same
with every prayer.

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Tuesday, March 07, 2017

About to Set Sail 

This is a rewrite of a poem, The Visit, that I wrote in 2009 and posted here on November 19, 2009. 

About to Set Sail

Where is the guava tree of my youth?
I used to climb it with bare feet
my arms clutching its coarse trunk
while I searched for a fruit.
I could tell when one was ripe for the picking.

I remember the small tree house
my father built with his strong hands.
It was where I could see the river flow east,
where I shot bouncing pebbles
as the day retired.
I could tell when a boat
was about to sail north.

Where is the bench I shared
with the girl who gave me my first kiss?
We used to sit together,
spent countless hours
just watching the moon.

I was told she got married when
I went away to see the world.
I long for her tiny face, her long black hair
that swayed with the wind. Her wet lips
reddened by the lollipop we shared.
That made it a very sweet kiss.

 A bank now stands where the tree
 once was. People continue to go about
their own business. Nothing to do with me.
No traces of my little house
no girl who waits patiently for me.

I have been trapped within the pages
of a book I should have closed.
The time is ripe for me to move on.
Finally, the boat is ready to set out to sea.




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Monday, February 06, 2017

Do what you want 

Whisper my name softly
Say it like you have known it
for years

Shout curses at my face
to tell me what a fool
I had been

Stroke my hair gently
Or pull it to the roots
if you must

Give me a warm embrace
or kick my butt
if you want


Hold my hand
as tight as you can
if only to show me

I am not alone
as I lie dying
on my death bed


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Friday, April 22, 2016

For Tonight She Turns Sixty 

Tonight, the angels descend
       to sing melodic songs
together with  the chirping of a  bird,
      released from her cage
the hooting of the owl
     satiated by a hearty meal
and the steady call of the cicadas
     after being burrowed for 17 years.
A seeming cacophony of discordant notes,
faint at first until they get louder
     and the air is filled with heaven’s harmony
     all made lovely
for tonight she  turns sixty

Armed with nothing but her ubiquitous smile
      more radiant as ever,
better than the child who first experiences rain
     after a long dry spell
or when she first held  snow in her tiny hands.
As if granted of a wish by her fairy
     she smiles triumphantly
For tonight she turns sixty

She is my morning coffee
My sunshine after a well slept night
She is the light that illumines my path
     on a bumpy, dark, dangerous road.
She is my queen, my glory,
     my present and my distant future.
Together we shall  forever be happy
     washing away the doldrums of idleness
     laughing our way to a journey of happiness. 
Join me and my family as we all sing 
     Happy birthday with all your might
For she turns sixty tonight


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Friday, November 27, 2015

not yet 

not yet my child
no dolls, new dress,
just plain water, spoiled bread
in our empty fridge

a thread and needle kit
you do not belong
in a world of despair
of things not meant to be.

skip a rope, jump to ten
drink some juice, a potionful.
no blood lost, she went
to a medical man. decision hers,
the guilt we share, not yet
my child, not yet

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Monday, October 12, 2015

Hell's Sentinel 

six magenta eyes
on three heads
a single serpent tail.
firm and resolute,
stands guard
lets no one pass
to or from Hades’ lair.

 three heads has Cerberus
each view from a different angle
do what you like in front of this beast
surely it shall never miss
tiniest gesture - a nudge, a dance
smitten smile, or even just a frown

three perspectives
from this monster come
you may do one thing
 but your acts betray
your inner motives,
vil or otherwise.

 it does not care
what you think it is
a friend or a foe
a master or a slave.
but what matters for sure
is that once you’re locked
inside the lair
there’s no way out
but burn in hell's eternal flame.


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Friday, October 09, 2015

My Portrait 

If you are to paint my portrait
Make one when I was young
With mane that grew  down to my shoulders
not this thin, two-toned hair on my bald crown

If you are to paint my portrait
Make one when I was young
When every day’s an adventure
everything seen was new to my sight

If you intend to paint my portrait
Flatter me with my youth forever gone
Not this wrinkled skin
Each fold a dead weight to the years
With every crease, a pain

If you need to paint my portrait
See me with your young eyes
Not through my blurry eyes
Distorted by sins seen in countless nights.


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