To hold the breeze in the palm of your hand…

The usual flowery phrases and sensory overload elude my grasp. Water through the evil little gaps in a basket, like trying to hold the breeze in the palm of my hand. Have you ever tried to balance day dreams on the tip of your nose? It is as easy as sewing a coat with cobweb thread, or keeping the taste of tomorrow’s sweetness on your tongue for longer than it takes for you to wake from your dreams. My hands search the ground for straws to clutch, but instead I end up dragging jagged fingernails through the dust, looking for…what? A keepsake, a snippet of laughter bouncing gleefully off the sagging walls of my mind, reviving- if only momentarily- an abandoned wreck in need of repairs. Or demolition? The familiar yarn I spin spirals slowly into a useless heap at my feet. Journeying to the other side of the horizon in a leaky canoe, like trying to describe the color of bougainvillea’s scent. Have you ever tried to hold the breeze in the palm of your hand? I caught it once, but when I tried to run with it- worry the leaves, whistle through open windows, lift up scarves and moods and possibilities- the level of freedom in my spirit was found wanting.

Currently Seeking Clarity

My mind feels congested, like my thoughts are swimming through toxic sludge, getting weaker and weaker as they struggle to reach the muddy shore, not only from their aching muscles but also from the poison that surrounds them with every futile push forward. Ideas are floating around, really good ones at that, but I can’t quite pick any of them out of the murky mind storm that’s brewing. It’s almost like having your head packed with cotton, with white noise playing in your ears and blinds pulled over your mind’s eye. I wish I had a way to conjure up more pleasant images, but hopefully you’ll see just how uncomfortable this state of mind as it is described exactly how I’m experiencing it at the moment…

Clarity loading 1%…

Support System

I’m supposed to be the white picket fence so you can be the chain gate with gaping holes in several places; rusty wire cutters lying on the ground next to battered sneakers, used-to-be-white once upon a time. How can your branches thrust themselves further into the sky, somewhere amongst the clouds, if the trunk that is my listening ear and open arms is rotting from the inside out? These hands are supposed to ease the tension clinging to your temples, and to dissolve your fears in a big pot of  jollof rice, or whatever you want to eat today. Let me know and I’ll make it for you, no problem. But my fingers are a paralyzed mess, condemned to an eternal state of arthritic immobility, and failure, and inertia. Nerve endings spark and short circuit, and die.
Please let go, I’m exhausted from the constant mending and molding. Frail-
you might break something if you don’t 
 I wanted to be a getaway, the sound of water playfully lapping at your feet- come in and play, the water’s nice and warm. I was going to be white sand nibbling at the soles of your feet; the smell of rain clinging to the ever-present red earth; blood orange juice dripping down your chin; the long-awaited embrace at the end of an airport terminal. But the water just turned into lava, the kind of terrible lake in which those who heaven shuns will be doomed to bathe for the rest of forever. The sand burnt your flesh raw and the oranges were crawling with maggots. You recoil into your cracked shell (a little or a lot worse for wear) and look at me with hurt brimming over in your eyes, what happened?
Please don’t touch, it’s not safe, I can’t promise that you won’t get burnt. I warned you. 
I offered you sunflowers and warm sunlight washing over your legs, as the grass tickled your back. Or maybe it was an ant? But ants can leave vicious bites, and I’m sorry I didn’t know these flowers had thorns, evil barbed ones puncturing your finger tips until they bled incessantly. My light turned into a naked fluorescent bulb shining directly into your feeble eyes, a naked bulb in an interrogation room, the blinding flash before everything goes black.
I would’ve loved to be your support system but *buzz buzz radio static* we regret to inform you that factory flaws and operator error have led to widespread malfunctioning within the system’s parts. This plant is henceforth shut down until further notice; you will have to find another way to satisfy your needs. We advise that you exercise caution when consuming products manufactured here.
Consume at your own peril.
Be consumed at your own peril.
Be consumed.
I warned you. 

Hunting Game

Neither eloquent poetry, nor well-constructed lines of prose are enough to convey the impact of your actions. In fact, your corruption isn’t worthy of being immortalized through these noble art forms. Instead, here are a few directives you might want to take into consideration; the public is aware that a thorough stakeout…I meant investigation, takes time. In the meantime, should we spill some blood in an ancestral ritual to ensure that the dead are sent to a less tumultuous place? Or sprinkle it over everything; letting it settle on the reports and evaluations and statements, signed and banished to the dark recesses of a municipal building basement? Are we expected to watch in silence as it seeps into the scorching tar where it fell, stewing like the remnants of slaughtered prey, evidence of another successful day on the prowl?

You earned your fatigues, your hunter’s honor; you were certain this was your calling. Maybe you grew up with a broad-shouldered father, whose presence filled an entire room. The top of his head seemed to brush the ceiling, and his metal adornments reflected the light in a way you had only seen stars shine. Or maybe you sat wide-eyed in front of the television every Saturday morning as your favorite heroes emptied the streets of all that was vile, all the monsters that hid under your bed at night and the gnarled hands in shadowy hiding places snatching innocent souls. It’s possible that you spent your early years escaping these shadows and vowed never to lose yourself in them.

Somewhere along the way, your straight and narrow path turned into a dark alleyway stinking of smoke and retribution. You lost your purpose; the meaning of “doing your job” was hidden deep in the maze of morality, obscured by rows and rows of red tape. You became another obedient cog in a machine whose furnace is only satisfied with the ashes of the hopes and dreams of a people; their rights and dignity are logs for the eternally raging flame. You flashed, and shot, and slammed, and cuffed. After all, that’s the only language these people understand.

Perhaps you are just trying your best. You titter nervously beside the water cooler as your colleagues spit insults and crude humor, just so you don’t seem like a judgmental spoilsport. But you’re an okay kind of guy, you really are. After all, you grew up with friends that represented at least a fraction of the rainbow spectrum. We’re all people, aren’t we? The amount of melanin they were blessed (or cursed) with doesn’t change the way you view them. Or maybe you’ve studied the machine’s manual meticulously. You make sure to project your voice, but not too much; you starch your shirt and give firm handshakes. You color within the lines, most importantly, you always stay on the sidewalk. There’s nothing wrong with this, I have no right to judge you. You can’t go out there and look crazy in front of people! You are, and forever will be, an ambassador for everyone who shares the minutest percentage of your ancestry. That is absolutely unfair, and of course it’s not your fault if the others won’t pull up and shape up.

So when is the next expedition scheduled to take place? Or is it underway right now? Should we take cover? I suppose we must rid ourselves of the audacity to merely exist anywhere in the vicinity of your playground, I’m sorry, game reserve. Remain calm, hold onto rationality- to talk about calm at a time when rage is striking the ground like thunder thrown from heaven? To point out that remaining calm is easier said than done is a tired understatement. Let us wash the streets, scrub them with the tears of all the mothers left standing with empty hands, with the nectar of the futures that were stunted before they even thought about blooming. Unfortunately this isn’t strong enough to wash the residue and hate off your hands. Perhaps we can form a committee and convene a meeting to probe further into the question of fixing this putrid system which authorized you to aim and fire in the first place.