The River of Time, Part II

I’ll leave a day before I have to

And will seem cold or even mean

When I hold out to you my hand to

Say good-bye; this time I will mean it;

/

From the museum you built around me

I cannot help but want to run:

I was born human, not an idol,

Frozen in place, forever young;

/

I will walk quicker than I need to,

I will go farther than I must,

And on the banks of a misty river

I’ll make of twigs a bony hut;

/

If on a dark night dies my bonfire,

My heart will set my flesh alight,

And smoke and fog will dance together,

And wood and bone will turn to dust;

/

You, who was once me, and who tried to

Protect from flames that born to burn,

To put on a pedestal a human, to keep

From leaving what was gone,

/

Don’t be afraid to live the moment

Of you and I becoming one

On the banks of a misty river

Under the early morning sun

To Remember

You, for whose wrongs I live in torture,

I wish I knew your name, at least;

I’m not you wife, I’m not your daughter –

You are whose soul lives on through me;

/

My hands are mine, my hands are yours,

And there were thousands before us;

Our own hands shaped and broke the world

With them we clung on and let go;

/

My voice is mine, and yet at times

It speaks in tones and tongues unknown,

To people just like you, long gone,

Trying to make peace with their ghosts;

/

And with my eyes on quiet nights

I see not dreams but recollections;

That life was yours, but it is me

Who keeps its skeletons and treasures;

/

Paths which my feet sometimes tread on

I recognize, and feel exhausted:

I’ve walked on them as you before,

And just like me, you were so lost then;

/

As I depart, with him I’ll plead,

With him, who’ll take from me the burden

Of all the wisdom and the ignorance,

Of all the love and all the hurt,

/

I’ll plead that, at the very least,

By him my name may be remembered,

So he can call to me and ask me of my sins

For which he must atone forever

The Bucket List

I should have gone to touch the ocean

And watch the golden sun disk rise

Above the line of the horizon

In this one life at least one time;

/

I should have let white winds embrace me

Up on the sharpest mountain peaks;

I should have dared Saharan heat to melt me

As I chased after desert ghosts and visions;

/

I should have learned forbidden spells and curses

And in my heart reforged them into prayers;

I should have fought, not run, from battles;

I should have bled, and won, and lost;

/

I should have easier abandoned

Those who would waste a second of my life,

I should have easier surrendered,

And watched with calm the passing of my hours;

/

I should have doubled and returned

Each smallest gift I have been granted;

I should have used up every breath that

I did not know the worth of till tonight;

/

Tonight it is too late to travel

To see the sun spread wings over the sea;

Tonight’s no time to climb a mountain

For tonight it is monsoon season;

/

Tonight all desert jinns are sleeping

A sleep no human can disturb;

Tonight no witch, no ghost, no demon

Need teach me: by myself I’ll learn

/

That fights are only for the living,

That blood, victories and defeats

Are merely clouds, forever crossing

The skies above the river Styx;

/

I fidget in my empty pockets:

What little that I had is gone;

All I have left is but two coins

To pay the ferryman Charon

Behind the Mirror

I close my eyes, and slowly vanish

Into the void between my breaths,

And as if from behind the mirror

I see my face

As this of death;

/

She breaks free from the chains of names,

Cuts through the binding ropes of time,

Rips off the clothes of my ego,

And starts to move away,

Calling along my mind;

/

I scream at her:

You cannot go now!

Don’t leave just because you can leave!

Do not discard this destroyed body

When it still has more light to give!

/

These eyes again, please, help me open,

With night air fill this sunken chest,

I’m nothing but a cloud of smoke, but

I cannot cross the magic mirror,

And join you on your side yet

The City of Fire

Kali 1

Take me home,

To my city of fire,

By the river that runs

To the sound of my breath

/

For my throne,

The red funeral pyre,

For too long

I have left empty;

/

And my children

Have grown into demons,

Spilling blood

At the altars of lies,

/

And my house’s been

Infested with shadows,

And my gold crown

Has lost its wild shine;

/

Let me dance

In the heart of my city,

Where I’ll fight one more battle

With fear

/

And when at my feet

It falls, defeated,

I will once again

Roam free