if only my blanket can speak

rarely do i dream, or
perhaps remember my
private drama series
playing under the

consciousness i can
not deliberately reach,

though when i was
able to grasp some
bits of pieces of an
already fading mid-
night memory it
will always involve

a plane crash-
ing (with full hollywood
exaggerated effects
of giant smoke and
angry fire) either
wreaking against the
vast thigh of a
meadow or on
poorly-spaced
gossiping roofs,
i have since

googled its meaning
resulting in more
confusion than
peaceful resolution
but at the back
of my honest
thought, i know,
perhaps the plane
is me, my ego, my
pride, my desire

to soar ever so high
wrapped with the
a bitter-tasting dread
of committing a
mistake permanent
and lasting, maybe,

maybe i have always
been afraid of falling

maybe i have always
been afraid of failing
.

04.04.2020
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For NaPoWriMo 2020: Day Four

little girls with chocolate cake feet

A two-minute quick sprint
out of a wooden house
with wiggling eight-step stairs
(“our” because we live there,
but is not really ours at all)

and I and my two sisters
are out of reach of our mom’s
arms carrying the fourth
young mouth of the family.

Under a soft-roast summer noon,
bare feet and little town mud
turns into a chocolate cake licking
our tiny toes — mushy and tickling.

Dressed in all white sando and thin
cotton shorts, we dance with the
pair of green blades and the
tender tropic wind, as if we will not

get our asses smacked with
tiny stick from a fallen twig
once our mom, done with
dinner chores, call us back,

“Time to go home.
Time to go home.”

I still wish to have
the soles of my legs free

of leather, or cover,
of whatever the magazines
say it need be,

I am still the little girl
running away, though clumsy.

Well, distance cannot,
will not erase identity.

When can I go home?

04.02.2020
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For NaPoWriMo 2020: Day Two .

april, be all but red

finally, you arrived,
please take a seat.

you want tea, or
cup of coffee, or
perhaps a cooling lime?

you got fresh 30 days
on your spring, pastel
sleeves.

need not to tell me
what you got in store
for me and for the
fellow beings of
this overwhelmed
earth,

i just want to ask,
if i may, you might
have heard your
predecessors hands
are tainted in red—

blood, chaos, anger,
fear, love, yes, there is
love—

but please do not
dip your hands with
them, please be blue

of the promising sky
and the arms of
the accepting sea,

or be yellow of the
sun smiling or
of a tropical
pineapple, both
tangy and sweet,

or be pastel pink
of cherry blossoms—
still a dream for me—
of a cotton candy
reminding us
of innocent days,

happy and free.

well, to cut it short,
you can be all the
colours you want
to be, just that, we

are very tired,

April, can you be

better than
March, February, January?

04.01.2020
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For dVerse Seeing Red!

love in the time of coronavirus

Our love in the time
of coronavirus is
thousands of miles away,

my tourist visa got
cancelled before it sees
the light of another Indian day,

his feet are planted,
prohibited to fly to Malaysia’s sky,
because it is safer that way,

in the end, perhaps, nation
gates are needed to be locked
to keep the virus at bay,

regardless of the many
hearts sleeping on empty beds,
dreaming on sadness’ sleigh,

regardless of some pair of hands
burdened but enduring,
without home-arms to rest and stay,

like our love in the time
of coronavirus, parted
thousands of miles away,

but we are both here
filled with more love,
blessed on our own way,

at the back of our
surrendered hands—
a constant prayer,

to be inside a
single roof together,
one day. One day.

Note: Title inspired by the classic novel Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
03.2020
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well, we are all caged inside aged standards: a string of landays*

‘Tween legs without hanging, cloning tube,
hands tied inside kingdom of plates, forks, knives, fittingly.

Rugged palms even at birth, first cry
should be the last, plow land, tear not. Masculinity.

Fingernails painted in red welcomes
thin sheets of cloth be stripped, cream breasts bared, unwillingly.

Broad chest cracks in silence, no one wants,
your own side of the story, just pay alimony.

Are we shouting, equality, freedom
deaf, blind of all genders’ clipped wings aching to be free?

03.11.2020
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For dVerse Poetics: “Bartender, I’d like to close out my tab-oo”
In Pashto, *”landay (LAND-ee)” means “short, poisonous snake,” likely an allusion to its minimal length and use of sarcasm. Landays (or landai) often criticize traditions and gender roles.
There are few formal properties. Each landay consists of a single, twenty-two syllable couplet. There are nine syllables in the first lines, and thirteen syllables in the second. In Pashto, the poem ends on a “ma” or “na” sound. The lines do not generally rhyme.

A quadrille for my Rodnoy, my king of sonnets

A peaceful Sunday,
watching
queen sun’s
everyday bowing,

with a shaken call,
soul-stirring words,
i learned of
your sudden passing,

premature, it is,
a thief of sonnets I did
not see coming,

with a holed heart
I ache for your pen’s rash

drying.

A poem I wish I never had to write for my Rodnoy, my big brother, the classic poet, Instagram’s @elusive.illusion. Rest in peace, in bliss, with so much love. 😦

03.10.2020
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For dVerse Quadrille #99 – Poems Stirred, Not Shaken 

so we think we’re smarter than God: a haibun

Once I have read the stars are becoming less visible more than ever. With human knowledge soaring higher and higher (I hope we will not find our specie crashing soon), our mortal hands (tainted with scarlet juice of many wars) have made our earth-based stars, letting our eyes and minds awake round the clock.

Last month I went to a remote village tucked inside the snow-covered arms of the Indian Himalayas, almost 10,000 feet above the sea. There, oh there, the hidden stars stripped bare in front of me. I am again reminded of how significant and insignificant my breath is, our breaths are. One day, warm oxygen. Another, floating with frozen air.

Blushed Mars giggles with
blinking February stars,
nothing beats His hands.

03.03.2020
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For dVerse Haibun Monday 3/2/2020: Mars
Whether it’s the God of War or the Red Planet, write your haibun that alludes to Mars.
Remember, a haibun is combination of prose and haiku. For the purposes of this prompt, the prose may be non-fiction or speculative. The haiku, while not needing to be in the 5-7-5 syllabic format, must include a kigo (season word) and present a complement of seemingly divergent images, such that there is a moment of insight. For more on haibun writing, click here.

variations of the word uprooting

as a toddler these chubby
set of tiny toes were
buried in brown cake
of forest’s earth, as the
plump fingers reach out
for blood-red wild berries,

as a student these
leather-covered soles
wandered through cemented
schools, universities, as
the mind gulps data after
data, oh so, committedly,

as a two-decade lady
these desperate feet
tried (begged) to belong
in carpeted corporate
floor, as the pocket gaped
with empty plates
waiting at home.

at present, these trotters
gait with certainty from
one plane to another,
on concrete cities to
Himalayan snowed floors,
with the same soft chin
looking up to thank
Him who is above,

prayers work. prayers work.

02.26.2020
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For dVerse Poetics: Impermanence
…I’d like you to think about impermanence, things that are transient, or things that have passed their time. If you want to stick to the seasons, nature, or the weather, that’s fine, but I’d like to challenge you to try to come up with something different or unusual. Your poem can be in any style or form.

open your eyes, see how the world undresses: a quadrille

(revolving earth
undresses, each
season unravels)

spring, peeler of
silent blue winter,
blush in pastel young
blooms, will then
succumb to laughing
rays of golden sun,

salted seas curdle
to scarlet red as
autumn conquers
the rusting lawns,

(revolving earth
undresses, each
season unravels)

02.25.2020
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For dVerse Quadrille #98 – Peelings, Nothing More…
Today I offer you the word “peel” to include in your quadrille.
You may use it as a noun or a verb or play with it as a derivative….peelable, unpeelable. unpeeled.
You can “peel off” or “peel out”.
Are you a “peeler”? Do you save your peelings or throw them away?

thank you winter, for letting the spring in: a haibun

When I was young there was this Koreanovela titled Winter Sonata, a part of a series titled Endless Love. I was nine or maybe 10, innocent and clueless, but that was my first encounter with you— season of snowflakes and magic.

It has been more or less three decades and you remain a dream to me. To watch how your fairy flakes fall ever so slowly, from heaven to the waiting parched earth. How your tiny drops can eventually cover a city’s entire map. How you serve as natural soundproofing, silencing the murmurs of the earth for a few months.

While some links your beauty with gloom and doom (let’s face it, you can also be cruel), but as was written, “What’s essential is invisible to the eye”, we, we mere mortals were not able to witness the kingdom you protect behind your thick coating. We do not know that inside you sleep pregnant seeds and there you nurture them away from any predators. And how unselfishly you melt, little by little, vacating the streets and roads you conquered, knowing it’s time for births, and it’s time for you to go.

Under white blanket,
hide so patient, tender twigs.
Hello, spring sunshine.

02.04.2020
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For dVerse Haibun Monday 2/3/2020: Spring
Let’s put a little spring into our step today, shall we? Let’s spring into action. Or let’s just enjoy that first taste of spring. After all, Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early Spring on Ground Hog’s Day. Yesterday’s temperatures, at least in New York’s backyard, warmed to spring low temperatures.