green/blue

 – inspired by a pair of gorgeous eyes –

Infatuated by vermilion
Charmed to death by emerald
They say beauty pertains particular
To each eye, to stare and behold

These colours so beguile me
Confused, whether “either/or”.
It is them that provokes wise smiling
On my face and in my core

I sought your gaze across the room
And filled with sudden panic,
Swept away by an alluring bloom
Of a desire rather static

Is it the green of your irises
That draws me to your looks?
I’m aware of my own biases
Which I often have mistook

Is it the teal of your cardigan?
I approach with pretense, and try again
To ascertain curiosity-
Contemplate attraction’s philosophy

I suppose it matters not.
What matters is, “I’m got”.
For weeks have passed- it is your guise!
The only stranger
I’ve not forgot.

 

 

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Poem of the Day: Two Loves (1894) by Lord Alfred Douglas

Reprinted from The Chameleon, December 1894. See highlighted lines.

I dreamed I stood upon a little hill,
And at my feet there lay a ground, that seemed
Like a waste garden, flowering at its will
With buds and blossoms. There were pools that dreamed
Black and unruffled; there were white lilies
A few, and crocuses, and violets
Purple or pale, snake-like fritillaries
Scarce seen for the rank grass, and through green nets
Blue eyes of shy peryenche winked in the sun.
And there were curious flowers, before unknown,
Flowers that were stained with moonlight, or with shades
Of Nature’s willful moods; and here a one
That had drunk in the transitory tone
Of one brief moment in a sunset; blades
Of grass that in an hundred springs had been
Slowly but exquisitely nurtured by the stars,
And watered with the scented dew long cupped
In lilies, that for rays of sun had seen
Only God’s glory, for never a sunrise mars
The luminous air of Heaven. Beyond, abrupt,
A grey stone wall. o’ergrown with velvet moss
Uprose; and gazing I stood long, all mazed
To see a place so strange, so sweet, so fair.
And as I stood and marvelled, lo! across
The garden came a youth; one hand he raised
To shield him from the sun, his wind-tossed hair
Was twined with flowers, and in his hand he bore
A purple bunch of bursting grapes, his eyes
Were clear as crystal, naked all was he,
White as the snow on pathless mountains frore,
Red were his lips as red wine-spilith that dyes
A marble floor, his brow chalcedony.
And he came near me, with his lips uncurled
And kind, and caught my hand and kissed my mouth,
And gave me grapes to eat, and said, ‘Sweet friend,
Come I will show thee shadows of the world
And images of life. See from the South
Comes the pale pageant that hath never an end.’
And lo! within the garden of my dream
I saw two walking on a shining plain
Of golden light. The one did joyous seem
And fair and blooming, and a sweet refrain
Came from his lips; he sang of pretty maids
And joyous love of comely girl and boy,
His eyes were bright, and ‘mid the dancing blades
Of golden grass his feet did trip for joy;
And in his hand he held an ivory lute
With strings of gold that were as maidens’ hair,
And sang with voice as tuneful as a flute,
And round his neck three chains of roses were.
But he that was his comrade walked aside;
He was full sad and sweet, and his large eyes
Were strange with wondrous brightness, staring wide
With gazing; and he sighed with many sighs
That moved me, and his cheeks were wan and white
Like pallid lilies, and his lips were red
Like poppies, and his hands he clenched tight,
And yet again unclenched, and his head
Was wreathed with moon-flowers pale as lips of death.
A purple robe he wore, o’erwrought in gold
With the device of a great snake, whose breath
Was fiery flame: which when I did behold
I fell a-weeping, and I cried, ‘Sweet youth,
Tell me why, sad and sighing, thou dost rove
These pleasent realms? I pray thee speak me sooth
What is thy name?’ He said, ‘My name is Love.’
Then straight the first did turn himself to me
And cried, ‘He lieth, for his name is Shame,
But I am Love, and I was wont to be
Alone in this fair garden, till he came
Unasked by night; I am true Love, I fill
The hearts of boy and girl with mutual flame.’
Then sighing, said the other, ‘Have thy will,
I am the love that dare not speak its name.’

you fucked me good

like a read receipt that creeps
on the corner of every virtual textual transaction,

you cannot erase this relationship.
you cannot evade the effects of correspondence.

if you try,
it sinks its teeth deeper
on the repressed side of your heart
like an anti-rape condom.

well,
you fucked me.

you fucked me good.

but not even a doctor
can help you now.

Sentimentality Hour: Thank You

In my fear to categorise my friendships, I found myself surrounded in multiple forms of diverse and multicultural respect and affection. However foolish it may sound, I am always astonished at myself when I see how different people understand reality. It is so easy to forget that people do not perceive the world that you do. What key words they hear in conversations, what food catches their eye, what gestures elicit the strongest responses. What hurts their feelings and what makes them laugh until they are rolling around in the Chaplaincy floor, replacing the peaceful vibe with whimsy.

Despite having come to Edinburgh for a higher education in Business and Spanish, I can safely say that the places I have learned the most have been in kitchens and bedrooms, coffee shops and supermarkets, walking in the Meadows and into the streets of residential areas in misty rain and skin-piercing cold breezes. My best teachers have been all of the people I have had the pleasure to meet, no matter how brief, in this quaint and loving city in Scotland and all the other countries it lead me to.

 

I often notice how people easily consider this place “home”, and it makes perfect sense. University itself is a life-changing journey that forces us to be with people we would have never otherwise met, and therefore are given the opportunity to finally live a life without many kinds of constraints and pressure- whether that be parental, societal, cultural, political, we are gifted a time to grow in all directions. For those of us lucky and privileged enough to come from far away lands and still be able to feel a sense of belonging in an environment so completely and utterly opposite from the one from which we came, it is magical and phenomenal all at once. To meet such a fascinating and wonderful bunch of souls from all over the globe, who have granted me access into their minds and shared with me the workings of their thoughts, countries, and ideologies, I realise more and more that we are all somewhat the same and totally different. But the even more beautiful observation is to acknowledge these elements and yet be willing to make effort to get to know each other for the simple pleasure of kinship and kindness. To know that blood runs deep, but passion runs even deeper, evident in the bonds of love that we create in the people who we choose to surround us. That no matter who you are or where you come from, there is always a reason to keep an open-mind and an open-heart. Thank you for the love! THANK YOU FOR THE LOVE. Regardless of all the hardships and difficulties, the pain has never overshadowed the sweet bliss I have received.

 

I write this on my last night in this part of the world, uncertain of when I will return…at the end of what seems like a four-year long montage filled with all the classic tropes in those coming-of-age movies I never stop obsessing over. This is a period of my life that will be bursting with sentimentality so long as I have ability to string words together.

 

Edinburgh, you are my hearth. You are the location in which so many precious memories and aspirations were born. The friends that I have met here have become part of my globally roaming family, who will never be far from my thoughts no matter where I go. It will be impossible to stay away…and it’s too difficult to say goodbye…so I say instead:

“YAAAAAHHHRRIGHT PALLLL???”

Sentimentality Hour: Thoughts on leaving Edinburgh

These days, everyone I meet is a ticking bomb.
And to everyone I meet, I’m a ticking bomb.

There is an expiration date to be revealed with every new interaction that wishes to renew itself, and once the cat is out of the bag and running underneath the bed to hide from the constraints of reality, they always say:

“I thought we had more time together.”

 

We mutually agree on this regrettable truth. We both begin to bitch about the system of foreign affairs and visas and “why can’t we just live in a place with no passports and discrimination.” We toy around with the idea of a green-card marriage like so many tv shows are doing as of late, before dismissing it unconsciously when we promise each other “to visit”. For a single second I feel like a risky investment before I remember that friendship should be more intrinsic than that.

 

There are few people I could stay for.

To stay would be synonymous with falling in love, a “once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity”, or having a reason to justify why I should aimlessly float here rather than somewhere else. Sure, there are my friends…so many friends and lovers whose lives I want to watch flourish. Whose moods I want to help lift when they are drooping into the dark depths of circumstance when routines are crushed by spontaneity and anxiety. But love is not enough to convince the customs officer why I should be able to exceed the limits of my Tiers-4 that took months worth of queuing in awkward waiting rooms in nameless buildings and forgotten downtown districts. I think of those who ponder “wanderlust”, and all I can reply is that “Sometimes, the desire to travel has less to do with curiosity for the world and more to do with aimlessness, fear of commitment, and missing out. A fundamental lack of a sense of belonging and fervent need to fit somewhere.”

 

I’ve found a place. It’s here. I’ve found a person to sing harmonies with who makes me feel like the world is only a beautiful place, as long as the guitar strings keep ringing in the tunnel with great acoustics. I’ve come across groups of likeminded individuals who want to make shared ideas into reality. I’ve started to understand that definitions of soulmates and the nuances of attraction. How to look passively at another person who shares no blood but has the same passion that runs in very different kinds of veins, and letting that be the main fuel of unconditional affection. I’ve come alive in the span of these past 4 years time. I’m ready to let my roots dig themselves deeper into this Scottish soil that seems to grow nothing but Brussel Sprouts and potatoes, to play around with snow drops and burnt patches left by barbecue kits. I could buy a dog, or a plant, or a membership to the theatre, because these are milestones that signify: “I shall be here for a while.”

 

But now, the decision at this point is “to fight” or “embrace”. Do I tackle each day like it’s the last one of its kind I’ll be able to experience for a while, or live in denial until the last week I get to feel “not bothered” about walking 15 minutes and go out of my way to see a friend? Do I break unsaid promises forged by familial obligation? They have given me everything but an identity and a voice…They gave me the prompt and the resources but I have crafted my own story. It started here, and this very important chapter is coming to its climax, and that scares the hell out of me.

The Greatest

Are you my greatest love?
My love,
How can I know if you are?

How can I ascertain in the stars
That a latent kiss does not linger
On someone else’s lips

Despite the boundless skies
I am confined within your headspace

Yet I am happy to,
I am willing to,-
I sacrifice this
For your grace.

But how can I prove that you
Will not do as the other lovers do?

I anticipate the deception
As much as the pain
and gloom.

Or have I already had this love,
Have already lost
The best of the best?

These thoughts often plague my mind
With sadness and regret.

My love,
You have my trust now,
And I hope you do not let it die.

To leave me
Once again, on my knees
Pleading to god,
“Oh why?”

To take away my joy
With a block of text
In the blink of a shifty eye.

You are my greatest love
I want to say,
But I wonder
How many tears I will cry

When you go onwards
Having broken my soul,
Having said
our final goodbyes.

I have seen the face of my downfall

I have seen the face of my downfall.

It is not rigid nor jagged,
Darkness embodied by a demon’s chortle.

Not red piercing pupils
which stare into your soul,
Exploiting your weaknesses and insecurities

It is a soft serene complexion
With beautiful vacant eyes,
Looking through you
As if you weren’t there.

It is an indifferent smile
Which opens and serenely says:
“You are just a memory.”
A gone and past thing.

Whose importance no longer matters
Since your existence is benign
And viewed as a mistaken interaction of poor judgement,
Erasing the value of whatever good you might have thought there to be.

The devil does not take place in your worst enemies.

The most pain is often dealt by a former friend.