Sunday, March 2, 2008

Hope, Despair and Immortality – Joseph Duhlian


A flickering air
On a candle stand
A burnt out wax
A pilgrimage into the darkness
Searching for hope like treasure lost
Bending on the concrete pavement
Crawling into the mud of silence
I hit upon a wall
I broke my thoughts into pieces
Gathering them like wild berries
Into a basket of empty dreams

Blood stops. Coldness creeps
The heart turns stone
The sense flutters its heavy wings
Like a rusted propeller
Loneliness creeps in like an unwelcome
Guest destroying the passion
Left to die uncared for
How shall it all end?
The beginning of an endless flight
Wounded and weary
Flattened and useless like a
Cyclostyled waste black ink stain

Dawn breaks
Then the rains come
And mosquitoes too
Ants creep into every crack
Biting my nails I sit and stare
Entering my very door
Shutting out the joy within
After the rainbow shows
Noah’s flood flows into my senses
Shooting my soul up unto heaven
Like a ballpoint pen without ink
Just a roll on into the black space

Beneath the smiley dewdrops
Under the fruitless garden leaves
Lying down beside the yellow roots
Of a poison tree
My soul cried in agony
Without knowing why
I ask myself
Is this the place where I will pay the
Devil his due.
Searching for meaning
Frozen beneath the waves
And dug out in an empty pool
To be forever a sitting duck
Under the blistering sun.
But love will find a way
Even when the roses fade away
And the sparrow no longer sings
A thousand miles of a thousand cries
Into the abyss of time
Will lead me into the bosom of my beloved
The day that the river of sorrow dries
And the harvest of hope begins
And love forever blooms


Lately immortality has been on my mind
Triggered off I suspect by our mortality
Preserved in deep freeze
Unlocking the secrets of life and death
Imagining out lust for life

I suppose rightly, articiality of a kind
Our existence, a relative brevity
This sensual powerful breeze
Of unbridled desire in a midday heat I met
Sweetness inexhaustible suddenly sliced by a knife.

Is this life all there is
To be lived this way?
Leaving behind the dark spells of night
Into the eternal light of day
I could feel it any day.

Sorrows unexplainable
To my mind not at all
You are my reason and my existence
Clinging to illusions you may say
Accepting the inevitable
Our vulnerability
Ourselves a door unto eternity
With the One

Our divinity in the power of changing circumstances
Every moment an experience
Of joy in togetherness
Like sitting in a stationary train
Forever moving though everything passes by
Our confidence
Beyond time and distance.

With intensity and purpose
Everything becomes
Our advantage
You and I remain
Till eternity begins
Leaving behind doubt
Embracing trust full of opportunity
From good to better
And better to perfection
Crossing the bridge across forever.

This incomparable promise
A self-image of ourselves
Our human hunger
An honourable human soul
Implanted in us by divinity
Of all ages
And all cultures.
You and I will achieve
This imperishableness
Where hope, peace, faith and love abide.

This our mission
A glorious challenge
A dream come true
Spread all across the universe of my soul
Implanted in the DNA of my heart.

This unmovable forever going force
Rushing me like fresh living waters
Together we dream
Seeing and believing
An adventure in reality
Like a child deep in slumber
In our wholeness of experience
Our inner harmony.

In the gospel of forever
In our immortality
Rumbling through the street
Waving the flag high
Soaring above the clouds
Crossing the bubbling proof barriers
In ultimate security
You sit by me.

Leaving behind the termites and dry rot
Wooden beams of moral decay
We say goodbye to the cruel world

In this powerful and positive force
Crash landing into the
Aerodrome of faith
We travel
Like Tut, paint ourselves
A portrait
A cobra and vulture poised over our heads
We welcome all our visitors
Flooding our minds with
Health and happiness

Carrying in our hand
Memory and desire
Dynamiting ourselves into winners
We slip and stumble
Forever snapping at the handcuffs
Of poisonous negativity and dead ideas
But we survive the unpredictable twist of fate
Welcoming the future
Never letting go
Our immortality.

Joseph Duhlian teaches English in Mamit, Mizoram. He enjoys writing poetry, and is particularly interested in the works of the late Sylvia Plath. This poem was first published in the Mizoram College Teachers' Association magazine, 2003.


  1. How come i missed this piece? i like the images in the first two verses a lot.

  2. mesjay, I'm so glad someone finally sat up and took note of this poem. It does have a certain something in parts. I know Joseph will be delighted by your comment so on his behalf, I'd like to say thank you!

  3. Thanks for appreciating my poem.Actually they are two poems in one.I'm working on some more poems.....Hope to share them before the year ends.My latest poem is Sweetness from Heaven.It's a poem about how Death brings sweetness to our lives....