The Wordsmith

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The Wordsmith

Selected poems from 2021/2022 by Gloria Keh

Living in A Book

I watch the rain Falling Falling, falling Washing away the pains of my ancient mother, my mother earth. I watch the rain Falling Falling, falling Washing away the cries of man. Washing away the evils man has left behind. I watch the rain Falling Falling, falling Washing away the sins of humankind. The repeated rapes of land and sea. I watch the rain. Falling, falling Washing away the silent tears of unborn children. I watch the rain Now invisible to the eyes of man. The sun beams down And no one seems to notice as rain falls down pouring, pouring, silently singing its anguish in an unheard melody. I watch the rain.

BREATHING With my whole body, I breathe in an aliveness surging through my being: Energy becomes me. With my whole body, I breathe out a silent power oozing from my every pore: I am Energy

Who will pick my bones on that warm monday afternoon after i am torched to ashes in varying shades of midnite black? Will you pick my bones? Will you silently wail or will you finally breathe that long awaited sigh of relief? What others not knowing your crocodile tears will be quick to offer mere empty words of false sympathy? Will you pick my bones? Will you wash away the waste of the day? Not noticing the bits of me that lie deep deeply embedded under your hard old fingernails, cracked with the decay of age. Clinging for dear afterlife Unable to bid vale. Will you pick my bones? Will you then remember the life we spent together the nights when the sun shone bright upon our little world. The joys The pleasures The disappointments The sorrows As you pick my bones? I hover above in a crowded room, I watch from the doorway Wondering as if it still really mattered Who will pick my bones?

Dylan Arising Water flowing Soft and gentle. Water drifting winding its way back to the oceans. Back to its source. Every day, I sit by my bay window, looking out over the calm blue waters, watching foamy waves break as they wash up upon the shore. Oblivious to time, I watch the waters Flowing Flowing Flowing. Unaware of time, I count not the falling sands of the hourglass. It has been decades since I last saw him Rising out of the waters one cold winter day, cloaked in such magnificence and splendour. A vision thats burns deep into my memory. A vision unchanged by the ravages of age and time. Is this sheer madness? Methinks not. I know what I saw so many many years ago. I saw a man a god, a true son of the sea.

I remember my mother a lesser concubine in the imperial court of Peking. Born to serve the emperor only to sadly fall in love with a warrior. I watched them bravely look into each other’s eyes as the axe came down upon their god forsaken heads. I remember my mother in the days of ancient India screaming for mercy as a clergy of pious Brahmin monks dragged her up the funeral pyre. Her, along with other wives to join their dead husband in the sacrifice of flames. I remember my mother numb with hopelessness watching the masons seal the last entrance to the Great Pyramid. She, a mere slave, entombed alive, to await death alongside the mummy of the pharoah. In the last century, I remember only the voice of my mother as she bartered the trade of her unborn child. As I lay silently in the darkness of her womb, wondering what would become of me. I have no mother I have no ancestors The sun is my father The moon my mother The very breath that i take, my lover. I am made of star ash And the cosmos is my home The planets are my ancestors The Void is my Source.

Returning to Center Amid the chaos, the fears and the anxieties, I know a safe place. It is just waiting for me, to embrace me, comfort me, and give me strength. It is deep Within me In my core. My heart of hearts. My center. Why venture out? When just within me, is this place of silence, of joy, of peace.

If bones could speak What would they say? Will they tell your their sorrows, their hopes, their deep dark secrets? Would they talk about strength, about endurance, flexibility And resilence? If bones could speak? If bones could speak Would you care to listen? Would you pick one up Clutch it tightly in the wrapped palm of your hand? Taking its energy making it your own? If bones could speak. I know i will listen

Early snows fell upon the land A fabled land perched high so very very high at the roof of the world.

Remembering Potala

It was more than three decades ago when I first caught sight of it Perched upon steep slopes against a clear blue sky Imposing Enticing Beckoning Mesmerised, I approached it. Slowly, with each step as I climbed in awe, I felt both a joyous smallness coupled by a piercing sense of wonder. Cloaked in mystery, the Potala once the palace of the Dalai Lama sits in magnificence Steeped in history Once inside, huge buddhas and boddhisatvas looked down upon me in dark countless rooms lit by flickering oil lamps. Everywhere I looked, Chanting monks were lost in fervent prayer Deep in meditation At this holy place. This was not a palace for kings But a palace for Gods. A sacred domain that penetrated into the depths of the mind, speaking softly to the soul. The energy was astounding. And goose bumps still return even after the passing of 30 years upon ageing recollections. Of the many memories of my travels, nothing compares to this incredible experience…. the beautiful time I spent at the Potala in Lhasa, Tibet.

The Quest If I showed you ‘Happy’ could you find it for me? If I showed you ‘Sorrow’ would you destroy it for me? If I showed you ‘Love’ would you honor it for me? If I showed you ‘Peace’ could you be that for me? As each day passes I wonder what my life would have been if I had not known Happy, nor Sorrow, nor Love and Peace Silently, I climb that towering ladder leading far far away into the depths of eternity. Only to discover, I had finally arrived, at last, at Me.

Words & art by Gloria Keh Oil paintings by the late Martin Fu