Among Rivers of Dark Purple


EJ Koh

If I should die, then let my poems live on
Or that they should die and I should
Be free, of the gurgle and of existence

That is so personal and yet so irrelevant
To the cosmos that sings of eternity’s theme
And golden birds of our dreams than burn

Against the sun that is Time’s will
Her signature that I should die
When it is her will, and I will write
Not unlike the sky to the horizon
Of sunsets and the commerce of the living

Where parts the parting skies of hours
Hours that float and rise and lift
The conduct of all pleasing scenes

* * *

All smiles, all beloveds that left
So then, how wonderful is Death
And dying to ourselves, and the spirituality

Of the waning moon that blushes over
The entire world, of heartbreak that lasts forever
Maybe, I’m numb now to the passing wonderful
The subjectivity that was once so intense
Is now a common flower, I won’t mediate

Anytime soon in cemeteries but I ponder
The seasons of my life, that drank in darkness
And could not find the light, whether in myself

Or reach the intimacy in others with
The skin of my soul, my life’s inauthenticity
Is the corpse of my doubt and cowardice

* * *

That never truly knew love, or had the courage
To wrestle danger with a smile or succumb
To the pressures of a common life, perhaps
I will die young, bohemian and a bit wild
Where I feel the breath of Armageddon

In the silence, can death hit me then like this?
When my heart already has some lack
Of oxygen, my heart-beats lack a sturdy foot
What of my brain that drips in lost memory
The better part of who I used to be.

A word about Millennials


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Millennial Horizons

The big doors of the country
Of my youth are closing
I can feel the decades slip away
With student debt, temporary job

Wandering, I’m amazed for millennials
Who thrive on surviving
And must market themselves
As if the world was filled with opportunities

I saw half my friends have children
And get divorced, before I even
Knew what it was to settle down
There were no role-models, only

The feeling that the future was
Coming faster than we could understand.

These long roads


90


These long roads

Ancestors, where did
You lead me? Did you know
That little by little
I would be the one to
Forget sacrifice? To falter

Because I was the one
To be too poor to procreate?
How can it be, that so many
Roads could be erased

My cousins have children
They do so without much thought
Without knowing, Fathers
Grandfathers, I can not
I hold onto everything

I thought that I possessed but
There are no foundations here
No courteous stability, I must
Learn to do without, descendants
They are in the distance

They are not descended from I.

Psalm 13 – Oppression


Help, Lord; for this world is coming
To a halt, spreading disease masks
The debt, that cannot go on
The Lord shall cut off all fattening lips

This possession of the riches by the few
Who is lord over us, the oppressed poor
Are too ignorant to fight
Help, Lord; for tyrants now rule

The Earth, controlling everything
Democracy lives but as a myth, a figment
Of a name, the Banks and Corporations
Oppress the common people from every side

The true unemployment rate strikes 23%
But the Politicians hide the truth
From the people, on so many turns
Help, Lord; the few control more and more

Of how the world lives, and how
Many of our planet shall die.

The Flat Land


(a play on words based on T.S Eliot’s the Waste Land)

124

November is the cruelest month, destroying
What once was for what will be
The snow will stalk our dreams, hoping
To fill the emptiness of another summer’s end
Earth will forget the dead
As I forget what it was to be a student

Labour fuels my hours, surviving
One year to the next, a broken man
Where is the Spring I once knew so well?
Where is my heart in this cruel world?
Where is time but in these broken images?
Memory is insufficient to be my food

The wind howls and I am the trees
Who have endured so much, again and again
The famous shadows on the ground mean nothing
They are what they were, darkness spreading
These unreal cities are all the same
With their cosmopolitan jargon and anonymity

Each trying to out duel the next, competition
In the workplace, in the dating market
One must be so careful these days
Friends depart without a trace, elders die
Families get divided, partners divorce
The winter dawn has its own beauty

A short and infrequent storm, the bloom
Of white to carpet our weary feet
On roads of fate, sometimes without shelters
Without kindred souls who know us deeply
The synthetic atmospheres of urban life
A society of white walkers, whose truth

Only mimics the fallen empires of liberty
The false figures of unemployment rates
Which do not count those who have given up
Indebted states, welfare states, police states
And the persistent rumour that democracy is dead.

125

Photo Courtesy:

1. http://www.deviantart.com/art/November-102099308

2. http://www.deviantart.com/art/november-273637092

Debt to Language


81

Words are a blameless hum
Language is insufficient ultimately
Flowers of through that float
With petals of fluff and wings of air

The thread, that has no needle
Laughter, that has no conclusion
Words are the mischief of myth
A whistle that imitates a bird

Knots of identity that do not fit quite right
Words zigzag and often hurt
And dream of something perhaps unreal
An expedition with no end

Only stories to relate us to the wild
Words defy topography, mask intent
There are no end-time mnemonics for alphabets
They cling to our duality and separate

You from me, us from the universe –
I pity the poets who can only taste
Their own subtle liquor in one language
I for one, am a poor translator of the human soul.

Photo Courtesy: http://www.deviantart.com/art/Unikorn-412093929