Waldeinsamkeit

I don’t pray.
My prayer has an ugly shape.
And pretentious.
This fear of being in the wood alone,
has made me flee to the wood.
A shepherd comes, or a shadow of the living.
To find and carry me,
bathe me and return me to a womb.
Or else I’m drowned
in begging, in self-loathing.
The eyeless windows
told me that the system is wrong.
I don’t pray, I whisper to walls.
I hurt myself.
What makes a prayer a prayer
but a suffering of the self so one is heard.
My mind’s too wild to be sailed upon.
The water in pain. The boat has seven leaks.
The sail is where it is.
And the wind is made asleep.
Laughter dances to a false tune.
No one does everything right, not even on Sunday.
Everyone is selfish.
And superficial. And broken,
believe in unconditional love. 
And so alone.
Young death is desired.
Old age is feared.
That makes war and illness noble.
This is my prayer.
My genieless lamp.
My all.
Whoever hears it, knows ’tis not a prayer. 
And looks around.
And sees the wood.

cheap

It’s not that I want it for myself that I begin to focus strictly on this. It’s not out of greed, envy, nor ambition, for I can confidently claim that I’m the least in the neighborhood to have been pursuing such vain yet most agreeable. However, what do I know about vanity, and who am I to judge the rest. Yet, this has turned me into someone I have never imagined before, a greedy, envious craving for ambition to relive the rest of my tired joints. So for this once, I’m willing to let go all the greasy grips I have hold on to during my finite sense of pursuing the truth. Let me just surrender to the invisible, the power that has moved a little space in my heart beyond logic and reason, it’s no longer that difficult anyway being on the downfall side already. I refuse to give in to this situation. Even if this universe or other minor details of one’s life were indeed accidental caused by something tricky, one should in fact obsessively make the best use of his/her trained logic and reason to turn each and everything into (even slightly) meaningful.

23

I dreamed of life as I lived
or died,
or slept,
somewhere in between.
Life swam in death
I woke up and touched
unforgivingly dry
as a fallen bough
in a crisp noon of May
that no one sings about
even to three-hundred moons

Life is a rock, rain drips on
Life is a written book, moths gather ’round
Death is a hole, but more
a light that spears,
an infant blush
a waning beauty
a wax that drips
a storm that hushes

passing boats

Captain Morgan
Carola
Oranje Nassau

You wonder what’s behind all those names of boats streaming in the veins of this Spree river. Located outside the south part of the central train station, the river bank grabs the attention of people on their first arrival from behind the glass window of the towering station, yet strangely unnoticed in winter. If you give it a closer look, you’ll find nothing really special about it. You won’t find wild stream of cleanest water, classical street lights, meaningful sacrificial history of any born saints or minutely-crafted statues on the bridge, barren as a cloudless sky. In fact it’s the epitome of Berlin’s touristy face coupled with a grand view of the Reichstag and flooded with bare-chested sun-worshipping Germans.

One may alienate himself to be able to think out loud clearly but not too alone lacking the ordinariness of vanities. For some reasons you still need those accidental sounds, of footsteps on the deck, of growing grass and water splash, of pretty faces and floating birds, of arriving trains from the distance. The city-tour boats at the river bank go offshore hourly. Tourists from all walks of life spend 10 euro for a quick boat ride, a price reasonable enough to pretend that they give a fuss about history of this city and each historical building that the boats pass. They would nod almost simultaneously to every good-to-knows and stick out their fancy cameras almost simultaneously towards all directions and here I am by the river, not more dignified than herd of sun-bathing penguins at a national zoo.

River bank serves as a home for both the joyous or the low in heart. It harbors the festive and the brokenhearted. It provides the ground for the mindful and mindless steps. Only those with peaceful mind would go to a lake, while at one point they wish the lake would remind them of a river. A river flows to a certain direction, some flow more swiftly while some less but it doesn’t really matter, as long as you put your thoughts to sail off-shore. They teach you a kind of flow, to where your unborn thoughts shall meet their ends. Not that they’re drowning, but there’s an edge that the eyes alone can’t follow.

Let me cry in my sleep. But I’m not sleeping. My eyes are wide open and hurt by the merciless sun. A blond boy with a pink-blue cap is standing next to me staring at a boat which he just rode with his parents. Upon his face I sensed a feeling of being stranded for the tour came to an end too quickly. He smells of heat, his inexperienced eyes are the bluest blue at this very hour and you won’t trace any wounds in there. Suddenly I wish it would rain. A sudden quick rain with no warning that tolerates no time to even spell r-a-i-n. A rain terrible and heavy enough pouring down on me, shoving me down to the river that I might cry for help to the passing boats. But all I see is two girls sitting on the grass few meters away with boxed Chinese food shoveled to their mouths using plastic forks, caring nothing about the boy’s blue eyes and names of the passing boats. They prefer nameless things at this flavorless public space. As long as the river flows, everything seems fine. But even if it stops flowing, you can’t expect them to notice. Nobody comes to a river bank to see a river. Nobody ever feels the need to watch a dancing river, with harmless little waves that mirror myriad of crystals from the sun that if you gaze at them long enough, all you see is something else from the back of your eyes and you remember ocean waves.

Spree Lady
Luna
Summerwind
Phönix.

That’s how they named the boats. For everything appearing on the surface of the water should have a name. The fancier the boat is, the more frustrated the passengers’ faces appear. They ride a boat that is too far from the water surface, foreigners carried by the dancing waves, low as asphalt you never notice when you’re in a car. The next boat appeared. The sunglasses-masked tourists disembarked from Kehrwieder. Blue plastic chairs on her upper deck are only half occupied. At the same time Luna passed me for the third time already, not that I’m counting. The voice of the worn German flag and the faceless statues on the bridge are swallowed by the boat engine, slowly disappearing like the unrecognizable shapes of the scattered clouds above. Kehrwieder stopped leaning once it’s filled with another flock of shepherdless tourists, leaving me with a stark smell of diesel.

April Showers

If there’s one thing I would not like to dramatize, it would be death of a loved one. Let alone romanticize. But the thing about death is, no matter how prepared you think you are, it always stings you at the back of your neck right at the moment you’re fully-engaged with the thoughts and speculation of how prepared or how unprepared you are. One moment you’re absorbed with yourself, the next moment life was knocking at your door with a grief-stricken news, a definite portion of bitter reality.

Another thing about death, it becomes more and more real by the time it leaves the present. Memory takes shape of everything around you in replacing the absence and loss, easily evoked by fragrance, photographs, a corner of a room, a corner of no room, a song, even a void. It takes form of all the furnitures in a room you used to share with that a particular couch becomes the embodiment you consider to get rid of. You wish you wouldn’t have memory, you wish memory died along with the buried, you wish you died along. You need to hold on to memory although you know it gives you pain, some kind of a strange pain – when chanelled properly through immaculate practice – turns into some kind of pleasure. Pain yet pleasure, pleasure but all pain.

The thing about death maybe, I have to personalize it somehow. It has to be romanticized. I have to make sense of it to no or little avail. A mother of a truly good friend of mine had just passed away today. She bravely fought cancer for years, after being diagnosed with severe cervical cancer several years after her husband died. There must have been a relief well-mixed with grief at the same time. All of a sudden I just felt terribly exhausted that I just drowned myself in bed. As I heard the news, it struck me like lightning. Or maybe there was a lightning, I could barely tell.

an axiom

The idea of leaving someone for his/her own sake. That’s probably the most ridiculous pseudo-sacrifice bulls*it I’ve chosen to have strong opinion against. You leave because you have dreams to chase or a dream which keeps chasing you, you grow tired of staying on the same ground, riding the same unfulfilled desire or simply despising a particular city. You leave because you can’t help but wonder about what the other side of the fence is like. It’s never for other’s sake but your own. You leave because you need to chase, you need to know your limit, you need to gain surprises far from the back of your hand, you need another sphere, you need to stand on your own, you need a slap of a wintry wind. You don’t leave for other’s sake. You just don’t, stop foolishly justifying yourself. Leaving the one who loves you is as selfish as suicide, as well-planned and enjoyable as a picnic, as necessary as a root. You leave because you can and it’s a manifestation of power. Given that option, you’ll do it countless times.

old suitcase.

I look up at the sky, wondering if I’ll catch a glimpse of kindness there, but I don’t. All I see are indifferent summer clouds drifting over the Pacific. And they have nothing to say to me. Clouds are always taciturn. I probably shouldn’t be looking up at them. What I should be looking at is inside of me. Like staring down into a deep well. Can I see kindness there? No, all I see is my own nature. My own individual, stubborn, uncooperative, often selfcentered nature that still doubts itself — that, when troubles occur, tries to find something funny, or something nearly funny, about the situation. I’ve carried this character around like an old suitcase, down a long, dusty path. I’m not carrying it because I like it. The contents are too heavy, and it looks crummy, fraying in spots. I’ve carried it with me because there was nothing else I was supposed to carry. Still, I guess I have grown attached to it. As you might expect.

- H. Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

a prayer

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

 

and wisdom, so I don’t ask when I’m supposed to seek, so I don’t seek when I’m supposed to just ask.

Love after Love

by Derek Walcott

 

The time will come

when, with elation

you will greet yourself arriving

at your own door, in your own mirror

and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

 

and say, sit here. Eat.

You will love again the stranger who was your self.

Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart

to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

 

all your life, whom you ignored

for another, who knows you by heart.

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

 

the photographs, the desperate notes,

peel your own image from the mirror.

Sit. Feast on your life.

 

ps: this is one of my all-time favorites. I always go to this to remind myself every now and then of something. I wish everyone I care about may have balance in their lives, joy in a space shared with others, as well as with oneself.

Dear Providence

struggle to rest
with sore light from the street,
tied to bed, shortsighted
sands in lungs
choked on tears
dampened by sweat

at your words I tremble
about which my mind freely
doubts like a log on waves

on your door I knock
explain to me this pair
of fear
of despair