Saturday, October 22, 2011

Wasteland II (with apologies to TS Eliot)

Wasteland II
(with apologies to TS Eliot)
by Azly Rahman

                       I
...
I woke up with the sound of boots
marching outside my window
British soldiers! British soldiers! They are here!
I screamed in my dream
I was a child worried my Union Jack flag on my kite is not ready yet
to be flown in the fields of dream
where my grandfather secretly brought me to
I love to sketch the grandeur of Stamford Raffles as he majestically stood
over the place I was s born

I saw the red coated ones outside my window, giving flowers
and kissing the forehead of politicians in Malay hats ...
how sweet are the saviours I screamed in my dream

In one ear Bach's Air on G-String played
In another I hear the ripping of Hendrix's Star Spangled banner
"... give me your hands, your minds, your souls ... tired masses ..."
as i hear Stamford Raffles plead ...
"give me your land, your love .. "
i shall give give your "life liberty and help you pursue
my happiness ..."
Ah ... sweet are those words I heard in between my dreams
and the reality I am yet to see.

I was child not yet born
That hears these monumentalism
of conversations of history
between army boots and Malay headgears
with the word: " a suicidal nation will be sweet"
written in jawi script, borrowed from a land far far away
... as we become postscripts of yet another Grand Narrative
of a the boy with a kite flying Union Jack

born he was not yet as he navigated and directed the wind
smiling he was as the kite yearns to be free
like the teeming masses on the shores of Lazarus

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