Character | for the heroes

The young one, who claimed not to be too young,
spoke of growing up, of remembering
growing up in classrooms and school uniforms,
of teenage friendships and puppy love.
She recounted dreams and hopes,
hopes too big and dreamy for adults to believe.
She pointed out friends that were best friends,
who she has since left, like how she
has outgrown her childhood,
and teenagehood too. She races
in blistering bewildering haste
as if impatient to catch up with me,
a good ten years ahead,
too many years to go, too many words to say.

The, for the lack of more distinctive
and less bitter irony, fat one
ranted against a perceived superiority-
derived inferiority complex,
flailing out against bullys and name-calling,
against stigmatisation and sterotyping.
He burns with a fervor stoked by a fierce
all-consuming inner fire,
wishing so hard to unleash the great fireball,
unaware that perhaps fanning these flames
will only burn his hollow self to ashes.

The innocent one, with the sugary plump cheeks
lovingly nurtured by cupcakes and ice cream,
describes cute furry creatures and colored rainbows.
She paints fairytales with her stubby fingers,
like Alice in Wonderland, feeling her way around
unsuspecting of magic teapots.

The thin one, he squirrels away in his square work cubicle,
shooting darting glances around as he scribbles
nervous rhetoric against the Establishment.
The cog and wheel in the Administration, he serves
but only grudgingly, being careful to blend
into the cubicles and template prose.
He holds his beer gingerly, quickly shifting words
around the table, making sure they don’t linger
for too long on his name.

The witch, with her photoshopped pastel face,
artificial eyelashes and mane hair that she uses
to hide behind, puts on her best accent and song,
speaking incomprehensible drivel, which
wouldn’t be half bad if it made more sense.

Superman, grins with a innocent boyish smile
that Clark Kent would be proud of.
He shows up in those loose collared long sleeves
that helps him fly faster than anybody,
leaving us behind in his smooth slick verses,
conjuring up magical worlds of delicate metaphors
intertwined in his contrails.
He describes to us heartwrenching civilisations
that he swoops in to save with his red cape;
cities infested with zombies, skyscraping prisons
of common folk.
He is the saviour of the night.

Character | for the heroes

Things we did not leave behind

(inspired by Selwyn’s remark that the men are as rowdy as ever and a thought catalog post)

In no uncertain terms it was evident to us
That the battalion was as rowdy as before
The frivolous playful-ers, the uncouth hangabout-ers,
All hark back to an 8 year-old era of pre-adultlegal young men,
Entrapped in a unreal insignificant world of National Service that ran in a parallel universe to what is internally referred to as Civilian. For only the military would need to term the de facto in a name other than normal.
In this world the consequences did not matter, the responsibilities futile and unwanted,
the awards similarly vapish and uninspiring.
Behind guarded gates and obscured fences,
Bravado is valued over civility,
Sacrifice is recognised over dedication.
With outside eyes we view those who choose to remain inside with a confounded mixture of disdain, bewilderment and revulsion.
Even in Hell we are in it together,
And in our collective repulsed spirit we unite against our common enemy.
8 years on, we recognise each other by name, if not by face. It is a large family that has grudgingly been grouped together, and is fairly closed off to outsiders now. Each man has their place. Even high or low positions don’t matter a bit now. Nobody wants any position, nobody cares more than that. More work doesn’t bring more satisfaction or more worthwhile recognition.
You can bet that they are efficient, much more than anyone else can imagine.
You can trust that they will pull each other out of any mud,
and collectively resist interference.
It is like a steel so repeatedly tempered that it is so tough
And also no longer changeable.
There is no longer anything left to learn,
Everything is just a simple routine.
Forget drills, forget discipline,
Forget also regimentation.
We have figured what is necessary,
Mapped out the minimum path to it,
And will not budge now.
There are some men we would not care to dwell on,
The harshness of brotherhoods can be unforgiving.
I don’t know.
There are some places where,
When you are going to step out the door,
You cast your eye around for a final memory,
And there are some you don’t.

Things we did not leave behind

Brand new day | for xaryl

Come sit down now
Right here beside me
On this grassy knoll overlooking a pink sunrise
If only you could be
Like in the movies with us running though the long grass
Like in the movies with Beethoven’s Ninth in the background
The camera whirls 360 degrees like how our lives spin and change in the dizzily fast moments since the day you been gone.
The sunrise, do you see that from where you are,
A smouldering orange giving way to a blazing red,
Towards a brand new day.
A brand new day my friend.
Come take a look,
Come sit beside me now.

Brand new day | for xaryl

We are kids too

Save it for a dreary day where it rains inside
Take it out when eyes are wet and hearts are grey
Smile a secret smile in your beleaguered heart
Make a secret deal with your other half
Have that one sip one taste one scoop
Of frosty sweet indulgence
So sweet it could pass through syrup unscathed
So fragile it would not last an hour in the sun
Let it freeze and tickle our insides
And smile a silly smile that tells the world
That we are really all just kids too.

for people my age who like ice cream

We are kids too

Somedays words fail me | for words I suppose

Somedays words fail me
Like in the three and a half languages I speak
And 50,000 words I know,
I couldn’t find the right one to describe my soul.

Somedays words fail me
And I sit like a hopeless blind mute
Thinking my word is out there
In the other 996.5 languages
But I don’t know where to find it

Somedays my eyes are red
Like this color I cannot find on the Pantone chart to show you
I suppose it is a blend of #37 blood-orange, #126 crimson and #5 gray
Aged and rubbed out for 27 years

Somedays words really fail me
And I suppose I can only sketch out a tear of mine
To show you how smooth the bottom has round down
How heavily it weighs on my cheek, held up only by the coarseness of my face
Look how sharp the point stays after all these years
And how it glitters at you, like how a diamond that is forever, glitters.

Somedays words fail me | for words I suppose

Dear Diary

Dear Diary, you are the keeper of words I cannot read,
Text I must not know.
I know, and
I will not open you, nor seek your secrets,
I will not care, what was said or written.
I know you exist, in a drawer somewhere
I know you like the poem I will never decipher
Like a pronoun never named.
Your secrets I shall acknowledge
Gently, like someone I have given up forever.
What goes? I guess I shallnt care.
What lives? I will never know.
Sometimes its like I, I have already asked you the question.
And you have heard it.
And if you do not, or do not wish to answer, I guess
I will put down the diary
Turn away, move on
And care a little less, ever more.

– jh

I’m sorry.

Dear Diary

whirl

life gradually descended into a whirl of countries
and airports – each of us a traveller standing
wearing but the clothes on our backs
owning but the suitcase in our hands
walking into cavernous halls
emblazoned brightly with the word Departure
or perhaps some other more dingy buildings
but nonetheless we put our foot in purposefully
departing through into transit areas of no man’s land
for those brief hours coalescing into days
of our life where we are
somewhere, nowhere and not yet somewhere
and perhaps sometimes you would write, something
on random scraps of paper, or perhaps
something more purposefully brought –
I cannot fathom. some random sentences
written, misplaced in time and place.
from a person which wasn’t there anymore
from a place departed
from too many days ago
about something probably almost forgotten.
and still we would write, if only to remember
something precious, or somebody
who wasn’t there.
I should never see those lovely trees
that once bore those leaves:
never see them grow, age, sway in the wind
nor feel their bark with my fingers, stand
on their raised roots.
and I would be sad that in some ways
I would never recall that in my mind
nor hear you explain
what
it meant

whirl