Vast plains of pale grass on gentle giant hills laced with winding dirt paths whispering winds and ancient trees surrounded by fields then more distant hills lined with tiny houses filled with tiny families doing little miniscule things of great importance to them and none to you nor I. Monsters of civilisation creeping their way into the wild, capturing its pieces, breaking them and mending them to fit the frame of their lives. taming them into timid fields taught to grow seasonal crop trained to be selfish lethal promt organized specific no stranger plants will live here. Seeking shelter amidst their pampered paths of nurtured soil. That crying castle knows. Its gray walls washed with centuries and seasons of rains. It stands on aching walls with aging breaking bricks watching as curious villager to cautious townsperson edged closer and closer, chopping trees and choking meadows, chasing money-made dreams of make-belief. They were too busy to hear the ground beneath them breath.
Do it now or do it never should be an attitude to develop. There is no such thing as later. It is a myth, born to make you delay and belittle those unimportant things that follow you like little pebbles tied to the back of your shoes until you are dragging along a heavy rattling clink clank of pebbles you can hardly carry and it slows you down while you carry on doing those other things you deemed ‘important’ with only a fragment of your potential. That is what organization is. That is why it is important.
He washes and shaves, removing the bandage around his head, but only for a little while because the deep wound starts to bleed again. He quickly and carefully wraps it back around. Today was the most important day of his life, and he needed to be well presented.
Dressed in white cotton chosen beforehand for its modest simplicity, he gazes at his reflection in the bathroom sink mirror. Honest tired eyes stare back at him. His right harbours a bright red star- a burst nerve- the result of a scuba diving injury. The skin over his eyes and below the bandage is a sickly swollen blue and yellow.
Guests in the garden outside smell the lavender incense burning in his room as it exits from the bathroom exhaust fan.
He hears a soft knock on his room’s door.
Mom gently pushes the door open, her kind face strained in worry and sadness.
“Are you ready?” she asks, looking at him through his reflection in the mirror. He looks back at her.
“Almost” he answers, his eyes water and his face distorts, his mouth opens to say something but unable to, he utters muted anguished words, hugging her instead.
Everyone is here, from familiar family and friends to the mysteriously anonymous, the only person missing is his best friend Kal.
A chaotic bustle fills the house as more guests continue to arrive, miraculously, never failing to dissolve into the ever-increasing swarm of people within, they sometimes bring trays of triangular cut sweet bread; mindazi, or Pyrex dishes of saffron’ rice, to replace the emptying ones laid out on the tables inside.
He is nervous, and wishes Kal could be here.
A few friends sit with his younger brother on the plastic garden chairs outside, sharing autopilot conversations as they wait for him. He replaces the bandage one last time because of the scarlet bloodstains seeping through them.
Finally, he is ready.
Everyone stops to gaze at him as he steps out from his bedroom door and onto the pink concrete garden path, patting his back, giving him words of encouragement and praise as he walks to the car waiting for him outside.
They follow him in different cars, driving through the city beneath a purple misty night with little stars for forty minutes, and then stop.
The crowd leave room for his father and brothers to walk besides him, their hands on his shoulders. They walk together through a gravel path, passing Kal on their way; who lies still to their right not far from their destination.
Eventually they reach a deep pocket with two steps. Dad is wearing the watch Naf gifted him a few months earlier, he trembles. His younger brother begins to sob as the three of them take the first step together into the pocket. Naf leaves them here, taking the second, deeper step alone.
They help lower him onto the flattened mud of the deep rectangular pocket. He lays down on his right, directed towards the rising moon beyond the gravel wall he now faces. His arms fold comfortably beneath his head as he smiles, finally ready to rest.
Stop looking above you enviously
Stop looking below you gloatingly
Look ahead, and watch where you are going.
You are not an illusion.
You are not a box.
Inside there is no bubble wrap,
No broken glass,
It is your birthday.
34 candles lit
On your home-baked lemon cake!
Remains completely still−
A million same faces framed
Step stumble fall
stitchtrip tumble crawl
sleep forget wake
remember then surprise
like missing a step or
breathing out without in or
It is not that I lost you
But that I gained another version of you
That flickers with intensity at times
Like an almost-broken lightbulb’s torretes
A flashing pulse that connects
Present with a fading past
I only lost the future
Of you, that was not
In essence, mine to lose
I rediscover you in pictures
As I grow
studying your evidence like a book
a critical student
trying to understand it
uncover all of its meanings
Trying to read it fast enough to see
It as a whole and
Slow enough to understand its bits
In my mind
An index of everything you’ve said
It is only a slight change in fate
A slight change in state
It is no matter, no, not matter at all
only a matter of symbol and, one fatal fall.
from beating heart and flesh transformed
to laughing Buddha statue formed
a distant wisdom, comfort strength
a static, fading, star, at length.
An almost-broken lightbulb’s Tourette’s
A flashing pulse that connects
You are not lost
You have merely migrated
Into a different state
I am not afraid of this
I am not afraid of now
I am not afraid of me
So let us start
Let us begin
Let us rip this page to pieces
with our words
Let us pierce it with a truth
With a meaning
so incredible that
Let us write now
Let us break through our
Reveal the curtains
of our consciousness