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

Too Bad/Too Late

I will return to where I left you

And in your place find my regret;

I stepped aside to let you

Fight your battle,

And ran away

Because I was afraid

/

And now but cold ground’s quiet whispers

Speak unintelligible words,

And rain before my eyes

Paints pictures

Of your heart

Getting mixed with dirt;

/

I’ll stand and watch, I’ll stand and listen,

I’ll stand and wonder, how on Earth

My weakness

Could have forced me to abandon

Someone I loved

At their monsters’ mercy;

/

Now I will never know for certain

If you have lost or you have won;

I won’t have witnessed

The despair, joy and courage,

With which, I’m wanting to believe,

You fought;

/

I will come back to where we parted

When I am wise, and strong, and brave;

Too bad –

If that’s ever to happen,

To save us both

It will be much too late

The Guest from the Past

This place in my memory

Never was as I see it;

The words I hear echoing

Were by Time paraphrased;

/

The nostalgia I feel

Half-dreaming up, half-remembering

My past is but myself

Trying to make peace with me;

/

There were things that I treasured,

A few people, who loved me,

There was a house to call home

And a county – my own;

/

I’ve been running for years

From the routine some call happiness;

This nostalgia I feel

Is the gap between myself and me

Collector of the Past

All your looking back

And all your looking down

Have given you

Your tired posture, weary eyes

And waxen skin,

Collector of the Past

/

You, heavy shadow of the mind,

What you have found,

Has it not all been lost

Or fearfully abandoned

On twisted paths you walk

To wither for a reason?

/

You pick up strangers’ hopes

And wear them like they’re clothes –

And wear them like they’re yours –

Those ragged robes

Of impossible dreams,

Outgrown by their dreamers

/

Collector of the Past

Of poisonous regrets,

Distorted histories

And of discarded loves,

You, heavy shadow of the mind,

Return to me, I beg, one minute –

/

When I betrayed the only thing

I ever loved;

/

But oh, I know,

Your quiet ‘no’ –

The echo of my fateful ‘no’ –

Is all

That I can by the past

Be given

 

Across the Bridge

EverestI had seen things of beauty
Before you;
Before I loved you,
I’d been in love;
Before speaking to you,
I’d known silence;
Before I lost you,
I’d been lost and found;
/
Why is it, then, that
This separation,
Is not this of us in two,
But of me in two?
As if you’d been the frame
Which supported
All that was me – but clay
Crumbling, unusable now
/
So now all I can do
Is remember,
For, I know, I could never
Return:
I have burned more than bridges
Between us –
It was the me you knew
I destroyed,
/
So I wouldn’t run back to you,
Begging
That you open your heart
One more time
To someone, who did not
Have the wisdom
To tell the love
From a million loves