by Loga Narayanasamy
(Ipoh, Perak, West Malaysia)
IN MEMORY OF A MENTOR
He said I could move a mountain,
I could speak his mother tongue…
and many other tongues I wished.
He said I could stand on the shoulder of Himalayas
and claim the world at my will,
only if I had the sanity of a saint.
He said I could sail a vessel in Atlantic in spring,
if I tendered to the age of the sail
or sink it, if I steered the rudder towards the face of a berg.
He said I could defeat the boy next door,
not with a sword or a spear
but with my pen and paper.
He would struck my heart
with his sermon brimmed with wisdom…
brief yet crisp, light as snow flake yet intense as the vigilant Pacific
when I stood with my eyes drenched and my face crimsoned
for failing his honor.
He said I should slough the vaunts of my neighbors
or the A’s shimmering on their report cards,
or bow when my land is barren.
He said the world is a white sheet of paper…
And I could compose a history or a legacy, a chronicle or a psalm…
only if I had the wits and salience of a sage.
He said I should toil with a quest,
in a world filled with pest.
He said when I stood by my foes,
I should think twice about going to blows.
He said I could kill with kindness,
bearing a heart of a mendicant,
even if my veins protrude, my blood boils, my mind sinks in dismay.
I know for sure these are his declarations,
because I’m part of his DNA.
February 1, 2004
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