1. Fairy Tales
i am an atheist

she tells me of her conversion
story with a guru
who leads her inside a room
sat crossed legged
recited mantras 
he places her hand on his genitals

he recites his mantras again 
arms flare
beads of sweat pour down his face 
onto his long robe
he places her hand on his genitals again
this time
he no longer carries male genitals 
but female genitals instead
he wants her to believe 
in spirit.

                                                                             Fairy tales.

A Vietnamese woman retells her refugee 
story on a boat
escaping to Hong Kong
she cannot swim
the storm brews heavily.
certain she will die
She prays to Guan Yin
Goddess of Compassion
with a thousand arms
hears all cries.
dawn breaks
finding herself alive
ocean water calm. 
Her boatmate, an atheist,
sighted Guan Yin lift their boat 
with her hands 
while others slept.

                                                                             Fairy tales.

whether you are ready for the messages 
or not
Spirit has patience 
to repeat the lesson for you 
                                                                six hundred lifetimes

until you are ready for magic. 

2. Breath
you suddenly diagnose yourself 
as a foreigner
residing in human form
with surges of invisible force 
waves of chaotic thoughts
intruding through pores of every cellular membrane
deactivating their nucleus 
and devouring its only powerhouse, 
the mitochondria.

you wrestle to whisper
i don't want to die.
and struggle to recall that one word 
to anchor you back to reality.

                                              3. Attempts to Reach the Astral
i dream of travelling 
faster than the speed of light 
to enter a parallel universe

where hypernovas shine 
thirty times brighter
than supernovas

yet their blackness
generated from their collapse 
that must also be thirty times darker
cannot reach me
in the golden bubble
i sit.

a place where i can watch SN 1998bw 
collapse into a black hole 
forming a massive disk.
a mere spectacle from afar...

what began as an enormous helium star spinning 
before deciding its own gravity too heavy to sustain 
and collapsing into itself.

the memories that sting 
the memories that create collapses 
the memories that create black holes
are merely collapsing stars
turning into blackness.

black holes carry us to other universes 

                                                  there is courage which lives inside
as my head spirals
i dream of vacation spots 
on nearby visible galaxy 

faint oval patch of light
at an angle of 15 degrees 
like puncturing skin 
with filiform needles
into sensitive acupoints 
inducing qi 
movement to heal nightmares. 

Andromeda galaxy,
with luminous elliptical-shaped nucleus
energy emission double that of our Milky Way. 
It is possible,
it need not be 2.36 million light years away
if we listen
as Guan Yin listens
to the thousand cries 
with compassion.

4. Cycles of Oracles
                                                                                  this is a test
how does one trust darkness 

                                                    how much do you trust yourself?

when one was promised light? 

How do you reach the top of the mountain 
when you're drowning in an ocean
the mountain no longer visible 
somehow you learn to fall in love with ocean water

                                                 Stockholm Syndrome can be cured

you swallow the fish
drink from fallen coconuts
play catch with arrogant iguanas
sleep on pearl white sand 
forget the mountaintop

yet images of burning bodies 
remain lodged in memory banks
                                            even if it's been over a thousand years
gurgling sounds of the drowning mother 
echo at night
                                                                          souls do not forget
                                                        pain memories from previous lives
cries of decapitated heads sit inside your breastbone 
screaming for reparation
                                                               how many more kau taus
                                                        before all karma can be absolved?
in case you become distracted enough
you will be provided with reminders 
of ancient wounds

                       do you still feel abandoned by the spirit you trust?

i stopped believing in miracles
how some cycles
turn into oracles

you suddenly remember hearing
a song from a play you once saw

now you'’ve gone too deep
forget your way home. 

but you remember the song.

it echoes 
at night 
in loops
in dreams.

love never left you, 
you left love.

Kate Cayley read this piece in manuscript, helping develop it for TOK.
View Rain Ida Chan’s author profile.

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