Ruined pierThere are days and seasons when the sun is never far away,
at least in thought and expectation;
when steps are quickened by wonder and the energy of hope
and even the most mundane of occupations crackles with latent possibility.
Days of lightness and joy, when nothing can impede the onward rush
of this outrageous, uproarious adventure called life.

But then there are other days and other times
when, having set, the sun seems determined not to rise again;
when all is shrouded in a veil of gloom and fog,
hope is but a distant cipher,
and a cold blanket of despair lies heavy on the heart.
Every task an effort, every day an eternity,
and every glimmer of hope snuffed out by bitter regret.

“Come now, why so glum?” ask sincere and friendly enquirers
who subsequently evaporate like a mist when their cheery entreaties
fail to generate the desired result of instant happiness.
To tarry too long in this dark, dry place is ill-advised, this we know full well;
yet tarry here a time we must, lest we rush headlong
to a place where all seems well but nothing is resolved.

So here I sit in the ashes, amid the brooding darkness,
contemplating the wages of fortune and the wreckage of my own hands,
turning over the how and the why of it in my anxious mind
as I await a dawn that will come I know not when.

And now, a thought steals in, unbidden –
the kind that can only come from somewhere beyond:
perhaps here and here alone, in this desolate place,
my voice and my mind will finally be quiet enough
to hear the whisper of that still, small voice.

Perhaps that is why I am here, now;
perhaps if there is a purpose in this languid place
it is to hear words that would otherwise remain unheard,
to glimpse the possibility of a light not yet visible to the eye.

I will watch and listen, then, and wish
that even in my letting go of hope,
new hope will rise like a tide among the ruins
and carry me along to a new and undiscovered shore.

[ Image : Aftab Uzzaman ]