Adonis Diaries

Archive for the ‘Poems Mine’ Category

Keeps Me Sane

Posted on  October 16, 2008 and written in 1998

Reading keeps me sane.

The time for enjoying a great book is still there, and always will be.

I always expect jewels on human relationship.

I like surprises which reveal feelings that I would never divulge

Either to a shrink or to anyone at my deathbed,

Feelings that reveal emotions I thought were my exclusive domain.

Puerile ideas that I would be ashamed to express,

Dangerous tendencies that I like to ignore.

      The more I read, the more I am convinced that I am sane,

That everyone is sane given time to read as much,

That humankind shares every thought and emotion that I can come up with.

Accepting that humbling knowledge needs time,

Time to reach a stage of vulnerability where life seems too complex, 

For diminishing energy and forever growing dreams.

      Run baby run, though you are sane and think otherwise.

Sink baby sink, though you are not much different than your neighbor.

Once I realized that feelings are common to all, 

What little work remained is a trifle to many.

It is a job you did all your life with no effort: 

Acting normal.

Just act normal to all who cannot stand reading.

Why wait to be reincarnated, now and then,

Over thousands of years, as a new kind of animal?

Why not have a thousand human souls in a lifetime?

Every character in a story is you

Under different time, country, climate, class, birthrights, condition, 

In different situations, social, political, financial and gender.

You span the whole gamut of human emotions

You are the good, the bad, the evil, the saint.

You are the rich, the poor, the nobleman, the peasant.

You are the genius, the idiot, the hardworking, and the fainéant.

Pick a well described character, good or evil.

Personify it and the story changes as you change,

Your heart and mind reedit the story as you change character

Because it could have been you; it is you indeed.

You can be everybody, everywhere and it is still a fact,

You are a changed person, many peoples in one.

Keeps Me Sane (Continue 2)

How can your best friend empathies with you if he hates reading?

How can someone who cannot know himself

Empathies with your many selves?

The odds that a one-life man could empathies with someone

With a thousand lives is almost nil.

You earned the rights to be richer, more complex, and much different.

You ought to feel proud on this discriminating dimension.

      My everlasting appreciation to my heroes

The writers who bared their souls,

Who endured the ultimate hardship

To make it possible for me to endure myself.

Ode to faithful older organs

My older heart, liver, kidneys…older brain.., cooler blood, slower nerves are still functional, but Not making it easier on me to enjoy life.

You older guys are Not dumb, by any stretch of the imagination: You are my emotional intelligence.

Many emotions I have yet to discover, emotions that I still fail to grasp and make sense of. Emotions that I try hard to develop and share, but No taker for any kind of encouragement

You guys are the most talented and professional of hard workers, and yet you continuously communicate, coordinate, and share your conditions among the entire team of professionals

If under the weather, the team knows and share your plight.

One for all, and all for one in its best behavior, and Not needing to swear on any oth, Not that I am consciously aware of or discussed your wishes and demands with you.

You guys have Not been giving me hell for a long period: No pains, no allergies, no side effects, no need for medication…

Still, you guys are forcing to question myself: “What’s wrong with me? How you managed to survive for so long? For what purpose?”

You guys love your tedious and consistent jobs, and are Not willing to stop on my order.

Don’t count on me to give you any hint that your retirement might be sooner than expected.

Many years ago, I learned never to promise anything to anyone, and I stuck with this decision. Those exploiters of your candid spirit.

I don’t recall asking consciously of you guys to promise me anything. And you never demanded any promises from my part, Not consciously.

You guys did doggedly what you do best and consistently, total loyalty from totally skilled professionals, to a totally mindless creature.

I think I have taken good care of you guys lately, except the lungs: Still a smoker, for reasons that makes no sense, so far.

You guys have been doing a great job, a well done job.

You guys got used to slave for a stupid creature like me, a person who kept refusing to thank you for your tireless toil, and blaming you for my reckless behaviors in my youth, for your failures.

You allowed me to survive for so long, against all odds, and I still can’t figure out how should I share your mysterious working with others.

Never mind, all you guys need is a simple gratitude to consciously care for you and let your work diligently and delaying your retirement.

Birthday

Posted on July 14, 2016 (written in 1999)

Birthday (1999)

1.   Why did you come, dear Birthday?

I am no longer sixteen and I do have my driving license.

No longer eighteen to run away from home,

I am way passed my twenty-first,

To mind ordering a drink if I cared.

2.   I don’t need you anymore sweet Birthday:  you are a liability,

A debilitating memory, a shame to the living youth.

They still show re-runs of your comings on the screen:

People hiding in the dark, waiting to catch a stunned face;

Sneaking through the door;

Surprise!

It is not funny for me:

No one ever surprised me at my birthday. Not once., your coming surprised me.

3.   Each year you tap on my door.

The month of May trails fragrance, pageantry, and life.

Why May parade is cut short?

Why May never ends in pomp?

I don’t remember any of my birthdays before twelve.

I was in a Christian private boarding school,

remnant of the discarded

Of parents visiting summer time, once every two years.

On birthdays parties in my honor, it never felt mine,

But you made sure my Friend, to remind me of my loneliness.

Friend, you’ve been consistent through the years,

The best and the worst of years.

Sure, you are welcomed

Every year, any year, my Friend

Among the living.

How can you hold Infinity in the palm of your hand?

William Blake

“Know what it is to be a child . . .
To see a world in a grain of sand
And heaven in a wild flower,

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.”

And I say:  

Is life that chose me and made me survive all the hurdles and illnesses?

Are events that directed me in the alleys of life?

And guided me in the countless forks in my wandering?

Far away from the path that my parents wished me to take.

How many bends did I have to decide on?

Fact is they are the total strangers who came to the rescue

Strangers with plenty of pity to fellow man and living species.

Without their pity how could I have summoned the remaining energy

To move forward and leave an imprint on this chaotic earth?

Ease up your judgment on your fellow neighbor.

He might seems a tad luckier

He could look not so lucky in the opportunities he had in his life.

Both of you share this common characteristic:

You both had to struggle all the way

And try to grab the few moments of satisfaction, hope and happiness.

Why now and then, warrior colonial powers feel the urge to go hunting?

Why a few animal species are preserved, while underdeveloped people are still ripe for extermination?

Going Hunting (first posted in 1998)

1. I’m going to war.

My government has decided.

I need to release my animal instincts.

For economic reasons,

For political reasons,

For religious reasons.

I’m going to war, today,

For no reasons:

Just kicking butts.

2. What animal instincts do they fear in me?

I’ve never seen animals killing others

From miles away.

I’ve never seen an animal

Who has just gorged

On hamburger and pizza,

Going a-prowling,

To kill and maim.

3. Never seen an animal

Returning from the hunt,

In clean and spec fur,

Shining from shoulders to boots.

Never seen an animal

Returning from the hunt,

To eat more and get drunk silly.

They used to find themselves a cool shade

To rest and sleep off the feast.

4.   What animal instincts do they fear in me?

I had a dream of cannibals at war

And I was a reporter of this war.

Once a victor felled his enemy, he would kneel and achieve him.

The victor is serenely and religiously eating his enemy flesh, raw.

For him, the war is already over:  He stops killing other victims,

He is not helping his tribe warriors to overcome more enemies.

His enemies will not interfere with his eating;

They stay away from this pair,

Both finally at peace.

5. For both the victor and the victim the war is over.

When the dust of war settles down all the living warriors,

From both waring camps

Prepare a joint bonfire and finish off the remains of their victims.

They leave the battlefield in peace.

They don’t carry any leftovers:

Nature and its beasts need to take their shares of the slaughter.

What animal instincts do they fear in me?

Underdeveloped people are still being exterminated

By preemptive wars, mass killing weapons,

Medical experiments and testing of vaccines

Mass transfer of people to less fertile regions

Burning of virgin forests

Private acquisition of fresh water sources

Polluting rivers and lands with their poisoned waste…

And they are still warning us of climate change

And the colonization of space and other planets

How come Colonial powers keep fearing my Animal Instincts?

Avatar getting shielded by their Gods?

Puny avatar; why in the name of God?

 

Show me a single religion condemning

As blasphemy, the biggest sin of all,

Speaking in the name of its God.

 

Puny avatar;

Why in the name of God?

Allah, Jehovah, Krishna, Buddha

 

Show me a single religion

Not inaugurating a President

In the name of its God.

 

Not haranguing the troops

In the name of a God.

Not persecuting other religions

In the name of a God.

 

Puny avatar; why are you hiding your weaknesses

In the name of a God?

Are you scaring me with eternal fire?

Is a candle burn not bad enough?

 

Are you frightening me to obedience by eternal pain?

Millions are suffering constant pain in hospitals, tents, in open air;

Of curable diseases, famine, thirst,

 

No pain-killer powerful enough to let go in peace.

Isn’t a single case bad enough to you?

 

Are you enticing me for immortality?

Anything scarier than boring immortality?

 

Puny avatar; why are you heaping your ignorant arrogance on me

In the name of a God?

 

Is there a single religion with enough imagination?

A total silence preceding a major cataclysm as God.

A complete darkness, not a candle flickering.

 

A world devoid of the feeling of touch;

Not a single soft breeze, not a wet loving kiss.

A world odorless and tasteless as God

 

Any one of that kinds of Gods would scare the hell out of me

And you won’t have to preach in his Name.

 

Puny avatar; talk in the name of God

And stay a dwarf: petty, mean, and coward.

 

Mankind! Stand up.  Wake up.

Dare speak in the name of Man.

Take on your responsibilities in the name of mankind.

Embrace your countless limitations;

Develop your limitless potentials.

 

Pray your God in the solitude of your heart;

Give grace to your God in the many ways to enjoying life;

For the opportunity to working with passion and sweating labor.

 

Puny avatar you were and is

In the name of God.

Try speaking in the name of man

With respect and humility to your fellow co-survivors

 

Sharing the same boat, the toil, hardship, and labor.

Sharing the smiles, joy, laughter, and compassion

Sharing what earth has in reserve to us all.

 

Singing with birds, the breeze, the sea wind.

Avatar you are and will be

And puny no more.

Have ever felt you are walking on air?

Note: this is a long story/song that spanned almost 3 decades. I cut it short in this post.

I should have told Barbara (Written in 2003 and posted on 2008)

I called up Barbara and I invited myself to stay overnight at her apartment.

She had many friends.

She was attached at the moment to a fashionable young man,

Working in fashion and with fashion, but they had problems.

 

She appeared depressed and disappointed and not in the mood for me.

Her TV was on 24 hours.  I slept and woke up with the TV on.

 

I visited her six years later during my second extended trip to the USA:

Barbara’s sister Sue had told me that Barbara was married and living in Oklahoma City.

I met Barbara at Thanksgiving and she did not look the Barbara of my vision.

 

Her skin looked darker, her face emaciated,

Down to earth, resigned and decked in simple blue jeans and an old black sweater.

She was married to a full-blooded American Indian, herself a half-blooded,

A soft spoken husband, a polite artist who toured the USA exhibiting his paintings.

 

She stayed at home designing jewelry and managing her man’s business.

I accepted her invitation for a Thanksgiving lunch.

I went down to Oklahoma City for an important and specific purpose of mine:

I was determined to tell Barbara my secret.

 

I went down with my steady girlfriend at the time.

Barbara’s eyes had an ironic shine looking at my oriental short friend.

She asked my friend all kinds of questions about our relationship,

How we met and what are our plans.

 

She said to me: “You know, someone needs news about your friend”.

She meant that her sister needed to know the whereabouts of her ex-husband.

I had lost track of the whereabouts of my friend too and could not be of much help.

 

Barbara was entitled to know the truth,

That the first time she walked with me,

She made me feel that I was the most glamorous guy in town.

But I did not tell Barbara the truth.

 

I don’t recall that I talked during my two hours stay at Thanksgiving.

Maybe it did not feel right at that moment

But I should have persevered on my initial decision:

This truth was hers no matter what.

 

She could be eighty, but age does not erase the feeling,

That to my young eyes,

She was the most glamorous woman I set my eyes on.

 

She could be a hundred, but age does not change the fact,

That Barbara made me once walk on air.

No Palestinian babies?

The peace makers with Israel are Egyptians, Jordanians, or Moroccans.

Their “leaders” are: dictators, absolute monarchs….

Who cares if they are dictators or absolute monarchs…

Who cares for the opinions of masses?

 

One of their leaders, the Egyptian dictator Sadat, was awarded

A joint Nobel peace laureate with the famous assassin Begin.

Menachem Begin, this prime minister and a staunch Jewish Jihadist, the precursor of Bin Laden.

Assassinated British soldiers and UN chief Bernadote

That is beside the point.

 

The enemies of Israel are “Arabs”, not their leaders.

We have high hope in the people.

 

The criminals of the Oklahoma City bombing

Should have been Arabs.

Exceptions do occur.  Human nature you know.

 

Sirhan Sirhan assassinated Robert Kennedy.  He is a Palestinian of dual citizenship.

No motives:  Just bad “Arabs attitude”.

Not that Robert promised exclusive support for Israel in his election campaign.

 

If push comes to shove, if a motive is needed,

Why, Sirhan is a hatemonger of the defenders of Civil Rights!

 

The most famous heart surgeon, Michael Debakey,

The poet of “The Prophet” and much more, Gebran Khalil Gebran,

The founder of St. Jude hospital for children with cancer, Danny Thomas,

Said they are Arabs from Lebanon.  The media beg to differ:

 

They are all, at best, of Lebanese descendants.

The bombers of the World Trade Tower are the Arabs, Not from Saudi Kingdom.

The perpetrators of the Achilles Loro are the Arabs.

 

Literature Nobel prize winner, Naguib Mahfouz,

Says he is Arab.  Ask him.

The media insist that he is just Egyptian.

 

Those who shoot down commercial airplanes are Arabs.

Israel strikes Arab/Palestinian refugee camps.

Israel retaliates for Arab suicide bombings.

 

Israel lodges a cannon shell, inadvertently, on a UN compound in Qana of South Lebanon.

About one hundred “Arabs”, mostly Lebanese civilians, died.  Give or take fifty Arabs.

Apology to the UN.

 

Arabs/Palestinians/Lebaneses were massacred in the camps of Sabra and Shatila in Beirut.

Arabs killing Arabs.  Israel could care less.

How dare you blame Israel Defense Force!

They just happened to be there;

 

Completely cordoning off the Palestinian camps of civilians.

Freeing Lebanon by devastation, crimes against humanity and highway robberies.

 

No, there are no Arab babies.  There are no Arab youths.

Just Arabs.  Bad.  Arabs.

Definitely there are no Palestinians to bad mouth the people of Palestine.

Note:  Since I wrote this poem in 1998, many atrocities came alive.

The attack on the Twin Towers, the preemptive wars on Afghanistan and Iraq, the Israeli genocide in the Palestinian camp of Jenine, the barbaric preemptive war on Lebanon in 2006 that lasted 33 days, the genocide war on Gaza, the embargo on Gaza, the building of the Wall of Shame in Israel…

Have you seen a Palestinian baby living in Israel?

Easy Going: There is no Palestinian baby (written in 1998)

Part I:

There is No Palestinian baby, no Palestinian child.

There is no Palestinian youth.

They are “Arabs”. Bad Arabs to boot it.

 

Indonesia is mostly Muslims.  They invaded Timor, East and West.

Murdered a couple million of communists

Indonesia is not on the Blacklist.  It is a big nation.  Huge interests, stupid.

 

Bosnia has suffered immensely.  Peace missions finally in place.

War criminals?  La Hague tribunal is ready and waiting.

We don’t meddle.  They are no Arabs.

 

Somalia is mostly Muslims.  At long last, compassion landed.

Starvation ended.  Can’t talk bad: they are blacks.

Farrakhan is black and a Muslim.  He is no Arab, yet.

 

Bantustans in South Africa are no more “A la mode”.

Freedom, Liberty, Equality, Human rights, please.

Bantustans in Palestine are essential, and created for all the above values.

Security and Safety of the Jews in Israel are at stake.

The Chosen people, remember?  Surrounded by Arabs, mind you!

 

The harem of the Sultan of Brunei is, technically, not one.

The girls are, mostly, professional consultants for tourism.

The bad harems are purely Arabs.  The Sultan of Brunei is no Arab.

 

The original American Indians were bad.

Wish they were Arabs.  Still, No clear conscience.

 

The Mexicans in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico… were bad too.

Wish they were Arabs.  Conscience a tad clearer.

 

The Iraqi people are bad:  they call themselves Arabs, not our media.

The Iranians are not really that bad:

They are too proud and Muslims all right, but no Arabs.

 

The Turks are a little better now:  Certainly not Europeans.

Not as much as the Israelite.  Definitely No Arabs.

Part II:

We in USA and Europe are compassionate people.

We adopt babies from all over the World.

From Latvia, Estonia, Romania, even from Africa and Asia.

 

“Arab” babies are off limit; off the media.

There is no Arab baby.  No Arab child.

No Arab youth.  Just Arabs.  Bad.  Arabs.

 

The Jewish American rapist is socially dysfunctional.

The genuine rapist is Arab.

The Jewish American Baruch, of the Hebron massacre, is a madman.

A nerve snapped.

 

Arabs nerves can’t snap: made of stainless steel, tightly wired,

For mischief.

 

The Maryland Jewish murderer chopped a man’s head.

He is a juvenile delinquent and a psychotic.

Arabs are born, adult criminals.

I liked my relatives, us

I Like Nous (Written on Nov. 2002)

I need nous (“we” in French), of yesteryears,

Together, an extended family.

Living close to one another

And hopping on a bus for a tour of Lebanon

At a moment notice,

 

I liked nous, children and growing up.

Way before we became professionals,

Married with children

Scattered in the five corners of the world.

 

I am cozy within my new nous;

Of a newer generation:

A very restricted family

Of a new generation who abhors extended families.

 

A new generation who gets busy when called upon to be visited

By an older generation.

Some hide in the attic finishing a much delayed project

A few are locked in the computer room,

Riveted to a stupid monitor.

 

I woke up at 4 am in the morning, read a book for an hour

And I went back to bed.

 

I’m now dreaming.

I read the title of this poem and its first “stanza in my dream.

I remember in my dream, the four of us cousins sitting around a table,

Jihad, Hassib, Nassif and I.

 

It was morning in a well lit room, pretty untidy;

I think we were sitting in the kitchen.

Jihad was reading a newspaper, sipping his cup of coffee and smoking a cigarette.

Hassib was at the other side of the rectangular white table, a pipe helping his readings.

He was restless, acting unperturbed, aloof, and English.

Nassif was cheerful, carefree, not self-centered, an uncharacteristic Nassif.

Nassif is reading in silence, on a white napkin, a piece of poem.

 

A napkin like the one used in Pizza Huts.

Nassif might have guessed the poem was meant to Hassib and written by me.

Nassif handed Hassib the poem who faked to be unconcerned.

 

While I was chatting with Nassif, the “English” surreptitiously read the poem and sets it aside.

Nassif is flipping through reams of computer pages,

Printouts we used ages ago, computer statements inputted on punch cards.

 

Nassif says “This is beautiful” and let me read a few scribbled lines

On one greenish printout.

I said “This is my handwriting. I don’t remember having written these lines”.

 

I was reading the title and the first stanza.

I woke up from my dream.

A sweet dream, sweet nous, of now grown ups.

Note:

Barely meeting altogether, or part of us, once every decades.

Even those living in the same town, we barely meet or visit,

Even before the covid-19 confinement.

During this pandemics, we installed a Whatsapp group to connect every day.

Pretty soon, all overseas cousins disconnected.

 

As I say: the past is a phase to grow up, Not to dwell upon.

You moved forward, keep moving onward.

Just hold your thoughts a few seconds

Once I sneak into your consciousness.


adonis49

adonis49

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