The Forest

And the forest grew thicker

With each step that I took,

And the howling grew deeper

Of the ghosts and the wolves

As I danced off the path

With my eyes on the moon,

Wild with joy, full of fear,

Not sure whether blessed or doomed;

/

When night clouds hid the moon

From the eyes of my mind,

I reached into my chest,

And my heart as a light,

Beating loud, burning bright,

I took into my hands –

And it showed me the forest

Like no other light had;

/

When the first morning rays

Touched the leaves of the trees

In the forest of time,

Which had enchanted me,

I remembered myself

And walked back to my world,

But since that night I know

What’s a dream, and what’s not

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

I Love

I love the cool transparency

Of the Himalayan skies;

The calm, unfeeling way the sun

Shines without warmth upon

The powerful black pyramids,

The chrystal mountain tops,

And the tiny figures frozen to

Their ragged ridges and their endless slopes;

/

I love the deceiving embrace

Of cold lakes and ocean depths;

One moment it will comfort you,

The next — strangle to death;

The waves will share their fairy-tales

And secrets with one man,

While another will be driven mad

By a sudden storm’s black rage;

/

I love the true, raw loneliness

Of a fighter in the ring,

Where fears collide and courage hides,

Where dreams turn into demons;

Where the audience curses and cheers

The winner of the fight,

While the loser, destroyed, disappears,

Into the quiet of doubt;

/

I love the roads that can’t be built

And those, which know the rhythm

Of thousands of pilgrims’ feet,

And the tales of sins they want forgiven;

Those roads, which take you to the edge,

Where, off the precipice,

You can send flying down a rock

Or a burdensome memory;

/

These things I love and want the most

Run, like sand, through my fingers;

Not for a moment they’ll pretend

That they exist solely for me;

One day I wish I could become

Just like the things I love –

Like a diamond which outlives each owner,

Oblivious to touch, impervious to time;

Ten

Sunset in the VisayasI’m building castles

In the sand

Like I’m a little girl

Again

/

I swim forth

Without looking back,

Trusting warm, silky waves

Again

/

I sit and stare

At sunset lights

Dancing with the moon

Into the night

/

And it’s as if

I never left,

And never aged,

And never died

/

Nine quiet deaths

/

I’m building castles

In the sand,

With dry old hands,

And a dry old heart

/

I swim forth

Without looking back,

Knowing the hells

I leave behind

/

I sit and stare

At sunset lights

That fade the way

All fades away

/

It feels like I’ve

Been gone forever,

And like I didn’t

Quite make it back

/

This – tenth – time

Tonight, Somewhere

Somewhere in a cave

Beyond the mountains

Sleeps the sun

And dreams of her next dawn;

/

She never rises higher

Than she needs to

And never falls below

The long line of the ocean

/

Somewhere in a cage

Beyond what’s real

Thrashes about in fever

A restless, greedy mind

/

Praying for what’s coming

To be better than what is gone,

And for the next high to be worth

The subsequent – inevitable – crash