The Valley of Shadows

Where the light never reaches
Only faint sounds trickle through
Good company for overcast nights
Ramshackle meals by campfires
Slow-cooked to kill the boredom

A foreboding stream for water
Murky under the waning moon
As the pail sinks into the opaque soot
Forlorn sparks appear in ripples
Somewhere a hyena laughs

Worn reeds a pauper’s bedding
Ashen coals from the dying flame
Eyes close to caress the despair
The night settles like a frigid blanket
Narrow coffins await us there


Silently it beckons
Strums of lyres and whispers
of sinister realms
Sprouting needles of desire
Tickling soles to explore

Foliage blinds the sun
Flickering lights of fireflies
and glowworms
Twinkling gems in the underbrush
Tugging the tails of moonbeams

The core a copy of the exterior
Shades of black and silver
Blurring the lines of before and now
Leaving no trace

Re – visions

All bitterness cease
Sounds of laughter ring
Anger and jealousy fade
Dew that melts with the sun
War and intolerance be forgotten
Leaving innocence and love

All deceit and malice be buried
Under eons of judgmental dogmas
Selfishness and abuse denied
A hundred and infinite times
Fear and bias never heard of again
Purity and peace thrive


only asked to silence the question
winding like the tail of a snake
about to strike

only stated a partial explanation
to quieten the cynical grins
of disbelief

only hung on with the hope of closure
tattered ends like worn out shoes
on a sage’s wall

only created an impression of joy
while beneath the clay thickened
sculpting a tomb


Whether the stars disintegrate
The earth spins off its axis
Thrown to the ends of space
A lifeless rock

Whether everything we say and do
All our passioned moments and rage
Collective burnt offerings like ashes
To gods that men have drawn and idolized

Whether my love is wasted or found wanting
Two steps back to watch the carnage begin
Our lives entangled in the strings we knot
Tighter like nooses around our necks
To drag us to the gates of Hades

If it be so
So be it


Bodies everywhere
Thin, fat, flawed, fit, firm
If the body is the vessel
Is the mind the soul?

Tattooed bodies, pierced bodies, plain bodies
Hot bodies, sensitive bodies, lukewarm bodies

More similarities than difference
Minute intricacies that defeat
The purpose of clothes

Some want to expose
Some need to impose
their mark on their selves
the chi flows

Through skin, tissue, and bone
Words slice and leave no trace
While bullets puncture and shatter
An affectionate touch seeps


Begin without expectation
Driven without aggression
Heaven without conditions
Listen without interpretation

Accept without question
Respect without motivation
Select without suggestion
Direct without conviction

Create without limitation
Persuade without provocation
Venerate without subjugation
Emancipate without segregation


Awoke on a shore of fear
Soaked in the shame of memories
Broken glass drowns sensitivity
No escape in sight

Built a tent of endurance
Hung on weaknesses denied
Crushed glass to reflect the stars
Stood up to fight

Slept while the earth convulsed in rage
Transforming the hierarchy to peers
Muting and blinding the harsh
Cradling a remnant of light


There’s something unexplainable about human existence that makes us want to willingly make someone we desire happy. It might be a person who shocks us and makes us rethink our lifestyle, or it might be someone who makes us dream of building a house and planting a garden.

Whatever it is, it fills our minds with dreams inspired by novels and movies that we cherish.

I’ve always pictured living in a small cottage, “far from the madding crowd,” with someone who would sing for me as she tidied the house and wink at me across a crowded room. Part homely and naughty. It’s probably just a reflection of how I see myself.

That imagery is straight out of a Thomas Hardy set with Victorian frocks and gentlemen on horses who had pistol duels. Perhaps, I picture myself as a hero who whisks his lover away from a villain.

As exciting as that may sound, shooting someone does not bide well with the long arm of the law.

It’s more realistic to meet someone while you are going about your daily routine and start from there. How the story plays out is always a surprise because matters of the heart are unpredictable.

It is wiser to tread carefully and never expect someone to fit our fantasies. The best relationships are the ones that occur naturally without too much interference.

It might not be the fireworks that you always dreamed of, but it will be true.

Hannibal Lecter Would’ve Been Pleased

It started like every other calamity does
Human negligence
No, this was not a screwup at a secret scientific lab
Nor was it a chemical weapon
developed by aliens

Some high-flying socialite sunbathed on a beach in Koh Samui too long
And her skin turned a rare pink
Some starved dogs mistaking her for a snack
Pounced and tore her to shreds

The cops were called to the scene
and managed to execute the woman-eating hounds
but one escaped

It hid under a tarp, in a boat until nightfall
And unwisely, illegally crossed the border
into Cambodia

It wasn’t long before it landed on the wrong side
of the food chain
and was served to a group of drunken men
with a side of “Bok Trop Pgnon”
That’s pounded eggplant dip for the monolinguals

The transformation wasn’t instant
but over time
These men began craving human flesh
And the geography and sociology of their circumstance was such that
that was in excess

Southeast Asia succumbed in a matter of weeks
The undead opened street stalls and sold “real” meat
for a buck
Contrary to popular beliefs, zombies are frugal

Some regions in places like India
with their aversion to flesh
managed to hold off the wave of terror
for a while
Consuming greens and legumes
but their reserves soon ran out
and the zombies feasted

The surprise came a few months into the bloodbath
You see, animals had turned
They no longer had to deal with weapons
so humans became fast-food
The irony was priceless

Sun burn woman
Become food for pack of dogs
That eventually got served on a plate
And like the last supper
It came as no surprise
When vegans realized the truth
Everyone’s game