I stood at the gates of the gladiator arena.

You could hear the crowd roaring, their cheers deafening. The air was dry and sandy. 

The myths, the legends and stories were aplenty. The story of the warrior who upon stepping out of into the ring having his head chewed clean off. The story of the double-headed beast that breathes fire. The story of the prisoner that fought a legion of soldiers and stood tall on the mountain of dead bodies at dusk.

I wiped the sweat off my forehead and let out a sigh. They say the chemical reaction in your brain for both the feeling of nervousness and excitement is the same. I tried to calm my nerves by faking a half-smile, telling myself that this was mere excitement.

“Are you scared?” asked my fellow prison-mate standing next to me.
“Yes.” I replied.

“Well, then let’s be scared together.”


Reckless dancing

In my youth, I thought myself wise.
In my pride, I danced with folly.
I made gambles that were risky,
Of advices, I heeded none.

In my youth, I thought I knew,
The inner and outer workings of life.
I saw the world as my colouring book,
Thought myself too mature for it.

Step after step, I chased after air,
Running and jumping, but landing on my face.
Never once stopped to consider,
That maybe I haven't figured it out.

I was always chasing perfect moments of grandeur,
Never stopping to smell the roses along the way.
Little did I know that the journey,
The little fragments of moments in between make up the destination.

Now I will never relive those memories,
My hopes can't change reality.
The way they are played out in my head,
They are, but untouchable.

Now that I am older and slightly wiser,
This is my only resolve.
In every step I take till death,
That I think myself none the wiser.


His smile, wider than I remember it to be.
But I know. I read his diary.
The pain he's going through.
The loss he suffered.
The smile isn't real.
It's too perfect to be real.


I am tired. I stay awake at night, because I'm afraid of closing my eyes. I tell myself I'll be okay, but then every time I shut my eyes, the images just come back. They are burned into my eyelids. And I cannot unsee what I've seen.

Will I ever find rest or respite from this nightmare?
Maybe I'll just have to learn to sleep with my eyes open.
Resentment I see, maybe subconscious.
Maybe it's conscious, but I just try to deny it.

Maybe I'm just not ready to let it go.


Let go

Holding on to nothing,
It's time to let go.
What you think that was, isn't.
What you wish there is, a mere illusion.
It's time to let go.

The past you created did not exist,
The happiness you wish for has long vanished.
The desperate attempts are merely empty clutches,
Can man really clench wind in their fist?

I wish you bluebirds in the spring,
To give your heart a song to sing,
I wish you health, and more than wealth,
I wish you would go, and never look back.


Behind the door.

I heard a voice the other day,
Coming through the wall.
I heard the voice say,
It's over, no more.

I tried to stand waiting,
With your picture in my hand.
I try to be the man waiting,
The man that can't be moved.

No, light a fire and watch it burn,
Let the bridges turn to ash.
I will walk away and not return.
Strangers, again.


My own pit

I too would like it if I perceived it wrong.
This sort of appearance is unlike you.
My pride and humility,
Constantly at conflict.

What is this charade of civility we play at?
Only to be destroyed brutally by the truth.
You are not wrong,
But my pride will not allow it.

I am my own pit man,
And it's time I let myself out.
My bitterness will hold me in forever.

Be free, be free.
The past is gone, so stop holding on.
To the irrational, to the despicable,
Let go, let go.


Haunted we are, by the shadows of our past.
Darkening our future, changing our paths.
Tinted is everything I see around me,
Haunted I am, by the shadows of my past.

Haunted we are, by the shadows of our past.
Growing ever so long, under the light of the beginning.
Can we ever outrun this shadow, that our future may be free,
Nay, I say, haunted we are still.

Scarred we are, by the memories of our past.
Some of which, we know not of.
Yet these are which, that will dictate our future.
Scarred we are, by the day of yore.

Repeat we will, if we learn not from the past,
Ah yes, that's what they said.
Yet here we are, fumbling without knowing,
Repeat we still do, repeat yet again.

How far will the shadows grow?
How much can we outrun our past?
Or are we shackled,
predestined to walk forever in the shadows of our past?


The Critic

“That is just plain ugly.”

“Can’t you see the lines? It’s amazing. Simplicity at its best.”

“You’re kidding aren’t you? That is just crap. A kid could do better than this. Just because this is in a gallery of masterpieces doesn’t mean it all has to be good. I wonder who’s in charge of this gallery, because this is just crap, and doesn’t deserve to be alongside the greats. I should speak to the owner, and see if he knows anything about art.”

“You two must be from out of town. Yes, this is not very good art. But this was painted by the owner’s son, who died from leukaemia at just three years of age. And to the owner, this one drawing is worth more to him than all the other pieces in this gallery.”