But such people-
the mighty, the powerful
the rich, the pseudo- intellectual
are the most odious
what **** sapiens?
they are the mal-products
who bring shame
to the human race
in their inhumanity
items of assorted pathology
but they can't see-
' We are the authority
and can't do wrong'.
In the newspapers
they are the centre-piece
their pride oozes
from their every paw
but time brings down
even the mightiest
and such people end up
as discarded old newspapers
in the dust-bin of history
where they belong so appropriately.
* this is not fiction--too many of such I had met--they stank!
once upon a time--remember?
but no more
now is our time--forever
tears we shed together
broken hearts once healed
re-love with the most resplendent grandeur.
THE LAST LOVE LETTER OF TCHAIKOVSKY*
My angel, life of my life
Fate would never allow me to meet thee
Only in thy letters to me
Do I feel the touch of love’s ecstasy.
Would but that upon thy sweet face
I would just once behold
All my sixth symphonies I would gladly exchange
In love’s name and in its wondrous beauty untold.
Here with all my rapturous kisses
I send thee the music of ‘Love’s Sorrow’
Every note swims in the sea of my restless heart
None would such grievous pain of mine ever know.
Let history judge
All that is between thee and me
Even the deluge that drowns the whole world
Would never obliterate every melody I dedicate to thee.
• Tchaikovsky’s benefactress was Madame Von Meck (Nadezhda) who exchanged 260 love- letters (1876—1887)with him and endowed him with a regular income on the understanding that they should never meet.
Her late husband was a millionaire whose fortune was derived from his railway business.
Finally, she broke up the relationship leaving the composer in complete devastation.
This is one of the most poignant love-stories of all time.
If you do come to Australia
don't think just of the kangaroo--also the dugong
the koala, the platypus, the wombat and the Tasmanian Devil
and learn to sing Waltzing Matilda the nation's most-loved song
far superior to Advance Australia Fair (believe me)
our uninspiring national anthem (most Aussies would agree)
and the lyrics were so badly
written-- no wonder Aussies could never sing the song properly
Love is bereft ---abandoned by the heartless
cry not, nor lament--none is around to listen
sorrows of the broken heart
are never assuaged by reason
..ah ! when would love
its splendour once more glisten?
my pillow I #bite this sombre night
in tears--I never knew love was such a prison.
* inspired by Free Bird's LATE NIGHT CONFESSIONS--she is a fellow-writer in HP. # This poem is meant to be written by a young girl in distress.
I came, I saw
but I did not conquer
it wasn't my goal at the outset
to win a battle --only to wonder
what the whole wide world
to me held in store
I returned a little wiser
and am eager to venture out for more.
Why was it that Tarzan
only did one loincloth wear?
there was no clothes-shop there
Do you know Tarzan had a terrible phobia?
if you must know---it lasted for a long while-
a strong swimmer he was but devastated by this condition
as once he was nearly swallowed up by an 8-metre crocodile
3 Bringing home Cheeta the naughty little chimpanzee
was the idea of Jane
who said to Tarzan--we had enough of each other--
without Cheeta we would go insane!
Why was it Tarzan and Jane
didn't raise a family?
they were fighting the animal-poachers
all day long--too busy!
Of course Tarzan and Jane
lived together in the tree
they needed no beds
but were content and happy
Maples in red and deep yellow
It's end of Australian autumn
Birds fly to warmer skies
Nights are sombre and solemn.
I look through the window
Waiting for your quick return--all I hear
Is but the faint rustling of leaves
And the wailing of the wind--where are you, my sweetest dear?
* inspired by Maple, a fellow-writer in HP
MY BOYHOOD DAYS
Klang# then was a sleepy and backward town
But ronggeng was the highlight of the night
A dance with a lovely wanita** cost 30 cents
It brought Malayan men's emotions to the supreme height.
Mum said: study hard, ronggeng is for grown-up men
Don't let me catch you in the amusement park watching
Immoral men dance with coy and seductive ronggeng girls
Unless you want dad to give you a good beating!
Klang# is located in the State of Selangor, Malaysia (Malaya) and was my birthplace. There was an amusement part in the heart of town where Ronggeng* (a traditional Malay dance) was very popular in the 1950's.
Ten Ronggeng girls sat on rattan chairs and patrons would choose which one to dance with--no body-touching nor hand-holding--the couple danced a foot or so away waving hands and sometimes chatting. But mothers then thought their kids should not watch this.
Wanita** is young girl derived from Juanita. Those happy and innocent days!
I paused and took a step back
I looked around and was unsure
' You're a coward ' my critics chided
I replied: ' For folly there's no cure'.
Prudence has taught me
Life's prizes and trophies are never easy to secure
I've seen so many mighty giants fall by the roadside-
They were too arrogant and too cocksure.
Men are born free
but everywhere are in chains
thus wrote Rousseau--I take the point further-
upon themselves they inflict pains
in being prisoners of time
which with a sword of Damocles hangs
over every head and herds them into closed barns
where they sigh and lament in silent pangs
of anguish with no hope to be free
they have lost the will to fight
to regain that which was once their heritage
and fundamental right
men are born free
but by the loss of freedom they are condemned
time is the slayer--would they wake up
some day and look upon time with contempt?
I am in outer space
I am levitating
light as a feather
in another state of being
but I am no alien
( I am not dreaming)
I was born with a heart
I have every human feeling.
I touch the tips of stars
I sleep in the cradle of the moon
I dance with the clouds
to the music of the heavens I swoon.
Lighter, yet lighter I am getting
(I know I am not dreaming)
weightlessly I am drifting, flying
in space infinite--in a world without ending.
* after watching an outer space fiction programme over TV tonight. It's 11.50 pm in Melb, 10th January 2016
What have I planted today
but the seeds of words in my mind's garden?
would they germinate and grow
would they beautify? and gladden
the heart in verse and song? I'll not fail you
my love, as it was you who gave me
the seeds with your white tender hands
which I kissed--your love I'll enshrine forever in my poetry.
Santa Claus is in deep financial trouble-verily-
He had spent too much on kids in the past
To save himself from bankruptcy
He has set up Santa Claus (Universal )Trust.
Every kid shall contribute $1 annually
(Before Christmas Eve) to this 'most worthy charity'
His email to the kids ends with these words: 'Trust me-
I am a person of the utmost integrity'.
Those guys--the intellectuals-
are bashers----they are bashing
words, ideas and philosophy to death
with their endless quibbling and quarrelling
but for me an uneducated peasant
all that I know and need to know is farming--
planting, sowing, tendering, nurturing and harvesting
the sun rising and setting--for a good season is all I'm hoping.
There are those who are more enamoured
of dreams than reality
wherein lie their secret longings
cradled in imagination and fantasy--
to be in love with someone they had never met
to surrender to a face, a smile, a kiss, a moment of ecstasy
beyond the pale of insipid daily living--
far transcending every earthly beauty.
Nancy, do you remember me?
I was a member of the Dramatic Society
you played the part
of Juliet--you stole my heart.
I was not good enough to be Romeo
I wished that had been me--I know
that would have drawn me
close to you--now all I have is the beautiful memory
of you saying those words--so amorous and sweet
I dreamt since--had your eyes did mine meet
you would feel the love stirring within me
do you remember Shelley's 'Love's Philosophy?'
Your home address I got from your brother
he knows me like none other
he will testify to my high morals and impeccable character
my mobile is .....I would really love to meet you and chatter.
One who adores you but is shy and lacks the courage to approach you-forgive me for writing this.
I am Arthur
Roses are asleep
under a calm autumn sky
night breezes drift by
Under the ocean
a hidden world of its own
beauty beyond words
Under the lamp-post
a woman anxiously waits
it is past midnight
Cyclist in the night
riding across a steep hill
no one is in sight
City bars are closed
the waiters are rushing home
it is two a.m
Come to my dreams
(as you would not speak to me)
chide me then to your heart's content, say the worst
as though I were your sworn enemy.
Come to my dreams
and declare: ' I never loved you--it's your fancy
remove me forever
from your memory'.
Come to my dreams
I'll show you the scented letters you once sent me:
' You've filled my heart with such joy
You are my ecstasy'.
Come to my dreams
Let me show you the photos of you and me
at the back of which you wrote:
' Our love is meant for eternity'.
Faces in the crowd
among which I am one
each heart silently bears its joys and sorrows
the business of living is never done
as we have to wake up everyday
with the never-failing rising sun
(even the weakest, frailest and most sickly)
though the day's prospects are grim and life isn't fun.
Holding on, clinging on
dangling in the limbo
of survival and existence
what the future holds none really does know.
Faces in the crowd
passing and fading images--I know no one-
yet I feel their pulses as I, mine--- murmurs
of existential* angst---until life's sad drama is done.
* replacing 'existentialist' which was the wrong word--wrote in a hurry yesterday--my apology
I CAN’T LOOK BACK EVER
I've taken this route
I can't look back ever
my footprints have disappeared
rain-washed and sun-burnt away--never
will my life
be the same again
though dim the horizon
and I walk in pain.
I can't look back
I won't regret, I won't look back
though the journey knows no end
and there's no food or drink in my knapsack.
Ah, via dolorosa
which traveller is without a tear ?
but I won't look back
I'll still venture forward alone--I know no fear.
is home to me--this oblivion I have chosen
it's no man's station
but I need no conversation
have heard every spoken human word
till no more could I bear
ah, the soothing balm of silence
in emptiness there's no earthly care
No, I am not a legislator
of the world*
only a voice
a tiny voice
( vox clamantis in deserto)
but the winds
shall carry the words I write
and scatter them
over faraway fields
mountains and seas
wherever destiny bids
someone would get to know me
from the blood of my heart
words I have lived with all my life
and loved like the most passionate lover
words that have made me stronger
than I could ever have imagined
words that have made me cry
they began so innocently
and I toyed with them
one by one
syllable by syllable
phrase by phrase
sentence by sentence
I have discovered
words are alive
they give meaning
to all that is in life
and above all
they define what I am
and have given me
what is not
what should be
what should not be
how not to
or not to be
the jigsaw puzzle
pieces are coming together
and a clear picture is emerging
( a long drawn-out process
but how rewarding!)
Words I no longer could leave behind
and they would not want to release me
then the day came
when I realised
I became words personified
no, I am not just flesh and blood
think of me then
as nothing else
* borrowed from Shelley's : poets are the legislators of the world
This is the tapestry of my soul
sewed in sweat, trials and tears
each stitch a reminder of the vanished past when every episode
stood as a testament of life's most tempestuous years
but I've resurrected from the ruins
of time and every scene I survey now with serenity
even in the darkest of night
the brightest of light illuminates from my treasured tapestry.
* inspired by the preamble of Jane Taylor Hardy, a fellow-writer in HP--
many thanks, Jane
Because I was born into poverty
I learnt some of life's most valuable lessons
Because I don't over-rate my skills
I suffer from few disappointments
Because I could not flatter nor compromise
some people kept away from me
Because I recognise the ways of the world
I am not easily fazed
Because I know life is too short
I don't fritter time away in idle indulgence
* taking a pause after this--moving to other themes
The animals in the jungle ran away
when Tarzan appeared on the scene
it wasn't that he was stronger but rather
those four-legged creatures thought his semi-nakedness was obscene.
Food was scarce in a certain season
Tarzan went into a rage as Cheeta wanted all
he took his knife aimed at the cheeky chimp
and said: this shall cause your downfall!
Tarzan and Jane-whatever you think-
were human and must yield to passion
their shelter in the tree shook every night
but the animals paid no attention
Jane loved to play with Cheeta
Tarzan liked to swing from tree to tree
since Cheeta's arrival their relationship suffered badly
as he turned green with envy
Tarzan asked Jane where Hollywood was
She replied: ' I worry about your failing memory
Holy Wood is the jungle- habitat of your cousin Zantar
his wife is Nancy--we once spent Christmas at their home named Ever-Free'.
Whoever or wherever you are
should you look at the stars with their faint but self-assured light
know that somewhere in a far corner of earth
there's this weary old man who walks alone at night
heaving a long unrelieved sigh
for mankind's irredeemable plight
for demise of kindness and humanity
for untold sorrows of millions as nations fight
proclaiming:' Dulcis pro patria mori
the clamour roars and deafens in hateful might
never mind if civilians are sacrificed
we are on the side of right'.
How serene and content are the stars
nestled in the tender cradle of night
while we poor mortals *****
in self-destructive darkness---with no real hope of seeing the light.
BEYOND THE RAINBOW OF OUR DREAMS
Beyond the rainbow of our dreams
we'll build our home and together share
the light of the moon and stars
fly among the clouds as a pair
of love-birds carefree and oblivious
to time--the holiness of the heart's affection
the whole universe encompasses
love is truly ceaseless adoration
guided by faith that serves only to strengthen
this sacred bond to which we are sworn
no longer shall we be earth-bound
but to a celestial life reborn
behind the veil of time abides
love's sweetest mystery
beyond the rainbow of our dreams
sublime beauty belongs only to you and me.
Even the weakest among us
will somehow survive
strength even thin as a straw is not to be scoffed at
it builds up to a critical mass with time--- to strive
and not to yield transforms
the most ordinary men into heroes
though unknown they thrive
and stand up to life's loneliest sorrows--
the strong have been too complacent
self-indulgence has weakened their spirit
they struggle to hold their own but sadly
they have lost their vigour and wit--
man is not born to despair
whatever the adversity be
amidst the ruins and misery
he rebuilds and triumphs in his fullest nobility.
* Vladimir Nobokov: ...' perhaps the most admirable among the admirable laws of nature is the survival of the weakest'
Who is to say-
old age is wisdom?
rather it's an
The older I get
the less I know for sure
life is a mysterious continent
to live is to struggle, to explore and to endure.
Certitude, what certitude?
wisdom, what wisdom?
human intelligence is finite
the mind that's fixed on certitude is serfdom.
In the beginning nothing I knew
and at the end--still nothing
nay, old age is doubts and the
beginning of learning.
I walked back to the past
and it stared at me
who are you? why did you visit here?
are you invited?--speak honestly
Don't you remember me?
I was the mischievous lad
who used to play tricks on you
at your compound?--you called me 'notoriously bad'
How presumptuous you are
billions of kids had been here before
there was nothing special about you
don't you knock on my door any more
It would do you mighty good
if you don't return again--persona non grata-
you are no longer the kid you were
and your company I desire not--stay away, stay away far!
You can no longer knock at the door
of your paradise lost
bliss you forfeited
now you are tossed
into the oblivion
there's no light to lead you
and you don't know where to go.
Here is the abyss
of the darkest of the dark
worse than the ship-wrecked
not even the weakest spark
of hope will appear to console
none will hear your lament
banished from the golden land
in this wretched pit all your years will be spent.
* metaphorical and allegorical----there are no religious undertones here
Too long have I lived
in the wilderness
I find it hard now to speak
the human tongue
nay, even basic words
the winds and the trees
the moon and the stars
the clouds and the night
the dust blown in the air
even shadows and silhouettes
they've given me a new vocabulary
I am an exile
in another trajectory
but I've chosen this as my home
and am free
and how could one be happy
amidst noisy crowds
in so-called civilised society?
In losing myself
I've at last
found my true identity
No wonder so many are unhappy
Their lives are predicated on pluses
Unhappiness comes from minuses.
All this they hanker after:
Pluses in wealth, power , position
Fame, recognition- even pluses in good looks
And wisdom--anything less is no consolation.
More acquisitions---the goal of life
(Pity those who live in minuses)
All the time they strive and strive
Chasing like addicts for the next round of seductive pluses.
Shouldn't they change their mind-set?
Surely minuses are to be more desired and embraced
Minus ill health, minus greed, minus envy, minus discord
Minus strife, minus discontent--aren't pluses sadly misplaced?
Too many poets died unhappy
they took their poetry too seriously.
* idea came to me at 12 noon at the main train station of Melb
The flute is mute
the flautist leaves it alone
old age has spoken
once he was the pride
of the musical world--he brought tears
to his listeners - now in the silence
of his sick-bed--he wants to forget all his past years
I've drawn down the curtains
on the window of the past
shadows will no longer linger
in my life--- now that I place all my trust
in being oblivious to all scenes of old
people I met, hurts I suffered, pain endured---let all of this rust
away in my new-found freedom
I can escape from self-inflicted sorrow only if I don't live in the past.
This is the road we must part
there's no need to say goodbye
neither you nor I
This is the road we must part
there should be no regret
our past we will forget
This is the road we must part
never again to dream
love was not what it did seem
This is the road we must part
our hearts have reasons we don't know
let nothing be said--let things be so
This is the road we must part
only this we need to know
all love is sorrow
This is the road we must part
here never again shall we pass by
just walk away silently---for love lost you should not cry.
Time doesn't exist
but for mankind's presence
it's amoral, heartless and nonchalant
though it doesn't utter a single sentence.
Wielding a whip over everyone's head
like a cattle-drover
none would it leave alone
it's a bully and a dictator.
The day is bleeding
men and women are in frenzy
work must be done--deals must go through-
everyone needs the money
too eager to push a competitor down
it's survival of the fittest
it's a jungle out there
pity the weakest.
Many would be the day's losers
hopes will be dashed, tears will flow
hearts will be broken, promises unfulfilled
that's the way the world does go.
This is the bleeding of day
and a heavy toll it has taken on so many
the evening and night offer little rest or comfort
while time is watching without the slightest sympathy.
Reason walks half the way
and complains: 'I'm weary'
it asks the heart-
I don't know why, please tell me'
The heart is quick to reply:
' You don't know
why you are taking this journey
as for me--my dream I faithfully follow'
(in parenthesis--you've not arrived)
waiting time this is
it's as though
time is arbitrarily suspended
no forward movement
until the journey is resumed
the hardest test
whoever you are-
it applies to all--
and you can't exit
the gate is closed to you
there's nothing you can do
a time for unwelcome reflection
what were you yesterday?
what did you used to be?
what would you be
after transit time?
you could grasp
that life is all about
being in transit
with you held in check
with untold possibilities
for change and acceptance
you would rise in triumph
from the ruins of your unhappy past-
a resurrected being
who has mastery over your life
and be thankful
for being kept in transit
who can wait
will be the victors
and will never regret
for being kept in transit.
the common river
but each sails alone
with none other
so many regard as the sorrowful river
it flows to the endless sea
to its past it returns never
isn't it an unknown river?
every life is ****** upon it
'why'? one does wonder.
blessed if you find it a river
of splendour---harness then all your resources-
thus self-assured---you would never fall over.
means what boy is not--she has what he doesn't have--she is more patient and intuitive--she can deliver babies when she's old enough to marry--
she will then be the centre of the home and bring the kids every joy through her love and dedication (the boy is then the father who just watches on and says: Yes, very nice, very good, we are a happy family'--
where would you and I be if we had no mothers who were once the sweetest and prettiest girls?
* inspired by Paige Chevalier's GIRL MEANS
Sigmund Freud's sexuality theory--
not everyone could agree with or applaud
some critics wrote derisively :
'His name should have been spelt Sickman Fraud'.
Freud was fixated on ***
that constituted an obsession
did he become so
due to his own repression?
Freud: Religion is like childhood neurosis
a statement too brash and bold
if there were a heaven
he would be left out in the cold.
Freud's home was full of antiques of all types
was he a compulsive hoarder?
how should he label himself?
can we say his mind was in complete order?
If you could understand
Freud's theories on id, ego, super-ego
you would get closer to being a shrink
some say--that's all you need to know.
I ain't sweet
I can be real bad
I pull my dog's ears
when I'm not glad
I kick the pebble back from school
hoping it would land on someone's head
I don't like our form teacher Miss Carey's ugly nose
I'm a monster many teachers dread.
A BETTER RESURRECTION
I have no wit, I have no words, no tears;
My heart within me like a stone
Is numbed too much for hopes or fears;
Look right, look left, I dwell alone;
A lift mine eyes, but dimmed with grief
No everlasting hills I see;
My life is like the falling leaf;
O Jesus, quicken me.
(Book: The Collected Poems by Sylvia Plath)
Coda of mine:
Is there light after the darkness
if so, how would we know?
we mortals are born to suffer alone
in life's stormy and unfriendly waters wherever we go
but the spirit of man
is larger than man---in suffering he will grow
(purified by a better resurrection)
and richer seeds of wisdom he will surely sow.
* reposted by Weeping Willow, a fellow-writer in HP--many thanks, WW
The wild side of life
I choose to walk
dulls my senses
stultifies and diminishes me
I would then be
no more than a shadow
and count myself as waste
condemned to an uneasy oblivion-
a doomed, pitiful and failed figure
in the desert flowers do not blow
even the winds turn course
freedom to choose
birds lose their singing voices
in this wilderness
and stars hide away
from this desolation
even the lowly dust
longs to be blown away
to escape this monotony
I must walk
on the wild side of life
and find my true self
there is no turning back
I have no past
the past is dead
I can't say to life:
This or that I choose
it has no heart nor tears
it has no duty to give or refuse
and I stand alone
as events come and go
each without question I accept
with the unknown tide I quietly follow.
Why am I looking at this drawer
and am afraid of its contents?
over 60 love-letters of long ago
which I could repeat almost by heart
( I kept every envelope as well-
time, date received, year written thereon
in my best hand
as though they were worth more than diamonds)
several containing crushed roses
a few poems of Robert Browning
Keats, Byron, sonnets of Shakespeare
Yeats, Donne, Thomas Hardy, John Clare..
every letter a reminder
of youth's once tender kisses
and secret words exchanged
that could never be shared
(love is too personal-
a sacred pledge of hearts
never to be broken)
vanished are the dreams of youth
I am old and weary now
no longer the proud lover
but a cynic
no longer a believer
in the glory of love-poems
and stories of romance
(yes---love is not a fairy-tale
and all love stories should end
with this sentence:
...and they lived with regret and sorrow thereafter...)
words are just words
spoken at convenience
for the sake of the speaker
words are selfish
though the speaker knows not
she wrote and spoke more poignantly
than I ever could
she was mistress of words
she wrote as though
she was consumed by the fire of love
and would die in its burning furnace
for my sake
all for my sake
' I would die for love
and for you, dearest
for you are my life
the very air I breathe...'
(I wept then as those words I read-
I memorised every word )
Is love but sweet words
to be forgotten ?
I shouldn't open the drawer
lest I begin to attribute blame
je deteste? deja vu? chagrin d'mour?
I was about to stretch out
my hand ...
but my faithful wife called
from the kitchen
' why are you lingering in your study?
darling, dinner is ready--your favourite chicken curry!'
It's all written
in his face-
' Don't come a step nearer
this isn't your place'.
This is the age where all morality
and kindness have quickened to death
he's a stranger and I wanted then to say 'hello'
now I 'm glad to have saved my breath.