Babylon

I still remember
When I first reached for the thousand vapour lights.
Our hair was streaked with neon
As we raced in your second-hand Celica.
The signs were flashing bright red
But I was watching you look at a place
Where our dreams weren’t stuck in traffic;
Where our deeds would be engraved in history.

Tears For Fears on the radio, and your eyes were shining.
We were on an adventure to set ourselves free –

Take me down to Babylon,
Where the rivers of time never flow.
Leave the days of yore behind –
This new world is our garden.
If only I had known
That the throne was built for only one,
We would never have become
The kings of Babylon.

We were so young –
We wanted to live forever under the sun,
Flooding our hearts with Buds,
And myths of guns, gold, and girls.
Waking up to talk of booms and crashes;
Wars were hot and so were Miami vices.
At the edge of a distorted future,
Your present was all I desired.

You were listening to my Walkman and you were smiling.
I thought I’d found someone who loved the same music as me.

Take me down to Babylon,
Where the rivers of time never flow.
We’ll sail over the deluge;
This is the first of our clay tablets.
If only I had known
That the throne was built for only one,
I would have returned you to dust,
O walls of Babylon.

I still remember
When I first reached for the thousand vapour lights.
You were grasping at stars,
Arranging them in a wreath upon your head.

Take me down to Babylon,
Where the rivers of time never flow.
Leave the days of yore behind –
This new world is our garden.
If only I had known
That all you ever wanted was the throne;
That you would leave me
To fade from history.

Natsume

Sunflower-coloured dreams scatter over
The edges of the path I chose ages ago –
Fleeting images of apple-scented fields
And childish voices in soap bubbles.

Our aspirations, written in the sky
Drift to the end of the midsummer’s night.

Once I sought a vision
From within the black forest,
But at its heart shone an adamant fire.
Beneath the stars, the rivers quivered
At the touch of a far-away wish,
Born from the moment your irises held mine.

Chasing rabbit-shaped desires in the orchard –
We hoped that those days would last.
While I jumped to pluck the ripe fruit,
The wheel continued to turn.

I gathered the letters in the water;
Sakura petals of an illusionary spring.

Once I sought a vision
From within the black forest,
But at its heart shone an adamant fire.
The constellations gazed quietly
As we stood in the same apple-scented field.
You were already somewhere
That was out of my sight.

For all the words, for all the wishes –
The vision I sought was in your adamant eyes.

C++

Morning light, parting
The curtains with its call.
I folded away a saccharine dream
And, drip drop, increased the dose.

‘Average’ is the bald, barren me,
A looking glass for my eyes only,
For there’s no room for lethargy
In a world scented with sweat and mint.

We’re all on the run, headphones singing ‘la la la la’.
We can’t ever stop; nothing would make sense anymore.

Guided by strange numbers
That told of concrete destinies,
I counted the years I had remaining
And, drip drop, increased the dose.

‘Best’ is the sharp, star-studded me,
A stage for all the world to see.
Everybody likes beautiful things –
Kings and lovers can’t do as they please.

We’re all on the run, headphones singing ‘la la la la’.
We can’t ever stop; nothing would make sense anymore.

‘Worst’ is the bald, barren me,
Lying in a pool of my own nostalgy.
My heart yearns for system exit,
But I can’t give in,
Not when it’s at my fingertips –

We’re all on the run, headphones singing ‘la la la la’.
We can’t ever stop; drip drop, increase the dose.
We’re all on the run, headphones singing ‘la la la la’.
We can’t ever stop; nothing would make sense anymore.

Metamorphosis

My chest is bursting at the seams;
An eyeless soul is wriggling, trying to break free.
Its mouth oozing incomprehensiblity
And curses to the body that only willed to sleep.

A sky stagnant with childlike dreams
Turned pallid at the sight of your butterfly wings.

A great wind heralding great changes
Brings the barren to full bloom and beauty.
Ah, receive me, transient light of another world –
Shine upon the cracks of me that I had failed to see.

Looking glasses tremble at the sight of me;
If they had voices, what spiteful words they’d speak.

Flowers that fed on the seeds of my heart
Turned to dust at the lightest of your touch.

A great wind heralding great changes
Brings the barren to full bloom and beauty.
Ah, help me, let me peel away this false skin –
I only wish to be what I could have been.

Ah, how could I ever be
More like you and less of the creature in me.
Ah, why did I not once think
To lift my head to the heavens and release my wings.

Somewhere beyond this beetle-splattered landscape,
Golden butterflies are dancing to songs of love.
Ah, receive me, transient light of another world –
Shine upon the cracks of me that I had failed to see.

W.W.W.

Tall glass walls display the past and future side-by-side,
And we commoners who flow, now and then, in-between.
Sometimes, in the glow of a space documentary’s re-run,
We’d stand petrified, O-mouthed, at how small we are.

And then the film replays –
Wines spilling droplets as their containers kiss to,
“Here’s to finding ourselves”.

The pixels of a festive fire are colouring the day –
Finally, I’m awake, I’m soaring past a hundred floors.
The singing in my cerebrum will come to cease, but until then
I will keep searching for that other half of me.

Words scattered across margins and whiteboards and pop-ups;
Our aspirations broken-down into bite-sized portions.
And when I arrive, belly filled, at the end of my road,
Will I even remember the contents of my feasts?

And then the film replays –
Wins, losses, wins, losses, losses, losses –
Is that all who I really am?

My dreams continue to run in logarithmic time;
When they’ve finished, I would’ve lived a hundred samsaras.
Some other city has witnessed a brighter sunrise, but
The one before my eyes is still the most brilliant of all.

The me of tomorrow will embrace more truths.
The me of tomorrow will build more bridges.
The me of tomorrow will speak gentler words.
The me of tomorrow will colour more worlds.

The pixels of a festive fire are colouring the day –
Finally, I’m awake, I’m soaring past a hundred floors.
The singing in my cerebrum will come to cease, but until then
I will keep searching for that other half of me.

Anchor

Ripples of moonlight
Wash the shores of memory,
Scented with the dreams
We shared once upon a spring.
Before the sails I stand, watching
The breeze scatter the days.
Like grains of sand, they soar,
over vast blue and into the fog.

We gazed at Polaris
From the deck of this ship,
Drifting across the waves of time.
If only I had thought
To drop the anchor,
And turn that moment into eternity…

Lights of the bordering town,
Dancing above the water,
Return me to the current
And my heart’s colour will dull.
A lighthouse stands on edge,
To show bottled words the way.
I will hoist the sails and set ahead,
But I will not forget when

We gazed at Polaris
From the deck of this ship,
Drifting across the waves of time.
If only I had thought
To drop the anchor,
And turn that moment into eternity.

I will cross this sea;
I will anchor to me
The dreams we shared once upon a spring.

I will cross this sea;
I will anchor to me
The dreams we shared once upon a spring.

Dyed Red

The clock strikes midnight,
And the day’s tales return to dust,
Leaving the trail of unheard words
To be collected by the listless breeze.
“Our roads have long diverged,
Never to cross, unlike before -”
How I long to believe in that illusion.

Letters, old and new, washed on the riverbank,
Are like flakes of gold in the starlight.
I would fold them into a thousand gold flowers,
But what for, if they only shone at night?

The city of graphite and its chalky sky
Are slowly, violently, being dyed red,
For the heart that was destined to slumber
Now beats against the door of the future.

Children by the seashore,
From a diary of distant youth,
Where our joys and grievings splattered
And our sins and virtues were engraved.
But what good would a memory serve
If all it could do was wound?
The faces and voices repeat,
Through this hollow shell of a head…

With an unsharpened pencil, I traced
Secret ambitions across the constellations.
I would put them side-by-side, in a poem of hope,
But what for, if you were already gone?

The countless pages of odes and dreams
Are returning to black, black ash,
For these hands which once shrank before warmth
Now yearn for the touch of fire.

The city of graphite and its chalky sky
Are slowly, violently, being dyed red,
For the heart that was destined to slumber
Now beats against the door of the future.