Tuesday, August 15, 2006

An ode to Qana

Further than proximate fires
and natal storms
We bury innumerable open hands
into the pollen smell of

Into the womb of this cold earth.
Hands that no longer seek warmth.
Shut in.

The invisible shadow of missiles lurk
Hungry. Arrogant, cascading on thickets
and thorns.
And a hush falls on yellow eyes,
quiet bodies.

Leaves wilt into shadows of green.
No winds resurrect them. Neither water.
The Sun does not sing in them
the galvanic rhythm of seasons.

The black hands of death break
into secret sounds
of a simoom.
And our mouth lies caged in
hypnotic threads
In our ashen breast
whispered into untamed disregard
to the earth and the sky.

Sunday, August 13, 2006


I pause midway in the in the whirl,
Of deadlines, things undone,
And averaged the sadness and joys -
There remains only loneliness,
Of which I see no cure,
No bitter palliatives, no anodyne.

We remain in life’s journey,
Like loners sitting depressed,
On solitary park benches, or,
Staring at people from balconies,
Loneliness gnawing at our minds,
As hungry ants at a grain of food.

Often in life’s vicious lanes,
In lonesome moments,
It’s our failures we ponder,
Not the joys and victories; both,
We have given and earned;
Not others’ courage, but faults.

When in each passing lonely moment,
I count the millions of seconds,
I was alive to witness this world, and,
Mimetic thoughts that pass into eternity,
My loneliness vanishes, I shout,
“I live; I am alive this lonely moment.”
(c) John, August 2006
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Monday, August 07, 2006


No one really got the measure of you,
Not all your biographers, who erred
On one side or the other. And the film –
Predictably, one would think – deferred
To the image, meant to overwhelm
With landscape and legend. And the few

Slightly wiser lapped it up like the rest.
After all, the public pieces were there
In splendid scope, and true more or less.
And since a hero was intended, only fair
The treatment, even the slight excess.
The director certainly knew best.

But there was more to you than fancy
Dress, or driving flags and crescents
To some private Acre of your own –
That was a sort of crusade in essence
Anyway, whose seeds were sown
In Oxford probably, or your infancy

Cutting teeth on castles. Still, that came
To nought, save as happy windfall
For venal masters; in the event,
A foregone outcome you couldn’t stall.
Yet there was more to disillusionment
Than that drama in a three-hour frame,

Beyond the lens’s circumscription
Or the boards of books: what romance
Was it that so irrevocably soured –
Caught in that brief backward glance
But inadequately – what powered
Your effacement into almost fiction?


Sunday, August 06, 2006


Let me speak in grasshopper hazes
if you want to be green
Let me fade in the chime of fireflies
if you need to feed on fleeting darkness.
And tell you all there is to know about
arriving storms and earthquakes.

Burn like the soft fiery moon
if you shall lose your way among shadows.
A desertwind if you forget
the tongue of water.
and tell you stories about absent tides.

A raindrop falling quietly
into the kohl lined sea.
A sliver of moisture
wrapped in your silence
forever between petals
and you can sail me to some obscure sound
stringed to the lashes of summer breeze
every night.