Ode to an Eastern Blossom

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An ode to a lost girl and a lost country, both of whom I know will one day find their peace.

Willower, widower, dreamer of dreams,
Weeper and waterer, filler of streams,
Will rose blossoms grow from the earth where you’ve been,
Jasmine flowers white, scented, and Damascene?

Walk our streets, a stranger now you are,
Walls that make even dwellers not at home,
Carrying and crumbling you into palms that scar,
Littering streets with mem’ry of home.

And how I wanted to be that hand that held,
Gently curling fingers over,
Folding love on gentle flowers,
Dying in that gentle hold.

So pardon me, for none had spoken,
To me of truths that love to lie,
The words, that flowers only open,
When they are just about to die.

Do old, dead cities, still bury you,
Grim gardens in a once-happy town?
Will old, dead places, still carry you,
When I’ll need one to help me down?

These wars have a way around humanity,
They’ve torn my walls beyond my pace,
And I am a warzone beyond my sanity,
To lay you even inside me, I have no place.

And if you ever come to visit, you should know,
That my rooms are full of coffee stains on wooden floors,
Covered with pages of torn books and scores,
Riddled with dried roses that never left the door.

Floral prints and silk lace sheets,
All torn and faded,
Teatime talks in the summer heat,
Now teacups cold and summer shaded.

(Somewhere across the Eastern wall, you’ll also find gunshots,
The only place where daylight pierces me, in dispersed polka-dots.)

And you see, even in all this misery,
And because of all this misery,
The death of one woman, I still find time to remember,
If only because her life lived on like sun in December.

And from the Ommayad Mosque,
Her body, like incense is burning,
Floating over the dawn and the dusk,
Ever and homeward returning.

(Dec. 2014)

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Bold: On the Length of Romance

-How long are you staying?

-As long as you need me, and keep making excuses that you do, because somewhere down the line, though I won’t admit it, I’ll need you too.

-And then?

-And then when you’re out of excuses, and I’m out of denial, we’ll both realize it’s time for me to leave, and it will only be because I am a nomad, who can never settle for any home, who has not found a home, partly because real estate has gone up so much these years, and I can only afford rent.

-So that’s it? No exceptions?

-There is one exception, rarely if ever applied. It’s that if you can walk with me, as I wander off to crazy destinations, go with me as my soul wrestles to find its place, if somehow by sheer coincidence or fate our souls share the same destination, and if you will not lose your breath at all the travelling, we can make ourselves into some sort of nomadic alliance.
You see, darling, I enjoy my loneliness so much, that I can only be with you if we can somehow become one person, but that’s too much to ask of anyone, even you.

Homeward-Bound

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“If light is in your heart, you will find your way home.”
-Rumi

This road keeps getting stranger and stranger. This path has gone through the pits of hell and the heights of heaven, thrown me into too many incredible people, broken me, mended me, stripped me of everything, given me everything, tossed me and turned me in all its own unimaginable ways, and it has made me.

Truth is, nothing has gone quite according to plan. I am not entirely the person I expected myself to become.

Somehow this path has twisted and turned so many times, and life has given me so many unnecessary, but essential, stops. It’s made me who I am, and I am somehow happy with that.

My only one certain truth, is that I am still walking this road, and wherever it takes me, I hope I’m heading home.

There is this energy greater than hope; something inside me knows I’m heading home.

We all carry this truth inside us.

Somehow we all carry this memory of home. Something inside you reminds me of the home I’d left so long ago, maybe eighteen years ago, and maybe many years before. (Funny that we try to measure these things with our own blurred concept of time.)

Something inside us is walking towards the same destination; clear your road that I may find you there, and perhaps, with any luck, we can walk together.

Bold: Annie Hall

No interpretation, no commentary needed.

[Alvy addresses a pair of strangers on the street]
Alvy Singer: Here, you look like a very happy couple, um, are you?
Female street stranger: Yeah.
Alvy Singer: Yeah? So, so, how do you account for it?
Female street stranger: Uh, I’m very shallow and empty and I have no ideas and nothing interesting to say.
Male street stranger: And I’m exactly the same way.
Alvy Singer: I see. Wow. That’s very interesting. So you’ve managed to work out something?

-excerpt from “Annie Hall”

Anna

Death knows not my solemn dream,
Dying in her’s all that seems
To light the fire in mine eye,
Touched with the flame of hers to die.

Music runneth from her lips,
Rests in the harmony of her soul,
And I will drink a thousand sips,
Sweet poison settled in her bowl.

And in my heart of hearts I’ve vowed,
Unknowingly but yet I did,
To die an amorous victim, 
Unknowingly but yet I will.

Muttered I an’ ever spoke?
To what occasion must I speak?
For hearts that wander, life that broke,
Will not mend a world so bleak.

Did not her eyes beset a fire?
Enchantment did not last a day,
But took a day and stretched it high’r,
Lit infernos in my everyday.

My Anna will not speak of love,
For time that’s longer than her own,
She’ll speak of men that travel free,
To hold on hours on the phone.

And in my heart of hearts I’ve vowed,
Unknowingly but yet I did,
To die an amorous victim, 
Unknowingly, my Anna’s will.

Why We Hurt the People We Love

There is this wonder about relationships, be they platonic or romantic, how they bring out the demons inside us, and how they self-destruct from self-inflicted disaster.

I’m not discussing any particular case: abuse, trauma, or just your average brother and sister, or husband and wife, just how normal people hurt each other most when they love each other most.

And I’ve come to realize that inside us is something so dark, so ugly, that we always seem to reject, to hide. I don’t know where it comes from, whether we’re all cursed with a bad side or just cursed with bad lives that bring them out. Still though, I know that the more you know someone, the more comfortable you are with them, the more naked you can be around them.

There’s a thing about being spiritually and emotionally naked around someone, something that both comforts and threatens us, it is that with being so raw, comes being so vulnerable, with all our scars exposed, and all our blemishes there in plain sight. Such nakedness is an acquired mode of being, and it demands above all, trust. And with trust comes secrets, and stories, and laughter, and pain, but also more than anything, the pain of self-discovery.

And so it is, that we hurt the people we love, not because we want to, but because we trust them with a deep, dark part of ourselves, that we deem only right to show them, however we’ve tried to repress.

And in trying to save them, we kill part of ourselves, or try to at least, for it is never easy to break our loyalty to what above all defines us, hamartia.

And it is never fully honest, to conceal or hide away, that part of ourselves which we find most unpleasant, to the people which we trust most with ourselves.

Still, in the back of our minds remains this inner guilt, this disgust towards the reality of our bitter ugliness, and we must live, half-forgiving our mistakes, half-accepting our most tragic flaws, all-regretful of the souls we broke, while failing to fix our own.

“Don’t get too close. It’s dark inside; it’s where my demons hide.”
-Imagine Dragons