dear grief – 14

 

It’s meant to be a release,
but it singes either way.

The ney,
wails reluctantly,
sorrow ensues,
by the breath of the entertainer.

He assumes he fashioned you this grief,
and gives no credit to the flute maker,
who crafted the scale and haunt,
out of nothing more than bamboo and a file,
and assumption of engulfing the mourner with embrace.

Little do both care,
the ney can only cry so much,
before it’s reed is discarded,
and it’s body turned to mulch.

W.E.

dear grief – 12


I miss him.
I want to be five again,
ten, thirteen, twenty two.
To relive a moment when he knocks the door,
and we knew it was him.

To not even let the door knock,
just to hear the jingle of his pockets,
keys, coins, bags of shopping in his hands,
not even,
just the rumble of his car in the driveway,
and meet him at the door once more.

We had to love him silently,
that’s how he loved us.

Head down, heart up,
eyes averted,
mind occupied, with the future of his family.
Do they have enough, do they have what they want,
am I enough, maybe I can carve another piece out of myself,
maybe I can give away a bit more of my health for them.

The things that race through a unselfish man’s mind,
double, triple shifts,
and still,
he came home every morning, every afternoon,
smelling of cedar, leather and muskiness of sweat with a hint of lemon zest.

In 38 years, I never once smelt body odour on him,
a testament of what was inside him,
if ever I saw evidence of a man’s insides.

W.E.

-love letters

I am saddened at the thought that a whole generation of young women will never have the opportunity of receiving a love letter.

Articulated, be it as poetic as Byron or as simple as a child’s innocence, with love and soul, carefully crafted, paper selection, ink and script, fragranced to suit your temperament, cursive leaning towards you as they cannot contain themselves from their advance. They are brimming to the top with ecstatic elation and a sorrowful hope that their efforts are realised and received.

No, instead, his love is a finger swipe away.

-W.E.

default pity

default-pity
It’s the pity that drains me.

Somehow it overtakes the reality,
that you’re still breathing,
still functioning,
yet they dumb down their speech,
their interaction with you,
offering you a dispensation,
kindness by default,
talking to you,
like you’re not sophisticated enough,
not acute enough,
not alive enough,
not human enough.

The empathy they afford,
is loaded with white fragility,
with hyper sensitivity,
wrought with disclaimers,
anchored with fine print,
that they wallow in a bath of victim-hood,
because entitlement keeps their noses,
pointed up if only figuratively,
and they assume,
you’re in need,
of their constructed lulling,
their entitled guilt,
and sinister faces.

Thank you for your fake smile,
your agenda creased corner of your eyes,
your aged skin,
over half a century old,
over half a century dead,
and still not a human,
still barely a person.

Imagine,
being kind,
not out of pity,
but because it is your very essence.

W.E.

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The merchant of forgiveness

the-merchant-of-forgiveness

He came like a passing vapour,
embodied with the gift of light and lightness,
the faintest hint of jasmine and sandalwood,
and a buried childhood.

Suppression makes for an interesting man,
a thorough masculinity,
that is more tender than dew on the petal of lemon trees,
and as firm as the roots of date palms.

He held himself inside until he imploded,
it wasn’t diabetes, cancer or kidney failure,
it was a heart that couldn’t contain any more.

He didn’t lose limb and tissue,
but reconciliation and forgiveness faded.

And that was his weapon against you,
he could forgive you,
because he knew by doing so,
he would leave you to your guilt,
to gnaw at you,
to cut you in half,
no one would punish you more than you.

When he could no longer forgive you,
he had to learn to forgive himself,
not for anything he had done,
but his guilt,
his gnaw,
the thing that tore him apart,
was he couldn’t reassure you any more,
that he would be a provider of forgiveness.

Even to his last breath,
he was selfless,
the gurgle of his lungs,
his open mouth,
closed eyes,
soft cold hands,
forgiving everyone in the room.

Everyone was caught up with the spectacle of death,
and all I could wonder,
was how his Lord was preparing his place amongst the elite.

A man once passed in front of the Prophet of God,
the Prophet exclaimed that the man was a man of paradise.
One of the companions, feverish and eager for the works of good,
encouraged by the words and wanton of the fruits of righteousness took it upon himself to follow the man home and pretend he needed a place to stay.
In utter custom and tradition, hospitality was granted.
For three days, the man watched the man of paradise and noted his every move and saw nothing out of the ordinary.
Finally on the third day, the companion came clean and admitted that he had heard the Prophet of God proclaim him a man of paradise and that he wanted to know what his secret to attain such a status was.
Perplexed, the man of paradise replied, “As you see, I do no extra activities than the layman, I pray, I fast, I pay the charitable tax, but every night when I sleep, before I lay my head on a pillow, I forgive everyone that I know.”

And that is where my father was,
his childhood whatever it was,
lived inside him until his last day,
and the act of a child,
the ability to forgive and forget so easily,
was his unsheathed sword slaying the hatred in the hearts of all.
He passed, and slayed us all with forgiveness,
there’s no recovering from that.

W.E.

how to sell your soul, the right way

be-stricken

Be stricken,

awe at the slightest of things,
marvel at the greatest,
stop breathing,
to remember breathing,
to appreciate breath,
when it’s meant to be taken away.

Fast,
to savour a morsel,
as simple as dried bread,
or a cup of murky water,

Walk,
to, remind your body,
it has to take you places,
beyond the confines of comfort.

Be broken, be mended,
be full, be apprehended,
be amazed,
that you can still be amazed,
whilst others are fogged up,
in a haze, in a maze.
in a craze, in a daze.

Oh these days, oh these days,
the neglecting of the way,
monotony,
into the abyss of being,
engorged in normality,
triviality, superficiality, conformity,
and you miss,
the enormity,
of the fine and tender,

of being stricken.

Be taken,
awaken,
to a grasshoppers song,
as you sit in summer afternoon traffic,
frustrated,
polluted,
by severance from your environment,
convoluted,
unaware of the beauty of silence,
instead being attracted to the outward violence.

And the world is violent,
when you won’t allow yourself,
to be stricken,
amazed,
blown away into the winds that want to  pollinate,
to allow seeds to germinate.

Don’t wait until it’s too late,
be stricken.

Find the beauty of complication in simplicity,
and the simplicity in complication,
so you can be both the artist,
and the scientist,
the poet and the physician,
the healer and the warrior,
be stricken by it all.

W.E.