Desolation’s land

Desolation’s land

26 May 2020

Courtesy Stefan Gesell

 

It rises

From deep within me

Molten fire

Lava’s ash

Through mind’s eye I see them crash

The colossal waves

 

Tsunami

Riding through the coast

In my mind

I see it

More than it was meant to be

Upon the first look

 

Bodies strewn

Particles of dust

The engines

Steel and rust

The only witness that stood

Desolation’s land

 

Reading of the poem:

Dido – Hurricanes (Official Lyric Video)

The Malachite Curse 5 : Who killed Cuifen?

The Malachite Curse 5 : Who killed Cuifen?

21 March 2020

Courtesy pinterest.co.uk

 

Ming-Hoa’s sight was darkening as he felt the pressure of Chow’s hands around his neck strengthen. Soon he would be reunited with Cuifen he thought for an eternity or at least until only their bones were left. Ming-Hoa believed that once the flesh was gone, the consciousness of the person was also gone unlike the other villagers who believed that the life energy ceased to exist once the breath had gone. He could feel the blood beat at his temples as he mechanically gasped for breath. Suddenly he felt himself freed from Chow’s clutch. Those restraining Ju-Long had come to his rescue and pulled her off him. The women came over to try and reason with Chow so that she would stop trying to go back and strangle Ming-Hoa.

 

Slowly it would seem that Chow had been reasoned into passivity, so the men returned to their rolling of the coffin on the platform. Somehow none of them felt it was safe enough to directly haul the coffin over their shoulders like they would normally do. Besides, with all the marble of the coffin it was easier to roll it to the graveyard than carry it. Ming-Hoa who was now freed from Chow’s vice-like grip was wailing and following Cuifen’s coffin, uttering from time to time nonsensical whimpers that sounded like muffled words. Eu-Meh thought she could hear something like “Three drops of blood”… “One minute you were”… “body so pure “… “why did you tear” “my ponytail”. She wondered whether Ming-Hoa had attempted to abuse Cuifen and subsequently murdered her when she refused. It all seemed so logical. She should remember to mention that to the police when they would come.

 

There was no policeman in their village, just one in the nearby village and it would take a day or two for him to come over. She knew that the inquest would have to be handled by more than just that policeman so he would need to wait for the other ones to arrive from the city. This could take another two or three days so the inquest would only start around a week from then. She wondered whether it was wise to already bury Cuifen and have her dug out when the inquest started. There had been one other murder a long time ago and although the murderer had been known, the inquest had still decided that the body must be dug up to corroborate the way the murder had been carried out and the murderer who had been responsible for that murder. She wondered whether she should ask the villagers to stop the burial but realized that everybody seemed to want to be rid of the sight of Cuifen dead.

 

Chow who had now been relatively quietened by the women was now following Eu-Meh. This latter slowed down so Chow could catch up with her. Without a word Eu-Meh put a reassuring arm around Chow sustaining her frame as she could see that the normally stoic Chow was very near to collapsing.

 

  • I think I know who killed Cuifen, she said in a hoarse whisper, but promise me you will not do anything if I tell you.

 

Gurdjieff / De Hartmann – Persian Song

 

A seagull flew

A seagull flew

17 November 2019

Months had gone by since she passed away yet the memory of her wane face was still imprinted in my mind. I was in Egypt when she died and my brother and I were by coincidence in the same neighbourhood in Cairo when we got the news. We both tried desperately to get back to her to be in time for the funeral but I was only able to catch the evening flight the day after she had passed away. Our family members had delayed the funeral so that we could attend. I arrived almost the morning of her funeral, weary and still in shock. I was still unable to face the reality of her demise. Later in the morning, I sat by her side still numb with the shock of the news of her death. She looked so frail wrapped in her light green and white saree that she used to like. The lady who tended to her had wrapped her in it and it was tightly secured in a few knots over her head.

 

I asked my aunt if we could unwrap the top as I wanted to kiss her goodbye and my aunt unsecured the knots uncovering her face. It was pale, thin and drawn. I kneeled and put my lips to her forehead and the moment I did so it felt like a dam had opened up in my heart and the pain seared through. The tears flowed down my cheeks uncontrollably as I kissed her forehead and held her. After a while I regained composure and sat beside her as other members of the family moved around arranging everything for the funeral. People came and went offering their condolences and asking me if I remembered them but I recognised none, my mind blank to any memory of their faces. I don’t recall much in the days that followed, except for the aching sense of grief that would not leave. I could not believe that she was gone and I would see her no more.

 

She was an ordinary yet extraordinary woman. She had lived a difficult life after she had married my father and joined him when he had wanted to return to his home country. Ostracised, unable to speak the language and to adapt to the surroundings she was not used to, she had concentrated all of her attention on us, her children. Later, when she had returned to her home country, it was always visible that the experiences she had lived during that period away from her home had significantly marked her. She remained despite all the hostility she had faced a woman with a positive heart and a desire to always help. I remembered warmly now – although it would drive us crazy when she used to do it while we were young, how she used to gather all the stray cats that had been tortured by some awful kids in the neighbourhood and slowly nurse them back to a healthy state.

She was a beautiful woman, not just outside but also inside and her thoughts were always about how one should be a better person and make the world a better world. She believed in the virtues of kindness, respect, caring, independence and equanimity. She lived her vocation in all aspects of her life. A nurse by profession, tending alternately to children with severe diseases or to third degree burn victims, I remember how the patients would talk of her with praise and gratitude. It was not that she was a soft woman as she could be really tough on us sometimes, having spent several years taking care of us on her own. It was that she truly cared about others and was a nurturing human being. It was not by accident that she had become a nurse, she had always wanted to help others hence her choice of the medical field.

 

I returned to my daily routine but felt listless as if something had been broken. I realised that it was because with the death of my mother a whole aspect of my life was disappearing. When we lose our mother, it is almost as if the last link to our childhood is broken. Mothers are so emblematic of those times of innocence when we could huddle up closer to them and feel comforted and safe. I had spent many a night tucked underneath her arm when I was raving with fever and waking up tightly held by her had always given me the feeling that everything would always be alright. Somehow, the fact that she was no longer there made me feel like I had lost the possibility of feeling that comfort again. There is something unique about the comfort a mother can bestow and that nothing else can replace.

 

One day, I was feeling particularly destitute and thinking about my mother. It pained me to think that a woman like her who had cared so much for others had died all alone. Indeed, by a rare coincidence, my sister-in-law had not returned before her carer left and in the thirty minutes or so between the leaving of the carer and the return of my sister-in-law, my mother had breathed her last. I was thinking about how I had been planning for my children to visit their grandmother again that summer and how this would no longer be possible. My thoughts were focused on my mother and I could feel the grief well inside me again. I had stopped writing as I could not bring myself to pen anything and the weeks were turning into months.

 

As I walked, cloaked in my grief, a shrill call from above caught my attention. There, just a few meters above my head, a seagull flew with its arms alternating between stretching and flapping. It seemed to fly in a criss-cross pattern, right above my head, all the while calling shrilly. I stopped and looked at it and it stopped on the rooftop to the right of my head. I moved onward and the seagull called out and flew over my head again. From the entrance to the compound where I lived until the building where my apartment was, it continued to follow me calling shrilly all the while flying above my head in that curious criss-cross pattern. As I reached my building and looked up at it again, it turned its head one way and the other almost as if it were sizing me up. I felt as if it were a messenger from above as it called again shrilly. I thought of my mother again and as I smiled up at it, I could feel a weight lift off my heart. I looked around me and noticed the intense purple of the lavender in the pot and the bright yellow of the fallen leaves. That sense of comfort would always be there. Her body may have disappeared but she was still there, in every bird that flew, in every leaf that fluttered, in every beautiful thing that shone on in this world around me. I smiled up again and the seagull flew.

 

 

Mother (in Arabic) and Woman (in English) both dedicated to my mother – Geetha Balvannanathan

Awaiting the sun

Awaiting the sun

11 November 2018

sunrise pinterest com 3
Courtesy pinterest.com

 

The rhythm is that of the wind against the fallen leaves like a banshee wailing. Her mind syntonises with it finally as she picks up pieces of the shattered glass in front of her. There is no saying how much time the wind will continue to blow relentless. Her mind blows with the wind, flying high in the sky gathering momentum. At the same time her body continues to mechanically operate on its own. She carefully stacks the pieces of shattered glass in front of her and starts her daily work of repairing the window pane again.

She must have repaired it a hundred times yet every sunrise, the storm strikes at the same place again with the tree breaking through the window instantly killing her husband yet another time. Every day she wakes up again with the agony of knowing that she will again witness the scene of her husband’s death. The torture of knowing that initially numbed by the pain of his horrific death all she will be able to do is pick up the pieces of the shattered glass and start repairing the window as if to negate that it happened at all pursues her daily. She lives dreading the moment of initial sunshine which once made both her husband and her so happy.

She realises that she will never be able to grieve the loss of her husband as by the time she has finished repairing the window it is night time again and she falls asleep, exhausted. The first days that it happens, she does not remember exactly what has occurred but is only left with a sense of foreboding. Upon waking up that sense of foreboding slowly grows throughout the first week although it remains quite hazy. As time goes by , however, memories of the day before play back with excruciating precision.

She usually wakes up already knowing what will happen and totally helpless as she watches the events unfold. All she can do is repair the window in a wild and desperate hope that the next time, maybe at least once, it will not give way as the tree comes crashing through. Some days she would work her fingers sore until the nails almost peel and her fingers bleed and yet the next morning she would wake up to perfectly manicured fingers, her stomach tense with the knowledge of the oncoming onslaught.

Her mind soars higher as her fingers work swiftly repairing the window pane. She feels the moment when the night descends softly around her body that falls back on the bed. She watches as she lies almost lifeless her breath ragged as she struggles to overcome the sleepiness. Yet the slumber slowly overcomes her and her breath becomes more peaceful. It is the darkest point of the night now. Soon the killer dawn will strike again. She watches the body of her husband turn around and embrace her body.

Something inside her chest expands and she feels it stirring her body as she looks onward. The sun is about to rise and the winds are still howling. Her mind continues its wild jig with the winds. She knows that as the sun rises the storm will pick up strength and the tree will fall over breaking through the window pane. Her mind stills itself as the winds continue howling. The first rays of the sun pierce the horizon.

She opens wide her mouth and as it slowly rises she finally swallows the sun and the storm slowly loses its strength. Darkness falls all around as heat scorches her mind. She can feel the light exploding throughout her skull. She clenches her jaws as her mind maintains its stranglehold on the sun. The tree never moves again. She rolls her tongue softly over the blisters on her tongue. In the darkness beside her she can hear the soft breath of her husband. She utters a soft sigh and turns toward him holding him tight.

Let’s pretend – Tindersticks

The day before

The day before

28 October 2018

earthquake deviantart com by_jonasdero-d53xj4h
Courtesy deviantart.com

 

The news kept coming in, one recount more alarming and shocking than the other. It had all started the day before in Kerman in Iran where an Earthquake with the magnitude of 7.7 had caused several thousands of deaths and several thousands were left injured. Shortly after that followed an Earthquake with the magnitude of 9.3 in Shiraz, the deadliest ever in Iran, taking the death tolls to several hundreds of thousands. The Earth had opened up at Sabzposhan and severe landslides together with the Earthquake had taken their toll on the region. The Earthquake then hit the region of Bandar Abbas, causing tidal waves along the coast.

In Dubai, the tremors were felt by the inhabitants although the radio signaled that there was nothing to fear. Shortly after this news came out, Dubai residents felt tremors shake the city. It seemed like the Earthquake that had started in Kerman was following a zig-zag pattern as the radio announced that another Earthquake had occurred in the capital, Abu Dhabi. The tremors were slight at first with perhaps a magnitude of less than 4 but soon the Dubai residents felt the city shaking with increasing tremors building up another larger Earthquake.

Slowly but surely the tremors increased. It all seemed as if the fault that had opened up in Iran was now continuing its way under the sea. The Dubai residents had run out of their homes as the tremors increased but with the havoc happening outside they wondered if they should go back to the safety of their homes. The skies were filled with helicopters that were taking the ruling family to safety. One wondered where that would be however as everywhere in the city there were recounts of buildings collapsing and the Earth opening up.

A news crew was busy filming the disaster in the air using a helicopter they had hired for the occasion. The level of destruction caused by the Earthquake was unimaginable. Several towers had simply caved in, some others had tilted over and some were split in the middle with the top parts falling off like a peeled orange. Several fires had been ignited everywhere as a result of the falling buildings and badly protected wirings. As the journalists watched, the beautiful Burj Khalifa’s external glass structure shattered into thousands of shards before the top of the building started toppling over.

It seemed like this was not the last of the problems though as they could see a tidal wave forming at the coastline. They watched horror-struck as residents across the coastline clambered to the top of their houses in a desperate move to be saved from the oncoming wave. Some of the journalists shut their eyes in prayer as the wave crashed on the shore, wiping out the entire areas of Jumeirah, Um Suqueim and Dubai Marina as it swept along the coast and made its way to the middle of Sheikh Zayed road. Hundreds of cars that had been jammed in the residents’ desperate attempt to flee the area were soon overpowered by the seething water that rocked them to and fro before casting them against the buildings that were toppling over.

The journalists in the helicopter cried helplessly although they were normally hardened men. They thought of some of their relatives down there whom they would never see again. Some had wives and children who had surely perished, if not drowning in the waters then probably under the falling towers as so many of them had fallen like a series of lego. They thought of how they had come up here to report on what they expected to be minor issues and get at least some sensationalist recounts. Nothing had prepared them for the extent of the disaster which had ensued.

When the tremors of the Earthquake and its aftershock had finally subsided, the center of the city was a lagoon with portions of buildings protruding here and there. The outskirts were reduced to a pile of rubble and in between lay a slushy landscape of debris. The towers had disappeared and the Burj Al Arab structure was leaning more than the tower of Pisa, with only its top part emerging from the waters. The Burj Khalifa looked similar to what it had looked like during its construction several years ago. The top of the building had fallen to the ground, a large part of the middle had caved in and all the glass windows had been shattered leaving it akin to a giant colosseum…

Earthquake – Labrinth ft -Tinie Tempah

 

 

Death converts to life

Death converts to life

8 September 2018

death converts to life deviantart com a_woman_in_the_stars_by_cloudy_melody
Courtesy deviantart.com

 

Highways will lead North

Where fog and sea surrender

Intimate lacing

 

Wish upon my bones

Call to the elders that know

Stories of caskets

 

Moonbeams grow shadows

Within heart of the meadows

Fairies live prancing

 

Hold my gaze to skies

Illuminate my bosom

Rose insulates me

 

Lightning bears a door

In between threads and the bolt

A crack reveals light

 

Invert destinies

Redress stories of duress

Death converts to life

 

Reading of the poem: 

Don’t let me down ft Daya – The Chainsmokers

Recovering soul

Recovering soul

29 October 2017

Christian schloe artflakes com 7 kingdom
Courtesy Christian Schloe on artflakes.com

 

Listen now

Once upon a Time

We alone

Shifted frames

Not needing passage through death

We occupied clay

 

Heated Earth

Magmatic stardust

Heart revelled

Mind excelled

The spirit soared young and free

Inside wilderness

 

Plastered names

We partook in death

Lingering

Mute power

Master the servant now blames

Recovering soul

 

Reading of the poem: 

I am lost – Quin