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Monday, March 2, 2009

RATNA, You May Laugh At Me

You May Laugh At Me
An Adaptation of a Poem by T. Wijaya

Ratna, you may leave me,
But the blanket on our bed remains.

Sometimes out from the shadows in the street I hear
A chattering; I push open the drapes, look from
My window, but see no one. Because the event
Reoccurs regularly at fifteen minutes
Before the bell of the day’s ninth hour,
I imagine children, who hurry, hasten,
Not to be late for school. It’s a collective voice,
And it seems to capture -- as if the these youngsters
Recite my poem, aloud, though they mispronounce
The words, and slaughter the meter --
How the poem means,
The love burning, the fire in my heart,
My love for you with excellence matching,
Were the poet himself to read the lines.

How strange it must be when in class they learn
The language of science yet my textbook has taught,
Reveals nothing but great passion, the grand affection,
A knowledge no amount of everyday, timely attendance
Might bring to reason, or be sufficient to
Realize with easy, algebraic, chalk–board formulation.

My feelings, the terms of my endearment, dwell
Far removed from any chapbook lesson,
It reminds me of the hapless task, trying to reason
The abundance, all the great gifts, God bestows
Though we may be merit less, and in no way deserve
That grace, the bounty which freely falls upon us.

Ratna, you may laugh at me, but when I awaken
I pretend to have coffee percolated for you,
Or that soon I receive your telephone call,
Your voice at the other end, you,
No longer at business, but here, now,
The distance between us breached,
The gap closed, when I hear your vocal timbre.

Ratna, you may have gone, flown from my arms,
Yet I remain deeply enamored,
My thoughts of you, our life together remain indelible,
My desire for it, anew, once more to live its glory,
It burns within my mind’s eye, and warms my soul.

Remember the tree I planted in your garden?
Its fruit has become property of another,
And each and every time I think it over,
Your departure, the awful pain, my life without you,
I find myself back at desk and write verse,
Hoping to explain how over burdened my being,
The splendid images, the endless cacophony of words,
The visceral weight, the compulsion to relive,
My life returns to vision and sounds, the chapters,
Which comprise the big book of our history,
Oh, how I wish you had never left me.

Ratna, in your heart love for me may be dead.
But each day I rouse in that blue room,
That blue bedroom, where we started the day,
Each day I wake to the same blue sky,
Which houses our Lord, to Him I pray,
And ask that His Will has you returning some day.

Ratna, my lovely light, the dream which floods
Across this room, down upon the key board,
And propels my fingers to write how my heart aches.
Do not fear me; do not fear this verse.

Darling, listen not to friends who claim misgivings,
Who believe I have taken leave of my senses,
That my ultimate design contain harm to you.
You know that is not the case.
I write the moment but mean it for the ages,
World and all posterity to see,
My good fortune, the gratitude I feel in having
Loved you and making your acquaintance.

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