Him for Her

There was a cruel miscarriage of justice written in ash and embers. The amber glow of spent vigour twisted the vines that once hugged the old tree. Once brilliant with chlorophyll and teaming with life, the luminous veins were the symbol of a hope that lived before the sky summoned it’s executioner. Now ashen and frail they lay strewn amongst the blades of grass, robbed of vitality, bearing no semblance to there original beauty.

From the speckled screen of privilege, I was kept safe at a distance, watching the ruckus unfold. The storm would rile itself up with that thunderous call and response that claimed the stormy nights. The room would shake as the air, taught by the rain and imposing clouds, was cut clean by the limbs of lights that stretched down. Outside my looking pane, out of reach of the reality of it all, nature was claiming its dominion over nature. My mother told me that lightning never strikes the same place twice. I’ve heard the words repeated time and time again, now looking on at the remains of the old tree, smitten by the sky, I prayed the heavens would spare that patch of earth another bout of fury.

I can’t remember when it was that I stopped running from those thunderous claps. I never took note of the way the fear molded itself into fascination. I out grew the cowering and faced into the storm from the safety of my window. A veil clear enough to never hide whats there to see, but veil enough to to ensure I didn’t taste the sting of the moment.

The elements wear their emotions on there sleeves, never resigning themselves to the judgment of onlookers. The thunder has been praised and vilified, none of this had altered its readiness to do its bidding. Staring at the remains of the old tree I see that beauty has hidden bite, nature has hidden might, the sharp sparks of heaven could strike as marvelous, or touch upon earth with ugly hues of destruction. There is a pantomime of ether that will wind to unfold in unexpected endings, in unexpected beginnings, unexpected majesty and mourning.

 

 

There was a cruel a miscarriage of justice written in ash and embers. The amber glow of unchecked rage, rattled off in storms that ate away at her. Such jagged diction, then taken as norm, was gifted thoughtlessly until they touched on the sinews of that lone soul brave enough to stand tall in the open, weathering the storms.

I hate that I wasn’t the only one watching as another cloudy day claimed her smile as the hope that coursed her veins was claimed by thunder. Her voice was lost in the wash of a horse wind begging her to “Remember her place.”

“What place?” I thought.

Sadly I knew.

There are only so many storm that privilege can shelter me away from. With out the rain on my back I’m numb to the reality of the stand, I forfeit forever my watching post.

My sister. I will be counted in the forest that will grow around you. I will be there to stand by you when the world is all raindrops and fire. I will stand tall, rooted deeply, footing firm and far reaching so every storm will tread tentatively before washing the ground around you. She fights for her right to stand tall in the bitter air. She stands tall to outlive the roar of the witless lumberjacks chains, intent on binding her strength. I have watched those branches tapped for way too long, limbs leaking with majesty, bleeding your sustenance dry. Your crooked bark outlines the story that was written in silence, the broken Armour that recounts the nights fighting against the storm.

When the sky is all raindrops and fire, I promise to stand with you.

His Fathers Son

It was around that age

When young soldiers begin

To grab hold of the world around them

in hopes of moulding their wings,

That he was met with silence.

That echoes cackled,

Crackling against the walls

Of his mother’s house,

Whispering secrets that speak with

The knowledge of a world that

Lived Before the empty rooms and picture frames.

Before home was a safe space for two,

And he woukdnt think twice

about befriending the stranger half of his name.

You see

For Little man….

Father was “him”,

a string of tales told, then cut cold,

Once he was old enough to shoulder the hymns.

Hed follow the djinn

Into whirls of make believe

to prise the gospel of a ghost from the relics

That littered their home.

An old watch,

A broken guitar and

his mother’s broken smile.

She sang sweetness into a stale story of kinship.

Sip by sip

Offering peace

A lucid liquors of speach

To Blur the lines of a character

Long since removed from action

Too broken a fraction to make whole

Every story told

Seemed mightier than the man frozen behind the frames

Folded under her tongue was a name

She learned to handle with care.

She sang

A crooked verse.

She sang

To settle his soul.

Sang to settle his soles,

His feet,

Were teeth,

Chewing up ever mile of yarn she spun,

Pacing to piece together pictures

Of the world before the silence.

She sang to seal the silence.

Singing

Until the sliding scales of her fiction

Settled into soured notes

And silence choked her diction

A friction yoked her

victim to the boats we rock

When we venture out in search of new worlds

The sickness of a sea

Sewn into peaks and valleys

She would have gladly kept hidden.

But still,

He was always the last one dancing when the music stopped

Always the last one sipping at the bittersweet tonic,

Of a time gone by.

Not yet introduced to the weight of the morning after the fact.

His mother

mused in melodies fraught with confusion,

Tracing her notes with care to show his father was no illusion.

Yes his father always moving,

And its hard to pin down shooting stars,

Just to save him something to wish for.

The Cadences in her carry ons of this phantom faced kin,

We’re wild with dissonance,

clouding his innocence,

Sometimes

I think,

she thought

He was him.

Because

He has his eyes, they say,

He has his lies,

they say,

He has his,

spirit,

but there is nothing in it

Because he can’t remember his ways.

The man was a fugitive.

Always on the run.

Avoiding in laws, never involved in trials,

Slipping into the night seeking solace in gile,

he knew the exits well.

Exit wounds swelled with reasons for his

leaving and never knowing him well.

The cloak and dagger deviant, cut the holes in family ties.

He left a home that taught the bond that only family ties.

You see

For Little

Father was always “him”,

a string of tales, told, then cut cold,

When I was old enough to shoulder the hymns.

But

He will be always tied to his truth.

He is his father son,

And everyday I worry what that would means for him.

Because

He has MY eyes they say

But shouls he should have MY lies

They say he has MY spirit

But there is nothing in it

If I cannot show him the way.

I have paraded with patch work pride

So as to hide my broken half.

Walking the four corners

To fork honour

Into a mouth full of words I can share

With this budding king

Blood and kin of a fool

I wish I knew

How a jester can do just

To be a gesture of love and legacy.

He’s been looking for a father,

I have been looking for sense.

I have shattered so many memories

In his mother’s heart

Why would I wait and watch start

To paint his pride on they way I did.

Watch my seed twist into the crooked sun

Of his father fire

I am tired

Of watching broken men

Raising broken sons.

I am tired

I am broken

I am “Him”

Running With Wolves

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The forest is thick  deep in the misty black. Footsteps echo among the forgotten leaves, the mighty pines hang boldly over the lair where the wolf pack roams.

Never forget the pack. We cut our teeth on the remains of victory. In defeat we concur our inconsistencies. We run to the sound of a drum held taught by the sinews of that which was never able to break our spirit. I have forgotten a world without the howling of my brothers. Where once I believed in the silent revery, I grew to learn the vigor that wins the true spoils of growth. It was in that union of fire that I was washed of fear and complacency. The sweat poured, diluted my cowardice as I educated my body on the price of victory.

It was a lesson late in fruition, when it matured a new side to silence had gained value. I was able to learn that the hollow words are the undoing of a cub who runs with the pack. Amongst women and men who let the intensity of there conviction live in action the weakest of the pack learns integrity from the front of the ranks. Battle hardened, bleeding out the fear and learning never to shy from the fray.Whoever dares to meet the challenge is rewarded in turn.

I stumbled into a clan that does not entertain false promise. I’m running with the pack, the conviction of my march into the hunt will determine if I go hungry.

Wake Up Call.

 

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I was challenged by my notion of passion. The thought caught me at an important part of my day, the moment when my alarm wakes me up for the first time. It’s always the same, I feel a heaviness in my body, my eyes timidly sip in the light, and I’m met by the snooze paradox, there is a split second decision to be made, to keep pushing or lay still.

I got into the habit of setting more than one alarm, I didn’t trust myself. This means that if I missed the first alarm, there would be a second, third and fourth to follow to rouse me and succeed where the first one failed.

I have over analysed that morning struggle for a long time. I always blamed the lethargy on my nutrition and sleeping pattern, I felt as though the reason I wasn’t as energized by that call to action was simply down to the fact that I wasn’t well rested and my body wasn’t fueled right. That argument made sense until the weekend rolled around. After a late nights sleep and having skipped a meal the night before I met the morning ready, raring to go, I was up before the sun had a chance to sneak in into my through the gap between my curtains.

It hit me, my will to rise wasn’t seeded in my diet, or the quality of my sleep, it was summoned from higher up. I wont deny the importance of food and sleep, but I ignore the excitement that filled my hear waking up to a blank canvas beckoning my mark.When my day was a fresh sheet I could carve and claim as my own it excited me. On the other hand when I was met by a paint by numbers scenario to step into my steps stuttered. Having to trace over somebody else’s work robbed me of planting my chance seed at the heart of it all. Something about being limited to the white spaces dotted around the page stole from the fun of the whole page.

People talk about the importance of “whys” an awful lot. I understood the concept well, I felt I lived inside the idea for a long time, for a very long time, I was wrong. We can retrospectively rationalize anything given half a chance, as humans we excel here. I was always ready, I held a hand full of reasons to offer up when I was presented with a question as to why I am a certain way. The whole idea of naming things, gave me a comfort in the mystery of everything, the devil we know is better than the devil we dont. I guess I was too eager to have an answer for the questions I had no answers to, I was rushing away from assumed uncertainty, I didn’t take enough time to answer them myself. I understand now that I don’t always have to have the answer. Sometimes its okay not to know, sometimes it’s better. It makes it feel better when you feel around that empty space and learn the true nature of it all, instead of padding the holes in our knowledge with an answer that sustains the illusion of control.

If you ask me 5 years from now, 5 months from now, or even 5 days from now, “What gets you up every morning?” my answer will probably change. But today… It’s this,

 I’m just excited to get better everyday. I’ve found this crazy canvas that would take a lifetime to paint, and I’m ready for the challenge. Allow me freedom to paint my masterpiece.

Are you working on your masterpiece?

 

S.K

 

Forged in Fire

Moulded in the toughest moments, your decision will find its voice. There incisions will multiply in effect when applied with experience, that itself is earned through bad decision.
The spoils of war can be fickle if the battles were void of venture, sterile with stencils yet tested, with what ifs unanswered. Go bravely into battle.

I can question victors tirelessly and ask for the remedies, ask for the formulae to construct my own pulpit. If I only step into the well worn shoes of my professor I can feel the wear of there tread, none of that can show me the road. I must lace up my own, I must take to the path, remembering well, the cautions and failings at my own accord.

Champions aren’t made over night, watch for the scars under their armour. Those will be the most potent of teachers for the vigilant scholar. When you relish each battle, undiluted by the myths of completion, victory and effort will be separate but one.
I have never lost a battle. I have grappled with my maladjustments. I have learned the pitfalls of vigour with no vision, learn the impotence of vision with no vigour, I’ve learned the power of the mob, the mob is fickle.
The bellows are rampant and will not cater to your cadence, the furnace has no sympathy for the timidity. The anvil will spare you nothing, brace for the beat of the hammer. The mighty iron will mark time, crashing against the virgin or kneading out the impurities. The metronome of steel and grit will bound until your armour is finished, so then you can wage war on the horizon of your new beginnings.

Breaking the Levy


I found him,

Hiding behind a banner of his newest constructions, scared of his own nature.

Why did the child feel he had to be old before his time?
Castrated by the perception of perfection,

let’s lay that myth to rest!

He has volleyed so much life,

yet let his palms soften and grow sterile in the corral of other men’s ideals,

Shunning the practicality of earning his own character.

Forgetting the offals and feasting on the lean meat of popular culture has starved his character from nourishing his own experience.

Judgement is a spectators sport,
The hesitant King will soon be impeached for his lack of actions.

When his council is the key stone of the kingdom what use is the man in his flowery crown.

The ornaments are weighing him down.

The crowd was safe in there assumptions,

they sedated the river inside this man and taught themselves well in the art of levying the wash.

Breach!

There is water in the streets!

Breach !

There is life inside his eyes!

Breach!

In comes the tide of a long restrained soul,

drowning out the cries of crowd uninitiated.

Welcome to my river run!!
(c) Saili Katebe

Someday

 

Dear Someday,

I hope this letter reaches you. I meant to tell you all this in person but something came up, as it always does. I’m sorry. I promise, Someday, well meet.

I always talk about you. I think your name has stained my lips with a  promise and  its made for colourful conversations. I talk about you with my friends, with my family, I even find myself talking to complete strangers about you. I tell them about everything we have drawn up in those little dream books of ours, they seem to love you. The people around me haven’t been too impressed with some of my decisions lately, so its kind of a big deal that the like the sound of you. Heck, I really like the sound of you too, you make it sound so easy.

I often revisit those notes we drew up in the hours spent scheming in leu of work. At the top of one of the pages we started a list with “6am Wake up”. 6 am wake up, boy, I remember being as excited as you were when I wrote that down, it was powerful. 6am meant getting a jump start on any day, with everyday we would have had this full day to get things done. I think I must have slept with the laptop on that night, because the light from my screen tends to mess with my REM cycles, so I had to snooze a few of those 6am wake up calls. Dont worry Someday, Ill do it.

Its such a shame its not as easy as writing these things down and then just watching them happen. We could definitely be kicking back with a talk glass of something cold to celebrate our winnings. I mean, look at these lists, of course wed be well on our way to something major. Running a 40 minute 10K, entering a writing competition every month, training 3 times a week, eating well, meditating everyday, and reading at least 2 new books each month. Why wouldn’t that lead to greatness. Only if it was easy as writing it down and watching it happen.

When we talk about all the little things and all the big things that we could be doing, its like you were painting a fantasy. Asking me to just erase a whole bunch of stuff that’s been around me for so long that world looks fuzzy without them in it. You have the best intentions when you try to teach me about taking chances. The whole thing about missing 100% of the chances you don’t take is straight out of some Rich Dad Poor Dad speal, but sucks that it makes sense.

I know you aren’t as far away as I’d like to think sometimes. To some degree you scared me with your willingness to break the mold and walk where there wasn’t a road. I’ve stacked a lot future against your name, I guess its time I shouldered my share of the burden.

See you soon,

See you at Sunrise.

 

Yours

 

Blissful Nomad

 

Gold-Mind

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There is so much gold inside your longing to be you, this is the most precious intent. No heavy cloaks of foul feelings can dim a diamond cut by the goodness you feed your mind. The mind, so precious an instrument, when seeded with love will yield abundance. Make the mistake of welcoming thoughts with ugly features and you run the risk of stepping into an ugly world, cold and uninviting.

Its okay to be you, let the manikins muse. So often revered, this jury of your pears has played a role in stifling your sunlight. You have earned your summer, so smile and forget shame. Learn to love all that your heart conjures in its hunger for life, its thirst for love, and its wants in the throes curiosity.

I have never seen a rose recoil in shame. It blushes often, but bears its head with pride, unashamedly a rose, be a rose. Let all the goodness in you blossom and let the world return the favour. There is nothing more contagious than true happiness.

…If you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.

Roald Dahl

 

 

Father Forgive Me

On his face, the years are telling. His eyes, once alive with colour, were now shadows, long bled of there vibrant qualities. His skin, once taught with youth, draped as the last shroud of a man who has forgotten himself. The ushers of the  great hall were accustomed to his coming and going. It had been years since he attended a service accompanied by wife and son, now he creeps under the silent vigil of the crucifix to say his prayers. His lips had counted away the years on the varnished pine of that old cathedral.

Every man has in him a story without an audience. To the crucifix with its burden still pinned to it, he offered the secret journal of a man burdened by bitterness. Some of his hidden stories he is liberated from, jaded by the decay that meets thoughts long since unused. Others still hang to him heavily. The icy countenance of the grey walls gained a kinship with his story. He spoke of family, he spoke of life, he spoke of the dark folds hidden in his memory, he cried. He spoke of Mary.

Mary was the persistent thread, a vibrant yarn of red woven into his life patiently. Now a frayed parchment of a man, turning to the abundant flame of faith to help seal his loose edges. He was riddled with questions. The cold bottles he swallowed whole, hadn’t simmered the fire in his belly. Maybe a prayer rushing through the hollow house of holy communion could extinguish his inquisition.

For a man that the world had forgotten, Mary and the church offered sanctuary, she gave him a family again. He hadn’t swooned to the holy books as she had done, but the unrelenting love she claimed came from her faith was soothing to his spirit. As a boy he was hard to love, they said, no mother to teach tenderness, so her loving him was as water on wanting earth. As a boy his spirits were hoisted higher than most, and he had a nose for finding trouble enough to test his fathers heavy hand. In learning his father trade, the firm hand of an infirm mind, he watched his palm weep the faces around him to a cold distance. Only Mary’s warming smile and vibrant eyes, speckled with blue, were true and brave enough to warm him to the notion of worth.

He always blamed himself for the return of his father in him. He regretted that on that evening he was his fathers son again, riled into agitation by his sons action. That evening had lived in every evening since then. Any evening quiet enough, any evening potent enough with liquor to ease him into sleep would conjure the incident to life. He always woke up as he hears the last note of life, the last tumble at the last stair as she laid to rest. She was only hoping the calm him. There was ruckus, then there was silence. There have been 7 years of silence since.

**********************

On leaving the church he followed the empty roads to where there is a mounted stone and his Mary’s name etched on it. On that day it had been 7 years since he let her rest, the earth was never a fitting place for her. He’d always thought she would lay her wreath for him, never him for her, so he watched in ceremony and laid his apologies where her memory lay. The sun was running away from the day, the last light sinking into the ground waiting for the night to greet him.

He was startled by a sound. Greeted by two nimble arms pulling him close, little Hope wrapped her arms around her grandfather and help him tight. His only son had arrived to remember his mother, the two exchanged nods and separately made peace. Hope was alive by his feet looking up at his weary face with hers still full of life. She greeted him with her eyes, bluer than life and swollen with undying youth, speckled with blue. Playing with the ends of her red sweater, tugging at the loose thread at the sleeves. He stopped her short, stilled her hands and held her close. She saw him as Mary had always done, a man worth loving. A promise of life had found him, in Hope.

 

 

Choice

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Sometimes its easy, sometimes its hard, but making the decision is key. There are a thousand tributaries rooted in every second, every moment presents an option to reshape the course of the river. This body of time has life and a mind of its own, it keeps coursing, swallowing the world in its fluid steps. Gracefully supple, undeniably powerful, you have to take care and take to it in the right way.

There is a song that plays in the air as it cuts a course.The sweet and sour notes of this able bodied wine, aged since time in memorial, winds a testing harmony, demanding action or provoking complacency. Branches will fall from family trees, the ground will give way, there will be rapids that will beg you to find the strength to find air when it leaves you. When you fall victim to the notion that you are merely a passenger, you turn you lips to sour curves when greeted by the dissonance in the melody of you maladjustments. These twisted features steal from your chance to take ownership and rescue your rhythm. Tread carefully, pause and tread water, find the strength to command you minds oars.

I was in the habit of watching her lead. Infected by everything inside her, I lost sight of sense while spending time in her tranquil torrents. Like anyone else, I had my senses, I had my character. Without faltering I proved myself the master of my own thoughts on many an occasion rich with with her clear waters. She paralyzed this truth, with rapids, blankets of wash that showered me, washing my hands clean of confidence stolen from worldly things. Naked, I felt nameless, the river left me with many questions. Who was I? Where was I headed.

I believe our words are heavy, so I heaved a statement into existence that yoked my sense of self to effort. The river will always run, its race is longer and truer than mine. I will dive in and run with it while my body is able, while my breath is in action I will work with the waves and hold up my end of the bargain and cut my own course. There are a thousand tributaries rooted in every second, every moment presents an option to reshape the course of the river. I will be ready when the rapids return, captain of my voyage.