The fairytale they told us

It all works out at the end
We were told
Just as long
As it is true love

We were told
That love wins
At the end
Of the day

Which day did they speak of
For here I lie
A victim of true love
Bleeding, battered and bruised

Needless to say
It has not worked out
Not for me
Not for many others

Yet, more poems
More stories
More movies
Still chant the same mantra

If only chanting it made it true
If only believing it made it come to pass
I would be writing another tale today
One of love’s triumph as it is supposed to

We believed it for so long
We lived by it and would have died for it
We would have died in vain
Believing a fairytale

Things do not always
Happen like they are supposed to
True love does not always win
Sadly so.

Broken by the right hands

Lions can learn to
Eat straw
If fed by the right hands

Domesticate me
Smoothen my rough edges
And make me want it

By the right hands
You will find despots
Go soft

Men of steel
Just a little more malleable

Lions like to be

And men to be broken
If they would but find
The right one to do the breaking

We would choose
Our slavers
Our taskmasters or mistresses

We would surrender willingly
Our boisterous fa├žade
To the right one

So let this prayer go up tonight
May we all be broken by the right hands
The alternative would be catastrophic.

If I dared to dream

Everybody wants it
Some would do
To have somebody

To call
To have
To hold
To lean on

Not I
Not I
It’s been too long
Since I last had that dream

I have long grown accustomed
To sitting on my perch
On that very tall fence
Terrified of falling to either side

I was not born this way
Believe me
Sometimes I dream
The same dream that others do

I just don’t dwell on it
Long enough
Intensely enough
For it to make a major difference

Like everyone else
I was born carried
And I grew used to
Being cared for

The problem is
That too early I learnt
To carry others
While my own feet were not steady

They called me
All I wanted
Was to love and be loved

And even this
This little thing
Was denied me
More often than not

The more I love
The less I am loved
A man said
A dilemma

If I could dare to dream
I would dream of this
If I could dare to ask
I would ask to love and be loved

But sadly, I dare not
Take that road
Which I have found
To be laden with pain

I can only wonder
How differently
Things would be
If I dared.

You do not love you, like I do

More than you love you
Do I love you
This I know
This I will prove

My heart is true
To you alone
All its treasures
Has it laid at your feet

To have
To hold
To keep safe
I desire to do

To bring every joy
That heart and soul
Could ever wish for
Every craving satisfied

To give
All I have
To be yours
And mine

To bring all these
Day and night
And truest love divine
What more can one want

All these have you spurned
Whether you knew it
Or did not

For gold
You would have brass
For a true heart
You would trade vanities

You do this
And night
Away from me

The very best
That can be gotten
Have you been offered
Have you spurned

You would rather have dregs
You would rather have rags
When I would clothe you in purple
And serve you the wine of the gods

You do not love you
You could not
And still eat fodder
Though it be served in palaces

In my humble home
You would have
Humble fare perhaps
But served with the golden plate of my heart

Your mind is made up
I can see
I have seen these many years
Perhaps it is self hatred

Whatever it may be
Perhaps one day
You would love you
Like I love you

And then
All would be well
With me
And with you.

Children of pain

Pain teaches
To learn
To fight
For yourself

And then
You learn to be
Hard enough
To battle whatever tomorrow brings

You gained strength
You believed
But all that you lost
Is your soul

That little girl
That loves
That gives
Without holding back

And what does that make me
But the one
Who your years of pain
Hurt the most

Pain begets pain
Your pain
Begat mine
And here I am

Here I stand
With arms that have stayed
So empty
For so long

Here I stand
A child of your pain
Perhaps waiting
To birth another child of pain.

Broken things

I find
That my heart craves
To nurture this one
And that one

To help them
Find their way home
In the dark and stormy days
And thundering nights

I seem to gravitate
Towards birds
With broken wings
Hoping to nurture them to flight

Call me whatever
I do not claim to know

But this one thing
Broken things
Hold a certain allure
That the strong do not

Is it a flaw
Sometimes I think so
For time and again
My reward has been pain

Do I do this
To buy allegiance
Because I cannot get it
By any other means

Do I do this
My compulsive nature
Bids me act

Is it
Or is it strategy
I ask time and again

Or is it because
I am myself
A broken thing
Seeking mending.

Travels and travails

I was born here
And have lived here
All of my days
Good and not so good

I have always been here
Except for days
And nights
When I travelled

Taking trips
Into wild lands far from here
If only in my mind
Far away from the travails of my anguished soul

To places fairer
Than the dreariness
My eyes and heart
Have come to know too well

In my travels
I am a citizen
Of distant lands
Far away from my travails

Far away
From the uncommon bustle of this African city
In a country of ridiculous parallels
Poverty and wealth and like oddities

To places where
I can sit
And listen to the conversation
Of the waves at the beach

Radiant sunshine
And endless stretches of sand
Gay laughter echoing in my ears
As I lie all but naked as a new born babe

Reality returns noisily, harsh in comparison
I was born and bred here
But many days
I travel far from my troubles and travails.