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

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
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
the ruby-red lotus
nestled between the toes
mind’s eye focused on Kegel muscle
I breathe in
constrict inward
drop slowly
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,

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.

4 thoughts on “Exhaustion – Five Poems

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