Archive for January 20, 2013

Tempus Fugit

Memories are imprinted,
through moments,
and fleeting minutes,


they fade like polaroid stills,
dimmed by the flight of time,
caught between,
the banal and the sublime.

Years trickle by,
stubbornly trudging ahead,
straining to embrace echoes of nostalgia,

yearning to hold them near,
seeking new memories,

carved by the trail of a lonesome tear.

Tomorrow may not arrive,
as it lies at the mercy,
of time’s fickle flight,

and as it slips under the blanket of night,

it flees into the arms,
of a hope, warm and bright.

The flight of time sounds its warning bell,
with smug assurance it beckons all,
to hear the tale it has to tell,
knowing someone must heed its call.

Time flies, and rapidly too,
teasing us with promises of days yet to be born,

and so we linger, wasting slices of precious time,

as we walk on,

numb and in an anaesthetised trance,

devoid of all passion,


ever weary to take the plunge,

or to hazard a chance.

(for Malala Yousafzai, 14 years old, in a critical condition after being shot in the head by the Pakistani Taliban, for her work as a young activist advocating the rights of girls to attend school)

When hot lead tears the flesh of a 14 year old girl,

ripping through her skull,
leaving her to bleed out and die,

does Allah not recoil in horror,

to see His child whimper,
to see His daughter cry.

Where is the indignation,

the anger that often boils over and manifests itself as flags and books and videos are burnt in mass orgies of hollow piety,

where are the voices that scream so loud,
that denounce all but their own creed,

where are the men, the impotent men who crave for nothing more than their fascist egos to feed,

where are the voices that so loudly proclaim,
enemies here and enemies there, always quick to condemn,

where are those voices when the enemy walks amongst them.

14 year old Malala Yousafzai was shot in cold blood,

her crime?

Advocating the rights of girls to an education.

Shame on you, men of bigotry and men of cowardice.

Shame on you, silent and mute accomplices in this carnage.

Shame on me,
for my inaction,

Shame on us all,
who proclaim lofty ideals,

yet are conspicuously silent,

when a 14 year old girl is shot in the head,

by fascist fundamentalist bigots who only worship bullets of hot lead.

Not in my name!

Not in my name,
shall the cowardly men rain down abuse,

Not in my name,
shall the bigoted men light the communalistic fuse,

Not in my name,
shall Malala Yousafzai be shot in the head,

left to bleed out,
while countless mothers’ tears are shed,

not in my name,
shall religious murderers,
be left to wander free,

not in my name,
for I dare all believers to open their eyes,
to see!

To see,
the innocence of a 14 year old girl,
wanting only an education,

as the men of the cloth,
prance around with their pathetic self-righteous indignation.

I write this today,
the anger raging in my veins,

yet I fear,

that I shall write more of this,

unless we stand up and say ‘no more’,

I fear that I shall be writing this again,

until we all,

reclaim the true principles of humaneness,

until we silence the voices of bigotry,
of rage,
of fanatical insanity,

I fear I shall be writing this again,


until the muck-ridden bile,
is not excised,

I shall continue to say,


Or else I shall have nothing,

but my unending shame

the crushed skulls

and the

torn-off legs

and the

single shots piercing countless heads

women, men, children
young, old, everyone just a human being

when will we tire of the senseless killing which we keep on impotently seeing

the gaping wounds soaked in blood

dismembered corpses piled high in some humid make-shift shit-stenched mortuary

who will remain to someday write, war itself’s final obituary

for the killing goes on in the name of tribe

and the vested interests above all

but who really hears the whimpering sobs of a 4 year old’s call

for her mother, father, brother, sister

as she lies dying, bleeding out like a gutted animal, on the stinging gravel

while we deliberate and engage and while to geneva we always travel

to sign some scraps of papar that merely postpone the killing for a while

while the putrefying carcasses of human beings lie side by side, mile after bloody mile

war is ugly, they tell us

but necessary too

and we go to war for peace

while the generals and the money-men and the politicians drink and dance and screw

war is ugly

it is indeed

but so are we

if we fail to see the humanity stripped away

and peeled off the skin of that 4 year old girl

and if her cries for help we do not heed

war and guns and bombs and the very latest smart nuke

sickens me as it should us all
making us retch and puke

but who gives a fuck about the bomba falling far away

we’ve got chores to do, margarine to buy, and take the family out for the day

war is ugly

so they tell us

while loading the magazines without much of a fuss

war is ugly

and cold and brutal and evil as the hounds of some distant hell

but who gives a fuck for we have sneakers to buy and stocks to sell

war is ugly

but so are you and I

for we remain silent

as the bombs fall incessantly on

out of the open sky

shame on me and shame on us all, that much I believe is true

for our silence in the face of misery is tacit acceptance

and try as we might to innure ourselves

I am as complicit in it all

as are you…

no more this and that as
the sweltering pain distills empty chit-chat

in the clarity of the dawn
while blinded lovers fawn

the words that are spoken are mostly broken

meant not in truth but merely as a consolation token

of placating shredded hearts with lie upon lie

while weaving tales high up in the unreachable sky

torn and twisted truths clung onto so tight-fisted

but as the smoke clears the truth sears

through the gurgling blood flowing down the years

and after hour upon hour of salt-drenched tears

while long suppressed fears springs forth and reappears

as feelings shift gears and as it all in a flash disappears

and though yesterday was gentle and the passions elemental

today its all just slipped away

beyond reach of even tomorrow as emotions faltered and began to sway

and so wrath wraps itself in doleful cloth

silently despising all movement yet resenting all weary sloth

wheezing past the denizens of the glorious ivory towers

seated on fences that expose all defences

stripping away the layers of dismembered senses

and in the end the one that breaks is the one that refuses to bend

to yield and lower the mock shield

stamping its bitter verdict inside an emptiness that is within a vacuum sealed

so awaken to the realisation that all that was has been forsaken

while idle moments seem ripe to be taken

through thick and thin and the bluster and the din

of feeling the agony of being kicked in the shin

and cast aside, off from the always treacherous ride

with nowhere left to go

and no place safe to hide

…walking down this deserted street

on rock-hewn shards tearing into blistered feet

the journey may be arduous and so very long

and the will may falter, the resolve may at times feel less strong

but the journey proceeds ever on

waging battle after minor battle, while the war of attrition rages on, never to be won

the destination, the culmination of the tortured soul’s journey may never be attained

yet the spirit is infused with the strength, that from bitter lessons have been gained

thus the walk continues, the ceaseless trudging through this at times meaningless life

in joy, in misery, in the short moments of abundant plenty, and in the cold times of wretched strife

so it may come to pass on some distant, faraway day

when under the ground, in ashes we may lay

what then is the consolation of things accrued and possessions kept

when into this earth we shall return, to sleep like we have never slept

so picking up the pieces from here and there

the good, the bad, each one to share

and then leaving this realm to finally depart

back to the place where the whole saga may once again start

thinking not of morbid thoughts, no, none of this is that way meant

merely grasping the moments left, and in grasping them, to pause and think on how wisely they may be spent

for once the end knocks as it shall inevitably upon the door

and once the theatre of life’s curtain drops to the stage floor

the grand truth may be something beyond what these eyes can see
yet the small truths may be the release that eventually set the caged soul free…

With thoughts pacing around like manic footsteps in the mind

as sanity is clung onto to keep

too tired to weep

as emotions well up
like a rising tide of tears bottled up

while feelings are suppressed deep

too tired to sweep

away the fallen leaves of each lost battle as the war rages on

left with nothing but the trauma to keep

too tired to creep

away from the suffocating weight of every moment’s cold reality

while what is needed is not a step of faith, but a leap

too tired

to continue this charade of lies

too tired

to spruce up this hollow facade

as each moment yet another tired part of me dies

and as the unfeeling second-hand of time cruelly flies

ridding me of my youth each and every agonising day

it matters little the extent of my futile efforts and my needless tries

for the well of joy empties slowly as the fountain of bliss quickly dries

and as the moment of truth impassively nears

there bubbles to the surface all the unspeakable fears

of a life squandered over buckets of self-pitying tears

and of youth wasted down the passage of the years

but now the wiser one has become and a tad more bold

for if solace were to walk on by

the eyes would quietly behold

that magic that may never be bought or sold

my voice is hoarse
from the silence of my relentless screams

my very self rots
in the darkened cave of my misplaced dreams

all of everything that once kept the knotted peace
is now tattered and in pieces

twisting in the howling wind of the futile present

wasting away with each breath that it thirstily seizes

when all is gained yet all seems sour and effortlessly lost

the remnants of each day wind up counting the dreadful cost

of an emptiness embraced and a solitude ushered deep inside

of a lost mind and a wandering soul

aimlessly stumbling for a place to hide

when thirty eight years seems far too late

to clamber out of this worthless state

and when another day seems entangled in the frayed strands of pitiless fate

it reduces the sum of all that has been lived

to a soiled emotionless moment of deadened grace

while the wandering soul drifts further away

from ports of call into emptier space

where will all this dock if ever at all

the flailing untethered emotions diving as they keel over and fall

down into the crevasse of nothingness in the end

breaking and shattering further

all that now has become impossible to mend

while the lunatic within refuses to bend

like a wound that festers ever on and on
becoming fruitless to tend

so much effort to churn out such pitiful verse and pathetic rhyme

worth nothing at all
today, tomorrow
or in a month’s time

so as this pen is laid down tonight

it is surrendered gladly
for i’m far too fatigued to fight…

Mere beings flailing through the quagmire of this life,

Embroiled in this world of emptiness so stark

Hoping against hope that we find some solace, some peace,

As we stumble along in the fearfulness of the dark

What are we if not just human…

Grappling with the incessant torturous grind,

The stab of reality that wounds us each day

While we endure and persevere and with hollow platitudes

Try to placate ourselves with the veneer of strength which we always portray

What are we if not just human…

Embracing the world with all the trappings of its convenience

Deluding ourselves that the trappings will dull the pain

While innuring ourselves to the outer truths that do surround us

As we lose ourselves within our very selves,

While we gleefully celebrate the meaningless ornaments that we gain

What are we if not just human…

Just human, simply human, nothing much more and no less

Praying and hoping for a salvation beyond this realm

As we attempt to buy redemption with our false gods and our loftily mouthed intent

While we crawl through the moments of apathy and moral inebriation

Never truly grasping the very essence of what is to be simply content

What are we if not just human…

Trying and trying and still trying some more

To make sense of the senselessness that we feel inside

While in truth the masks that we wear

Shroud us more from our very selves, for it so often seems that it is from ourselves, that we choose to hide

What are we if not just human…

Though we cling on to the scraps of hope that we find here and sometimes there,

What are we if not just human…

If we cannot stop, and think, and begin to once again simply care

What are we if not just human…

And in knowing that we are just human, rekindling the humanity that must reside in us all

That refuses to smile and stand aloof, while others around us slip and fall

What are we if not just human…
Finding our feet, as we trudge along the pathways of this life that seems so harsh and at times unbearable too
What are we if not just human…
If we cannot see in ourselves, the images of him and of her and of us all, the images of me and of you…

february the 11th…

february 11th, 1990

the prisoner walked free, as Nelson Mandela stepped out into the bright African sun…

february 11th, 2011

the power of the people of egypt, of cairo, of alexandria was felt in the coolness of the African evening

the power of the people was felt

in tahreer…

that square whose symbolism will ripple across the world

vanquishing the tyranny of generations.




february the eleventh…

a shared and joyous day

for us all

let freedom reign…

Amandla! The Struggle Continues…

…an echo of her laugh

whispers past

a simple joy, a gentle breeze

of quiet reflection that can never last

the fleeting innocence once drifting along

then disappearing into the notes of that Don Henley song

the end, he sang, of the innocence once felt

of days and of nights of serene peace

gone forever now,

for into the night’s void everything must eventually melt

though the memories and the thoughts

and the echoes of her whispers

settled this gypsy heart, putting it at ease

but that’s all long gone now

even though the echoes of her whispers

seem never to cease…

beyond tahreer…

there waits history’s emotionless scribe

pen poised to record the moment of a peoples’ collective yearning

jotting down furiously the unfolding of a revolution

as hearts are inflamed with the passion for freedom intensely burning

a passion burning with the simplest wish of all, the dream of taking charge of one’s destiny

igniting the multitudes elsewhere, with its beacon of hope and of light

as the battles in maidan-e-tahreer rage deep into the long egyptian night

and though the dictator is blinded by the shimmering mirage of absolute control

his vision is marred by his unbridled and abusive power, devoid of even a hint of a soul

and so beyond tahreer

is where the real battle may be fought

after the dictator’s inevitable departure

when the remaking of a society will be by the people sought

then as that cold and exacting scribe of history commits the momentous saga to scroll

the burden will fall on the people to mould their common dreams as a collective whole

for though this certainly is a battle for freedom

it is also a battle for bread and water and shelter and dignity

for all common women and men

and that is why

beyond tahreer

will true success or abject failure be committed to paper by history’s pen

for ‘freedom’ has been fought for and has been won in many a land this wide world around

but the true meaning of ‘freedom’ has yet to be anywhere in this wide world found

…freedom from grinding servitude, and the perpetual trampling of the poor by the rich

…freedom from the howls of hungry babies and beaten-down mothers with eyes that look at you and me, with none of us yet all of us to blame

…freedom from the endless inequalities that we accept each day, the very inequalities that should compel us all to bow our heads in shame

…freedom from the ever-tightening shackles of class and of caste and of race and of creed

…freedom from the inherited privilige of those inebriated by their unending repulsive greed

and so beyond tahreer…

may the battle begin for all of us anew

a battle that has been fought and lost countless times before

a battle fought endlessly, over and over and over again

for beyond tahreer
lies that ever elusive but always possible new world
where all people reclaim their true freedoms
and when equal dignity all of the people regain
beyond tahreer

…the struggle continues

dear mr. dictator

you still don’t get it, do you?

leave, they say
and leave now

not on a september day that’s still months away

i detected a hint of dictatorial hubris in your address to ‘your beloved’ people

let it go

the danger of being hung feet-first from that lamp-post in ma’adi may give way to the storming of your palace by ‘your beloved’ people

and then things may get really nasty.

you do remember ceauşescu, do you not?

so leave, and leave now

while you still can

ps: a friend suggested that texas or florida may be a viable destination when you eventually decide to leave, as would jeddah, of course

wistful strands slipping by

of grounded dreams

that i once believed would fly…

strewn around this emptiness

where once there soared,
dreams, not of riches

but of simple happiness…

‘both sides now’ you sang,
from within

and from a feeling of being without

you moved me so, i cried, i laughed

i wanted to run into the falling rain and shout…

‘its life’s illusions that i recall’ your voice soared and dipped and with life breathed

as every one of those words you sang

tore into me, as my very core seethed…

not with bitterness or loss or with feelings even vaguely sad

your words seethed and burned through me

igniting memories of this life i’ve shared…

with those who aren’t illusions

of those who’ve embraced me

each time i’ve slipped and taken yet another fall…

for like you…

‘i really don’t know life at all’


it was a rain-swept monsoon day

way back then, so many moons away

when i felt the music strumming in my veins

setting me free like a runaway horse without any reins

you sang of simple truths,

your verse spoke to people just like me

in my lonely, wasted, and desolately quiet night

as you screamed out tragic human wrongs, and of everyone’s plight

‘bobby jean’ spoke to me

of that girl down the street

glimpses of whom, we as innocents would furtively meet

and ‘the river’ that flowed through my ever-barren heart

led me down further roads of thunder

when slowly i finally learnt that the hardest part was fighting on

and never to surrender

to the hard-luck dreams that were born to run

while i danced in the dark

with memories vivid and stark

even as i whined like that dog who for forever lost his howling bark

and then a ‘human touch’ came along

and ‘better days’ seemed real, not just words in a song

and still you sang and swayed and spoke straight into my unseeing eyes

as gardens of secrets were opened, and as your fist punched the skies

in an anger that i too felt and in whose cauldron i too burned

as we saw murder get incorporated, while on its wobbly axis, our fragile world apathetically turned

and then suddenly i was told that i was all grown up

working on a highway of scattered ideals

and absolving myself by sprinkling some coins in a waiting cup

well, after all these years of walking along so many a thorny road

with an armour of your verse covering me, even as i hear them taunt me and even as they continue to goad

but now i can feel myself fading away, into the bleakness of this coming night

just like the ghost of that old tom joad…


they do not see me at all…

as i walk through these desecrated avenues

of soul-deadening frenzy

i see them all rushing past me

and no matter how hard i try to holler and to call

they do not see me at all

it seems at times, that invisible am i

for when i reach out, and shriek out, and when on my knees i crawl

they rush past me

for they do not see me at all

i have tried to raise their ire, i have taunted and goaded them, till exhausted and fatigued, to the cold damp ground i fall

still they rush past me

for they do not see me at all

i stand mutely then and wave my hands all around while scribbling verses in my unintelligible scrawl

and yet they rush past me

for they do not see me at all

they rush past me, knocking me over without ever looking back

and then trampling over my fallen form, they look past my limp crumpled shadow, as they whine on in their monotonous drawl

for they do not see me at all

and when at last i see them look my way, and as a flicker of recognition crosses their faces

i wish to crawl back into my nothingness

where they cannot see me at all

Listless days of summer slip through my fingers

as afternoon ragas of the pandits and ustads settle a mish-mash of thought,

that tear at my soul and morosely lingers

‘shanti-mantra’ of pandit ravi shankar at the kremlin weaves through this day’s stillness…

…as ustad zakir hussain and ustad sultan khan’s ‘kithe meher ali’ brings consolation, when peace begins to pale,

filling up my empty of chalice of hope with a rich, heartfelt fullness

“…kaise karoon kahan karoon main khanjar ko istemal, har seene aye-bashaar main nihaal tera roop hai…”

“…for what shall I wield a dagger, o lord? What can I pluck it out of, Or plunge it into. When you are all the world?…”

and though one feels wrecked and wretched when it all seems futile

these are the moments of distilled clarity

where truth is often an elusive rarity

yet still we stand and still we walk

on and on and on

but not today, for today i sit

with only the ustads and pandits to offer me some solace

sans idle chit-chat, sans empty talk…


 the obscenity of the banal

gores into our being


becoming so vulgar and common-place

rendering us blinded and unseeing


the obscenity of a 14 year old girl

sold for her virginal flesh and smooth skin


the obscenity of a 76 year old man

beaten down and trampled by his own kin


the obscenity of the banal

renders us mute and impotent and to blame

for all the obscenities we turn our heads away from

render us all culpable in the ledgers of humanity’s shame


the obscenity of the banal

is pock-marked with our complicity


the obscenities we accept each day betrays our own duplicity


the obscenity of the 35 year old woman slaving like a hog

cursed at and spat on and thrashed by the filthy rich man’s excess


the obscenity of the 9 year old boy who is the man of the shack

bound and gagged by a society too blinded by its own image of its success


the obscenity of the 47 year old single mother of three

trying against impossible odds to feed and clothe and shelter them all


the obscenity of the 17 year old teenage boy who must drop out of school

in order to assist his ailing mother as she works from dawn till dusk pushing her fruit stall


the obscenity of the banal

makes me sick in my stomach each and every time I see

my own face in the mirror for i am as complicit as you or she or he


the obscenity of one-thousand dollar shoes for elegant feet

the obscenity of a malnourished baby suckling at his mother’s dry teat


the obscenity of the glitz and the glamour and the sweet-smelling suave-talking chap with the perfect tan

the obscenity of the dead-eyed 14 year old whose innocence is plundered by that same charming moneyed man


the obscenity of the banal

is there for us to see day in and day out

the obscenities around us that we choose not to care a hoot about


the obscenity of the powerful as they wreak havoc sans morals, sans shame

the obscenity of the religious ones who hack and kill in their blind god’s name


the obscenity of the banal

is a shameful truth that we all must know and we all must see

but we have been blinded by our greed as we fuck and party and work-hard and play-harder and buy and sell and raise a hue and a cry for ‘our’ people to be free


the obscenity we witness in your town and mine

in your village and his

in her street and yours

in that alley and in this hotel and in that and in this without end

is a scar on our so-called morality which we passionately defend


the obscenity of the banal

rips open the veneer of our silence and exposes our wretched disgrace

revealing a rotting carcass of ugly truths that we will choose never to face


the obscenity of the banal

continues as we work and fuck and play and dance and meditate and pray

while the daggers of our complicit silence rips even more as we feast and slay


the obscenity of the banal

will never ever come to an end in this day or the next or in some far-off morrow

for we have become so self-absorbed that we cannot even acknowledge the others’ sorrow


for who are they, these ones of which we speak?

the humanimals who beg and steal and who of cheap and stale urine reek


and thus the obscenity of the banal will forever stay with us

until we clean out our minds that have become so filled with apathetic pus

and when the people rise


of being bludgeoned

by the jackboot of suppression


the demand is simple




for the better


not the hollow, empty rhetoric of ‘freedom’

heard in the corridors of power


the demand is simple




for the better


a better life

devoid of the tyranny of rampant power

without the imposition of mores and norms

free of the shackles of the party-line

the religious diktat

the militaristic hammer


and when the people rise


by the ceaseless abuse of power

as the old-guard refuses to see the writing scrawled across the wall




a simple demand


for the better


a better life

for the living and for the ones still to be born


the writing scrawled across the wall, and walls across the world


is simple




for the better

a new way to forge the future

with fresh ideas and the opening up of the boulevards

of opportunity for those who have remained outside for too long


and when the people rise


of the promise of a new dawn

the future is a blank-slate lying amidst the debris


for if the rising of the people


a beginning may be written anew

out of the seed of change which into a tree of promise grew


a new beginning may be written afresh

with the values of simple humanity and gentle tolerance

so that what has passed and what has been endured may never

be visited again on those to come, and on those who bear the wounds on their flesh


for when the rising of the people


the road ahead may be fraught with thorns and more pain

for change is pock-marked with the scars of the past, and the memories do indeed remain


so when the rising of the people


the hope is for the common good, for the tolerance of the one and of all


the hope is for a better, more just today, and a tomorrow where the ideals of justice and of truth are firmly rooted, never to be shaken


the hope is that in the name of peace and humanity, may the new oath be taken


a simple beauty

in the tinkling of ankle bells

treading across the fields of grain

amid earthy fragrances of the first drops of rain


a simple beauty

in the bitter-sweet song of the nightingale

calling out over the trees and across the plain

teasing the morning air with its wondrous refrain


a simple beauty

in the shimmer of the morning dew

clinging to the wings of the wildest crow

awakening gently as the cool dawn winds blow


a simple beauty

in the smiles of the children as they play

their pleasure so pure as their beaming faces show

the radiance of bright sunshine melting into a dazzling rainbow


a simple beauty

in the joyful celebration of life

breathing in the essence of being alive today

alive! with yesterday a mere memory and tomorrow a lifetime away


the simplest beauty

is all around us, if only for a moment

we absorb the innocent laughter of those children at play

perhaps then we may feel again, and with feeling, embrace each new day



Hate like silent venom flows

spewing forth in dribs and drabs


how will the wounds ever heal

with such vitriol tearing at the scabs


we shudder at the words of hate

and wonder will it ever cease


but hope springs forth for

we know it begins within us, now, today


with the simplest acts of human compassion

so that gentle love may banish the hate away


the morning dew glistens on feathered petals

alive with promise


the moments past, having past, are soaked up by

the streaming rays of sunshine


the wounds of yesteryear are soothed and wrapped

in fresh layers of quiet peace


all my aching yesterdays are quietly consigned

to the deep recesses of memory


haunting me no longer and tormenting me no more

as i shed the weight of the cross i so reluctantly bore


for tomorrow is alive with new hope


of gentle laughter

with quietly sipped joy

of sweet memories yet to be woven

and whispered songs yet to be sung inside

of scribbled poems yet to penned

and joyous tears yet to be cried


for tomorrow is alive with new hope


of sweetly scented roses blooming all around

and murmurs of delight in moments yet to be realised

of warmth and depth and freedom from pain

and of lost touches of myself once again sought after and found


for tomorrow is alive with new hope


of a new beginning devoid of the guilt of past decay

and of freshness in the very essence of this new day


with lilting melodies floating on the silken breeze

while banishing all pain and setting the mind at ease


for tomorrow is alive with new hope


and this very hope is what keeps the gloomy nights afar

for the emptiness is lit up with the shimmering of a solitary star


and its this very hope that i hold onto with my dear life

never to give in again to bleak thoughts of mental strife


and so hope it is, and hope it must always be

that keeps the sanity within and sets my soul free

so many yesterdays

whirling down the maelstrom

of unfinished songs left un-hummed


desolate and silent

but alive with notes yet to be strummed


so many yesterdays

lost in the raucous

laughter of the lonely crowd


naked and exposed

yet cloaked in perennial hope’s faithful shroud


so many yesterdays

streaming away like tears

flowing down faces of boundless grief


barren and aching

yet clinging to slivers of a promise, however brief


so many yesterdays

drowning in the memories of

departed whispers and broken smiles


adrift and lost

yet holding the line with fortitude for the coming trials


so many yesterdays

banished into splintered thoughts

clawing and seeking an abode of some respite


hungry and cold

yet clutching onto the shreds of redemption so very tight


so many yesterdays

flung into the coldness of indifference

always seeking to break through the chains


steely and biting

yet infused with hope of sunshine after icy sorrowful rains


so many yesterdays

with so many tomorrows still to emerge

from the dreadful fog of the bleak winter of the mind


frigid and alone

yet stepping ever onwards and leaving those yesterdays far behind 



not quite flinching

as pain like needles tear open the heart

while the boisterous cacophony of false laughter

condemns the gentlest feelings to rupture and rip apart


the fake tones of convivial conversation pieces

seem to light a fuse that eventually implodes

deep within the crushed mind as it struggles to maintain sanity

while the cackle of the babble shreds sanity’s grip as it rapidly erodes


not quite flinching

the deep valleys of drowning emotion seem to breathe new life

into the long lost sentiments drifting in the idle wind

to revive the glimmer of hope, as permanent neither is pain nor strife


thus the upward climb commences from the deep pit of despair

clambering and clawing in frantic desperation to finally reach

that realm of peace and of quiet solitude and of a life fresh and bubbling

and to finally break the shackles that bind and walk freely on life’s velvety beach


the phantom love of the bygone years

still assails my wakefulness and my slumbering dreams


with a vengeance that is to fury akin

for the phantom love is still wedged deep under my skin


the random assaults of the memories are harsh and cruel

stripping my emotions nakedly bare


and torturing my soul with more than a hint of malice

as i am yet not absolved for having imbibed from her seductive chalice


and so this endless play of long burned-out passion

is visited upon the weary mind reminding me that she still holds sway


for the phantom love still owns me as her not unwilling slave

for now and perhaps till time itself fades into the cold dampness of love’s grave

drowning sentiments as they stream

from eyes that cannot see

yet behold so much in colours of a delicate dream


fallen tears

soaked in the tattered rags of destitute fate

strewn amongst the deafening crowd

and numbed by the meaningless words scribbled on destiny’s slate


fallen tears

sliced by the blazing ferocity of life’s sharpened blade

diced and cut into pieces of quivering emotion

and left skewered in the biting furnace of memories flayed


fallen tears

drying amidst the horror of the impending morrow

seized by the crippling desperation of dread

of having turned the page to find just more timeless sorrow


awash in memories of a bygone time

enraptured by nostalgia’s seductive grip

the years in between innocence

and the truths of the now

seem to add a pinch of sadness into my rhyme


the life lived thus far seems painted with vivid colour

of rainbows chased and of hearty laughs

a life, at times, of desperate grief

but a life too, of enveloping joy, however brief


i let my being soak up the nostalgic dream

and bask in memories sad and true

in memories full of hope and mired in pain

in memories of feelings of joyful splendour

and feelings of being lost in the cold rain

they are all a part of who i am

an integral part of me

and so i dream the endless dream

and of all my dreams set finally free


cloaked in a false putrid skin

even one’s crushed shadow retreats

slinking away in shame


robed in a spurious mask

the tragic charade persists

amid the stench of veiled hollow laughter


wreathed in wretched solitude

the morose facade bubbles

with vacant rancid conversation


adorned in bejewelled insipidness

the flayed self merely lingers

in halls of cavernous silence


wandering in a vacuum of feelings

the numbed carcass shuffles

between minutes and frozen years


bathed in the torment of frigid today

unable to shed the scabbed wounded crust

of an unappeasable tortured past


infinite tomorrows appear a devious mirage

of stained deceptive vistas trapped

in vile dreams doomed to persistently last


a hollow shell

of tangled synapses

sparked into gradual madness

which drowns out the truths of the day

as the mind reeks of the rotten sad moments

that swirl in the rancid soup of forgotten dreams

dreams that once traced a gentle path of innocence

dreams that reached for pure love’s tender touch

dreams now paralysed but once vivaciously alive

what became of those fresh dreams and hopes

as they lie mustily on dusty bookshelves

torn into shreds by time’s fine scimitar

devoid of the touch of raw passion

when all that remains of love is

a hollow shell


seeking release from the needling pain of the present

feeling the grotesque aches invade the waking hours


reaching for a moment’s respite but finding no solace

as hurt and enmity relish the times when truth cowers



at daggers with imagined foes and friendless coarse allies

as endlessly surreal minutes tick away in ethereal dreams


hoping to surface through the sickly sweet sludge of fate

rising to confront the truth however brutal reality seems



ending the sour days as they began in a fit of sleepless tumult

wracking the mind with memories of wounds forged in the fire



stretching the raw feral instincts in a rabid bid to simply survive

finally reaching the soul as it grindingly clambers out of the mire

bound in a dreamy web

of feelings coursing wildly through

the narrowing pathways of a distant past

and as yesterday fades to greying old hues

shedding memories one by sad one

truth reveals itself at last


dark and foreboding and silently still


devouring the lies by sheer force of will

the truth with intense emotion

slips out finally from behind the captivity

of the dreary suffocating mask

and the truth then at last feels

released to grasp onto a new hope and

in freedom’s glow truly bask


dumbed down by selective thoughts

stark naked in the blinding flashlights

empty and hollow with torn memories


paralysed by the coarseness of indifference

crippled by the stench of greed and apathy

maimed by the bluntness of savage leisure


deadened by sanitised moments of bliss

wreathed in a robed shape devoid of form

strung and gutted along the avenues of decay



profanely far too much in a momentary daze

utterly confounded and lost in reality’s haze


finally feeling

the welcome sense of feeling today once again

and feeling

the pinpricks of ache and the dull burden of pain


stirring the cauldron of shattered ripped dreams

setting alight the yearning of other places and another day



whipping up suppressed wounds long put to rest

mending the fractured paths onto which lost moments stray


spawning endless conversations about time’s sharp blade

cutting into today’s tired acquiescence and yesterday’s raging desire


brewing life into the chalice of extinguished longing

sprinkling smouldering flakes of stripped identity into time’s thirsty fire



stuttering fragmented words unable to comprehend

moments lost and forever misplaced in the shadow of bygone years



manically trying to recapture the truth once so deeply felt

now rotting in the alleyways of fate and drowning in destiny’s fickle tears


in the buried bog of wretched despair

with senses dulled to numb unfeeling



pain strangles each fibre of the raw soul

and leaves the suffocating heart reeling



out of the emptiness emerges a vision of revitalising hope

hauling the drowning spirit up from the damp cold ground



with ferocious zeal the consoling force of hope envelopes

the frigid soul in a cocoon wrapped in warmth all around

a frigid wind creeps up and slaps me hard across the face

the wrath of moments past seem intent on exacting some

measure of retribution to put me finally in my rightful place


having erred far too much and often for the sake of the ego’s accursed need

one needs to be held accountable for the shredded pain i so casually caused

for having erred knowingly as i left each pained memory in the gutter to bleed


it may be already far too late in the day to seek an iota of forgiveness from some

but the time may be right to offer the apologies that are crucial to the aggrieved

who suffered for one’s sins as i shoulder the raw shame of what i have become


and so apologies unreserved are offered to all who bore the brunt of the ache

for though absolution may never be found it must be said that this late apology

is genuine and not like the rest of my put-on smile just a mere blatant sad fake


turning up the collar of my winter coat

bracing for the chilly winds of harsh destiny and fate

that are about to lay siege on my being without malice or hate


wracking my soul & my splintered heart

with a guileless ferocity that wounds me as I stand

and rattles the foundations of the ideals that once felt so grand


i reach for and light a cigarette and drag

on that comforting crutch that will kill me so very soon

though that knowledge itself sometimes appears to be a promised boon


but leave me be and let me ramble on and on

for as the rain pelts down on this gloomy day of chilly fog

i reach for no one and expect none to help me drag me out of this bog


for we are ultimately torn and tattered as we soldier on

from battles & wounded skirmishes always seeking the higher ground

to regain some shreds of humanity that seem so deviously elusive to be found

thoughts of a quick hushed departure

are condemned to float and paddle and

in the murky waters of insomnia drown


rapidly receding as words thrash about and

swim just aching to be instantly jotted down


and so the scribbling continues unabated

till that need within is eventually sated


and till one reaches that promised time of peace

the mad typing continues ever on unable to cease



a single petal slowly glides

down to the littered street


and as the wind rustles the

fallen leaves strewn about


new buds bloom amidst the

driving rain and lashing sleet


for inevitably with every

shower of vital cool rain


a petal or two gets swept

into the ever-waiting drain



bursts forth fresh as the purest dazzling drop of morning dew


refuses to relent to despairing moments however many or few



clings to the belief of hope and embraces every ray of light


blossoms with vibrant fervour following the darkest night



breaks out with musical joy to the melodious notes of hope’s uplifting flute


surrounds the hurt and the ache and pain and gloom rendering them all mute



lives on

despite the wretched taunts of pitiless fate and the salty sting of pain



lives on

just as for each petal dying there blooms another after the falling rain

alone with only the

lonesome notes of a faintly soft tune

once known and now a mere murmur

carried by that veiled gracious breeze


alone with only the

doleful sighs of the turtledoves

as they console the weary mates

nesting in the solitary willow trees


alone with only the

dirge soaring up and beyond the walls

creeping through the ivy covered steps

of that barricaded fortress of the heart


alone with only the

mournful whispers echoing along the halls

of the crumbling mansion of memories as

the moments prepare to once more depart


alone with only the

promise of a new dawn that may be awaiting

the shattered soul of a battered frame of being

as it clambers up the slippery slopes of eager hope


alone with only the

abiding memories of that long lost truth that was

soaked in each pore and was imbibed greedily so

as it unfastened the dangling spectre of that rope


alone with only the

memories of then and the memories of now

swarming through a mind numbed with pain


alone with only the

thoughts of all that has passed and all the travails one has yet to face

while the heart is fortified still and resolute to go on against the grain

etched so deep in the

very core of my mind


the vanity of wordiness

is far far too easy to find


so many wasted moments

and much squandered time


spent idly on shoddy verse

and weakly on inane rhyme

walking in quiet lonesome solitude

the shrill of empty space

deafens the gentlest soul


weaving through the solitary moments

the echoing roar of destiny

consumes the heart whole

rambling on and on with hope eternal

the soft hushed whispers of fate

tease the present to finally reveal

hobbling on between dread and torment

the truth of this heart’s raw desire

is to stand naked and unabashed

and to never hide again in the shadows


to never feel again the need to conceal

cast away

like soiled debris on the open sea


flung into

the reeking dustbin of memory


the trampled shall

too eventually rise


shedding the chains

that do tightly bind


for the human spirit will not just endure

the jackboot of grinding despair so dire


the human spirit will rise to uproot the

rotten which keeps the multitudes so

firmly glued in the depths of the mire


may the human spirit rise

& may the silence of the many

give release to the voices of all


and may the new free air

that will waft through the

boulevards of true freedom


smell of delicious hopefully true promise

and not of crippling & deepening despair

the refusal to merely succumb

to choking dead rotting despair

heals the festering ache within

when in those moments of doomed grinding pain

the delicately soft touch of that reassuring thought

consoles the soul like the scent of the parched earth

after those first few drops of the purest soaking rain


hope abounds

hope resounds

hope now and

for forever more

hope repeated with an ever hopeful refrain


hope unbounded

hope unleashed

hope imbibed

hope drenched


in the sheer fragrant delightful truth of all that

this cruel harsh world may never ever restrain


footsteps treading on gravelly paths

buoyed by new vistas

bidding adieu to familiar avenues


gravel crunches

to a destination fresh as dew

to a place beyond fear

beyond despair

beyond empty shells of longing

beyond hopes of hollow belonging


the paths taken are

fraught with unknown twists

but the promise of the new morn

thaws apprehension

as fear melts into the shadow of night

to rest in the solace of the soothing dawn light


the path is endless though still

the heart seeks its way through the mire

the torn traveller reaches deep

to clothe the naked gloom

embracing the encompassing cloak of hope

though hope is tattered and shredded and torn

the murmurs of dawn herald a new day being born


footsteps treading on gravelly paths

buoyed by new vistas

bidding adieu to familiar avenues



rain like slippery misty thoughts

teases each coarse emotion apart


haunting the empty deep furrows

into which the remnants of love dart


to seek shelter from the moist night

wrapped in a sheath of hushed silence


taunting the straining heaving barriers

with incessant quiet lethal violence


rain like silky husky naughty feelings

ignites each heartstring brightly ablaze


wanting to consume each trembling moment

with its dewy sultry tempting gaze


and still the rain reaches down cutting in

the deepest recesses of my barren soul


as the momentary flashes of mirth promise

that lie of rendering the hollow truth whole


and as the slick rain trickles and lashes against

my intimate yearning and my corrosive desire


i stand drenched in the cold sweaty liquid glaze

wallowing in the embers of life’s ever ebbing fire


remains just out of focus

an elusive portrait

etched in the corner of the mind’s eye



sometimes strays into view

a blurred mirage

of burnished words cast in indelible dye



steals fragments of each day

a welcome thief

of emotions left in some dusty space



scatters my poems in the breeze

an invited spell

that vanishes into the wind without a trace



renders me mute and so often blind

the wild dreamer

a seeder of impossible thoughts in the mind



brings the elements of nature to me

a gentle healer

she unfolds my thoughts setting them free



comes and goes as she chooses

a untamed spirit

soothing the very place that she bruises



rouses me in nights of empty slumber

a murmured breath

brushing my cheeks with kisses too many to number



remains to me the enigmatic one

a burning riddle

yet she stays with me as each torturous day is done



my heart knows not why she stays

my consistent constant

filling up my nights and consoling my days



deserves so much more from fate

the truest soul

she loves too much and knows not how to hate



arrives again tonight as i lie awake

a thoughtful shield

my coat of armour in a world far too fake



stays with me and within me stays still

the true one

and to dwell deep in my soul is where she always will



from whose cup i have so greedily drank

a giver of life

i have not the words with which to her wholly thank



knows how desolate a world this can be

my sustainer of hope

and of life and of breath is what she will always be

creeping listlessly

in a vacuum of joy

tender thoughts trickling down

teary cheeks

devoid of pain or hurt or bliss


creeping listlessly

inside a hollow shell

weathered memories splinter apart

wounded hearts

confined to fortresses of lonely islands


creeping listlessly

beneath an empty sky

fractured poems tearing each sentence to bits of

floating dreams

cast away on cloudy waves to drown


creeping listlessly

in a vacuum of joy

inside a hollow shell

beneath an empty sky


thoughts contrive

to brush away specks of yesterday

while teary cheeks

are soothed gently dismissing the sorrow while

quietly awaiting the coming of a brighter tomorrow

the dreary emptiness digs deeply

plunging its gnarled talons into the


mind’s flesh wounding the void and

torturously leaving many a sore bruise


as the silent peace that once dwelled

and blossomed within each memory


is torridly devoured and retched out

like mangled trash and rotting refuse


the emptiness of epic truths and 

joys many and sorrows countless


reaches inside the ever-weakening

heart jabbing repeatedly at the core


for the insatiable emptiness feeds

off innocence so coarsely ruptured


hurling away eloquence and passion

craving barren loneliness ever more


tiredness has now overpowered the empty

mind that had crudely accepted ill emotions


while the truth of hope and of happiness and

joys simple are hidden in plain sight all around


it is now the time to shun the emptiness and chase

away niggling aches that stunted the beating heart

as it is the time to welcome the hope that resides in the

strength that only within wounded hearts may be found

wandering lost amidst the constant

multitudes of fellow chastened souls


adrift unknowing of what unknown

ideal the promised destination presents


a riddled destination in cold enigma

so wrapped and delicately wreathed


in wandering softly through the mute

numb crowds that the raw ego resents


walking alongside the battered and

vaguely familiar fellow travellers


each step an effort that from the

depths of courage is tightly drawn


the solidarity of the varied collective

consciousness consumes the ego thus


rendering it dead and impotent & old as

voices of the mute demand a new dawn


and in demanding that new promised dawn

of peace and hope and shelter and dignity


and of the new bright light of universality that

shuns none and embraces every being as one


may each battered and tired and weary and torn

and hungry and naked and aching and thirsty soul


be awakened to that new promising dawn where

justice blazes brightly in the radical awakening sun

the mind wanders to solitude’s sad lair

when dreams consume the soul entire


hanging on a twig of true hope the mind

finds a vessel to escape the dreadful mire


as the vessel of hope and of new beginnings

sets sail to drop anchor in another port of call


dire thoughts that resisted the assault of irony

become the crutch that prevents another fall


the abyss of doomed gloom and random pain

assailing the body weakening the ability to cope

to stand and firmly resist the punishment of fate

and to clutch ever tightly onto that slice of hope

time to

reach deeply inside the exhausted mind


time to

finally put the famished emotions to rest


time to

discard the ponderous thoughts of the day


time to

bottle up tears for another moment to weep


time to

let go of today’s agony and slip into numb sleep


time perhaps

to dream of a new tomorrow of

peace and of light

time perhaps

to dream of hope with wings aflutter

soaring into flight

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