Cubaan Pertama.

 

Kebelakangan ini

Aku cuba menulis

menggunakan bahasa ini

yang tlah lama aku pendam

 

Aku cuba menguasai lagi

bahasa yang tlah cuba aku lupai-

Aku cuba

Aku cuba.

 

Bahasa ibunda,

kata mereka.

Walapun ibuku sendiri

tidak pernah berbahasa begini

kepada diriku sendiri

mahupun kepada adik beradikku,

 

namun aku tahu itu bukan salahnya

 

Salahnya itu diriku sendiri

yang lambat menyedari

bahasa itu kuasa

yang menguasai alam semesta-

 

Makanya ibuku tidak memilihnya.

 

Biarpun begitu

doa-doanya tetap bersuarakan

“Aku Hambamu

dan Engkau Tuhanku-”

 

dan seperti lagu yang datang

dari negeri asing,

aku suka mendengarnya

tetapi payah untuk mengenakan makna

demi setiap ungkapan

 

tetapi aku cuba

Aku cuba.

 

Lama kelamaan

dengan tidakku sedari

Ia mula menaruh

ke dalam mafhumku

 

[Dan jikalau aku jujur dengan diriku sendiri]

tiap kali waktu aku terdesak

dalam sujud

bahasa ini mengalir

bagaikan cecair dari hujung lidahku

dan bercampur air mata yang mengalir

di pipiku, aku dengan otomatis

berbicara, bertutur seolah-olah

ia hembusan loghatku

dan tiap kali aku cuba menggunakan

bahasa penjajahku

dalam sujudku

aku segan dan malu

terus membisu.

 

Walapun ditemani Google

demi menulis serpihan lurus ini

dan masih sukar membilang

nombor passportku

dan nombor telefonku

dalam bahasa yang seharusnya

lebih akrab kepadaku

dari bahasa Arab

yang lebih aku kenal

Nahunya dan Sorofnya.

 

Perjalananku masih jauh

umpama budak baru belajar

kalau ada silap dan salah

minta jangan ada yang marah

kerana aku (mahu) cuba

 

Aku cuba.

 

Raised a dreamer.

img_2017-03-03-015642
I could not fathom how
one could not have any dreams at all
or-
not know what to improve on;
Perhaps
I was raised a dreamer;
raised to know that everything I did was not enough
so I-
constantly had to prove myself

over and over

Perhaps
I always had to find ways to busy myself
so I
decided to become better.
How could anyone be so complacent so as to say
that they have already met their dreams
when there is much to do
so much left to do
and still
more
to
do.
[I think of the mountain of laundry
I’ve put off for days-
and I tremble
and of the books I bought and left untouched-
and I quiver
and of the unread messages-
and I drown in anxiety
and of the positions I carry
I shudder at the responsibility.]
Perhaps I was raised a dreamer
even if for small things
that if I was asked about them
I’d be able to give you one
for the next 60 seconds
and one for the next 60 days.
Perhaps I was raised a dreamer
that I cannot fathom the state of being content
with all that I have achieved
and not be curious at all
as to what is left unachieved
that unrealized potential
that unsnatched credential
bugs me
like a bug
bugging
begging
to be touched
to be realized
to materialize
to land itself
on my leaves
please.
Forgive me
[God]
if I ever even in the least implied
that I have not much left to work on
that my work here is somehow almost done
when I am not even close
to being where You want me to be.
I fear stagnancy
more than pregnancy
My fears are that of complacency,
walking aimlessly
using up all this space spaciously
wastefully
and brazenly declaring
that I am a living, breathing
idle
living for free
out of the cradle.
Maybe I’m the only one without a clue
And they’ve got things figured out -who knew
I could be the one needing my own advice;
It’s me before you,
I tell you.
Forgive me my Lord
if I ever lose track
of why I started
or if my vision becomes obscure
bring me back
because nothing can cure
it like Your reminding me of Your reward.
[Perhaps I was raised a dreamer so help me understand.]
___________________________
Backstory: Shazaa and I gave a “talk” today for Ihya- an ASIIUM event (Putting Yourself First is what we called it) and as usual, something in the event or during the course of delivering, struck me and I had to make a mental note of it and wait till I was in the comfort of my room and PJs before I could pour it all out.. and here it is. I did so in the best way my mind and body knew how… Born out in the status box on Facebook, and made it to the blog. These are the ones I feel the most strongly about.

This isn’t one of those eloquent poems meant to be read [silently]. This is meant to be read [aloud] with sizzling passion, with a genuine curiosity to know the answers, with a trembling voice, with a fist in the air. Try it.

Disclaimer: This isn’t directed at anyone in particular. You may recognize some elements from the questions which the floor had put forth, but I learnt more than anyone else did. It struck me to look to do an introspection on myself before I was even close to being shocked at what was being admitted. I had many small epiphanies as I spoke, more than anyone did. I did it for me. I had really just… put myself first.

You Taught Me How to Count

It is in waiting that I learnt how to count;

how many stops there are to our station

how many spins the ball makes before the page refreshes

how many seconds it takes to drive through the tunnel I hate

and how many breaths I must wait before telling another piece of fiction.

 

It is in waiting that I learnt how to count;

The rings on your fingers when you’re late

the moles and sunspots on your face

the notes in your wallet at the end of the month

and the guilt-drenched, predictable poems you wrote about me

when you think you’ve gone too far about your own agonies.

 

You taught me that not all countdowns start with the number one

because when you’ve lost count

you’ve got to make do and keep composed

and produce a prose every week or two

like our colleagues do

making sure they meet their deadlines

till they become our date nights

and lettered fake lines become real lines-

 

I wish I didn’t learn counting from you.

 

You taught me that it’s alright to keep talking

keep teasing back and forth

it’s called progress if we don’t regress

you said this was a good sign

since we’re in no mess, no stress

but I guess they weren’t good enough signs for you.

 

Although numbers are infinite

you might remember that patience isn’t my greatest merit

And I’ve been counting for too long

that I’ve forgotten what it’s like to not take note of the seconds that pass

Always anticipating, always on the edge for what’s going to happen next

but all that ever came was the sound of

empty promises exchanged, new beginnings began

yet we still lost count

and we learnt to rebound

You taught me how to count

even when I didn’t have it in me.

 

You knew it all along

that I didn’t have it in me

and still

you made me

count.

 

Those lessons proved to be very valuable to me now

though I didn’t see it then

It’s formed a benchmark, a standard for me,

You made me a counter,

it’s like a fighter but better

I’m out before it gets over

I count to numb the pain of waiting

Such is my curse of loving.

 

It is in waiting that I learnt how to count;

how many stops there are to our station

how many spins the ball makes before the page refreshes

how many seconds it takes to drive through the tunnel I hate

and how many breaths I must wait before telling another piece of fiction.