Archive for August, 2015

The Lion Sleep’s Tonight

Posted: August 22, 2015 in Uncategorized

philipchicco's Blog

“Are you a man of faith Mr Cephas?” the priest asked him with an honest face. Cephas looked at him with a painful expression. He didn’t feel like talking to anyone today, let alone a priest.graveyard

“Normally I’d have replied “Yes” without a pause. Those were the old days when life was simpler. But now…” he paused and looked around at the deserted graveyard. A homeless man was preparing his place in the bushes to crash out for the night, a few ravens were drinking by the pond and the red sun was now tangent to the horizon—it was a depressing scene from a dystopian set. He continued talking as he stared at the birds by the pond, wondering what it was like to be free like them (are they birds of faith? He wondered)

“Now I don’t know anymore. I don’t even know if ever I was such…

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It’s a hard world, it breaks even the best of us—in all the six ways to Sunday. Freedom is now a relic from the past, an anachronism from ancient civilisations when mankind wasn’t locked up in a virtual panopticon of latest technology and subtle surveillance techniques. The hard times only make it worse. We trudge through each day mechanically like the old grand father’s clock on the musty walls of a dilapidated building: going round and round in 24-hour circles until the battery of willpower runs out. This is sour sad reality. But i know a place beyond the city walls, a niche out of time where the fleeting feel of freedom can be felt(if only for a few hours); a place where we can feel alive…..

And so you sit back, recline your seat and listen to sweet song of the engine as hums through miles of a foreign land. Be it the engine of floating Airbus as it glides through fluffy clouds against a blue sky, or the struggling engine of a fowl-smelling country bus as it passes through all the sleepy little towns filled with sunken-eyed children and worn out men. For a change you close your eyes and enjoy the fluid presence: you listen closely to the tales spun by the wind. It speaks of the wise mountains that stand witness to mankind’s folly, of roaring rivers laden with salty tears from the eyes of oppressed orphans and widows….yet that’s not all there is…

It speaks also of places where birds sing just for you, of raging waterfalls that can kiss you with their refreshingly sweet, cool vapour until you chase them to your heart’s content. There is a vast world out there to be explored, a world full of wonders and virtue, a world where strangers become friends: where beauty and freedom mingle in a buzzing field of wild lilies and dandelions.

You take it all in as you pass by: from the rolling ranches and blue skies to the arid wasteland against dark stormy skies. Feeling content, you discover how critical the moment is; for you are just suspended in time. The past is just a tragic memory and the future just a delirious dream. Whatever drama is going on out there, you are not part of it: you feel like an indifferent god, skipping scenes of a silent play. And for a change, you feel it in the air as you stop at a layby area to take a breather: you feel that you will turn out just fine. “Every little thing is going to be alright,”the three Little birds sing it just for you and the sweet caress of the breeze reassures you and reassert this verity.

There is nothing wrong with being a rolling stone because deep wisdom lies at the end of every path. If the world was fair and simple i’d simply join a travelling carnival or become a modern day gipsy. But in the end, nobody gets what they deserve so I tend to enjoy these few hours of travel. The sweet summer calls out to us, “Give in to the wanderlust, swim in streams and run through forests…enjoy life and taste the sweet freedom around campfires.”

“I have no strings so i have fun,” this Pinocchio rhyme becomes you mantra as you look forward to the next journey. But for the meantime, you rest; you are home but the wind of wisdom follows, and so does the reassuring breeze. This time it sings a different tune, the tune of rest. Every rolling stone must find a place to rest for a while before it withers and turn into sand. And so you rest for the night while the engine sighs the last verse of it’s old song, “Hush my darling…..the lion sleeps tonight…….”

©David Phiri 2015

Guys Like Us

Posted: August 13, 2015 in Introspective prose

When your life is dark, light is just a fleeting memory that lingers mockingly. And so against all advice not to, you hold to the past—you hold on to memory. Letting go means losing all the light, it means losing all hope. For the past holds all truth in this cornucopia of chaotic madness. The past reminds you that nomatter how trite and futile this life is, there are ghosts that will forever understand you—ghosts that once danced merrily in the vast plains of your lonely heart—ghosts you let down once but never more.

And so you hold on to your amorphous ghosts; pale spirits devoid of all memories yet still better companions to the ones you now have. Even though they are just figments of your own guilty conscience, you hold on to them nonetheless. They are the core and they are the roof, without them you’re just a wisp of shadow.

There is no virtue in letting go, this a proven fact. You might try hard to shout in out to all shrinks and people who think they know better but they never will understand. Letting go severs all compunctious sentiments and you realize, when the time comes, that letting go was never one of your quiddites.

Why move on when you can linger in utopian memories? Why let go of the beautiful faces and warm smiles that gave life to your heart? Why burn bridges to the few people who helped you hang on to your sanity when your whole world was topsy-turvy — people who knew the right words to selflessly motivate you for the greater good? There is no reason to let go. Instead you have every reason to hold on to the memories (meager as they may be) and let them be a beam of hope as you swing into the unknown future. Let them be a beacon as you wonder into the mystic.

The past may be obdurate but the future is relentless. It waits fully armed and it drains us of all happy thoughts. The future is full of longings and regrets and yet we look forward to it. All we do is hope, all we do is pray. We pray to all known entities for we are not even sure of the right deities. Simple and insufferable idiots as we might be, we pray not for riches or gold at the end of the rainbow; we pray instead that after all has been said and done, we’ll still be holding on to our wits—we’ll still be holding on to our marbles. This is our essence, Guys like us, this is our threnody.

Life goes on and we leave the people we once were behind. It’s the continuous river of time and we’re just mere silt caught in the undercurrent. Rivers flow into seas and seas into oceans, and yet we get tangled early downstream. It’s the rhythm of life, you just have to take what you can.

David Phiri 2015