Deeper Than A Lifetime

In response to “The Knife” by Keith Douglas

Keith Douglas describes his poems as “extrospective” meaning that they are focused on external impressions rather than inner emotions. I believe, “The Knife” does not fall into that category and thus intrigues me the most out of all his poems. I would describe “The Knife” as a love poem; a love poem written in the midst of war at the point where dead was most evident. Hence, I believe it is one of the most sincere love poems that could be written. Although it is a love poem, its title is a word associated with danger, hurt and death for which I believe the poem was written for Ying Cheng. Ying Cheng also known as Betty Sze was an elegant Chinese lady who dated Keith during his university days. Unfortunately, her love for Keith was not as deep as his and thus the refusal of his proposal which lead to her being the unrequited love in Keith’s life. “Deeper than a Lifetime” aims to give Keith a second chance at a love that seemed so pure, to tell Betty all the things he wished he did and how differently he would have done things.

 

Dear Betty,

To turn back time and make my choices again,

I wish I could say that I would do everything exactly the same,

But unrequited love is only less painful when compared to once-requited love.

I wouldn’t have loved you as hard.

I wouldn’t have dived into the deep end of the pool just like that.

I would have tried much harder, with more suave to make you fall at your knees for me and my love.

I would have made you shed the sophisticated coat you wore whenever you met me,

The one I knew you wore to mask your true form.

I would not have hid the romantic that I was.

I would not have pretended not to be the simple guy who just wanted you to love him, who took this to be more than just a fling.

I would have took you to feel the breeze in your hair more often, and to take long walks in the parks arm in arm, so that you understood the small yet important things in life.

I would have brought you to rooftops to watch the sunsets and sunrises that although were beautiful, weren’t as beautiful as you.

I would have brought you to water bodies to swim so that you could wash away all the uncertainties that you carried on your shoulders, so that you stopped calculating every move before you made them.

I would have ensured that you knew that time stopped when I looked at you, when I was with you.

I would have made sure that my ‘I love you’  s were loud and seductive, but could only be heard in the wind as your long black waterfalls danced to its melody.

I would have made sure you thought of me every day without fail, the same way that not thinking of you each day felt like a bad day.

I would have made sure you understood that such selfless, aching love only came once in a lifetime, to make you more courageous to follow the tune of your beating heart.

I would have made sure that you cried when I had gone to the army, that you sent letters – a short remedy, and a reminder that you hadn’t forgotten me.

I would have made sure that the next time I saw you, would be as I, with you boldly held in my arms.

I would have made sure that I hadn’t die in a war when I had much more I wanted to say to you, to scream at you, to show you as Keith Douglas.

Don’t say that I am full of regret, because I am not.

It would be easier to forget you entirely,

But I guess I can’t.

My love for you runs deeper than just a lifetime, and I can’t

Say goodbye until I have achieved what I truly believe is

Worth living for.

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An Endless Love For The Sky

I look up at you, while you look down at me.
We’re so far, yet so near.
We stretch across so many countries,
You could say our love is worldwide.

The only problem is that,
We can’t meet in between.
I have too many buildings and roots to hold
While you have clouds and stars which you can’t leave.

Every two days, you send evidence of your misery for
Not being down with me.
Sometimes, when you hurt too much, areas get flooded.
Deep down, I know they are attempts to wash away
The duties I have,
Attempts which deep down you know never will.

Every day when you wake up, you have that golden glow
In your eyes- it’s love at first sight.
For me, it’s love at first light.

When you’re tired and decide to close your eyes,
I still stare at you.
I’m not lying when I say you look wonderful in your
Sleep, almost picture perfect like the night sky you are.

Baby, I hope this love of ours never dies.
It’s known to be sacrificial, yet beneficial.
After all, we hold the World as one.
Now, no matter what,
I wish you always keep that twinkle in your eyes.

It’s what keeps me going.

LONG LOST DREAM

It’s almost as if a peach seed
is growing in my heart
for reasons
I’m not sure of.

Is it possible to know what
you are living for with such
gusto and all of a sudden, not be sure
of what you are doing anymore?

The way the sky looks down at me
seems so ordinary
and the way the wind collides with
my hair feels like a long lost dream.

Everything feels like a long lost dream.
The way my chest refuses to move
to the rhythm it has been taught.
The way my blood pumps to the
beat of resistance.
Everything is a long lost dream.

And now, it seems, I have to sleep, to retrieve them.

27/11/14

Falling Leaves

It’s Summer, and I’m once again walking down this old street
without you this time.

You said this place brought you
warmth and hope
whenever things were going bad.

I come here when I miss you.

You wouldn’t care whoever was around and talked to the trees,
you said you understood how they felt and would comfort them.

You enjoyed coming here the most when it was summer,
you would run towards the pile of leaves and jump on them,
the sound of the leaves made your smile so wide.

I stand here today, looking back,
regretting everything I have done that you would have hated.
I look at the trees and ask them since a long time
‘where did my childhood go?’