Monday, February 25, 2013

Stillness in Motion

She moves in chaotic circles
swirling on its tip,
she swirls in constant chaos
whirling by its lip;
The tip, the lip
stay still

She lives in medley of colors
spiraling along the edge,
she spirals in continuous medley
gyrating by its wedge;
the edge, the wedge

She breathes in rolling waves
rising high before a fall,
she rises in flowing breath
tranquil as it stalls;
the fall, the stall
total recall

She loves with copious joy
huddling within her folds,
she huddles and copes
shuffling for strong hold;
the fold, the hold
lovingly bold

         Her moves are erratic
                               love enigmatic
                                               her flow is emphatic 
                                                            core completely static.

credits: beautiful paintings by my lovely friend, Ayesha Wazirzada

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Olive Branch - Conclusion

A vibrant yellow bird flew to their tree, perched on a branch not far from them, and proceeded to launch into an aria.  Roma and her guide watched and listened and ate the large green and sweet fruit, until he finally introduced himself.  Lost in all the beauty around them and reveling in each other’s company, they had forgotten the obligatory introductions.

As they exchanged names, a scene from their past flashed in front of their eyes and they lit up with delight simultaneously.  Roma rushed to tell him of the last time she climbed up a tree was with him 10 long years ago, his disappearance having left a void in her adventure seeking years.  She gushed to update him on the developments at the orchard and the people he knew there.  Most of all she told him about her lonely childhood, how there was never anyone like him she enjoyed climbing or discovering new paths with.
Gino listened with admiration, his gleaming eyes freshly observing her beauty.  He looked at her soft dark hair pulled back into a tight knot, the familiar big brown eyes with curving lashes, and her pointy chin that formed the tip of her heart-shaped face.  Her lips kept moving without a chance for him to cut in, but he didn’t mind.  The sound of her voice was as musical to him as the chirping of the yellow bird on the nearby branch.

Her moving lips finally asked the dreaded question and he looked away.  The yellow bird flew away to branches afar, disappearing from their view.  She gave him a gentle nudge and they felt the branch beneath them shake as their upper arms touched.    He looked back into her eyes and told them what his father had shared.  There had been a feud, generations ago which their own fathers had forgiven and forgotten, until that eventful day.  Nobody in his family would tell him the details, something involving his mother and Roma’s father and their long-term friendship and jealousy and rage.
Roma’s eyes widened with each word having been completely oblivious to this version of the story.  She had overheard the grandmothers and aunts drop in words like “loose woman”, “distrustful family”, and other such slander.  She never understood what they meant or to whom they referred, but only knew that these words were connected to her friend’s disappearance. 

Her hand reached out at the same time as his, and they met mid-way.  They squeezed and smiled swimming into each other’s eyes until he sighed deeply and withdrew to his side.  She discreetly reached to one end of her branch and broke off a leafy twig branching out.  She offered it to Gino and said, “It’s the wrong tree, but represents a branch from my father’s orchard and I offer this to you on behalf of my family.”

The end

Monday, February 11, 2013

Olive Branch - Part Three

She felt a nudge, then a push and before realizing what happened, she was in his arms.  Pulling away back on her feet, she put some distance between them and turned around.  She stared into the big brown eyes of a chestnut thoroughbred as he nuzzled his nose close to her face.  She smiled and patted him gently, momentarily forgetting the man behind him, so when he spoke, not far from her ear in a deep voice, she jumped, almost falling back in his arms.

As they patted the beautiful gelding on either side of his neck, Roma learned that the mystery man owned a fleet of horses and ran a business giving trail rides to tourists.  His chestnut was named Aldo, after his father who started the business years ago, but didn’t survive to see it flourish.  His ranch was less than a mile away from her relative’s cottage and he knew them well.
As they walked together with his horse trotting obediently beside him, Roma had the urge to go on a trail ride.  They walked back to his ranch and he saddled up a black Pinto for her.  She leaned on his shoulder as he helped her climb up onto the filly and she tightly held on to the reins.  As she tried to direct her ride towards the trail, Lia bent down and began to graze instead.  Roma kicked, nudged, pulled on the reins to pull its head up, made clicking sounds, but nothing worked.  Her new friend, mounted on his gelding now rode up next to her and gave a gentle smack to her hungry horse on its hind and it obeyed.  They rode side by side as the trails were wide heading towards an open field that smiled with brilliant colors.

Roma spotted purple, yellow, and red wild flowers carpeting the open scape and wanted to roll in the midst of such beauty.  The air carried its perfumes to her nostrils mingled with earthy aroma of her companion.  They rode in silence listening to the buzz of nature around them, the soft padding of their horses’ steps, the sound of their breath, and rustle of the discarded foliage beneath them on their trail, which led them out of the open field into the woods lush with greenery.

The trees around them grew upward and sideway and diagonally with many climbing branches.  Tempted, she pulled on her reins and before her filly halted completely, Roma swung her leg over and jumped down with a thud.  She heard her friend jump off his horse behind her as she made her way towards a particularly intricately branched tree and proceeded to get to the top, one branch at a time.

He followed close behind and soon they found each other sitting side by side on a branch, their feet swinging high above the ground.  He reached out towards a bunch of leaves on the edge of the branch and plucked a green fruit to offer her.  She rubbed it on her sleeve and bit a big meaty chunk off, relishing in the sweet, tropical flavor, and chomping into the tiny seeds.  Her companion plucked one for himself as well and began to sink his teeth into the fruit in his hand.  They both sat together enjoying the sweetness and serenity, as their legs dangled 15 feet above the ground.

to be continued.....

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Olive Branch - Part Two

Harvest seasons came and went many times over but Roma’s eyes never stopped searching.  Wandering aimlessly in the vast orchard, she ignored the ripe fruits overhead having lost her desire to climb trees.  Puberty hit her unannounced and over the years her blossomed beauty became the talk of the town.  Days became longer as she felt smothered by her family’s attentions and missed the one person she could seek adventures with.  When her parents surprised her for her 18th birthday with tickets to spend a summer with relatives half way across the globe, she jumped with delight.

On the eve of her departure, Roma rummaged about in her room fidgety with excitement.  Carefully sifting through her closet, she selected two pairs of jeans, flip flops, walking shoes, several shorts and t-shirts ready to cover new grounds in the unknown terrain.  As an after-thought she reached into the back and pulled out her floral summer dress with matching sandals and stuffed it in a corner of her duffle bag under the clothes she had already packed next to her swimsuit.
Thirty thousand feet above the ground, she didn’t understand why the people around her complained of the length of the journey.  From the time the plane took off and reached above the clouds to the time it landed, Roma’s eyes remained glued to the tiny window.  She spotted shapes in the puffy white clouds as she had done from the earth below, but instead of looking at a vast blue sky through the patches of openings, from the plane she saw a gleaming ocean.  As the magical sunset dropped its rays onto the water below, it sparkled just like her mother’s diamonds.  Her perspective began to change as she tried to imagine looking down over her house, the orchard, their land down below instead of always from within.  Her thoughts travelled to her tree climbing days when she saw things differently, played with the help, ran around in dirt smudged clothes.  Suddenly, she missed those days and thought of Gino and wondered for the thousandth time what had become of him.
No one seemed to know where his family disappeared to after that one frightful afternoon and she had no leads even if she wanted to find her friend.  With unanswered questions, she decided for now to revel in the sweet memories, tucked away in a quiet corner of her heart.
Watching the sparkle of lights from the city below as if in a magical welcome, Roma felt excitement rise as her plane descended.  Her aunt and uncle met her outside the bustling airport and she fell into their embrace.  Speeding down the highway in their convertible, she felt the ocean air kiss her cheeks, lace through her dark hair swaying them over and around, and sending liberating vibrations down her whole body.  Ancient dark rocks with sprouts of grass or short trees lined the roads as if modern constraints did not exist in this warm land surrounded by water.  The car turned towards a steep decline as they made their way into a valley.  Lush greenery greeted them where she spotted horses unbound to any owner running wild or grazing as they pleased.  With a glowing smile she entered her relative’s cottage in the middle of their farmland.
Her mornings in the valley started before the sun with a walk covered under the blanket of mist.  She ventured deeper into the vale, observed the wild horses up close, followed unused trails, and picked wild flowers to bring them back to the cottage.  Other days she climbed up the hill and watched the sun slowly make its ascent before she made her descent in time for breakfast.  On these excursions, she spotted farmers who gave her polite nods or greeted her as they made their way to the fields.  She smiled back and occasionally stopped to converse with them to feed her curiosity about the lands around them, or about a fruit she had picked but was unsure if it was edible.
A week into her vacation, on one of her morning excursions she met a handsome young farmer.  At first, she stood frozen in place unsure of why his eyes held her there.  Then their legs, of their own accord, moved towards each other until only three feet lay between them.

to be continued......