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Mark Rocha - Official

Etsy Sale!

So Etsy has turned 13, and I'm taking part in the festivities. Till the end of June, you can grab a copy of Fallen at 10% off - no special code required, and with international shipping. So no matter where you are in the world, you can get yourself or someone special a copy of my first anthology of poetry. Click here to go to my Etsy shop.

Babylon

Fortune finds itself surrounded by beggars
Cloaked in the shadow of guilt – 
Wretched bodies of men, thrown to the stones
On which this city was built.
Ashes to dust, your phoenix was slaughtered
By invalids covered in grease,
And through the streets and underground tunnels
You wait for the moaning to cease.

'Fallen' is on Etsy

'Fallen' is now available on Etsy - right there on the first page of poetry listings! No matter where you are in the world, you can now get a copy of 'Fallen' delivered to your doorstep. Click here to check out my Etsy shop. 

Empty

Now I lay me down to sleep,
But in my head, I howl and weep.
Tears, like the rain they fall;
Tears, bitter as the gall.
I try to hide the pain, but still
I am hurt against my will.
If I should die before I wake,
What good is there for me to take?
My heart is blacker than the night,
My heart is shattered by the light.
Only God can save my soul,
Only God can fill this hole.


Sometimes, you just feel empty inside ...

Storm

White light, bright sight, the thunder roars;
People run for cover as the rain pours.
A sign from heaven, absence of the sun;
The Lord is crying for the things I’ve done.
Dripping wet, soaked to the bone;
I come back drenched to an empty home.
Children asleep, silence is dead;
A quick shower then off to bed.
But sleep brings to mind visions of death;
Children crying while the ground is wet.
Awake with a fright, check the doors;
All is safe while the rain pours.


So it's raining outside. It has been for the past couple of days. The full works - thunder, lightning, everything. And it's been relentless. Just a constant barrage of lashing rains thanks to a cyclone that 'rained in' an early onset of the famous Goan monsoon. For many it's a welcome break from the heat that was all of last month, and the month before. But for me, it's depressing. Don't get me wrong; I don't dislike the rain. I'm just not overly fond of the gloom it brings. Everything is just thrown out of whack - mentally, the moment the rains set in. The energy around me changes; life becoming darker like the skies above me.
Think of it as a paper boat in an empty bath tub. It cannot and will not move. It will remain perfectly steady, balanced, and sure. There is nothing to disturb it while it stands there - going neither forward, nor backward. The status quo maintained, till the tap is opened. And as the water fills in, the boat comes alive, swept off the bath tub floor, and whisked in every direction. As the water gushes from the faucet, the turbid waves rock the fragile paper boat forward and backward till its original position is lost. It moves with the water - at times drawn to the source, and then pushed back to the opposite end. When the tap is finally turned off and the last few drops cause gentle ripples in the tub, the boat finally comes to a halt. It finds a new position in the bath tub to stand still - rather, float still. And the status quo returns. That boat to me is life. When my bath tub around me is rocked by the energy that the monsoon brings, everything in my mind is thrown into disarray. I'm thrown off balance as I navigate through darkness and negativity for the next few months. But when the rains finally stop and the waters of my mind finally run still, I look around me at the stillness, no longer where I was and I wonder; "have I moved forward, or backward?"

Doll

two buttons, on a face plastered white
hair down to the shoulders – dishevelled – nylon
moulded nose
molded chin
one ear missing
quietly seated on unused furniture.
like grandma's antique phonograph,
there is no music
save for the rain drops that make her dance.


I hate dolls, and clowns. I'm not particularly afraid of them, but I don't like them. Movies like IT and Annabelle haven't really helped either, however this dislike goes back to when I was really little. To be honest, I don't recall any untoward incident that got me on the turn, but I think I have zeroed in on one major source of discomfort - the fake smile.
If there's one thing that dolls and clowns have in common, it's the fake smile that has been plastered on - and it does not change. And if you think about it, that is scary on so many levels. Everyday we meet people who have fake smiles plastered on, and everybody wants those 'dolls' in their life because there's something so comforting about having them around. You can be open with them because their smile invites it. You take them with you wherever you go because they make you feel safe. But behind that smile, lies a nature that you may not see in the immediate future; because like paint, that smile will take time to fade. You won't realise it at first, but in time, the buttons will fall off, and the stitching will come undone; till finally you're able to see inside the ugly stuffing that nobody wants to reveal - yet there it is. Maybe you'll stuff it back inside, try to make it pretty again. Or maybe you'll move on to another doll, a prettier one, with an even bigger smile ...

This poem had started out being a look at the Janus-faced nature of dolls, however in the end, I figured - why kill the fun? I'll leave that to the clowns.

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