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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