Gift of Motherhood and Songs

I think I was going to wait so long for paradise,
to hold my mother like me at childhood would,
to my doll. But you came as an angel, not fallen.
It was as if mother resurrected into your body,
to teach me how to stay afloat this sea,
if the ship capsize by the hands of angry ice,
jealous waves and dark forces beyond us.
God gave me, you; he knew there are many
who would push me into the jaws of grief.
The sea seeks to grip a fish to its heart:
how do I tell God I do not want to be robbed
of warmth, spread as tenth over me – what
my childhood missed and it’s scars are there
still, on my body, for certain wounds do not
disappear quickly, they fall in love with our flesh
and make love to it in the dark, like the grief
hunting you. But there’s another gift: songs
to be sang aloud at seasons of sorrow.

Permission Denied

‘It’s better I just die,’ Brigitte Poirson

Because I do not see a trace of you
in your utterances, mother, I forgive you.
Perhaps, your demon has found a way
to mimic your voice, to agonize us –
a way of holding our bodies hostage,
like we are thieves, like we are slaves.
I won’t carry your words to the world
if that’s what your grief wants from me;
I won’t sow panic on your lovers’ mind.
A dirge is not to be replayed after a rebirth:
you’re not free to utter any word about exit.
There’s enough dreadful words in your heart,
leave us to battle death for you and live
in the cubicle of quietude, singing songs
of hope, of healing, and of resurrection.

Before Dawn

Your worries, a mansion too high
for me to glide over without wings.
I would have stolen you and slay
whatever stays our way to wedge us
for loneliness to stitch its venom
into us again. How can you be
alone in this walls where fears
come in the regalia of night and
nightmares are too impatient to
wait for darkness to swallow light.
A feather of a holy bird won’t do
the magic; at least, there’s a sign
of light in the outskirts of a cave,
a home for the bruised, longing
for the promised light, like crystals.
I do not fear if these walls have ears
like the one in the tales grandpa
told me. Poke your ears into the flesh
of these walls, and hear the deluge
of songs like the rain in Noah’s day.
Echo it aloud; you must return into
your body before the next dawn.

Wishes from a distant Son

Mother, grief has stolen your angels –
cherubs and seraphs meant to sing
your strength and victories aloud.
See why you are innocent of your
identity. I cannot say you’re brittle
for grief to grind into dust, too light
to air into an atmosphere where
demons with protruding teeth call
your name, like a demanding child,
shameless and soulless to have pity
upon his mother, a way of lending
to the Lord. Aloud: woe to your grief.
Cursed be the distance sundering us.
I mean to say I want solitude to mean
a name of your neighbour, looking
after you in my absence till we live
in a chamber of joyful songs, sang
to a bird in full flight in darkness.
Mother, I want to see you singing aloud.

Light for you and for the World

Because it is probably very dark out right now
for you, as it’s been for the world in the hands
of a callous virus, I’ve chosen to walk the lonely
path with you. Songs for you, mother. And for
the world too, to lighten our walkways to a place,
where the palms of God is a haven of songs.
Picture the seraphs singing beautiful songs
of hope. Hum them, songs. And sing them aloud.
I opted to be a poetry marathoner than a mourner,
composing songs for you to carry in your mouth –
full blown flowered roses for you, mother.
Light for the world, for me, for us, too afraid
to sleep at night: a monster lurks behind our doors.
I am awake running poetic marathon for a day,
no sleep to gift you songs in the form of poems,
to lighten your grief or burn them into flakes.

A burden too Heavy for a Human is Grief

The only way to nail your demon to golgotha
without resurrecting is to have a friend close,
to bear your burden with you. No complaints.
No fears. I felt grief is too heavy for you alone
And I sacrificed my body for you, whichever way,
I’m with you because what we fight is no human.
No bodies. No spirit. Just a haunting look
in the dark. This way, I understand what it means
to be a fragment of something bigger than the world.
Do not say I’m too young to be here in spirit.
There’s a way spirits hold themselves together.
Hold hands with me. Close your eyes and him a song.
Or Rest on me. Listen to what the angels are singing,
a song which you’ve never heard before.
‘Don’t you know how precious you are to us?
Stay alive with us. There are so many years unfought. ‘

Perhaps Father Should Have Taught me Songs Heal

Grief and solitude are brothers of destruction –
my dictionary says they can be used interchangeably.
My father was teaching me to be a hard man,
how not to smile. He believed smiles make one too soft
like a wet earth for sorrows to wound in, burrowing holes for more woes to find ranches. In one of his lessons, he
said I needed to learn to bottle grief in my body, that
men don’t cry. This means killing the water bags in my
eyes. But the day the news of mother’s journey beyond
reached him, he broke into constellations of dirges.
He screamed as if mother once lived in his voice,
and singing aloud would resurrect her. I realized there,
he was seeking healing though in the arms of requiem.

A Nostalgic Walk Down Memory Lane

It doesn’t take a long time
for new things to age.
Some songs are like that.
But I’m not the kind that
discard songs because
I do not believe in the death
of what gives life at a point
even at the birth of new ones.
As a boy, I loved to be sent
on errands at night, because
I’d be permitted to go along
with compound cassette tape,
giving light to torch my way
through darkness and lonely paths.
But I wouldn’t put on the light
to safe enough battery to jam
my grief with old reggaes.
I’d jump and jump and jump
so much that sometimes,
I do not feel like going back home.

Conquering Distance

My heart grief with you uninvited.
So, take this poem enveloped in warmth
to be an assurance of affection.

Your motherly concern for humanity
is what the world has not agreed
she lacks, like a beautiful maiden of no values.

I decided to call you the other night
to remind you certain songs won’t just play
if you do not open your body.

Mother, I prize you above gold and silver.
And if I do not write you my tenderness,
I’d burn; this flame knows no stint.

Oh, do you say what about distance?
Mother, you taught me not to regard
what stops me from reaching a height.

Damn it. Is there a place songs can’t reach?

The Night you wished you were Dead

Scary night – the night I called
to know if you’ve won another fight against solitude: Wrestling hard
has been the only ladder
you’ve perfected in life because
life never gave you an option.

That night, I’d have had the feelings
of birds flying in the sky, above seas
for fear I might miss you, the way
I missed the path I followed here.
(You filled her vacuum in my heart)

If not for covid-19 ban on planes,
Perhaps, I’d have known that night,
how planes are higher birds, but unlike
birds have no feathers and songs.

I love songs: they’ve kept me alive.
Mother, fall in love with songs.
Forget about age: how true love
could be found in a lifeless world.
You can make songs to love.
Sing them aloud. Louder. No sin.

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