Pouring light is silver bright
Slipping life is loosing sight
Shines 'love' like a lady bug
Rejoice emotions in choking hug
Potter's clay moulds with bursting sound
Shadows laughs deal of nothingness bound
Who says we are void's breeds
But roaming quarry caves freed
'Absence of light' sincere seer says
Life's retracer of final cause!
Taste of steam in the throat throb
with motion acceleration respiration
perspiration molecules expanding in
the elements of taste taking on
peripheral excitements and boiling
boiling boiling in the recipe the
grip of heat in the clench of life
the coursing of sweat and blood
tearing through it all the sun source
of heat filling the summer days and
nights memory with pavement hot
enough to bake pizza at 10:00 p.m.
The gap of sense between memory and heart
continues to amaze me. Only this morning
I awoke before the alarm to find you
still beside me in this new season
sprung on us like tender rain, the bedroom
window curtain trembling the way you do
when making love in the afternoon on our day
off and the room is bright and the ice cream man
is outside grinding his monotonous nursery rhyme.
You once asked what tune that was and it took me
hours to remember. Heard it a thousand times.
Sang it as a child. But just then it was lost.
I was that carried away. Looked up at the window
from the bed. Lace as calm as your skin.
That golden summer I discovered Anne--
a girl as rare as a snowfall in mid-June.
I found her on a windless afternoon
just as the wail of mourning doves began.
She was seated on a birch divan,
in a gazebo perched atop a dune
that overlooked a lotus-filled lagoon,
stirring lazy currents with her fan.
Her eyes were brown as buckeyes fresh from husk,
her umber eyebrows curved like willow boughs,
her lips were colored like a coral vase.
we fell into free discoursse until dusk
began more darkly to define her brows,
and light my soul her self-hood to embrace.
I wake from a gentle dream,
its story first mingling with,
then sinking beneath the humming,
oscillating output from the fan across the room,
wavering yet steady,
like so many contradictory aspects of myself.
It is my partner for the night,
swooping to and fro
like a giant silvery bird,
high above in the jungle where there is no moon, no stars,
majestic, like some feathered leader delivering an inaugural address to its flock,
lulling me awake
with thoughts of how much there is to do,
how much there is to pack
into the day ahead,
while that silvery, quivery avian
perched on the wardrobe
sings on throughout the night to its flock, working the room,
back and forth, and back and forth
unencumbered by varied inflections and all that such imply,
If there is a Paradise
my mother will get her children there.
She will wag her finger at God
and make excuses for our sins,
nostrils wide with indignation
and always, her index finger waving.
"One more chance, God,
give him one more chance!
You and me, a mother and a Diety.
He'll listen to us.
He'll be good this time,
just one more chance."
She'll keep pleading, arguing, nagging
until God throws up His hands and says,
All your children can come to Heaven,
but you're responsible!"
Then, she'll appear in a dream
and tell us to polish our shoes,
put on our best outfit,
comb our hair, sit still
and for God's sake, behave!
I cannot explain to anyone
the silent anguish,
this painful feeling
of migration from
the country I came from.
If I go back now to settle down,
to the place of my birth,
I may not survive long.
My friends with whom I studied
left for far off lands,
to pursue higher studies
or seeking greener pastures
but never returned.
Some settled down in
far flung States.
Others are no more:
departed to the birthplace of their souls.
Quite a few became ill
at an early age,
by unshakable poverty
and ever-increasing family burden.
Where I looked
I faced new faces,
none I knew.
Even the street names
I was familiar with
have been replaced.
The house I was born in
is now a gas station.
Even the burial ground
my parents chose
as a final resting place
is no longer theirs
but belongs to
whoever comes next.
I think myself a vagabond,
-- a troubadour-- pleasing every one,
roaming everywhere uninvited --
claiming every place as mine.
Even the country I live in now
-- years and decades --
is not mine.
Whom do I tell
about my pain?
The river born at one place
rushes out to unknown places,
changing course many a time
in its length and breadth,
but never returns
-- even once --
to its place of birth.
Did you ever look deeply
into the eye of a chicken?
No, you say,
nothing between their eyes
and you laugh at your little joke.
Did you ever look deeply
into the eye of a chicken?
Yes, you say, and
it came over and bought
me a drink,
and you laugh some
of a chicken?
No, you say, have you?
Yes, I have.
What did you see? you ask.
I saw a light like a little
and inside it were countless
It was like touching my eyeball
to a live wire,
and it lasted for only a split second,
but I saw infinity in the eye of a chicken.
Yeah, I saw that once in a waitress's eye,
you say with a snicker.
Same infinity I saw,
only I didn't have to leave a tip.
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