31th July, Shanghai

the laundry flutters like white butterflies over some old people

gathering in the shades, talking in a language I don’t understand.

it’s been too hot an afternoon,

even a dragonfly has stopped its coquettish dance

and perched, languidly, on a deserted cabbage leaf.

On the last day of this month, though in lunar calendar ,

it’s almost the hottest day of the year –

how funny time seeps through our life in different ways,

some invisible, some like now in the eyes of a half-awake cat ,

crystallizing into an abyss and monitoring quietly

all the maddening crowds that set the earth in motion.

it’s just another day for you and I.

another day though not different at all we are nudged

by some invisible force forward , sideward, backward ,

cordoned off in a showcase window we call “that is life after all”,

leaving no room for reflections about “is it even so ”.

the bus station is queued with people I don’t know,

and yet the bus has not come,

chills sprawl upon my spine , the gust ,O, the gust .

I hold your hand , for I’ve long lost my way.

you look almost too happy in the sun.

It’s just another day for you and I.

how strange the silence balls up between us and keeps us apart,

though we are so close in this busy park.

The trees tremble slightly in the breeze,

announcing the coming of the rain – the long awaited rain.

Soon the crowd of men will disperse like startled pigeons

into their rancid rooms.

The rain might be too heavy for such a city

or you and me.

I don’t know what lies ahead in this avenue,

but I know there is too much history catching up upon me,

It’s either  destruction

or oblivion ,

nobody knew me two thousand years ago

and certainly I won’t be remembered two thousand years from now.

only the sweat drenched earth beneath my feet knows

the weight of my searching steps.

I’m no one; and I’m everyone.

A Dead Man In Town

I’m a dead man walking in town,

I want to speak but my already rotten tongue

fails me ;

the gust coming through two realms urges me on

for I’m registered nowhere and no man

understands me,

I have ashes and dusts of yesterday,

things like me, easily confused and forgotten,

I need to remind them

before the odor of oblivion erases all.

but no, no one wants to know,

better consult the tarots , they say,

at least the cards are good to the eyes.

So they salute me,
like they salute a village clown

baring his wound to the sun –

beneath the wound is the truth,

behind the world the curtain remains shut !

Soon the shimmering caravan will take me away

I don’t know whitherto,

but I hear the distinct laughter from the town.

The Last Trumpet

The brighter the sun, the darker the shadow;

or have I not the eyes to witness

the reanimation of thedead

in the tapestry of  fire and darkness  ?

there the angels arise

there waft softly the wind of bliss

until suddenly comes the trumpet

I was from Assyria;

I was from Egypt;

and I am from the oriental myth;

on the path to truth I came across thunders,

I came across hails that made me ponder

on the necessity of my toil.

also wonder

at the ambiguity of the named deity

and my own identity –

Now on the first day of the seventh month

I lay open my garments to free my soul,

oh, my soul, I cannot be silent ;

the city roars, but no one stands at the post anymore.

I Almost Feel Him Walking Past Me

I almost feel him walking past me…

these eyes…the aroma of the most exotic kind…

though just an instant,

I remember the night I invited him out for drinks.

Now it seems all too unreal,

the wine… and the earthly pleasure…

My desire must have created him that night,

and Eros was the thief,

for he fled in the morning  – I never saw him again.

I Gather Ashes of Yesterday for A Verse

I gather ashes of yesterday for a verse ,

Oh the dead time , gone with thirty years of me,

thirty years of unnoticed actions trying to survive

oblivion – thought I could live in words.

But I’m different than what I wrote,

Do we all have to fake to cheat death?

Maybe it matters not, really,

to read poems to understand me,

like sowing on an arid land,

I’ve torn my most intimate me into hundreds

and scatter in poems;  each read brings back part of me telling

a different story.

but one thing remains true – that I’m dying

and I’m gathering ashes of yesterday for a verse.

That’s my past, that’s my now and future – or I’d be lost.