Poetry Nowadays

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Pathetic pandering to the same tired people,
Tongue tied they can only snap the same tune.
Clubbed to deaf with cliché, hypnotized blind
They…we are prey and predator, snake swallowing
Gorging on our behinds, entangled in our entrails.
What happened to living words, dancing sparks
the match to set off a forest fire of emotion
Shattering the dam, the walls and washing pain away
Where is the blood caressing pages like ink,
Tracing the cracks in shattered hearts so we can breath.
poetry nowadays needs mouth to mouth resuscitation
So let’s pick up pens, pencils and computer keyboards
Open our spirits and let the soul breath life unto the page

Chapter One-The Nightmare

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The room was filled with balloons and the floor was carpeted with bubble wrap. The balloons looked like normal balloons but seemed to bob strangely in the air, as if filled with something. A small child is huddled in the corner of the room, fearfully facing the only exit to the room; a large red door. The door begins slowly begins to open, creaking loudly in the process but  no one but the small boy seems to notice. The door then shuts and the balloons and dancing guests part as an invisible force makes it’s way towards the young boy, the bubble wrap crackling with each step. The small boy whimpers and his lips can be seen mouthing “Stay strong my boy, Stay strong my boy”.

His lips quiver as he keeps muttering the mantra under his breath, eyes fastened fearfully on the advancing force. Then clenching his fist, he resolutely faces the creature as if determined to face whatever challenge comes his way. Suddenly the balloons start exploding violently, spewing puffs of color into the room. POP! POP! POP! Each pop shattering the silence like a shotgun blast. The colored fog that billows from the balloons eats up the air in the room and transforms it into a mystical shadow land, the chairs, tables and people acquiring almost ethereal qualities as they are consumed by the fog.

In the fog that is created, a silhouette can be seen. A blank area where the fog can con penetrate, and it is advancing on the young child who is now standing, fist clenched and face scrunched in concentration. The crowd, oblivious to the action bursts into song “Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday dear Kevin…” The happy joyous song striking a sour chord, each burst of merriment underscoring the young child’s advancing death. The irony of a celebration of life on the eve of his death seemed to register on the young child’s mind. He glances fearfully at the incoming  menace and then with a shout charges into the mist hoping to get lost in the crowd and make his escape through the door. He moves faster than he has ever moved before, running as if he has gained wings, but before he can even reach the edge of the crowd the shadow is upon him. He can feel the cold clammy hands gripping his neck and drawing him back as if by sheer force of will. He struggles, his legs pistoning and arms flailing but it’s as if the very air is against him and he is drawn back inexorably to his doom.

His flailing starts to slow and his body begins to grow limp. There seems to be no escape. Then from the resounding silence that had come after the balloon explosion and songs, a voice booms out, filling the room with sound.

“Boy! The whistle, blow the whistle boy! Remember what your father said, when facing death, blow the whistle!!”

The boy, moving as if through thick jello reaches for his chest where the whistle hangs. His hand rests on his heart for a moment and he can feel his heart trying to rips it’s way out of his chest. Grabbing the whistle and struggling to bring it to his lips even as the invisible hand crushes is throat, he blows with all the air left in him. The whistle’s piercing scream fills the air and the room is consumed by it. Time stops and the room is silent it the midst of the sound, each person frozen as they were. Then the aura of death, darkness and confusion is shattered and so is the room and everything else in it.

Still screaming, the echo of the whistle still ringing in his head, Kevin lurches upright, hitting his head on the top bunk. Panicked he looks around, eyes darting from place to place, thoughts running rampart in his head like stampeding buffalo. Where am I? What’s going on? Who…?

The realization hits him as he look around and sees the walls of his room and the scrunched up sheets laying in disarray and his bed that looked as if it was the victim of an aggravated assault. Sweat drips from his face and he rolls over and wipes it on his pillow in disgust and whispers “Why does this keep happening?”

Chocolate People (Written Version)

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Do you remember when God made us from brown sugar, chocolate and molasses

And we danced with the sun and walked with moon?

Sang with the stars and made love to the night?

Do you remember when we were beautiful?

Do you remember when we walked, walked, danced to the beat of a different drummer,

The blood of giants coursing through our veins

And we ruled the world and were mighty, pyramids of stones raised to entomb our bones?

Do you remember when we were beautiful?

Do you remember when we were broken and captured,

Dancing in grotesque parodies of our birth dance, bound by chains of man,

Steel, stolen from our mother but our souls were free and knew we are kin of kings.

Do you remember when we were beautiful?

Do you remember when we broke the physical chains

Only to be bound by chains of self loathing and weakness,

Our pride broken and scars of shame crisscrossing our psyches,

And now our feet dance/shuffle to the white mans drum.                                                                                                                                                        But some of us still remember when we danced with the sun and walked with the moon.

Some of us remember that when God made us brown it was a blessing not a curse

And we are beautiful, sweet and powerful beyond measure.

Some of us will remember breaking breaking the chains that bind us

And rising to become who we are, everyman king and every woman queen,

Dancing with the sun and walking with the moon,

Our black skin gleaming and our teeth full of meaning

As the river of our history rolls out and our children remember that we/they are beautiful.

So come with me and remember                                                                                                                                                                          Dance with me and remember                                                                                                                                                                                  Feel, hear the THUD THUD THUD of a black man’s drum heartbeat

And feel the power of our history thrumming in our bones and humming in our souls

And grasp the future that is what we make it.

Remember when God made us from brown sugar, chocolate and molasses

And we were brown and beautiful and we danced, danced,

Danced with the sun and walked with the moon.

Remember that you, you are beautiful.

Flash Fiction: Bus-stop-100 words-Prose

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The Bus-Stop Girl is there everyday at 6 on the far left of the time battered bench. Reading, head down, thick brown hair escaping the knitted cap she wore. Everyday I leave my house, 5:45, and jog around the block. I just happen to pass by as she sits down, settling her skirt and opening her book. 57

I slow as I pass and breathe “Hello”. She always hears. She, her delicate fingers capturing her escaped hair, looks up from “A Streetcar named Desire”, green eyes glowing and says “Hello”. We share a smile and I run into the night, waiting for tomorrows smile. 43

Flash Fiction: Monkey- 75 words, sci-fi, dark, prose

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“Crap!” I screamed, dropping my gun and clutching my arm.10  The acid was quickly eating through my Plexy suit. I reached to my ankle to grab the Photon knife and cut the acid covered suit.25 I clutched at air and then spasmed as the acid reached my skin. 38 From the end of the hallway came a coughing laugh, almost a hoot. I grimaced, looking at the Dark One, dressed in Old World clothes, holes cut for his tail. 68 “Please,” I started my voice hoarse with pain. 

 

Wow, this is a lot harder than it looks. I will have to practice. I just wanted to post something of an example. Lol, it can be used to measure any improvement that occurs. 

My Earliest Memory

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As far as I can remember, stories have been a part of my life. My mother would tell me a variety of stories: short stories meant to teach a lesson, long stories that would span days, historical stories, mythological stories and some that she swore were true that I would doubt sometimes.

I can remember the first story she ever told me, as far as I can remember. It translates to The Farmer and the Rabbit. It was a beautiful ending of a day, the sunset coloring the sky with colors so rich and pure that my young mind couldn’t even comprehend. We were all gathered around the little fire place outside our house, finishing our meals.

My brothers could be heard sucking noisily on the bones that remained from the meat we had eaten. My sister still had a full plate and was picking at the food slowly like she always did. I had already finished and was licking my fingers with gusto, trying to get all the flavor I could from the meal.

My mother stood and threw the leftovers to the dogs. Snarls and yelps filled the darkening sky as the three dogs fought over the scraps. She then came and sat down and sent my brother to get some mangoes from the nearby tree.

As he ran off to get the fruit, I huddled next to my mother on the one side and my sister hugged close to her on the other side. I stuck my thumb into my mouth and grabbed a handful of my mom’s dress in one chubby hand and settled in to listen.

My older brother came back holding four mangoes clutched to his chest and after handing the mangoes out he settled himself next to my other brother after some pushing and shoving for the spot next to the fire.  My mother waited until we were all settled in and comfortable before she started, her voice rising and falling and changing with each character.

“It was once told…” she started, telling the tale of the wily rabbit who had to outsmart the farmer to get his food.

Her voice was squeaky and sly for the rabbit and loud and booming for the farmer. She took us through the story, her words painting a picture and conjuring the characters into the night sky. We sat, mesmerized by the simple magic of her tongue as she made our hearts leap as we were running with the rabbit and our tempers flare as we discovered the spoiled garden with the farmer. Our hearts were in our throats as each time the farmer got closer and closer to catching the rabbit, me and my sister cheering when he got away and my brothers booing and declaring that next time they would get him.

 As she talked, her voice melding with the noises of the wilderness around us in a harmonious melody that lulled us, my eyes begun to grow drowsy and heavy. I battled hard to reach the end with the others but sleep was simply to strong and my mother’s voice much too hypnotizing. Though I never did get to find out if the farmer caught the rabbit or if the rabbit won once and for all, I was given an experience of beauty in its purest form.

Many nights like this would follow, the stories varied but the beauty and purity was still the same. For my young and open mind, the stories were gateways that led to worlds in which I could roam for days on end. Some were scary and made me huddle closer and made my brothers puff out their chests and pretend to be brave. Some were so funny we would be rolling in the dirt, our peals of laughter splitting the quiet night like the ring of a bell. Some, especially the ones about our ancestors were powerful and so inspiring that we sometimes couldn’t help but to holler a war cry into the night and challenge the hidden dangers of the darkness.

For my young and open mind, the stories were gateways that led to worlds in which I could roam for days on end. And roam I did, exploring the vastness of my imagination and continuing stories that we would start. From that day, I have always love the art of storytelling and as I look at my mother who is now tired from working all day and can’t tell stories anymore and see that it is my turn to carry the torch and spread the beauty to the world. 

How do you want to be remembered?

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How do you want to be remembered? Since the beginning of time humans have searched for the secret to immortal life. The fountain of youth, or the various magical potions that are supposed to render the user the user immortal and forever young. Our literature and our religions are based upon this desire. As of now, no conclusive proof has been found to validate any of these claims. However, there have been a few people who have discovered the secret to immortality. Not only do they live forever, but they are stuck in the very best moments of their lives.

 

Before we begin, I ask again. How would you like to be remembered? Do you want to be Alexander the Great, who lived so long ago that the earth has ground his bones to dust but he still lives and breathes life in our history books and modern culture? Or would you want to be remembered as a Hitler, who has been long dead but still reaches out and squeezes life out of people hearts even now. Or would you rather be the unknown anonymous member of the 7 billion plus inhabitants of the world, your death mourned by a few and your life accomplishments vanishing into the oblivion of forgetfulness?

 

Most of you are thinking, I can’t be one of the world shaker/movers who have changed the course of the world as we know it and have been immortalized it as a result. You’re saying I can’t make a difference.  In your head you’re already coming up with excuses and reasons why you can’t. I’m not smart enough, I am not rich enough, and I am not talented enough. There are a hundred and ten reasons why you can’t be one of these men and women who altered the world. The real reason however, the one thing that separates them from you if you are afraid. You are afraid to reach down into your psyche and see the unlimited potential there. Each human being was put on earth for a purpose and each human being is powerful beyond measure. But we are afraid, we are scared to tap into this unfathomable power and become who we are meant to be. I know. I know because I am like you. I have unlimited potential. I was put on earth, just like you, to change it. To grasp it and make it mine. But I am afraid. We are afraid.

 

But let me ask you again. How do you want to be remembered? Do you want to live a quiet anonymous life of following rules and never reaching beyond your comfort zone or do you want to become who you are meant to be? We are not all going to be Alexander the Great, men like that are molded by their life experiences into formidable forces. Without the oppression in India, would Gandhi have become Gandhi? Who can tell? But because it happened he was able to reach inside himself, scared as we are now, grasp the power within him and march forward. As a result he now lives forever, immortalized in the hearts of the ones who loved him.

 

Now how does someone like me become immortal? We can’t all appear in the history books or else our libraries will overflow. However, that doesn’t mean we can not be remembered after we pass. All it takes to be immortalized is to make difference in the life of one person. It may not be much, a simple smile may be all it takes for you to be stamped into the heart of that person and immortalized. It could simply be that shoulder to cry on presented at the right time. It could be that day when you don’t think and run into a busy road to save someone’s child. It could the time as you march in a foreign land with steel abominations in your hands and instead of shooting and ending that young life you remember that they too are human. It could be big, small or anywhere in between.

 

I ask for one last time: How do you want to be remembered? When you die will you have left footsteps in the sands of time or is all trace of your existence blown in the winds with your ashes? I don’t know how you want to be remembered. But I know one thing. I am tired of being afraid. I am tired of not having a voice in my life and being swept in the current of society. I am an individual and I am precious and I can make a difference. I know how I want to be remembered. I invite you to join me as I shed this skin of weakness and fear and step forth into the light, changing the world, one smile at a time. 

Love against the backdrop of Hate

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I believe in hate. I mean, I believe in rage, envy, fear, anxiety, stress, apathy, guilt and lust, but mostly I believe in hate. I believe in this crippling, trans-formative emotion that changes normal, decent people into monsters, base creatures lower than animals. I believe in this dark perversion of all that is good in the world; this blind, misbegotten behemoth that pervades our society, our very psyche and that is entangled with the very cosmic dust of which we are made. 
                I believe in this emotion that caused the deaths of countless Jews through the hands of an innocent nation controlled by the charismatic and compelling voice of an egomaniacal tyrant. I believe in the hate that made the American forefathers, grand men and women all I’m sure, beat stripes into the ebon backs of their brothers. This hate that drove them to stain the oceans crimson, and make an ivory highway that spans the Atlantic.
                I believe in that hate, the one that sweeps nations and blinds all, but I also believe in the hate that is not as far reaching. The one that dwells in our schools today. The hate that causes a group of boys, high school students to corner, beat, and rape their classmate with a pipe and render him brain-dead simply because they do not share sexual preferences. I believe in the silent hate of averted and disdainful eyes and apathetic attitudes that are all some students ever encounter when they walk into a school. Through no fault of their own, for some reason or another they are branded as pariahs and are ignored, rejected or outright bullied by others. I believe in the hate that drives these students to end their lives and take others with them.
                Why? Why do I believe in this beastly emotion so rank with death, defilement and misery? Why do I glory in its existence? Because. Because of hate, we know true love. Because of the cold, dark embrace of hate that holds the world captive, the singular mundane acts of decency and love become beacons of light, of hope and of sustenance. Because of the averted eyes and snide comments, a smile can save a life and because of the brutal shoves, a hug can save a school. Because hate exists, normal people can hope that by virtue of existing, of resisting the urge to hate and tear down, we can transcend humanity and for one bright moment, take upon ourselves a sense of divinity. That by loving in a world full of hate; we can become something more than our flawed selves. In gross darkness, the light shall shine brightest. This I believe.
 
 

I Be Poltergiest

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I be poltergeist. I Am not poltergeist. I be nothing, nothing but emotions. I feel, not think, I be, not am. I be poltergeist. I be anger.

 

It started with death. After dying all the things insubstantial within the body, meaning the mind and soul, went to heaven or nirvana. The emotions had no place to go. The love, hate, grief, joy, anger, and the other emotions remained and wrecked havoc upon the earth. The gods seeing chaos created an astral plane and trapped all the emotions therein. The gods succeeded in throwing them into the astral plane, leaving only the few good emotions. The gods knew that in the act of trapping all emotions in one place they had started a great war, however they had no choice. One by one the emotions were dumped into the astral plane; a flexile area in a different dimension that was easily altered and changed. It was known as Poltergeist.

Hate came first, black as night and a towering monster. Hate was a 3-headed serpent that embodied all that was evil. Its sinuous coils contracted and then expanded as Hate reared it ugly head, its baleful eyes glaring at its surroundings, turning to stone all that it gazed upon. It gave an angry hiss, an evil, reverberating cry that echoed across the land, shriveling all that its poisonous notes touched. Then came Love, at first a gentle mist, smelling like chocolate and roses, it languidly came to rest in the plane. Then as it started to solidify, it became aware of the presence of Hate and mushroomed into a raging wildfire, oblivious to all. It roared, and crackled, and thundered, an inferno that consumed all. The conflagration slowly condensed in the form of an ardent dragon, sheathed in flames. The two behemoths squared off, one a pythonic snake and the other a gargantuan dragon. They tore into each other, so different and yet so similar.

Then Fear arrived. No form did it posses; it was simply an empty robe, billowing in an invisible wind. Doubt also came, chained to Fear by an unbreakable bond, for it was Fear’s hound dog. Doubt stood about the size of an ox, and was a mangy, disease ridden cur, with gleaming red eyes and ropes of corrosive saliva dripping from its formidable jaws. Fear’s nebulous form drifted away from the fighting monsters, knowing full well the price it would pay if it got close. As Fear was withdrawing the Twins appeared. There was a burst of incandescent light as Courage and Faith flew into the scene. There stood Courage, a tall form clothes in irradiant armor and holding in his hand a crystalline diamond sword. At his side floated his sister Faith, clothed in luminous leathers and holding in her hand a glittering bow. At their shoulders, Hope flew, a blazing phoenix clothed flames. And so the battle begun, Fear though seemingly weak and cowardly, once trapped, fought like a tiger. Its insidious mists batted away Faith’s silver arrows and exploded forth, seeking her heart, only to draw back swiftly out of reach from Courage’s slashing sword. Off in the distance, the battle between Love and Hate raged on, mirrored by the battle between Hope and Doubt as they tore into each other. Hope’s golden claws tore at Doubt’s pustule crusted pelt, scrabbling for a hold while Doubt twisted and turned its body seeking Hope’s throat with its gaping, excrementitious jaws. The battle endured, both sides scoring deadly hits but neither backing down. One of Hate’s head lolled to the side, spouting and splattering its poisonous gore over the ground with its every movement, while Love’s wings hung feebly by its side, torn to tatters by Hate’s malignant fangs. On they fought, oblivious to all, laying waste to their surroundings. They were in a state of such propinquity as they fought, that there were moments when they almost seemed to merge and be one and the same.

Then Joy and Grief arrived. They were unlike the others in many ways. They seemed to have no urge to fight and also kept no steady form. Joy was deliriously, insanely drunk in its own happiness, randomly bursting into laughter or song. It sat on a comfortable sofa, with food and other comforts arrayed around it watching the fight from a distance. It would watch the fight for a few moments, and then collapse into helpless jocularity, rolling of the carpeted floor, with tears of joy glistening at the corner of its eyes. It held no form long, swiftly changing, one second a baby gurgling as it plays with its foot; an old woman chortling; a mountain man roaring with mirth. Then it would be a jocund old man dancing a jig, or a merry young girl singing a song. It was the gentle sweeping laughter of a mother; the infectious, rousing cachinnation of a comedian; then the hiccuping, sniggering laugh of a drunk college student. Always, its eyes twinkled and its mouth; be it the toothless mouth of a baby, or the fanged maw of a dog rolling over to be scratched; was always agape, grinning. Some distance away, Grief dwelled in a habitat as different, if not more, from Joy’s as night and day. Where Joy was sitting, there was a constant sunshine, illuminating it.

This was not the case with Grief; it lay on hard spiky ground, with no comfort to be seen. Its only covering was meager, scratchy rags that provided not protection from the biting acidic rain that was a constant inhabitant of Grief’s locale. It like Joy held no steady form. There, however, is where all comparison ceased. Its forms changed gradually, first a sobbing mother clasping her stillborn child to her breast; then an impoverished child on the streets, fighting for scraps; a broken hearted girl sobbing in her bedroom; a father as he hears on the news that his son has died in the war; it changed constantly, each form more heartbreaking than the other. They all shared the same pinched, sunken faces and the sametorpid, dead eyes. Occasionally sounds would come from it; the horrified shrieking of a mother as her son sits on the electric chair; the echoing moans of a father whose daughter committed suicide; the racking sobs of a community as they prepare to die, quarantined so as not to spread their disease to others; the aching sigh of the world at large as a natural disaster strikes and kills thousands upon thousands; last but not least, the howling torment of earth as humans torture and defile it. These sounds rose and melded into a singular eerie entity, bursting forth across the plane, causing all who heard to cry. So sad and sonorous was the sound that all fighting stopped for a brief moment as the quavering echoes died down. The two sat, oblivious of the other, both crying in their own way and fashion. Joy cried the glistening tears of a mother reunited with her lost child; a graduating high school student; a father watching his child take its first step. Joy cried the tears of joy. Grief cried the bloody, bitter tears of agony and betrayal; the tears of a child as he watches his mother drive away, knowing she’s never coming back; the tears of a girl, brutally used and ravaged then tossed aside; the blood red tears of a child, sitting alone in some dark corner raising a razor to his wrist; the tears of a lonely man, despised by the world, preparing to end his life. Yes, Grief cried the tears of grief, and pain unknown. So they existed; both crying, neither caring; one bright rays of sunshine, the other a deluge of acid rain. It was so for a while. Until…

Until Anger transpired, that is. Anger came as a storm of mass proportions, hurling random objects in all directions. A raging bull here, a rampageous herd of wild elephants there, bolts of neon colored lighting everywhere. At the center of the storm was an eye, a large blood shot eyecrisscrossed with pulsating veins. The other emotions, preoccupied, had no chance to raise a defense. Anger seemed to grow angrier by the second, howling snowstorms becoming tempestuous blizzards, gouts of wildfire becoming raging infernos, bolts of lightning becoming a rain of lighting. This went on for a while, the other emotions attempting to gather strength and retaliate, but alas, they were too weak and injured to halt the steadily growing Anger. Then finally after they could fight no longer, Anger seemed to pause. They rallied, thinking to group together and attack Anger at once. All of a sudden, a giant rip appeared in the sky below Anger’s eye, and opened to reveal a gaping maw full of teeth. Sharp diamond edged teeth reached for the emotions, and an impossibly long tongue reached out and snaked around the awe stricken emotions. Then before they recovered, they were gone, swallowed in the infinite darkness that was now Anger. For a moment, Anger seemed to explodeoutwards, filing the astral plane almost to its edge, before slowly condensing into the shape of a man. He stood in clearing, an ugly bestial man. He was large and covered in blood soaked lanky hair. Anger’s body was traced with scars and veins, covered in corded muscle. His long hair crackled with latent, barely constrained energy. He would occasionally roar, bearing his fangs and transforming his visage to that of a beast, and hurl bolts of lightning everywhere. And so it was the Poltergeist became anger.

The gods looked upon this monster and were troubled. So they schemed, plotted and planned, eventually coming up with the perfect plan. They searched earth and gathered together all the good or lesser emotions they had let run rampart and combined them. Emotions or ideals such asrespect, justice, goodwill, calmness, contentment, and freedom to name a few; came together as if they meant to be. They coalesced and Peacewas formed. Peace was as beautiful as Anger was ugly, her body was tall and slender, her long hair a beautiful, ebon cascade. Her eyes were wise and understanding yet also sweet and kind; her nose tapered slightly giving her a queenly air. Her mouth was full and lush, seemingly inviting. As she walked, a sweet calming fragrance followed in her steps. The gods took her and placed her in Poltergeist, which was now anger. Then she started dancing, slowly and then faster, singing all the while. As she moved, flowed rather, from place to place, anger’s presence seemed to draw back and the harsh, hostile climates filled with exploding volcanoes and chilling blizzards unrolled and become warm, tropic climates. Finally after Anger had shrunk back to its form as a man, Peace stopped dancing and looked at Anger. Anger, filled with a burning rage, struck out with its ax, only to find air and feel Peace’s hand wrapped around it. As she held him, she continued dancing, her every step a drum beat and the whisper of the wind carressing her long beautiful hair a hand sturmming a harp.She danced and sang her voice low and high and perfect, first dancing fast till anger couldn’t keep up then as he started staggering exhausted, she dance slow and sang low. A lullaby. And Anger collasped to the ground tired and spent, a mere man now. As he slept, the other emotions found strength and tore out. They all filtered out and into the world, until all that was left was the weakened husk that was Anger. Peace also divided herself and the emotions that made her scattered across the world, spreading calm and good will. The world of poltergeist, the world of emotions, and in the end the world of anger.

The old man’s voice echoed as he told a story old as time herself, and new as a baby. His eyes stung with salty tears as he gazed into the dying embers of the fire. He stared at his captive audience and wondered, what emotion would rule them? He stood slowly, his ancient body protesting and made for the village gate. As he left, the people questioned him

“Who are you?”

He replied “I Be Poltergeist”

 

You, Me, We

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In age past, before the

darkness coalesced its liquid depths

and gave way to light.

Back, back before darkness

was dark and light bright

there was an egg.

A single potential in the

backdrop of impossibility.

A promise too potent to be

held by the cold embrace of

Nothingness.

Within we lay, not there but

There.

Unaware.

So was the universe born,

A potential within a sea of

Impossibility

And became we.

After the Storm

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I wept bitter tears that day,

my grief a jagged blade of flame

that tore at my insides,

my intestines writhing like maddened worms.

And I could do nothing,

nothing but curl up in a ball and wait,

the pain beyond

 

That day he broke your heart

as he battered your body.

The purpled black picture painted

on your face and

mirrored on your daughters.

Each false smile and tentative step

a dance lesson from pain

 

She shattered your life,

torturing you with smiles and gazes

and bleeding you dry.

Slowly, the cuts exquisite, execution flawless

you lose yourself.

A man no longer, but a puppet

on strings of pain

 

Your stomach may ache with

pain as old as the world

and your soul may thirst for just

one happy moment to color the black

and white world of your

biography of pain.

But the pain must end.

Though the sting is sharo, now,

it will fade to an ache,

and become a memory.

The pain will pass.

My People

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I am surrounded by my people.

They are dark, and black like me,

And their ebon faces shine darkly at me

Wherever I go. The sullen pitch oft shattered

By a crescent of light as it strikes

the gleaming white ivory of their teeth

Their lips are full like mine, and ripe,

And lush. As I walk through

The streets of Nairobi, the heartbeat

Of my culture, my history, my people,

Thrums through me in the scents, the sounds, the colors

The wave of motion that sweeps me.

The matatus veering, the conductor jeering

The scents of shit, samosas and sweet sweat from a hard work

Filter through the dry air. The dance of death that is street crossing

And the cacophonous competition of the music shops.

The drone of millions of voices in a thousand tongues,

Rising and falling in a undulant wave of activity flowing

From the sea of faces and bodies of my people.

The color flashings from the window,

The red, red dust that smothers everything in a choking curtain

Of dust and dryness. The weak greens and the pale beauty of the

Plants and the vibrant yellows, greens, reds and the dull browns and

The illusive blacks of the clothing. The gleam of skyscrapers and the

Dull ochre of the shanty house made of rust, mud and shit.

There is love, hate, agony, lust, and trust and betrayal and dark, black rage.

They walk the streets and stalk the alleys and smile in matatus and sokos.

Rumors like black clouds float over the city, with nervous hands clutching

Pockets and passports and ids and college students stalking the city in prides.

Ambitions burn bright and hot like a forest fire in the brown eyes of the

Man hawking used Dvds and bubblegum.

This is all mine. The joy of abject poverty and the misery of ridiculous opulence.

The ambitions and the laziness. The sokos and the Uchumis

The matatus and the private drivers

The Ugali and the pizza.

These are my people and this is my culture. With its scents, colors and emotions

Doing me

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Solemn words, words so lame echo and re echo in my mind

Trying too hard to make something beautiful and inspirational

You know, to much of such and such and who and whom did that and this

Then and there but this poem is really going nowhere.

I write so much of such slushy like words that are mushy

That last line was just bad; in fact it was rather sad

That was me trying to be a poet, you know the kind that rhymes and sounds divine

And copies others who sound sublime in an attempt to catch that light of lime

But I am tired of doing them and not tapping into me and living my poetry

So I’ll take my own invitation and step into this and breathe,

The thick dark emotions constricting my throat like the ocean waves batter my soul

And I will sink into this and drown myself in myself and in my death find me

And resurrect me so that I can rise from my depths a new man, almost divine

Its good that I just learned to swim because now I can doggy paddle my way to discovery

And breast stroke my way to my nirvana each breathe sacred and holy

As the salt of my unshed tears sting my thirsty mouth and I drink the bitter waters

Of my Mara, the bitter waters of my failures and consume my own heart for courage

These words that pour out will be me more than I am me being me.

So I invite you into this journey of introspection, not the meditation preached by the silent monks

Or yoga postured by the crippled beggars, but the rocky journey of self discovery

Like when America was discovered by “Americans” because until you discover you, you don’t exist

So come and starve with me as you feast your face with tangible food but your soul hungers for the illusive desires

Come and burn with me in the hot sun fire of my emotions that are so bright I wear sunglasses inside my heart

Reach deep inside to the closets hidden within the closet where the darkness is so bright that you are blind

And can not comprehend what you are even hiding.

See me and you as worlds, entire universes because we are the sum total of our world

Reach and feel that power that you have shunned all your life, feel it there like a pool of lava

Powerful and incinerating everything so hot hot is hurts to touch.

But ignore the pain and reach in with me and sink your hands in down to your elbows and feel the exquisite release

As our world of lies and masks is burned away the lava eating through it all like an inexorable flood

Heating your blood and your bones and your clay self and making it into what it is

Come and mold and make yourself and stand forth in the sun your heart strong and sure

Your body glistening in the light of your ambition and your soul a lantern of hope

Walk into this adventure and stride out a God.

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So I attend this psychology class in University,

A developmental psychology class

And we are told that we are put in stages according to our ages,

 From when we are born till the day we die

Each stage is neatly labeled, gift wrapped in neat square packages

Clearly marked with ages and the designated role

For example, as a teenager I am in the role identity vs. confusion stage

And when I grow up to a young adult I will be in intimacy vs. whatever

Being eighteen years old in a crazy world I am in the worst place

You see the thing we don’t take into account is that we are human

And we don’t fit into cute little boxes or stages limited by ages

But you see there are spaces in between these stages

Granted I can understand the role identity vs. confusion because I am lost

And I don’t know what role I am meant to play, so I think I’m confused

But maybe it’s not me but the worlds that’s confused

You see the thing that happened is I’m stuck in the crack

They always warn you not to step on the crack or you’ll break your mamas back

But they lied cuz it aint her back done broke but her heart

Cuz to be honest I’m trapped between stages, cuz I don’t know who I am

But I want someone to love me and I need to love somebody

But does it really work like that cuz when I ask her to tell me who she is and she says she’s she but is she lying?

Can she really know she’s she or who she really is cuz she’s confused

But when I ask her to tell me who she is she tells me she’s she and I believe her

So then I try to love her but how can I love her when I don’t love me cause I don’t know me

And so I’m stuck in between stages and my body is stuck in the invisible crack

That everyone pretends doesn’t exist cause they don’t wanna break their mamas back

And so people continue preaching these square stages even though the world aint square but round

And so for us who are crack stuck we become actors, actually no, we aint even factors

In the playpen of life on Shakespeare’s stage, cuz you know he says all life is a stage and we are just props

Cuz before we were children, who like cherubim in paintings were there to look cute and just be there to be there

But now we are growing up and we gotta fit these shoes and wear these roles see?

But the problem is we are trying to kiss the girl before we know what our lines are, whether we are meant to love her, hate her, kill her or not even know her

But we are too busy with our tongues in her mouth to learn our lines and play our roles and we don’t know who we are or what role we are meant to play

That’s the problem with life today we have to many because stuck in between these stages limited by ages

 

I wish

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I wish is could type music,

the bump of the bass and the soar

of the soprano and make you hear

what is pounding in my ears

and causing my heart to beat

and my blood to heat

 

I wish I could paint a masterpiece

Spatter this paper with color

Clear, concise and beautiful

And make you see the beauty I see

Making my heart to crave

And my body brave

 

Oh I long for so much

To show you and be you

And you me. 

My Future Love

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I miss you so bad it hurts
My life feels like a thunderstorm with no lightning, all noise and no light. 
Girl,  you are the light of my world, the moon in my midnight madness.
Your taste is so sweet and tender that my lips ache for you
Sweet like the last drops of a milkshake made of caramel crunch and the nectar of Gods
I slurp you up, your taste already fading and leaving behind an exquisite longing
You smell like comfort and chocolate chip cookies fresh out the oven
When I lay in bed late at night I can almost smell you besides me 
As if you just left the room
My love,  my heart, my soulmate.
I miss you more than I miss me and if I had to pick finding me or finding you I would pick me.
Because you deserve only the best I can give and until I find myself I don’t deserve you.
It took God six days to make the world, but thousands to sculpt the perfect arch of your eyelashes.
He paints a sunset every night to test the colors for your eyes
And he gave felines grace so the world would understand your stride
Your step is lighter that a butterflies kiss but stronger than a mothers love 
You are perfect and divine on the outside but when compared to the inside
Your body is the shadow of a shadow in a desert on the sun
Your mind is sharper than something really sharp and clearer than invisible water
Your personality is, well if there were words to describe it then it wouldnt be your personality.
You are gentle as a mothers loving embrace and as rough as a mothers loving embrace and a perfect balance
Your heart is bigger than the universe, each beat a big bang that expands it even more
Your soul is familiar 
Almost as if I had seen it before 
So familiar that I know it better than my own because it is our own
You are the yin to my yang, though I am not really sure what that even means
All I know is 
I am laying here at night, alone, and I miss you.
I miss your laughter that echoes somewhere in my heart
I am here alone and it hurts that you are not here besides me
So I write these words to remember you and to bandage my heart
I miss you my love.
And though we never met, I miss you more than my childhood
I will wait for you my love, sleep and remember to forget you till we meet

A Whisper

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The moments are mere shadows of a memory

Collecting dust in my mind like old books,

The stories only half remembered,

Slipping through my fingers like smoke

 

I can almost hear the whispers of our laughter,

The echoes of forgotten conversations

And the faint heat of the blazing infatuations

That now are only ash and dust

 

I stumble through the age old dance

Knowing the motions but not remembering

And I wonder if you can still dance

Your words with mine like before

I miss you

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The hypocrisy of the heart knows no bounds

Even as these words typed pour out to soothe worried spirit

In my belly burn the fires of hell, bright and hotter than the sun

But as dark as the emptiness you leave behind

When you leave, though left you already had

And my heart breaks again and beats again even though

I was the one that let you go for a delusion of myself

But in the letting go tied you with a thousand strings of

Some intangible desire I cannot conjure

And so now as the illusive beat of the drummer boy calls

Your heart and your lovely gaze to the heart of another

I cry these words, my fingers quivering and trembling

Because my eyes will not cry

And my stomach churns and burns with the acid of regret

Because my heart doesn’t really feel it yet

But because my heart is a hypocrite

And the words of your beauty and perfection can only now

Splatter the page with my admiration after I no longer have you

I smile the words to you and type my approval

Though I want to reach out and grab you and throw you on my

Noble steed and ride through the sunset and come out on the other side

But I have nothing to give you but shadows of something more

So I will close my eyes and remember you as you were

My beautiful and illusive rose glistening in the glorious light of a million rainbows

As the light of my eyes illuminated your icy castle

But now as you thaw and grow

Your roots reaching for the ground and your leaves kissing the air

And your petals dancing in winds of change

I can only stop and stare my eyes lit up with the light of a thousand suns

And my heart beating the slow thrum of the universe song

I want to reach out and pluck you my rose and keep you safe and tucked away

But you would wither and die under my suffocating gaze

And I am not cruel enough to think to not share you with the world

So rose princess, ice queen, and stealer of my heart

I cast thee forth to the world that they too may enjoy your fragrance

 

I want a Name

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Where do names come from?

When the storks drop perfect babies fresh born at where the road of life forks

Do they come with perfect baby labels that grow up to be names?

If so how does the stork bear the weight of a name, a name with all the history and power?

And how do they choose which heavy name to put on which baby as they lay cradled by clouds

Each face cherubic and soft, their spirits naught but a whisper in the wind of time

How do these storks know to give one a soft name like Isabelle and another a hard name like Richard

Though both are identical in perfection

Or maybe the babies choose in their blind curiosity as they crawl and giggle in the unknown, their chubby fists clutching forever clutching until they find a name

I wonder how do the storks carry such a heavy weight and travel through the world of impossibility and brave the winds of time to reach the forks of life’s road

But we all know that storks don’t exist except for in our minds where we conjure them to explain away the things we are too young to grasp

So now I ask like when I asked my mother where babies came from and she told me that one day she felt sick and threw up and there I came

But even then with my infantile mind still a landscape of bizarre colors and fantastic imaginings that I can now only reach through the release of my dreams I knew there was more

Even then I knew that there was more than a simple purge to bring me into this world screaming

In the dark recess of my mind I had a shadow of the memory of the shadow of the memories shadow of the pain of birth

Now with science and teachers I know what happened though I may have known more as a child who believed that his mother threw him up into the world and tried making his own babies but they would only splatter the ground in a mess and never rise to speak

So now I ask again, where do names come from?

But I am afraid that maybe we are too young to understand our human minds still too infantile to grasp the concepts and so we say only that God one day felt bad and puked out Abraham, Faith, Enoch, Moses and Joseph

Our black and white minds straining to recapture the dream within a dream that is the creation of our name of ourselves but the colors are too bright and we can not grasp it

So we create storks in our black and white worlds to carry our black and white names and miss the beauty of what those names are

We forget that lurching stumbling search of our birth as we looked for a name in that formless darkness before we were

The pain of the battle we fought to be who we are our toddler fists bashing into toddlers faces as we grasped in that darkness for a self

And when we grasped it and became Jack, Jill, John or Jacob that exquisite release of self and presence and knowledge of who we are

But then we were dropped by the stork and born to the world and in the blood, pain confusion we lost our name and we lost our color

And we gooed and gaaed in a blank black and white world crying for something we can not remember to miss or forget to remember, the ember in our hearts hurt

Burning with the desire for our names and ourselves that we fought for and won for

That name that whispers dirty secrets in our souls and is who we are and where we are going

We can not understand nor can we stand it, so we kill ourselves and each other in search of our names hoping that fighting like we fought before time was born will help us remember to forget

But even as we paint this black and white world red with the blood of our crying children we can not capture the names because we still think that one day God felt bad and threw up our names

So we fight on and on puking and puking trying to make our own names with the blood but it only splatters to the ground again and again

And we like the child that could not understand why he couldn’t make babies of his own to love and cherish can not understand why we can not make names for ourselves

Just as a mothers screams stirs the shadow of a memory of the pain of birth so too does the beautiful agony of music whisper the memory of our names to our souls

And art is the painting of the reflection of a shadow’s reflection of our names painted in a moonless midnight but with just enough light that we can almost see the colors

As I write now my fingers pulsing with blood and my eyes dancing and blurring on this page I can almost see my name

My name and my pain and myself given birth to by God, ripped out of the substance of the universe and bound to my corporeal self making me immortal

So that when my blood is spilt and my body is a memory of ashes floating through an imaginary wind I will still have my name to remind me who I am.

Maybe then after thousands and thousands of years of existing as a memory as a name passed down through the ages and gaining in wisdom I will finally be old enough to know

And then I too will scoff and laugh at the thought of God one day feeling bad and puking out my name

Then I will realize that spilling blood in a killing flood is not how to remember

Or maybe just maybe the next time I am born and bear this name that will last forever, maybe, just maybe, I will forget to forget.

Toy Boy Soldier

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I was young once, just a boy

Running around, playing with my toy

Sword, gun weapon, chasing slaying dragons, laughing

Cootie distressed damsels rescuing

I was toy soldier hero with the power of god in my hands

World creating, adventure making, winter snows and desert sands

Invincible and powerful, I ran, jumped and played

Reckless and heedless, needless warnings by my mother made

 

I am young still, someone’s son

Running around with my gun

My gun, bomb, grenade weapon slaying damsels crying

For the dragoncontries vying

I am a boy soldier zero hoping to be held in God’s hand

World traversing, bloody sight seeing, heeding demands

Invisible and powerless I run, hoping for one more day before I died

And I can hear my mother say, be careful she cried

 

But now I am boy soldier toy

Puppet boy wishing he was wood because wood don’t bleed

or hear them plead

Or be shook and puke watching them spill seed to satisfy evil need

But blood flesh boy toy soldier I am, controlled jerky death dance, in Vietnam

Guam, war whore forced and penetrated by ideas

My maiden blood spilled, innocence killed, tangible fears

As the end nears, it becomes clear; I can hear that voice whisper

My dear son, and I am gone

 

Momma, why do you cry?

Momma, did I die?

Momma, why mama why?

I was just a boy playing with toys

In a war playing with us toy boys

Bleeding, my blood feeding the needing of power

Taste of death in my mouth sour

 

The world is splattered and showered with my blood

Running rampart red in a flood

Millions of mes buried in millions of seas

Our flesh feeding the trees

And now I say please.

Please tell me why, why I must die.

 

Momma, why do you cry?

Momma, did I die?

Momma, why mama why?

I was just a boy playing with toys

In a war playing with us toy boys

Bleeding, my blood feeding the needing of power

Taste of death in my mouth sour