Distant Friend

Decades passed since

our friendship found it’s fate

I, the ship, marooned n’ washed ashore

Because of her, when she chose her mate

Forever to keep me at arm’s length, her safety net

I doubled it to two arm’s- my favourite game of ‘ I’ll never forget’

You see, a true, long-lasting

friendship,

could never exist with her,

She who meant to destroy our trust

I learned early on her gypsy heart had got me fished

Its been decades now my soul has aged

the light in her gypsy eyes

They would gradually fade

I only see her tired lies and tired soul

Although now I’m three arm’s length…

What she may know now is that

The friend she knew back in school

Early on, knew to swim away

Xmas cheer

It’s mid-November and my good intention of falling asleep a bit earlier than the previous night fails miserably. My mind is still wanting to play, it seems. And so, we press the ‘rewind’ button then ‘play’, on the tape cassette that is my mind’s memories. I stay helplessly awake. The distraction of a flickering light pulsating endlessly from an ethereal cable just meters away from my bed leaves my eyelids dry and irritated. Another unfortunate outcome of the pandemic with the addition of a home office inside my already small-sized bedroom.

What comes next isn’t bringing me any closer to a good night’s rest, as my nocturnal mind fills up with the repeated verses of Selena Gomez’s ‘calm down’, and now, the world’s ‘going-ons’ is flashing between the palms of my hands. The lyrics, the reels and the selection of IG video clips -all courtesy my personal algorithms chosen by the robot behind the device. My latest pop up feed – the revolutionary youth in Iran and western media’s mess of delivering their correct message – a result of our never ending paternalistic controls of world events and it’s negative impact on human rights – women, specifically. My head starts to throb.

I plead with myself just this last time to fall asleep so that the next time I open my eyes, I would be able to transport my body into my gas-fueled car and belt away to a cold spacious mall-of-a-bunker that’s guaranteed to be decked out in Xmas decorations. I could inject liquid sugar from a candy cane into my arm tomorrow morning and feel just as elated but I would need the extra jolt of Xmas jingles. The mall’s speakers will provide just that. There is the social aspect as well. Being in a mall with all the other mall zombies feels strangely comforting. They too had likely planned to go there first thing the next day, as well. Most are reaching for some external feeling of joy and others are just ready to part with a wad of cash for some therapy shopping. The mall would fill up quickly soon after I grab my expensive grande chai latte (with oat milk).

It’s 4am now and I am less convinced I will bring as much of a festive spirit along my morning drive to the mall.

10am – lying awake – groggy and still in bed.

Lying Awake in the Universe

Lying Awake

To an Empty house,

Shell of car in a scrapyard,

Abandoned bird’s nest,

Towed airplane parked for the night,

Empty church,

A Graveyard.

It’s the same hour in which the night owl leads me to that dark familiar room. I grab a soft pillow, pull the duvet over me and lay down my aching bones. It’s bedtime and I’m ready to close my tired eyes. Im always the first to depart for the night. A sudden crackling sound of soft thunder catches my attention, but my heavy eyelids refuse to care. A passing thought surfaced from the daze as I wonder if the night will be an easy one with a quick flight into my dreams or, will reality keep me stuck on a hard seat at terminal 1 staring at a broken clock. But I don’t stay awake, and alas, I fall into a deep deep sleep.

The first sight of the morning light behind the curtains is the universe’s renewed embrace and she nudges me awake. Not a clock or early morning sound can compare with her divine grace. She reminds me that she flows through me and I am her. I have time to reflect.

We’ve passed the hour in question in silent slumber, and I smile. It’s been weeks now, I told her last night, that she is either arguing with her late husband in her sleep or whimpering. “It is time to stop”, I say with some effort of authority. She becomes still and stares in disbelief. But the universe runs through us both and we agree it’s time to move past the hurt. She is now post-surgery and her early cancer lumps removed with precision thanks to the most advanced procedure. They said she was the pioneer patient. Depression however came back in August along with pneumonia and a pinched nerve that made her temporarily immobile. The depression still lingers. No chemo needed but the radiologist will start her off with treatments in 2-4 weeks’ time. Christmas for once will not be the same and now we wait for the infection to subside. The return of the emptiness sitting deep in her chest is no stranger to us. It’s a quieter home but a safe one for healing. I too become friends with the quiet space. When you can hear a pin drop and it is loud, you too would scoff at any disturbances in one’s surroundings. Keep her safe.

Our Vision

Blindness may render our eyes useless but can heightened other senses – close your eyes…

Turning off lights at bedtime switches on bright colours that are our dreams But what of thunderclouds that wakes us up -still close your eyes

Power outage or phones lines dead. There is someone who lives next door. Ready to help or share a pot of tea Can you see, can you see

Silence is deafening when words don’t justify Seek truth as will ruin your vile games- close your eyes and see what’s real

Behind our eyelids we can feel the universe It always finds us and keeps us grounded

close your eyes and see what’s real

Her Choice

Step into her shoes

She is teenager

She is late

She was raped

Step into her shoes

She listens to he mother

She is silenced

She couldn’t believe it was her father

Step into her shoes

She is poor but a young hard-working mother

She can’t fight the depression

She is with her 4th child and dad is out with Bambi, spending her own hard-earned money, for the 4th straight night

Step into her shoes

She sat down on the bus on her way home after a 14-hour shift, underpaid

She was held back, gang-raped

She is thrown out of her home

Step into her shoes

She had only one drink

She was falling over at the college house party only after

She told him to hold her drink a minute

Step into her shoes

She’s an addict and can’t get out

She’s homeless and refuses help

She’s been violated over 20 times by her older cousin left to babysit her when she was only a child

Step into her shoes

She doesn’t have a heart and her family knows it

She can’t control her anger, her mind is scattered and has mental issues

She will leave a trail of destruction

Step into her shoes

She fell into bad company, met a boy and committed a crime

She’s incarcerated and will do 10 years time

Step into her shoes

She fell in love, he was possessive

She was made to believe his love was true

She opened her eyes, no longer blind

She saw his dark side when he threatening her holding a steel pipe

Step into their shoes…

Now she has a choice when she didn’t have a voice

Step into their shoes…

Observation Deck

I did not exist then and I will not be here forever. I am a visitor just like you, standing on the observation deck.

While we are here, we create and carry our stories, draw conclusions about her while we find comfort to ease our pain.

Say, does it really matter for the ruthless heart, a wayward wind lost from the start? For the rest of us, is there no sign to keep us hoping beyond a doubt? Is love a mould just like the rock beneath our feet you made- porous and hard?

Let’s sing and dance our way into the light then… No answer? Let’s wear our metal thread and climb back up onto the observation deck… no answer?