Happiness is infectious

This is a bad poem. I just wanted to talk about how infectious happiness is. My professor had a baby girl. And for a moment, inexplicably, I was in my heart, thrilled for someone I dislike. Was it just his happiness, or was it for the birth of a child?  I don’t know. But I felt his happiness, and for that I’m glad.
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Happiness is infectious.
The opening of a cardboard box,
Chocolates bring happiness
To those who cannot feel
But can still share in yours.

A brilliant, white smile;
At the birth of a child,
Doesn’t matter whose
A celebration of life.
Such happiness is infectious.

It bloomed in my heart,
That perfect white flower,
From your white smile,
As you held out your box
Full of chocolates; to share
The happiness that you felt
For a brief moment,
My heart could finally feel.
And I lived.

Once Bitten…

This was a prompt on http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/22/daily-prompt-tainted-love/. Something I wrote a while back, but which was somehow relevant to the prompt. This is also on my public profile, so well, hopefully no one makes the connection (unlikely anyway, no one reads either of these anyway). Haha.
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Little Turtle in her shell, lying on the ocean floor,
Her eyes are in darkness, her mind a closed door.
Content to be, happy in silence, entirely satisfied;
She never pokes her head out, never ventures outside.

Fluttering Jellyfish, swimming vacantly along the shore,
Doesn’t know what he wants, just knows he wants more.
On a whim, one day he swam far below the tide,
And our shy, sweet Turtle’s immobile shell he spied.

“Come out to play,” he said, bobbing beside our friend,
“The world is bright, and the great ocean will never end.”
The Turtle watched warily from deep within her hole,
The Jellyfish saw only her eyes, and they glittered like coal.

She saw the Jellyfish’s colours, iridescent, like a rainbow;
And in a deep voice she spoke, just as he turned to go,
“I’m afraid of the vast ocean, afraid of the wild sea,
I like my spot on the ocean floor, where people let me be.”

The Jellyfish nodded, seemed to understand her fear,
He gently laid a tentacle on her and said, “Listen dear,
The ocean may be scary, but with me by your side,
You wouldn’t have to worry; don’t be so terrified.”

For weeks, he coaxed and cajoled, reasoned in every way;
Unused to such attention, she opened her mouth to say,
“The things that you are saying, I have been thinking too,
And what I’ve thought Mr Jellyfish is that I’ll go with you.

“Your words have lifted my heart; they’ve set me at ease,
Together the two of us, we will chart the seven seas!”
Those intelligent black eyes, were hopefully peering out,
The Jellyfish felt odd, but couldn’t tell what it was about.

He took a deep breath and tried to still his wavering heart,
He’d pictured this a thousand times, but’d never seen this part.
The tide had turned in battle, and now that he had won,
He wasn’t sure of the outcome, or even why he had begun.

He steeled himself however; maybe it would be alright,
It was natural to have jitters before starting such a flight.
He bobbed uncertainly by her and beckoned with his head,
The Turtle slipped her flippers out upon the tranquil seabed.

And slowly out of the cavern in her shell her wrinkled head slid,
Giving up the protective barrier that her from the world hid.
Her enormous toothless maw was stretched into a smile;
Started by her ugliness, up the Jellyfish’s throat rose bile.

In a flurry of movement, he stung her across the eyes,
“Sorry,” he muttered quickly and away began to rise.
He wasn’t a terrible guy, but he was honestly shocked,
What he’d seen had scared him, so away he had walked.

The Turtle howled, the pain searing her very soul,
Down her wretched face, salty tears began to roll.
She’d done no wrong, and yet she’d been spurned.
She’d put herself out there, and gotten badly burned.

Dearest Turtle, couldn’t you see, that people like you and I,
We’re contemptible, worthless and we will never know why.
Happiness isn’t meant to be ours; I hope that now you see,
Hiding in the shadows is the best for fools like you and me.
Where we’re left to our own devices and people let us be.

Soldiering on.

He eyed me over the rim of his glass, and said,
“Boy, let me tell you of the battles I’ve seen;
I’ve fought the war in Korea, served in Vietnam.
If only you knew of all the places I have been.
You’re current trials and troubles are petty,
Of true trauma and suffering,you’re nowhere near.
So sit the fuck down sonny, pour me another drink.”
He said as he drained the final dregs of his beer.

He didn’t notice that my tightly clenched hands
Were drumming an urgent rhythm against my thighs;
I thought he’d understand, being a soldier like me.
I thought he wouldn’t have those judgmental eyes.
“Sir,” I replied tersely, fingers flying faster,
“My problems might pale before the horrors you saw,
But they’re still monumental to me. Can’t you see?
The travails we suffer are just luck of the draw.”
Hands moved to the table, drumming a syncopated beat.
“Who can measure human desperation with certainty?
Our circumstances, our situations are different,
Different, you and I, in mind and personality.
You might have fought long in Korea and Vietnam,
I have faced, my share of gruesome battles too.
You may have served your country for far longer,
But, that’s exactly it. I’m scared of becoming you.”

Mouth twisted in disapproval, eyes flashing, he spoke,
“Now look here boy, you’d better show some respect,
What’s the point of chewing my ear off for an hour
If the only piece of advice I give, you rudely reject?”

“It took you twenty years of fighting,” I replied,
“Before you finally realised it was slowly killing you.
Well, it’s killing me; I simply realised it sooner.
If anything it makes me smarter, more prudent too.
I’m telling you not to trivialise, not to call me weak.
The army took from you twenty years, there’s no doubt.
It gave you a glass eye and poor prosthetic limbs.
I can see that in my future, and dammit, I want out.
Your wife and kids could only stand silently supporting,
While you tore up paddy fields, waded marshes of reeds.
My family has suffered enough; I cannot be that selfish,
To indulge in this violent fantasy, satisfy my own needs.
I came here to ask you, what the best way was to quit;
This fruitless exercise has only served to upset me.
But I shall remember my manners and buy you that drink.”
I did, then tipped my cap to him and thanked him politely.

Winding my scarf around my neck, I thought of it as noose;
Musing of freedom that was beyond reach, spirits sinking lower.
I shoved my hands in my pocket, turned my collar to the cold
And walked out of that bar, hoping it would all soon be over.

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An explanation of this poem can be found at https://kazenomachihe.wordpress.com/2013/12/10/soldiering-on-explained/

Visions from a bathroom floor

He’d rasped for a glass of water.
I turned anxiously towards my mother
Looking puzzled at her errant daughter.

She saw a dying man, a parched throat.
I saw the phlegm, the spit, the germs.
Around his lips the drying white coat.

Compelled to ask, “Which glass to use?”
He saw through me. Through mother’s lies.
Years later, his angry eyes still accuse.

In that moment, both of us had hated me;
He was sick but I had made him untouchable.
Turned all my concern to mere mockery.

Some things, acts you just cannot forgive,
No matter how many months and years pass.
The self-loathing as you constantly relive.

In the meditative silence of the shower,
These ghosts come out to haunt you,
Turn up to exert their ungodly power.

In the silence, you’d do anything rather
Than recall memories of an emotional cripple
Who wounded, most ultimately, her father.

Things that could have been.

See you walk out the gate,
Onto the worn, dirty tar road
Coloured in by pencil lead.
Watch you walk away for the last time.
You are my biggest regret.

You don’t look back, never do.
Hiding in the shadows,
I don’t merit a second glance.
You were always watching me, watch you.
Your own harmless stalker.

Things I wish I’d said;
The broad planes of your face,
Exploding mass of curly hair,
I wish I was a painter
Just so I could capture them forever,
To have a picture of you.

What is the limit? I wonder.
The number of times that you
Can be caught staring at someone
Before you can’t say hello to them.
Before it’s too awkward.
Before they can see the naked longing
In your face.

I curbed my brazenness,
Told myself you were too important
To ruin with an offhand comment.
Something stupid about your hair
The band on your shirt,
The tattoo on your arm.
I curbed my brazenness,
Thus I never got to say hello.

Hiding again, silently in the shadows.
Your big desert boots clomping,
Out of my life for the last time.
Eyes slide to my hiding place,
See me see you see me.
Eyes daring me to take a chance,
Mocking my inertia.
For one brief moment we spoke without words.
Eyes slide away, as if nothing happened.
That’s how we say goodbye,
With me still watching.

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P/N: Trying out a new style. I’m not a big fan of writing free verse, the urge to rhyme is too strong, and somehow I lose some of the words when I do. So I didn’t.

Imprinted.

Attempting the daily prompt because this happened to a friend today and I felt inspired. It’s about tattoos. It is a bit cliched. But *sigh*
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I will remember forever the walks we took together, your warmth as you snuggled up to me in bed.
I will remember the feeling of running my hand through your hair, of the silken threads between my fingers.
You left me by myself, the only cruel thing you have ever done. Could you feel all the tears I shed?
It’s been days since then, soon it will be weeks, yet the memory of your warm breath on my face still lingers.
You were my best friend, my only confidante. No matter what I did, you never questioned me, you never judged.
You just gazed at me, head tilted to one side, your brown eyes hiding all this wisdom that you never shared.
There have been times when I’ve been on cloud nine, other times when I’ve been beaten up and ostracized;
My only constant fan, I looked to you when lost; the shining pole star in my night sky of people who never cared.

You were with me through everything I have ever done and you will be with me through everything I will ever do.
Everything I am today, everything I will ever become; nothing, absolutely nothing was even possible without you.
You left a mark on me the day we met. You’ve left an indelible mark on me, on my heart, my mind and  my soul.
Your absence is terrible. Where your companionship and guidance was once; there is now in me just a gaping hole.
Even though you aren’t here to nudge me the right way, to make me optimistic and see everything as rose-tinted.
I will remember your gentle ways. Be the person you taught me to be. Your legacy that now on my body is imprinted.

Dreaming of reality

Drought had taken the land beneath my feet; the soil was crusted and dry.
The land turned to desert, no rain ever came, not even a change in the sky.
Dull sand dunes, like ancient tombs, now stretch out as far as the eye can see,
A nomad staggers about in a daze; I look again and see that that nomad is me.
I once stopped at an oasis, its banks were so grassy and waters crystal clear,
There were palm trees aplenty, ripe dates and berries and even camels to rear.
I stayed too long, became complacent. I bred familiarity. It bred contempt.
The wonders that I once found so very fine, could me no longer even tempt.
The sweet juice of the berries turned bitter, their flesh in my mouth was ash.
I razed my home to the ground; the trees fell in the pool with a bitter splash.
I was overcome by anger, by resentment; I had been failed by my only hope;
The sameness of everything gripped me, if nothing changed how would I cope?
And now, as I stagger about alone in my insanity;
I have nothing but my dreams to keep me company.

I dream of green fields, of tall trees, the enormous boughs of which house squirrels and birds, give sanctuary.
I dream of mountains and deep valleys, of snow melting into rivulets that run gaily down to the beautiful sea.

These grey claustrophobic walls, the ashen faces around;
The rods that bar our window, the laughter with no sound.
I am driven mad by our apathy, our unwillingness to change,
How we do not question the normal, reject anything strange.

We can water the land, the dry cracked land, but for how long will we?
The water just seeps through and disappears, not leaving any mark to see.
It will bleed you dry and leave you with cracked lips and pruned skin.
Your tearless eyes, unable to see, will not even be able to take it in;
That it is your withered body, a husk of your self that is now lying on the floor,
Guilty of naught but trying to bring about change and of always wanting more.

I dream of words running up my hands and legs, across my body into my opened eyes and mind.
I dream of the voiceless speaking, of wings sprouting from my back and the backs of mankind.
I dream of music flowing across the golden skies, soothing raw ears; a balm for the wounded soul.
I dream of like-minded souls around the banquet halls in heaven with words more rich than gold.
I dream of freedom, of passion, of wisdom beyond the boundaries of age, sex and society,
Of foolish words and inanities banished, I dream of pure, powerful thought in all its clarity.
Civilisation will progress at last. We will evolve. We will move forward, and thus,
Reach high, beyond the stars into the hands of the very God that created us.