Garden of Curious Fates

Garden of Curious Fates

Do bones chuckle at their own mortality?
Do they find comedy in the way God calls
them to the dust? Eternity speaks bitter
truths in riddles tucked between lines of, text like:
“The First will be last; the Last will be first”
Age cackles like a grey jackal in the bush
while life is a flame pursued by time’s winds
whose immortal gusts smite it on and on.

In the dying light of cemetery strolls
I hear old bones speak from coffins far below
like stand-up acts, they joke how they had to go:
One slipped on soap; another fell off his chair;
a third failed to see a bus veering his way
Their words make life seem so painfully feeble
like a vase distorted from its first accident
while laughter still dissipates from ash headstones
I walk through this garden of curious fates
indifferent to my own; still listening
to these loud relics as night’s curtain falls again.



There is a light that disturbs the sensitivities;

majesty and grace that breaks open the soul,

leaving it un-mended.

I see this light; feel this majesty and grace

in fleeting episodes of contemplative silence

where temporal noise is cancelled out

in a cross-cycle of energies hovering above

my feeble sense of reality.

There the soul is a vessel to be shattered;

memories rise as ethereal spirits

from a subset structure of pain and longing;

the order of emotions crumble into

smoldering heaps of rage or misery.

From within this chaos, a faint voice appears.

It alights as a dove of peace,

glows with an affectionate fury

deeper than the strongest cosmos.




Whining shrills and drum-beat thuds

shatter the evening’s black-glass calm.

Like Ramadi air raids or sectarian blasts

the air pulsates in shock therapy;

cloudless skies give way to varicolored orbs

discharging their smoky excesses

like sulphuric fumes from the nostrils of Hell.

Those who congregate on the esplanade

watch the spectacle then shuffle home in droves.

And on a Red Line rail car at Charles/MGH,

a dreadlocked guitarist yells at the train man

to stop letting so many folks in.



A rapturous beam

encapsulates her self.

Swollen, free speech

defines her heart.

Her being shields the truth

of a life on the skids,

of a social status

pushed to shelter corners,

bread-line spots

and undefined zones

between overpass and parking lot.

Yet still she remains,

her beam and voice

embodying the hidden voices

in the subscripts and footnotes–

the no-names interned in the margins.