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

I Remember

I recall the scent of autumn in the sky…
I remember how the wind sang of hope…
Rocks, changing their shapes in the sun…
Mountain springs, equally present and gone…
I remember how it felt
To survive;
/
On that day I was light, water and wind,
Speaking their language — body and mind,
Crying shamelessly and wildly when I
Heard them whisper: “you are not a mistake”;
I remember how it felt
To be alive;
/
I remember reaching the Earth’s
Very burning heart with my fingertips;
My eyes being one with the sun,
I could see without attachment;
I remember
Being loved
/
That day was pure joy
Beyond good and evil –
That one day
Could fill a whole life with meaning;
The day that I stepping over
Oblivion
/
And awakened
From a crumbling dream

I Promise, Part II

Have you returned

Ever

Or is this shell before me

But an empty

Vessel,

Which waves of time

Have carried to the shore?

/

In the storms

You’ve weathered

Have you been able to preserve

From certain

Drowning

Your heart – your precious gift,

Your heavy burden?

/

Sleeping with Death

Nightly

I fear you may have found

In her calm eyes

The peace and quiet, which

Unlike me,

Would never let you go?

/

Can you even

Hear me,

Standing before me as you are:

Callously smiling

At questions, which to you

Must sound

Pathetic and naïve?

/

I listen,

I listen…

And only wish I had for you

A soothing answer:

Can’t say the words

You wait and want

From me:

/

I have returned,

Truly,

As much of me, that is,

As there remains,

But, surely, much it is not

And none of it

Is good

/

No ropes, no anchors,

No sails

And no one at the helm

To steer it,

That’s me, the vessel, which at last

Has found this beautiful,

Long-dreamed-of port

/

The vessel’s vaults

Are all empty;

Not even rats now lurk across

Its rotten insides,

Where no one enters, 

Save for winds

And ghosts

/

Its cannons

Are quiet

But painful to behold,

Like memories,

Too wild and full-blooded

To ever loose themselves

Amongst the rest

/

Forgive me for coming

Back:

I only did because

When I had left you, I promised

I would return,

And you promised 

To wait

/

Yes,

I remember:

‘I promise to return,’ you said,

And I replied that

I would wait for you forever;

The words, the love, the hope

The good intentions…

/

All – wet gunpowder in the stores

Of life;

Small rescue rafts, too light

For real seas;

I prayed for you – you know? – through every day,

Shuddered in fear – you hear? – through every night

While I’ve been waiting –

Yes, I am waiting still

***

The original ‘I Promise’ is here: https://sixthsymph.com/2012/06/27/i-promise/

The Home City

I am your caged sunsets

And melting grey snows,

Your sick, soaring highways

And thin, flightless crows;

/

I am your pale faces,

And ever-rushing feet;

I am your gas shackles,

Your old madman’s grip;

/

I’m the shallow breath feeding

Your collapsing lungs;

I am your heart pumping

Cold blood in black lumps;

/

I’m the unwilling heiress

To your granite grandeur,

To your history’s jewels,

Its demons and debts;

/

Your prodigal daughter is back –

Let me in!

I tried to run from you,

But how,

When I’m your kin?