Speak again wind, blow through the virtual hair of my head.
I hear my children's voices in the yard,
I hear them gone on the stairs. It's hard,
But I can't touch them anymore than a jump to the ceiling.
They became beard-faced altered versions of me bustling
Through the challenges of life, baritone on the phone
Ordering me around, but basically never around.
I hear their children's voices in the yard,
I hear them going up the stairs. It's hard
To believe yesterday's a shadow I throw over dinner when
We meet to walk back to the plaid sheets I tugged over them:
Baby smiles, baby cries, dancing around to close baby eyes.
All those I have bottled inside, like chutney on a shelf.
The waves quietly pat the boat where the sheep jump the gates, the clouds float away, the squeegee mops away at the drowning noises of today’s hustle.
The buildings walk next to the roads in discourse about when they saw me, and invite a whole bunch of faces to their rave.
I reach out as they beckon, but there’s a clock wearing a silky tie, with the smaller side tugging on my wrist. The conversations turn into murmurs I want to hear, but
There I go, pulled to pixels, mouses (mice) and little squares taunting me, wishing to be poked at to make the DOW indices hop around.
Sorry guys, I have to pick the DOW
The fish wiggle in the noise of tweeting birds blocked out by the polluted water
Trickling away in a little creek, under the bridge of my childhood quarter.
I’m laughing, but I know not why, then reach, catch one, reach further
Get a pair in a container, of which substance or colour I can’t recount here.
My friends on my side are mere shadows saying silence that made me chuckle
And we’d take these creatures to our homes to put in spare juice bottles
And feed them, watch them constrained to swim in a narrow aquarium
And I guess I was glad, but must have cried when it was time for requiem.
The trees I climbed with my siblings are still green, and the leaves rustled
As we went up to grab fruit with more shadows. And the wind bustled
By on its journey, bringing farm scents to my nose, the good and bad jostled
There, and I don’t remember which dominated the other in that tussle
But only that they were there, as we climbed and laughed away care
Talking of our stories, football on the tarmac with a whole throng of peers
And I know for a fact we went to the funeral of one of them at some point,
Or their parent…If you ask me which it was exactly, I don’t know it.
I recall as we got older and dared to talk to the girls, shivering like rain-beaten reeds,
And walking together to watch movies straight from Hollywood’s steeds
And the advent of cable, and a bunch of stories of which I can but catch seeds:
My first cigarette, a horror movie, some novel dad bought, buying school needs,
The day I fell into the bush picking up a ball and gashed my shin bleeding,
Or the machete accident, or the shell on the house wall, mum crying at me leaving,
My best friend leaving, projects of flying cars, some intricate software,
Recording my first song, a piano, some notes, a chord, some staves, a snare.
Each meeting with one of these seeds from the shadow that lived before now,
Where I waded in gathering souvenirs which got broken with each new now
Is like a stab to Caesar’s neck, leaving me sad inside, beaten, for they feel I disavow
Our history, the bond…despite my craving to remember each low and each wow,
To recall when we were where with what and why, and how we made it through,
And my cats I fed and petted, and came back to hear had turned to evening food
And the rats we tortured, and the birds captured…all these I wish I still knew
The beautiful and horrible memories lost from my childhood and adulthood.
Once I woke in a Bafoussam street which owned my brother’s flat,
Cold dusty straight path, with potholes, and the noise of city
Bustle, horning bikes, rolling cows going to grassy flats
To eat the meal of death-row. The cold sight I met from balcony
Of coffins, juxtaposed with coffins, round, weird, flat
Had me thinking about this final abode where nothing exists,
Lowered below eye level with nothing inside, prayed over
With nothing inside, but hopes hovering round, tears persist
As the memories ooze from the pulpit and eyes of lover,
Family friend, looking at nothing lying therein like insect in cyst,
Quietly non-existent, just an empty coffin in an empty coffin,
And I think about the empty coffin my mind feels like when I try
To reminisce of my teenage fade, where computer boffin
I attempted, and wormed through library books, with tears not cried
And failed at football, made my grades, but missed all often.
You see dad and mum were going through a tough one for long
And I guess this painting was not what I had ordered, so daily
I pushed the present to a part where this present would long
To find it, and rummage through intellectual pillage daily
But only find science and raps from Marshal Mathers songs.
A coffin. The voids of the pain were blinded in the blare
Of a hi-hat, bass drums and wordplay, while life zipped past
Me, leaving flowers and scars, bringing blessings in blitz glare
But which my eyes would see, inspect, understand then blast
Into a space where even long term memory feels like the recent past.
And here I look at wooden Me’s littering this lively street
Where hammers snare on nails and the bass of humming saws
Echo the memories I can’t get, the lost days I shall never meet
The friends to grace with awkward moments of hidden dropped jaws:
“Who are you again?” and a quizzical look from Sesame Street’s
Muppets. “Aaaah! Yeah, I remember now!”, I’d lie to their face
And sometimes I feel their psychic minds dissecting my tale,
And it digs another hole in the already empty space
Where the coffin’s emptiness fills every painful piece like ale
Or the rope that hastens the ebb of life’s painful pace.
Sometimes I wish I remembered the………………and
The ……………………………………….. but this
Coffin walking about doubts whether this instant
And the next would even be similar to ………………..
…all disappears and I’m left clawing away in a blank land.
The kitchen slab of long ago, with veggies and onions
And meat and knives and a utensil stack
And water and stock and “kanwa” and skills like a surgeon
And love and will to chop and then hack
Till pieces are ready to be put in the cauldron
Of oil of olive and salt and more
And make my meal, no a meal for me and the squadron
Of 2 bigger boys and 1 girlish bore,
Comes to me now in stabs and jabs to my sore bones
When I pause to think of your smile
For gone are you and the skill and love and scones
And we won’t see you for quite a while.