NOT JUST ANY SUNSET
This lunar sunset was what he’d most miss -
They always said death was like this :
Slo-mo and black-and-white
Like an old movie trite.
It had happened to him twice before : then
At rush hour on the G15 highway outside Shenzhen (1)
In his new red car when he was twenty;
And again on the pad at Dongfeng launch facility - (2)
An accidental fire in the cabin and abort
When the oxygen supply fell short.
The sun had glared at him all day from the black night
Familiar stars visible, coloured bright.
He ran through his old lectures in his head
The cool ones - yellow orange, red,
The hot ones which stare and emblazon,
As everything slips slowly down to the western horizon.
No loss of heat from sun, but shadows lengthening now,
Black, black, lengthening inky shadow.
His pen wrote fast across his paper notepad deformed
But the inky marks now in Pudonghua formed (3)
As his English slipped away.
He’d been here so long . . . . a month? A day?
Day is 15 earth days, night is 15 nights
And sunset lasts a whole earth day bright
Moon was full, his earth was darkened, like night.
A blue watery ball with edges of light:
While the earth eclipsed the sun
A red halo around his spinning home was spun.
Sun’s entry on earth’s western limb made slow
Red flares - crowns - as the solar disk slid low,
And earth’s red light bathed itself on white rocks beside,
He felt a last touch of home inside.
So unlike his own sunsets of the past
In his home in Guangzhou, seen last (4)
Over the Pearl River delta with bent light (5)
At the heavy monsoon rains’ height.
This taikonaut’s last sunset . . . . . his radio dead, (6)
His pen drops, and he slowly nods his head,
As sun’s warm arms envelope his earth fond,
And he slips his surly bonds. (7)
(1) A well-known dangerous highway in southern China
(2) Chinese equivalent to Kennedy Space Centre
(3) Pudonghua (=Chinese) is the language spoken in southern China
(4) Major mega-city in southern China, near Hong Kong
(5) Pearl River is the river on which Guangzhou stands
(6) Astronaut = cosmonaut = taikonaut
(7) This line is closely modeled on a line in “HIGH FLIGHT” by John Magee
Entered in Nancy Jones's Contest "LOSERS"
Alone on a mountain top, she quietly sits.
Looking down below lies a dark pit.
On the other side runs a river next to a valley so green.
Pretty flowers everywhere, it’s the most beautiful scene
Overhead the birds are singing as they all fly by.
The setting of the sun adds a beautiful contrast to the colour of the sky.
Animals on the field playing around all so carefree.
This is the place she calls her own, a place to escape reality.
She closes her eyes for a minute, n the memories come flooding in.
Memories of her childhood days, life then was like a dream.
Climbing on the mango trees, making swings out of old tyres
Hide and seek in the garden and playing with toys made outta wires.
Sliding down the banks with old crates and cardboards.
Not missing an episode of star wars and playing with toy swords.
Running around bare feet n not worried about any cuts n bruises.
Having fun in all our games no matter who wins or loses.
Rushing home after school to catch her fav cartoons.
Sunday morning trips to the beach n been there till late in the afternoon.
Holidays and special occasions always celebrated with family and friends.
She opened her eyes n wished those days had never ended.
The sun had finally set, it was time for her to go.
But she will be back here soon, of that she sure knows.
For this is where she finds serenity, her place to be alone.
A place she feels free and far away from home.
She heads on back, an hour’s drive away.
She felt reluctant to leave, she wished she cud of stayed.
But she enjoys the long drive home as she passes a forest of trees
This is how she forgets about her pain by reliving the special memories. .
I didn’t want to go on vacation
I would rather stay home with my friends
When does being treated like a baby
In this family come to an end!?
We went to a stupid hot beach
I don’t even know how to swim
I would rather be practicing basketball
Back home in the high school gym.
I sat moping on the beach all alone
As the sun was starting to set
We’d been here for all of three days
I wasn’t having any fun yet.
Then I noticed her walking by herself
Silhouetted against the red sky
Just on the edge of the water
I was speechless as she passed by.
I watched her walk down to the pier
Where she turned and started coming back
I went down to the edge of the water
Making sure I would be in her path.
I was aware of this beautiful creature
Walking ever closer to me
Her blond hair gently dancing
Inspired by the ocean breeze.
She looked up and smiled as she passed
Slowing down for me to say, “Hi”
An opportunity I couldn’t respond to
As I simply let her pass by.
All night I stayed awake dreaming
Of this angel I saw on the shore
Silently thinking and scheming
What I would do if I saw her once more.
Next day I was on the beach early
To give my destiny a shot
I sat there searching and burning
The sun was so very hot.
Just when I was about to give up
And mope on back to my bed
I heard a sweet voice saying,
“Boy are you turning red.”
I’ll spare you all of the detail
From my steamy summer of love
When on a golden ray of sunshine
My future wife was sent from above.
Flowing fields of black
Roses the hue of night
Dark meadow take me home
Relieve me of my fright
And take me back.
Blackened fields of ashy rose
Take me to my home
Where I'll never see the sun again
Where I'll never hate
And never bend
Where we only see in shades of gray
Where summer sun has shone its last
And November wind is here to stay.
Where I can go forget my past
And never have to pay
For the things I've done.
Blackened fields of ashy rose
Take me to your home
Where we all see in shades of gray
And I can rest in the coldly blowing wind.
Forget my face forget my name
Forget my form forget my sin
Let me stay and waste away
Please won't you take me in?
Whenever the sun goes home to sleep,
Man says 'today's labor is over'.
But I know the dusk is tricking us again.
Yet, who cares to give that trick a thought.
Man says 'today's labor is over;
A dreamy sleep is the only thing to reap'
But I know the dawn will soon rob me of my rest'
Yet, the weary man gives dusk trick no thought.
A dreamy sleep is the only thing to reap
After man has given the day his labor
But I know the dawn will soon rob me of my rest
For the dusk only trick us to look forward to its rest.
After man has given the day his labor,
I know the dusk will trick us again.
For it makes man look forward to its rest,
Whenever the sun goes home to sleep
11th August, '12
Just experimenting with the Pantoum form
There are too many times when my eyes open and it’s still dark.
It’s useless to think that I’ll go back to sleep, and it’s no good at all to lay in bed and watch the passing parade of worries that comes marching down the Main Street of my mind. When I do that, the entertainment seems to take on its own life. The parade grows longer, more spectacular, with the noise of marching bands, my thoughts, growing louder. Clowns scurry ahead of the band leader, throwing red balls in the air. There are too many balls to count.
The best thing I can do for myself is to rise from my bed. But there are days when it seems too much to bear being home before the rest of the world rises. There’s just too much emptiness in my small house.
I leave, escaping to DD's, where I sit and sip my coffee over a newspaper. Sometimes there are others sitting waiting for the light to come, too–like the woman who gives an animated “Hello” to everyone she meets, staring too long into our eyes. She takes out her cell phone to call a friend about the rashes on her legs. Something is biting her during the night. Raj and the other DD workers snicker, and I am drawn to–but at the same time repelled by–her morbid troubles.
Sometimes, in the winter, it seems as if the time I spend in the dark before the light comes is endless. I don’t think it’s normal for darkness to last so long; it’s probably one of the punishments for eating the apple in Eden.
I much prefer the early light of June and July, when the morning allows the gentle unfolding of life around me. Somehow, when the sun is in the sky at 6:30 a.m., a passing gasoline truck rattling my windows does not sound so lonely. Nor do I mind the sun revealing the stains from spring rains on my windows … or the birds loudly announcing their presence in the trees. Their manic chirping awakens schoolchildren eagerly counting down the days til summer.
When the darkness is especially long, and I have already sought out the comfort of others who cannot sleep, I will sometimes return home and do what I am so reluctant to do — sit still. I take up my position in a special chair near a window that looks out onto the street. I close my eyes and listen to the heated rhythms that only my body can make. My breath … my ins and outs.
But I wonder; why is it so hard to be still? Especially in the dark before the light.
it's green, blue and charming
i can feel the warm, moist of the ground
i was born here 'till the day when i die
a home called earth
the air that we breathe
the sun which brings life
the ground where the trees grow
the sea where we can feel the wave
all are magical
all are beautiful
all are natural
all are gifts from heaven above
but we are too greedy
we build, we destroy, we consume the earth
with no regret with no satisfaction
in our home called earth
we don't remember when the rainy season should come
we never felt the sun shines too bright today
maybe we have lost our way
how can we destroy our home
we may look different and talk different
but you are my brother, my sister, my family
let us share more love to this earth
a home called earth
They are angry
At us for deceiving
We're left in this cold alley
Thrown like dog's
Im waiting for the right time
But my pulse is not going so fast as when they were here
Because of a religion im a target
Because i want to be myself
They want me
And my beloved
Please tell me your ok
Tell me is over now
All she asked me
My self with frozen tears falling down
A little bit longer and we are gonna be in heaven
She said i am lying
Sometimes truth is hidden between lies
She want's me to hold her tight
But we must play dead until every one else die
I asked her back
Do you remember?
When We met each other
Playing dead with the dogs
She said back
And look at us now
Playing dead again with death by the side
I told her there how much i loved her
She stood quiet
After long seconds she said with her trembling voice
Snow is cold
Heart is not strong
I told her to focus
It was gonna be over soon
Then she said repeated i love you
Then i stood quiet
I was gonna say love you too
When a soldier jumped at us and started shooting at the dead bodies
I looked at her pretty eyes
Her frozen lips i say the move and i spelled "I Love You"
Right there bullets got her
Her blood was every were
The soldier wasted all his bullets
Then he left
My cried there
But the cold didn't my tears fall
Two nights later
The invasion was over
I was able to stop playing dead
I ran to her body
And hug it tight
Saying sorry and repeating i love you hundreds of times
For that time the sun shined bright on that solo tunnel
I looked at the sun with fear
And asked why did she left...
She promise me before they came here she wasn't gonna die
Not with my son inside
Then tears broke from my eyes like a river
Two lives in one
How can that embrace my life
Then i stood up and walked away
The note i never lend to her...
My love, much time have passed since last time, i am most certain i haven't called either
send a picture of me, but everything is fine, hope you are too, by the way i wanted to
remind you how much and how strong i love you, i promise one thing, I will not die, you
will see me one more time, a time that will cut forever, hope the sun is burning bright
there, i heard snow is bad, i will come back home in 6 days, ti'll then put your love on
the pocket, i'll be back home darling...
Much Love, your Husband Wes Ortiz
Deep breath to shake it
Cold chill slivers down fast
Beating against cage of heart
Cage of body
Cage of soul
Legs begging to run
Heart aching to be free
Truth to self
aching to be seen
Sweet scent of dry savannah plains
Sharp smell of thorny veins
The aroma of Africa surrounds
Scents sights sounds
In these home is found
Snarling at every motion made
Scared but defiant
Blinded by fear and rage
Paws long for endless journeys
On paths walked centuries ago
For elegance in element
A space all her own
Where earth still bleeds red on horizon
Morning and night
Continuing the endless fight
Fight for borderless freedom
The pale yellow green eyes
Dismays the truth inside
But tell the story
Of wild soul
Story to unfold
Isabel, the southern sea
Was kind to me, was motherly
Like home and cotton sheets
She had a still way about her
With tiny tumbling waves
Like Kiari’s dream, a reverie
She settled into me
Like a full stomach
And well- deep dark eyes
She sent me to my knees
She makes me shy
She makes me weak
Her sun has got a hold on me
cast out over the sea
And now that sun has captured me
My illaudable life
Shaking like a leaf
At the thought
That this could be
Adjuntas, trees, Boriquen coquis
dons my dirty life in robes
Restores my golden crown
And there, the air,
Could mend the tear
My inner shredding
My broken ground
What have I found?
Puerto Rico, Isabel
What have you for me now?
Oh Beauty, move me
Lift me like a stain
Give me a piece of your name
To carry you and love you as I can
Find me running,
Find your name in my heart
Isabel’s son, my sun
Sigue, Sigue, corro por ti!
There’s nowhere I’d rather be
Than at your feet.
The southern sea, the beach
Make a home for me….