In the shape of shadow
In the light from windows
With the motionless trees
On the afternoons without wind
I only imagine the dusty, dry grass
And memory fills in the hills and monsoon
I remember my people, not friends,
Barefoot rivals on the rich red clay
In between the stone path shrubs
They smell of toddy
But we share a spirit, a history
Though from different sides
They will not forget that cruel division
Why did you take it? My language,
Misery, meaning, death
Like theirs, all in a village, for melennia
Better to be humble in your lands
Than fighting elsewhere
Stone steps rise from dirty lawns to reach hopelessly for nowhere.
The sceleton of a compound wall, the wet dirt under unkept bushes. An empty plot filled with the neighbour’s garbage. An electric pole wrapped with so much wire it’s like an insect caught in a cobwebs. Eighty years ago it was farmland, then a small shack, a home, an apartment, a memory of someone who moved away.
Time passes and forgets but there are still reminders that go way back. Someone lived there. There’s no reason to care but you can see. The steps don’t go nowhere. One they used to lead to someone’s home.
You want quiet but you should hear
between your fleeing emotions,
Between an ocean
My eyes will not see what they longed to see
your lips will not taste what they long to taste
So why try to forget
When time will make everything seem misplaced?
Where is the pain of travel
When the road is your home?
Is it this new desert that is barren
Or my soul?
Far way from the soil
You must know
The rituals of death
Come from tradition.
Life’s a door
I cannot open
My thoughts are worn
My words are gone.
I come from a place
small and obscure
I can never leave it
I loved the clouds not the skies.