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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Emotional Leech

As the rays of the sun beamed brightly down,
All life stirred; a new beginning.
A new addition to the great rat race.
An unlikely entrant; a leech, a disgrace.

Despicable and despised, he opened his eyes,
Full of wonder; awe-struck stupor.
Little did he know what lay in store.
And no. This isn't the stuff of legend or lore.

While in his childhood, he quickly learned
To read and draw; to cry and crawl.
For a troublesome lad, though he was,
He was loved by all...just because.

"Oh he's so nice," parents' friends would clamour.
And they would smile; their three-ringed circus.
But then things changed in the life of our leech.
His world crashed down on a cold stony beach.

He was just like the others, he liked to play
And run; to be a child, live, learn and have fun.
But he needed to love and to be loved, this leech.
How innocence is lost with a most halting screech.

He had aged a few years, though still an infant,
And his family was normal; at least on the surface.
But nights were long, drawn out battles, that kept him awake.
And he didn't know what to say, why and for whose sake.

But involved was what he was, with this concept of family
A most tiring example; a joke befitting ridicule.
Until his fate was decided, on an oddly silent morning.
"You're going away son" was his only warning.

Still he didn't understand what was really afoot,
Because it was time-off; before being sent-off.
But our naive little leech followed willingly to his demise.
"This is my family. So why would they do for me otherwise?"

His love had failed him, as had his nascent wisdom.
Confused and lost in the maze of his mind,
Our little leech weeped, bitterly, and with conviction.
But this life was his fate, of which he was a victim.

And so it went, for years and years,
The search for love, or maybe just a pitiful glance.
But hollow this love, that is truly sought after,
Like the last drop of blood from a rotting carcass.

In time he had decided that compassion was a myth.
Sure, he had found God, but they had never really met.
So, true to his nature, he stalked his prey,
And latched on for dear life, if any warmth they displayed.

He had to continue; there was only the way ahead.
But this love he had discovered, had him greatly misled.
For simply 'latching on' was the emptiest of empties,
Yet he had nothing to give, simply what could have or was meant to be.

But having to make something of his own life,
Our leech moved ponds; he went to the other side.
Things were different, and though he hadn't changed,
The world around him was somehow refreshingly strange.

And it was here that he met, a most intriguing fellow;
A wise man, a shaman, yet a little familiar, somehow.
For the harder he looked, the more sure our leech was
That he'd seen this man before...just because.

...Because he seemed to be, if nothing else,
An aged version of our leech. But what warmth!
An aura of the divine, and again he latched on,
But that was when he heard a deep voice drone...

Ah, my child. What brings you to me?
Speechless, breathless and dumbstruck!
And he picked up this leech, this parasite!
Ever so gently, with a touch, both soft and light.

I have awaited your arrival, oh, these past few years,
Said this stranger, seeming more and more familiar.
But now, the time has come, and I will soon go,
Not before I've told you why our meeting had to be so.

We're the same you and I, although our purpose was different.
For I could have been a king or a peasant; a man or a god.
I had the power to create, but I chose to destroy and to kill.
And this is who I became, a victim of machination, and ill-will.


But I was like anyone else. I had dreams and ambitions.
I had a family, relatives, friends and foes. But love?
No. That I never ever found. Without or within.
So I wandered, holding on and letting go at random.


And with my last ounce of strength, I finally knew.
But I had to wait, wait specifically for you.
Because, you see little leech, it's not about what you look for and get,
But about all that you could give of yourself. This life is your debt.


So go on dear leech, drink to your heart's content,
For this is why you latched on for dear life.
We’re the same, you and I; victims of circumstance.
But here endeth my journey, and most willingly I die.

So as the rays of the sun heralded the new morn,
All life waited; a new premonition.
A fallen hero and an unknown soldier lay still, side by side.
And were it not so utterly beautiful, I too would have cried.


----------13JAN2006----------
The last two stanzas have been edited slightly. I had Asha, a colleague of mine, and a published poet herself, look over this one and make a couple of suggestions. I'm going to post the changes here at the end. Let me know what you guys think. And thanks for everything Asha. "Ladies and Gentlemen. Mrs. Asha Ramesh!"

BEFORE:

So go on dear, little leech, and drink to your heart's content,
For this is the drink that has eluded you. This is why you latched on.
Our lives have been singular, separated only by circumstance.
And now my time has come. Here's to meeting again, perchance.

So as the rays of the sun heralded the new morn,
All life waited; a new premonition.
A fallen hero, and a worthy pupil lay still, side by side.
And were it not so utterly beautiful, I too would have cried.

AFTER:

So go on dear leech, drink to your heart's content,
For this is why you latched on for dear life.
We’re the same, you and I; victims of circumstance.
But here endeth my journey, and most willingly I die.

So as the rays of the sun heralded the new morn,
All life waited; a new premonition.
A fallen hero and an unknown soldier lay still, side by side.
And were it not so utterly beautiful, I too would have cried.
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