Simmon Tan


Towards A Distant Karma - Poem by Simmon Tan

Ages ago,
when we came out of the cosmic void,
we were lovers, do you remember?
As lovers of land, we made things grow:
You kept the accounts, I collected taxes.
The stars were so bright, those ancient nights,
it was beautiful.

How brave we were then - do you remember? -
who refused to unlove each other when we died;
holding hands on the deathbed,
every last sucking breath
was time taken away
from the relentless kissing.

And what do you know?
We came back again as lovers.
Back again, as climbers of rock,
we played out a new karma on the ropes
a thousand metres up the side of that sheer cliff.
Remember?

We shouldn't have done what we did that day, my eternal love.
The sky was such a perfect blue.
And hanging on that rope we should have meditated
and conserved our energy, and climbed;
Instead we f****d and slipped, and plunged
and smashed into a thousand pieces on the rocks below.

So, back again - never having learned the lesson -
you the teapot, me the tea; you the dolphin, me the sea;
me the condom, you the pill; Time, like a bulldozer on a hill.

There she sits.
There she stands.
There she pays the bill, tips the waiter.
There she’s going - there she goes.
There.
She's gone.

Stilleto heels, clicking on the hard pavement
under the cold grim light.

But no. We never listened.

Recycled souls, filled to the brim with past pain;
scars, like maggots in our brains we meet,
in the halo of the blue street light –
Me, bargaining hard, wanting to see the merchandise;
you, telling me to f**k off;
us, vaguely remembering each other from somewhere in the past:
perhaps a client, perhaps a friend,
or, perhaps, even a lover.

Yes Yes Yes
Come Come Come
Listen listen listen:

Tomorrow morning, when you look out the window
while I am still asleep,
the garden will be filled with tonight's dew.

Don't worry about it.
It’s just the world,
shedding another tear,
towards a distant karma.

(1990)


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Poem Submitted: Saturday, April 16, 2011



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