Five Poems


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(photo credit Shubhang)

1.

duality
an illusion
the dark
sometimes
is the light
and the light
just its
shadow
and in between are
the stories
finished
and
unfinished

 

2.

the slats of the shutters
cut my shadow into strips
as you slammed that door on me
I stood there
on the sunlit sidewalk
my fragmented side

suddenly coherent

 

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3.

Last of the winter flowers
a carpet of crisp yellow leaves,
days filled with calls
of ravens, crows and sparrows,
Kites circling the clear skies
as squirrels scurry around
and dogs sleep in shades of
flaming Gulmohar, the Coral and Silk Cotton trees.
Soothing lavender blooms of Jacaranda,
and the glorious Amaltas (laburnum),
a blaze of yellow,with golden chandeliers hanging down.
Stark branches tipped with myriads of colors
like gigantic brushes
painting the heavens,
and it is not yet summer
in my city

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4.

A winterized spring
summer still waiting
at the threshold
Who has cast the spell
on the seasons?

If it was not for the
Autumn within me
there would be no poems.

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5.

night rain
just the quiet slithering
sound
the smell of
thunder
tree shadows burying
themselves in the deep dark
and a
neon moon
illuminating a puddle

Six Impromptu Poems


1. Ruins
Under the melancholy sky

drenched in blood,

the ecstasy of love and

the anguish of loneliness, bleed over

 the canyons of light and shadows

 rising from the huddled heaps of gray,

adding meaning to the mundane.

Dark narrow pathways, flights of stairs

 that led nowhere,

aging walls transfixed in pain, dimly alive,

with dusk settling in the cracks.

Looted, betrayed, traded.

 I lingered, unperceived

in the labyrinth of solitude

decayed by the weathering of time,

not knowing where to go,

where to go back to,

my weight of memories

heavier that those

orphaned blocks of stone.

The all-inclusive night,

like a great shadow,

descended on our mutual loneliness,

filling the gaps, the cracks,

filling the emptiness, the void,

painting everything in its own colour,

surpassing the idle details,

singing a requiem for the living.

 *****

2. Inception 

Mind a collage
of mismatched patterns,
a surreal universe
of fluidity and madness,
caught between the crossfire.
In the minds blur
one poem births another.

*******

3. Empty Is Full

The deserted corridors aren’t empty,
they are full of
whatever you imagine
them to be full of.

In the quietness of silence
between white and dark shadows
like an ancient dream lingers
a phantasm
waiting to be discovered.

 ********

4. Shadow Light 

I am a shadow in the dark
a seeker looking for light
to bring back my identity

 *******

5. Melancholia 

At the threshold of summer
I stand
still imprisoned in the melancholy
of winter
An invisible poem
locked in prose

******

6. Us

Today I opened the folder

that has a picture of you and me

from that day

In that  moment

It had all made sense

Now

that moment is over

The answer eludes me

the question is Why

*********

You and Me- Stones and Pebbles


Even the coldest stone warms up to you if you hold it in your hand for some time. Stones are memory portals. Be it a beach pebble, a mighty mountain or the one watching the world from the river bed. Each one alive, content and patiently waiting. Warm and enduring like love.You can always depend on stones. They are always there no matter what.

Some lives are like stones. So are some loves. Some others, like water. Restless, curious wanderers. Always off to someplace else. Disappearing quietly, unseen, unheard.

As I gaze at evening sky, my hands rested on ancient stones I imagine myself to be my gravestone, watching over my bones since hundreds of years. The river had changed its course many a times since then. The flesh rotten and gone. Only the bones had faithfully stayed and the stones.

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Deep shadows  rapidly began to  consume everything as the sky furiously bled on the bare breast of  the river. A cloud had caught fire and was slowly turning to ash. I watched till only its shadow remained in the sky and then that too merged with the deepening blue. I opened the palm and slowly dropped the stone into the river.  The calm surface of the water embraced it lovingly. I imagined it slowly embedding itself in the river bed. Finally at home.

They say the best stones are those which you gather yourself. It was under the same sun stabbed sky I had found mine almost  hidden among other bigger pebbles. Shimmering green against the light. A rare, unusual find. Legend says that you never keep the first stone you find so I offered it to you. A symbol of eternal love.

“Keep it safe. It is precious and will bind us to this place and to each other.” I had said placing it on your palm.

“A stone? We aren’t Penguins sweetheart.” You had laughed and placed it back in mine.

It was the last sunset we watched together.

You once said I have a heart of stone.

Yes, I do and it is a heart you should have trusted.

Exhaustion – Five Poems


Exhaustion 1


Mind a blank space
full yet empty
even the tiredness feels different
eyes undecided
open and slowly shut
I breathe in deep
exhale

In a pool of sunlight mom sits
bent over a folded newspaper
solving crossword
her plastered arm resting
on a cushion.
fingers tapping involuntarily
to some unheard melody
her silver head bright beyond compare
Age’s jewelled crown

she looks so much like her mother
my eyes softly close
an image begins to take shape
me
sitting on the chair
solving crossword
in a pool of sunlight
my child watching
(or maybe a grandchild
for I see a girl)

Doorbell rings
I cringe
I can do with some sleep

Exhaustion -2 

It has settled at the base of the spine
in the perineum – the root chakra-
‘muladhar ‘ in Sanskrit
the flowering of the womb
is also awaited
the sacred feminine reclaiming
Red- the vital life energy
I need an adequate grounding
I take my place
tune myself to the earth
legs crossed
eyes closed
tips of thumb and index finger
touching
the ruby-red lotus
nestled between the toes
mind’s eye focused on Kegel muscle
I breathe in
constrict inward
drop slowly
repeat
The energies flow
a deep, slow unfolding
rising through the light column
opening, cleansing
finding a balance
manifestation is an amazing shaman trick
and a woman, by nature a shaman
I release
let go
the afternoon sun
fills my room
I go in a trance
the silent chant reverberates deep into
my collective being
displacing the noise in the head
sleep takes over.

Exhaustion -3

Half enshrouded
a quarter moon –
a slice of pizza Margherita.
Stars, buttered popcorn.

In an empty park
wrapped in soundless dark
of an anaesthetic night

on a bench I lie.

Head nestled in the crook of left arm,
a half burnt cigarette loosely held
between two fingers of the right.

A dog hesitatingly approaches,
sniffs at mud coated shoes,
retreats.

They smell of death,
of hunger and thirst,
sweat and blood.

They smell of drudgery,
sleeplessness and pain,
and of never-ending toil.
My eyes gaze at an unfocused blur,
the wind rustles through the trees
shadows’ quivering whispers.

The cigarette drops,
turns to ash,
night gathers the leftovers
in its shroud,
somewhere the dog howls
a lullaby for the hungry.

Exhaustion -4

 Day after day she sets out to work

before dawn’s first light

and returns home

night after night

through the dusk

always with one thought –

whom to feed

and whom to keep hungry

that night.

A silent struggle

to feed the mouths,

for that’s all the family is to her.

She slaves for their lives,

her limbs perpetually exhausted

just like her dreams, her desires,

her grief and despair.

Bowed by the weight of duties

she leans against a tree and

gazes at the darkening plains,

limp and leaden eyed.

Tied to the vicious cycle of labour,

No, not labour – drudgery,

hopeless, endless, joyless.

She folds her hands,

seeks forgiveness

for a deed she’s resolved to do.

Silhouetted against the sky.

A shadow slowly fading,

Earth to earth

ashes to ashes

dust to dust.

Exhaustion -5 

The poet is a hungry spirit,

always at the peak of stimulation

and exhaustion,

from daybreak to nightfall to daybreak,

searching for equilibrium.