Lines of Time

Time has always marked us with lines
When born, we call them fingerprints and dimples
After a few decades, we call them wrinkles

You see the lines that time added around my eyes
The ones I see more when I look into the mirror
Are the ones that time added to my spirit

Still a child, I believed in my supernatural abilities
Youthful but naïve, I fought the scars of my wounds
Now, I accept them with camaraderie

Admiring them for all the tests they stood
Understanding them for all the ones they didn’t
And still hoping that zest will persevere beyond their wisdom

You Enable Her

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To young fathers,
I see the delight when you look into your daughter’s eyes
I know the way your heart beats for her
I know you would jump into the sky to get her the stars
I know you’ll fight for the world to be her oyster

To older mothers,
I know you don’t see your children differently when they are that young
But as she starts to grow, you teach her to accept based on your experience
You have passed on some of your dreams, and some you have lived through her
But during crucial times, you pass on your belief of adherence

To older fathers,
She is your joy that eases your day
You hold her gentle like a flower
You always want to give her everything
And fear the day when her wellness is not within your power

To young mothers,
You know the fight she has to fight
You know you have to run and pass the baton
You let her dream, you let her fly
Hoping not everything she’ll ask for will still be Latin

Know that you are the ones who decide how she lives
Know that those without daughters may not know the women of the times
You are the ones that have to take a stance and make her able
You are the ones that have to think and act betimes

You teach and enable her when mothers also keep and pass their name
You teach and enable her when you show you are equals in this game
You teach and enable her when you reflect on where to place the blame
You teach and enable her when you stand with her without shame

Justice, Not Revenge

Privilege is the hand that helps as we climb a ladder
Privilege is being able to go out without a cloak
Privilege is knowing you won’t be asked more of yourself than others
Privilege is feeling safe among all the other folk

Privilege is what we held on to
When we pretended to establish equality
If you ever had to pick yourself up after losing everything
You may begin to imagine the strength it takes to stand calamity after calamity

Even those of us, who haven’t meant harm
Have used the helping hands for our own climb
Knowing all too well in our hearts
who our climb was going to leave behind

We may have felt guilt, we may have sought repentance
Our hearts may have pained at others’ injustice
Silent bystanders so far, not knowing what we could do
Are being told how we could stand together this solstice

Let us learn to see another person
Beyond their biologically adapted trait to sun exposure
We all have color and we all wear a shade
Let us not hide any longer behind our masquerade

Let us have more faith in our abilities to seek and forgive
Let us focus on the efforts to amend
Let us be humble and thankful
That what’s being sought is justice, not revenge

Do we see Him?

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An old man, thin and frail
Smile that extends to his deep set eyes
Veins that have stood with him through the decades
Lines that have shaped with his life

Not a glamorous job, not a different vibe
Not different goals, the same old strive
Money for the food, roof for the family
Survive the system, manage bare dignity

But he was once young, he was once handsome
He once had eyes filled with dreams
He dreamed of love, he dreamed of standing up
He too dreamed of purpose and meaning

Is it fair that only some have the chance
to pursue their dreams beyond youth?
Should privilege define our lives so?
Because that is our ugly truth

Times Like This

A tiny particle challenged the reigning species again
It brought the global hustle to a stand still
We, who are always willing to run others over
We are now, at the other end of the kill

Communications between two is hard enough
We are witnessing attempts of communications to billions
Watching leaders and masses has been humbling, frustrating and entertaining
And the shares and forwards about them have amounted to gazillions

To some, this is not about #WFH but survival
Some struggle to breathe and receive appropriate care
Some struggle to make ends meet and feed other mouths
Some essential workers are doing everyone’s fair share

Many others find this hard to understand and believe
Many are trying to cope with the inconvenience of being limited to home
Many are renewing interests and honing skills
Many are letting their skepticism and imagination wildly roam

We found huge sums of money (‘for people in need’)
We found ways to negotiate wars (that kill as many as covid19)
We found time for family and friends (quite creatively too)
We found time to pause from our never-ending chores

Air that couldn’t be cleansed took some breaths
Other species pushed to corners found some space
Life in water too took some leaps
And spring blossomed prettier without the human chase

Times like this expose many truths
Times like this can teach many lessons
Times like this have come and gone
Why don’t we still seem to catch the essence?

Dear Friend

Morning (bottom) and evening (top): The things we take for granted, without knowing if we will have another.

In these riddles
I have you in my mind

The days, the seasons
That which has been constant
That which we knew wasn’t forever
That which is a habit now

We cannot hold on even if we wanted to
We will be thankful for what we have
But eyes do well up
At the prospect of not having another day, another season.

Seasons, the cycle of life: Everything comes and goes, what are we trying to hold on to?

A Growing Voice

“What do you want to be when you grow older?”, she was asked
“A pilot”, “a teacher”, “a doctor”, the five year old said
“You can do whatever you set your mind to”, she was told
This opened up for her, every possibility ahead

With time, her dreams grew wings and they were let to fly
Allowed were they, during the times into which she was hurled
Her kind were out, learning, working and leading
After all, they only had one extra ability, than the rest of the world

Power comes with knowledge and independence
Something that was held for a long time from this gender
With the ability to stand for what she believed in
She didn’t have to care for any offender or defender

What she did not know, was that her times were only half ready for her
They said she could dream, but not be misled
“Who will raise the children?”, “who will tidy the home?”, they asked
“How can we be led by those, who until now, only bred and fed?”

She reasoned that the domestic and social responsibilities were shared
Efforts and skills determined capability, and from their masculine ego, she be spared
They turned to religion and traditions, “you forget your role”, they opined
“We may have advanced in other ways, but in these interpretations, we will remain ancient”, they determined

She knows her sentiments resonate with many
But to the systemic arguments against her, she must hold her own
She may be alone in fighting now, but there are many like her
You better prepare fully for her, the seeds of change have been sown

Don’t take her compassion for granted, it comes from great care
Don’t take her silence for meekness, it comes from great strength
You do not comprehend her fierceness, she is the energy that sustains you
You do not comprehend her power, she is the fire that can keep you warm or burn you.

Love and Dare

A young love fired my virgin heart
We held hands under the summer sun
There was passion and great promise
But the differences and inexperience won

Split between different worlds
I went with everything but my heart
But when promises meant nothing
Hope too left me at last

I have met my questions and shaken hands with my fears
The heart knows no more bottoms and it soars high
When the heart never dreamt small in rooms dark
Why will it limit when all I can see is sky