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

Lights

Flashes of lights of rushing cars,

Tired eyes of street lamps rooted in place,

Pale shine of the moon and glittering stars

Draw figures of humans and ghosts out of space;

/

In the night I forget if I’m one or the other;

I don’t speak, I don’t touch, I don’t dream, I don’t hurt –

Simply follow the lights, and imagine that somehow

I will come to the sun at the end of the road;

/

If I’m human, there I will be freed of my shadow,

Which either runs too fast or crawls, heavy and slow;

Only there I will learn what it’s like to be happy

When my flesh and my mind burn down to an unknown;

/

And if I am a ghost, I will see why I always

Have been callous and cold, and somebody to fear;

I will see what the world sees with the sun as my mirror –

A storm cloud in the sky ripped to shreds by the wind;

/

Screams of white lights of rushing cars,

Haunted eyes of street lamps rooted in place,

Quiet shine of the moon and shimmering stars

Draw figures of humans and ghosts out of space;

/

The scarse light of the night makes all figures look ghostly

But the sunrise will tell who is who, what is what,

So tonight I will walk along dark streets for hours

And till the very dawn believe whatever I want.

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;

The Brushstrokes

It’s all a dream:

The lowest moments

And the greatest,

The imperfections

And the changes

Made by the mind

To what was by the mind,

Confused,

Created;

/

It doesn’t hurt, really,

When in my nightmares

Hungry demons

Gnaw at my bones

And rip to pieces

The magic heart

That every morning

I find unfailingly

Beating in my chest;

/

It is all a mirage:

This face, this body,

Their existence

And their ultimate

Disintegration;

There’s nothing wrong

With pieces breaking,

Cracks manifesting

On the unforgiving skin

/

Painted over

Emptiness

In thick colors

Of fear

Named and signed

By the artist,

‘Me’ –

Both as a sentence

And a key

/

To freedom