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RAJ NANDY Nov 2015
VERSE.  -  By Raj Nandy, New Delhi.

Dear Readers, continuing my Story of Western Art in Verse chronologically, I had covered an Introduction to the Italian Renaissance previously. That background story was necessary to appreciate Renaissance Art fully. Now, I cover the Art of that period in a summarized form, mentioning mainly the salient features to curb the length. The cream here lies in the 'Art of the High Renaissance Period'! Hope you like it. Thanks, - Raj.

“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, &
  Poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.”
                                                        – Leonardo Da Vinci
In the domain of Renaissance Art, we notice the
enduring influence of the Classical touch!
Ancient Greek statues and Roman architectures,
Inspired the Renaissance artists in their innovative
The pervasive spirit of Humanism influenced
creation of life-like human forms;
Adding ****** expressions and depth, deviating
from the earlier stiff Medieval norms.
While religious subjects continued to get depicted
in three-dimensional Renaissance Art;
Portraits, **** figures, and secular subjects, also
began to appear during this great ‘Re-birth’!
The artists of the Early and High Renaissance Era
are many who deserve our adoration and artistic
Yet for the sake of brevity, I mention only the
Great Masters, who are handful and few.


During early 13th Century we find, Dante’s
contemporary Gitto di Bondone the Florentine,
Painting human figures in all its beauty and form
for the first time!
His masterwork being the 40 fresco cycle in the
Arena Chapel in Padua, depicting the life of the
****** and Christ, completed in 1305.
Giotto made the symbolic Medieval spiritual art
appear more natural and realistic,
By depicting human emotion, depth with an
artistic perspective!
Art Scholars consider him to be the trailblazer
inspiring the later painters of the Renaissance;
They also refer to Giorgio Vasari’s “Lives Of
The Eminent Artists,” - as their main source.
Giotto had dared to break the shackles of earlier
Medieval two-dimensional art style,
By drawing lines which head towards a certain
focal point behind;
Like an illusionary vanishing point in space,
- opening up a 3-D ‘window into space’!
This ‘window technique’ got adopted by the
later artists with grace.
Giorgio Vasari, a 16th Century painter, architect & Art
historian, was born in 1511 in Arezzy, a city under the
Florentine Republic, and painted during the High
Renaissance Period.)

VASARI’s book published in 1550 in Florence
was dedicated to Cosimo de Medici.
Forms an important document of Italian Art
This valuable book covers a 250 year’s span.
Commencing with Cimabue the tutor of Giotto,
right up to Tizian, - better known as Titan!
Vasari also mentions four lesser known Female
Renaissance Artists; Sister Plantilla, Madonna
Lucrezia, Sofonista Anguissola, and Properzia
de Rossi;
And Rossi’s painting “Joseph and Potiphar’s
An impressive panel art which parallels the
unrequited love Rossi experienced in her own
life !
Joseph the elder son of Jacob, taken captive by Potiphar
the Captain of Pharaoh’s guard, was desired by Potiphar’s
wife, whose advances Joseph repulsed. Rossi’s painting
of 1520s inspired later artists to paint their own versions
of this same Old Testament Story.)

Next I briefly mention architects Brunelleschi
and Ghiberti, and the sculptor Donatello;
Not forgetting the painters like Masaccio,
Verrocchio and Botticelli;
Those Early Renaissance Artists are known to
us today thanks to the Art historian Giorgio
Vasari .

BRUNELLESCHI has been mentioned in Section
One of my Renaissance Story.
His 114 meter high dome of Florence Cathedral
created artistic history!
This dome was constructed without supporting
buttresses with a double egg shaped structure;
Stands out as an unique feat of Florentine
The dome is larger than St Paul’s in London,
the Capitol Building of Washington DC, and
also the St Peters in the Vatican City!

GILBERTI is remembered for his massive
15 feet high gilded bronze doors for the
Baptistery of Florence,
Containing twenty carved panels with themes
from the Old Testament.
Which took a quarter century to complete,
working at his own convenience.
His exquisite naturalistic carved figures in the
true spirit of the Renaissance won him a prize;
And his gilded doors were renamed by Michel
Angelo as ‘The Gates of Paradise’!
At the age of 23 yrs Lorenzo Ghiberti had won the
competition beating other Architects for craving the
doors of the Baptistery of Florence!)

DONATELLO’S full size bronze David was
commissioned by its patron Cosimo de’ Medici.
With its sensual contrapposto stance in the
classical Greek style with its torso bent slightly.
Is known as the first free standing **** statue
since the days of Classical Art history!
The Old Testament relates the story of David
the shepherd boy, who killed the giant Goliath
with a single sling shot;
Cutting off his head with Goliath’s own sword!
Thus saving the Israelites from Philistine’s wrath.
This unique statue inspired all later sculptors to
strive for similar artistic excellence;
Culminating in Michael Angelo’s **** statue of
David, known for its sculptured brilliance!

MASSACCIO (1401- 1428) joined Florentine
Artist’s Guild at the age of 21 years.
A talented artist who abandoned the old Gothic
Style, experimenting without fears!
Influenced by Giotto, he mastered the use of
perspective in art.
Introduced the vanishing point and the horizon
line, - while planning his artistic works.
In his paintings ‘The Expulsion from Eden’
and ‘The Temptation’,
He introduced the initial **** figures in Italian
Art without any inhibition!
Though up North in Flanders, Van Eyck the
painter had already made an artistic innovation,
By painting ‘Adam and Eve’ displaying their
****** in his artistic creation;
Thereby creating the first **** painting in Art
But such figures greatly annoyed the Church,
Since nudes formed a part of pagan art!
So these Northern artists to pacify the Church
and pass its censorship,
Cleverly under a fig leaf cover made their art to
appear moralistic!
Van Eyck was also the innovator of oil-based paints,
Which later replaced the Medieval tempera, used to
paint angles and saints.

Masaccio’s fresco ‘The Tribute Money’ requires
here a special mention,
For his use of perspective with light and shade,
Where the blithe figure of the Roman tax collector
is artistically made.
Christ is painted with stern nobility, Peter in angry
And every Apostle with individualized features,
attire, and pose;
With light coming from a single identifiable source!
“Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s,
and unto God things that are God’s”, said Christ;
Narrated in Mathew chapter 22 verse 21, which
cannot be denied.
Unfortunately, Masaccio died at an early age of
27 years.
Said to have been killed by a jealous rival artist,
who had shed no tears!

BOTTICELLI the Florentine was born half a
century after the Dutch Van Eyck;
Remembered even to this day for his painting
the ‘Birth of Venus’, an icon of Art History
making him famous.
This painting depicts goddess Venus rising out
of the sea on a conch shell,
And the glorious path of female **** painting
commenced in Italy, - casting a spell!
His full scale **** Venus shattered the Medieval
taboo on ******.
With a subject shift from religious art to Classical
Removing the ‘fig-leaf cover’ over Art permanently!

I end this Early Period with VERROCCHIO, born
in Florence in fourteen hundred and thirty five.
A trained goldsmith proficient in the skills of both
painting and sculpture;
Who under the patronage of the Medici family
had thrived.
He had set up his workshop in Florence were he
trained Leonardo Da Vinci, Botticelli, and other
famous Renaissance artists alike!

During the Renaissance the four canonical painting
modes we get to see;
Are Chiaroscuro, Sfumato, Cangiante and Unione.
‘Chiaroscuro’ comes from an Italian word meaning
‘light and dark’, a painting technique of Leonardo,
Creating a three dimensional dramatic effect to
steal the show.
Later also used with great excellence by Rubens
and the Dutch Rembrandt as we know.
‘Sfumato’ from Italian ‘sfumare’, meaning to tone
down or evaporate like a smoke;
As seen in Leonardo’s ‘Mona Lisa’ where the
colors blend seamlessly like smoke!
‘Cangiante’ means to ‘change’, where a painter
changed to a lighter or a darker hue, when the
original hue could not be made light enough;
As seen in the transformation from green to
yellow in Prophet Daniel’s robe,
On the ceiling of Sistine Chapel in Rome.
‘Unione’ followed the ‘sfumato’ quality, but
maintained vibrant colors as we get to see;
In Raphael’s ‘Alba Madonna’ in Washington’s
National Gallery.


“Where the spirit does not work with the
hand there is no art.”- Leonardo

With Giotto during the Trecento period of the
14th century,
Painting dominated sculpture in the artistic
endeavor of Italy.
During the 15th century the Quattrocento, with
Donetello and Giberti,
Sculpture certainly dominated painting as we get to
But during the 16th century or the Cinquecento,
Painting again took the lead commencing with
the great Leonardo!
This Era was cut short by the death of Lorenzo the
Magnificent to less than half a century; (Died in 1493)
But gifted great masterpieces to the world enriching
the world of Art tremendously!
The Medieval ‘halo’ was now replaced by a fresh
And both Madonna and Christ acquired a more
human likeness!
Portrait paintings began to be commissioned by
many rich patrons.
While artists acquired both recognition and a status
of their own.
But the artistic focus during this Era had shifted from
Florence,  - to Venice and Rome!
In the Vatican City, Pope Julius-II was followed by
Pope Leo the Tenth,
He commissioned many works of art which are
still cherished and maintained!
Now cutting short my story let me mention the
famous Italian Renaissance Superstar Trio;
Leonardo, Raphael, and Michael Angelo.

LEONARDO DA VINCI was born in 1452 in
the village of Vinci near the City of Florence,
Was deprived of a formal education being born
He was left-handed, and wrote from right to left!
He soon excelled his teacher Varrocchio, by
introduced oil based paints into Italy;
Whose translucent colors with his innovative
techniques, enhanced his painting artistically.
Sigmund Freud had said, “Leonardo was like a
man who awoke too early in the darkness while
others were all still asleep,” - he was awake!
Leonardo’s  historic ‘Note Book’ has sketches of a
battle tank, a flying machine, a parachute, and many
other anatomical and technical sketches and designs;
Reflecting the ever probing mind of this versatile
genius who was far ahead of his time!
His ‘Vituvian Man’, ‘The Last Supper’, and ‘Mona Lisa’,
Remain as his enduring works of art and more popular
than the Leaning Tower of Pisa!
Pen and ink sketch of the ‘Vitruvian Man’ with arms
and leg apart inside a square and a circle, also known
as the ‘Proportion of Man’;
Where his height correspondence to the length
of his outstretched hands;
Became symbolic of the true Renaissance spirit
of Man.
‘The Last Supper’ a 15ft by 29ft fresco work on
the refectory wall of Santa Maria, commissioned
by Duke of Milan Ludovic,
Is the most reproduced religious painting which
took three years to complete!
Leonardo searched the streets of Milan before
painting Judas’ face;
And individualized each figure with competence!
‘Mona Lisa’ with her enigmatic smile continues
to inspire artists, poets, and her viewers alike,
since its creation;
Which Leonardo took four years to complete
with utmost devotion.
Leonardo used oil on poplar wood panel, unique
during those days,
With ‘sfumato’ blending of translucent colors with
light and shade;
Creating depth, volume, and form, with a timeless
expression on Mona Lisa’s countenance!
Art Historian George Varasi says that it is the face
of one Lisa Gherardini,
Wife of a wealthy Florentine merchant of Italy.
Insurance Companies failed to make any estimation
of this portrait, declaring its value as priceless!
Today it remains housed inside an air-conditioned,
de-humidified chamber, within a triple bullet-proof
glass, in Louvre France.
“It is the ultimate symbol of human civilization”,
- exclaimed President Kennedy;
And with this I pay my humble tribute to our
Leonardo da Vinci!

This Tuscan born sculptor, painter, architect, and
poet, was a versatile man,
Worthy to be called the archetype of the true
‘Renaissance Man’!
At the age of twelve was placed under the famous
painter Ghirlandio,
Where his inclination for sculpting began to show.
Under the liberal patronage of Lorenzo de Medici,
He developed his talent as a sculptor as we get
to see.
In the Medici Palace, he was struck by his rival
Torregiano on the nose with a mallet;
Disfiguring permanently his handsome face!
His statue of ‘Bacchus’ of 1497 and the very
beauty of the figure,
Earned him the commission for the ‘PIETA’ in
St Peter’s Basilica;
Where from a single piece of Carrara marble he
carved out the figure of ****** Mary grieving
over the dead body of Christ;
This iconic piece of sculpture which along with
his ‘David’ earned him the ‘Superstar rights’!

Michel Angelo’s **** ‘DAVID’ weighed 6.4 tons
and stood 17 feet in height;
Unlike the bronze David of Donatello, which
shows him victorious after the fight!
Michel’s David an epitome of strength and
youthful vigour with a Classical Greek touch;
Displayed an uncircumcised ***** which had
shocked the viewers very much!
But it was consistent with the Mannerism in Art,
in keeping with the Renaissance spirit as such!
David displays an attitude of placid calm with
his knitted eyebrows and sidelong glance;
With his left hand over the left shoulder
holding a sling,
Coolly surveys the giant Goliath before his
single sling shot fatally stings!
This iconic sculpture has a timeless appeal even
after 500 years, depicting the ‘Renaissance Man’
at his best;
Vigorous, healthy, beautiful, rational and fully
Finally we come to the Ceiling of the Sistine
Chapel of Rome,
Where Pope Julius-II’s persistence resulted in the
creation of world’s greatest single fresco that was
ever known!
Covering some 5000 square feet, took five years
to complete.
Special scaffoldings had to be erected for painting
scenes from ‘The Creation’ till the ‘Day of Judgment’
on a 20 meter’s high ceiling;
Where the Central portion had nine scenes from
the ‘Book of Genesis’,
With ‘Creation of Adam’ having an iconic significance!
Like Leonardo, Michel Angelo was left-handed and died
a bachelor - pursuing his art with devotion;
A man with caustic wit, proud reserve, and sublimity
of imagination!

This last of the famous High Renaissance trio was
born in 1483 in Urbino,
Some eight years after Michel Angelo.
His Madonna series and decorative frescos
glorified the Library of Pope Julius the Second;
Who was impressed by his fresco ‘The School
of Athens’;
And commissioned Raphael to decorate his
Study in the Vatican.
Raphael painted this large fresco between 1510
and 1511, initially named as the ‘Knowledge of
But the 17th century guide books referred to it
as ‘The School of Athens’.
Here Plato and Aristotle are the central figures
surrounded by a host of ancient Greek scholars
and philosophers.
The bare footed Plato is seen pointing skywards,
In his left hand holds his book ‘Timaeus’;
His upward hand gesture indicating his ‘World
of Forms’ and transcendental ideas!
Aristotle is seen pointing downwards, his left
hand holds his famous book the ‘Ethics’;
His blue dress symbolizes water and earth
with an earthly fix.
The painting illustrates the historic continuance
of Platonic thoughts,
In keeping with the spirit of the Renaissance!
Raphael’s last masterpiece ‘Transfiguration’
depicts the resurrected Christ,
Flanked by prophets
RAJ NANDY Nov 2014
Friends, in the Introductory portion we have seen how Herodotus
gave birth to the subject of 'History'. Now I conclude this true story
by quoting a poem by the English poet Edgar O' Shaughnessy, which
is very appropriate for my Story! Please take your time to read, there is no hurry! Thanks, -Raj Nandy.

Herodotus became the trail blazer with his narration
of History,
Inspiring several Greek and Roman chroniclers as  
we subsequently get to see!
There was Thucydides, Livy, Sallust, Xenophon, and
Not forgetting chroniclers like Julius Caesar, Tacitus,
and the oft quoted Plutarch!
The Roman scholar Cicero had called Herodotus the
‘Father of History’;
But later the Greek historian Plutarch criticized him
for his many hearsay inaccuracies!
Even though Herodotus had cautioned his readers in
his Historical narrations, -
About those hearsay accounts and doubtful portions!
Greek historian Thucydides, who was a junior and a
contemporary of Herodotus,
For his accurate historical rendering of ‘The
Peloponnesian War’ between Athens and Sparta, -
Was praised by later scholars very much!

Herodotus believed in Nemesis and a repetitive
pattern of History.
While Thucydides with his strict investigation drew
a line between myth and reality!
Thucydides viewed history as a political struggle
based on the nature of man;
And felt that since human nature does not change
often, -
The past events would reoccur once again !
The Greeks believed in this cyclic notion of History,
Also developed a prose style to narrate their stories!
Unlike the Greeks, Roman History did not begin in an
oral Homeric tradition,
But they had a ready-made Greek model for their
historical narrations!
Roman historiography began after the Second Punic
War against Hannibal of Carthage,
When Quintus Flavius Pictor wrote Rome’s History
in Greek, instead of Latin!     (around 200BC)
Cato the Elder, was the first to write in Latin Rome’s
While the Roman Livy born in Padua in 59 BC, was
praised for introducing a ‘milky richness’ of style  
for narrating these true stories !
From Julius Caesar’s accounts we learn about the
Gallic Wars and events of those ancient days;
But he Romans had used History for propaganda
and self-praise !
Also to make the conquered world to look up to them
with wonder and admiration;
For the Romans were creating History with their
conquests in a steady progression!

Perhaps the cyclic view of Time has influenced the
cyclic concept of History to a great extent,
Since this cyclic view was held by many of those
Ancients !
Ancient doctrine of 'eternal return' like the seasons
of Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring, existed
in old Egypt, and the Hindu religion;
Also with the Greek Pythagoreans and Stoic
As well as in the Mayans and the Aztec Civilizations!
In the East, cyclic theory of History as succession of
dynastic rule developed in China,
While the Vedic Hindus developed their theory of
Cycles of Yugas!    (epoch or era)
Writing of Indian History had commenced with
the Colonial British initially,
Who had criticized India for its lack of a sense of
History and Historiography!
The ancient Hindus were more concerned with
religious philosophy, and the essence of existence,
Rather than getting absorbed with historical details!
The Hindus divide cosmic time into cyclic eras of
Satya, Tretra, Dwapara, and Kali Yugas;
With each era covering many thousands of our
human eras!
These Yugas or Cyclic segments of time is said to
repeat itself in a cyclic motion, -
Which had perhaps mystified their early views
of a clear Historical perception.
However, later Indian historians have corrected
the earlier British interpretations, -
By dividing Indian History into Ancient, Medieval
and Modern Periods,
Replacing the earlier Hindu, Muslim, and British
Periods as Colonial segregation!
And also by correcting the British Aryan Invasion
Theory as Aryan Migration;
Based on more accurate historical research and
better perception!

St. Augustine during the 4th century AD, systematized
the Christian view of History, -
As a struggle between the City of God and the City
of Man, where the City of God gains victory, -
Establishing peace and prosperity!
The Christian view is therefore Linear with a
positive beginning and an end;
A providential view from the Creation of Adam
till the Day of Last Judgment!

During this period the theological view gradually
begun to fade, giving rise to the Cyclic concept of
As illustrated by the decline and fall of the mighty
Roman Empire, immortalized by Edward Gibbons
in his narrated story!
This cyclic view was also maintained by Oswald
Spengler, Nikolai Danilevsky, and Paul Kennedy,
during the 19th and the 20th Centuries.

This period advocated the use of reason to obtain
objective truth, when human beings made all the
difference freed from superstition and bigotry;
Which led to favoring a Linear and a progressive
view of History.
Voltaire symbolizing the spirit of this age had
supported human wit and education, -
Since only enlightened people could give History
a positive direction !
For Karl Marx Feudalism was followed by Capitalism,
and Capitalism by Communism.
History of existing Society as the History of Class
Struggle - was Karl Marx’s new concept!
For social material forces drove History, and this
‘historical materialism’ as a revolutionary view, -
many later Scholars did accept!

Now I share the views of three of our renowned
Historians; the German Oswald Spengler, the
British Arnold Toynbee, and the American
Carroll Quigley,
To provide you with three different concepts
of History.
Oswald Spengler (1880-1936):
Spengler’s reputation rests on his work titled
‘Decline of the West’, considered as a major
contribution to social theory;
Where he rejects the ‘Linear’ view in favor of
definite, observable, and unrelated cycles of
Rejecting the Eurocentric view of History and its
Linear division into ‘Ancient-Medieval-Modern’
Spengler recognizes eight ‘high cultures’ which
evolve as organism, following the cycles of
growth, development, and decline;
And his views astonished the Western mind!
These high cultures were the Babylonian,
Egyptian, Chinese, Indian, Mexican ( Mayan&
Aztec), Classical (Greece& Rome), Arabian,
and Western or Euro-American!
Cultures have a life span of about a thousand
years each,
So the Western Civilization too shall decline one
day, - Spengler did teach!

Arnold Toynbee (1889-1975):
Toynbee’s 12 volumes on ‘A Study of History’
covers a wider spectrum of 23 Civilizations,
Where he rejects Spengler’s cynical theory of
growth and decline of Western Nations!
“Civilization is a movement and not a condition,
a voyage not a harbor”, Arnold said;
Like human beings Civilizations were free to chart
their own course with the capacity to ‘consciously’
choose its destiny, he had felt!
Arnold moves on to formulate his Theory of
‘Challenge and Response’, since by responding to
such challenges Civilizations could move on !
These challenges could be social or environmental
he had said;
The Greeks responded to their growing population
by taking to the seas and maritime trade,
And also prospered as their overseas colonies had
begun to spread!
Toynbee’s Civilization start to decay when they lose
their moral fiber,
He perhaps over emphasized the religious and
cultural aspects, ignoring those economic factors!
But his views were certainly more popular than
the cynical Spengler!

Carroll Quigley (1910-1977):
Quigley’s scientific trained mind could not accept
either of the above views,
So he created a synthesis of Spengler and Toynbee,
while paying History its dues!
Quigley laid down seven stages for the evolution
of Civilization;
Commencing with Mixture, Gestation, Expansion,
Conflict, Universal Empire, Decay, and Invasion!
His Civilizations are neither groups nor individuals,
But each is a system which share some common
In Quigley’s model each system come into being
adapted to their environment;
But since environment always changes, Quigley
states with some relish, -
Systems which cannot adapt themselves, must
necessarily perish!

“Know Thy Self” said Socrates, and the Delphic
Oracle had pronounced that he was wisest of
the Greeks!
To know ourselves truly we must know about
our past,
For this evolutionary process shall continue as
long as the Human species last!
Today we remain as a living monument to the
We continue to make History as long as humans
on this planet shall last!
Our planet earth is around 4.5 billion years old;
While the first ****-erectus emerged around
two million years hence - we are told!
By walking ***** the two hands became free to
With flexible fingers and the rotating thumb;
Which was crucial for shaping the destiny of
the Human species on earth!
Our Civilization proper dates back to about
five thousand BC,
Thus an emerging pattern we can easily see!
With the development of human consciousness
we have learned to delve inwards, -
To discovered within a vast macro world!
Now, I would love to conclude this narration by
quoting from the English poet Arthur William
Edgar O’Shaughnessy’s book ‘Music and
Moonlight’;       (1874)
Do try to follow the philosophical content relevant
to the Cyclic History of Mankind!

“We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-brakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
World losers and world forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams;
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.

With wonderful deathless ditties,
We build up the world’s great cities,
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire’s glory.
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And there with a new song’s measure
Can trample an empire down.

We, in the ages lying
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Nineveh with our sighing,
And Babel itself with our mirth;
And overthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world’s worth;
For Each Age Is a Dream That’s Dying,
Or One That Is Coming To Birth.”

Thanks my readers and poet friends,
Sincerely hope you will now appreciate
History better, and love its contents!
Friends, those who have read part one will find the concluding portion in this narration of mine, which I tried my best to simplify! Mentioned the two basic views of History, the Linear & the Cyclic views in my narrated Story! Hope you liked the poem quoted at the end by me ! Thanks, -Raj
Given the apparent magical surrealism that the months of April is the month of fate for and death of writers, artists, dramatis, philosophers and poets, a phenomenon which readily gets support from the cases of untimely and early April deaths of; Max Weber, Miguel de Cervantes, William Shakespeare, Francis Imbuga, and Chinua Achebe  then  Wisdom of the moment behooves me to adjure away the fateful month by  allowing  me to mourn Gabriel José de la Concordia García Márquez by expressing my feelings of grieve through the following dirge of elegy;
You lived alone in the solitude
Of pure hundred years in Colombia
Roaming in Amacondo with a Spanish tongue
Carrying the bones of your grandmother in a sisal sag
On your poverty written Colombian back,
Gadabouting to make love in times of cholera,
On none other than your bitter-sweet memories
Of your melancholic ***** the daughter of Castro,
Your cowardice made you to fear your momentous life
In this glorious and poetic time of April 2014,
Only to succumb to untimely black death
That similarly dimunitized your cultural ancestor;
Miguel de Cervantes, a quixotic Spaniard,
You were to write to the colonel for your life,
Before eating the cockerel you had ear-marked
For Olympic cockfight, the hope of the oppressed,
Come back from death, you dear Marquez
To tell me more stories fanaticism to surrealism,
From Tarzanic Africa the fabulous land
An avatar of evil gods that are impish propre
Only Vitian Naipaul and Salman Rushdie are not enough,
For both of them are so naïve to tell the African stories,
I will miss you a lot the rest of my life, my dear Garbo,
But I will ever carry your living soul, my dear Garcia,
Soul of your literature and poetry in a Maasai kioondo
On my broad African shoulders during my journey of art,
When coming to America to look for your culture
That gave you versatile tongue and quill of a pen,
Both I will take as your memento and crystallize them
Into my future thespic umbrella of orature and literature.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, an eminent Latin American and most widely acclaimed authors, died untimely at his home in Mexico City on Thursday, 17th April 2014. The 1982 literature Nobel laureate, whose reputation drew comparisons to Mark Twain of adventures of Huckleberry Finny and Charles Dickens of hard Times, was 87 of age. Already a luminous legend in his well used lifetime, Latin American writer, Gabriel Garcia Marquez was perceived as not only one of the most consequential writers of the 20th and 21ist centuries, but also the sterling performing Spanish-language author since the world’s experience of Miguel de Cervantes, the Spanish Jail bird and Author of Don Quixote who lived in the 17th century.
Like very many other writers from the politically and economically poor parts of the world, in the likes of J M Coatze, Wole Soyinka, Nadine Gordimer, Doris May Lessing, Octavio Paz, Pablo Neruda, V S Naipaul, and Rabidranathe Tagore, Marguez won the literature Nobel prize in addition to the previous countless awards for his magically fabulous novels, gripping short stories, farcical screenplays, incisive journalistic contributions and spellbinding essays. But due to postmodern global thespic civilization the Nobel Prize is recognized as most important of his prizes in the sense that, he received in 1982, as the first Colombian author to achieve such literary eminence. The eminence of his work in literature communicated in Spanish are towered by none other than the Bible, especially  in its Homeric style which Moses used when writing the book of Genesis and the fictitious drama of Job.
Just like Ngugi, Achebe, Soyinka, and Ousmane Marquez is not the first born. He is the youngest of siblings. He was born on March 6, 1927 in the Colombian village of Aracataca, on the Caribbean coast. His literary bravado was displayed in his book, Love in the Times of Cholera.  In which he narrated how his parents met and got married. Marguez did not grow up with his father and mother, but instead he grew up with his grandparents. He often felt lonely as a child. Environment of aunts and grandmother did not fill the psychological void of father and mother. This social phenomenon of inadequate parenthood is also seen catapulting Richard Wright, Charlese Dickens, and Barrack Obama to literary excellency.Obama recounted the same experience in his Dreams from my father.

Poverty determines convenience or hardship of marriage. This is mirrored by Garcia Marquez in his marriage to Mercedes Barcha.  An early childhood play-mate and neighbour in 1958. In appreciation of his marriage, Marquez later wrote in his memoirs that it is women who maintain the world, whereas we men tend to plunge it into disarray with all our historic brutality. This was a connotation of his grandmother in particular who played an important role during the times of childhood. The grand mother introduced him to the beauty of orature by telling him fabulous stories about ghosts and dead relatives haunting the cellar and attic, a social experience which exactly produced Chinua Achebe, Okot P’Bitek, Mazizi Kunene, Margaret Ogola and very many other writers of the third world.
Little Gabo as his affectionate pseudonym for literature goes, was a voracious bookworm, who like his ideological master Karl Marx read King Lear of Shakespeare at the age of sixteen. He fondly devoured the works of Spanish authors, obviously Miguel de Cervantes, as well as other European heavyweights like; Edward Hemingway, Faulkner and Frantz Kafka.
Good writers usually drop out of school and at most writers who win the Nobel Prize. This formative virtue of writers is evinced in Alice Munro, Doris Lessing, Nadine Gordimer, John Steinbeck, William Shakespeare, Sembene Ousmane, Octavio Paz as well as Gabriel Garcia Marquez. After dropping out of law school, Garcia Marquez decided instead to embark on a call of his passion as a journalist. The career he perfectly did by regularly criticizing Colombian as well as ideological failures of the then foreign politics. In a nutshell he was a literary crusader against poverty. This is of course the obvious hall marker of leftist political orientation.
Garcia Marquez’s sensational breakthrough occurred in 1967 with the break-away publication of his oeuvre; One Hundred Years of Solitude which the New York Times Book Review meritoriously elevated as ‘the first piece of literature since the Book of Genesis that should be required reading for the entire human race. The position similarly taken by Salman Rushdie. Marquez often shared out that this novel carried him above emotional tantrums on its publication. He was keen on this as his manner of speech was always devoid of la di humble and suave that his genius can only be appreciated not from the booming media outlets about his death, but by reading all of his works and especially his Literature Noble price acceptance speech delivered in 1982.
jim fry Nov 2010
the shadow works, 2005-2006

might as well keep them all together ...
a journey through the shadowz ...
through the possessions ...
through the hell ...
through me ...

during this time, i sought support from an indian medicine man, a shaman, past life regression therapist, and a variety of other spiritual healers ... some of those, narrated in depth, elsewhere ...

the enclosed is probably not of interest to many,
understood, yet offered up,
as a journey,
narrated through times,
via rhymes


May 6, 2005

I feel knee deep in a bog
Tackling responsibility for emotions
Are these weights a lesson
Projections reflected

I want things smooth
Light and carefree
I don’t seek control
But expect absence of impact

I can’t buy, reason or work
My way out of this challenge
Each time faced head on
I give up ground and accommodate
To point of compromise
No side is right here
What is, just is

I have my perceptions
And filters
And the weight intensifies
I want to dissolve it
Haven’t figured out how
Depression, heavy
Rooted inside

How do I break free
I feel alone
Even within myself
I don’t know
The reflection
In the mirror

There is a longing to be free
To live
To sleep
To find balance

I want to be
What I feel I’m not
I don’t celebrate
What I perceive
Myself to be

I seek void
Do this again
To take flight

Rip across my chest
To release my heart
Bound and chained
I want them to flow
Pent emotions
Seek exorcism

I haven’t surrendered
I don’t accept
Open I bleed
Closed I store pain

I want to feel flow

Nothing aligned
Empty I know
Fragments and shards

Not whole
I want to go home
Here come the tears

Dark Envelop

July 9, 2005

Feeling my way through the illusion
Finding no solace in delusion
Have my angels found another to watch over
Are my whispers no longer heard and contemplated

As I believe I do my best
I don’t convince even myself
So much struggle and challenge
Why do I even travel
Away from my bed

Prodded along
Voices and dialogs
In my head

I could start again tomorrow
Wait, I have done that before
Somewhere within, my shadow sneers
Chaotic and off balance, I’m fodder
Material for my shadow’s jeers
******, ***** and stripped bare
Seeking a single reason to care
Am I victim to want it all fair


I recognize this place
Hell etched in my face
I could so easily quit
Leave the game’s race
Always another will replace
Scripts each written on ****** mace

Not yet ready

Lessons to learn
Though I yearn
Tis not my time to rest
Not until this unconscious
With which I wrest
Is balanced and addressed
Then, only, will it be my turn
I’ll find some sun
Seek beauty and joy
Transcend this marathon run

I’m not the universe’s toy

Reflections from the Void

August 21, 2005

So, this is death!
all distractions departed
leaving emptiness, not loneliness
gnawing absence of purpose, manifests in tears

between somethings that felt to have mattered
without logical linkage
between then, now and the next then

Transitions require momentum
energy is here, but failing direction
what pursuit of new experience calls
none … these moments

Sleep comes easy, frequently
no dreams revealed in the aftermode
void … passionless … lethargic … empty … void

Looking for some elixir
to heal, to know, to feel …
the game continues / with tears of the void
the potential unknown
I guess I do feel alone …

why … what the **** is the point … anyways …
does this rub … offend … ????

this, my creation, my expression of infinite potential, capacity, too bad that
I have no TV to distract …
guess I need to process through …

ps …
if you receive this – love you …
for what it is worth ...

I guess I am ‘OK’, just feeling my way through ………..

Heart of Sadness

November 6, 2005

Incredible, my heart screams of sadness
as I accept and surrender
Surrender to what I have wrought,
what I did from my state of pain

Our pain breeds more pain, often,
and feeds back upon itself
Amplifying toward a crescendo
of intensity felt viscerally

As our hearts ache
In deepening depression,
I feel spoiled that I want more
than I have
I feel I should harden up
and move forward,
towards, what …

If I harden up, I harden my heart
and it feels now is the moment
to dive into this pain,
to learn from this pain,
to grow from this pain,
to understand from this pain,
to rebuild my heart in an open way

Experience the pain in full color
experience the loneliness,
experience the emptiness,
experience my void,
experience my sorrow,
experience my defeat,
experience yet another death,
experience my drama,
experience my immaturity,
experience my dysfunctional self,
experience the consequences,
experience the responsibility,
experience the resentment of myself,
experience the anger at myself,
experience the pain,
experience the bleeding,
experience the desolation,
experience the emotions raw,
experience the tears,
experience the shredding in my heart

grow in compassion,
grow in empathy,
grow in unconditional love,
grow in reverence,
grow in acceptance,
grow in maturity,
grow in awareness

I don’t need to sacrifice,
I need to celebrate

I don’t need to enable,
I need to empower

I don’t need to think,
I need to feel

I don’t need to protect,
I need to love

I don’t need to speak,
I need to listen

I don’t need to hurt or project,
I need to heal

Returning Home, Changed

November 8, 2005

a lover scampered off
then returned past time
after everything shifted
in another’s heart
and mind

old windows shuttered
no quarter taken or given
thus tears held reign
from processed pain

now at an advanced arc
on the circle of love
lessons in alchemy
seem sent from above

this journey now vectored
with independent trajectories
finding different connection
within renewed reflection

the cat broke the home
the archer wandered on
now on new paths
each does roam

the cat is changing
experiencing nature anew
with life rearranging
deeply ranging

in love with you

Shadow Teachings

November 14, 2005

We have known all along
yet didn’t trust those feelings
As our subconscious takes charge
when we fall asleep at the wheel

Just as we continue to breathe
within each moment of slumber
Some segment within us
will always surface
to chart our courses

With each emotion left
unexpressed in the moment
another is drawn forth and purged

Withhold, Withdraw, Project
The truth will set us free
If we have courage to reveal
And the truth clears out
emotions, two by two
one new, one buried
Creating space










Express or Suppress

a Choice

of Voice

Opportunity found
in stormy weather
repairing the roof
in the rain

We may heal together
With whomever
NOW, then or never

It commences
loving thy self

Reinforced in experience
beyond words from
books on the shelf








Be Impeccable of Word
(seasons of silence and truth to be expressed),

Don’t Take It Personal
(while observing the internal CHARGE!),

Don’t Make Assumptions
(they are mostly our projections!),

Do Your Best
(while ready for universal fireworks!)

Reflections Forward

November 30, 2005

Where am I going
with what I feel today
finding pure simplicity
laughter, being, love and play

Wisdom’s foundation built
on wisps of reflections past
absorbed experience
never allowed to wilt

My soul
has been heard
that incessant screaming
finally ceased
still raw
yet healing
by moment
with each regression
new levels encountered
it was always
my lessons
for conclusion
the tool is divine
yet a challenge
to master
to be there
just where
right here
in now


honor in flow
faith in it all
no withdraw
from my call


Whelp, that was intense
Wrong words
Wrong tone
Wrong subject

How fast creation
and begins

all the discussion
all the plans
all the harmony
reminding me
to look back within

I didn’t know
we were that fragile
without enough

What does this circumstance
reflect about me
never independent
at least I remained calm
and found compassion
without projection

I honored the four agreements
as I watched you cry
as I absorbed the barbs flung
and chose not to deflect
as I elected
to simply reflect
on your pain
your sorrow
that I couldn’t
or soften

The dream has faded
the future now foggy
I know depression
I know sadness
I know empathy
and love

I choose life
I choose growth
I choose to heal
I choose to love

Paths feel divergent
with new adventure
just around the corner

I gave my love
my attention
and soul

support me now
as I shed these tears
listen as I call

I won’t stagger
I won’t fall
but face
unknown years
unknown fears

Nobody Knew Me


No other soul
Experienced me
Fully authentic
As I lay hiding
From myself
I could survive

When my Mother
My friend
And Lover
My delusion

Within moments
Over days
Illusions crumbled
In fragments
Then shards
Of recognition
Then flooded in

I found myself
In darkness
Exposed and bare
I had strove
With my unique intensity

To be
And Loved

To obtain these desires
I Compromised
I Manipulated
I Projected
I Overwhelmed

I would then Withdraw
I closed my eyes
Then my ears
Then my touch
Then my mind
And finally my heart

I wove stories
And swam, immersed
In my lies

My truth and core
Thus illuminated
In both peace
And tears of sorrow
I have been alone
I belong alone
I shall be alone
While I meet
Myself, now

I release Mom’s rejection
Transmuting her reflection
And transfiguring
Her projection

Thank you, Mother
You missed just one aspect

I created my experience
To break my own chains
Script complete
Curtain falls
No applause
No audience

Nobody knew me

Joy to follow

Unwelcome Back

The dark visitors have arrived
and tears stream down my checks
are these demons
another component of ‘me’?

I call, sincerely
on angels and help
yet remain feeling

Tonight was supposed to be
about sharing, growth
and healing
yet why, again
am I left reeling

Am I paying
for karmic bonds
both instant and past
is it time,
yet again,
to merely fast
to turn off these emotions
suppress yet another round

I have again
found the deep pain
why is it so hard
to love
and transcend my pain

There are keys
I haven’t yet found
there are messages
silent in sound

I don’t know myself
though I look with intensity
I apologize
here and now
for exposing myself
projecting myself
dragging anyone down
to my despair
felt beyond repair


this IS the trap
feeling alone
feeling the sorrow
missing the balance
reveling in another tomorrow

This game is ****** up
get over it now
bring forth the light
shine in true essence
in presence
it is easy to quit
resign and give up

Hail beyond!!!!!!!!!
Creators transcend
right up
from the muck
Vijaya Balan Feb 2017
You should have been the soul that Edgar Allen Poe loved,
So that he wouldn't have died miserable and alone,
You are the Morticia to my Gomez; deadly in love,
We would make a quirky Addams family, bar none,

I love the nerds in us and the banter of annoyance,
I love the moments of radiant love and our nature of being different,
'Cause we did meet exceptionally over persistence,
And we accept each other regardless of difference,

I wish that our love will remain eternal,
Narrated by Obi-Wan,
With a theme song by John Williams,
Directed by Lucas, nah, we don't need direction,
I do know, we need a Queen, and that's you my puddin'!
Leia to my Solo,
A Queen-B-lovin'-Quinn to my Joker,
A die-hard Drake lover with a heart for the Dark Side,
This Vader loves his Amidala, xoxoxo,
We would revel on any side but the holy!
May this love never fade, and be full of surprises,
But not the kind where there is nasi lemak with no ikan bilis!
But you make the best **** nasi lemak, sigh,
I'm forever grateful for my Babloo
I'm forever grateful that you're by my side,
My Annabel Lee, I'm grateful Poe never met you,
'Cause you're all mine!
A poem dedicated to my wife.
Joseph Bruin Mar 2013
I look into your eyes
And the warmth of your love fills me,
The glowing heat of
Your angelic beauty.

I touch your skin
And am unable to breathe.
You've stolen the air from my lungs,
My heart stands still within me.

And when I kiss your perfect lips
Time stands still.
Warmth comes over me,
And at the same time, chills.

You take me to a place
Where only you and I exist,
A place of love and
Eternal bliss.
A poem I wrote about a year ago for a girl who will always hold a special place in my heart.
K Balachandran Jan 2012
Like those green hills
in an undaunted meditative silence
in front of the house
i was brought up

               my secrets are pretty open,

i am still a gun with full of bullets
if i spill the beans
i'll be compromised, some one pointed out
so what?

yes, i did fornicate a bit
most unforgettable one
was with an intellectual type
under the 'wisdom tree'
highlighted as a tourist attraction
in the municipal park,
on a full moon day,
that was a condition she put,
i found  no problem to agree.

this was the time when we were wild
smoked joints, did theater,
and went about aimlessly
but read a lot, as if our lives
would come to a grinding
halt the very next day;
so we had to finish all that.
it was as if we are mad.

Oh! not to forget the Ashram
over looking a lake
where one learned few things
on life and other matters of interest,
how can i forget the fiery  poet,
who got there to get
enlightened if possible in a week
we slept and created a lovely scandal
(you should forgive me for all that,
quite coincidental, not at all intentional)
noted in my diary thus--
'poets are no less hot than other mortals'

Once in drunken stupor
i went to swim in the lake across the Ashram
with full of crocodiles that relished
eating people's limbs
not all, but one at a time,
the girl who found me floating
inviting attention of crocs
dragged me  out, took me to her room
in the Ashram, and at that night
she said:"how romantic!
let's go to bed together
your punch drunk meat
would have been eaten
by crocs by celebrate"
she was so much better than crocodiles
in heat, left me in a state of dazzle
Yes now it can be told; one of my secrets is this
I believe in eclectic wisdom,
as ephemeral life has  
wisdom alone offers salvation.

i have no great secrets,
no Swiss bank accounts,
affairs with  enchanting courtesans
in any Maharaja's court.
The last and only Maharaja i met face to face
had retired long back
and during my interview with him
addressed me "Sir"
how could one tell a Maharaja
though he is a paper tiger that
one is averse to colonial manners!

                                        About certain secrets to be unearthed:
                                         I will recount this in a later date.
Grace Jordan Jun 2014
Heart: This is hard for me to say, and I hope you don't panic. Don't panic. Please don't panic. We always panic.

Head: Why would I panic? You're speaking with redundancy. Just express yourself already.

Heart: Well, I don't know how to say this, and I know this will be tough on both of us, but you've got to remain calm.

Head: What is it? For the love of all things holy-

Heart: We're in love.

Head: Love? I thought we were done with all affairs of the heart for the time being. I thought you were shutting yourself down for a bit, and letting us just be free of these binds for awhile. You know this just always causes us unneeded pain.

Heart: It's different this time. It has to be different.

Head: Has to be? What sorts of ridiculousness do you speak of, my friend? Love doesn't have to be anything, but a terrifying void in which we have fallen in once, no twice, and barely made it out unscathed. Correction, we were not unscathed, we were scarred. We are scared. What do expect to come of this?

Heart: Its different. He's different.

Head: You said that about the last one.

Heart: He actually cares. He wants all of us, not just a part. The first wanted our body, the second wanted our smile. This one? He wants all of it.

Head: You're delusional. It will be no different, the outcome is simple mathematics. Us plus a boy equals utter chaos.

Heart: Its so different. He's the smile upon our face when we fall asleep to his final texts late at night, he is the hands running through our hair, he is the body curled up next to ours keeping us warm at night, he is the lips that beg us to live again. He's so different. He might just love us too.

Head: He's dangerous. Don't be an incompetent fool. It won't end well.

Heart: I don't care. We are in love with him.

Head: Well snap out of it.

Heart: Love doesn't work like that and you know it.

Head: Why would you stick around him after all the rumors you have heard, after all the fears in you, after all you have been through? Its illogical.

Heart: That's love for you.

Head: Don't be dumb.

Heart: Love that turns you stupid is the best kind. It makes your toes unable to touch the ground and you're flying. Can't you feel it?

Head: But I'm scared.

Heart: I know. But its worth being a little terrified.

Head: He could hurt us.

Heart: You knew that the second you got into this mess. You didn't care then, why care now?

Head: Because its serious now.

Heart: Why do you say that?

Head: Because we are in love with him.

Heart: Exactly. There was no moment like the last times when we absolutely knew, it came slowly but surely, each time he called us cute and sent us a good morning text and held our fingers close and kissed us like we were special. And then one day I woke up and realized, my god, I'm in love with this boy.

Head: It is so different. Why is it so different?

Heart: Because he's different. So different. That's why we're in love with him.

Head: We are in love with him.

Heart: And there's nothing we can do about it. So might as well jump in headfirst, right?

Head: Stupid. But we are going to do it anyway, are we not?

Heart: Now you're catching on.

Head: Love is stupid.

Heart: We're stupid.

Head: And we are in love with him.

Heart: And that's how it will be.

Head: For now, as long as these moments lasts.

Heart: That's all that matters.

Head: I hope they never end.

Heart: Me neither.
J Arturo Dec 2017
A little bird tried to fly through the screen door and I thought, 'if only there were more air up here'.

The view from the second story deck encompassed miles of low scrub hills, piñon, and was daily growing less hazy as the fires subsided. The little bird was dead. Was not even twitching or rolling or whatever idiot birds do to fight or hold onto life. Or maybe it was unconscious. If it was a head impact, it could just be out cold. I could take it in for a bit, see if it revives. But the brains of birds are very small... maybe not large enough to switch out of consciousness without damaging the whole system. It could wake up brain damaged: amnesic, whistling gibberish, unable to collaborate or co-worm-locate or sit on eggs or whatever other higher functions birds perform. Angry, all the time. Likely a burden and a danger to the community. Condemned to either death or a life of lonely suffering. I'd rather not be culpable for that.

Prospective buyers are arriving at four, the realtor as well, for a tour, so I grabbed a broom and swept the quiet body into the shaggy juniper that surrounded the house. Swept up with maple leaves that had settled on the porch since this time yesterday, together a mass of decomposing matter, under the railing and into the dark.

I'd spent a lot of time alone in the house on Grand. Watched nature slowly creep through the iron fence and into the faux-pond, up under the patio bricks, purple flowered and needley plants growing taller and more hostile daily. Increasing numbers of little brown birds mistaking the reflected sunset in the plate glass doors for real sky.

"If only there were more air up here." A little joke I repeat out loud while sweeping broken bodies into shrubs. The thickest places, where they wouldn’t be seen when (if) someone ever dropped by to view the house.

I don't live here, the house is soon to be foreclosed. But a friend of mine knew I needed a place to stay and offered this, his third home, empty of everything except a coffee maker, some landscaping tools, a few boxes that had yet to be moved. I have a twin sized mattress in what must have been a child's room: a strip of Denver Broncos wallpaper runs the circumference, every other surface painted complimentary blue.

The couple arrived at five. She wears a salmon coloured shawl over a white blouse. They’re performing the theatric act of young couples in love (with the idea of a larger house): she ecstatic over the seven jets in the master Jacuzzi tub, he hesitant about the people-paths in the wall-to-wall-carpet, the everpresent pastels we know were once in vogue but will take weeks and at least two layers of base to fully eradicate. It’s the realtor’s job to showcase the place but I often stand outside the plate glass windows of the living room, keeping an eye. Playing the role of groundskeeper because hitchhiker is so much less glorious.

So far it’s been the same. Always she with a genuine smile that will be gone forty minutes after she’s left the driveway. He, always in t-shirt and “trying to be casual” jacket calculating the square footage of each room, the viability of the fireplace. Opening cabinets, but not concerned with storage space. He wants to see if the brass hinges really have brass pins. Is it wood, linoleum? Look closely at his eyes and watch them dance across a virtual blackboard, adding up the gallons of primer and paint needed to cover up the colour mistakes of a before-his-decade.


You can almost watch his eyes dart across the blackboard. A house is a house but the home must be shredded, burned, before making it yours.

But they all do this. A dozen or so now, this summer. And I spend a lot of time alone. Injecting my thoughts into people who think they know what they need next, before getting in a small car and checking out a properly closer to town. Making little jokes to myself as I sweep the porch. The isolation even maybe altering small parts of my self. The social parts, perhaps. I feel good, most days, but find myself repeating the same phrases: “****. Shower. Shave”, “If only there were more air up here.”, “I could learn to love a leopard”, even recently a little Old Testament, which like a ******* I’ve been taking to bed with increasing frequency and a growing selfish guilt, repeating,

“As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him.”

They won’t be back, but for the first time now there’s a deer in the yard. Meaning there must be a hole in the fence. A doe, and fawn too, and I can sit and stare with my broom in hand because my job is to sweep the deck. Dead birds and maybe rats, leaves of course, but with all the water the bank is wasting on this waste of a lawn, come deer: come all ye deer, come and eat. Maybe you will even eat the frighteningly thistly things. Regardless, in exchange for this room I was given a broom and deer are far too large to sweep.

When my student visa expired in Canada I left the country with no identification, five Canadian dollars, a five litre backpack mostly occupied by a camera, and in my mind some distillation of the romanticism from On The Road that I’d managed to power-read in a Heathrow bookstore four years before (lacking the pounds to actually purchase the book). I crossed the border via ferry, and entered the country without identification. I thought this was impossible but it turns out that when you have no time but your whole future ahead of you, and nowhere to get to anyway, insisting “I am a U.S. citizen and you need to let me into this country” does in fact work, if you repeat it enough, and are willing to wait. In my case border patrol even gave me a twenty note and a pat on the back before sending me on my way.

How I ended up sitting on the floor watching birds die, backlit by a desert sunset, in the mountains of New Mexico, is a long story, and to be honest the details have largely escaped me. I do remember I was reading Hemingway. “The Innocents Abroad”, and trying to find myself in any character I could lay my hand on. The word “Innocent” in the title, I suppose, far moreso any actual character, struck the most.

It’s the middle of The Great Recession. Or The Great Depression. The Great Compression. I can’t remember any longer which economic period this particular episode occupied (why can’t they name them more sensibly, like hurricanes?) Call it, then, The Great Introspection, as I narrated myself through the dozen rooms of a million-dollar house: the material self still alive and thriving inside in a self-congratulatory spiral over the personal ROI that left Canada on five dollars and put me, rent free, in a home worth that multiplied 200,000 times. The home where I first had my own key. The home where I learned to drink a glass of water before my morning coffee.

(Five years and $98,000 in college expenses later that was, easily, the best advice I’ve ever received.)

Eventually the phone was disconnected, the water, the power. The jacuzzi, though dry, was still a good place to lie and read. And the piñon and snakes, cacti and juniper, then inklings of pine trees came in steadily. When you would look at them they would freeze. But every morning something new was growing, some new pink flower popped up promisingly to crack the mortar in front of the door. Sweetly at first, then growing thorns, and I walking the perimeters saying “if only there were more air out here”, saying, “can not feel her anymore”, as if the decadent madness of the lawn could be silenced by speaking out loud. Trying to walk the edge of the fence, increasingly losing it in the encroaching bush, then resigning myself to the living room, the **** carpet flattening into a forest path while I impressed miles into that offensive floor.

words. seeds. thistles. marvin morales.

Sleeping on that filthy mattress, the Denver Broncos looking down, still optimistic about their upcoming trophy, or cup. Whatever it was that a bunch of cartoon horses could win. But the sweeping gave me solace, even though the growing thistles made the bricks uneven and caught in the bristles of the broom, leaving little shards of transplanted pink flowers emedded in the yellow polyethylene. I loathed them, but looking back I can see I played straight into their plan. Transplanting little seeds to new weak places in the cement, where they could grow tall again and **** up what little good was left of the land. Bring deer to eat them. Bring little idiot birds to pick the seeds out of the faeces, recycling with pure intent, and flying off into the bright light of sunset. Then crashing broken to the floor.

And like the lawn, like the porch, like what happens when you read Twain, something in me changed. “If only there were more air”, yes, but there is never enough air. Piling up among the deer, among the doe, among my now all-consuming pacing and talking to ghosts who don’t live here anymore, among the many birds who ate their worms and went on to hatch a dozen more, flew into a plate glass sunset, and were ignored.
Nico Reznick Mar 2016
I recently had the great privilege of editing Mike Essig's latest poetry collection, THE BIOLOGY OF STRANGENESS, and I'm honoured to have been entrusted with such fantastic material. Putting together a book like this is every poetry geek's dream.

It's a beautifully textured assortment of poems, earthy yet lyrical, narrated by a voice that's uniquely grained with experience. There are pieces that will make you smile, think, wince; there are pieces that hit you in the gut out of nowhere; there are pieces that welcome you into them like old, worn-in shoes; there are pieces you will remember late some night when you're by yourself, and remembering them will make you feel less alone.

This collection of poetry makes you look at the banal and the everyday afresh; it finds magic and mystery in the mundane, and even Hawaiian shirts are poem-worthy when Mike Essig's writing about them.

The Kindle version is already available through Amazon.

A paperback edition is due out next month, and I can't wait to have a copy of this book on my shelf as well as on my e-reader.

Mike's previous poetry books, Never Forgotten and Huck Finn Is Dead are also available through Amazon and are excellent.  

From his author profile on B Star Kitty Press:

"Mike Essig is a veteran of Vietnam and a retired English teacher. He’s also been recruited by the muse as a poet, like he hadn’t already been through enough."

Sample poems, links to sales pages and more info can be found at the B Star Kitty Press website.  www(dot)bstarkittypress(dot)com.

Please do support this very talented indie author.
Alexander K Opicho
(Eldoret, Kenya;
The Al shabab on 22 day of September 2013   attacked Kenya again. It has attacked and lynched siege on the Nairobi’s biggest mall known as the West Gate. This is one of the severest after other similar attack in 1998.The people who are averagely assumed to be killed are  one hundred.Al shabab is a regional east African arm of Arabo-islamic global terrorist group known as the Algaeda.But something notable about all the terrorist groups in the world, inclusive of Alshabab, is that they all have an Arabic, communist and Islamic bias with overt expression of anti-American movements.
The Lynching of the Mall in Nairobi has affected all the Kenyan communities. Asian and African, Europeans and Americans. However the survivors of the West Gate mall attack has narrated out that the attackers were discriminately asking for ones religion before they shoot. Thus Muslims were not shot but non Muslims were shot and then held hostage. The military sources on the site shared out that the terrorists were foreigners but they perfectly worked through their plan through co-operation of locals and citizens of a victim countries; Kenya and America.
Immediately after this terror attack in Nairobi, a group of social researchers in Kenya carried out an electronic survey on the social media to find out why the Alshabab has easily recruited the followers and why an African youth can easily accept recruitment in to the membership of terror groups like Boko haram, Al shabab, and Al gaeda.The responses gathered from diverse digital socialites  skews into one  modal direction which  shows that America alone with its ostentatious international relations  will not win the war on global terrorism.
The motivation for easy recruitment into membership of the terror groups was established by the social media survey as diverse factors but most august among them are ; extreme conditions of poverty among the youths in contrast to the rich and wealthy elderly echelons of the most African societies. Also, sharp contrast in the economic conditions between America and Africa where American societies wallow in extreme riches whereas the African societies contemporaneously are stark deep in idyllic poverty perpetually wallowing in the mire of need and economic challenges. Some respondents cited the crooked way through which the state of Israel was formed as well as the atrocious nature of American foreign policy towards the Arab world through which there was perpetration of killing of Muamar Al Gadaffi and regular Military bombardment of Arab countries like Syria and Afghanistan.
Also the current American presidency and the preceding one of George Bush provoke distasteful responses on the social media. Especially in relation to the Prison maintained at quatanamo bay which basically was established as a basic torture facility used by the American government to torture terrorist suscepects from North Africa, Arab emirates and Europe. But the prison at Quatanamo bay is composed of a large number of North African as detainees. A respondent on the social media quoted Pravda, the Russian Newspaper in English version which had a revelation about the Quatanamo prison. The Pravda projected number of North Africans in the Quatamo prison to be currently standing at one hundred and thirty seven. The Newsweek also concurs with this position by narrating in its july 2013 edition that, there are very many prisoners of North African descend in quatanamo prison who began a hunger strike sometimes ago but they are forcefully fed through a tube.

The facebooking ,tweetering and charting thematically show one modal position that American discriminatory foreign policy towards Israel and Persia, American extreme capital amid critical world poverty, poverty in Africa especially among the youth, presence of weapons of mass destruction in Israel to which America is oblivious or nonchalant  ,Russian technological casuistry and Chinese economic dominance combine into a blend of extensive anti-American feelings that  make the world youths not reliable when it comes to the moral duty of desisting from joining the terrorist groups. American hard politics and hard diplomacy will make America not to win war on global terrorism.
RAJ NANDY Nov 2014
              BY RAJ NANDY
The very mention of History brings to mind
many civilizations, its wars, with endless
succession of ruling dynasties and kings;
Its many dates and events, which appear to be
rather dull and boring!
“If history were taught in the form of stories, it
would never be forgotten”, said Rudyard Kipling!
So if a good teacher of History narrates those
events like a story within a broad chronological
frame work,
While skillfully linking the present in light of the
Mentioning both important and lesser known
interesting facts to arouse the interest of his
class; -
History would be better appreciated by us!
Perhaps in its narrowest sense, History may be
viewed only as a chronological succession of
dates and past events!
But let me assure you that History is a dynamic
linear progression, adapting and evolving with
changing times,
As present recedes into the past all the while!
These changes could be environmental, socio-
economic, or political changes faced by mankind.
But we remain as a living part of History all the
Yet while we live through History, we fail to realize
the impact we make upon history and time;
And this is perhaps the very magic and enigma of
Which occasionally lends it a touch of mystery!
Our family album is a record of our history we
create and leave behind at the micro level;
Just as past civilizations have left behind their imprints
in their architecture, statues, literature, and works
of art at the macro level !
History breathes and speaks to us from the distant
If only we could pause to hear its unspoken words,
As the Romantic poet John Keats had once heard!
Keats’  “Ode on a Grecian Urn” composed during
early 19th century, -
Harks back to the Classical Age of Greek History!
Keats waxes eloquent in his description of pastoral
scenes painted on the urn which lies frozen in time;
While Keats leaves behind his exalted and eternal
aesthetic message - ‘Beauty is Truth and Truth
Beauty’, - which shall outlive our mortal time!
So it is with History, like the Grecian urn the past  
remains eternalized in time with its lessons and
While it beckons us to unravel her mysteries!
For the historian, the architect, the geologist,
the anthropologist, scholars and the artist,
‘’History is a continuous dialogue between
the present and the past’’;
As observed by the English historian and
diplomat EW Carr.
Even though we cannot change the past, we can
surely absorb the lessons it has left behind for us!
The Spanish born American philosopher George
Santayana had said; -
“Those who cannot remember the past are
condemned to repeat it!”
The Dutch philosopher Soren Kierkegaard had
once remarked; -
“Life must be lived forward, but it can only be
understood backward.”
So let us learn from past History to create a
better future for humanity.
For the past gives us a sense of belonging
and an identity;
Since our very roots lie enshrined in History!
By the time you complete reading my entire
I hope to convert you into a Lover of History
by broadening your perception!

Ancient Greece, the cradle of Western Civilization
during the 6th century BC, -
Saw the birth of Philosophy!
Thales of Miletus, Anaximenes, and Anaximander,
from the Greek colony of Ionia on the west coast
of Asia Minor,  (now Turkey)
Broke the previous shackles of all mythical and
superstitious explanations.
With their questioning mind and rational thinking
they sought,  -
To seek the real behind the apparent, and substance
behind the shadow;
By seeking natural and logical reasons for explaining
natural phenomena, -
Free from all previous religious and mythical
Thus, these Milesian School of thinkers in their quest
for truth with their intellectual lust, -
Gave rise to ‘philosophia’, Greek word for ‘love
of truth’, an early birth!
Subsequently, this newly born Greek Philosophy with
its progressive thoughts inspired scientific methods
of inquiry;
Along with Logic, trial by Jury, and the very concept
of Democracy!
The Greeks also inspired Literature, History, Tragedy,
Comedy, the Olympic Games, Astronomy, and Geometry!
Around 500 BC the Greek written script had stabilized,
going from left to right;
And the first addition of vowel letters by the Greeks
to the adopted Phoenician consonants, can never
be denied!
The first two Greek letters ‘alpha’ and ‘beta’ which
gave the name to our Alphabets forms a part of
early History.
Now Herodotus, during the 5th century BC, had
inherited this intellectual Greek Legacy!

Herodotus is said to have been born in the ancient
Dorian Greek city of Halicarnassus in south-west
Asia Minor, which is now Turkey;
During the latter half of 5th century BC!
During his days, the city was under the rule of Persia;
Since the Persians had captured the Greek colonies
in Asia Minor!
Frequent revolts by these colonies against the
Persians with help from Athens,
Made the Persian King Darius, and later his son
Xerxes, - decide to invade Athens!
The Persians also wanted to extend their Empire
into Europe across the Bosporus Strait, -
Which divided Asia from Europe in those days!

In 490 BC, when the massive Persian army of King
Darius landed at Marathon as assured victors;
The Athenian running courier Pheidippides ran
150 miles in two days, to seek help from Sparta!
Again later, he ran 25 miles from the battlefield
near Marathon to Athens, to announce that the
Greeks became the final victors!
This historic run by Pheidippides gave rise to the
discipline of Marathon, in our Olympic Games
later on!
Such Marathon runs are now held in many cities
of the world annually,
Thus we remain connected with our past as you
can clearly see!
Years later in 425 BC, Herodotus narrated these
invasions in his famous narrative ‘Histories’.
Cicero the Roman scholar, philosopher and orator,
Had called Herodotus the ‘Father of History’ many
centuries later!
Very little is known about Herodotus’ early life,
But from historical evidence which survive,
We learn about his stay in Athens, and his many
Visiting Egypt, Libya, Syria, Babylon, Susa in Elam,
Lydia, and Phrygia;
Collecting information which he called ‘autopsies’
or ‘personal inquiries’, and hearing many stories;
Prior to composing his famous ‘Histories’!

This was written in prose in the Iconic dialect of
Classical Greek,
Covers the background, causes, and events of the
Greco-Persian Wars between 490 and 479 BC.  
Scholars divided the entire work into 9 Books, with
each dedicated to a Greek Muse, - those goddesses
of art and knowledge,
Thereby the Homeric tradition they did acknowledge!
For example, Book-I was dedicated to Calliope, the
Muse of Epic Poetry, and Book-II to Clio, the Muse
of History.
Herodotus begins his narration with these following
“Here is the account of the inquiry of Herodotus of
Halicarnassus in order that the deeds of men not be
erased by time, and that the great and miraculous
works – both of the Greeks and the barbarians not
go unrecorded.”
Now Herodotus with his lucid narrative style, had
pioneered the writing of History with a specific
framework of space and time!
His style got emulated by later writers of History,
Who improved their narration with better authentic
source and methodology;
Thereby giving birth to the subject of ‘Historiography’.
(Historiography = critical examination of source & selection
of authentic material, synthesis of particulars into a narrative
whole, which shall stand the test of critical methods.)

The ancient Greek word “historia” meant ‘knowledge
acquired by investigation or inquiry’’, and the Greek
‘histore’ meant ‘inquiry’.  
It was in this sense Aristotle later used it in his ‘’Inquires
on Animals’’- during the 4th Century BC;
And this mode of ‘inquiry’ later became ‘History’!
The term ‘History’ entered English language in 1390
as a “record of past incidents and story”.
However, the restriction to the meaning “record of
past events” only, came during the 15th century.
But the German word ‘Geschichte’ even to this day,
Means both history and story, without making
distinction in any way!
Since the story element remains inbuilt in all historical
And also remains as a tribute to its author’s creation!
Friends, this is a short intro. to the subject of History in Verse, composed in a simplified form. The concluding portion will be posted later as Part Two. Hope you like the same! In case you like it, do recommend to your other friend! Thanks, -Raj
Prerna Sinha Jan 2014
I woke up from a dream of love
Found my tiny fingers held by her
She wrapped me in umbrella of love
My little eyes awestruck by her
She narrated her stories in nights
I heard her hum the songs divine
Beside her chest that swelled with care
I slept in darkness to have no fear
Her arms so warm kept me tied
Away from the ***** world around
Bountiful beauty defines her
Her face shines with love for all
A heart of gold she possesses
An enigma, an angel, she is mine!
Tryst Aug 2014
"Yoo Hoo! Excuse me!" she said,
Warbling with trepidation,
"I wonder could you help me,
Only I'm blind, you see?"

Her timid voice trailed off,
Lost beneath the majestic roar
Of the waterfall;

"Of course ma'am!" he said,
"Take my arm and pray
Tell me your troubles!"

"Well it's all rather silly," she said,
"But I'm not long now for this
Life, and I so wanted to see,
Or rather, to feel this place again.
I was here as a young girl
You see, and I have such fond memories! 
My guide had to take
An urgent call, and now I'm
Afraid I won't have time for the tour!"

"Tell me," he said, "If I may be
Permitted to ask, were you able
To see when you were here before?"

"Oh yes!" she exclaimed,
"It was the most incredible thing
I've ever seen!  The destructive
Force of nature, an endless torrent
Of foaming waters cascading down
Sheer cliffs, the living color of
Smooth rocks gleaming in the sunlight,
And oh so many rainbows
Blazing in the spray, Sir I could
Imagine no place more wondrous,
More beautiful!"

"Well then," he said excitedly,
"You'll be pleased to know it
Hasn't changed a bit!"

"Oh thank you, thank you!"
She said, hugging him tightly,
"You've made an old woman very happy!"

The guide returned and he bade them
A fond farewell, and then another
Woman approached him.

"Well there you are darling," she said,
I've been looking for you everywhere!
I've found a guide who specialises
In narrated tours for the blind,
Are you ready?"

He looked at her with unseeing eyes
And smiled, "There's no need my love,"
He said, "I've already seen it and
It's the most beautiful place in the world,
And I want to remember it
Exactly the way I do right now!"
The Noose Dec 2013
I haven't really laughed since 2009
He said,
He then divulged his struggles
As I did mine
We spoke of the mutual regret about not keeping in touch
But with conflicting schedules, relocations and studies
It is comprehensible we veered in opposite directions and lost contact

My estranged bestfriend

We reminiscenced about the time when we were school kids
In stiff shirts, massive floppy hats
And giant blazers we practically drowned in
How eager we were to go home
When the siren went off at 3:05pm
The shanenigans at the pavilion
In sixth form
When we were the lords of the academy

A strong grip on my giant mug as if it were the holy grail
Stirring my something that ends with cinno
Huddled in the corner of a cozy eatery

In his company once again
it felt as though I had arrived home where fire burns incessantly in the fire place
On a winter's night
With a soft blanket over my shoulders

We laughed about my truancy
And how he got kicked out of the ruby team on account of his rather lanky physique
He imitated our biology teacher and tears flowed down my cheeks
That kind of laughter
You feel in your core
And your whole body shakes

So captivated by the various discussions
We both forgot to sip on our steaming beverages

He narrated a few short stories about the events
that have taken place since we last conversed
I in turn narrated mine or lack thereof
He emphatically tilted his head to the side
God, I had missed those gestures of his
It all came flooding back
His mannerisms
The way he moves his hands when he speaks  as if he is trying to literally hold the conversation

For what seemed like a lifetime Before saying goodbye
We stared into each other's eyes
Almost as if to telepathically say
Do you remember the time
When we were so alive.
This is rather tedious, pardon me.
Urmila Apr 2016
Today is about missing you,
About missing your spicy fresh perfume, that I'd begun to love,
About missing your plump fat nose, that I never managed to pinch,
About missing your intense and sometimes senseless banter, that I'd never get enough of,
About missing your attempts to reduce the amount of coffee I drink, that I unwillingly adhered to,
About missing the quarter piece of a jam toast, that you always saved for me,
About missing the way you calmed me down, when we faced storms together,
About missing how you took note of everything, a new hair clip, that I knew you'd like on me,
About missing your watch, which you never took off, because of what it meant to you,
About missing your stories, and the zest with which you narrated them,
About missing your photography, how you captured my best and worst moments, when I wasn't looking,
About missing our shared love for yogurt drinks, and how we analysed each one we drank,
About missing how you screamt 'Mogu Mogu' when you found your favourite drink, in my favourite café,
About missing your big hands, that were strong and gentle at the same time,
About missing those few drives with you, talking about everything and nothing,
About missing how you surprised me on my birthday, with chocolates and a scarf, that feels warmer than any other,
About missing your silly quirks, like carrying your backpack around everywhere, which only I understood,
Today is about missing you
I had to stop, I'd probably reach the max length if I went on.
A wife her husband's tool did sever,
Causing him in court to file for divorce
From his cruel and heartless smasher.
And ere the Magistrate with a voice
Mellow the man narrated how his mate,
Prior to that brutality, has been starving
Him of ***, that except to procreate,
She rarely allows him conjugal gendering.

Another pair about which I read, this time,
Howbeit, it was the wife that sought for
Split from her hubby, whose chief crime
Was, again, appertaining to the succour
Of copulation, telling the court that for almost
Six months straight, her man never did her
In the buff behold, let alone upon her crust
And crumb feasted; wherefore depriving her.

Is love acclaimed nought but a fancy fad,
That at last in divorce it at times ends?
The above accounts are no tales, though sad,
By a drunk told. How heart commends
Itself to lovelorness' rack! What about spouses
Also that did their partners ****** for a reason
Dark? Why will married couples their houses
And homes turn into affection prison?

And those couples initially, at first, when
They in courtship were, would truly seem,
The very best peacock and peahen
To themselves--a groom and bride dream.
Was this sight silly and that heart foolish
When they did settle for that guy and girl
Of all babes and blokes admired and cherish-
Ed then, for whom they did daily whirl?

Marriage dissolution is a grave malady,
Rendering relation, keeping parents and kids at
Bay by breaking a once very close-knit family
Apart, and, which also pierces God's holy heart
With anguish; yet we seem to be making light
Of our vows sacred: for worse and for better,
To love indeed forever in good and ill plight,
Uttering promises at the altar that no sooner alter.

Though marriage is beyond the bliss of bed,
Enduring nay by just rolling in a deep hay
Ever and anon, and smooching to the red,
For couple cannot in that mood every day
And occasion be; yet of coitus, each other
Must they not deny for some excuses bogus,
But should sate their oats promptly, rather
Than yielding to concupiscence or divorce.

And what is the mileage of marriage
Betwixt man and wife upon this earth,
Who with their lips did cheerfully pledge
Before witnesses present,--is it the dearth
Of reasoning when to each other said: "Till
Death do us part"? I cannot it truly fathom
Whole, how marital unions break up. But still,
Know I, relationships do persist with wisdom.

Meanwhile, that man's stitched willie will
Not rise as the sun and be on a nymphet
Set again, save by a miracle. But his evil
Ex-wife can go on to relish in ****** couplet.
Thank heaven, he has three offspring from the
Pact; while the latter story produced only one
Child. Many do take a petty lust for a pretty
Love, playing their queen and king like a pawn.
Alexander K Opicho
(Eldoret, Kenya;

Here is a toast for valentine
Valentine in all seasons perennial
Where angst of money for love  
Cradled utopian capitalism,
It is once again in the city of Omurate
In the south most parts of Ethiopia
On the borders of Kenya and Ethiopia
Where actually the river Ormo enters Lake Turkana,
There lived a pair of lovers
With overt compassion for one another
The male lover was an origin of Nyangtom,
A cattle rustling Nilotic kingdom
While the female lover was a descendant of King Solomon
The Jewish children which King Solomon aborted
Because their mother was an Ethiopian African
They now form substantial part of the Ethiopian population
Their clan is known as Amharic, they speak subverted Yiddish,
These lovers were good to one another
Sharing secrets and all other stuffs that go with love.

Both the lovers were fatherless
They had lost their fathers through early death
They only had the mothers, who were again sickly
Their mothers coughed a whole night with whoops
And when in the wee of the night, when temperatures go low
The mothers breathe with wheezing sound
Like peasant music from African violin,
They didn’t eat with good appetite
They always left irritating chunks on the plates,
But they all puked mucus from their mouths
And of course with a very sickening regularity.

The menace of sick mothers intervened with love freedom
Among the inter-compassionate lovers
They did not have time for real active love
I will not mention recurrent missing of ceremonies
Fetes that are bound to go with valentine day
The lovers were bored to their teeth
They don’t knew when gods will come to unyoke them.

Especially the male lover, was most perturbed
His mother looked sorriest
With a scrofulous look on her old aged African face
She looked like a forlorn erstwhile cattle rustler
She ever whined in pain like a trapped hyena
Her son the male lover even began apologizing
To the female lover for such environmental upsets
Hence an African proverb that;
No love is possible with impaired judgment.

One day in the wee of the night
With no electricity nor any source of light
Darkness engulfing each and every aspect of the city
Confirming the hinterland of Africa
The female lover woke up from the sleep
And she never heard the usual wheezing breathes
That her mother often made in such hours,
Feat of suspicion gripped her
She jumped out of her bed to where her mother was
On feeling her, she found her dead, cold like a black member
She was already past the rigor mortis stage of death process
African chilliness had frozen her like a poikilothermic creature.

She wept but not in the uproarious groan
In that instinctive Jewish shrewdness
She did not announce nor inform her lover of her mother’s death
She only washed and groomed the cadaver of her mother
She made a headscarf around the head of dead mother
She even placed reading glasses on her face
On her mother’s dead torso she wrapped a dress
The most expensive of all bought from Egypt,
In the same wee of the night
She carried cadaver of her mother on her shoulders
The way a poor Nigerian farmer would carry a stem of banana
And walked slowly by slowly for a distance of a hundred kilometers
Down ***** into Kenya towards the city of Todanyang in Turkana County
Todanyang was a busy city, but silent and minus people in the night
The king of this city was called Lapur the son of Turkanai
And the law that Lapur passed in this city was archaic
It was; an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a Jew for a Jew
A pokot for a pokot, a samburu for a samburu
It was simply the law with nothing else
Other than clauses of measure for measure
And clauses of *** for tat instantaneously administered,
On reaching the market she placed her mother standing
Being supported on a sign post at the bus stage
In pose similar to that of an early morning traveler,
She sat a side like a prowling spider awaiting foolish fly
They way an African ***** exposes its red ****
And when the hen comes to peck
It traps and closes the head of the hen
Deeper into its ****,
At that bus stage there was a hotel
Owned by a Rwandese refugee
From the foolish clan of the Hutu
He had ran away from the genocide
In his country, he was also the perpetrator
And thus he was a runaway from the law *** hotelier
His name was Chapuchapu, meaning the quick one,
When Chapuchapu opened the hotel for the early customers
The female lover walked into the hotel
With innocence on her face like all the Jews
She placed an order for two mugs of coffee
And two pieces of bread
When Chapuchapu had placed food on the table
The female lover shrewdly instructed Chapuchapu
To go and hold the hand of the woman standing at the sign post
To bring her into the hotel for morning tea,
Chapuchapu in his unsuspecting charisma
With a mad drive to make money that morning
He dashed out as instructed with his foolish notion
That the customer is the queen, which is not
He grapped the standing cadaver with force
On pulling her to come along
The cadaver tumbled down like a marionette
Everything falling away; headscarf and glasses
Chapuchapu was overtaken by awe
The female lover was watching
Like the big brother in the Orwellian satire, 1984.
When the cadaver of her mother fell
She came out of the hotel
Screaming like a hundred vehicles
Of St John Ambulance
And two hundred Kenyan vehicles of fire brigade
And three hundred Kenyan cash transfer vehicles,
She was accusing Chapuchapu for being careless
Careless in his work that he had killed her mother,
Swam of armed humanity in Turkana loinclothes
Began pouring in like waters of Nile into Mediterranean
Female lover improved the scale of her screaming
Chapuchapu like a heavyweight idiot was dumbfounded
Armed people came in their infinite
Finally king Lapur arrived on his royal donkey
That his foot soldiers had only rustled
From Samburu land a fortnight ago,
The presence of the king quelled the hullabaloo
The king asked to find out what had happened
Amid sops the female lover narrated how
Chapuchapu the hotelier had killed her mother
Through his careless helter skelter behaviour
The king sighed and shouted the judgment
To the mad crowd; an eye for a……….!?
The crowd responded back to the King
In a feat of amok value;
For an eye you mighty Lapur son  ofTurkanai,
The stones, kicks, jabs began rainning
In volleys on an innocent Chapuchapu
Amid shouts that **** him, he came here to **** people
The way he killed a thousand fold in Rwanda.

The sopping female lover requested the king
That his people wait a bit before they continue
Then the king waved to the people to stop
Chapuchapu was on the ground writhing in pain
When the King asked the female lover what was the concern
She requested for pay from Chapuchapu not people to **** him
Chapuchapu accepted to pay whatever the price that will be put
Female lover asked for everything in hundreds;
Carmel, money, Birr, sheep, goats, donkeys, cows
Name them all they were in hundreds
Chapuchapu and his family were saying yes to every demand
And they rushed to bring whatever was said
The payments exhausted Chapuchapu back to square zero
The female lover carried everything away
The cadaver of her mother on her shoulder
She disappeared into the forest
and buried her mother there.

When she arrived home she found the male lover
He looked at her overnight change in fortune in stupefaction
He didn’t believe his eyes, it was a dream
Sweetheart, where have you gotten all these?
Questioned the male lover
Sweetie darling there is market for dead women
At Todanyang in the Turkana County of Kenya
I killed my sickly mother and carried her cadaver
As a trade ware to Todanyang
Whatever I have that you are looking at is the proceed,
Can my mother fetch the same? Asked the male lover
Of course yes, even more
Given the Africanness of your mother
African cadavers fetch more than the Jewish ones
At Todanyang market,
The male lover was now overtaken
By strong urge for quick riches
Was not seeing it getting evening
That day for him was as long as a whole century
He was anxious and restless more tired of a sickly mother
When evening fell he was already ready with the butcherer’s tools
He didn’t have nerves to wait till the wee of the night
As early as eleven in the evening he axed his mother’s head
Into two chunks of human skull spilling the brains in stark horror
Blood streaming like a rivulet all over the house
The male lover was nonchalant to all these
He was in the full feat of determination
To **** and sell his mother to  get the proceeds
With which he could foot the bills of valentine day.

He stuffed the headless blood soaked torso
Of his mothers cadaver in the sisal bag
He threw it to his bag
And began going to Todanyang
The market for human dead bodies
He went half running and half walking
With regular whistling of his favourite poem;
Ode to my Jewish lover
He reached Todanyang in the wee of the night
No human being was in sight
All people had gone as it was late in the night
He then slept in the open with dead body of his mother
Stuffed in the sisal bag beside him
Wandering night dogs regularly disturbed him
As they came to bite at smelling curdled blood
But he always scared them away.
As per the male lover he overslept till five in the morning
But when he woke up he unhesitatingly began to shout
Advertising his ware of trade in foolish version;
Am selling, the body of my mother, I have killed,
I killed her myself, it is still fresh, come and buy,
I will give you’re a bargain price,

When the morning came
People began crowding around him
As he kept on shouting his advertisement
Also Lapur the king came
He was surprised with the situation,
He asked the male lover to confirm
Whatever he was shouting
The male lover vehemently confirmed,
Then the law of an eye for an eye
Effortlessly took its course
Lapur  ordered his people, in a glorious royal decree
To stone the male lover to death
And bury him away without ceremony
Along with his mother in the sisal bag
In the wasted cemetery of villains
The same way Pablo Neruda
Had to bury his dead dog behind the house,

On hearing the tidings
About what had befallen her lover
The female lover had to send out a long giggle
Coming deep from her heart with maximum joy
She took over the estate of the male lover
Combined with hers,
All the animals and everything she took,
She made her son the manager
The son whom she immaculately conceived
Without any nuptial experience in the usual Jewish style
And their wealth multiplied to vastness
And hence toxic valentine gave birth to capitalism
Äŧül Jun 2014
I love her and she loves me,
We've boon of immortality...
Not going to live forever we,
But to persist in few stories..
Tales be narrated to the kids,
And will be told to everyone.

I am barmy & hyper-excited,
She likes it all & doesn't mind.
Some sure traits of me to hide,
She even likes my worst side..
All I now look forward is her,
Me & her, together forever...
My HP Poem #638
©Atul Kaushal
Hayley Neininger Jan 2013
I wish it was easy to say who I am.
I wish God was less of a creator and more of an author
Ink stained fingernails glasses brimming the edge of his nose type
Whiskey on the side of his computer; optional.
I wish that in place of these veins and hair and bendable thumbs
I had poetry, soliloquies, syllables, punctuations.
That marked my existence
I wish my mind was a novel and each word inside it
Moved through my organs and around my chest
And when you cracked it open knowing who I am
Would be as easy as reading a book
I wish that when I get so angry I forget to speak
That you could just rip off the end of my skirt and read the
Internal and omniscient monologue in place of my skin
That would explain everything
When I smile during turmoil I wish it wasn’t a mystery
And the chapters printed on my visible teeth
Could tell you exactly why.
If God was an author I would be a character
And each of my traits would have meaning, and significance
Why do I bite my nails?
Because when I was five years old I saw my mother do It and when I’m nervous
I do it to be close to her
That would be the reason and I wouldn’t have to sit and wonder about it
Because that fits my story
Every page of my life would be narrated by someone who knew
Me better than I knew myself and that, that
Would take a lot of pressure off my shoulders.
The horrible weight of self-defining
Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to discover yourself?
To have someone do it for you
Instead of taking years to find out that you work better under pressure
And that being a doctor really wasn’t your true calling after all
What if you could just look down at your body
And see words that told the story of you.
What if you were armed with the knowledge of knowing
Who you are and what your purpose is.
I wish I was literature
So finally I could through my hands up
Shout back at you saying “Here, look this is who I am.”
I like the sound of the ocean
Black and white movies
I get sad when it rains
Just read me.
ERR Jun 2013
Speed up, said Angel
Don’t pump it, smooth
These people cruise, I drive

Over six, wide and heavy tatted
Bald head cold eyes

Pay attention, stupid
He tapped log ash into
Cigarette box trash
Hands rugged and rough
Great deserts full of highways
Barren, arid, brutal

He held Lane’s finger in a vice
Casually, without effort as he
Squirmed and wormed and begged, full
Body efforts failing
H-drained skeleton unable to muster muscle

Angel loosened his grip, to allow
Some circulation mercy (stay on that positive ****)
We dodged Victoria crowns and
Made smoke monsters with our lips and
Tongues, watched our sins cloud-crafted
And float fade privately

Want a clam strip? Said Lane
Want a granola bar, want a cookie?
Want a strawberry?

Ya, no, sure, maybe later
We stopped for some disgusting sidegrub
And pressed on into the mountains

Talented feline peaks I peep, winding
Green tree ever-stretch left-right-wise
Central concrete snake swirls higher
Our cabins line the rocky river trail
We joke about fighting bears

The thugs bunch and separate
Breakfast with Chewbacca
The wooks sit in sun, tangled
Wool clump hair strands smell

Angel had complained about taxes
Uncle Sam taking perks
The hippie wooks against
Government and Blue Law
From behind cigarettes (**** jar [stuffed])
Injured on the job, collecting
Unemployed, collecting
Tripping, bumming, badly strumming,
Hustling, collecting

Lisa is a toothpick and she has the blowsy jitters
Moon pupils grind tooth, sniff nose hard ball hitter
Saw no shame in her strip pay
I would vouch for her when they tore apart her room

Hipsters half trying and
Lumberjack draft drinkers
No place for thinkers or clean
Shady music belly festival
Drone guards drain cancer
From lit sticks for nic fix
Ritual, and bored means

Twelve hour rain sessions
Can I see your pass?
At my gate

A questioning look
I’m Warren Haynes, he said(?)
Nice to meet you, said sheep
Oh, and Les may come
Walking in here

Terry stood with me through the torrential
The first crowd name I learned
Revisit on the daily
Easy spotted in the thousands
I made stupid jokes
And she
At them

The final night of jam
There was sun, there were stars
In my new backstage post I heard Phil and his friends
I made every bus, some
Friends, shot ****
The time type where nothing’s wrong
Volunteers brought water
Marshal’s girl, a chicken kebab
No sitting on the job!
From crowd Terry jester
A stranger gave a moonshine gift
Another, a hug and said well worked

A tie blue dye hippie dippie
Looked at a beautiful woman in a dress
I would totally **** that

Even he can’t damper
At night I hear a sweet beat
A boots and cats boxer master Rob
The Mortar Mouth
And DJ Caesar
Laid back tracks collaborated
As the Tree narrated
We three held the jam
Classic, dream fulfilled
(Dead ***)

Chris shows me nerve ache
In a once stabbed high cheek bone
We guard the stage against
Ghost town robbers trudging sticky fingered

Mister Chicken sips from his confederate
Mug and sloppily asks to sneak, surprising kind
He brings me water and a meal
I pretend to check his wrist and
He hops the wrong fence

The Celtic tattoo on
Mike’s neck reads
My brothers mean everything to me
Latin ink, he tells me of the
Shapely thing in loose skirt
Up the stairs, not a thread
He stands all day on a
Broken back, brightens
Gloomy shifts with smiles

Andy loves his family
And promises to sing his
Grandmother’s favorite
Song when she dies
Every note he practices
Is a jagged pill to swallow
His voice haunts like
Newspaper faces
Or last words whispered

I watch the sun rise as
Magenta melts the mountain mist
And drift off counting constellations
Temitope Popoola Nov 2013
Dotun yawned noisily as he stretched. He walked sleepily to the bathroom, relieved himself and made some funny face to the mirror. He looked himself over, raised an eyebrow, checked the transformation in the mirror then tried the other eyebrow. He kept doing this till his phone rang and he went into the room to pick it.
"Guy, what's up? I'm fine. ...". He went mute for a while, listening to Fred talk and give him certain information on the other line. He paced the entire length of his room till the call ended. One hour later he was ready to leave the house, all fresh and clean. He drove out in his Range Rover and headed to work. He was often referred to as a chauvinistic, cocky man. The initials in his name Dotun P. Ajala had been turned from Phillip to Player. He had a history with women and was proud.  He was simply incontinent when it came to the opposite *** and the fact that they flock around him made matters worse. His upbringing had been a bit cool, born in penury, luck suddenly smiled on them when his parents won the American visa lottery and they had to leave. They didn't let go of the training and experiences life has taught them, hence he wasn't mollycoddled as a kid. Ego was another aspect of him that was tantamount to his habits with women. He simply hated being turned down. He entered into his office without paying any attention to anyone, it was habitual and they've all come to understand. However, nothing ever goes unnoticed.
While he did his work with an air of insouciance, he couldn't help but ponder on his conversation with Fred. In between, he'd stopped and laughed derisively. It was simply impossible. How could he be made to face such allegations? It was farcical.
Linda had been nothing but a one night stand who incidentally traded her virginity the first time he met her. As usual, he was ready to move on to the next one but she kept pulling some emotional strings and wouldn't let go. She had brought up different issues but he was undaunted. He stopped picking her calls and finally placed her in his past where her type belonged.
She'd gone to Fred freaked out and not willing to accept defeat. Most importantly she was pregnant and wasn't willing to do anything about it. Dotun scratched his head and wondered how he'd managed making it to the office acting cool. Fred had informed him that she said she was going to create a media noise and make sure his parents hear about it. That was way too much. He just couldn't take it, he was being blackmailed.
"****, **** ****" he cursed aloud and kicked his waste bin so hard it tumbled and made some crashing noise. A young lady rushed in on impulse to see if all was well but the look he shot her sent her in the same direction she'd emerged.
He'd never been cajoled, much less from a 21 year old girl who now became his biggest problem. She had him confused, she was naïve.
He picked up the phone and dialled some numbers, barked some orders and parked his stuffs. He was out of there before anyone could say jack. He went through lawyers and tried to see from the legal view what the case was going to look like. Linda seemed to have had everything strategized and he had a lot to lose in turn.
When the Ajalas got to know weeks later, they were so pleased they immediately agreed to let the engagement party for Dotun and Linda take place in their home and without further delay. Dotun didn't like that things were becoming formal but there was little he could do. Linda's growing baby bump was noticeable. Thus, they became couples. Linda was satisfied, her baby would grow knowing its father and she most importantly would not be a laughing stock. She cared less whether Dotun touched her or not, his baby was growing within her.
Dotun's status became the talk of town and ladies avoided him like he had a plague. The few who stayed around did at their own risk. He got tired of the person he used to be, Linda made his life hell. She had a routine for him. He had to get home before a certain time, failure to do so would result into some argument, then make her land in the hospital. It was like she did it on purpose. Each time she was at the hospital, it was for nothing serious. Then the bills come astronomically for ordinary bed rest. He gave up everything for her. She trounced him. Things remained like that for a long time till he met the woman who changed his cards.
Tokunbo had entered his life swiftly. He had stood transfixed at the supermarket where he went to get baby things. She was gorgeous and looked like a make-belief model. Everything about her was icy and she didn't try to correct that impression with first timers. She just didn't have the time, and knowing the effect she had on people it was balanced. He walked up to her with some prepared lines in his head but when she faced him nothing came out of his mouth. He couldn't take all of her beauty in.
"Do you need help with the diaper in your hands? You sure look like you could use one yourself" she said eyeing him all over.
He was taken back, no one had ever talked him down like that, let alone a woman. He  was furious but something about her struck him, her accent was funny and it thrilled him the more. By the time he could put on his player boy demeanour, she had turned her back on him. He wasn't ready to back down.
"I think you're a bit rude, I just wanted to let you know you are beautiful and this colour you have on suits you" he stated flatly.
"You walk up to some chic holding baby diaper and you still wanna psyche her? Why don't you try your luck elsewhere?"
The irritation registered on Tokunbo's face could be read easily. She dropped the shopping basket and left. Dotun was embarrassed but he made up his mind that not even the myriads of insults he got from miss-whatever-her-name-is would make him give up on her.
He narrated his ordeal to Fred who had laughed hysterically. He asked him series of questions about this chic and he couldn't even answer. As far as he was concerned, chasing her was futile.
"Look Dotun, you are married. Why not let things stay that way? Running after some hot chic with your wife in that condition is just not right."
"But for the first time in my life I met someone who feels right for me. Someone I want to live with forever." Dotun defended himself, he was brow beaten at his own game. He'd had that kind of attitude towards girls in the past and to think that finally he got his match was too much to settle for.
Fred's raucous laughter annoyed him.
"Well, if you'd been more calm and cool headed, things might not have turned out this way." He chided.
"Or what do you have in mind? You want to search for this lady, propose to her or what? And considering her double edged tongue, you would be dead soon." Fred concluded.
Dotun's phone beeped, the look on his face gave him away. He answered not pleased.
"Linda. She wants me to buy her Suya, and in five minutes." Fred had another bout of laughter.
"You are hooked man, go home to your loving wife" he said patting him on the shoulder. If there was any word that would have described Linda, it sure wasn't 'Loving'. Dotun threw him an exasperated look and left.
It's prosaic, but I hope you enjoy it all the same.
Mateuš Conrad Nov 2016
when marco polo sailed to china,
kublai khan was the emperor of china.

or what other privilege can i speak of, if not that celebration
of the bilingual, there rooted, the sword in slavic
and the sheath in pseudo-Germanic;
for what violence is to come
it will always retract in the Germanic
for a time-period of two-faced thespian
           without the need for pleasantries
already waiting bloodthirsty,
        as said, the common motto
more true now with ***** farms of turnip
donors than ever before,
science has become arrogant, almost religiously,
it's arrogant, it's arrogant, it's arrogant,
and because it's arrogant: it's blind.
       high expectations for words so grand they
fathomed nations to be used in between
kettles, teacups, knives, forks and napkins...
where's the equilibrium economy?
     well, for one this sort of work is deemed "work",
intellectualism is nothing in the post-Germanic
world of English and Americanism -
if you ain't singing (citing the motto): you
ain't thinking... for the quick buck, doctor.
it's sad and almost revealing,
          a cursed fate of our fathers' indentation
on the world...
                 you don't grow a beard to look smart
while holding a book using your upper-body
to wriggle the jig of a song, the vanity of having
a double chin...
       the principle of ensō is to have things intact,
ensō doesn't exist outside of poetry,
      you don't drink coffee in between and
then flick to a sitcom for a "creative" break
to what is: an already generic narrative.
prose is the excess of narration, there are sparks
along the way, but nothing as convincing
as Stendhal's omnus...
                and could i have simply abandoned
that quasi-epic poem of mine that's two days old?
only having realised that all said things prior
and now, subsequently, after are instilled within
the ensō principle that's less axe on the gallows:
and more guillotine; which translates into
symbols and the effectiveness of *less is more
what's the standardising canvas? alcohol,
i.e. proof.
               a poem can be nearing 100% proof,
something you'd use in a surgical theatre...
i have drank spirits in the 90 - 99% range...
          a poem can be considered to be in the >50%
range... after all... people are able to memorise
poems, or are intended to do so -
which is hard to conceive the Koranic attitude
toward poets, the Koran states an abhorrence
towards poets, in some surah of so-and-so number...
my problem is with the Hafiz: people who memorise
the Quran... as suggested from the above:
prose literature can be considered to be in the <50%
range... hence the need to extract spoilers /
quotes from prose books... something memorable...
and because prose is laden with too much
narrative lead, it sinks to the bottom,
into the unconscious, and is only revised within
dreams, when something synonymously-parallel
happens to us in your daily-narrated lives:
we are more prone to narrate than think
in terms of Jefferson and the light-bulb...
i wish i had the encyclopedic reference point where
the Quran explicitly states hostility toward
poetry... but thankfully the mere existence of
the Hafiz undermines the Quran as: the poetry
to end all poetry; and where does Stendhal
come into this? in the Red & the Black, the protagonist
is also a "Hafiz", in that he can recite the entire
Biblical text: by heart. i retain the this fact even
though the days spent reading that book
extended to many hours on the bus to school...
Julien Sorel / Ewan McGregor (in the realisation
of the book onto the screen)...
if the Quran attacks poets for their fickle-mindedness
i can only say: the mind is very literally fickle
in the first place, given:
a. the number of choices we can make, and
   b. the reversal of where the mind is embedded,
i.e. in the brain, and given the brain's complexity
and foundation in polymathic expressions
from the gymnastics of trivia, to the labours of
  singled-out interests... poets aren't fickle
  minded because they're poets,
   we're universally fickle minded, because the mind
is a fickle thing in the first place...
  to counter the complexity of the brain,
    only when the mind is found migrating into
the ******* region or the heart is there any sense
of determination to be seen...
clearly Muhammad migrated from the brain
   got himself a mini-harem and established a family,
****** Ali over on an empty promise and
immediately established a schism that took much
longer to be established in Christianity...
       i told you: my prejudices are personal,
they're not environment, i did have Muslim "friends",
i did read the Quran and i did sit in a Reagent's Park
mosque in my socks looking at the feng shui
minimalism... obviously the schism would come
from the place where a major element was used
in dressing up the mosques... persian carpets...
   and the fact that the Farsi loved their poetry...
the fact that the Quran is to be sang is basically
one poet, telling all others poets to come:
                     that's feeble, esp. if you take the sword
out after when people tell you no.
   but that's what i don't understand, if the Quran
is so against poetry, doesn't the existence of
the Hafiz mean that it actually is poetry?
  could you find a team of such plonkers to memorise
a single chapter of Tolstoy's war & peace?
  i ******* well doubt it...
plus the whole mono-lingual attitude toward it
means for me to argue certain points with some
Sheikh Ali-Baba would means years lost
   to hark out a word of arabic...
      point being, any chance to learn a new optical
encoding of sounds is impossible,
the one i already have has eroded such a potential:
plus the fact that it's so different...
plus i spotted some anomalies in the system i'm
using: here's it's saying java, .dos, linux...
               oh don't feel left out from the computer
programming community: turn the cheek and
say in robo-slo-mo: psi-borg     (Ψ-borg):
it's the crucifix of the psychology community anyway (Ψ)...    
        i inherited the difference between
   s & ś                         a & ą -
or as one ironic German phrasing had it, a long long
time ago on a Catholic retreat in the south of France
(Taizé): vey didn't oonderstand my good Inglish aacent,
you know how Arnie sounds, right?
just like that... became the running joke for a few years...
you basically learn an accent having spotted
  diacritical markings... having been raised in
a phonetic-realm where diacritical marks are used,
and then growing up in a phonetic-realm where
they are completely disregarded... well,
it's not hard not sound English and then lurking
in the shadows if someone is calling your ethnic origin
as vermin... having such a kind remark as this one
to further the entertainment... i heard
that in America there's that thing called "white-privilege",
and that you can't be racist to a white person
if you're a white person... well... you won't be getting
any jazz and blues out of me sweetiepie, that's for sure:
politics, unfortunately; and what better way
to state politics than with poetry, or the tact within
poetry: telling someone to go to hell with them
anticipating the trip.
Neha D Jun 2014
A Borivali slow,
Was on platform four,
Being young and swift,
With least bit of strain,
I boarded the train.
There wasn't place to sit,
So amidst the uproar,
I stood at the door.

An aged lady of seventy-four,
Indulged us in a tale of yore.
Of a frightful night,
When her entire world,
Was ruthlessly hurled,
Into fear and plight,
Into treacherous gore,
A tale so abhor.

with fine detail,
She narrated her tale,
And had us engrossed,
Our minds embossed,
She was a slave,
Who tried to save,
Her body frail,
Which was put for sale.

"A young girl of thirteen I was", she said
"Physically alive but mentally dead.
I was sold like cattle,
My modesty stripped,
soul ripped,
My insides would rattle,
As I would be led,
To a different bed.

In words I cannot convey,
From where I drew strength one day,
During the dastardly act,
I took my chance and attacked.

I fled the scene,
And ran all day,
Tried to escape far away.

Partially clothed or under a veil,
Being a woman makes you  frail,
We are a prey to beastly eyes,
Unheard are our cries.

My story will make your heart sink,
And force you to think,
While you soundly sleep,
There are women who weep.
Somewhere there is a woman
trying to escape,
From the clutches of victimization and ****. "
MAJD S Jul 2013
Explosions in the sky
That certain rush of words covered with ideas I am not so afraid of
That simple touch of a pen poets picture as their current heaven
And heaven lies within the lies where real people exist and in-concrete dust flies
And flies surround the inner spaces between my heart and yours
Those inter dimensional cracks that keep us alive together
Yet those same cracks cause the
Explosions in the sky
When a million thoughts tremble under shattered glass
And glass becomes rain over a nation
That had no occupation
A station
Where all the emotions find a leak
Where all the leaks lead to leisure
The flood of blood narrated to form a spring out of Arab's fall
And freedom is attained with the sound of
Explosions in the sky
When betrayal becomes the living scenario of a very normal human being
Who believed that his sanctuary is in unison with his sanctions
Strategies structured his not so subtle approach
And after that he fell into her
Explosions in the sky
When a man loses his vision upon a mild smile
When a cry for help becomes an invite for suicide
Come…help me be the
Portrait of clay you'll form with your delicate hands
Shape my image
And imagine a shape for my form
Form a set for me to follow
Follow my moves for if I fall of your track
Track me back to the first point
The playstation of life saves checkpoints
Yet my life is full of glitches…
For when I look at you
I am supposed to be looking at you
But all I'm seeing is
Explosions in the sky
When a trouble-free man becomes the complex notion of a firework
Those little pieces of fiery smoke
Grabs it
And smokes the last buds of life out of his people
The governor governing the covers he created
To alienate the truth
I found in your eyes
And I shall never be mislead
I shall be steadfast and ready
For you
I shall be ready for you
And your
Explosions in the sky
When a poet has no words left to write
In the right time
Literally the speaker is speechless
He's too busy wondering in total observation
The explosions…
The explosions we create
The skies that unveil
And that little feeling of satisfaction
With the last bits of an ink written
Mateuš Conrad Feb 2016
the concept of money, a dualism of value and devaluation, was based upon the worth of what darwinism could say about that monkey statement: you scratch my back, i scratch your. darwinism is a failure in terms of economics, that great human get-together, let's congregate, and instead of a stampede of buffalo we'll have ourselves a revolution... the failure of the monetary system: an invisible shining of gold is the fact that gold was once valued and now is devalued, money is a very serious virus, it requires something new to make it an asset, and something old to make it devalue it (a non-asset)... money is also a way to say: you be a plumber for me, while i be your middle-classed opinion making machine paying you, there's no monkey scratches another monkey's back in this story... money is the only invisible object that wants to intertwine so many others in its spider-web...  just so it can make itself visible, money added to gold will only be seen via the madness of thrór (throor).*

for now most of us are literate,
and by literacy
we are told to plough
the great genetically modified
fields of vegetables...
we've been made literate
but by the same acquisition
of literacy, the old powers
which once laid sway to this
monopoly have left its powers,
and instead of those to tend to
arable land we are left with
poets... we have become
straitjacket bound to the blank
pages... once the expression
of the mountain of muscles
which left us thoughtless...
now the work be eased,
and our body's harsh expression
of mandibles b forgotten...
and how we search for the same
expression of labour...
to have thought labour be exchanged
into equal labour of thought...
like muslims favouring
the elemental intoxication via the
element of air and its burned weeds,
discriminating with the element of
water and alcohol...
but we have been deceived in
being given such sudden literacy,
when literacy monopolised for so
long a status of power...
and because there's no field to plough
and live naturally, exhausted,
we've seen to be living by a new plough,
bishops and knights of the new order,
the legions of psychiatrists...
the stiff air of rooms with brimming
sulphur awaiting... no free air
of the field and strength of ploughing...
for ploughing can be quantified
with eager hands and hungry and emptied
bellies... but how quantify thought?
why... you'll only quantify thought
by a failing... and leave the quality of thought
to the ones reigning the quantification of it,
and the quantification of it
leads to nonsense or nothing,
akin to the ones qualified to
think, not the ones quantified
to do so in think-tanks
and political parties:
why then gollum invisible and sauron visible
wearing the ring in the narrated depiction?
well... apparently, the question aside:
we're not qualified to think,
because our "thought" is quantifiable
as soldier, baker, banker, spy...
but it's qualified to be an expectation
of a non-quantifiable thinking
which de-qualifies it from an original
intention, the intended quantifiable,
which leaves the existence of quantum physics
the deity of two humanisms arguing
on the simpler geographic, i.e. spelling:
quantity v. quality: both qua (as being),
far far away from what i said to an
anaesthetist having my wisdom teeth pulled out,
saying: quo vadis?
i guess it would make sense to have simply said:
qua quo non vadis esse omnis verax
(as being, as going, nowhere to be honest,
in all honesty).
chizzy mark Apr 2015
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Jeanette Jan 2015
You thought it would be nice
if I drove home with your sister in law,
after dinner.

I stared out the window of the silver sedan,
the trees engulfed the highway
like  flames of deep forest green.
Not the kind of green that
I recognized in the trees that grew
outside my childhood home.

Being away from you,
even if only for a short moment,
made me feel like a character in the wrong book.
Panic slowly seeped its way into my veins.

I buried myself in my lap.
She asked if I was okay,
I said that I was just tired.

The book on tape playing loudly on the stereo
narrated the rest of our silent drive.
Y.M.H.H Pt III is the third installment in a series of poems.
David Adamson May 2016
for Richard, the boy who narrated life*

Today, leaves are falling.
“One day Aaron will watch the falling leaves.”
The first day of school arrives.  
“One day Champ’s mom will take him to school.”

Life is the story of life, says the narrator.

Life expands. The story lengthens.
The intertwined threads begin to pull apart.

Life is surface and sheen,
laughter, tears, opaque signs.
The story strains after fictive frames,
the hero’s epiphany, the villain’s inner pain,
and undreamt creatures beyond human sense.

And so myth and magic
give form to stories
that we no longer star in.  
New worlds take shape
where the story creates its own life,
an escape from "the shock of recognition."

In time the threads converge again.  
Life’s pattern breaks and needs a new plot.
The stories yield their human meaning—
maybe we were in them all along.

The story ends and life goes on.
Life ends and the story goes on.
"The shock of recognition" is a phrase that I have lifted from an essay by Herman Melville.
Mahwish Z Dec 2016
Gabriel asked the Prophet
'read', prophet who God crowned with a prophethood
of being last
replied 'I cannot read'
Prophet wrapped himself with a warm blanket
Khadija the prophet's true love said
You are God's chosen one
since you are all sincere, honest
and never do wrong to His people.

this, what is wrong with today's people
never seeking to learn
or read
knowing they know everything.
so they can **** anyone
in the name of God
they **** innocent people
and yet, the response is
'we **** infidel's
who are the infidels?
You and i are not God
It is for the God to decide
who's the most kind of all

The Sunni Muslims have a story to tell they're better than shia Muslims
and shia' have defensive tale to say, 'they are less honored one'
it's all politicized matters
not the religion
the crusades of islam is not about religion
but the gaining of power
who's going to lead after the Prophet's  death?

even the prophet himself narrated 'he's mere human being
who God blessed with might

God says, love thee people
as I love you the best
I'm closest to you, even more closer to your own heartbeat
no other will love you, as i how love you

I felt the longingness
this hunger, and the strike to do well in life
even though, i no longer am with people
who i thought to be my people
it feels so odd and out of place
most of the time
since i can't begin to tell
how truly i feel

i learned to unlearn
my roots, and inheritance
how hard it is, to defy
what you knew for your entire life

I learned to be with people, without needing them
and saying, 'goodbye's, when I didn't want to
since nothing is real
nobody is here for real
only the matters, and interactions with each other
will define
the true identities of us

it doesn't hold true to people, who share Islamic faith
but, the Christianity, Hinduism, or Judaism
or another religion
in any other region of the world

As of my utterance, i don't trust people with establishments
and people, running the show

In Pakistan, the land where i was born
nobody cares for anyone, whether they leave
or stay
even if somebody dies
people stay inhumane, insensitive about most of the things
but the focus is too much on religion
even the moral conduct
is not so right

At the edge of my state, when i utter this i feel erked
and awkward
low in spirits or perhaps
i don't feel anything, at all.

When the Abraham was asked to 'sacrifice'
his beloved son, 'Ismail'
he without defying
obliged to Gods will
God, in his dutiful obedience
replace Ismail with a lamb
to fulfill the traditions, Muslims each year
follow the Abrahams traditions
when people slaughter million of animals
in name of God which has merely became a mockery
of 'sacrifice'

The day i left my house, i felt truly abandon
and so, the time when i left my friend's house
who i visited only before leaving
I thought to myself, this will never be filled
and it didn't
even after many years afterward
I stand in my nomadic spirit
without owning anything
or have anything in mind, to occupy anything

This world, as i see
is a mere transition period
where we meet people
of all race, and kinds
from all regions , and faith
but it doesn't give us any upper or lower hand
to justify anything, whatever we feel
or think.

As it is not for me to decide
or others to judge,
by other people's religion, or region
color, race, kind

There is no place in Quran that says, hate people
from other religion
nor it says, to defend your faith
when people attack you.
The rising Islamphobia and hatred
for the muslims,
in response, all the muslims could say,
'Islam is a religion of peace'
a defensive approach, again and again
not wiling to understand
it's not for you to defend your religion
your faith doesn't need you, it's you, who needs it
for your own purity, to perserve the innocence
and the feeling for others
when others fail to do

God says, 'Surely there are signs in this
for those of you who would reflect'
to me, its a comforting zone
I derive my pleasure in this
but there are so many people out there, interpreting the verses
in their own perspectives.

Upon the reasons, i feel it's necessary to challenge yourself
your mind, your readings
wisdom and all the knowledge you acquired over the years

we don't acquire knowledge in order to boost
but to be better,
and to understand the reasons

I was named by the 'Moons light, that means moonlight which is poetic
and referred as 'beautiful'
I am not sure who named me, as i remember my childhood
a very quiet, deserted and lonely one
it wasn't tragic but disturbed

I have erased my memory and the corners of heart, that used to feel mighty heavy
for so many things
the betrayals, insincere
and lack of resistance shown by people
i left everything behind me

When Ishaq's sons took Yusuf
he cried most of his times, till the point
he lost his sight which he regained by seeing Yusuf's
he was betrayed by his own brothers
only to gain their father's attention
they tricked Yusuf
which he survived regardless

the betrayals are hard to forgive or even remove
and the cultural hindrances, resistant obstacles

it's been a while since i felt home
and even when I'm home
i feel the distant memory of my own self
which was innocent

I'm Mahwish, and it means 'beautiful like moonlight
my life will reflect the meaning of my name, someday
and till then
I continue to live.
Mateuš Conrad Nov 2016
or how to make the eclectic concentrated,
how to make a zemstwa potion (revenge
potion) - long are the days of educated
Germans citing Grecian words -
my bilingualism gives me a patriotism
to use a language foreign to me,
and still embrace importing Church Slavonic:
                 but what a simple word
zemstwa is: less revenge and more retribution.

karakan: a ****** / dwarf -
but in an inoffensive sentence.
    people in the anglo realm always say
the phrases: where're are you from, originally?
and... how do you say it, properly?
        you first employ a knowledge of
syllable butchery: prophets of the surgical
procedure -
                 macron and umlaut both
akin in arithmetics -
                                  for what's later a comma.
Sartre plagiarised Joyce with *iron in the soul
     left out all forms of punctuation,
akin to the English language leaving out all
forms of syllable punctuation in reverse -
      which goes against Socrates doing the
Kabbalistic methodology of sounds as atoms,
cut up?      so-  -crat- -es.
                                 Dr. Satan said: it's so.
        i already said that language is the most volatile
substance known to man...
             and that the only people who get to write
books in the west: are people who are asked to write
books in the first place.
      there's me, in a darkened corner:
a coroner's phrase -
                i would be a true idle drunk had i no
tenacity to write and drink...
   by now i'm halfway through a bottle of *** -
Bacardi - or Bacardí - acute iota to get a stress /
prolonging into an ee         - because
you rarely hear someone say Afrikaan: or
   Afrikān - they taught you punctuation of words /
compounds - but they didn't teach you
how diacritical marks are also incisors
    stating that there are two hydrogen atoms and
an oxygen bound to in a reaction with potassium -
or such guises lost or forgotten.
                    it's aesthetic in the informal sense,
in the formal sense: power.
                 no one wants a flower-power hippy cuddle
moment these days, it's true:
                   they want fierce knowing -
people want glasses -
                to possess the Galilean power struggle
stated with cyclops Jupiter being noticed
and saintly Saturn -
                      a different spirit rummages through me
and hence the differential vibration of
the hushed lynx: named Larry.
                     in flames: metaphor -
well, you know, you begin the night with
a change of tone: former barley murky gods' ****
                    amber - to Caribbean clarity -
you're bound to find a difference in shaky "the shadow"
stevens of your hands - i'm way past
the absinthe romanticism - sugar cubes alight
are like latex gimp masks: you start yearning for
the countryside hiatus of forever:
    David Attenborough-esque narrated *** scenes,
birds and the bees, and storks.
                       as sure as Moonday in a
monocle i say: the world events shouldn't drag you
into their narrative - avoid them - avoid them at all
costs: you're not a power broker in their final
summit - you can't change them, turn your attention
elsewhere, into niche topography of interest:
with a very minor demographic of shared coagulation
to express it... back when fame was less of a harrowing:
back when there was no personality cult activation:
a banker said to me once, randomly on a walk:
Newton, what a load of *******!
        and hence the ballistic missiles and that thing
about global warming: for every action there's an
equal and opposite reaction (3rd law) -
     Descartes thought would be part of the
conspiracy theorist columnal dogma reiteration -
doubt is wrong (albeit good faith)
         and negation is right (albeit bad faith,
as Sartre already said) -
     so in turn the tongue: the doubters turn the tongue
into the four limbs with boxing gloves included -
  waggle all you want, the pessimism is already
there - the deniers? they had clothes for their tongue
to make the most spectacular claims about
being naked, when actually dressed at Harrods
in that cheap **** that says: all pharaoh cool, cool.
i'll find more pearls in the reflection of the moon
upon an ocean than i'll ever see donned by pearl
necklace ladies at a fashion week goose-step stomping
anorexics show in London - and that's the truth.
     i'm not a biblical literalist - but **** me!
we were given a poisoned fruit, and told we would
be able to tell apart good & evil, but never from
the two divergent stances, hence the bundled up salad
of like for like -
                     this is Moses as poet, rather than
a general - before telling me he didn't exist
and was mere fiction: tell me he was a cunning poet
before being a cunnin general -
                  in a hundred years' time: you too will
be a myth, that's logically applied history after
being ignored for too long it cannot attract
september the 1st, 1939 - because mythology is
a form of history that detests exactness of dating
and hindsight - it happened: people didn't
really give a **** when it did, done!
     we really do not have a capacity to censor
*******...  not in life, on the street, on t.v., or in a courtroom,
           we don't!
                                   i treat it as a puzzle
rather than a fruit though, otherwise, to be stark-naked
honest: we'd be ****** gorilla boring and that would
be the end of our self-projection as questioning
the void we're in: it would have been blindly
nodded to - and ours': such a pivotal and yet also
pathetic rebellion -
                                 yet again, the world is going
into the shredder - looks elsewhere:
i'm looking at a poem by jack spicer -
he's not a great poet, meaning? he has a decency to
be one... which means he's not oratory
therefore he's implosive, therefore he's part of
the magnetic-enzyme strand of writing:
he attracts people to write -
                    he's not a Bukowski or a Ginsberg -
god no...
                  the seemingly mediocre is there
because of the paparazzi sentiment toe-ward
the greats (on purpose) -
                    you end up feeling:
i need to say something - instead of feeling:
a heckler! shut, the, ****, up!
      that's being perceived as mediocre goes:
it's a fatality of what not to adopt and improve;
like that line about the doubter's tongue being
dressed in fists and knees -
   and the denier's tongue being dressed in Gucci
and Dolce to look the part and
         hardly spread a cup of sweated over panic.
      five years
      the song singing from its black throat (Jack)
  sure... but it's pro-me-fee-oose - right?
this goes back to not having "punctuation"
flint sharpenings on atoms of lingua -
                 sure, have them between compounds,
but never ascribe them to letters?
  bound to be trouble....
             d'eh very point of fought over is to be
count, unawares: thinking.
then i picked up a very ancient text,
ibn sina / abū alī al-husayn ibn sīnā:
variation, properly?
i'd put a macron over y in al-husaȳn -
     otherwise it's almost like a question of
practising punctuation: which is a variation of
constructing from syllables, rather than
alphabetical beginnings - now let's look
at the variation "how do you pronounce it?"
         e-bin   c-n'ah       ah-boo       a'h-lee
              who-sane         e-bin         see-n'ah

this is how English looks like when undressed
from its lack of applying diacritical marks -
god it's ugly,
               get that Texan gunslinger drawl with
it too: like i'll ever be a cowboy: pff!
yes, there are people out there who enjoy
t.v. shows and look at them fish-eyed glassy -
then there are those that like football games -
but then the few of us look at something like the
following as means for transcendental mind-games
above crosswording:
(Kantian 0 = negation,                1 must therefore
                    mean affirmation, and 2 doubt:
as in: being of two minds)
   ibn Sana (tome of wisdom) -

            R  H
A  0  0  0  0  0  0  B
C  0  0  0  0  0  0  D­
            T  G
                                     this diagram is so idiosyncratic
it would well be a diaphragm -
                                   it's a scematic:
but it's certainly not a need to make language
trivia, in a sense trivial:
             it is a metaphysical translation of a pearl -
the same triviality can be applied to it
as our bewilderment ascribed toward the
analogous translation of it via avaricious people
and precious gems -
             it's not even a Xeno's paradox type of
looky-looky -
                 it's a sort of complete human being type
of scenario: an X marks the spot where you
     grow dumb with: does it matter?
      well: logic that's not restrained (on holiday)
produces such things -
                 such schematics:
   they are artefacts of a way to forget the daily
function of language between people:
as way to suggest: there is a way to get things done
by not getting them done.
                   i could have replaced the original
with a higher tier abstract, namely using less meaningful
encoding symbols, given that 0 - 9 are incompetent
of the 26 variabilities, and the why & i
            yumper and jumper,
   cat and kilogram                    cue, q, kappa -
skewers -     which makes it less than 26,
or the said: ∞      and a - z variation limit from
aardvark                    and   zyzzogeton -
zoo... in between.
                            i don't know what ibn is
trivialising / doing an original antidote to a crossword,
but i can say, given that i found the punctuation
scalpel in non-applied punctuation within letters
in the End-leash language - what i found stark
naked: by the way - the reason that philosophers
never applied grammatically categorising words
in their systems, is why we have that sort of
momentum of applicability in the field of robotics:
to categorise words by their noun or verb
is a reason why philosophy books never applied
such words in their reasoning - therefore the need
to write a book with such words being relevant
as translated into their precise irrelevance
and the relevance of the field of robotics.
never mind, i could have written
                     <  ≥
£           .   .   .   .   .   .  ≠ (÷)
= (x)     .   .   .   .   .   .  $
                     ≤  >                        thus the denial
of all plausible conversation on the matter:
and Herr Grinch and the rags to riches
fairytale - and the lottery, and the otherwise
grim simga of the yawning grey plateau;
did i get something wrong?
                 this is an example of an alter-crossword,
and the reason that mathematicians aren't
good at mental arithmetic is because
they have to learn mathematical shorthand
for their arguments, they become kindred spirits
of courtroom stenographers.
Let Me Be A Child
by Mirriam Mk Salati

The age of innocent looted violently
The narrated tale of the order met harshly
Let me feel secure in my home
Let me realise that love is always the norm
I cant remember the sunshine on my face
I work all day in a cramped space
I cant remember how it feels to play free
I cant recall how it feels to climb a tree
Sharttered-self-worth from blows and knocks
A"good" child keeps quite never talks
Let me know when I make you proud.
Help me to have pride in my own accomplishments
And let me earn your trust
Trust me and i wont let you down
Let me try my wings,sour through the sky,
touching evry cloud
If i fail let me know its ok then encourage me to try again.... and whats More' Let me be a Child'
Akhil Bhadwal Feb 2016
I know a great storyteller
Since when I was 7
He who once narrated stories with all the emotions and expressions
Has now left for the heavens

Tales of witty animals
And the animal kingdom itself
He cited various examples
But now he's no more himself

Every story was a kind of message
That the old man feed into two young children's mind
He will never be forgotten
The storyteller, who have now died
A tribute to my maternal grandfather who left this world on 25th Jan, 2016. R.I.P. Naanu.......

Rhyme scheme for the prose is a b c b.
Maple Mathers Jan 2016
She frolicked through trouble, and dandled with mischief. Alison Wonderland; everything I wished I was and so much more. Ever emanating her doe-eyed façade; proclaiming our jests mere “mischief.”
Yet, an unspoken verdict (Foretaste? Conception? Notion?) had cloaked the truth: wickedness rippled beneath our parade.
I nuzzled her contours; my peripheral eye – nailed to her profile, her blueprints, her chassis. I stalked her mirage – dancing with vapor.
She glissaded about, no fool to my truth, varnishing my mantle.
I belonged to Alison: perpetually at her side. Our couplet became a “we.” So, We regretted nothing. We veered for the pyre: caroming(skimming?) those embers alit with vice.
She narrated my mental seminar. Discarding my dogmas to uphold her own; and thus, my mind was hers.
My mind was her mind.
Alison made heads turn, and mouths water, as we sidled – hand in hand – down the street. She was my Christmas morning: each colloquium – giftwrapped with finesse. She personified paradise, she illustrated utopia. Hatching our Carnival; netting us, enamored, sidling the Carousal. We’d skim, we’d sail, her halo – my fossil. Her lips, her eyes, her hands… they echoed the innocence of a child. Niave, innocent, and giftwrapped in wonder.
Little Miss Wonderland: my very own fairytale. She was mine alone; she was mine to keep.
Did I want her, or did I want to be her?
Alison Wonderland.
Her aura – so celestial – paralleled my prose. When she banished my husk – Maple Thatcher – I cackled good riddance… And I grew a new personality to accommodate her own.
For, without Ali – devoid of our we – I doubted the very existence of me.
On my composition, she bestowed rhythm. She gave tune to my silence; her chimes, her cadence. My ink was her song – fusing a symphony. A symphony of Alison: the melody to solidify our tryst.
My mind was her mind.
And yet… somehow, I missed a carriage – or two – aboard her train of thought. For, the same felon spiting my existence, was the angel I loved to life. Gladly, I huffed, and I puffed, and I blew Maple down.
Fused against Alison, I needed none of Maple.
Carnival infatuations…

Alison Wonderland.
(Carnival Infatuation)

(All poems original Copyright of Eva Denali Will © 2015, 2016.)
Khushi Batra Oct 2018
Day 1
I see you, you see me, hellos are exchanged.

Day 2
You call me pretty. You ask me on a date. I tell him no.

Day 3
He sees me again, drags me in a deserted alley. I say no. I scream no. I shout, but no one listens. His friends arrive, I resist, I ask them to leave me, but they left unconscious.

Day 4
I wake up naked, in a deserted alley, with my clothes all tattered. I cry, I call for help, no one does. I stand up, walk towards my home, facing the murmurs of the neighbours.

Day 5
I lay unconscious in my shower, from all the crying.

Day 10
I force my legs to move out of the house, only to feel disgusted by the male species there.

Day 15
I wake up to see my friend moving out for she can’t stay with a **** survivor.

Day 18
I force myself again to step out of the house. I cross the street, only to be haunted by their faces, only to feel their voices echo in my ears.

Day 20
I visit the police station. The investigation began. I showed them the bruises. But the police officer’s ***** looks made me return back.

Day 30
I start with my therapy sessions.

Day 65
I had a panic attack again, this evening, when a guy asked me out.

Day 70
I saw their faces again. In that alley. Under my leg. In my lips.

Day 120
I saved a girl today from being *****.

Day 200
I have started having nightmares, again.

Day 250
Today was my last therapy session.

Day 300
I plan to speak up.
Day 301
I visited the police station.

Day 305
They asked me why did I take so long? I had no answer.

Day 307
They came for questioning again. I narrated them the whole ordeal.

Day 309
They started investigating. I still get nightmares.

Day 320
They closed the case, for there was no evidence.

Day 321
I narrated it to my family members, no one believed me.

Day 365
I hung myself.

Amitav Radiance Mar 2015
Poetry should have the simplicity
to be endeared by many heart’s
it will stand the test of time
and become part of folklore
words birthed in any century
will be relevant till eternity
poetry that touches the heart
and make its abode in the souls
and always narrated with love
poetry in the realm of simplicity
burn brighter over the horizon
revel in the simplistic narration
and you will be immortalized
Cheryl Mukherji Sep 2014
Unruly crayon marks,
ketchup stains
and ***** handprints
held an affinity for
the newly painted white walls.
Half-chewed nails dug into the soil,
tender feet splashed into puddles of joy.
Laughter echoed through the hallway
and the sweat on the forehead
was a sign of happy times.
The hardest decision of the day was
to find a place away from mother’s prying eyes;
torture was confined to the glass of milk
that she forcefully tried to make me drink.

Speaking of which,
I remember her screaming at me,
over her shoulder, as the milk boiled
to spread on the kitchen slab and turned to vapour,
“You are a mess”
and I always wondered what the word really meant.

There was a corner in my house
that I called my own- a bench for two,
often occupied by one,
unless ‘Baba’- what I knew my father as,
would come over, hiding,
what he called “magic”,
the same glass of milk that I had been avoiding.
I would cover my mouth
with my little hands
as he would begin to sew a thread of words into rhyme,
I often found myself lost,
weaving a meaning,
after I was done licking my milk-mustache,
it was magic, indeed, I thought to myself.

His biceps always were the right size of pillow,
the songs he hummed was
all I that I needed for a good night’s sleep;
the tickle in his fingertips as
he pulled my cheeks
was an affirmation that I was his favourite one
and how firmly I believed that I was prettiest of all,
even with the shabbiest of the braids
he managed to tie that morning.

Even on lazy Sunday mornings,
my mother, out of habit,
would draw open the curtains
for the blazing sunlight to disturb my sleep.
It was continued by irritable faces and whines,
lectures about management of time,
when Baba would somehow convince
mother that it was important for me to dream.
On regular weekday evenings,
I would sit by the attic window,
stare at the front gate,
wait for him to return from work.

He walked me to school,
locking his little finger with mine
and waited for me at 1.25 pm sharp
outside the school gate,
a balloon in his hand
and a glint in his eyes.
For hours together,
he made me repeat my mathematic tables-
5 times 3 is 15,
5 times 4 is 20,
5 times 5 is 25
a million times.

I was sixteen
when it first “skipped his mind”
to pick me up from school.
That didn’t change anything between us
until the night he called me up
to ask me the way back home
from his office because he was “too stressed”
to remember it on his own.
I remember him
entering the house at 2.06 am,
asking me who all were home, then
and also,
that I giggled at that question of his.

From then on,
for months together,
I woke up to my father
screaming at my mother
for not arranging his socks in pairs,
for being disorganized and careless
even when the third drawer from the right,
in his cupboard was the place where
he would end up finding all his belongings.

I was coming to terms
with the fact that my father
was too much under the pressure
of work
because that pretty much explained
why he stammered
before recalling his “to-do-list”,
had difficulty in meeting deadlines
and skipped family time.

I am 21 years old,
my father doesn’t seem to get any get younger day by day.
Last month,
on a sunny day during awkward monsoons,
I saw him sitting by the window,
tracing droplets of rain race
down the glass for hours.
He left the room without
saying a word when I asked him
if he wanted to play football beyond the bars.
“Gaah, he must have been preoccupied”, I still convince myself.
Around the same time,
we were invited
to his best friend’s marriage anniversary-
he was thrilled
so he narrated the story
about how they first met
thirty two and the third time;
introduced himself to my boyfriend
twelve more times, that same night.
“Fathers”, I just rolled my eyes.

Some time back,
one afternoon, at 3.16pm,
I saw him flip through sheets
of a calendar dated 1985.
When I asked him
to fill his details in a form,
he, without second thoughts,
scribbled “8” in the box
that enquired about his age.
The same night, mother
must have called out his name
eight times to join us
for dinner but,
he didn’t respond to a single one
nor did he come out of his room,
his excuse being that
he couldn’t move.

He doesn’t talk much to us, anymore-
just blurts out vague and irrelevant
words like Screws, Notes, Coffee and News
at irregular gaps.
mother understands it all
and chooses not to discuss the facts.

Few weeks back,
on a lazy Sunday,
he entered my room,
squinted his eyes at the curtains
that were drawn open and
flexed his arms to draw them close.
He left without saying a word.
When I asked him about it,
he replied, “No talk strangers”
and kept quiet for the rest of the day.
He walks to places,
jogs back home
with a balloon tied to his little finger, sometimes.
And when he is not asleep,
he repeats mathematical tables
from 2 to 13
in a monotone for hours together.

The good side of it
Is that Baba and mother
do not fight
over lost pairs of socks or belt and wallet;
Baba just calls them “Things” generally,
and fiddles through all the drawers in the house.
And he proudly says “Stuff”
when mother asks him about
what he would like to eat.

Doctors say,
Baba has been suffering from Alzheimer’s.
I believe he is not.
SG Jun 2010
The sky is dip-dyed in gray
Worn at the edges by pulling little hands
Opaque; no light shines through
No pinpricks of the crossweaves of this satin
Only the shadows of stars seen by darting eyes

A contained rainforest nestled in a suburb
heard but not seen,
separate sounds aligning.

This mingles with the clink of car tools and occasional laughter
soft, a murmur, like rain in the dark
not meant to be witness, only listened
a moment of peace,
alone but not lonely.

Assuming a Corona
resting on the still-warm curb,
dripping a cold summer sweat.
Assuming a pickup
A red Ford? Too cliche.
Hood open, leaned over or slid under
Grease stains and a wifebeater

Everything is swelled and lazy and happy
like sun-grown watermelons
everything falls away to this sweltering peace
narrated by AC and bicycle chains.
I wrote this while at a friend's house during a sleepover - minus the sleep for me. I crept into the butterfly chair in the corner of her room and looked out the window, hearing the sound of rushing water and a frog below, a strange juxtaposition of sound with the sleepy summer night.
Mateuš Conrad Mar 2017
war took mine, i was sold  playing tenchu
on level 6... just before i was to
assassinate this ***, and he practised all
his bow skill in private, then it was made public
by a ninja... i only completed final
fantasy 7
with a walk-through...
i hate the fact that i stuck to
the schooling narrative...
  but hose were the PS1 days,
those days are gone, gone gone gone,
bye bye gone...
                 the **** was that?!
an oscar for best actor at the gladiator premier?!
why isn't more gaming mentioned in poetry?
where is raziel, and the the legacy of cain:
soul reaver, and the story about how he
squashed his brothers:
dumah, melchiah, rahab, and zephon?
oh look: the geek in me!
                 100 years from a youtube video...
i'm bound to do the bristol d'uh and say:
i've never been to south america...
nor ever...
                        me go sort out this avalanche
if that's o.k. with you, hmm?
this is the thrill you get when seeing peoiple
play a reincarnation of gameboy,
i.e. candy-crush saga... if you moved beyond
the PS1 universe you won't get it...
if you remember PS1 games, you'll probably
remember SEGA and sonic,
and age of empires 2, and sim city 3000...
**** me! but you won't probably remember the
weathergirl... who was becky mantin
when this was written...
           odd, that little gray box of saturdays
and sometimes sundays, but definitely
saturday mornings...
                    it gone... and i don't feel like owning
an update of it, because games have become
overtly narrative prone, they only allow thise gameplay
that's too narrated... i switch on the console
and i want mario bros. calculator type of dynamism...
instead i get this really complex story
when i should be reading a book...
   no, really, when did gaming become so
****** engrossing that i try to become distracted by
brick walls?
           when did i or when didn't i take to playing
chess? well... when i started playing dominos
with 6 cigarette stumps and a black hardcover
philosophy book... maybe around then.
books i great, believe me...
but this nook of counter-arcade games?
i woke up at 9am as if about to go to school
and played that japanese fetish for hours...
so much if our culture in nearing the post-20th
century culture was axis... it was almost all japanese...
you can't take that fact out and replace it
concerning: god intervened at Giza and yawned
at chichén itzá...
because you would... still, i thankfully retired
from the gaming experience (when did PS2 come out?
i wanted it for about 2 years and still didn't
get it)...
    1998? 1997?
                      thankfully i get to mention computer
games like novels... SEGA mega drive?
yep, owned that.
                   and yes, i can cite an ATARI,
and ****, **** **** me!
   that original NINTENDO?!
              and that shooting mallard simulation
against a screen of televisions that could
still issue you with van der graaf static
   of "levitating" hair?
(when televisions were still 3D and played
you remnants of the big bang
       in televised black and white khrrr sound,
all dicta fidgety, like looking through the eyes
of a bluebottle fly)... or
    the original prince of persia?
     those two dimensional ferns rotating round and
round when approached in the original tomb raider?
oh forget the cone-****-madonna...
shaid the ish cream van man to shaun shoonery...
cheap ****: said the dead with charlie
at the head of their horde of entertainment's flops.
i retired from the gaming world though,
left it when PS1 expired...
and morphed into PS2...
           i'm half sad and half saying: i can understand
candy crush, because i can understand
the origin: TETRIS.
like i can understand why i can't do crosswords,
my father just said: even i can't do them,
the clues are all a bit of a wanking to comprehend...
it's as if they only based them on the thesaurus...
   we're good on sudoku though, that can be solved
without problems...
        i miss those games though,
i finished final fantasy 7 with a walkthrough
though... tenchu was also fun to complete,
crash bandicoot? anyone remember him?
           now for not faking it...
                                     i'm glad that's over,
i'd hate the gaming experience as i hate interactive
t.v. thesedays... all this pause and rewind?
  thanks to it i sometimes press the STOP
button when listening to the radio and wonder
why it just keeps running... oh right: this isn't
a c.d. transmission... funny though, the gaming experience
translated into t.v. really has made advertising
ultra competative or utterly useless....
   you just end up pausing before a break, and then
scrolling past the advertisers' airtime...
next thing i'll be buying is when they make
an advert for shoepaste.

— The End —