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Leslie Musoko Author

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Friday, 29 October 2010

In sickness and in health till death do us part...

She is scared of what he shall do when what belongs to him is taken away. She is scared of the lengths he would go to when recovering what he thinks he has lost. He says his world is a dark bridge in the distance blending street lamps, a deserted gas station and then border control. He says he feels people, languages, street names, wreckage, feverish, a stiff-arm, then food, why food? Sometimes he complains of feeling shapeless, frustrated, no pain, insane, nauseated, bloated. He says he treks to the nearest stall, counting the trees, the passersby, staring at the birds in the skies, searching through the clouds, crossing the road and yet there is no joy.
He is puzzled of her actions because they are never in line with what she said she would do. He has tried to put himself in her shoes but each time falls short of what she is thinking. She says her world is like revolving doors, the timing must be perfect, you must wait your turn, a window may close but a door would open, the color red or is it burgundy, high stools, paper clippings, topsy-turvy, chocolate, why chocolate? Every time he knocks at her door he is thinking of curtains, green curtains, on a white wall, what’s going on?
She says, he says, been going on now for several days, years, centuries and still no one could tell who was coming or going until they met the stone by the sea. He said what he had to say to the stone. Then she had her go.
Here’s what the stone had to say,
‘I have been by the sea for many years. At first I thought it was my punishment. It used to be so cold that when the water washed against me I shivered internally and thought the end was near. Then the heat came and I realized I couldn’t do without this water. Now I have cold days and hot days, I’m not complaining.’
They thought about it for a while and decided to talk to the sea. This time she said her story and then it was his turn.
Here’s what the sea had to say,
‘I have traveled over many lands across the earth, I feed many, I am the home to many and carry many from place to place. I visit this stone every day whether it is in winter or summer. This is my duty and even if this stone is not here I would still be here. I’m not complaining.’
Sunday, 24 October 2010

I heard you were coming...

When I heard the sirens I looked in my driving mirror to see what was happening. They were the sirens of a fire engine hustling its way through traffic to another emergency and I watched as the cars behind me began to move aside to let it through. Some climbed the central reservation and other inexperienced drivers struggled to decide what to do. I saw a gap in the road like a lay by and I and a few other cars in front of me pulled into it to let the fire truck through. It went past us screaming like a bat out of hell racing to its destination and we all tried to rejoin the main stream of traffic without losing our places in the queue. I settled again into the rhythm of the music I was listening to letting my mind slip back into the coolness of the evening. The days had become longer allowing the night to descend upon us much later and I found it relaxing cruising through the quiet streets of the town on a Sunday. These were precious moments and the incident earlier was not going to spoil it for me. I saw it in my rear mirrors but took no note of it for there were plenty of them that drove through town on many days of the week.
As I cruised behind the stagnant traffic that was waiting to turn right on to Whitehall heading for Trafalgar Square the bus pulled alongside me headed in the opposite direction. I happened to take a proper glance at it for the first time taking in its size and wondering whether it was something I would ever contemplate doing. This bus was different as its windows where not darkened to hide the passengers and I noticed for the first time that it had a lot of children in it. Suddenly I saw a little boy look directly at me and wave. He seemed to know me from some where and although I was amazed at his gesture I waved back. He carried on looking at me until the bus turned the corner and disappeared from my sight. I carried on driving without giving any thought to what had happened but I noticed the warmth that had overcome me. In a way time flew faster than normal and again I was home after another relaxing visit to town.
When the night descended upon the day and I lay in bed waiting for sleep to come I reflected upon my day and realized that the child waving his arm at me had been a miracle. To the human logic and reasoning it was just another child that hadn’t anything to do but wave at a stranger. If looked at things through the eyes of mankind it was nothing but just another day in life. Most people would say forget it and get a life; move on and prepare yourself for work to earn a living or spend time with friends. In the spiritual world one cannot let go of such things for how was I to know that it wasn’t a greeting from the Lord? How was one supposed to look at life if every time anything happened in it one used sarcasm to understand it?
The spiritual world is like a continuum, it is behind us, with us and in front of us. The continuum in the spiritual world takes patience, peace, and calmness of the mind and heart for us to notice that it exists around us. The key to deciphering a spiritual message is in our faith and belief in God. In the bible the kindness that this child showed to me may have been written as spiritual kindness depicted in a town such as Bethlehem for the sake of those people who where present then. It may have been written then such that whoever read the bible before our time could understand the power of the Lord. The word of the Lord is spiritual and should be looked upon in the spiritual sense and not in our logical point of view. This is why we miss so much in life because we are too busy searching for that which is obvious to notice that which isn’t. If what I have described earlier on happened to someone famous on his way to Damascus or one of the other ancient cities mentioned in the bible man would immediately jump to the conclusion that it was a sign from the Lord that we should all do something special. How ever today I relate an event in my life that happened in a city that was never mentioned in the bible to a person that no one has heard of and man would say tomorrow that this has nothing to do with the word of the Lord. How can we really tell what has to do with the Lord if we cannot even see what is before us?
Friday, 22 October 2010

True yoke fellow...

My hands are tied on this one, so I shall call it what it is. Shaking your head in disgust, no too harsh, disappointment now that’s subtle. You lived for this moment, you went through the motions, preparations, trudging through mud, protruding veins, darn the world, darn those who say you can’t make it. You’re the animal, the beast, the spine that bridges the hopeless backbone and now this.
Taking that bath or shower in the morning, stepping into those shoes, those clothes then the mirror. Hairline intact, wrinkles within and invisible, still got it? Got to say though, chapstick may be needed for those lips, hair could use a comb, weather’s changing and then some. Singing, improvising, words make no sense, should they? Waltzing with a swagger, down the stairs, open front door let in autumn fragrance, gathering leaves, then postman. Flee from junk, a walk would be nice, got to avoid neighbors though, thoughts cannot be affected.
You’ re halfway there, now the real fun begins. You return from walk, open fridge, milk is off, something stinks! Doesn’t anyone change the food in this house! Not today you’ll avoid this, make a call be friendly forget life, its realities. You reach for the phone and it rings before your hand gets to it. Aha, the airlines, just what you needed annoying voice wanting to sell something, package deal. Check my bank account and tell me what you see! Still you are pleasant, politely decline, one thing’s come from this though, you don’t feel like talking anymore.
What haven’t you done, what’s outstanding? Is it time yet, it’s got to be! Turn on laptop. Things to old, way to slow, need a new one? Toshiba should have twin processors by now, the Intel Pentium, blah blah blah …Finally there we go, laptop’s on, still one thought, cradled, savored, endeared at the back of your mind. Okay this could be the day. You can’t be hasty, can’t rush things, must wait and be patient, browse. Oh dear, its mail, flee from junk, then news, who is alive or dead now? Then friends, reply later, very thoughtful of them, need to think of something, save this for another time.
Finally the moment has arrived, the one you have been waiting for, everything else flies out the window and it’s now or never. Log on, open site, pensive, I doubt that, anxious now that’ll be telling. Screen opens and wham! Nothing, it is all the same and no change. Feeling sick, impossible, more like fury, not to worry your day will come soon. The thing to remember here is, don’t let it cloud your judgment, it is a roll of the dice and this thing comes in turns. I entreat thee true yoke fellow your hard work won’t go in vain. Your time would come soon for some one up there knows about it…
Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Benchmark...

I am stranded as they watch me, know I’m here, know it is my turn but can’t tell what I’ll do. It is an old classroom, maybe new to me but others have scathed these walls, their palms leaving indentations the size of potholes on these benches. My heart is racing, feeling my purpose like that of a greyhound chasing the debts of an anxious gambler. Why would anyone care if I leave a mark or not, what difference does it make?
Haven’t we all walked into a bug on that forgotten highway and seen the remnants of past voyagers? Names, messages and emblems of their sanity and insanity carved on the walls symbolizing that they had been there, existence. Was I meant to be a part of this or am I the traveler that only seeks his destination. Who sees what I see when I stare at the miniature object that strides between two points without a defining purpose in a vast universe? Real symbols come in trees, laden with roots that go back to ones desire to sow the seed. I scream charity, I scream love, I scream other things and sometimes fear, you name them and I’m howling like a banshee but where is truth? Isn’t the seed for the fruit, the branch for the stem and the stem for the leaves in that order or reverse? So why ridicule graffiti, dark shadows in forgotten undergrounds, subways when that of the heart sings volumes of discontent. We pilfer the truth from ourselves without the knowledge that every action is noted, every reaction a tick in the box. However none of these matter unless the heart is part of the equation, the spirit the solution. Without these our trees are tainted, covered in mildew and we are the ergot at breakfast.
Many years later groomed to new heights and back in that classroom, reminiscing and now ancient in thought. The orotund is deafening, it is not being invited to the party that hinders progress it is a dress sense that’s handicapped and lacking. Change this and perigee, touching soil and feeling real. If I hold true to the word I would not labor or run in vain. Now I know that it is my turn to leave a benchmark because like those gone before me I won’t know what purpose it serves until I do.
Sunday, 17 October 2010

Pins and needles...

Hoping for an interruption yet there’s nothing back at me from the bland wall. Time elapses, blood is drained from the parts that matter, stiff legged, cramp or is it my neck? Doubt, an unhealthy recipe, must be avoided at all costs. Waiting, locked in this rostrum, my stage, my appearance, anxiety, nerves. Can’t shout, can’t scream, falling backward, deeper, slowly coiled into a ball. I am in a room, no a cupboard. Music, ah my savior, not mad, not insane. This is real, standing before the mirror.
Suddenly head thrown backward and smashed violently through the mirror. No pain, no skull cracking. It is a passage, a doorway, through walls. My destination, I have arrived. Another room filled with water, fishes of many different colors, swimming with me. We are in synchrony, no it’s rhythm, music the chimes never departed. A door opens, my eyes follow the new arrival, it is a large cat, large yellow eyes shooting balls of fire. Time to run, I move, no glide to the next exit, door opens, another large cat appears, this time it’s fangs glistening. Inner shudder and wake up soaked.
I am breathless, try standing and collapse in a heap. Legs can’t hold me. What was that? What happened?
Two years later I go to visit a friend, he has moved into his new home and invites me into his garden. He leads me to the center and within it is a fishpond the size of four baths. There are fishes of many colors swimming in it. I am intrigued but hold my tongue. I have seen this before I think, but where are the cats? I return home thoughtful. I crab a bite and turn on the box. I am flicking through the channels waiting for this moment to pass. Then I am watching a favorite program, it is wild life, safari in Africa. The hunters are the female lions they charge on the wilder beast and kill without mercy to feed the pride.
Déjà vu, the present is my past, the third window is opened and I have been invited to the future. This thing about visions and dreams are a mystery to me but a pleasant journey.
Monday, 11 October 2010

We run in different circles...

We are cities apart, separated by time and parallels, which means we may never touch. Your yellow is my blue. You are the coryphée who steps on the waters that flow from my faucets. When you draw the blinds away from your heart, it is letting in the radiance of the sunlight we both share. I have watched you for countless days and hours and seen the torture you succumb to without me. In your world I am the name that is never mentioned and if mentioned it is in secret and in shame before others. I have seen you smile when you wish to cry instead. I have seen you laugh when others see tears in your eyes.
I imagine and sit in wonder when you hold others close. I am in hope for the day you will know I exist. Why can’t you feel me in you as you do for others? Where do you go to when it is not I you seek? Tell me why my love for you is not enough to keep us together? Tell me why those times we shared together can’t be again? I am the child that needs you as a mother. I am the parent that reaches out to its vagrant son. I am the wind, the cool breeze you felt when you let down the window. I am powerless to hound you as I did in the past. I am weary to become the stranger in your closet. You are the darling that won’t remember her beloved one and I am the name you erased from your crystal box.
I will bring our story to a close shortly. My darling you are the moon in my solar system. Don’t you know your light can only reflect mine? Others would seek to understand how we began but can’t. Others would cheer at my love for you and yours for me in jealousy. Still it won’t make that much of a difference. You will read this and know it’s me but still believe we run in different circles. I will leave you with one message, something you must always remember, I am the one that loves you more than anyone else so come back to me and all will be forgotten…
Friday, 8 October 2010

Let bygones be bygones...

What purpose does a man serve when he thrashes his life in regret as time overwhelms his aching bones? I can ask this question to myself over and over again with the realization that nothing will ever change for the better unless I am willing to let go of the shackles that restrain my flight into the beckoning future. A new tomorrow cannot be visible if an aging past still haunts me.
I sat in the darkness waiting like a leopard for my moment to come. It had been almost two months since I had last heard from him and he was now behind in his rent by three months. Where was the law that man had made to protect me from this type of tenant? No one could see the pain and frustration he had caused in my life. Yet by the law it was stated that a landlord had to give his tenant one month’s notice before filing a case with the courts to evict the tenant. After which it was a toss of the coin. No one knew what the outcome would be, all the tenant had to do then was pay the outstanding rent and then the landlord was back to where he started filing in a new procedure to evict the tenant on different grounds.
The street was quiet as he approached the door. I watched him rummage in his pockets for the house keys, waiting patiently in anticipation for the surprise I had prepared for him to unfold. The keys did not fit and there was darkness and anger in his eyes as he realized what I had done. He walked away from the door determinedly like a man possessed by the demon and climbed back into his car. I saw him dislodge a cell phone from his pocket and dial my number.
‘What have you done?’ He asked agitatedly.
‘Only what I needed to do for a long time,’ I said.
‘Do you know that this is illegal and I can take you to court for this?’ he asked.
‘So is not paying your rent for three months,’ I responded unperturbed.
‘So how do you expect me to get my things?’ he continued. The effrontery of the man was such that, he believed after avoiding me for two months he assumed he could waltz back into my apartment and live in peace while I struggled through many weeks paying the mortgage.
‘I am in the vicinity and this time we need to talk.’ I said coldly. My timing had been perfect for once for I had very little to loose. I had waited two days in each week of the last two months for him with no success. My phone calls and letters had gone astray as he avoided me. However finally I had resigned myself to waiting all evening if that was what it took. I could not file a case on a tenant that did not respond to mail. I could not go to court and charge a man that did not exist. I had to deal with this swiftly and in my own way because that was what it had come down to.
We entered the house in silence and I led him to the front room. I watched him settle in the sofa and I looked directly into his eyes like a hawk willing him to deny my query. He avoided my eyes but had plenty to say.
‘Sorry about the rent, my mother passed away and I had to travel.’ He said. How many times had I heard that excuse? I wondered. He must have thought he was the first tenant I had ever come across in my life! I listened in silence as he chaffed excuse after excuse and I knew I was in for a long evening. However I kept my nerve because I wanted it to end that night as there where no more excuses left for him. It had taken me a while to find him and now that I had I knew this was the last chance I would have of getting rid of him.
I watched him fidget for a while squirming in guilt and then he removed a few bankrolls and told me that he had a months rent available for me. He mentioned that he had got my messages but reiterated that prior engagements had prevented him from paying me sooner. I was unimpressed by the charade and watched him dig his grave even deeper. He mentioned to me how wonderful my apartment was and then had the audacity to let me know that he planned on having a party in the place. I listened calmly already decided upon what I was going to do.
‘You can keep the rent and consider it a present but what I would like is for you to leave the flat,’ I told him. I explained to him that we could go through the legal process but based on the fact that I was letting him off with two months rent then the least he could do was leave the place. I have to say this for him even though he had the fight in him to challenge my decision he relented as he told me that there was no point in prolonging our agreement. In the end we parted amicably even though I knew he still owed me the money.
Perhaps I had a bad stroke of luck with this tenant. However judging from my experience of past challenges I won’t say that I am not guilty of causing havoc in another person’s life at one time or another. I believe we all have the choice of dwelling in the shadows of life’s misdeeds or moving on in search for brighter days. On a roundtable of life we each have the time to make that decision up until the moment when the pointer makes it’s way again directly to us. It is the law of reckoning that we would have chance after chance to fulfill our wishes and desires in one form or another as long as we have made a decision for what we want. So why do we stall at every doorway seeking assurances and securities that have no qualified guarantees. No storms are of equal measures as one hurricane blows off a rooftop while another decapitates a landscape. We can’t prepare for all and our earnest endeavors should not overshadow this reality.
Tuesday, 5 October 2010

A walk to victory...

Sometimes I lie in bed listening to the morning sounds, the birds chirping away, the disgruntled lawnmower that smothers the grass and the distant radio station with subdued voices that I can barely make out. As I stare blandly at the riches that await me in the distance, I am reminded that what we do in life remains hidden to those to whom it wasn’t intended for. When victory comes it would be a glee without doubt and a peace beyond comprehension. It would be savoring the taste of success when I mount the last steps to claim my crown.
Before then I would have to listen to the echoes of footsteps in the deserted alley. This is the narrowest of pathways where I would lose sight of the radiant beauty of flowers spilling over garden shrubs. I would avoid strangers as I slave endless hours seeking to fulfill my desires. I would think up ideas, strategies and plans and oppose them with the forces of nature allowing myself to be eventually defeated unless I realize it is my imagination that defeats me and not my will. It is then that I would understand that my caviling to the obstacles I face is rarely fought on the battlefield but mainly from within. I would listen to the bellows over a vast landscape as cold sweat crawls down my back. In this maze of confusion I would tell myself to walk by faith and not by sight. I would go on my knees, bow my head and raise my hands to seek guidance. If I ask with doubt, lose my nerve and panic then I know it is doubt I would receive. I would suffocate in my frailty and crumple on the floor like broken china. In this garrison I would become a denizen without any knowledge of how I got there, who is holding me hostage and for how long.
Suddenly I would listen to the slow pounding of my heart as the agony engulfing me subsides and I escape this desultory illusion. I would follow the voice that calls in the distance telling me never to give up but ask again with conviction. I would look for a miracle, expect one and receive in turn. It is then that I would feel my engine replenished, my innards renewed and powered again by the light that shines within me. I would rise from my knees as tears of joy flow endlessly. It is then that I would smell the sweet scent of success and know I have done my walk to victory…
Saturday, 2 October 2010

Black Book

I haven’t seen mine in years. I suppose what it should contain are names and numbers and if one wasn’t asking for too much then addresses. That would be what it was meant for. Mine did and then some. Mine contains my first attempt at putting a dream on paper. Bizarre happenings to be more precise!
This is going back some time now. My first real job, I am a graduate fresh out of university. The secretary of our department approaches me. I think we like each other, she is a year younger than me and the work environment is still new to both of us. We have this way of communicating, sort of like fencing, her role is that of the vulnerable helpless female, mine the valiant knight to the rescue. This works for us until this one day that common sense departs from my shores and the results were, well let’s just say, here’s why my black book isn’t normal.
This time she tells me about her cat. She tells me it got old and died. I should know better, be thoughtful and have empathy, offer my condolences. Nope, not this time. I don’t think my feelings are hidden from my face when my response comes through implying that it’s just a cat so why the fuss. She takes it in her stride, unassuming and we talk about other things. I think nothing of it after all I did listen and spoke my mind. No one said there was anything wrong with being honest.
Nighttime comes and I am in a deep sleep dreaming, I am back as a child in my parents home and I am alone in this huge house. I feel myself being pulled and dragged in all directions. My adversaries are far stronger than me so I decide to escape. I run away from them sneak into one of the rooms where I think I would be safe until yonder. As I shut the door behind me what I see before me is this cat staring straight at me with yellow eyes that now shine in the dark. I open the door and run like a lunatic. I know a safe place somewhere out side that has stairs, very high stairs that no one can reach me. I mount them two at a time running for my dear life and at the top of these stairs is that cat again. As I turn to go down the stairs there are a pool of cats at the bottom all looking up at me. Suddenly I wake up in a sweat, breathless and worn out. As I lie in bed wondering why I would be dreaming of cats it suddenly occurs to me what had taken place during the day. I jump out of bed and search for a pen and paper. The first thing I see right there is none other than a black book that had been abandoned for years. I start scribbling, I don’t want to forget this moment.
The next day I can’t wait for her to show. I rush to her with my story, demanding to know more about her cat. She shows me its picture, giggles and laughs at me after reading my dream. Then she is sympathetic but the words she utters are,
‘Serves you right!’
Well, I think I learned my lesson. Today I keep that black book hidden somewhere within to keep me in line when I forget myself...

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Leslie Musoko
Leslie Musoko is the author of the novels Divinity Dawns and ELI and an award winning Ezine Author Expert with over three hundred articles published worldwide on spirituality, self-help and relationships. His television debut came in 2007 as a speaker/panelist on CSPAN television in New York on the show ‘writing from an international perspective’.However before fulfilling his dream of becoming a writer he simultaneously attained success in the Telecommunications Industry over a 17 year career span rising to the position of Head of Optics for Thrupoint in Saudi Arabia in 2007. Prior to this he held various senior positions, Product Manager, Huawei, UK and Consulting Systems Engineer, Cisco Systems in Dallas just to name a few. He was awarded the Nortel Prize award in 1999 for excellent project delivery and holds a BEng(Hons) in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and an MSc (Diploma) in Computing for Commerce and Industry. Leslie Musoko has lived and worked across four continents including Asia, Africa, Europe and the US. www.lesliemusoko.com
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