The Deepest Pain

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The deepest pain

We have within

Is the least unique of all.

 

It surprises no one,

Not even the dead.

 

For some good reason

We bear the pain

That people we love

Put upon us.

 

They no longer love

Or care about

The pain that is within.

 

Even the dead keep staring

From behind the museum glasses—

 

Their eyes shining

In the warm, yellow light.

 

 

Twitter @bibek_writes

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Voyaging Along

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Mist, a blanket of death, is rising.

 

With sunken eyes I look around,

seeing nothing but damp darkness.

 

The night’s dank dew clings

to blades of grass.

 

The cold wind chills the marrow—

an invisible stiffness grabs from behind.

 

A crescent moon rises up

from distant hills

 

like the face of a corpse,

surrounded by dim, starry candles.

 

Beside the gnarled tree of ancient wisdom,

under leaves dripping with oily water,

 

under the wake of an earthquake,

I stand quiet and mute.

 

Longing for dawn, I move

in a new way to a new space.

 

Leaving dead petals back

with heavy memories of the Past,

 

I move on, searching for a place,

where suffering meets its end.

 

Stepping over black twigs and a dead fly,

with all my soul, with all my bleak thoughts

 

of death and decay,

I move on, searching for a place,

 

where misery meets its end—

and shrinks like raisin in the sun.

 

 

Twitter @bibek_writes

Nicotine

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I started smoking at four,
At thirty-two I had lung cancer.
The same year
Mama had died of alcoholism.

Now and then, I coughed
Blobs of yellow phlegm
Sometimes, even blood.

The doctor said
I only had a few months more,
Told me to put things in order.

I came home,
Took off my jeans,
Unbuttoned the peacock blue shirt,
Sat on the edge of my bed
In my underwear, and lit a cig.

With sweet smell of
Nicotine covering my face,
I thought about my will.

Children I had none,
I never saw my father,
I doubt if I even had one.
But I had a wife, I think I had one,
Who left me a year after our marriage,
And ran away with a taxi driver.

I don’t know where she is,
Or what she does.
I wonder if she found
The man of her dreams,
I heard she ran away twice,
My god,
She must be an awfully good runner.

I pulled out a briefcase
From under the table,
Opened it, took out an old photograph,
Taken by a film camera, probably a Yasuda.

A portly kid in khaki shorts
and bare chest stared back at me,
squatting, the underpants visible,
and smiling.

Caressing the blunt edges of it,
I felt, I, too, had a childhood,
Or at least a sense of it.
But now, I was going to die—
I’ve got to be prepared.

So, I lit another cig and took a deep drag.
Then and there I knew what I was going to do—
Sixty cigs a day—that’s my will,
And a ticket to heaven
By the end of this month.

Twitter @bibek_writes

From the Terrace

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from the terrace—
watching the rice plants
sway in the spring breeze

morning sun slants and spreads out
the wilderness rise up to me
tall upon the terrace
surrounded by the slovenly lowlands

in the distant highways
vehicles, like tin shacks, drift by
along the huddled houses
I hear a screech of hunger
on a transistor radio

I am of one mind
like the broken tree
in the middle of the rice fields

a black raven sits on the tree
then whirls in the spring breeze
soars up in the sky
and settles on the back of my mind

my eyes swam with vague terror
I hear incoherent scraps of talk
& see brief movements of hands
like the nervous raven’s wings

atop the wrought iron railing I stand
a vortex of thoughts sneers at me
like yesterday’s old, stinking clothes
I cast off my past, inhale the present air
and make the fatal plunge into the pool of future.

Twitter @bibek_writes

Standing at the Crossroads

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you and I
standing at the crossroads
looking beyond.

walking beneath the azure sky
lost in submission
out in the woods.

deep in the vagrant waters
where we gaze upon
we find each other
like shimmering little stars

constantly changing our
reflections and emotions
like ripples themselves.

we live in each other’s
company
unabashedly alone
in this unaltered
& unalterable world,

strolling haggard on the roads
carefree us two vagabonds
drifting, floating, unsettling
but —

like an eyelid’s
soundless blink
some nocturnal blackness
moth-eaten and warm
from the starless heavens above
befalls

like a quiet throng of vulture voyeurs
the woods watch us
& a crossing breeze cuts a pause
all we hear is —
the bell of silence
upon the air of gloom
ding dong! 

Twitter @bibek_writes

This Beating Heart

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Taken from pencilshades.wordpress.com

What would be my happiness
If this heart had no one to beat for?

My heart, now fervent and capable
Of earnest beating,
But, if it were cold . . .

And lay in the icy stillness of my tomb,
Would it not thaw your waking days?
And freeze your dreaming nights?

And would your heart still flutter
Like hummingbirds among the branches?
Would it still do a ballet in your chest
Just for the merriment of it?

If your heart would still beat
With the steady ticktocking of the clocks
In the wake of my heart’s demise

I wish my heart ran dry of blood
So in my veins,
Red life would never flow again.

Twitter @bibek_writes