Land of No Seasons

Spring is who I first learned to love
Only sunshine and rainbows up above
Not too hot; too cold; but a perfect warmth
Sweet smile; sweet lips; she shall not be forgot

Summer is who I stayed with the longest
Way too hot; succubus among us
Wet here; wet there; shorts shorter than short
Heart or the heat? But man was she hot

Autumn is who I found depressed
With crazy nights and even crazier sex
Drunk on a drug, on time trapped in slow motion
Can’t understand my own broken emotions

Winter is who convinced me to give up
Shard of ice cool until it cuts
And once you’re bled through it’s already far too late
No escape from your pitch-black fate

And it’s a shame; it really is, for I
Never actually knew these seasons four
‘Cept for the tales passed down from distant yore
As a man from the land of no seasons

 

Golden Steps

At birth we are found in
whitewashed rooms; our
baby eyes caught bright
by shimmers in the corner:
the sparkle of golden steps.

With a baby smile, our baby
hands pull baby knees fore-
ward, only to be grabbed by
withered hands old and dry:
the hands of The Elder Ones.

As did the Elders before them,
they tell stories spun from the
verses of The Great Rulebook:

Touch not the golden stairs.
The warmth, the light are but
rancid lies, empty promises.
Climb them and you will fall.
You will break every part of you.

Young and afraid we run into
arms rough as papyrus. They
lead us to the Grand Machine
where we are turned into cogs.
Ka-chunk, ka-chink, klang.

The years pass in fast forward
blur without colour, scattering
the sands of time which settle
over the golden steps like dust.
We cannot tell the difference.

But don’t forget –
Please, never forget –
We all have wings no one can see.
They can take us anywhere, as high as we want.
As grey as they may now seem, those steps will always be our

Golden Steps.

Lose not to the rain

A personal English rendition of ‘Ame ni mo makezu’, one of Miyazawa Kenji’s most famous poems. It is a poem I find very meaningful, and one I hold close to my own heart. It is a poem for everyone’s souls.

Lose not to rain, lose not to wind
Lose not to snow nor summer’s heat
Raise a strong body and lose not
to desire, lose not to rage
Smiling always with silent grace

Four bowls of brown rice and miso
with some vegetables every
day, never you before others
Always watching and listening
Understanding, never forgetting

In a small thatched hut in the shade
of the pine tree fields, if there be
a sick child to the east, nurse him
If there be a tired mother
to the west, shoulder her sheaf of rice

If there be one dying to the
south, tell him not to be afraid
If there be a quarrel to the
north, tell them time is not theirs to waste
In drought shed tears of sympathy
In cold summer wander forlorn

Known as a nobody by all
Never given praise, never blamed
Such a person, I want to be

Originally posted on Symbal Magazine 20th February 2017
https://nussymbal.wordpress.com/2017/02/20/901/

Vat of Sharks

Writing is
throwing your soul into a vat of sharks
praying they don’t bite but you know they will

Writing is
threading your heart through a heap of crushed glass
praying it won’t sting but you know it will

By the time you’re through you’re broken, bloody,
bitter, but not beaten

By the time you find your broken pieces
and fit them together
like jigsaws

your pen is all ready, poised to pour more.

CLEAR MIND

The second entry in my series of Japanese/Chinese song translations-turned-poetry. I just recovered from a writing slump of sorts so I wanted to write something more self-indulgent. Something that could capture my swelling drive and blow away all the imaginary boundaries my mind could concoct:

Tangled stuck in the web of time
once I breakthrough it’s the other side.
Lost only with these feelings of mine
and the pulse of the wind blasting through the night.

But right now I know it’s nowhere enough.
The scenery is a black-white-blur LET’S
STAIN IT SOUL-RED breathing the limits
I want to reach it faster than anyone else.

Wheels burst into flames metal frame
screeching peeling hailing flaming
ash WARNING WARNING no stopping
senses streaming separate to stardust.

CRAZY, we have to KEEP ON GOING ride
the SHOOTING STAR the storm the leap the light
TOMORROW where unseen dreams yet reside
in gold the SHACKLES that bind me subside
leaving SILENCE in winds that whip me tight
and the world is but glass in my CLEAR MIND