A Time Comes
When you don’t want to be afraid any more –
dance as if everyone, no one is looking, not before
an audience in front of a tanker
with the world watching while you prance
playfully along a grand highway of illusions,
knowing you cannot find your way home.
For those who have no freedom,
dying is the closest to going home.
Everyone expects you to sacrifice,
survive at the outliers of the human curve.
The price is always your most precious possession –
your life, your dreams, your future
drowned on a beach, face half-buried in sand,
a daughter, brutally violated, dead in your arms.
How long can one hold on to whatever hope
that lies on the furthest reach of stars?
Time is my country, silence my language.
This body and soul, my map and compass.
I’ve spent a lifetime waiting to be home,
the songs I came to sing remain unsung.
In a Time of Seige
(Paris: 13 November 2015)
Moving to music in the concert hall
we shrugged off gunshots,
thinking they were fireworks.
In an instant we got a grip on reality
as masked men sprayed bullets and blood.
Bodies bursting with life moments ago
lay inert on the floor, wearing death masks
like actors in a theatre of the absurd –
except this was real, you sprawled on me,
protecting me with your last breath.
I could not stop shivering
even with your still-warm body steadying me.
In the dark night of the soul I hear
screaming, wake up in a sweat, howling.
My days are locked in, incoherent with fear –
loneliness has usurped my peace, grief my cheer.
How does one learn to love in a time of siege?
The world may be more than we know –
it is also what we make of it.
This universe lives and grows inside us,
the world outside is forever diminishing to nothing.