Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Spectre

It was hard to accept that Daddy was dead.

Mum was devastated.

Oh man, we prayed fervently, little brother and I, for GOD to bring him back to life. We were serious.

And then we waited expectantly for him to walk in through the door as usual, with his exuberant booming bass reverberating throughout the house as the carried us aloft in his strong arms and hands that tickled. But no such miracle occurred.

And then one day his car came trundling towards the house. We ran out to meet it, little brother and I, our hearts in our mouths, palms skyward in jubilation, thinking GOD had answered our desperate prayers.

But from within the car emerged one of his former colleagues, newly assigned his company car.

We instantly hated that stranger for not being Daddy, though he came to offer condolences for his loss.

Even little sister, at the time a blissfully ignorant, inarticulate toddler, eventually caught on to the extended absence of a strong, familiar presence. She then cried for days.

The years passed and reality sank inescapably,  the hard reality of his continued absence, the oppressive expectation that we would never see him again. The best we could hope for was to eventually come to terms with that Daddy-shaped gap that would never be filled.

To this day his ghost in my dreams is cause for rejoicing. I eagerly pursue it with urgent questions demanding answers, half glad to be reunited at last, though it evades me studiously. Usually people run from ghosts, but this is one ghost I have never forgiven for having the guts to die on me.

Of course I should know better. It was not his fault.

Goodbye Daddy.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

friends

Many people, everywhere,
on the prowl for hugs and handshakes.
Small-talk conveyor belts
compelled to supply you.
Some vague restriction
prevents a mutual reckoning
honest and terminal.
A weighty obligation
to sustain cordiality
animates synthetic smiles all around.
Everywhere.
Everywhere.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Essentially Beautiful

You add to good looks a clean heart.
It shines through, you can't help it.
You are beautiful inside.

Your mind is a verdant pasture
Fruitful and calm
Your spirit refreshes like water
Pleasant company
You are positive and radiant
Uplifting conversation
The things you say
speech in due season
The way you say things
An absolute delight

Cross the Abyss

In the course of life you suddenly meet
A yawning chasm,
from which no light escapes,
But all things swirl in a turbulent vortex -
a downward spiral to perdition.

None dare whisper a word of warning.
The deafening scream of quiet despair,
a hateful choking stench,
in saying it all, struggles to muffle
the frenetic psychosis accompanying
such irreversible plunges.
Chirpy jingles wanly sound,
morale-boosting work songs proliferate,
sudden outbursts distract the wary,
striped in panic and uncertainty.
Foul decay whitewashed with lies
smiles that do not reach the eyes.

Anyway in the belly of the beast
lamentations are ignored -
Why think about it too hard?
Strive to pass without incident.
Let the headlines trumpet the winners.
Hold steady now, keep your head.

The multitude's grasping ambition rallies
Human nature supplies momentum.
We dive headlong into its black heart,
Anxious to make it or die en route.

A cold indifferent roar greets us
an icy blast of contempt and hate
belched from our downward destination
concealed by indiscernible darkness.

Yet we unfazed in pursuit of Happiness
will know her when we find her,
for whom with zeal we lend our arms to the oar
and our backs to the whip...

Stop.
Look above, think beyond,
Make your ardous journey
to that land of answers
across, not inside, the abyss.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Football Madness

The World Cup is with us again. I am underwhelmed as usual. This was supposed to be fun, in the particularly narrow sense of having lots of football to watch. That part isn't so bad. The rest of it... where to start?

The thing which gives me the most grief is the poor ratio of hype to significance in the venture. The hype was and still is disproportionate. After the hangover has lifted, the smoke has cleared and the streets are swept, all that will have happened is a series of football games. Good for a fling, and just as brief. But the flock of marketers jumping on the World Cup gravy train rather detracts from the football.

Probably if my country was in it I could have pride to justify zeal, but most of the egos out here are headbutting for teams they have no inkling of connection to. Just because someone decided to support a fancied foreign team, they find enough grounds therein to sink their emotional lot in its fortunes at a remote tournament. He will even argue with friends and fight strangers for this team. Likely even bet a princely stake, a ruinous amount.

Inevitably someone's favorite team gets eliminated - we were never all gonna get to the final, see. (I always get triggered when the host country gets eliminated a good while before the final. Awkward for the survivors' visiting fans huh.) It's like gambling: everybody cries so that one person can smile very broadly. It's probably a good thing we didn't qualify and spend all that time and money only to go and get humiliated on a global stage. And then assemble at the airport to aim rotten eggs at the team bus. Or, more typically, throw a major tantrum on radio and TV talk shows.

By all means buy and wear the foreign country's jersey, who cares really what you brand yourself with, or where you come from, or what sense it makes. Sport is supposed to be fun anyway. It gets more thrilling when there are stakes involved, something to be won or lost. I play football, I should know.

There comes a time however when a line is crossed and the stakes are just too high for this life and the only real winner is the corporate sponsor orchestrating the scam to peddle merchandise. And, of course, that one winning country.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Curmudgeon

I admit that the tone of this blog has been negative. My sincerest apologies.

I have been burning negative emotions online. It is a bit like burning tyres in a crowded street.

Some will see the smoke from afar. Some will walk unawares into an acrid cloud of black smoke.

I thought garbage is better off burnt outside than kept inside.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Dream Girl

My eyes made out your form
the adorning garments
the face that crowned it all
the projected artifice
But I never once saw you

My mind processing the sight
filled the shell with fantasy
loaded meaning on your words
Assigned you my co-star
In a rom-com chick-flick
painted you in its own image

But I never really saw you

Friday, May 11, 2018

Bliss

Remember that one time you thought you were soon leaving for greener pastures?

Remember how happy you were, how carefree?

You were floating way above cloud nine. Nothing got to you, no one could say anything to you.

It wasn't so much where you were going that broadened your smile. GOD knows you were apprehensive, even unexcited about that new prospect.

Just the idea that you were on the brink of leaving gave you a new lease of life. You looked forward to your last day, you fantasized on their surprise when you would tell them. You practised the short statement with which you would deliver the letter of resignation that you had already spent ages wondering exactly how to phrase.

Unhappily, the slightly less disagreeable prospect that was the wellspring of such vibrant hope vanished into limbo, crushing your soul, and you hung your head and moped about in low spirits for days on end like a whelp suddenly orphaned. What got you down was the recognition that the trap you were in was worthy of escape, just as the mirage of an open door dissolved into hot air.

Did you forget how good the mere prospect of leaving for a slightly better trap made you feel?

Monday, April 30, 2018

Write It Down

One mourns for a lost idea
As for a neglected lover.

Better to suffer writer's block,
and remain a lifelong blockhead,
than, having had a brainwave,
to subsequently forget
before paper preserves it.

Harsh self-reproach prevails
For once having tasked Imagination
Only for memory in an idle moment
Distracted by a passing fancy
To loose its grasp
on hard-wrought genius
pursued afresh in vain.

One mourns for an idea
Entombed in the sands of time
Buried forever in amnesia.

All hail pen and paper!
Jailhouse of flighty ideas.

Friday, April 13, 2018

My Bad

From our earliest beginnings I perceived instinctually that you would always be the star of the show, myself your supporting cast at best.

Your innate vivacity, your knack for the melodramatic, your effortless allure, your quick, often biting wit and sharp mind made me, an introverted, overanalytical, awkward, stiff, caustic, half-baked nerd stubbornly riding the crest of an exhausted wave of bygone glories, feel like a relative robot-mannequin by your side. I resented your active strength and social magnetism which exposed my passive weakness and solitary antisocial unpopularity. I could never summon up enough guts to dominate you, which for some reason I thought was important if anything was going to happen - we both know that we both knew what was at stake. The opportunity was begging for taking.

But I would have been asking you to dim your brilliance and tone down your vibrancy just to accommodate my myopic juvenile insecurities. Yet even then I knew that it would have been too much of an ask to attempt, and I did not have enough balls to ask it anyway (thank heavens). So I resentfully cleared the way for others in the spirit of "Those who say it can't be done should get out of the way of those who are doing it." Passively. And so I took a front row seat and shortly vacated it unable to stomach the sight.

Right now, knowing I have no right soever, I can't help but protest the singular waste of talent you represent.