plea

please don’t sing so sweetly, for fear that I might hear you

and be drawn to your honeyed tones

and your sugar-coated lips

please don’t croon so gently, for fear that I might harm you

chill your olive skin as I

edge closer to listen

please don’t beckon to me, for fear that I might break you

fracture every bone

with my white and desperate grip

oh, for fear I may destroy you, do not sing for me.

Colourless II: A Wanderer

An exploration of cultural identity.

Read Part One.


Awaken

from slumber

from a sandstorm of terracotta

and the smell of spices.

 

The great wide world blinds her,

barrages her with

flurries of azure, each speck of rain stinging

gushes of emerald – the scratches leaves are leaving!

Her blood like water dries in the blaze

and with it she shrivels.

Awaken

at midnight

to pace the ink-black pier

where the moonlight once did.

 

The great wide world drowns her,

floods her throat with

slate grey, pearl white, with looming monoliths

asphyxiates her, choking with their pitch-stained shadows

and saffron lingers in the dark–

disguising the decay.

Awaken

Too often

In the eye of a restless storm

To over-shoulder glances

 

The great wide world derides her

and chides her with

stares so cold and silent, hands withdrawn from contact

ghostly touches so faint, the figures fade to black

Far from roads and pain and fights, it insists:

she is lost.

Ignoring Ignorance

Ignoring ignorance, sans ignoble intention

still ignominy brings to the simplest action

for ignorance ignored wears away traction

builds dissatisfaction, drives egregious reaction

ignites future wars between faction and faction

and such is the crime of blatant inaction.

what I saw (or, star-besotted)

Let me tell you what I saw

In your star-bespangled eyes

It was a spattering of golden dreams

On a fuel oil-flooded sky

The contrast beguiled me

Enraptured me, ensnared me

And I tripped into your gilded cage

Where I watched a dead sun rise

 

I tried to hold your gaze to see

Into star-bespangled eyes

Craning my neck to see if they were

Reflective, like mirrors

Or if they transformed the world in them

The way rushing rivers do with stationary rocks

But you avoided my gaze

And fed me caramelized words

Of which I was already full

 

(Now listen close

There is a stark difference between

Monsters and cryptids

One is belief, the other only held up by belief

Listen close, for

You find the former inside you

And the latter in other men

But this contrast bores you, does it not?)

 

Though the blazing heat gave way to clouds

And the leaves of trees shriveled and were replaced

You made no haste to meet my eye

Took all the time in the world

Languorous, in the cage

And when I grabbed your chin, pulled it, just to see

An orange water colour sunset

You dangled before me

And I realized that those weren’t stars in your eyes

That you never had stars in your eyes

No comets, no satellites, no galaxies

Only strobe lights

 

(But I digress with this talk of farce

This half-hearted censure, this tickling condemnation

Because I could never resist those orbs

And I never did.)

Colourless I : The Scarlet Men

An exploration of cultural identity.


So swift they are to tie her

To their crowns and shoulders and waists

So small an infant swaddled

By these crimson strings

So swift they are to lift the knots to her eyes

Whisper, in the way mothers whisper

That she is that shade of red inside

And rock her and cradle her

So she may not deny it

Instead, she drifts off to sleep.

So swift they are to throw her

Into their battles and their debates

So young a child surrounded

By red and ancient things

So swift they are to dye her hair in beetles

Rasp, in the way fathers rasp

That she is that feisty colour inside

And shake her, awaken her

But they are not her fathers

And they are not her mothers.

So swift they are to straddle her

On the road to fame and fortune

So strong a falcon pinioned

By decomposing kings

So swift they are to mount the strapless saddle

Laughing, in the way masters laugh

That they have made her theirs inside

That she is swaddled still

But she recalls the truth

That her blood is colourless.

No Analyst Lives Here (or the Hero’s Disappointment)

I heard how you looked far and wide for wisdom that could sell

The antidote to pain and pride, the formula for peace

You ransacked every clinic, rang quite many a church bell

Then thought to find an analyst – a lucid one, at least!

 

You read the paper planes I sent to light the urchins’ fires

The poems that I tried to hide from men of suit and tie

You saw my longing for the past, the bards and all their lyres

You read me claim the fight not lost, say hope can never die

 

I heard how you looked far and wide to seek an analyst

A living book engaging you along your lengthy quest

You hoped inside your precious heart that someone would exist

Resolve the issues plaguing you at your humble behest

 

A mighty noble goal I say! To seek such lofty loot

You knock the door so ardently, searching for your seer

This house contains a bleeding heart and windows clear of soot

A coy imagination – but no analyst lives here.

The Weary Traveler

The weary traveler makes his kill

A bag of sand for one lone bill

A bag of sand for every desert

A bag of sand for payless hurt

 

The weary traveler finds no rest

Each grain is pain and life a test

He trades his blood for grains of sand

In hope the heap can build him land

 

The weary traveler dies alone

The sand entombed with every bone

The sand engraved in words for show

The sand that follows him below.

Playing a game of memory with goldfish

I shine a torch into your eyes

and anxious, watch the dancing spots

That mimic light, like fireflies

so cutely imitate the stars

 

The glow of blue like broken cries

and green, it hums the universe

The red is red and full of lies

but you tune in to speeding cars

 

You pace your bowl in rounds clockwise

I have to chase you with the light

My tongue is red and full of lies

each ray can tell you my disgrace

 

You turn from me and twist sidewise

I feel you wish that you could blink

Defend against the blue of cries

like stars tune out the speeding cars

 

When night gives way for dawn to rise

you will ensnare its golden shine

As if it were a holy prize

and mine were born of phony stars

 

I perch atop a trembling seat

relentless still, in still pursuit

My stars were real, yet still, defeat

each one dissolves without a trace

 

Tomorrow I will play again,

deluded in the thought of when

my light will reach your darkened den

and stay, remembered, comprehended.