The Old Made New – CVR(T) MkII – Scimitar Mk2

After spending several hundred million pounds on several different replacement programs for the CVR(T), they ended up with just doing everything that should have been done in the first place to improve the series. Even with the Budget Crunch the MoD is facing, this is probably the most cost effective solution. My guess is that these little tankettes will soldier on for another decade or so. (Baby Merkavas?)

Another couple of hundred million or so would have Scimitar turret upgraded with the CTA 40mm Case Telescopic Weapon System and mated to a Stormer hull. Then all they need is full stabilization of the gun… But that would be the beginning as the Spartan, Samson, Samaritan & Sultan have been rehulled, reengined, etc. If the entire family had been rehulled, and upgraded with the Stormer hull, it would indeed give the CVR(T) a new lease on life.

However, that edges into the province of being an all new replacement. That just cannot happen as the end result of all those hundreds of millions of wasted pounds must be fruitful. The General Dynamics ASCOD, the winner of the FRES SV competition, must be allowed into the British Army.

It’s just that, now with the current British Government looking to save several billion pounds, you have to wonder if the program will ever see production. If it does, how long before they actually start replacing the CVR(T) in service?

Up-Armoured Vehicles Begin Afghanistan Operations

(Source: U.K Ministry of Defence; issued September 15, 2011)

The first of the enhanced Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) [CVR(T)] fleet is now operational on the front line in Afghanistan.

The up-armoured vehicles are giving extra protection to the soldiers of the 9th/12th Royal Lancers, as they provide security in the Nahr-e Saraj (North) district of Helmand province.

The main task of the 9th/12th Royal Lancers is to overwatch the battlespace either side of Highways 1 and 611, the two main supply routes that run through the Task Force Helmand area of operations.

BAE Systems has upgraded the armour on all five vehicles that make up the CVR(T) family – Scimitar, Spartan, Samson, Sultan and Samaritan – through an Urgent Operational Requirement process worth around £30m. CVR(T) is on display in the UK for the first time this week at the DSEi defence and security equipment show, currently taking place in London.

As part of the contract, the vehicles have been re-hulled to give better mine-blast protection for troops, and improved armour added for enhanced resistance to blasts and ballistics, as well as new mine-blast protection seating in every position in every variant. Other enhancements include repositioned foot controls and a revamped fuel system.

Scimitar Mark 2 builds on a number of upgrades that have previously been made to the CVR(T), which address the problems experienced while operating in the harsh Afghan environment. These previous upgrades have included improved power output, new gearboxes and transmissions, air-conditioning, improved communications, air filters and night-vision systems.

The Scimitar Mark 2s are proving a hit with the troops. Sergeant Matthew Pook, aged 31, from Hinckley in Leicestershire, has served on operations in Kosovo, Iraq and Bosnia and has seen previous versions of the vehicle in action. He said:

“Significant progress has been made with the vehicle since I first used it. It makes you feel more confident when out on the ground. The old ones needed regular maintenance and fixing, which is hard work at the end of a day.”

Trooper Ashley Doyle, aged 21, from Plymouth, praised the changes to the vehicle. He said:

“Where we operate, it’s a lot safer to move around in vehicles because they act as a deterrent against the insurgents. This new vehicle can cope with all the terrain in the Green Zone, even irrigation ditches, because of the new suspension.”

9th/12th Royal Lancers’ tour has been varied but they have used the CVR(T) in its classic reconnaissance role, providing security in convoy support.

Lieutenant Ed Aitken, aged 25, from London, is Troop Leader of 1st Troop, Formation Reconnaissance Squadron:

“Our area of operation is 250 square kilometres so the mobility the CVR(T) has allows us to have an effect on the area that we wouldn’t otherwise achieve,” he said. “The Highway is an arterial supply route so security is essential. Without vehicles such as this, it wouldn’t be possible.” (ends)  

BAE Systems Delivers Tougher Recce Vehicles for Afghan Ops

(Source: BAE Systems; issued September 15, 2011)

TELFORD, United Kingdom — BAE Systems has delivered improved versions of the Scimitar recce vehicle family with tougher new hulls and a range of other upgrades. The first vehicles are now providing improved crew protection for British Army crews in Afghanistan.

Five variants of the CVR(T) (Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance –Tracked) family are being upgraded to the Mk 2 standard as part of this fast-moving and cost-effective Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) programme. In addition to the Scimitar Mk 2 reconnaissance vehicle, the supporting Spartan troop carrier, Samson repair & recovery, Sultan command post and Samaritan ambulance are being re-hulled at a total cost of less than £30m.

The new Telford design, based on the Spartan hull, is fabricated from aluminium at BAE Systems’ Wolverhampton site and incorporates a range of design changes to improve mine blast protection, improve vehicle maintainability and reduce support costs while minimising weight growth.

A major safety feature is the improved driver egress.

“In addition to the change in material, the new hull for the Scimitar Mk 2 is based on the Spartan variant,” explains project manager Pete Hallows. “This change gives vital extra headroom within the driver’s area to fit a blast attenuation seat, while providing an additional escape route through the new rear door.

Hallows adds: “The modern alloy also enhances corrosion resistance, which means reduced maintenance and therefore reduced through-life costs.”

News of the upgrade follows a programme announced in June called Warrior Theatre Entry Standard (HERRICK), also known as TES(H), which has similarly boosted protection and mobility on Warrior infantry fighting vehicles in Afghanistan. Engineers on the two programmes shared feedback from the front line and testing to optimise design solutions in areas such as protection, suspension and seating.

The Mk 2 follows earlier upgrades which gave CVR(T) a new engine, add-on armour and better engine cooling and air filtration to cope with operation in hot, dusty climates.

More than two thousand CVR(T)s are in service with non-UK customers and BAE Systems is marketing the CVR(T) Mk 2 and earlier upgrade technology to them.

CVR(T) Mk 2 changes include:
— new mine-blast protection seating in every position in every variant
— redesigned and repositioned driver foot controls to reduce lower limb mine blast injuries
— improved appliqué armour to improve blast and ballistic protection
— upgraded torsion-bar suspension to improve vehicle mobility
— revamped fuel system and tanks
— a heavier-duty winch on the Samson variant, and many other minor changes.

A new power distribution system, including a new rotary base junction, provides improved power management between chassis and turret and will enable further systems upgrades in the future. An ongoing non-UOR brake upgrade programme will result in a retrofit to the vehicles next year.

Contract award for CVR(T) Mk 2 was in December 2010, following an earlier risk mitigation programme. The upgrade was developed, tested and managed by the Vehicles Military & Technical Services team at BAE Systems’ Telford site. The team also co-ordinated vehicle build at the nearby DSG (Defence Support Group), Donnington facility. All 50 vehicles will be delivered by early 2012.

UK sub-contractors on the programme include Jankel (Weybridge, Surrey), Allen Vanguard (Tewskbury), MTL (Sheffield), ACGB (Kettering), Tinsley Bridge (Sheffield), Horstman (Bath), Moog (Reading), Friction Hydraulics (Telford), W A Lewis (Shrewsbury), Park Precision (Weymouth, Dorset), ABEC (Birmingham), Permali (Gloucester) Park Sheet Metal (Coventry), AB Connectors (Mountain Ash, Wales) and Thales (Glasgow).

-ends-

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Car Prices In Malaysia

Read the following forwarded article…….by Syed Akbar Ali.
And know the actual prices of your dream car.

Digest this article, after that, you may need to vomit. What is the Malaysian Govt doing all these while. Ripping off our Rakyat for the last 30 yrs with APs designed to benefit a few well connected Bumis, the UMNO/BN have robbed millions of citizens in this fiasco, under the pretext of protecting our local industry. The Govt have forgotten we Malays are the largest customers in the country. What is the NEP policy doing ?? Ripping off the Malays (which forms 65% of the consumer base) to benefit a few UMNO politicians !!!

BMW 535i sells for RM178,000 in the US

In the United States of America (a developed country which we are also aspiring to become by the year 2020) a 2009 model BMW 535i Sedan is selling for about USD50,367.00. This is only RM178,000 – about the price of a Toyota Camry 2..4L here in Malaysia . The same BMW sells in Malaysia for about RM450,000.

BMW 328i sells for RM155,000 in the US

The 2009 model BMW 328i 2 door Convertible sells for USD44,014 or RM155,36900 in the US In Malaysia the same car sells for over
RM460,000. This is an untenable situation.

Audi A4 2.0T Cabriolet Convertible sells for RM142,000 in the US

The 2009 model Audi A4 2 Door 2.0T Cabriolet Convertible sells in the US for USD40,328.00 or RM142,357. In Malaysia the same car would sell for about RM265,000.

VW GTI 2.0T sells for RM85,000 in the US

In the US the 2009 model Volkswagen GTI 2.0T sells for USD 24,039 or RM85,000 only. In China the same car will cost around RM60,000. Over here the same VW car sells for about RM200,000.

And the 2010 model Toyota Camry 2.4L sells in the US for USD 19,659…00 or RM69,396 In Malaysia the 2008 Toyota Camry 2.4L sells for RM170,000. Toyota Camry 2.4L, 2010 model. RM69,000 in the US

Car prices in Malaysia are about three times higher than the prices in the United States We are a developing nation. Our land and labour costs are so much cheaper than the US Why are our cars so expensive? It does not make any sense. Tak masuk akal.

Then here are some car prices from our neighbour Indonesia .
The Toyota Altis sells in Indonesia for about RM46,000. The same car sells here for around RM 112,000.. Again we are three times more expensive than Indonesia

The Honda Jazz sells here for RM108,000… In Indonesia the Jazz sells for RM 36,000. Three times more expensive.

We are paying ridiculously high prices (and actually impoverishing the Malays – who are the largest buyers of cars in Malaysia ) to support an out of date, out of touch with reality motor car policy.

We are paying the highest car prices in the world to support the Proton and other locally made cars as well as support a mind boggling AP policy which only benefits a relatively few rich Malays. A disproportionately large number of Malays and other Malaysians are being impoverished to subsidise the wealth of a few inefficient rich.

26 million Malaysians have to pay three times more for their cars just to support Proton and 120,000 people who are directly and indirectly involved in the motor sector in Malaysia and the AP holders. That is a ratio of 216:1.

This ratio of 216:1 is too skewed. 26.0 million happier people can contribute many more votes than 120,000 members of an inefficient motor industry.. 26 million unhappy people can change a Government. (The maths is not really difficult here)

And this outdated policy is impoverishing the Malays more than anyone else.

Here is some news from our DPM Tan Sri Muhyudin Yassin about our car policy. This is truncated:

Muhyiddin assures govt support for automotive parts and component sector

1. KUALA LUMPUR, May 26 – The deputy prime minister said special focus will be given to “facilitate and encourage” the development of the automotive parts and component sector despite the current global and regional economic downturn.

2. “Under the CEPT and Asean Trade in Goods Agreements, Malaysia has agreed to eliminate import duties on all products in the Normal Track on January 1, 2010. This includes motor vehicles, auto parts and components,” he said.

3. He pointed out that the motor vehicle sub sector in Malaysia will not be directly impacted because of its heavy dependence on the domestic market.

4. “The Malaysian government recognises the contribution of the domestic automotive industry towards the development of the country.”

Para 2 sounds promising but then Para 3 and 4 basically says that the Malaysian motor car industry will continue to be protected. This means we will continue paying the highest car prices in the world for automobiles.

Cuba kita kira : kalau kereta Honda Jazz di jual dengan harga yang sebenarnya (lebih kurang RM36,000 saja) dan bukan pada harga sekarang (RM108,000) maksudnya bayaran bulanan pembeli kereta akan jadi kurang, mungkin sepertiga sahaja daripada bayaran bulanan sekarang.

Jika sekarang orang bayar RM1,500 sebulan untuk beli Honda Jazz, kalau harga kereta lebih menepati harga pasaran dunia, orang kita perlu bayar sekitar RM500 saja sebulan.

Maksudnya tanpa Kerajaan perlu membuat apa pun (merangsang ekonomi, belanja berpuluh billion Ringgit duit rakyat untuk stimulus dan sebagainya) setiap rakyat Malaysia yang membeli kereta yang seharga dengan Honda Jazz akan dapat menjimatkan sehingga RM1,000 sebulan daripada kos sara hidup bulanannya.

This is like giving the car buyer an RM1000 pay rise without incurring any extra costs for the taxpayer, the Government or the economy. It will greatly reduce the cost of living in Malaysia and spur greater economic growth too.

Tapi sekarang, yang menjadi mangsa dulu dan yang menjadi miskin dulu orang Melayu juga. Orang Melayu yang paling ramai sekali menjadi pembeli kereta dalam negara kita. Orang Melayu kebanyakannya makan gaji – tiap bulan dapat gaji tetap. Bila harga kereta naik gila, yang menjadi miskin di saf depan sekali adalah orang Melayu juga.

In absolute numbers, the Malays are suffering the most because they are the most in number among the fixed income people who also buy cars.

Some folks said the other day that Proton has 150 major component suppliers, dealers, distributors and about 500 other parts suppliers too. Of the 150 major component suppliers, about 15 of them are listed companies. In total they employ about 120,000 people. The Proton supply chain is a mix of bumiputras and non bumiputras. But here is a sad fact : none of them are operating at their level best efficiency.

Our motor car policy is forcing Malaysians to subsidise Proton so that Proton can sustain major inefficiencies in the Malaysian economy.. This is not a good thing at all.

We have to unwind this situation.. Set a target of 18 months from now to unwind all protection for our motor industry. Remove the impoverishing AP policy also in 18 months. Let Malaysian car prices reflect world market prices for the same makes of cars.

If a BMW 535 sells for RM178,000 in America , it should sell for a little less here in Malaysia (our rentals and salaries are cheaper).

The Ministers continue making pronouncements about the car industry as though nothing has happened. I hope everyone will please wake up. The Government has a real chance of getting thrown out of office in about three years. The people will not accept inept answers anymore.

The ridiculous car prices in Malaysia is an issue that is just beginning to get more attention and publicity. It is going to become a really big issue in the near future. Be forewarned.

Posted by Syed Akbar Ali at 5:49:00 PM

Please Forward to EVERYONE…

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Freedom from Pressure

I’ve been avoiding writing this. I suppose if I say it, it will only confirm that it has come to an end. That, as usual, I… well… reached for what was not there… hoping that it was there…

I don’t know why I do this to myself, but I do… no… that’s not completely true… I do know… I want… It is as simple as that. I want. I want Love. I want it to be that person that I am attracted to. I want her to want me, and Love me like I would Love her

Then Reality hits, and it’s all over. Was there something there? Did I imagine it? Did I misread her actions? Did I interpret them to be the way I wanted? Was I so blind to her deflecting my advances? Does she just like me as a friend, but is finding that my attentions are … unwanted…

It’s just that my new job has opened my eyes. Some of the things I thought that were an indication of attraction are… well… normal group behaviour. I’ve seen someone wave enthusiastically when she sees me, like the way she does. I’ve had friends take food off my plate, like she has. I begin to realize that a lot of what I had assumed were… indicators of attraction… were simply being misread. I feel like an idiot…

Still… I wonder how much I did misread? I sure she does feel something for me, but probably not what I’m hoping for… Afterall, how do you interpret someone telling you that she’ll only see you when her friend is in town? It is strange how things work out.

—@—

Speaking of how strange things work out, I had to go to the old job to pick up some money they still owe me, on Good Friday. I had it off since it was a bank holiday in Bermuda. I decided that I’d kill 2 birds with one stone and pick my money & do some shopping. I had already told them I’d be coming in and the manager handling it said it’s be ok.

It was suppose to be handled by the other manager, but he was busy so he asked you know who to help. You know I just about given up hope of ever doing anything with her again… So there I was thinking that this would be the last time I’d be seeing her, and it’d be a ‘Hi!, small talk & Bye!’ session with her.

Instead, the person that is suppose to have the money is not there so I don’t get my money, she’s apologetic, and someone says that we should go out to lunch to make up for it. She cheerfully agrees, and recruits another friend to go with us… but I’d have to wait half an hour though. No problem…

So I spend part of the time catching up with some of the other people at the old job. I eventually sit at an empty station close to hers, and we talk a little. It’s about then our mutual friend,  who is now in the Philippines, comes on Skype.

I find out that she is suppose to be back in KL in June for a visit. She asks about Chili’s, she wants to go again. It occurred to me that I always wanted to go to Hard Rock Cafe, so I suggest that we go there instead. So now I have plans to go to Hard Rock Cafe KL with two women sometime in June.

And I also had a group lunch with her and a couple of other friends from the old job… Even though I didn’t get my money, I wasn’t disappointed. We ended up deciding that they’d deposit the money into my bank account…

Did I mention that I hugged her ‘Hi!’ and hugged her again when we parted… Sigh…

I don’t know where this is going, but it seems to be going to interesting places…

—-@—-

Which leads me to a few days later. I have food poisoning, & I’m as sick as a dog. I type a quick status update about having food poisoning on FB, mentioning that I needed a kiss on the cheek to feel better… Yes, still with sense of humor even though sick…

For two whole days, I’m in bed, sleeping, waking up to take my meds, a quick snack & back to sleep. One the third day, I’m feeling… just out of it. I go back to the doc to get an extension on my MC, eat a little, then in bed.

The next day is Saturday, and I’m feeling actual hunger. For the first time in three days, I’m thinking of food. It occurred to me that I had not once in those past few days, felt… guilt, anger, anxious, sadness, hopelessness… and I had not once prayed in those days… It just seemed that I felt… light… that there was no weight on me from all the various bewildering thoughts of… my overactive mind. I suddenly understood what it meant to slow down. My mind needed to take a break, and that illness gave it that opportunity…

It was also an opportunity to look back at what happened; at the choices I made. When I had gone to pick up my money, all I was really expecting to do was to say ‘Good-bye’ to her. but the best laid plans of mice and men seldom ever survive contact with the enemy… well… she’s not the enemy… but you know what I mean. Instead, I was suddenly presented with a choice…

If I had decided not to stay for lunch, it would have been the ‘Good-bye’ I had been planning. It would have wound down to a few friendly exchanges on FB, to just a look to see what she’s been up to, to just having her on my FB page as another one of those people that I seldom interact with. It would have ended.

What happened, however, was that I chose to stay and go to lunch with her. since I did that, I ended up having a potential outing with her and our friend in June sometime. And I had lunch with her. Did I choose the path of lingering death?

The answer is no, I chose ‘Love’ or at least the very faintest possibility of ‘Love.’ Why? I don’t know… I just know that it felt right at the moment. And because I did, there is a very subtle change in the way she is reacting to me… I don’t know… I just feel it…

So she says she is starting a new chapter, and I know that it is coinciding with my new change, and the way she is reacting to me. When I wrote about me having food poisoning, she was one of the few people that responded, writing ‘Sick yet cheeky! ;P.’ I laughed. she was being punny… Life is str… no, God has my Life, and he’s taking it down paths that I would not have dared to go down… so I take a break, relax, and wait for the roller coaster to start up again…

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Gary

A teardrop hits your hollow face
As I lean forward to say good-bye
Your eyes stare into the next world
Flesh clings to your bones
Of your frail heaving chest
Reminding me of some death camp
From old black and white films
And it occurs to me
That death doesn’t become you

As I look at you lying there
There is an emptiness in me
As though my innards have gone
Replaced with a rising tide
Of curdled lava

You ought to be alive
If everyone in the world
Could see you now
They would agree
This should have never happened
It should not have been ignored
As just a gay man’s disease
Or have the undercurrent of bigotry
That dragged lives into the River Styx

It did though
And you are paying for it
With your life
And your mother’s and father’s
And your ex-wife’s and son’s
We all lost a bit of our lives
Like you did
When your lover died

I don’t want to remember you like this
I’d rather cherish the memories
Of you sashaying your behind
Down the hallway
Saying ‘I loooove chicken!’
Looking over the rim of your glasses
With a snide curl to your lips

I still laugh recalling
When you blurted out
‘If these numbers don’t come out right
This report will be nothing but a fairy tale!’
Then glaring around the office
Daring someone to retort
In the stunned laughing silence

We were only coworkers
You were my boss
Maybe we were friends
While we may not have
Seen eye to eye on many a thing
It was who you were

Another tear drops on your face
I shut my eyes in silent prayer
Asking that your next world
Would not ask such a high price
For love
And grant you the dignity
Of just being you

Dedicated to Gary Rini. A victim of HIV/AIDS


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Frown

The leaden sky lined
With grey clouds
Whipped by lightning
Rolling on thunder

Too heavy to hold
The heavens crack open
For the downfall
Drenching unceasingly

Lightened at last
The tumult lifts
Gracing the world
With argent gilding

The sun blinks
Yawns with radiance
Washing the gloom
From the skies

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Choice of Chance

In the quietness
A soft whisper
Gentle tugging
A light caress

What chance did I have
with the consistent
Ever present
Warmth of Light

The Hands gently guide
Moving to pen
stabbing at keys
emptying the words

What chance did I have
The Call much too loud
The Clamoring much too insistent
To stop the outflow

Again I ask
Tears streaking my face
Tears at my Soul
Do I have to

Do I have to feel
The ageless pains
The timeless agonies
The rending Heart

What Choice do I have
When I am Servant
You are Master
And Your bidding is Love

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The Fool of April

There are going to be few people that are going to be upset with me. Why? Because in a week I’m going to be exiting FB. Why? Well… I could just easily say that I’ve been distracted, and I need to be concentrating on my new job, but that only be half the truth.

An old acquaintance just sent a friend request on FB. She was someone I’d thought that would never do that, but she did.  We had a falling out over money. To be more precise, she decided to dump me over the disagreement. I had always thought that even if we fought, we’d still remain friends. I mean, after all a relationship is not always good times and laughter. A good friendship should be able to survive such things. And maybe even get stronger.

The fact that she dropped me did make me feel like I had been used, and I had been lied to. I wasn’t any use anymore, so good riddance. So now, after so many years, she’s back, and want to be friends again… even if it’s on FB. It just makes me wonder what she wants, now.

Yes, I did accept her as a friend on FB. Maybe I shouldn’t have. Maybe I shouldn’t have replied to her message. I did, though, and I know it will have consequences. i just have to keep in mind what had happened before.

That’s one of the reasons why I decided to quit FB for a while. Another person’s been… well… a focus of my interest. I spend too much time checking her profile, having all sorts of emotions, and that’s just not healthy. I am beginning to think that she just does like me as a friend. She just puts up with my excessive attention because I am a friend. she’s hoping if she just limits the actual personal contact to a couple of times a year, when our mutual friend visits, and to FB, I’d get the idea, and move on.

I think it worked. Let’s face it, I do this all the time, and it’s just not mentally healthy. I shouldn’t be that attentive to someone who is just not that into me. As much as I like her, I think it is just time to let go of it. Nothing is going to happen.

Truth is, I am way too clumsy at this whole ‘pursue women’ thing. I keep doing things wrong, and I try to justify them, thinking that she’d like it, or would approve of it.  The truth is it’s what I think she would want, not what she really wants. I read into actions what in truth may just be what it is on the surface. I WANT IT, not what it really is. I am just lying to myself to get that precious sense of being wanted.

It’s too sick. I’m stopping because I don’t have social skills. I’m stopping because I’m a stranger in my own country and I’m just discovering the social mores of its people. I’m stopping because if I keep going on, I’ll just end up hurting her, and that’s the last thing I want to do. I’m stopping because I think that’s she wants. I’m stopping because if I don’t I will drive myself crazy with all the ‘what ifs.’ It’s just time to stop… before I become a stalker…

I’ve said it before, I don’t want to repeat my mistakes. I’ve gone this path and I’ve done stupid things. Just because it’s someone new does not make it any less of a moronic act. or acts. If I truly appreciate this woman, I will just stop, and go no further. So I will bail out of FB for a while. I’m thinking a month, but it just may end up being longer…

I cannot even articulate my thoughts… to write them down… I could just tone things down, and nobody would be the wiser… but I’m choosing to do something more drastic to see if she even notices… Even going off the grid has an ulterior motive…

So why bother? It’s just strange that I cannot be something that I am not. In the strangest twist, I am reading a book on emotionally healthy spirituality. a companion book, that deals with a weekly prayer routine so closely addresses what I’m going through that I am often close to tears when I finish a daily section. It is no coincidence that I would be reading it now. God‘s way of answering my questions, and telling me that what I’m going through is nothing new. It’s been happening since day one. I just don’t understand why it has to happen to me.

It occurs to me that I don’t have to understand why. I just have to understand that I can get through this. That worse things have happened to better people and they have come out of it a better person. I just have to trust… in God… in Allah… in Yahweh… in my Faith that He will provide me with what I need… in that I will learn to point myself in the right direction… I will see, and I will understand…

In the matters of the heart, I have no say, no will, no understanding, and no hope. That emptiness that I feel inside will be milder as I try to learn to use that energy for something… different… I think I’ve said it all before… and I naively try to batter my way out of it… in some fantasy that I am the hero, and I win her over… The truth is that they all see me as the nice guy, someone safe, someone they can confide in, but never as a paramore

I am not that person. I am not going to put on some persona to win someone. I would rather be my self, with all my weaknesses, than to be something I am not. I am just a fool hoping to find Love and be happy with what I  find. Like I’ve said, I am a wolf with no hunting skills.

—@—

In an odd twist of events, I only deactivated my FB account for a couple of days. That’s how long it took me to realize that this isn’t the problem. I am.  I just need to learn how to deal with it in a healthy manner.

As it is, my time socializing at work has shown me somethings. The Big Guy answers, you just have to know when He is talking to you. I’ve become adept at realizing when I’m being answered. That’s usually when I groan and roll my eyes heavenward. Sometimes I laugh… at my own naivety, and other times I just want to shake my fist at Him…

In that time, I actually met someone new. Of all places, at the bus-stop. She had come to pick up her daughter, and the bus I was suppose to take was late. We ended up talking, and it seems we have a lot in common. Then my bus showed up, and I had to leave. This, of course, was on April Fool’s Day. I’m waiting to see if God has pulled another one of his jokes on me…

Of course the biggest joke is that the friend that dropped me… well she’s become really chatty with me. I’m trying to be polite, and all I’m getting is… well… like I’m an old friend who she’s catching up with again…

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Dikir Barat Bermuda

Our class performance for ‘Going live’ ie answering calls with real customers on the customer service lines. The consensus was to do something traditionally Malay, and we decided on a Dikir Barat performance.

Apparently there is a rumor going around that I am a writer (our class intros to each other and I mentioned that I write…) so I got volunteered to write the lyrics. Since I ‘compose’ in English, we compromised to do the Dikir Barat in English.

Nurul Hidayah Mokhtar, who knows a lot more about it than I do, helped me out with the lyrics. Her help and contributions was really instrumental in getting it right. It ended up being a collaborative effort between us, with input from the peanut gallery(just joking, you guys & gals are just plain awesome!)

Elaine Wong was our choreographer, although I think she might prefer to remain anonymous. She was great, and her vision really help bring the whole thing together.

Of course, the rest of the crew were just great! The musicians, the singers, the soloist, and everyone else worked together to bring this to fruition. It may have been a little ‘unripe’ when we did the performance, but no one can deny that we had fun!

Dikir Barat Bermuda

They called us here
To Cyberville
And now we’re here
Presenting you this

This is no cure
For your boredom
It’s what we know
Going live on the phones

(Chorus)
Oh Bermuda
Ey Bermuda
We Bermudians
The fun has begun

The time has come
For us to work
For us to laugh
Together as one

From Somerset
To Hamilton
We get the calls
To HSBC

Limey ladies
Yankee clippers
On the beaches
Drinking rum n having fun

(Chorus)

Toad in the hole
Tuna sandwiches
All with black rum
Calling with their complaints

They yell we cry
They laugh we laugh
But in the end
We get their money right

(Chorus)

Thanks to Joanne
Joyce n Helene
Of course Sandy
With Rajan n Gopi

Let’s not forget
Our boss Jason
Plus Po n Mel
We give them big fat kisses

(Chorus)

{Lyrics; Nurul ‘NeuRuls’ Hidayah Mokhtar & Rodney ‘Rokuth’ Thilliampalam}

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Fratricide

FratircideIt was no mistake that
They called us by the same name
We have lived in verdant splendor
We have walked the starry fields
Our skins bronzed by the sun
Our faces that of the hawk
Our hair that of the raven
Our tongues sing

It was no mistake brother
Though we are
From other ends of the world
We have been here
Since time immemorial
Our names given
To us by the gods
We have seen
The rise of kingdoms
The fall of empires
The rise of the lands
The fall of the heavens

And we have seen them come
They with
Coloured hair
Coloured eyes
Long haughty faces
And skins of wraiths
My people saw them
Before the one God
Was known to us
Through the passes
Of the mountains
That touch the skies
Into the valleys
Of the Hind
The coloured ones came
When they arrived at Harappa
We offered them
A place at our hearths
But the sought instead
To possess all
That fell to their eyes

So the cycle began
With my people
Being put to
The sword
The plough
The foot
The pale demons
Scattered us
As leaves in
The monsoons
Broke our shrines
To build their homes
Made use of our books
As kindling
Grazed the animals
In our grain fields
They behaved like
Unruly children
Let loose in the homes
Of their elders
for that is what they are
Wild eyed kinder
Seeking guidance

If you ask brother
What happened
To these savages
I would tell you
That my people
Had patience with them
Held them close to us
Listened to their questions
Let them show us
The paths they had traveled
The visions they had seen

Then they came to us
Listened to our answers
Followed down the paths
We travailed
And saw our vision quest
They sat at our tables
Shared food among us
Wore our cloths
Traded words
And finally brother
Mingled our bloods
When blood was one
They had become us
The conquerors were conquered
The subjugators were subjugated
The enemy was no more

These cycles have continued
Through five millenniums
Through several invaders
With different names
Different faces
With the same desires
Each time
We have striven
Prevailed
And risen
Brought closer
To the nexus

In time hence when
Our tongues sing in harmony
Our faces are aquiline
Our skins gilded by the sun
Our hair that of the golden eagle
The starry fields our backyard
The verdant splendour our treasure
Our names are one
In that time
I will say to you
That it was no mistake
My brothers
It was
No mistake

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Forget-me-nots

Sometimes I forget that
A look can
Lighten my world
A passing word can
Set a whirlwind loose
In my mind

Sometimes I forget that
These little scribbles
Are an endless litany
Of letters coming together
To form sounds
Orchestrated to draw
Emotions I don’t recognize
Because I have forgotten
How to feel

Sometimes I forget that
The thoughts barrelling
Through my mind
When I see you
Recall someone else
A faded flower of memory
Pressed into a book
That I come across
While turning pages
The faint fragrance
Makes me want
To slam the book shut
Hurl it across the room

Sometimes I forget that
I want to forget

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Eluded

Trickle fades
In a slow brush
Pale against the canvas
Washed and re-washed
Faint traces crumble
Fall away
To be cupped
Swept up
Pieced back
Together
Fractured sepia
Missing
Never to be
The moment caught

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Evening Star Rises

A hand raised to wave
But the other says
No not goodbye

Even as a page turned
Ends a chapter
It begins another

Even as the sun sets
Brings day to a close
It heralds another

You are gone from here
I have not lost you
For I will touch you again

So it is a thought to pass
A smile to behold
For I’ll talk to you later

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A tale of two Malaysian aristocrats

This is a reprint of an article by Hamish McDonald,  the Asia-Pacific editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, printed on March 5th 2011:

This has been a week of Malaysia in foreign policy circles, though you’d hardly know it from the news. We’ve had both the Malaysian Prime Minister and his most stinging critic here at the same time.

Najib Razak and Raja Petra Kamarudin look like peas in a pod: amiable, worldly and articulate members of an aristocratic elite which has long included Australia in its stamping ground, its tuns and tunkus familiar faces at our racecourses and going off the radar in Kings Cross.

On Thursday, Najib, 57, was getting a 19-gun salute outside Federal Parliament and a welcome from Julia Gillard. Scion of Pahang state nobility and son of a previous prime minister, he has been Malaysia’s Prime Minister for nearly two years and heads the dominant United Malays National Organisation, or UMNO, in power since independence in 1957.

Petra, 60, has been working smaller, less formal gatherings of expat Malaysians in Sydney and Canberra. He’s another Malay aristocrat, from Selangor’s royal family, but has been a political exile for two years, fleeing repeated detentions without trial under the draconian Internal Security Act, and running his critical website, Malaysia Today, from London.

Of the two, though, I suspect the Prime Minister lies abed more uneasily.

The dutiful but lukewarm welcome in Canberra, reciprocating a two-day visit by Gillard to Kuala Lumpur, reflects the scandals and political question marks that hover around Najib.

When he was defence minister, signs of huge kickbacks arose from military equipment deals. After the purchase of French submarines, a young Mongolian model involved in the negotiations, Shaariibuugiin Altantuyaa, turned up in Kuala Lumpur seeking money and was murdered by two of Najib’s bodyguards. She was the lover of a senior Najib aide, who escaped conviction in the case.

Petra says he was told by the “No. 2” in Malaysia’s military intelligence that Najib’s wife was “at the scene of the crime”. He filed a statutory declaration about this to the court, but it was not followed up. Instead, Petra himself was arrested. Hit with sedition and criminal defamation charges, he fled when he could. “I am not accusing him of being involved in the murder,” Petra said this week. “I do accuse him of not answering a lot of questions that have been raised.”

In Canberra Najib would have also been aware that 60 of our MPs signed a petition urging him to drop what they see as a fabricated sodomy charge against opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, brought after his coalition sharply cut the UMNO-led government’s majority in 2008.

He would know, too, that Malaysian policies do not impress here. John Lee, at Sydney’s Centre for Independent Studies, has just written of the “enduring cancer” of the pro-Malay affirmative action instituted 30 years ago by Najib’s father, Abdul Razak, after race riots. While lessening the income gap with Chinese Malaysians (25 per cent of the population) and Indian Malaysians (10 per cent), it has created a rent-seeking Malay elite. Public sector jobs and subsidies for Malays add to persistently large budget deficits, funded from oil and gas reserves that will run out in 15 years.

Australian visitors to Malaysia soon get the sense of a dumbed-down country, with insipid media controlled by UMNO or the government, a pervasive fear of the huge Special Branch, a debased judiciary, and mediocre universities where entry is by racial quota rather than by merit.

Hal Hill, an economist specialising in South-East Asia at the Australian National University, wrote this week that Malaysia was now struggling to lift its economy out of low-skill activities, with the difficulty worsened by the pro-Malay policies that have created a “culture of entitlement” and pervasive “institutionalised leakages”.

Anwar’s challenge to UMNO has renewed fear of unscrupulous politicians stirring racial conflict. Behind the official multiculturalism of “Malaysia, truly Asia” lie suspicions and stereotyping, surveys show – “lazy” Malays, “greedy” Chinese, “untrustworthy” Indians. A lot of parliamentary “debate” is just racial abuse, Petra says: “You shutup-lah, you don’t belong in this country.”

Record numbers of ethnic Chinese and Indians are leaving, along with vast amounts of capital. In one of the WikiLeaks cables, a senior Singapore diplomat, Tommy Koh, worried about race riots causing a flood of Malaysia’s minorities into his small island.

Najib is smart enough to know he has to address the rising sense of corruption and privilege that has diverted support from UMNO and its Chinese and Indian-based coalition partners. A year ago he announced his “New Economic Model”, emphasising growth instead of redistribution.

But Lee says actual changes have been “piecemeal” and don’t yet amount to significant reform. Najib’s UMNO colleagues enjoy the “vast and deep network of rent-seeking and patronage” built up over the past 30 years. Malay voters might hate their cronyism, but not affirmative action itself.

Petra says his ginger group, the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement, is prodding Anwar’s opposition into spelling out its plans for reform. As well as his court case, he says, Anwar has baggage: as a former UMNO minister, he helped build the existing system; he is suspect in the mostly Christian states of North Borneo for his Islamist outlook. “We don’t want to remove one monster and find ourselves with a bigger monster,” he said.

In Malaysia a Middle East-style mass uprising isn’t needed, Petra says. With only half the 15 million eligible voters actually casting a vote, just 300,000 more opposition votes in the right places could have tipped UMNO out in 2008. With 5000 Facebook friends, 20,000 Twitter followers, and half a million unique visitors to Malaysia Today, Petra is hoping to wake up the middle class – “the satisfied class, the ones who live in bungalows and drive BMWs” – and persuade them Malaysia could be doing a lot, lot better.

Najib is expected to call an early election this year, possibly after the likely verdict on Anwar in August, to obtain his own mandate and entrench his power. Petra thinks it will be the last chance for major change for a very long time: “Either we do it this time or we’ll never do it.”

Original article; http://www.allvoices.com/s/event-8371356/aHR0cDovL3d3dy50aGVhZ2UuY29tLmF1L29waW5pb24vcG9saXRpY3MvYS10YWxlLW9mLXR3by1tYWxheXNpYW4tYXJpc3RvY3JhdHMtMjAxMTAzMDQtMWJpNGMuaHRtbA==
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Failing Dark

Haciman

Haciman

I have been asked
To walk in the Drear
To begin Life in Emptiness
Crawl on bitter gravel

Walk as I do
It is a blindness
Leading to no place
Ending in deep despair

Then I saw a spark
For the briefest
Of moments
It sparkled

Then once again
Longer and brighter
Shredding the Gloom
Lighting the eyes

And once more
More constant now
Enduring the Dark clamour
To snuff It out

A slow pulse of Light
Beating to my heart
Venturing to places
Banishing the Darkness

The weight slips away
Feeling the lightest touch
Of wind on my wings
I reach up and soar

Growing stronger
Infusing and Effusing
I breathe it in
The Exhale of Life

The Whisper always
Beckons to greater heights
Lifting up my face
To be graced by His Kiss

In a slow spiral
I turn back afresh
To my onerous void
Settle my wings

Yet It retreats
The Gloom fearful
Dark in hiding
I begin to see my path

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Drawdown

The last Hurrah
Shouted with three cheers
Leaves a tear on my face
A tapping serenade is bugled

One hand clenches a fist
The other gives the last salute
As the colours are lowered
One final time

the bouquet is laid
At the shrine’s door
Neatly folded into a delta
The standards are retired

When given the flag
I clutch it to my chest
Knowing that I will not
Come this way again

I bid a silent farewell
To that I leave behind
And give a quiet welcome
To my new memories

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Liar’s Lair

I am living in a den of thieves. It’s sad when you cannot even trust your own family. It’s like having to sleep with a gun… or a knife under your pillow. But it doesn’t help. You still have to sleep, and that’s when they strike…

I had my cellphone, my mobile stolen while I was sleeping. My US$300 cellphone that I got a couple of months ago. Stolen by my nephews Edmund and Richard. Why do I know they stole it? Because they said they did not do it. Let me explain; they have consistently lied about everything when anything bad happens. Edmund bullies his little sister and his brother Richard. Richard, in turn has become the mouthpiece of Edmund.

They do this all the time. They come up with bizarre stories to cover up what they did. When they tried to break into my desk drawer, they mangled the lock. When I tell their parents about it, they ask them. The story they come up with is that the lock is old and that because of the weather , and age it must have seized the lock…

For one thing, there are fresh tool marks on the lock. Then there’s the fact that the key does not even sit properly in the lock anymore, and that does not happen with age. Plus the fact that I constantly lock and unlock the drawer would mean that the lock should actually be getting easier to work, not the other way around. Finally, I have had to pull locks apart and reassemble them. I know how they work. What they said is a fairy tale, that would have worked on their naive parents, but not me.

Edmund, the older one has the audacity to suggest that if he really wanted to, he could have disassemble the desk since he help put it together. Ya, right. That’d mean he’d have to move all my stuff of my desk, and then start working on it. Very obvious, right? What’s less obvious, and quicker? Breaking the lock.

Why were they, or more accurately, Edmund, trying to break into my drawer? Because I had kept their PS2 wrestling games, that his mother had forbade him to play. Why? Because he was getting too violent with his siblings, trying to imitate the wrestling moves he’d seen on these games. Since he had continued to play them after his mother told him not to, I took the games discs away from him. All of them. The guy is fifteen going on sixteen, and he has to be treated like a five-year old.

The problem is that they are too used to getting away with their disobedience. They have no grasp of the concept of punishment. And their parents let them get away with it. Do you think anything happened to them when their father found my mobile in their room? No, of course not. Did I even get an apology for the culprits? No, I didn’t.

That really sets my blood boiling… I’m their uncle, not their father, so I can’t mete out their punishment. No… but that does not mean I have to tolerate them either. You see, I am one determined SOB. I can be intolerant, caustic, random, and make their life intolerable.

I’ve even told them that as long as they keep on their path, I’ll continue living in their home making their lives unhappy. If they want me out, then they have to start behaving. I have scant hope for the latter. They have no foresight. They cannot see beyond their immediate satisfaction, so they cannot see the consequences of their actions. so they keep getting into trouble, digging themselves into a deeper and deeper hole that they eventually cannot get out of.

The truth is, as soon as I am able, I am going to leave my sister’s home. I have been so used to living on my own that… no that isn’t it… it is because I want to live somewhere where I feel safe. I want to be able to do things my way and know that it’s okay. I don’t want to be a burden on my sister anymore. And I don’t want to strain our already strained relationship.

I seriously need to be independent of these cloying people. Love them as I do, I still need to be able to live my own life. And that means moving out from this lair of thieves, liars, and fools. It sounds like a harsh judgement, but… at this moment it’s the truth. I really need to get away from these people… before I get contaminated… Or is it too late?

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Departure

Have you ever seen
The pain in my eyes
Is it a sight that
Eludes you

I have not
Been here
Understood
Touched you

You have chosen escape
Left behind the damage
Seeking new fields
In an attempt to be right

You were right
I was the monster
Torturing you with
Fake lies

Then I did
The ultimate thing
I gave you
Your freedom

A perversity
Unimaginable
That I would
Let you go

For you to find that
Which you sought
I couldn’t give
Was not in me

Love

Find your life
Make it beautiful
Cherishing moments
As ambrosia

Leave behind
The detriment
I am not
Here

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Blindly Into The Deep

There is a vast void before me. It is not emptiness, but the fog of the unknown. It is the letting go of control, and allowing my Faith to guide me. It is to allow my heart to be open to His calling, and to take wing into the darkness that is the Absolute Love of the One True God

What I am trying to put in so many words is that it is all new to me. I feel like I have just entered into something that I have never been through before. In my struggle not to repeat my same old mistakes, I have wandered into new territories.

I am trying to tread very carefully into areas that I can only guess about, and thread through the cultural mores. I am a foreigner. I will keep saying this, that I am a stranger in this that I am doing.

There is no guide, no book written, no manual for me to follow. I have to use my senses, a code of Honour that is as old as my people, my humility, to carefully negotiate my way.  I am lucky that I do have that ethos of Faith, and openness. I can accept many things, as long as it does not violate my Love of the One God, my understanding, and my utter devotion to Him.

I have been lucky that He has shown me many things and given me understanding beyond my own comprehension. He has given me insight into things that I would have shrugged off before, but now see with clarity.

These things I leave to Him to guide me, because I am absolutely blind here. I still have my doubts. I still have my fears. Yet… there is a feeling deep down in me… that I just cannot shake that keeps telling me to keep going, keep at it. Learn, and understand, perhaps through trial and error, perhaps through quiet observation, but learn.

There is something there… or I just could be mad… insane in the mem-brain… There is always a feeling… a… knowing of something… and inkling of knowledge… that creeps into me… Usually, I act in the opposite way, distancing myself from the focus of my insight. To insulate myself from the potential of hurt and pain, from making a connection… from getting involved…

How I have changed… That I would instead choose to pursue. There is still fear that I would not know how to handle the unknown. However, the greater fear is to fail in the things that He has asked me to do. So I creep slowly forward, faltering, taking two steps back before going three steps forward.

I have seen… and what I have seen beckons me like a beacon. I keep wanting to rush, to reach impatiently for the final goal, yet I am told that it is patience that will win the day. In Trust, in Faith, I… stop… taking stock of the endgame… to wonder if my path will be barred by fear, or be guided by the same Love in the One God. I cannot know these answers until other things fall into place.

That is where Faith comes in. I cannot control those things, and have to leave it in His hands. Things that I can control, those actions that I take, I pray for guidance in what I do. I ask that I do them with love and with humility. To never let pride and ego get in the way. To let it happen as it happens, and not overthink like I always do. To let it flow from… within…  from my Faith.  To trust that whatever happens, that I accept it as God’s Grace. My wants, my desires are to be… linked… tied to… accepting that it may not be what He wants of me.

That is the hard part. To discern the difference. To know when to let go, and when to pursue. To accept that the desires of my wants, may not come to pass. Love, Agape is as Love does, and I am subject to Him.

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Dancecard Waltz

You were mobbed
As usual
Knowing our time
Had not come
I waited
Watched you
Captured
By your sight

You are
Fair
Composed
Gifted
Your dress
Gently crisp
Your steps
Elegantly certain
With movements
Gracefully measured

When our turn comes
We embrace
Gingerly
Apart and close
Our eyes meet

You challenge
Playfully
With bite
I defer
Having a vision
Your hands up
Cut and bleeding
Tears of the betrayed

The insight reveals
A tear in the fabric
Glimpsing clues
Peaks my curiosity
Tempting me
To reach inside
Feel for parts obscured
And make discoveries

Within touch
I shy away
Too easy for me
To trip
Fall once more
My wounds
Still fresh
And not wanting
To risk again

Yet
Fool that I am
I return
Extend out
To you
Shall we dance?

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The Return

What manner of dreams
That come in the day
To be shunted nigh
Into strange reality

I could not ask for
Nor hope for
But came it did
Quietly

With my eyes wide
I saw the longing
Become a want
Left to settle

An empty call
I could not
Have thought
Of this

In the unknowable Mind
Great plans set on me
Abandoning my own wants
To His higher urgings

I fought weakness
Wanting to run
Leave behind
The struggle

Overwhelmed by
The failings of the past
Seeing the seeds
Of failure looming

It was the Love
Kept me on my path
Laughing with me
At the folly of my wants

Crying with me
Of the felt
Emptiness
Shielded in my heart

Keeping me warm
In the coldness
Never ending
In my Life

Embraced in the Arms
That saw no less
Only the worth
That Life called

To flow freely
From the rock
Cracked open
Springing out

In a fountain
Faith in the One
Love of Him
To be given

In the Desert
Of this World
Bringing forth
An Oasis

Shelter from
That consuming
Creature
Of Fiery Doom

To see again
That Hope will
Be graced
Into my Life

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Contrary

Tarry not Mary
Mine love is unbidden
Thou hath shunned me
Thus I hath lost thee

Wouldst thou but behold me
Tears of mine sorrow
Wouldst be joy in thine eyes
Mine heart awash in thy grief

Wereth thou to call me foe
Wouldst I bare mine bosom
Reckless of thy hate
Let thee plunge thy venom

If friend I am to be
Then wouldst thou savour
Mine every courtesy on thee
A tremble at thy call

But to deign me amore
Rapture wouldst be filled
Mine wings unfurled
To lift thee to ecstasy

Thy presence is seraphims‘ glory
The summoning with voice
Of cherubim in hallelujah
Smote I am in thy sight

Yet thou hath chosen to deny me
The crumbling beat of mine heart
Mingles the shattering of mine head
On the gates of desire

Tarry no more Mary
Leave none the taste
Thy sweetness in mine wake
With bitter agony doth dwell

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Pulse Oddly Against The Odds

Well, I started working a new job. It’s a full time gig, doing customer service for a multinational bank, and they take things very seriously. They also know that people are people, so it’s good to allow their indulgences. They’ve set up areas where we can indulge our guilty pleasures, like FB, fusbol, etc. A company that believes that it’s good to keep their people happy, and they will get better performances out of them. And yes, they’re even serious about that.

For me, this is the biggest company I’ve ever worked for, and the largest facility that I have ever worked in. A few thousand of us and since it’s a world wide service support, it’s open twenty-four seven. There’s two cafeterias, internet kiosks, and free vended beverages. The kicker? The HR person, during her presentation tells us that because of all the time we will be spending at work, it’s to be expected that people will start having relationships. That’s okay, and even approved of in the sense that it builds for greater loyalty to the company. Just keep it professional…

Great, isn’t it? Especially if you’re young and single, and the time to find that someone special will cut seriously into your work time… or is it the other way around… Anyway, it’s interesting to see some people actually looking and thinking along those lines…

I should be excited about it. There are even social events that the company sets up for the employees, so we can meet and socialize. Wow! A whole new world for me to explore! The social scene! And there are plenty of attractive women, some of them even close to my age. Who knows? They might even be single, and available…

While there is a part of me that is intrigued by that prospect, there is another part that is just… I don’t know… reluctant… to even think about it… Look, there are no real tangible commitments on me to any one, yet… I just can’t seem to let go of the intangible…

Why am I fighting against everything that common sense tells me is non-existent? Why am I ignoring people who tell me that what I want… is just not possible? That it is wrong, and I should look elsewhere? That I should not even think of it? That I would be lost to them… Why is it always us against them?  Why can’t I just let go, and leave her in peace?

— @ —

… It’s an odd feeling that something is just off… I don’t know what… I just know that it is… What am I missing? I’ve just had this feeling all day, and I don’t know why…

It is a strange thing to think that you are fighting against everything that people say is wrong. I just don’t see it like that… Then again, I have a lot of emotions involved in it, and I wonder how much it is clouding my own judgment. Why do I think it’s okay, and it shouldn’t be a problem when everybody around me is telling me the opposite?

Thinking about it, and about who told me that such things are best left alone, and who has been supportive, something startling is revealed. Those that warn against it are Malaysian. Those that are supportive, are non-Malaysian. So much for the 1Malaysia ideal… Sounds good on paper, but it’s a hard sell to the masses…

There’s just too much prejudice here. It’s sad, because I just see someone who is sweet, kind, generous, forgiving… mischievous, intelligent, with a sense of humor, and just keeps me guessing… Not to mention petite, and cute… They see… the wrong race… and the wrong religion… Us against them… I just see… Us…

I keep wondering who is it that I am fighting against. I’m beginning to see that it is those small minded, provincial people. After living in So Cal, which denizens from three quarters of the world, you tend to be accepting of strange accents, different religions, and customs. That’s not even bringing in the gays and lesbians, who have their own sub-cultures.

Well… I can only speak for myself. My best friend for a few years was a lesbian. I will forever be grateful to her for being there at a time when I was really low. In fact, we even roomed together for awhile so that I could save some money and move out on my own. It didn’t work out that way. We had a falling out, but I don’t have any malice, or anger about it, only disappointment that we let something so petty destroy our  friendship. She was a good friend and I love her for that.

My old friends that I met after so many years also lament the way our country has gone. We remember when we were in high school, how everybody got along, and nobody was concerned about what race we were. Now, people are so conservative, even more so than they were in the pre-colonial days. Things just seemed to have gone to the dark side… and these friends of mine… are of the wrong race, too. Radicalism is never a good thing.

The thought in the back of my mind, though, wonders if it is just society that I’m up against. What if this resistance I feel, that I am fighting against, is God? I am serious, what if it is Elohim, Adonai, Allah, Yahweh, that I am up against? The one Being that I would fall down and worship in reverent Love? I would never go against Him, for I have vowed to leave my Live to His direction.

And I pray, asking for some sort of answer, wondering if the answers I’ve seen are from Him, or His agent on Earth? Isn’t it easier to just walk away? Should I just let things be? Or should I keep pursuing this woman, even if she herself seems hesitant about me? Why do I feel… wrong… when I think that it would be just a lot easier to give in to everybody, even her, and just let it lie?

I’m like a horse with a bit in its mouth, set to keep going no matter what, like a wolf, on the trail of a wounded deer… running ,and running, within sight of the… prey… No, I don’t want to run her down like that, for her to just give in because it would easier to do so… What I really want is for her to give me a chance… To get to know her… each other… To do it right, so that if it does end between us, we know it’s because we are not compatible…

A few weeks ago, I was ready to accept that I my never see her again. We were to have my celebratory lunch on the Wednesday  before I started my new job. I had set it up on Monday, and by the day itself, I had gone from doing every possible permutation in my mind of how to… well… by the end of it I just prayed and asked that whatever the outcome, let me be humble, and honorable in my behavior… I fully expected that it would be the last time I’d be seeing her.

So there I was in KL Sentral station, when I checked my cellphone and noticed that I had a message. It was from her, saying that she had to cancel. It was a couple of hours old, so I text her back saying that we should reschedule. she texts back asking about the next day, but that’s when I start work. No good. I also knew that she was going on her vacation in a few days time, so I suggested that I would get in touch with her when she got back from her trip.

Before she could reply back, I text her again, telling her that I’m already in town, and that I had something to give her… a spray of peach colored silk roses… don’t say anything, people… Of course I didn’t mention what it was, and I just didn’t want to hang on to it for another few weeks. She replies okay, and I was at the office in about ten minutes.

Mind you, all I was planning on doing was to just give the silk roses to her and tell her thanks for making it fun to work at the job there. The gift was just a ‘thank you’… Once that was done, I’d be on my way. I was just… deflated… I had hoped for some sort of resolution. I was also laughing at the way things had gone wrong, rolling my eyes heavenward, at the Person at the heart of it all.

As usual, things between her and me always seem to take a strange bend. When I did reach the office, I did get to see her, and give her her gift. she explained that because of her upcoming vacation, she had a lot to do, and unfortunately, she just had to get it done that day. Besides, our mutual friend was also out doing a presentation, and couldn’t join us. I said no worries, that we’d reschedule when she gets back.

During our conversation, another friend from the office joins us, and she asks if maybe we could go for drinks, since I was there, or lunch. I may be stupid in some things, but not in this case. I said sure, and we suddenly had a lunch date… mind you, it was a group thing, but for the first time I actually got to spend time with her… and we were not calling it a ‘date.’

I, now get to see her again,in a few days time… All this… because I asked the Big Guy… not to make things go the way I had hoped for… but to allow me to be myself… to not do the dumb things… ya, ya, I know, giving her the flowers is right up there… but still… I got to find out a little more about her… And I hope that she saw… well… I don’t know what she saw… I just know that I get to see her one more time… may be for the last time… I’m hoping not…

These things, I have to accept, because I am allowing God to guide me, to guide my actions, and hoping that the things I do are as He wishes… I suppose there are reasons for it all, but I’m not privy to His thoughts, or plans. I only try to do… try to accept that what I want will have to yield to what He desires of me…

So I struggle… taking it on Faith… that I will continue to stay on the narrow path… and that Love, Agape, will yield its own rewards…

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Blessings

haciman

Haciman

Once I had a dream
That I walked in a garden
With manicured hedges
Tall graceful trees
Casting sun dappled shadows

The air was sweet
The breeze cool on the skin
And the sky a hazy white
As if Light effused
From all directions

I walked in this garden with Him
As a child with my Father
We talked
He told to me
Of things beautiful
Of things beloved

He whispered into my ears
Filling my spirit
With joy and light
I was blessed

When we came upon a marble bench
He sat and lifted me onto his lap
He held me close
And I laid my head on his shoulder
In this tender moment he asked
Why is it that you do not write
Timidly I answered
Because I am afraid

He smiled gently
Stroked my head
Saying
But you have nothing to be afraid of
You are my angel
My golden child
The words you would write
Come from your heart and soul
And therefore from Me

Write
For it is your Life
Take your words
Let them open your heart
Be not afraid
For I have always been with you
I am your Father
I have always loved you
I will always love you

Share
Give your words onto the world
The world will be pleased
Give your words to the world
Let them open hearts and minds
Let the world see Me
As you see Me

Never be afraid
To share your Love
Your Life
It is beautiful
A joy to behold
Through you I shall find My way
From within many others

It was not a command
But an urging
It was not a demand
But an asking
How could I refuse
My Father
My Creator

When I opened my eyes from that dream
I saw the world as it always was
The sky was blue
The sun was high
The wind whispering through the trees
Nothing had changed
Yet it was me who was different
It was me who was changed
I was blessed

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Bon Voyage

My niece recently left for New Zealand to finish her studies. It’s one of those curriculum’s that have you doing a work-study  program before you do a final professional certification. Am I being vague enough?
Like me, she grew up in a household that straddles our older Asian values, and the newer Western influences. Unlike me, she’s leaving home for the first time in her mid twenties. It was a trying time for the entire family, as they are very close. My brother decided that it would be good if the whole family went with her to help settle her in. not to mention to share the extra load of baggage that they thought she might need for her stay.
To be honest, I only met my niece and got to know her only about a year and a quarter ago. That’s when I came back to Malaysia. She is the exact opposite of me, as far as personality. She is outgoing, vivacious, and tends to be the life of the party. I am confident that she will do well on her own.
Still… She is my niece, after all, and I wanted to share with her, some of the things I learnt when I left home for the first time. So I sent her this email on the day she left for NZ.

— + —

Hi A_____ ,

Just wanted to wish you all the best on your new adventure. Yes, it is an adventure, but not the kind you would read in books. Enjoy it.

You’re lucky to have your family going with you on this  first part. It will help ease the transition. This is probably going to be one of the most important, the most significant thing you will ever do. I’m not talking about going to do your Bars, but living on your own for the first time.

It’s not going to be easy… well, that’s not entirely true. It is going to be different. You’ll have to make new friends. The way things are done will be subtlety different from the way you are used to in Malaysia. There will be different values, and what was taboo here will not be in NZ. You’ll have to make decisions on your own, and won’t have anybody to advise you about it. Don’t worry, you’ll do fine. You were blessed with a family that loves you, taught you well, and gave you a good foundation to start from.

You also have the Love of God, and that will always guide you in the right direction. When you do join a new congregation in NZ, I would suggest that you start by just observing and listening to the people of the Church. Get to know the Pastor, and you will get a good idea about the congregation, too. But that’s just me. I tend to be cautious, and find out first what the limits are, what is ok, and what isn’t  before I start sharing a little more of my personal side. I noticed that even if we belong to the same denomination, each church has a different ‘feel’ to it.

Be guided by God. You already know this, but I thought I just say it anyway. When you’re several thousand miles/kilometers away from your family, there are just somethings they cannot advise you on simply because they are not there with you, and cannot possibly know what you’re going through. God is always your Refuge and Christ your Redeemer, and He will always answer your prayers. Just be prepared that the answer you get may not be the answer you want… It may not make sense now, but it will one day.

If anyone asks where you’re from, tell then you’re from Malaysia. That will usually lead to a conversation on how you look Indian, and you can enlightened them on our family history… I usually answer that my family is from Sri Lanka, and had migrated to Malaysia in the early 1920’s or earlier while it was still a British colony, and that I was born in Malaysia.

And no more “-lah’s!” The first you say that to someone non-Malaysian they will look at you strangely, and may even ask if you’re trying to sing a song…

Finally, have fun! Take plenty of pictures, and movies (can your mobile phone do that?)  to remember your experiences. (Plus, we want to laugh at the funny moments, too… ~_^  )

With Love,
You Uncle

Rodney

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Abide

haciman

Haciman

Though I walk among you
Roam the lands at your side
Suckle at your mother’s teats
Graze the fields as one
I am apart from you

Seen as one of the flock
I am devoted to you
Though you do not realize
How it is I do
The bidding of your shepherd

Only when the wolves come
Do you see me with hackles raised
Fangs grinning the welcome of death
Standing between them and you
Looking more the warg than ram

When you see me thus
With blood in my maw
Will you fear me to turn
Will you regain me as one of you
Or will you cast me out as enemy

Look now to your master
Ask him the questions of me
You will get no answer
Only a stern rebuke with tears
For the sacrificial wolf

My lot was known before I was born
Taken to task for my duty
To protect you against darkness
With no promise of redemption
Darkness was cast into me

In the end it will not matter
For I will answer my calling
Defend you as was asked
Knowing all too well
I am not destined for this world

Nabi Isa, or Jesus Christ

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Any Other

She would tell you
I love her not

I do not know how to love her
I am weary

She says I do not think of her
Or I would shower her with affection
Play the lover’s game
React to a strap off her shoulder
As any other man would

I am weary
I do not know how to love

She claims that I do not risk
Open my heart and let her in
Feel love desire enthrallment
Her cats are better friends than I
Any other man would not be so

I do not know love
I am weary

Her words are hammer blows
Yet I would ask
Did she fall for me
Because I was any other man
Or was it because I am like no other?

I am weary
I do not love

So I am told
By my beloved

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Right Alone

Yahweh sends fire from heaven to consume Elija...

Image via Wikipedia

Everything slows down
Nothing is right anymore
I screwed up again
Always do
Should have left
Well enough alone
Should have known

But I keep hoping
Keep trying
Keep praying
That I do it right
That it’ll work out

I am batting
A thousand though
Always falling
To the wrong
For that which
Does not want
Nor care for me
In the way I feel

These things
God has shown me
In my foolishness
I try to rush beyond
What He has given
And I fall again

There will never be trust
Always the search
For the hidden
The contrary
The wrong
For the means
To escape
And I give it

I know I was treading
Dangerous grounds
Unsure footing
Loose gravel
There I slipped
My failings apparent

I am not one
That is social
No glib tongue
No Adonis
Just the simple
Stumbling fool
I have no lands
No funds or treasure
No hope of gaining
The nod or smile
An accede to my wants

Yahweh calls
Tells me that
It is the price
Of who I am
That no gain
Can be made
By this pursuit
But run I must
To the end that
Will kill my heart
Know that it will
No longer be

The end asks
If the price is worth
The pain of the wound
Spilling of blood
To the death
Of my soul
But my soul
Is already dead
Already claimed

Yahweh shows me
The sheep and points
To the wolves
Tells me
Would you see them gain
With sanguine maws
Lick the taste
Of your failings
To be distracted
From your call
Asks me what life
Is left to give
That I would lose
My Call
My Faith
My Heart

There is no gain
In what
I would run after
To stay
Flash fangs
Rip out the life
Of the dark ones
Where my being
Is to give that
Which is my life
Not the false hope
Of mirages
And scented glory
Temporary flash
Of joy
To be traded
For the long rumble
Of discontentment
There is where
The road will lead

Come
Back to the fold
To the pasture
Where your charges lie
Guard them
Have for your reward
The loss of all
That is you
All will be wiped
From the minds
Of those you hurt
That you love
Will grieve
To when
There is no pain
In them
They will not
Have known
You or your acts

Give over
Disappear
Hope no one
Will recognize
Your failure
Call for the felling
Of the sins
To be wiped clean
Beyond the knowledge
Of the Angels
Only the mind
Of Yahweh
And his Son
That will hold
The thimble
That is the ash
Of my creation

Haciman

Haciman

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Untitled

There are lines
That connect
One to another
Say something
Often enough
You will begin
To believe it

It is the nature
That we strive
To be better
Easiest done
By making the other
Lesser

We are the dominant species
Because we can kill everything else
We are the dominant race
Because we can murder everyone else
We are the dominant country
Because we can destroy every nation
We are the dominant gender
Because we can subdue the weaker sex

What God has created
Let Man put asunder
For He trembles at Our sight
Begs favours for our manna
And follies the hopes of Man
So We put it right
Again

We seek God
Not to worship Him
But to drag Him down
Manacle Him
Whip Him
Shoot Him
Nuke Him

It is never enough though
For He is immortal
His suffering will be
For an eternity
And We will find new ways
To torment Him
For it is the nature

Yet as long
As His suffering will be
The sons and daughters
Of Adam and Eve
Will have spent their lives
Cheaply and destructively
Until all is gone
Then the descendants
Will look up
To the Immortal
And He will ask

Why?
Was it so easy to destroy?
Could You find no joy
In creation?
Could You have not kept faith
With Our covenant?

Lord We were created
In Thy image
Our hands move as Thy bidding
To do what Thou has commanded
Destroy the Infidels
As Thou destroyed Gomorrah
Plagued the world
As Thou plagued Egypt
Letting no craven images
Stand before Thy munificence
We have done Thy bidding
As We do now
And will do forever

You speak as ever
With the tongue
Of Your master
You my children
Are responsible for all
That You do
To blame Me
Is to blame Yourselves

You are but small things
Crawling on Your mother’s belly
But cry up to Me
Look
We are running
So fast Our feet
Barely touches the ground
Laughter echoes
At Your claim

No more
I am Your Father
The Lord Yahweh
Hope and Glory
Are gone forever
It is time to be counted

You have been wicked
To Your beloved Mother
Robbing Her
Raping Her
Sucking Her dry
Atone for Your sins
Learn to stand
Come to Me then

We are
The Sanctity
Of Life
By It
We are
Measured

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Left Alone

I don’t know how many guys do this but I wonder sometimes about how I interact with women. Especially this protective urge that I have. I have often wondered about what it is that makes me feel protective about them. And why is it that women seem to know it.

When I did think about it, it occurred to me that it has a lot to do with my childhood… Yeah, it always seems to go back to our formative years. In this case, it does seem to be pretty valid.

You see, I’m the youngest in my family. My sister is about twenty-three months older, and my brother, the eldest, is five years older. I have often wondered if I was expected, or if I was a surprise. I don’t know.

It just seemed like I was the odd one out in my family. Even though I was a boy, I didn’t do things with my brother. None of those extracurricular activities that children are given so that they can do better in Life. No, instead, I had to follow my sister to hers. The bharatanatyam dance classes were for my sister, but they thought I should do it, too. If my sister wanted to go somewhere, I had to go with her. If she visited friends, I had to go along… she wanted to play with the neighborhood kids, I had to be there. Pretty soon, I was well known to all my sisters friends. and their families.

That my parents sent me most everywhere with my sister seems… logical… after all we were one year apart in school, and the closest in age. Kill two birds with one stone, I suppose. I wonder if they realized that it made me feel like I was an ‘add on,’ a fifth wheel, an inconvenience that had to be tolerated… an outsider… Hmph… I suppose that explains why I feel like an outsider all the time…

I suppose that’s also why I feel that sense of protectiveness… It was because I was the protector, my sister’s protection. That feeling seemed to carry over to those women I knew later on. I’ve had women friends who have commented on it. A couple even had to tell me that it was okay, that I didn’t have to accompany them everywhere… or endearing that I would be so… protective… Habit I suppose…

It’s strange, I suppose, how much what happens to us in our earliest years seem to mold our character. Maybe that’s why women start thinking of me as ‘brotherly’ when they get to know me, or the nice guy, the dependable one…  ya, every one of those boring, sad clichés that lead to “I like you, but as a friend…” which is pretty much what I got every time I expressed any interest… or was preempted by them saying what a good friend I was…

When I did have someone get interested in me. I was usually blind to it… My sister tells me that when I left for college, a few girls… I don’t know… missed me… I didn’t even know I was on their ‘radar’… or even who they were…  Even my ex… I thought she was cool when I met her, and that she would fit in with my group of friends. I was being friendly, she was being predatory… Being a virgin, I just didn’t know what was going on… when I finally figured it out, I was pretty much surprised…

The fact is if someone feminine shows interest in me, I am usually unaware of it… until they hit me with a two by four… It’s not that I’m distracted… it’s more like I’m just oblivious… to someone actually taking a shine to me… it just never occurs to me that someone could… Low self-esteem I guess… I mean, it’s not like I was even trying to woo them or anything… they just seemed to like me! How odd…

It’s strange to me because, a lot of the time they are not women that I had an interest in. They may be someone that I was friendly to, or someone that that I ended spending time with. I guess I was just being myself at those times, with no pretense, or hidden agenda…

Come on, let’s face it, when we get interested in someone we all tend to put on this… facade… that we think might be appealing to the one we’re attracted to…  we try to be there when they’re there, or just happen to have something that they may be interested in… going to extraordinary lengths to get them to notice you… For guys, it’s a sort of male preening…

It never worked for me… so it is always a surprise to me when someone shows interest. Like with K… I had an inkling that we would get along, but I never sought it… more like the opposite. So when she was seated next to me, it… it just flowed… We clicked… like we had known each other for years and years, and we were just reconnecting… it was… incredible… it was exhilarating… beautiful… and so wrong…

I was still married then, and… I truly did not understand what was happening… that I was falling in love. It was my first…  the sweetest…  and the most incredibly, excruciatingly painful experience of my life… and I was blind-sided by it… and it’s end…

— @ —

… Sorry… I still tear up thinking about those faint shadows of memories, those brief glimpses of her… her smile… the way she danced… her hair… The pain is faded…  faded but… somethings you may never get over…

I think about her sometimes… wonder what happened to her after she left… what she may look like now… if she is happy…

As… debilitating as those memories are, I just would not have it any other way. To have those times when you’re flying at the top of the world, and down to the deepest levels of self-torture, and recrimination… To feel for the first time, to understand what all those silly sappy love songs are all about… to be alive… It was a gift from up on high.

To even think that after all these years, that I can still… want to have those feelings again… to feel that same familiar tug for someone completely different… it is simply amazing. God! Help me! I feel like I’m a kid again! I want to cry again… and laugh, not knowing how it will end… but to only put… no… not anymore…now… to try so hard not to repeat my old stupid mistakes… to be myself around her… and maybe… just maybe… she’ll like the real me…

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Uncontrolled Flight

Haciman

Haciman

The world spun topsy turvy
Catapulted by nature
flung by nurture
I hit hard the bottom

Lying on a bed of roses
Pain slowly courses
From a ripped cracked torso
Into my blighted brain

Wailing would hurt too much
I lie there instead
Thinking it best not to move
As consciousness slips…

I awaken
The scream is out
Before I am deluged
By the pain

No one around
To hear
To help
I whimper

To live I must move
To somewhere between
Pain and death
God and life

Using what I have
I extricate myself
From the bloody barbs
Of my clinging bed

Bones pulled into place
Lay still till the rage subsides
And repeat
Until all is done

To heal is left
Mend bones knit skin
Feel the heart
Beat the time

The body will recall
Bear the marks
Ache the numbness
Effort the move

Should I venture out
Test the winds again
It will be done
With tattered wings

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Push and Pull

Fighting Cats

Image via Wikipedia

May be I’m crazy
Never saw it coming
Blindsided again
By the pull of my heart
For someone I didn’t expect

Gentle spirit
And warm heart
Won me over
Without a fight
I was lost to her

She smiles at me
Laughs with me
Has sarcasm for me
Cries to me
Pulls me to her

She tells me no
That I would not like
What I would find
That she is plain
She pushes away

Yet she watches
Reads my writings
Comforts me
Always eager
For my little gifts

What her words say
What her actions are
Do not match
And I struggle
Confused by both

Do I believe her
Do I believe the acts
That are more true
Than all the words
She casts to push

I am lost
Wanting to honor her
Hoping to gain her
Fighting my own self
Into a chaos of being

If I pull she pushes
If I push she pulls
If I do neither
She comes to me
We start again

I do not know her
Well enough to say
The word that would
End it once and for all
Too afraid to even think it

So I hope
Like the foolish child
That waits for the moment
When at last
All is right again

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Turnabout

haciman

Haciman

A coward may die
A thousand deaths
But the hero
Only gets one choice
To that end
He must choose
His poison well
Make sure his blade
Is razor sharp
The gun has
One last bullet
That the pin
Has been pulled
So it is understood
That no one has
Defeated him
His cause more righteous
Than any other
The cost would
Only be him
Never hesitating
In the final act
That saved the coward
From his thousand deaths

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The Anklet

Quick! What do you get when you make a Sri Lankan Tamil furious? A tiger! Get it?! A… oh, never mind… Why do I even bother…

Anyway, you’re probably wondering what’s that got to do with the title. For one thing ,I am a Sri Lankan Tamil. The other is about an ancient Tamil poem called Silappadikaram (Cilappatikāram, or Silappatikaram) which translates to ‘The Ankle Bracelet.’ It was written by Prince Ilango Adigal in the 2nd or 3rd century CE.

It’s about a woman whose husband is unfaithful but when the affair is over and he is broke, he returns to his wife. She, being the ‘good’ wife, takes him back without question. They then decide to that in order to regain the wealth he had squandered away, they would go to Madurai so that they would sell the two remaining pieces of wealth, her gold ankle bracelets.

They go through several adventures before reaching Madurai. When they get there. her husband tells her to wait on the outskirts of the city. He goes into the city with one of the anklets where he meets with a goldsmith. The smith immediately notices that the ankle bracelet is very similar to the one he just stole from the queen. The goldsmith quietly sends word to the palace that he has caught someone with the queen’s anklet.

The soldiers come and take the husband into custody. He is brought before the king, where  he is accused of theft, with the anklet shown as proof. The King himself is having a dalliance with a court dancer, much like what the husband had done. The King, in order to win some favor with his Queen, decides that the husband is guilty and summarily executes him.

When word finally gets to the wife of what has happened, she faints. When she recovers, she is enraged. She barges into the palace, into the queen’s quarters finds the queen’s two anklets. She then goes to the throne room, and confronts the royal couple .she shows them that the queen’s anklet is set with pearls, and that the anklet that her husband was trying to sell was set with rubies, like the matching one she has. The king, realizing that he has made a terrible mistake, dies immediately, in deep penance. The queen follows him to death.

The woman, still in a fury, goes outside the city to each of its four gates and curses it each time. She then tears off her left breast and throws it to the ground, calling on the Hindu God of Fire, Agni, to burn Madurai, and to only allow the innocent to escape. The city burns down to the ground.

Now, in a daze, and still hysterical, she wonders off. A few days later, some tribal women find her. She tells them what had happened to her. They are so moved by the story, that it is told to others and finally reaches the ears of the local king. He sends his brother, Prince Ildago to find out if it’s true. The prince finds her and writes down the story as she tells it to him.

In the end, the Gods send a heavenly chariot to fetch her, driven by none other than her departed husband. She is take up to the heavens to reap her just rewards of being a morally right and virtuous woman.

The moral of the story; don’t ever get a Tamil woman angry! Or ANY woman, for that matter…  Seriously though, it is a matter of being innocent until proven guilty. And that one should never assume anything until you know the truth. The old joke is that when you assume, you make an ass out of you and me – ass u me… and you end up being embarrassed- (E’m bare assed…)

The story of the Ankle Bracelet could not have played out anywhere else but in South India, and in its historical era. I don’t think anyone can imagine themselves doing something like that today, in any part of the world.

Yet assumptions play a big part in out lives. We assume that the sun will rise in the East ans set in the West. We assume that the North & South Poles will always be in the same location.  We assume that we can turn left on the red. These three are prime examples. Yes, it is a matter of the earth’s rotation that the sun will always appear on the Eastern horizon, but the Magnetic Poles are shifting, and we can only turn left on a red in those countries that allow it and that drive on the right hand side of the road. What we generally assume can sometimes be only true within a given geographic area, or within a given culture.

In the US, it used to be said that if you where an earring on your right ear only, you were gay. If you wore it on the other ear, it was a fashion statement. Then there came variations. some people said it was the left ear that meant you were gay. I played safe, and got piercings in both ears. Yes… I had pierced my ears… used to wear ear studs… and ear cuffs… looking like the pirate, or rock star, with my long flowing black hair… Please… I’m not vain, it’s just the simple truth… I just wanted to avoid the assumption that I was… one those truly happy people… However, the reason why there was so many variations was that it was a regional thing. I was in So Cal, so certain rules applied. If I were in Florida, or Georgia, it would be different there, too.

The same with how people react to and accept homosexuality. It is the hardest on the men. Please don’t take this the wrong way, women, but it is simply true. I once had an acquaintance, a Psychotherapist, who said that she had been shown a video, about gays and lesbians, and to her, it just seemed so much more… wrong… invasive… violative… when she saw men making love than when it was women doing it. But when it’s between two women, well… even she admitted that it was sensual, and she’s straight! And most men would heartily agree with her… need you ask… yes, including me…  And yes, there is a lot more tolerance of homosexuality between women.

Now that I’m back living in Malaysia I’m finding that that is a whole lot of symbolism that I don’t understand. If I had been here for the past thirty years, and well and truly Malaysian, I would understand all these subtle clues. Like what does it mean when women keep asking me if I’ve had breakfast when I show up for work… after saying ‘Good morning…’ There is something to it, but I haven’t a clue what it means. I am well and truly a foreigner in my own country.

People here sometimes forget that little fact. I still speak with an accent, but those that I’ve gotten to know keep assuming that I would know some of those subtle little things that I would not ever know until someone points it out to me. Then they wonder why I had behaved so crassly and not know… Or not reacted properly… so I’m caught in a Catch 22. Maybe I’ll start wearing an anklet on my right ankle… like one with those little bells when I was learning bharatanatyam in primary school… you didn’t know, did you? See what you get for assuming…

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The Way to Eden

Fan the flames
Beat your wings
And fan the flames
Hear the roar
As gushes of hot waves
Rumble into your ears
and darken your face

God’s breath blows on you
Heat pummels your wings
And trashes about
As you hover above
Dip forward and dive
Closer to the source
Then catch yourself

The nearer you get
The smaller it becomes
A ball of light
So bright it blinds
So intense it scorches
The only way is onward
Into the core

Close your eyes and dive
Breathe deep the burning
Inspire it into you
Let it burn from within
Suffuse you with glory
Radiant with life
Of your soulfire

A celestial being
Creature of the Creator
Fix your gaze
Onto the blue orb
Plunge into it
Take your place
Amongst the host

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The Man in the Clearing

Mother and Father called
To show me the mansion
They had built for me
This is your house
She claimed
See how lovely it is
Everyone will envy you
Father nodded sagely
Yes they will
He said

I stood in the middle
Of the living room
Grey marble floors
Met white marble pillars
That rose to domes
Of cut stone
From which hung
Crystal chandeliers
Milk white walls
Flanking french windows
That opened onto
A pristine English garden
Carefully trimmed
Into a maze

Not knowing what to do
I sat down
On the cold floor
This is your house
Mother proclaimed
As if saying it
Often enough
Would it become
The truth

Yes mother
I said out loud
This is my house
I made my way
To the flagstone staircase
Climbed it
To the rooms upstairs
They were identical
With picturesque windows
Ivory coloured walls
And slate floors
Nothing else

Coming downstairs
I found the door out
Took a step towards it
But mother barred me
Where are you going
She demanded
I thought I’d go home
I answered

But this is your house!
You have to stay here!
Mother stated adamantly
You stay, we’ll leave
Father said
And they did so

That night
The nights that followed
I tried to make myself
Comfortable in the mansion
I wandered the halls
walked through the garden
Searched the rooms
Slept on the floor

The days passed
Marching to a dirge
Into the years
Whenever my parents visited
They would say to me
This is your house
You must like it a lot

But I didn’t
I ached
My shoulders cold as stone
Chest as if caught
In an ever tightening vice
Legs as though dragged
Through burning coals
All I really wanted
Was to go home
To the place
I came from

I went to the door
Opened it to find
Mother and Father
Waiting
This is your house
Mother said
You cannot leave
Father said
We built this mansion
And you must stay here
What kind of son are you
Mother nagged
That you would ignore
All we have done
For you

I’m going home
Stepping around them
This is your house!
Mother called shrilly
Father blustered
But it is not my home
I answered
You built it
Made me live here
It was never mine

My home is not here
In the cold and hard
Of your dreams
With nothing of me
None of my memories
My hopes
Of my dreams
You trapped me here
With the chain
Of the good son
Saying it was for me
It never was

I walked away
Ignoring the echoes
Of my parents
The road was muddy
Slippery and cloying
Every step into a morass
Of the unknown
Burning fear raged
And a question
Came to mind
Should I go back
To that mansion
Of known aches
Of known grimness

As I stood in the quagmire
Slowly sinking
Not going forward
Or backward
A tigress came
Watched and asked
Foolish man why
Do you choose death
Is your life empty
Means nothing
Or have you let
Your echoes of parents
Skewer you

You know your God
Would He be happy
With your frivolous
Indulgence in deceit
Does He not frown
Upon liars and cheats
Even if it is you
That you lie to
And deceive
Where is your Faith

Help me
I cried to the Tigress
Or leave me be
You mock me
When I am downcast
Goad me
When I am weak
What do you know
Of my pain
My fears
Do you think
That I want this
It is this road
That holds me
Binds me
Pulls me under

The tigress
Shook her head
It is you
That holds you
Binds you
Pulls you down
You let it
Simply because
It is easier
So die there
Where you stand
Or Live!

Only you can see
Where your road goes
Only you can
Follow it home
Take the next step
Ask your God
For help
He will give it
But ask

I stood there wondering
If it is possible
To take the next step
Into that road
If it will be my last
Step into oblivion
I burned again
With dread
The road was unfamiliar
Yet I began to glimpse
Memories of
Past times
Past joys

One step forward
The mud gripped
Struggled to hold
Another step
And it still clung
I cried
Where is my strength
Yahweh, Yahweh
Help me with another step
Forgive my fears
Forgive my tears
Lead me to
My next step

It did not cling as hard
The next step
Struggled forward
One more step
To my home
Slowly with each exultation
To God
To Life
The road led
To the path home

The road was
Still unfamiliar
It had been so long
Yet I started to see
Memories of past times
Following the path
Cutting through lalang
Winding around trees of
Durian rambutan mangoes
By stands of
Papayas bananas
Through bushes
Of hibiscus
And bougainvillea

In the shade of bamboo
Past flame of the forests
There hid the path
Leading to a foot bridge
Over a monsoon drain
Ending at a cottage
Thatched with palm leaves
With a brick chimney stack
It was built in a clearing
Opening to a beach
Within sight
Of an island

I felt a chill
As the wind picked up
Turning the air cold
Quickly I walked
To the front door
It was ajar
I entered
Shut the door
Behind me

I strode into
The living room
Taking my jacket off
Hung it up
As I always did
On the peg
at the end of the hallway
My wings flapped weakly
Freed at last
Long forgotten that
They were there
Under my coat

The fireplace beckoned
I went over to it
Stretching my wings
To encompass the warmth
Letting it sooth
Through wing membranes
Into my wingfingers
I reached for
The steaming mug
That was still
On the mantle
Sipped the warm cocoa
And was slowly effused
By pin prickling heat

A smell of gun oil
Mixed with woodstain
Sharpened by old paint
Filled my nostrils
With remembrances
I looked about
the teak panelled walls
Smiled at the sight of
The bookshelves
With dog-eared books
Still carefully perched
Waiting to fall over
At the next nudge

In the midst of the shelves
Was a heavy wood cabinet
With glass doors
I put my mug down
Went to it
Opening the doors
I found
In perfect
Military fashion
My rifles lined up
In their gun blues
I ran my hand
Over the smooth wood stocks
The cold breeches
The rough web slings
Before closing the cabinet

Turning around
I saw the mess
That was my desk
With mounds of
Old magazines
Stacked in a
Semblance of order
That I had
Long forgotten
And a clear
Desktop valley
In front of a laptop

Above the desk
Was a display case
That was littered
With models
Of jetfighters and propfighters
Tanks and soldiers
Even a few battleships

I inhaled sharply
Looked around the room
Once again
Knowing that there would be
Much more to discover
I was here though
And felt the onus
Of family off me

I stretched
Heard the creaking
Of my joints
My eyes fluttered
Even as I yawned
The bedroom was calling
I heeded its call
Stripping off
Bits of clothing
As I got to the bed
Fell in
Pulled the blanket
Over me
Drifted off
Into the slumber
Of a babe
Cradled in his
Mother’s arms

—@—

Etymology:
Rodney \r(o)-dney,rod-ney\ is pronounced RAHD-nee. It is of Old German and Old English origin, and its meaning is “Roda’s island; island near the clearing”. Surname first commonly used in the mid 19th century. (From:  thinkbabynames.com)
In English, the name Rodney means- land near the water. The name Rodney originated as an English name. (From: meaning-of-names.com)
Transferred use of the surname, from the place name in Somerset, an area of land in the marshes near Markham.This is first recorded in the form Rodenye; it derives from the genitive case of the Old English personal name Hroda (a short form of the various compound names with the first element hroð ‘renown’) and the Old English eg. (island, dry land – in a fen).(From: babynamesworld.parentsconnect.com)
The meaning of the name Rodney is  From The Island In The Swift River. (From: babynames.com)


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The Twig

Caught in the maelstrom
Stripped of foliage
Flung into the desert
Of the world

Parched and barren
Dry heat of air
Greedily drinks the last
Vestiges of fluid

Until hands reach
Place gently in a vase
Dipped in the river
Of life and love

The thirst is quenched
Reaches to all ends
Roots tap downward
Leaves shyly open

Replanted into the bank
Reaching deep into the world
The heights of heaven
A tree blossoms

—@—

Part 3 of the Twig Trilogy
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S.M.S.N.; Climb Out and Level Off

Everybody take a deep breath… hold it… okay exhale… inhale… hold it… exhale… one more time… inhale… hold… exhale…

Wow! Talk about a nose dive into the depths! My bad… FYI, it’s been years since things were so bad emotionally. Feels like a lifetime… Don’t worry, I don’t have thoughts of suicide anymore, not for a long time. And things ARE good, these days. Grumble as I might, the truth is I am a lot better off than I was a decade ago.

The reasons I shared were… well someone got under my skin… and when I’m passionate about something, or someone… I have a tendency of over-reacting…

I also find that when I share something so deep and dark, people start nodding and agreeing, and relating. There are some who start realizing they aren’t the only ones going through similar emotional situations. You’d be surprised how many people are walking out there who are just plain wrecks, but you wouldn’t know by looking at them…

I wanted to say I was one of them, but… I’m a work in progress. It’s hard not to fall back into the same destructive habits, and thought patterns… you just have to create new patterns, and new habits… and surround yourself with positive, uplifting people…

As to what it is that got under my skin, well it was she just… well I think she was trying to be humble, when she said she was just a plain Jane… Anybody who knows her will tell you that she ain’t no such thing! When I told her that she’d never be that to me, and that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, she jokingly replies that I must be blind… That got under my skin… and the tipping point…

Because in an earlier conversation, when she mentioned how I said I knew her, I had replied that I did, and was still finding out more, and that was the fun part. She replied that I wouldn’t want to find out more since I wouldn’t like it (lol)…

… It got me irritated… REALLY irritated… For one thing, let me find out if I’m going to like it or not, let me make up my own mind. For another, it’s one thing to be humble, but stop putting yourself down! When someone pays you a compliment, don’t tell them they’re wrong. It has a tendency of pissing them off…

What really got me going was how much of myself I saw in all those little things… The me that had to struggle to escape a pit that he was put into… that he escaped into… and it’s really hard to get out of it… and I saw the same things in her…

I just really wanted to grab you and tell you to stop doing that! I know it may be hard to believe, but some of us really like you for who you are. The you that your actions betray… When actions reveal the truth… that you are not plain Jane, but more like Jane Seymour(the actress) … you’re not that ugly duckling anymore, but a beautiful swan, who can fly away from it all…

Ya… still under my skin… And I may just be over-reacting… Still… sigh… better to say it and be wrong than to not to say anything and be wrong…

I just had an epiphany and I had to laugh! I have a warrior’s heart! Must be something genetic, or I just am… I am indeed the Knight, and she is the Princess… Those of you that know Eddings(David & Leigh), consider me Sparhawk, and her Ehlana… It’s too priceless a comparison!

I know we all have our secrets, and not all of us are willing to be so forthcoming. I have many… What I share here is… just under the surface… there is a lot more that I do not share… probably never will… at least not here…

Life is Good, God is Great, and it’s not a coincidence…

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Set Into Motion Something New

What is to be done with me? I am tired. Alone in this world. I have, in part, given up on relationships. I don’t see how it can happen. Perhaps this is the suicide I have been aiming for. No offspring. That is a kind of death. No love. That is another kind of dearth of life.

Still… I long for the taste of it. Of love. Of being in love. Of finding someone who would love me as much as I love her. But who would that be? Who would have me? Who would have my weaknesses? Who would accept my failings? Who would condone my… me?

I am so used to seeing my negative that my positive has all but disappeared. I owe myself love, and hope. I want to get out of this unbearable life of poverty. It is poverty when I have to borrow to pay my bills, and I cannot pay those whom I borrowed from. It is a poverty of the soul that I cannot enrich with the balm of love…

I look at lmh, & I see someone so attractive, sweet, and positive, that I am drawn to her. Yet, I have to stand away, make idle conversation, or walk away. I cannot hope to attract her to me. Not in the situation I’m in. Not in the state I’m in. Who would want me the way I am? I think back to jld, see all the mistakes I made, and I know I cannot repeat them. I caused her, jld, enough pain and grief. I can only hope that I learnt from it to avoid such tragedies again. So I look, with melancholy at lmh, and know that whatever window of opportunity I may have had with her is gone. Not even slipping away, just gone.

The more I write, the more ridiculous it all seems. Haven’t I been here before? Why do I keep falling back into the same situation? Why can’t I move on? I know the place I’m at is entirely my fault. I have to want to move forward, not stagnate. I have to want to make strides in my mental attitude so that I can get out of this rut.

It is a loss of self. It is lonely not having anyone this time of year. There are too many memories of good times, happy times, that I am drawn to. I want to make more memories. More good times. Can I?

It is so easy to isolate myself. Not to put myself out there to interact. Pull into a tight ball that no one can approach. I am wound so tight that I fear that I will explode. But I do that, isolate myself. I always feel that I somehow don’t belong. Growing up, I didn’t belong. Even now, I don’t belong. Somehow, I am the outsider. I am the observer that is paid no heed. I can be told things because I am safe. I’m from there. But they say I’m from here. So I am in no man’s land. Does that make me a ‘no-man’?

I feel drained. Depressed? Probably. This is life at it’s lowest. Of course ef will tell me that I know nothing of that. I surrounded myself with people that suck the life out of me. I don’t know if I have ever known what is normal. Is there a ‘normal’? Will I ever find that?

There is a divorce to be had. I have to move on. I have to move on. I need to move on. I need to learn those skills that will help me move on. I need to do things that will help me do that. I cannot sit at the bottom of this hole and say I’m helpless when I do nothing to see if I can pull myself out of this hole. There are things I can do. That I need to do. This is just the first step.

I don’t belong in smn. I need to be doing what I need to do to get out of here. My Autocad. My writing. My Framemaker 6.0. Things to become a tech writer. Things to get back into aviation. This here is so much shit, feces, dung. I need to get out of this place. It is poison to the soul. It is poison to my soul. My life needs to be better than this.

—@—

I must have written that a few years ago. It’s interesting to see how much has changed, and how much has not. I still struggle, looking at everything in minutia, wondering if I am doing the right thing. Wondering if I’ll ever take that final leap of Faith.

Things have changed. I tried to remember who lmh is, and I just don’t. She must have been I was attracted to, but did nothing. I was still married then. Couldn’t do anything even if my wife and I have agreed that it was okay for us to pursue others. Easier said than done.

Have I said it before? I’m like a tame wolf. I have all the killer instincts, but I just don’t have the know how. J seems to have it down pat. He managed to figure it out, but for whatever reason, I am… clueless. The problem is it always seems like I make the wrong choice.

I also realize that J, in his trysts, is not looking for something long term, only for the immediate satisfaction of his sexual needs. He will never settle down… well, most probably will never… with one woman. He’s too used to having change, and just cannot see himself in a long term relationship. He gets too… claustrophobic. At least that’s what he says.

So why am I not like J? Shouldn’t I be wanting the casual relationship? Just to enjoy myself, and then just move on? Be the dog that all men are? Yet I’m not like that.

I guess the truth is that I’m an introvert. Put me in a crowd, and I’m likely to find a corner and observe everybody else. Talking to people is a struggle. It’s not easy for me to walk up to a stranger and just start talking. It’s ten times harder when it’s a woman I find attractive.

Yet here I am, spilling my guts out on an open media for everybody to see. It’s different though. This media offers you a sense of anonymity. Those that know you, know already what’s going on… or are surprised… but don’t say anything… Besides, I’m not talking to a live person that can complicate things.

Yet, when I look back at what I wrote all those years ago, I begin to realize how deep some scars are. What holds me back… is a lack of self-confidence. That stems from my feelings of not being lovable. And where does that come from?

An old friend and I just made contact on FB. He said he remembered me from Std 1. I know, however, that he really doesn’t, since he knows another 2 friends, and I only met them after Std 4. I was in KKB for Std 1, 2 and the first term of Std 3 before our family moved to the town I’m in now. I wonder if he’s thinking of J and remembering me?

Still, when I look at all the schools I went to in my Primary years, I have to start wondering if that was the reason I find it hard to make friends, or even maintain friendships. In the six years of Primary school, I went to four different schools.When you keep changing schools like that, it’s hard to form lasting bonds. Then, with the exception of the school in KKB, all the other schools I went to were all boys schools. Girls were… well, someone had the bright idea that boys and girls shouldn’t be taught together…

The girls I knew growing up were from the neighbourhood… well my sister’s friends anyway, but since I was only a year behind her in school, we would end up playing together…

The reason why I went to so many schools was that, growing up I was asthmatic, and my parents felt it would be a good idea that I should follow my mother, a teacher, then a principal, to the schools she was at. That’s way, if I were to have an episode, someone would be there to take care of me. That ended when my mum became the Headmistress of an all girls school. I, on the other hand, didn’t understand why I was not going to the same school my brother was.

What my parents didn’t understand was that, even at that young age I had an independent streak. My mother had fits with me. Like when, on a rainy Sports Day at school, she, the principal, saw me marching in the rain with the rest of the students of my sports house. It was like the more they tried to cage me in, the more I found ways to escape.

The easiest escape? Well, that was into my mind. I had imaginary friends, enemies, and little wars going on. Then I discovered plastic models, the kind you build, so I started to assemble an arsenal… They all managed to get into my ‘wars’… my mental soap operas… These were the ‘constants’ in my life. They stayed, while I lost friends, and familiar places. By the time I was in a school for a long enough time, the fear of making any kind of long term friendship was there… I had friends… well… acquaintances more like… but not any that were real true bonds…

I don’t know… It just became hard to get close to anybody… Hard to believe that they would be in my life for long… hard to believe they wanted to be in my life… hard to want them to be in my life… It was easier to just be on my own, and to believe that I didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things… That I wasn’t really wanted…

When you start thinking like that, suicide starts entering your mind. After all, if you don’t matter, the World won’t miss you when you’re gone. Another meaningless life snuffed out, and Life goes on… The best thing you ever did was to become fertilizer. At least then you’re doing some good… Besides, no one really loves you…

No one really loves you… How did I come up with that idea? I supposed it was from feeling like a pawn. I was moved from school to school. I had to follow my sister to everything she did. When I had a problem, nobody would listen. I was the good son, bringing the good grades, trying to please everybody… but I still was ignored, or at least felt like I was being ignored… Wouldn’t you, when you have severe stomach pains, and you had to be nearly in tears before they take you to see the doctor… and he says that you’re having Appendicitis… So if you’re not wanted… not loved…

The thing I discovered is that suicide is easy. It may take a lot of courage to overcome the pain, the urge for survival, the sheer panic the first few seconds… but once you’re past that, it’s a lot easier… to do the final act… I’ve been there… on a motorcycle, on a winding road in the mountains, taking a turn too fast…knowing that you’re not going to make it… then having to decide… do I go into the cliff wall… or over the edge… For a fraction of a second… the edge beckoned…

Life… choosing to stay alive… that’s a lot harder… a lot… especially when all you see is… emptyness… darkness… hate… contempt… or, the worst, being ignored… Nothingness… and alone… Grim, isn’t it? The truth is I was never alone… or never really not Loved… No I’m not talking about family, or friends… Somehow, I don’t know when, but I found a Light in all that bleakness…

Faith… A belief that despite everything that’s going on it will get better… that you do have a purpose… that you are loved… in a higher being… It’s what keeps me going. It’s what that has kept me alive all these years. That despite, in spite of how ugly I felt inside, how empty, how hollow… I kept going, always with the thought that I would disappoint Him if I ever did that act… He… Elohim, Adonai, Allah, Emmanuel, Jehovah, Yahweh… whatever you want to call Him… He has been that constant in my life. He is the one that I turn to every time when things were at the lowest in my life… and there were several… He is the One being that I know who Loves me from the beginning of Time…

People say God doesn’t answer, but He does. It’s just that they don’t like His answer, or they missed it… In the background, the evening prayers are being proclaimed… God is Great… God is Great… and He answers…

What can I say? I believe. You believe, yet you would say I wouldn’t want to know you more… I wouldn’t like it… I could say the same about me… that you wouldn’t like what you’d find out about me… but here you are reading about me… the plain John Doe…

In the end, the only thing that holds us back is Fear… Don’t you think I’m scared out of my wits writing this? I am, but I do anyway, because this was His Blessing to me… the nice guy… Someone who is more comfortable lost in his thoughts than with real life people… who is scared out of his mind whenever I see her… wondering… over thinking… but still trying to reach outside my comfort zone…  to something new…

Living… can be a lot scarier… than dying…

 

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Dark Angel

Haciman

Haciman

Grace was not given
And I did not fall
Yet the pain returns
Swallows me whole
I have been claimed
Given to the words
Taken from the dark places
Dragged upward
Onward and outward
Like rats fleeing the sewers
The words run
On that tide
I write
Ride
Glide
Left on distant lands
Wrung of my senses
I am spilt open
Sucked dry
The blackness of me
Shown to the light
There are no more
Hiding places
The monsters have gone
The rats have fled
Leaving behind
Passages of me
Raw
Bleeding
Cleansed
Given
Into the light
To be healed
Renewed
To understand
The pain of being

—@—

Part 2 of the Guardian Trilogy
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Suffer in the Longing

Sometimes I see the pain
Sometimes I hear the grief
Binding the sorrow in between

With love found cradled
In the arms of the Father
Sparkles the light

Nestled within
Safe and warm
Snuggled in

Yet it cannot be left
The haunting that comes
In the comfort of time

For the pain is the soul
The grief is the spirit
The sorrow is the life

Always with the memory
A caress that whispers
Love never fails

—@—

Part 2 of the Twig Trilogy
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The New Year at Pulse

Recently, a manager left the company. His contract was up, so he went back to his homeland. One of the things he did before he left was he started posting pictures and videos of his time at the company. One of them was of her at an airport getting a leg massage, reflexology…

He did post it on FB, and I commented on it, even reposted it. When I went looking for it a few days later, I couldn’t find it. I did know his YT page, and went looking for it. I was just curious to know if she had seen it. When I found it, I decided to just post it on her FB Wall. This is the ‘conversation’ that ensued;

(Legend: Her writing;  Mutual Friend writing;  Me writing; )

Hay!! How did you get the link? Hmmmm…

Y&*# posted it… ;-D

Sorry couldn’t resist… BTW Your legs are world famous now… ;-P-

Am gonna get so even and evil dis time!!!

Please don’t. You know it’ll only tickle me more… Then I won’t be able to stop smiling… won’t be able to work… etc… unless that’s what you’re hoping for…

Besides, you’re too sweet to do anything really evil…

That’s what you think.. =P

Yeah am a byatch from hell!!! Lol

Mutual Friend; It’s a matter of perspective… my POV would be quite different from yours ^_^
Her; … You’re still sweet in my book… ;-P

Me; Can’t argue with that. =) i better change my standards. haha
Her; Finally, you admit it!

Mutual Friend; Different life experiences. Wouldn’t wish mine on u, so please don’t change until u have a reason to… 🙂

—*—

So begins January 1st, 2011; with a threat of retaliation…  from her…  I somehow managed to get under her skin… It’s funny, just by her saying that she’s going to get even… and evil… has got my imagination going bonkers. Her ‘evil’ plan of retaliation is working… I really wish I could see her reactions…

I probably do deserve it, and I will get an explanation for her reaction… probably a scathing one… I can guess at what it is.

I don’t know if she realizes, that I’m not the only man that will provoke a woman. There’s even a hip hop song about it. There’s just something about a woman stirred up that just thrills a man to the core. Some men… I guess it’s right up there with catfights… except more dangerous. That anger, that woman’s anger, is directed at the man who provoked it…  Don’t ask me to explain, it’s probably something very primitive in our (men) minds that is just enthralled by it.

For me though, as exciting as it is, it’s also a way to test the boundaries of our relationship. She keeps surprising me, so I keep coming back. She’s unpredictable to me, so I keep coming back. She’s sarcastic, so I keep coming back. She’s so familiar to me, so I keep coming back…

Folks, let me just say this; we are just ‘playing’ with each other. It’s not really a serious thing. Don’t think for one minute that she would actually do something mean and horrible. For the little time that I’ve known her (less than nine months) and the little interaction I’ve had with her (mainly on FB) I know that she is kind, and caring. She does have a temper, but she has been so patient with me that I sometimes wonder why. She is sweet, and… well, I could probably go on… then I’d just start embarrassing myself… Besides, she sometimes reads these blogs… don’t need to reveal too much…

Yet, for the little time we’ve known each other, there are times when I feel like I’ve known here forever… well… a lot longer than I’ve actually known her… I asked her once how long we’ve known each other and she said a year. It was actually more like six months or less at the time…

And despite all the threats, and the claims of being a ‘byatch from hell,’ I… know… the person she is. Someone who came to find out if I was crying one day when she thought that maybe I was… someone who came and shook my hand to wish me a Happy Thanksgiving, and let me hold her hand a little longer than needed… who walked away when she saw me talking to another woman… who turns to say ‘Hi’ to me when she’s in the middle of a conversation with someone else when I walk by… who told me to keep trying when my joke fell flat, and instead made her angry…  who came stood sad face at my work station one day when everything was going bad for her, waiting for me to ask her ‘what’s wrong?’… someone who’s soft gentle smile lights up my day…

It’s the little things… that I notice… that lets me really know the person she is…

—*—

 

Update on the conversation; according to sources (her… I guess she does read my blogs!) the person she’s planning on getting even and evil with is the guy that posted the video… Goes to prove what they say about assumptions… But it’s all good… she read my blog…

 

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Daybreak

Haciman

Haciman

Whispers in the air
Furtive glances of sound
Rushing through backstreets
Flitting down tunnels
Cutting by corners
Around bends
To a dark room
With small child

Come into the light

No
I don’t want to
It’s too bright
Too painful
Too afraid

How frightened are you
You hide in your fears
Revel in your pain
Do you wish to see
The world forever
In greys and blacks
Or would you rather
Have greens blues and reds

The day calls
The sun beckons
All that lies
In the dark
Fades away
With the dawn
Raise your head
And greet Phoebus

Come little one
Fly with me
Into the heavens
Let the light into your eyes
And know that the whiteness
Will yield to colour

A hand out
A hand reaches
Held in the bosom
While the other
Opens the window
Of the dark prison

Taken aloft
By the guardian
On wings that whisper
Through the air
Soaring on the shine
Of the morning’s eye

—@—

Part 1 of the Guardian Trilogy
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Teardrop

Gently shod the eye
Leaving a trail
That speaks
To no one
Absently leads
To a fall

 

—@—

 

Part 1 of the Twig Trilogy
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The Bull

He once entered a china shop
Full of delicate porcelain dolls
Turned around to find
A mess he had created
Fallen dolls
Cracked china
And stalls akilter

Oh dear me
Exclaimed the buff fellow
What have I done
I should have known that such fragility
Was no place for one as cumbersome as me
With two left feet no less
I vow henceforth to look before I enter
So pray shopkeeper please forgive
My indelicacies
Should I come this way again
I would be more gentle
And tread not so heavily
In your wonderful store

—@—

Sometimes in my overeagerness, I rush in and trample on the emotions and feelings of the one I’m attracted to. Especially when I think she is reciprocating… Then I have to apologize, and try to salvage what I can of our relationship…
This was written as an apology…
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From Three to One

Nabi Isa, or Jesus Christ

In a carefully worded talk, Pastor said that there is no way I could get involved with her. It is a fight for my soul. One that I would lose if I pursued this woman. I could no longer claim Christ as my Lord, and I would be lost.

Okay, so he didn’t quite say it that way, but you know what I mean. What else could he say? I mean, come on! He is a Pastor, after all, and he’s not about to give somebody the green light just because they’re in love, or falling for someone of the wrong faith. I do think he would have counseled differently if he wasn’t a Pastor.

The more I think about it, though… I wonder… because at the end of the day I don’t believe the way normal Christians do. I don’t believe in the Trinity, but rather in the Unity. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are 3 separate entities, but as God is the Creator, we are all part of Him. What is it that they drilled in us in Church? In Sunday School? Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

The JWs believed that these are 3 separate entities too. Jesus is A Part of God, and hence, as He carries out God’s instructions, He becomes the instrument of God. As the Bible says, He sits at the Right Hand of God.

The Holy Spirit is another Instrument of God. It carries out the instructions of Yahweh, but in a more supernatural way. So, it is from God, for God, by God, of God, but is Not God. Like the Angels…

The thing is, I, in my childish innocence, have always believed that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are 3 separate entities. It was what I understood, going to Church all those years back. That they were separate things, not whole, but made whole by the Creator. But, I also understand the Trinity. When I read the stories of Rama, Shiva, Krishna, and even Hanuman, there is an explanation that they are aspects of Vishnu, or another God, but with their own distinct personalities. There were many religions that share aspects of that myth. Many pagan religions shared the idea of the incarnation of God, or an Avatar to show the unschooled , the fallen, the wayward, the right path.

Christianity has borrowed many forms to make it more palatable to the converts. Some aspect of their previous religions crept into Christianity, and has changed it to something that Jesus probably would not recognize, and might rail against. Is it really the Faith that Jesus taught, or has it become so bureaucratic that it shares just skeletal aspects of the True Faith? Would that still be alright with the Maker?

Truthfully, I just don’t know. I only know that when I pray, it is to God. Then, I discovered His name, and I prayed to him, calling Him by his name. For 35 years of my life, I prayed, never once invoking the name of Jesus. These days, since I understand the role of Jesus as the Perfect Sacrifice, I add his name in my prayers. I’m a Christian after all, and I should at least acknowledge Jesus.

So, have I been on the wrong path all these years? Should I embrace my new-found saviour with gusto, and jealous affection? I  just think that the relationship that I have with my Heavenly Father, is a lot more personal. It still is. There have been many times that I look skyward, and just start laughing, shaking my head. I sometimes shout at him, in mock anger, and give Him a piece of my mind, all the time wagging my finger…

There are probably those that would read this and would gasp in surprise, and give them fits about my relationship with God. To me, He has been my refuge, my friend, my solace, my comforter. He also has a sense of humour that I’ve come to appreciate, although at times… I just hate being the butt of His jokes… I laugh though, because I know He loves me.

And there lies the problem. I know He loves me… I love him, too, and I wonder why I need and intermediary to speak for me. I can speak for myself, and I know He listens. If I ask, He gives me answers, and I’ve come to realise that the answers might not be the ones I want to hear.

The problem? Most people love God, because they fear what will happen if they do not do what is asked of them. Others fear God, and so they love Him because of the promise of rewards for that love. They obey, and have a hope that by asking forgiveness, sincerely, with Christ Jesus as their advocate, they will gain entry into paradise. That they will be made perfect, have no suffering, meet their long lost loved ones, and enjoy life forever. They obey because they love live. They hang on to it tenaciously. They fight for every second, millisecond, micro second, so that they can go on living in this world. They hope that by asking for that last minute act of forgiveness, they will have a chance to live in Paradise.

The problem. I do not have that Hope. I gave that up a long time ago. I know that when I face God on Judgement Day, my life will be weighed on the Scales, and will be found wanting. The Hope that I have is that He will choose to erase every trace of me. That there is no Hell, and Heaven will be all that much better with no memory of my existence. I live so that my days will end. I live that what little good I can do will be done.

My own poem “Abide” speaks of that. I really am not like anybody else. I am unique in my existence. I have often wished that it would be a short life, but God sees fit to keep me here. Those that love life are taken early. Those that hate life, are kept on so that they may serve. I live, but I wonder if I’m alive. I think because I do not fear death I can do things that most normal people would simply fear to do. If it’ll shorten my life… But God’s hand is always there to protect me. Why not? He love me, and wants me to go on doing those things that only someone who does not fear death will do. Twisted, isn’t it?

https://rokuth.wordpress.com/2010/10/21/abide/
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The Depths

I don’t want to feel anymore
It hurts too much
Just push it all away
No longer to have
The sharp ripping stab in the chest
The hot rising flush of the face
The cold ache of the body
The overbearing weight on the shoulders
The squeezing of the lungs
The incoherent burblings
Of a choked throat
And the laughter that comes
When it is all overwhelming

I want it no more
I want it all to stop
I want to know joy
That sensation I have
When the feelings end
Happiness is emptiness
Of all emotions
What I feel when I smile
I just want to be blissfully ignorant
Of the knowledge bought by blindness
mercy bought by neglect
Wisdom bought by pain
Paid for with my life
Can you spare some change friend
Put me out of my misery
And let me live for a few seconds

Live for a few seconds
How can I
When I have lived for an eternity
Thrown into the throes of growth
And seen my own end
It is a beginning
I cannot let go
That buries me in life
And resurrects me in death
It is a blessing
I do not care for
For it extols a price
I no longer wish to pay
Faith in the ever after
In the here and now
That tells me
I want to feel

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Smile

It was the cause
For the launch
Of a thousand ships
Sent a hundred fold that
Of men to battle

It would cause
The glumness of day
To vanish
As the day
Banishes night

It could be the cause
Of the heart
Stopping a moment
And then racing
To a faster beat

It is the cause
Of welcomed warmth
Silent greeting
That is louder
Than any hullo

It will be the cause
That eases
The tension on faces
Lifting spirits enough
To bring cheer from all

All because
It is a wonderment
That asks so little
Yet yields so much
From such delicateness

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Rainstorm

I wake to hear
The storm come down
Sudden and hard
On the glass panes

Lightning flashes
And hasty wind
Hurries the rain
Down the rooftop

The rain slackens
Wind blows lightly
Gusts strong now slow
Then gently stops

With the thunder
A breaking branch
Stumbling about
The lonesome hills

Quiet returns
Sleep reclaims me
Stroked by the sounds
Of water drops

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPCUatq7grQ
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The Life at Pulse

A lunch sits on a blue tablecloth with a brown...

Image via Wikipedia

We were to meet at the Mickie D’s that was next to the LRT station. It was suppose to be her ‘Good-bye’ lunch, and she text-ed me asking for me to ask another fellow worker if he wanted to go with us. He couldn’t make it. He was too busy that day and he had his prayers to go to. So it ended up with just me and her for lunch.

When I got there, I was going to call her to see if she had made it, but found that I had a SMS saying that she was in the air-con section of McD’s I went in, looking for her and saw someone that I just recognized as A.  She had done her hair, was wearing heels, and contacts. Her clothes were stylish, not like the usual tomboyish outfits she wore. She even had a little make-up on. She looked good. Like and ugly duckling that had blossomed into a swan. I told her that she looked really different with her new look.

We ate at Mickie D’s. She treated me since she had her new job. We talked a little, and I asked her about her mom. She told me that her mother was doing okay. We talked a little more, and somehow managed to get into the topic of what had happened to her.

Her father had been killed in a car accident when she had just started work after college. Her mother and her two younger sisters were in the car as well, but managed to survive. It was then piecing the family back together again. Then, a few years later, her mother was diagnosed with Leukemia. As the eldest, she bore the brunt of the burdens, of not only looking after her mother and managing the illness, but her two sisters as well.

It’s a lot for a young person, let alone a young woman, to handle. As it was, she quit the first company she was working for and went to work for another that, although paid less, was more to her liking. She worked hard, paid close attention to the products the company was marketing, and did well. She was noticed for her diligence and knowledge.  This led to her being quickly promoted to lead a regional sales team for a new product that the company was to start marketing. She was with the company for nearly a decade, and had made it up in the company ranks. The toll on her, though, was heavy.

Then there was the incident where she was robbed as she pulled into the garage of her house. A man with a parang (machete) grabbed her as she was getting out, and dragged her out. She screamed, and shouted for help a few times. No one bothered to come out of their homes. She kept looking at the parang and saying to the guy to just take her purse but don’t cut her. He didn’t seem to be listening, but dragged her out to the street.

Apparently, Mr Machete had an accomplice who drove up in a car, as he was dragging her out. Seeing this, she did the only thing that she could think of.  She looked him straight in the eyes and yelled “Jesus!” She yelled “Jesus!!” two more times, and he let her go. He got into the waiting car and they drove off with her purse.

The immediate aftermath was just as traumatic. She had been hurt physically, and she went to her neighbour’s house to have them call for the police, but they refused. They did not want to get involved. Luckily for her, she still had her mobile phone, so she called for a friend to come and take her to the ER. He showed up a little while later and took her to the hospital and then to the Police station. By the time she had got back home, it was past midnight. It didn’t end there though, because now she had to go get a new IC, report her credit cards stolen, etc.

I think this all brought it to a head, and she decided that she needed to take time off, and just focus on helping with her mother’s illness. She gave notice at her job, and they were devastated. She had done so much for the company, and had become one of their leading Sales Manager. Losing her would be a hard blow. They agreed that she would stay on until one of the projects she was running ended, and even then she stayed on a few extra days to make sure all was well.

That was two years ago. It took her a year to actually start working again. It was part time, but it was something. As it is, she still doesn’t go out or come home during the hours that she was attacked. It took her another year for her to apply for a full time job.

I had heard parts of the story before, but now hearing it in its entirety, I began to understand a little more about her. In some ways, I could relate to her. I had to take care of my ex-wife when she had congestive heart failure. I did not have the trauma of being attacked, nor did I have the support of family and friends. The stress of having to deal with a loved one’s illness however…

We made small talk afterwards. We had finished our lunch and we walked back to the office. She had some paperwork to do and wanted to say good-bye to a few other people. I told her that I thought that everybody was going to be surprised at her transformation. She didn’t think it was anything that major that she did. When we did get to the office, I was proved right. One of her other friends at the office saw her from her desk, and practically gasped. She came over, just gushing about how much better, prettier she looked.

It was still lunchtime, and so many people were out. As they came back in, those that knew her had the same reaction. I left her talking with her other friends and went back to my station. She came in a little later, and asked me to make sure that her time sheets got turned in. I said I would do that. It was an awkward moment then, as she said good-bye, and I asked her to get her FB going again. I wanted to keep in touch. I just didn’t know how else to say it, or what else to do. I wasn’t sure if giving her a hug would have been okay, or if we were even that close.

She had been a good friend over the months I knew her. Sometimes she would just go on, and I’d listen to her, not knowing how to say… or interrupt, that it was getting in the way of work time… She was one of the few people to realize that since I had been away for so long that I didn’t know everything that had happened in Malaysia in the past thirty years. She would explain them to me. Our stations had been side by side for the last few months, that she even noticed that I had a quirky way of stirring my coffee. As one of our other friends said, she was like the big sister. I guess that’s what she is.

It was only after she left that I started to realize that I was going to miss her. She really was an anchor to me at the job. Between the two of us, we managed to be the more… knowledgeable, yes, but also the most outspoken interviewers when it came to the job, and how to do it right. Later on, someone asked me if I missed my partner, and I did. She was my partner like the way you see in cop shows. We worked well together, and we shared common values. I am going to miss her.

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What does it mean?

Poor Little Homeless Teddy Bear

Image by Terry McCombs via Flickr

So… I let it play out, and it ended more or less as I expected it to. She likes me… as a FRIEND… Always those dreaded words…

Well, alright… she didn’t quite say them… I was going to take her up on her on ‘belanja’-ing her… but she said no that it was okay, that the kuehs were  okay, and that I could just get her little things… So it wasn’t an outright refusal, but still a put-off. Me being a man, I took it as “I just want to be friends,” with a pretty smile, and batting eyelashes at the end of that statement. Sigh… Women.

Sometimes I just don’t know why I do it… Well okay, I do… I’m a sucker for a pretty face… Well not exactly, but there is something there. I don’t know how else to describe it, but it’s… something. I just don’t know what it is.

Ever since then, I’ve noticed she’s changed how she reacts to me. It used to be lighter, more open, laughing at my silly jokes. Now she’s a little distant. Sometimes I think she avoids getting close to me, and sometimes I think she second guesses herself after she casually touches me, and she has to casually touch someone else to make a point that she’s not touching me only…

Okay, so maybe I’m just seeing things, misreading them. Maybe I’m just obsessed with her… but please tell me why, that when she was down, upset with the way things were going at work, she comes and plants herself at my cubicle with a hung dog expression? She doesn’t say a word for a few seconds until I ask… Then she pours it all out… If that doesn’t mean that there’s something, then just strike me down!

Then when she has to ask me to come in on a Saturday, she has the sweetest expression on when she asks. Or she starts poking me in the arm repeatedly, while she’s asking, like she’s done that a million times before with me. It was such a familiar act that I didn’t even think about it until later. Much, much later…

Or that she will ‘mother’ me, without batting an eyelid. Then, when I call her on it, she says it just to make sure I can make it in to work… Yeah, right. She gets so… familiar… that’s the best way to describe it… with me. Like we’ve known each other for years, and it’s just normal behaviour between us… Like she’s already decided who and what I am to her…

Why me? Alright, I’ll admit that that’s been asked by men all through the ages. Those men who have an attraction to women who like them as friends… who they feel safe with them… Still… it doesn’t quell the longing… it doesn’t dispel the want or the desire… it doesn’t soften the agony of having to be there, and listen to her while your very first instincts is to put your arms around her and hug her…

I let it play out because I know myself well enough to expect that I will end up just being a friend. I know that since I left it in God‘s hands, He will let it pay out to the end…

After all these years… I still have hope… for a romance…

I think that’s what they see in me… Women… that I am safe… that I will protect them… and that it will be at no cost to them…

Yet I have to wonder. Am I just living down to my expectations? If I were to expect more, say an actual relationship, would that happen? Is it that I’m too scared to ask for more? That since I expect rejection, I don’t go beyond what I feel safe doing? Is it always about being safe?

Yahweh protects me. I should know that, but I still fall back on my human weaknesses. I’m just too afraid to take that big step… So much for me being fearless… Funny the things that scare the shit out of you. Rather face a firing squad than ask a woman out… Ohh I swear! He laughs at me… Sigh… Of course, the irony is not lost on me.

What is it that they say? That He knows you from even before you’re born and knows how things will be with you. Yet He gives us free will to decide for ourselves… At the end of the day, it is us that are in charge of our own destiny. He shows us the roads, He lets us be tempted, and then we get to decide whether we follow Him or not.

Some say that the way it is written, we are all predestined to our fates. That He knows how our lives will turn out, so no matter what we decide, it has been fated to happen that way.  therefore, I was always fated to be her friend and nothing more. All the choices I make are already known to Him since it has already been written in the ‘Book of Rokuth.’

Theologians have a way of complicating the simplest of things. The simpler, less complicated way is the way I look at it. He is the Master Craftsman, He built us, and so He knows every little thing about us, including our flaws, our temperament, and even our intelligence. He Knows us. Then, He let’s us free into the World ruled by Satan. Once we are on our own, every little thing we do, our choices, our behaviour, our acts, that is all on us. We make the choices for ourselves, so we are ultimately responsible for our actions.

Free will. That is His Gift to us. How we will be judged at the end of Days will be dependent on us. Our stories are written as we live it. I don’t know the ending of the ‘Book of Rokuth’ because it hasn’t been written yet. Even if I leave some things, or all things in His Hands, I am still subject to my weaknesses… and strengths. The only difference is that I have the hope that the choices I make are guided by Him.

So What do I do? What do I do? What do I bloody well do? I don’t know… She’s been nagging my thoughts though. If she said that I didn’t have to, does that mean that if I wanted to she might say ‘Yes?’ I’m grasping at straws, here… The nagging thought is that I should know for sure. Leaving it up in the air is just a recipe for disaster… It’ll leave me wondering for the rest of my life about the ‘what if’ of the whole thing.

I think too much… I worry about if she says ‘No’ that she’ll be afraid that I be angry and make it difficult for her at work. She might change the way she behaves towards me… I don’t know… I keep hoping for an answer to pop into my mind, but it’s all doubts that I have… Sigh.

Yeah, you’re all screaming at me ‘Just ask her out, already!!!’ and you’re right. I should just do it and get it over with. Coffee, drinks… at Old Town maybe? For thirty minutes, one day… one evening after work…

*—–*

I should mention this… as this happened after I started writing this…

She’d been looking down the past couple of days… On FB she writes ‘Drama’ on her status… A couple of her friends ask her what type of drama, any hollywood hunks… I throw my two cents in saying that I’ve been in Hollywood, did some minor work in the business… ya, like I’m going to tell…  She shoots back that’s been in all the cartoons I’ve seen, etc.

She’s still looking down the next day, and the thought hit me that she just needs a hug… Don’t go there… I had to struggle with it on the way home… Like this nagging thought I’m having now… I finally relented and thought about a hundred different ways of saying it, and I just sent her another message on her FB. I asked if she needed a hug, that she’d been looking like she needed one. She replied that it was sweet of me and that a big bear hug would be good… I sent her one on FB…

Don’t say it. I know… I’m a dope… Still…

I kinda know why women feel safe around me… Because they will be… Bear hug, indeed…

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The Real Enemy of Malaysia……. by Mariam Mokhtar

This is a re-posting of an e-mail I received. I would like to say that some of my good friends are Muslim. They are accepting of all people and all Faiths. It is the radical few that cause the problems, and unfortunately. since they raise the biggest stink, they are often given more notice than due. The article is dated May 9th 2011;

~~~*~~~

This Lady is really brave, dares to speak her mind even the subject matter is religion which is considered “sensitive” in Malaysia. I have read some of her other equally bold lampoons, not tampoons please!

If you or I write like this, we will find ourselves arrested and consigned to Taiping Jail under ISA without trial and for any length of time they don’t like your flipping face!

 

~~~ * ~~~

The Ugly Muslim

The Muslim NGO Pembela is wrong to blame Christianity for the alleged decline of Islam in Malaysia because the worst enemies of Islam, in Malaysia , are from within the ranks of the Muslims.

Islam may be a beautiful religion, but some of the Muslims in Umno, Utusan Malaysia, and the extremist groups like Perkasa and Pembela are ugly. Islam may preach love and tolerance, but Muslims in Umno, Utusan, Perkasa and Pembela are bigots who are consumed with hate.

Perhaps the so-called Muslims in these organisations, who profess to be true Muslims, are Muslim in name only.They lust after power and are aware that without the Malay vote, the activities of their party, their newspaper, their institution or their way of life (the Ketuanan Melayu lording it over other communities) will be curtailed or cease to exist altogether.

Umno has been stung by the successes of the Opposition in Sarawak . They then suffered further humiliation with PAS rejecting their overtures. So,their only recourse to remain in power, come the general election, has been to provoke and manipulate Malay/Muslim minds, especially the rural Malays.

Umno has capitalised on the power of distraction. The trick is to divert Malaysians from BN’s failure to stabilise the economy, to reinvigorate the private sector and investment, and to manage the public finances.

Instill fear in Malays, blame the others

They do this by instilling fear in the Malays and by shifting the blame onto others. This time, the hapless recipient of Umno’s degeneracy, are the Christians of Malaysia . On previous occasions, it has been the ‘ungrateful’ Chinese.

Last Saturday, Utusan Malaysia defiantly provoked Malaysians with a front-page headline claiming the DAP was in league with a group of Christian pastors to instal Christianity as the country’s official religion. The insinuation was that the act would pave the way for a Christian prime minister.

Had this been a non-BN sanctioned newspaper, the editors would have been sacked and jailed, their licence to print revoked and the paper shut down..As Utusan is owned by Umno, it was business as usual at this Malay daily.

Time and time again, Utusan has got away with seditious publicationswhen others, like Raja Petra Kamaruddin, face arrest for publishing revealing documents. It is the same treatment meted to Clare Rewcastle-Brown, the non-Muslim founder of the online website, Sarawak Report (SR).

SR prints original documents alleging Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s corruption and illegally obtained wealth. Clare is trying to make Malaysians aware of Taib’s corruption, but very few of the Muslims in Umno have taken heed.

It is without doubt that weak leadership of the country has given rise to this dangerous state of affairs.

Najib’s pledge may prove to be just hot air

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak finally broke his silence on the Utusan article; however, his announcement that the government would ‘investigate the matter before it was blown out of proportion’ and lead to ‘serious polarisation in society’, may prove to be just more hot air.

Perhaps he should ask himself how many times Utusan has been guilty of sedition and escaped censure? Most will say far too often.

How soon, and how severely, will he clamp down on the extremist Muslim elements in Malaysia , who have fanned anger and suspicion in the community?

Perkasa has already lodged a series of police reports in every state, saying that the ‘Christian state issue’ was a threat to national security.

Pembela finds fault with the Christians, by claiming that the Christians were on a mission to convert Muslims in the country, starting with “confusing” Muslims by the use of Islamic terms, presumably like the word ‘Allah’.

Those who have lived in the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s will recall that Christmas was a time when all the races and religions would mix and mingle in open houses. There was no issue with the food or drink, no issue with the religious symbols like crosses or that there was a Christmas tree and hymns and carols were sung. Those times are but a distant memory.

If it is any consolation, all these machinations by the media are an indication that the general election is near.There is nothing like a dose of fear to manipulate people to do the wrong thing.

Perhaps the best way to reason the perceived threat to Islam, in Malaysia , is in the Muslim populace. If Islam here is under siege, it is because the enemy is the ‘Ugly Muslim’.

They are the ones who crave power. They are the ones who maintain that the term ‘Allah’ cannot be used by non-Muslims in Peninsular Malaysia , but is permissible in Borneo . They are the ones who confiscated the Bible in the Malay language and held the Christians to ransom.

So, why do they keep silent on the serious issues?

If we dig deeper, who are the ones who force children to convert to Islam, if one of the parents becomes a Muslim? How about body snatching or grave robbing? What about the child in Sarawak who was whipped for eating food that had been prepared for his school break?

What about the women who are treated like cattle? Or those who are abandoned by their husbands who yearn for a younger model? What about the Muslims who are flogged for drinking beer when this should be a personal choice?

What about the moral policing which has caused several deaths? What about the endemic corruption or the public screening of sex videos? What about child marriages?

Why do the Muslims keep silent on these serious issues but harp on about a fictitious demand by the Christians for Christianity to be the official state religion?

The biggest threats to Malaysia and Islam in Malaysia are the thieving, power-grabbing Muslims in political parties, the media and the NGOs, who know the truth but prefer to manipulate it for their own selfish means.
They have failed their fellow Malaysian and others of their religion. That is the profile of the Ugly Muslim.

~ ~ ~ * ~ ~ ~

MARIAM MOKHTAR is a non-conformist traditionalist from Perak, a bucket chemist and an armchair eco-warrior. In ‘real-speak’, this translates into that she comes from Ipoh, values change but respects culture, is a petroleum chemist and also an environmental pollution-control scientist.

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Hatchling

Haciman

Haciman

In a Heaven
Within a Heaven
Within another Heaven
Floats a being
Within a World
Awaiting birth
As an egg
Awaits hatching
He has been here
For an age
Waiting
Growing
Gathering himself
For this moment

He pushes outward
The crack appears
The scream starts
Primal and urgent
Distending the
Membranous sac
Stretching
Distorting
The shell splinters
Shatters
The screams echos
With rage
His face presses
Against the sac
Pulling flesh taut
against bones
Claws pierce
Shreds the membrane
Anguish torments him
One last time
As the final
Soul wrenching
Scream lets out
The wings break free
The world falls away
Haciman is hatched

The Heaven is silent
Save for him
Haciman
Golden monkey
Winged monkey
Monkey god
God of War
God of Chaos
God of Life
And Death
Whimpers
As he floats
Bat like wings
Draped wetly
Breaths come
In sharp jabs
Sweat drips
as does tears

With an aching groan
Haciman looks to see
His new realm
It is much like
His old one
A swirling chaos of blues
empty yet confining
He is god here
No mother suckles him
No father succors him
He will find things
Eat
Grow
Finally
exceed the boundaries
Of this heaven

Haciman sobs
Knowing the depths
Of pain to be endured
To be born
Again
Chosen
For this task
By his God
Haciman bears it
wears it
Survives it
Rules it

Eventually
Haciman
Keeper
of the flame
Soul saver
Will
Out

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A Thought Pulse to Happiness

It’s best sometimes to face things, and accept the facts. I haven’t got a chance in the world.

I keep wanting to give up, but I keep making decisions that seem to prolong the agony. I don’t know why. I think I do it out of some sense of wanting to keep myself in pain. It’s like the only thing that tells me that I’m alive. Why don’t I just give up?

I keep wanting to say that it’s not my choice, but I think that that’s a cop out. I can choose to go the opposite direction, but I don’t. Why? That is the question. Why? I keep reaching for the impossible. Why? The question is there, but what is the answer?

Time to stop fooling myself with ideas that if I keep trying the impossible will happen. The truth is I am a hopeless romantic. I will watch those sappy love stories, and read them and think that I can be the hero and win the woman. The reality is that I am nor a hero, and I am not… warming the cockles of some woman’s heart… Rather, it’s always been the opposite. I think I send chills down the back of any woman that I say, or show an interest in.

What was it that my ex said… that she talked to a friend, and he said that I was a good guy, and then she decided that maybe I might be worth looking into… something along those lines… And no matter how you cut it… it comes out as being I was settled for… Is it any wonder that I didn’t measure up to anything she wanted?

There is a dull ache in my chest when I think about it. The woman who said she loved me had settled for me… I wasn’t the first choice, I was the ‘also ran.’ Ya, I knew she had looked at other guys, but I guess I finally realized what she was talking about…

So… the hopeless romantic in me still keeps searching… I just have to stop… I see friends at my age starting families, and I’m jealous of them. Face it, I’m not them… I’m just this bundle of insecurities… who’s dysfunctional look at Love and Romance just makes me look like some bizarre twisted person who just scares away women…

And the fact is, I have blinders on, and those that I might have had a chance with, I’ve ignored in the single-minded pursuit of someone that may not be attracted to me…

I still wonder though… What is it that I’m attracted to? What makes me drawn to some women, and not to others? Would it make a difference?

The thing is I think. I think of every damn possible scenario, and beyond. I sabotage myself from getting to know people that would have been happy to know me, or even get to know better. I’m too blind to see the good things around me, and choose to pursue the unreachable.

I wonder, is it me, or is it God‘s Hand? Or am I letting Him be the excuse for MY choices. My wants, my desires, my choices. Do I want to face the possibility that it is I that has made all these foolish decisions, and not God? What part did God play in it? Or was it God?

~~~~~

… And… I did it again… Stupid. Our friend was on FB telling another friend that she’ll be in town and to set aside some time for karaoke… I butt my two cents in and ask if I can join… Naturally she says yes… and adds I can sing ‘Just the way you are’ and ‘Dreams.’ I had to laugh.

But between when I wrote it and getting the response, I suddenly realized what I did, and I had hoped to delete what I said before she responded… No such luck… Why do I get myself into these situations… sigh… I’m smiling though, which tells me, some part of my mind has a perverse sense of enjoyment… or maybe not… I’m just going down some weird territory, and I’m just nervous… scared shitless… about it all…

~~~~~

… You know the one thing, or a couple of things I should clarify. First, when I say I chose the path of Love, I should say that… well yes, I have hope for romance, but I am just as happy to spend time with someone that I find so… adorable… sweet… and a powderkeg… even if it goes nowhere in the romance department, I am just happy to spend the time with her, with friends, and just enjoy the time. Nothing has to come of it, other than just good memories… I really have no expectations of anything, and I’m just glad that I have a chance to be with friends.

The other is that… inspite of all my whining, and despite all my sadsack moanings… I am happy! I’m happy that I have a job that I do enjoy. I am happy that I am appreciated on the job. I am happy with the way the company I’m with is so organized. I am happy for all the new people, new friends I’ve met at work. I am happy that I make a difference. I am happy that I get to spend time with good friends.

Sure, there are some things I need to do to improve my lot. I’m trying to take the steps in the right direction. I’ve given myself some goals, and I hope that I can reach them by the end of the year.

The bottom line? That my happiness is not dependent on someone else. at least I have come to understand this. All that I’ve said before is just introspection, a look to see why I do some things, and not others. It’s all true, too. I actually have a chance to enjoy my life, instead of being continuously disengaged, or just wallowing in the depths of depression. I guess I keep choosing the unknown because I haven’t been there, and it would be nice to know what people have been talking about.

That’s what’s changed in my life. I am actually trying to be part of something, and be social. Things that I have never been. Things that I never thought I could. Things that I felt I did not belong, or was not wanted. These days, I seem to intrude, and… well… the quiet guy… the good friend… the listener… I’m still that person… but my self-confidence seems to be rising… and I am not afraid to… well… not as afraid as I use to be about being honest, and truthful… Fear. That is the one thing that I need to… come to terms with… With God’s help, I will have some measure of it.

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Goddesses

We cockerels preen ourselves
Strut our ritual dances
Crow our chanting calls
Even show our breast feathers

We build nests of brick and steel
Weave homes out of wood and mortar
Feather them with jewels and gold
Soften them with our down

We take flight into contests of talons
Launch into games of strength
Work into strategies of intelligence
Surrender into the abyss of weakness

All done
That the goddesses might deign us
The favour of their smiles

Ahh the Goddesses
We cockerels are in awe of them
Humbled before their presence

Everyday we worship at their temples
Sacrifice our seeds in their altars
Surrender all that we hold true

We make pilgrimages to their heavens
Defend them with life and limb
Make war over them

All done with the hope of
Just seeing the gates of the temple
Open once again

I know my brethren
I have seen my Goddesses
Have done my ritual dances
I have made my sacraments

And still it is not enough
For it is we cockerels
Who are blinded by their radiance
Buckle under their kisses

We bow before their storms
Because we are not
The lifebearers
They are

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