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Who I Am

The cold light of dawn that highlights all flaws –
I stand firm in the face of danger,
humiliation,
misunderstanding –
for lack of alternative.
What does the world have to offer me
but a prison made of human hearts –
cells made of words
with bars made of meaning.
If I could solve the riddle
I could break free.
The cold light I shed on the world
makes it easier yet more difficult to see.
All details sharpened,
all meaning blurred.
All questions blatantly showing,
no answers acceptable.
I long for shade,
peace,
night.
But the light is everywhere.
I stand in the middle of it,
illuminated by it
yet unseen by others.
I stand unwillingly
processing
everything.
No rest is offered me
ever.
I am the cold light of dawn
which nobody likes
since it shows them
all that is wrong with the world –
and with themselves.

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Childhood Dreams

I used to dream of wisdom,
I used to dream of strength.
I used to dream of good things –
those dreams were all to end.

I used to dream up people,
I used to dream up jobs.
I dreamt of past and future –
the future that was lost.

I used to dream of travels,
they came and off they went.
I used to dream of happiness
but what I had is spent.

I used to dream of getting,
achieving… all in vain.
And now I dream of dreaming
for dreams alone remain.

But now I cannot dream
without that bitter sting;
that bitter voice that whispers:
“You’ve lost it, everything!”

What’s lost is mainly this,
the most important part;
that crucial belief in dreams
that warmed my childhood heart.

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The Dried-Up Ocean

Childhood vs. Adult Imagination

I remember, once upon a time,
an ocean stretching far and wide –
an open, endless, wide expanse
whose boundaries were out of sight

Yet now, when in that kind of mood
I take the path towards its strands
I find a muddied, little brook
that hardly stirs among the sands

And all the worse; where it before
was cool and quite refreshing, so
today it’s warm and drowsying –
no, nothing’s like it was before

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Old, Torn Lace

Old, torn lace
hanging draped
over a sunkissed face.

We’re old as a species
though the planet thinks us young.

Paint that scales
off house facades –
crackled pavements
worn by decades.

Weathered, wooden fences –
weathered, broken tiles.
Weathered, petrified
concrete – stretching miles.

Stiff, unbending people.
Feet that keep on coming.
Weathered fossils clinging –
wanting to stay young.

Green sprouts are tearing
at concrete coffin-spaces
leaving old, torn lace
meshes in their places.

We’re old as a species
though the planet thinks us young
and sooner than both know
we shall have been and gone.

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Lace

SPRING:
The buds that unfold and grow,
the dew that resumes at night,
droplets in beams of light,
dispersing remnants of snow.

SUMMER:
The skin on the back of your hand,
the sunshine through the trees,
the veins that pattern leaves,
footprints in the sand.

AUTUMN:
The wrinkes around your eye,
the dispersing remnants of mist,
the creepers that turn and twist,
cotton wool in the sky.

WINTER:
The dust in a beam of light,
the hoar frost on the leaves,
icicles hanging from trees,
your breath in a winter night.

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My Antiquities

The things I valued
not so long ago –
the things for which I lived
and the ones I left untold
are all now piled together
into one close-packed rhyme
for all now share in fate:
They’ve fallen out of time.

Those things I used to care for,
and those I used to hate,
are all now out of store;
oblivion their fate.

The school I used to go to
has left the Earth and passed.
The town that I grew up in
is breathing at its last.
The people I once knew
have disappeared from view
and it’s no consolation
to think of all the new.

The things I once believed in
is history today.
The earliest of my paintings
is buried under rubble;
nothing is to stay.

But who cares for my words
and who cares for the truth?
The world we live in now
cares only for success and youth.
To say that nothing lasts,
to say that all’s in vain
is not to be expected
to strike a common strain.

And that is why in silence
within my withering heart
I ponder my antiquities
alone and in the dark.

What others will forget
for me alone remains.
What others want achieve
for me is what’s been had
and cannot be again.

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Cure This Blessing

Cure this blessed numbness
which I wished for when I
was enflamed, ensnared by senses
but never truly would have wanted
had I known the consequences;
the indifference, the irrelevance
of anything and everything –
a broken view of my old world,
no longer able to engage me
in the happy moments
caused by sensations –
now I no longer care.

Cure this numbness, please,
come and rescue me, I wish,
return me to what I have lost
although there might be purpose
behind said loss – come anyway!

I fear this blessed numbness,
a part of me doesn’t truly
want to stop feeling already –
come and bring me back again
to the sense-world I am leaving.

Come and lead the way gently,
come take my hands carefully,
draw me back into the world,
into the mindless buzzing whirl
whose edge I balance on
without you, all alone.

Cure this blessed numbness,
Don’t let me succumb to this feeling;
no feeling,
no sensation –
what vexation!
Is this supposed to be the end,
the final goal I hoped for, then?
If that is so I’m too afraid to go –
however flawed this world is
it’s still better than forgetfulness;
I am not ready for departure yet!

Come, bring me back again and then
stay with me, never let my feelings end!

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Reminder

Confusion is a fact of life, and when my mind forgets,
my dreams continue to remind me of the life I had;
I see you, see your smile again, and hear your voice again,
I feel you touch me, feel your skin. I love you yet again.

And when I went to sleep last night I was supposed to dream
but I gained no such thing; I went to work within my sleep;
I wrote and wrote about you and I meant each word I wrote,
but everything was washed away the moment I awoke.

I know I love you, even though I don’t know how or why;
I can’t remember if I know; forget it when I try –
I’d like to just erase you, to move on and to forget,
but every time I sleep you still return to fill my head.

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My Questions

I have so many questions;
at least one for every person I have met,
both the ones alive
and the ones who are dead.

I have so much to ask everyone
because I want to understand
my life and its connections;
something I just can’t!

I have questions for my parents;
grandparents (now all dead);
and family members I have – or haven’t – met.
For teachers, classmates,
partners, friends;
for cleaners, lunch-ladies, janitors,
secretaries, bus-drivers, waitresses,
hairdressers, yes,
even the creepy guy who stocks shelves
at my local supermarket.

I have so many questions
that I’d like to ask them all
but all I ever say is: “What a weather!”,
“Got my e-mail?” or “On which shelf…?”

And besides, the most important questions
are the ones I ought to ask myself…

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Ode to My Elementary School

A pile of rubble, bricks and timber
scattered on a plain.
Some cluttered lines of trees alone
is what remain.

And weeds are sprouting through the waste
uncaring and unkind.
But then again – how could they care –
does anybody care what’s left behind?

A corner of a mural flecked with dust;
the first I ever painted – gone to waste.
The wall whereon it hang has been knocked down,
the past has been erased.

And not a sound is heard in this new wasteland
where I was taught to write.
It now lives only in the writings
that I dedicate to it.

There are so many memories tied to this place.
Both good and bad – all gone.
All gone and nature’s coming to reclaim –
all must pass on.

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All There Is Left Now

An open, empty field
covered only by the grass
where something used to be –
well, something had to pass

I stare at the empty space
and cannot fathom this –
all that is left is emptiness

Passing shooting stars
and you’re asked to make a wish
though the thought of that wish
is as short as shooting stars –

I stare at this face
halfway expecting a caress
although all that is left now is emptiness

An open, empty field
where our time was often passed
in a building now torn down –
nothing is meant to last

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A Crooked Tree – I

A lonely being, standing at the crossroad,
abandoned by your family and friends –
the healthy, youthful lot who once stood by you,
now long gone – used as firewood by humans,
made into planks, tools, ornaments of unknown use to you –
and here you stand alone, grown old in years,
long having outgrown all the youthful fears
of feeling the steel-blade which all the others felt –
you know now that your shape protects therefrom,
you’re useless – and therefore you have been left alone,
have long since into full potential grown –
but rather than feel blessed, you ask, in all your solitude:
“Why live; when lonely, miserable – bereft of friends and youth?”

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A Crooked Tree – II

I’ve wished that I was beautiful,
spent years pining therefore –
I thought myself to be sorrowful
without admiring glances,
and wasted years by dreaming me
into something that I couldn’t be –
just this I am; a crooked tree;
the only beauty found in me
sounds through my crooked branches;
the wind’s cheerful melody

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Voluntary Isolation

There’s a glow of orange on the horizon –
a hidden city out of sight
housing countless nameless people unlike me
who don’t seek loneliness with every breath –
it’s right over there behind the trees;
right over there behind the shadow of the hill;
right over there beneath the glowing clouds
that give away its presence now to me –
and yet an endless waste away from me,
and if I went there I’d no more be me.
Protect my darkness! clouds, do not flame up
and give away my presence to the crowds;
dear sky, I’ll hide myself beneath your dome
invisible and undisclosed except for those who know me –
dear clouds, do not flame up like that;
leave me my rightful place alone;
leave me the quiet of the artist’s
peace and solitude; alone

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Dust

It gathers on my drying lips –
the dust of our lives.
The dust of repetition, lives
of dust that we must live,
and dust-related lies as well
that turn to stories which we tell
and name as “memories”

Lives of dust – they dry us out,
they suck us dry until we die.
And all the dust, the day we die,
turns out to be what’s left behind –
an endless cycle of dust-lives
where only dust itself can thrive –
what is not worthy to be “lost”?

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Delta

If I were a river
flowing through the land
my thoughts would be the delta
for they get out of hand
in their pursuit of oneness
with oceans of wisdom
which isn’t mine but others’ –
most of whom long gone

But could I live among them,
these great rivers from the past,
I’d love the chance to ask them
if their deltas too were vast,
growing out in all directions
full of questions, full of wonder,
and if they, like me, sometimes,
couldn’t stop their urge to wander

And if they, as I, are human
the answer should be clear:
This way we are created.
Hold thoughts and feelings dear
for they are all we truly own
and we can’t stop them anyway,
just like we can’t forbid the river
running downwards to the bay

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Love, What Are You?

Achievements – what are they?
They’ll vanish when I’m gone,
and though my heart is young
my soul is ancient-old.

I’ve known sorrow, known pleasure,
and love is all I have to show,
a love impeding every chance to grow
and yet I seem to wish it so.

Love, what are you?
The dying breath of longing and desire
when you cause all that I admire
to fade into reality.

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Appreciation

Appreciate you! How can I?
Can a fish breathe the air?
Don’t ask me to live out a lie,
return to your own sphere –
you cannot find what you seek here.

Can horses see the beauty
in purple thistle flowers,
or do they, after being stung
by thistle thorns, return
to admire the flower’s beauty?

And can the busy spider see
the beauty of the dewdrops in its web?
No? – Then don’t ask of me
that I take such unnatural a step.

I can’t appreciate – don’t ask –
do not pursue this unnatural task;
asking a fish to appreciate the tranquility
of a breeze that cannot be felt beneath the sea –
how could you even ask?

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A City Seen From a Plane

An absurd, pulsing flower –
a nerve-cell throbbing with life,
pulses of light moving swiftly through the night
in yellowish bursts as I observe here
elevated in the skies –

What could be beautiful
is a parasite on the face of the Earth,
pulsing with life – the life of fungi,
the life of death, of bacteria consuming,
devouring its own matter of life.

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Despair

Where I am heading there’s no light –
you brought that with you too;
it rested in your golden hair
and when you aren’t with me here
I’m left in darkness and despair.

Where I am heading there’s no sight
to thrill me (how compare to you?),
no smile can match the one you’d wear,
no happiness the one we’d share;
no, nothing’s worth the half of care.

Where am I heading off to, Light –
far-off I can still see your hue –
where am I heading off to, where
find rest when everywhere
without you nothing stirs except despair.

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Confessions

Two stories inter-mingled. To You (you know who you are)

My mother made me store up
copper coins for wedding shoes –
at three years old I told her then:
“I won’t need those when I don’t want a husband!”
She said: “You’re too young to understand,”
and with a condescending look of pity off she went.

I grew in size, grew round in places too
and caught the eyes of those I didn’t want
but went unnoticed by the ones I’d like to know –
when mother asked: “Are you in love?” I would deny:
“No boy has caught my eye,” (and it was true)
and thinking of the girl I liked I went.

Yes, this one girl I really liked; I brought her home as guest,
presented her to mother as my “friend”,
and halfway through the conversation mother then complained:
“Why don’t you have a boyfriend yet?”
My girlfriend laughed and went.

And then the day came when I went to see my mom
dressed in my very best suit, necktie, shirt,
desiring now at last to tell her who I was, but home
she greeted me with: “You look like a dyke!”
and with a look that’s half of pity, half of pain
each tore the other from her heart
and from her doorstep finally I went.

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Ghost From My Childhood

Memories I’d forgotten
surge forward
to beleaguer my brain
when I see your face again

Forever ago we lay in the grass
in my parents yard after class
looking up into the branches
of the old beech tree,
wondering how to achieve
reaching its top
and what we would see
if we managed getting up

It makes me feel
so old today to see
your face in front of me;
this mirror image I can’t deny
you’ve grown – and so have I

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Happiness

The happiness we find along the way
we’ll lose someday
but the happiness we find within ourselves
will never stray;
it stays to warm our hearts and guide us
right on till the end –
do not believe in buying joys; what warmth they bring will soon be spent –
no, you must find within yourself
the source you have which never wanes,
for that is all you’ll have to guide you
through your sorrows and your pains

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I Remember

Yes, I remember
but if nothing had hurt
there would’ve been nothing to remember –
just the same
dreary, empty days I forget –
repetitive chores I forget –
an endless cycle of regret

If nothing had hurt
I wouldn’t have remembered
the day you left –
but it disturbed the pattern
of the eternal cycle
so for a moment
I awoke to find myself
alone

If it hadn’t hurt
I would’ve remembered nothing
except the same old
daily humdrum –
which I don’t remember
but rather reconstruct
since I remember nothing

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Memories

My memories escape my brain
invading my surroundings
I can remember what remains
of thousands of ventures
however incomplete they are alluring anyway
do you remember too, and will you listen?
Will you stay?

Do you remember afternoons
with ice cream cones in hand?
Do you remember later on
the lights under which we danced?
Do you remember early morns
rushing out of bed?
And do you remember later on
time suddenly rushing ahead?

My memories cannot be locked
away inside a shrine
somewhere behind my eyesockets
and far less can you ween
me away from their alluring imagery
for they’re the only remains of happiness
with you – a fantasy.

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Reaching Out

To believe in something is to reach out
for something beyond our understanding,
and try to trust without our human doubt
that what takes place, it does have a meaning

Some find this meaning in an ancient book,
some find it gazing at the night-sky stars,
some find it behind every other nook
and others seem to think it behind bars

But reaching out we all do, in our way;
some deploy science and others religion,
some seek for clues and others choose to pray,
but all will yet agree; truth is beyond

Beyond our understanding rests the final clue
which we all wish to find, to comprehend,
but when our time for knowing it is due
we all may find our time already spent

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Change and Perpetuality

I stand at the shore where the sea once was
and I know not that that’s how it is.
I’ve looked at the oaks my entire life;
they were here before me and they will remain.
I stand at the shore where the sea is now
and I know not that it’s ever changed.
..

A second of sunlight that warms my face;
a moment prolonged by memory.
An endless amount of sorrow and tears
and yet that second is longer to me.
..

I walked in the forest, I tasted the dew,
I looked in the air where the sun used to shine.
I walked to the creek and I waited for you
but no one was there except willows and vine.
I stretched out a hand to pick flowers anew
but time made them wither and waste in my hand.
I walked home alone like we all seem to do;
my life’s years diminish like grains of sand.

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North Sea

Do you remember me, restless sea?
Do you remember the girl you’d have swallowed
if by some miracle unknown to me
I hadn’t been saved while I in you wallowed.
Do you remember the deed you near did
and would have finished if given the chance?
Do you remember – I always did!
I’ll always remember the breathless dance
of waves you sent to fetch my soul
there; breathless child in knee-deep water
where I stood, alone and cold.
North Sea, I’ll never forget you
though I’ve never seen you since –
even when my way has brought me
close to you my eyes have been diverted
from the place where I was left deserted
by phantom-figures; brought to bathe at sea –
the phantom-wave arose from out of you
and I no longer know how I escaped,
but one good thing came of the experience too;
I learned back then a wise respect for waves.

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“You Can’t Drown”

There is a voice which calls to me:
“You Can’t Drown” – water-borne
I drift around within this sea,
was I not too of water born?
So much has moved beyond my reach
as I seethe in this sea of reality,
so much is lost to those who seek;
“the tide lifts all boats” is the saying of the beach,
a prayer of hope for us who in this sea
has long since lost all trace of what it is we seek.

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The Road Into the Wilderness

What do you know
about the road
into the wilderness –
framed by the pines
in silent lines
of endless loneliness

The road, the road
which trails its track
through miles of forest-land,
without a destination,
void of end, beginning
and of any plan

The only travelers
traversing this way
are the likes of me –
they are the ones who stray
out of the beaten track
wishing to truly BE!

And when they reach
this almost-empty road
they know what there’s to know;
the world is void,
the meaning’s gone;
there’s nothing left to know

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Spindrift

It’s spinning – the child,
the world spins along,
around and around
to the sound of the song

Fugitive of the world
in spindrift at speed,
dancing around
till over it keels, weak

But the world keeps spinning,
spirals out of control;
to a child’s shifty eyes
it seems about to fall

Turning ’round and ’round
the world keeps on spinning
though the child is laying still
too afraid to resume breathing

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Oak

On a riverbank I sat
resting my feet,
my back against a steadfast
reliable oak tree;
if I could be as patient
what might I not achieve?
I’d grow into the heavens
if I dared to believe.
But those qualities I lack,
I’m too impatient; too distraught;
never to accomplish anything
seems to be my goal.
All this restless hurry
drains my energy –
I wish to flow like the river
and grow steadily like the tree.

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Inner Whirlpool

Do not fall into the whirlpool
lurking deep within my soul.
The waters there could drown you
if you were to brave the fall.
A halo will not be awarded
to the person who might fall
though prayers might be worded
from the ones who for you call.

Withdraw from infatuation
with my smile and with my eyes.
It is – I fear – deception,
do not fall for my disguise.
Beware of finding truths in halves
you may be viewing the wrong side –
the other side will look on, laughing
with excitement like a child.

Do not drown yourself in waters
that you can never tame.
For both of us it would be better
to find a safer game;
for I am lurking in the murky
waters of my inner whirlpool
and if you think that you can find me –
you would have to be a fool.

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Some Thoughts on Solitude

I live alone among
a lot of unknown people.
I live a recluse here
where others move in packs.

I think it must be so
since every path of mind
that brings people together
brings them away from me.

And so I walk among them
observing, unobserved,
their various undertakings
yet never speak a word.

I do not understand them.
They do not understand me.
It seems rather fair then
to simply let them be.

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The Movement

Our lives are an unending movement –
sometimes rhythmic, sometimes not –
a stirring springing up to fade away,
a ripple in the fabric of the world;
just one continuous movement
carrying us underway,
complete with a beginning and an end
and a drawn-out intermezzo in-between
as were it in itself a poem
or perhaps a brushstroke drawn
by sure or unsure hand across
the fabric of space;

it can be smoothly, swiftly made by certain hand
as the finest works of art and science,
or turn into a broken, unsure question-mark
awaiting time to solve the mysteries of its existence

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The Wait

I waited for the snowfall
but finally when it came
the snowflakes melted in the air
before they reached the ground
and all remained the same.

I waited for the sunshine
but when I finally caught a beam
it had no strength against the chill
so seeing how it came and went
might just as well have been a dream.

I look ahead, now void of hope
and wonder: What might stay
if anything at all.
Why bother grasping anything:
It comes and goes away.

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Seams of Reality

You are
a being more of my imagination
than of reality
a superb and infallible creation
contradictory
perhaps to the true version

I’ve met
you once and never will I forget
the dream
surrounding the place and time we met
the seam
of reality flossed, broken to shreds

You don’t
know who I am, and you will never know
I remain
in hiding somewhere, I will never show
how vain
how drawn I am to you

And you
are unaffected, never will you see
what lurks
behind my eyes, as they continuosly seek
the mirth
in your eyes that makes me weak

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Child of the Unraveling

To a long lost friend

My personal anachronism
you – I’ll never understand.
Your jumping, floating timeline
seems completely out of hand

Your looks tell me clearly
That just like me you are
a child of the Unraveling
who bears the same scars

A tiny little glass full
of wisdom that you shouldn’t have –
you are a mystery
that I will always fail to grasp

A flick of irony your eyes
will shoot at me from time to time
– and then I wonder instinctively
how you can seem to read my mind

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Fingers

Fingers stretch out everywhere
to reach, to grab and tear

to drag life out of its hiding place,
the withering flowers,
the branches of the leafless trees –
nature’s now-barren bowers
with their beauty-spreading powers
shielding emptiness

to grab hold of meaning and essence,
to tear at the roots of existence –
the fingers of the brittle stars,
the fingers of pollen,
fingers reaching, spreading out
in nature’s feeding- and reproduction war

to reach for death or grasp for life,
to seek out darkness, seek out light –
the ivy clinging to the wall,
the blind mole digging underground,
the seagull for the shoreline bound

and your own hands, digging in dirt
for means of existence,
your own, shallow words
naming plants and animals, and needs and wants
with different names
though they’re all the same –
just fingers grabbing hold
of some means of existence;
reaching, grabbing, tearing
and holding on to everything

holding everything together –
keeping everything in place

in this place

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The Presence

You’re present here beside me
you speak within my dream,
you stir around me in the air
like vapour in the steam

Your voice I’ve known forever
as much as I recall,
and though I do not want you
you stay here after all

You aren’t in the mirror –
you haven’t been for years –
nobody else can see you,
you’re in my hopes and fears

You’re present here beside me –
faint child of memory –
you stir around me in the air
you are – yet aren’t – me

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Intersection

I gravitate towards you
as you pass –
a road that leads elsewhere
than where I’m headed at –
a meeting, brief exchanges,
empty air remains –
an era’s past in my timeline,
another’s come – it’s just the same
just you are gone –
a flash of amber from your eyes, you’ve left,
and I – alone – forget my way;
the signs are sometimes difficult to read alone

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Over and Beyond

What lies behind that hill over there
or deep beneath the steel of the lake
what secrets may these places share
and what discoveries lie in wait?

Over and beyond that hill
my feet do plead with me today
but once I’ve felt that short-lived thrill
and it’s a thing from yesterday;

whereto will my feet lead me then
towards the ocean or the Moon?
To the highest pinnacles and then
towards my mind’s impending doom

for when you have seen all to see
and answered all questions you wish
you’ll lose every enticement to be,
to live and to feel Earthly bliss.

Sometimes the questions in themselves
are valuables to keep and share
so value those above the world
they, not the answers, are what bring you anywhere

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The Wasteland Where the Slaughterhouse Was

Overgrown with weeds, squeezed into place
between apartment blocks –
irregular in shape, a vast expanse of
emptiness and plants –
a little jungle in the middle of the city,
framed by makeshift fences
meant to keep intruders out (the reason’s not extant
since there is nothing there to be intruded on) –
unseen, kept hidden in the shadow of three high-rises
(as if they were put up on purpose
just to keep it secret –
to shield it from potential eyes of tourists
at the station),
untouched except by garbage thrown across the fence,
forgotten and dismissed from life;
a wasteland is the fate
that’s due to real estate left bare
for 15 years without a buyer –
the widow of the slaughterhouse
awaits her second spring
(but that it should occur now seems a doubtful thing)

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Song of a Youth

My spirit flourish
with adventurous longing
and lovesick yearning,
where before I languished
away from the known
I now feel at home
wherever I’m blown

I leave others to ponder
the meaning of life,
I see no strife
and I’m off to wander
to wonder and to be
amazed, crazed and free
I’m off to feel and see!

In garment of freedom
and light-headed naivety
I’m defying gravity
in attempt to attain some
illusory goal whereupon
I can let my spirit run
in circles, undone

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Imagine This:

What if the Universe created us
in an efforts to understand itself?

And what if we in turn produce art and literature
in order to understand ourselves?

It would not be surprising then
if art and literature – in a way –
took on a life of their own
during their process of creation
– just like we ourselves do.

What if they too one day would make an effort
to understand themselves?

Then what would happen?