Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Lost Planet by Omar Musa


by Omar Musa

Lost planet-
200 light years from earth.

It's out there somewhere,
somewhere revolving
it sits unsyllabled space.
A flight away
so far
on feathered wings
through nebulae and stellar winds
through falling stars, tinted clouds
and unnamed things.


Last night I built
a rocket ship outta
vodka bottles,
sleeping pill jars,
a broken biro and a half full, red lighter.

I flew so far
and in such darkness,
that time became
a whisper.

I crash landed on a spring day
in a rippling field.
I followed a rose coloured river until
I found a door.
I knocked,
and it was answered by
my first love.
She was as passionate and forgiving as
when we first met,
her flammable kiss set me ablaze
We made love on smouldering sheets.
I was twinned in her eyes,
pinned beneath her limbs
and the swinging weight of wet hair.

It was perfect.

I walked on,
and by and by
saw my father sitting cross legged
beneath a banyan tree,
smiling and without malice.
We played chess and once I captured his king,
we ate durian,
and shared kretek cigarettes.
We spoke of ancestral heroes and water from the moon,
we laughed and

it was perfect.

I bid him farewell and walked towards the ocean.
Where the road met the sea,
I smelled cooking feed
and I saw a woman in a sarong
frying fish.
It was my grandmother,
still very strong and very beautiful
and when I approached she spoke.

Omar, datuk nenek mu dari ombak.
Rumahnya di lautan ini.
Kamu sekarang belayar di lautan, gurun dan langit.
Kata kata mu adalah layar.
Tidak kira berapa jauh kamu mengembara,
jangan lupa asal-usulmu, yang mengalir dalam darahmu.
Kita munkin miskin
tetapi mulia.
Saya tahu kamu boleh bercakap sedikit dalam Bahasa Melayu,
jangan bimbang, jangan bimbang Omar.
kita bukan sahaja berkongsi darah tetapi berkongsi jiwa.

She spoke,
and I understood every word,


Last of all before I left,
I met a young me,
juggling a soccer ball and
still believing in happy endings.
I took him by the shoulders
and told him that things would work out,


As I left in my little rocketship I looked back
and saw the streets crowded
with the lovers lost,
the brothers fallen,
the highway companions who became dreams mislaid,
waving, waving,
like fields of harvest grain.

Lost planet-
200 light years from earth.

Or maybe just a dream away.


Sunday, October 7, 2012


You let love in
like a stray cat outta the rain.

Its paws are dirty /
Its tail waves like a new idea /
It's too small to make the doorframe shake
and too big to fit through the keyhole.

You let it in,
smiling & wary & a little bit scared.

you're twelve again,
hanging up the phone when Suzie's dad 
                                                                       answers it,
stone blossoming in your throat
or eighteen 
when Jamila says "I'm not your type"
when what she really means 
is that you're not hers
or twenty four
kissing Adelina 
under the stone gates of Chinatown
Adelina with her thighs that smile at the moon,
with her headdress of sorrow
or twenty eight
when everything falls to pieces
and you become 
the howl of a dog in a padded cell.
And you're so full of want and ache,
staring into love's leonine eyes,
you realise that maybe it isn't a cat at all - 
it could be a killer whale dressed as one.

Or a rabbit.

you undress and dismantle your limbs 
one by one
arm, leg and wing
and place them in a pile
on the tiles.

picks them up in its teeth,
walks to the door,
looks left and right
then disappears.

You cry for months
until one day
you feel whole once more,
sitting at the window
embroidering stars on the udder of dusk
while your flatmate boils the kettle

would scrape again at your door.