Rejected Poems


Two of my poems did not find a home in any online magazine. They were not considered “poems” but a jumble of words. Well, what can I say, most of my work is a jumble of words.  I’ve been away from blogging for more than one reason but thought of sharing them with you. Maybe one of you will be able to unscramble these words.

1.

Somewhere in the thick of the night between sleep and wakefulness I suddenly found myself furiously typing away on my mobile. It continued till I got exhausted and then I cut pasted it an email draft before turning the device off.  In the morning I read what my possessed fingers wrote, rearranged the words and decided it was a decent poem. The poetry experts thought otherwise so here it is.

NIGHT THOUGHTS

In my search for a home

All I wanted

was two arms

that would hold me in love,

a quiet lap for my head,

fingers stroking my hair

a shoulder to lean on

when my heart was heavy

But that was asking too much

all they gave me

was four walls and a roof

A window to see the world

and a door that kept me in

Often

i would stretch my arms

out through the window,

close my eyes and free myself

of everything that held me,

often

i would try to fly

but would fall instead

my injuries seldom showed

Once

i found the door open and fled

as if my life depended on it

No,

my life did depend on it

I had no experience of freedom

there were arms, laps,

shoulders everywhere

luring as a spider lures a fly

to make the kill

With sinking heart

i searched for those four walls,

a roof, a door

that would keep me in,

a window that was closed

unless i wished it otherwise

I wanted to hide away in the dark

Away from prying eyes

but they found me…

Every single time

I wanted to bury myself in a hole

but they would only dig me out

Instead

I was a forever drifting

between what was

and what might have been

The only constants

were the walls and the roof

enclosing me,

morphing into arms, laps, shoulders

that pushed and groped and pressed

Till i was like a palimpsest

Absent yet strangely there

Sometimes

everything was a black expanse

Even in the searing daylight

from that blackness

They would pull me in

Deeper

deeper

Until my breathing failed

until my heart exploded

yet still i stretched my arms

Trying to find freedom

from all that held me

Sometimes

hands would pull me out

only to abandon me as i held tight

then i would fall again

invisible injuries hurting so much

Sitting in this black hole

desperately

i stare at a patch of sky

I feel the sides for hand and footholds

I find a few

but my legs

Have forgotten how to climb

I stretch my fingers

Press them hard against the cold

Hoping they’ll grow into vines

Vines climb upwards

Follow the light

Snip

Snip

Snip

A sound echoes

………………..

2.

An autobiographical sort of poem written in moments of deep anguish. Sometimes this is the only way to release the stress, the emotional burden and the anxiety. My search for a place I can call my home continues, the struggle with my emotional, physical health continues and so does the constant effort to keep my finances stable. Many times I reach a breaking point and then pick myself up. Sometimes writing it out helps. A lot of people question my public writing of my personal struggles. Why do I write and share? Do they serve any purpose? Well, perhaps not to the readers but to me they do. They help me with many things and that I will keep to myself. On practical grounds writing may not helps, it may not get me a house or improve my monetary situation but it is a a stepping out of blocks that choke my mind.

There have been betrayals and backstabbing, abuse and gaslighting, there have been people who snatched what was truly mine but then one learns. It is all about moving on. Writing helps.

LONELINESS

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

for being born when no one wanted me

not even me nor the womb that carried me

as I wrapped the placenta around my neck

as I tried to end what should not have begun

a son was enough to continue the family name

a son was enough for a mother to love

who needs a daughter

conceived perhaps to spite the mother

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

for shuffling between life and death

a cause of utmost bother to caregivers

forced to revive a child

in almost vegetable like state

it snapped their backs and their feelings

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

            for abandoning that little pup

            on a side street many years ago

            a pup who had cried with me

            when mother was taken to the hospital

            her heart weary

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

for that is all I had to call my own

as I wandered the streets after school

not wanting to go back to a loveless home

whose key hung around my neck like a noose

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

for witnessing what I shouldn’t have seen

someone close and her lover

a man who played uncle

his hands reaching for places

that I was beginning to discover

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

for trying to wash away

that dreadful touch

which scarred my innocence

which made me flinch away from men

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

for giving it all

sometimes at will at other times forced

for retreating within my adolescent heart

as I was forced to atone for sins I didn’t commit

punished by my father every other day

the gaze of the neighbourhood scalding my skin

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

because that is all I had to call my own

my mother too busy

my father mostly absent

my brother indifferent

not much has changed

except my father is dead

he doesn’t come home every season

to replace his clothes.

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

for marrying a man I thought loved me

as I wanted to love him

tied to his mother’s apron strings

he could never give enough

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

for clenching my tongue between my teeth

so that no words escaped

for drinking the bitter taste of agony

as they fought for breath then gave up

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

for crossing a line women in India

are not supposed to cross

better to die in the marital bed

than return to the childhood home

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

            for abandoning my sons

            for leaving them in a toxic house

            that I could never call a home

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

for craving love either non-existent or forbidden

years of carrying a curse has turned me into one

though when I raise my voice in protest

I’m labelled with the choicest of names

reserved for women of my kind

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

things go full circle

a placenta wrapped around my neck

slowly and steadily tightening its grip

what begins has to end

loneliness is a curse I’m tired of carrying

Loneliness is a curse I carry—

for it is still all I have to call my own

Child Abuse Prevention Month Post( April)- A Daughter’s Letter to Her Parents


April is child abuse prevention and awareness month. This is an issue which needs urgent attention all over the globe.

This  is my contribution , an effort to raise awareness and my voice Against Child Abuse.

Here is a poem I wrote some time back on this issue.

A Lost Childhood

Do click on the link and read. Leave your heartprints there .

******

A daughter’s letter to her parents

Dad,  you’re no more  but I have Memories of you.

Memories that I will take with me to the grave. I know that Peter would be alive today but for you. It wasn’t a freak accident that killed him. You killed him. He died so that I could live.

I remember how you called me your “ special girl” “ daddy’s little darling” who needed
“ special attention” . I did not want it.

I remember how you made me feel that you belonged to me and I to you and touching and kissing were gestured to make the bond stronger. Only that with time  the bond became a bondage. I  had no option than to give in day or night.

The world saw us as a happy family, all nice and clean and well fed. Loving parents and adorable kids.

When ma was away you made our days “special” by taking us for fishing at the creek. We laughed and had fun and  enjoyed a hearty meal  but then something always annoyed you and you ordered me to the basement and I could hear the shouts, cries as you kicked, slapped and hit peter till he turned blue. I would sit in a dark corner dreading the door to open. You would walk in quietly and call me in the most tender voice I ever heard and then  make me sit in your lap and touch me all over  and crushing me against you. I felt suffocated but remembered that you had bad temper. Submission was the only solution.

I and Peter would sit under the tree in the back yard and silently nurse our inner wounds.

You hated him and threatened him to keep his mouth shut  and he just two years older than me would cook up stories about how his bicycle skidded and how the boys at school bullied him when people asked him how he got the bruises.

He suffered so that You would not hit me.

As we grew up I began to resent  your advances but that made matters worse  and you slapped me, pulled my hair and even kept us hungry for days

MOM

You remember  ma when you went  for your assignments and to granny’s because you needed to “ get away”  from everyday fights and we cried and pleaded to be taken along but you never listened to us?

Even when you were at home  many  times we saw you hiding behind the curtains crying and watching us but you remained silent.

All the “ special dinners” that we had  were indicative of  something dreadful future event.

My body hurt at places which I did not know existed. I bled at times and had sores that hurt.  The more I protested  the stronger he became.

Dad

You had power that you misused  and made us what we are. We trusted ourselves with you because we HAD too.

We were left feeling alone, betrayed, abandoned, worthless, even unlovable.

I hated you mom and I hated you dad but most of all I hated myself.

I wondered how come you never saw our bruises, our pain and hurt, how come you never noticed our falling grades and ill health.

I took solace in eating and smoking , I bunked classes to “ fit in” . Overeating made me obese.
Peter  became more reserved and shut himself from the world. His grades fell  and he always fell sick. Many  times I heard ma  tell you to leave him alone and then I understood  why I escaped your attention.

He took my place to save me the pain and guilt.

MOM

When you left one night  the hell broke loose in our home. We were made to do all the chores , cook, clean and most of all amuse HIM. Many a times we were beaten up, locked  in separate rooms without food and water.

Until one day when Peter  died under ‘mysterious circumstances’.

The matter was hushed  due to His “ contacts” at higher places  and you never knew the real reason  for his death but I knew.

His funeral became an opportunity for me to escape. I ran away from home. I was barely 15.

Dad

Life took its course and today after four years I stand at your  funeral hoping that  maybe it will heal some of my wounds and Peter’s soul would rest in peace too  but some wounds never heal.

Mom

We lost our innocence, our childhood and Peter his life only because You  remained Silent.

 

SAY NO TO CHILD ABUSE


Child abuse is usually classified into three major types: physical, sexual and emotional.

Child sexual abuse has been defined as  involvement of dependent and immature children in sexual activities they don’t fully comprehend to which they are unable to give informed consent.

The Juvenile Justice Act 1986 defines child sexual abuse as interaction between a child and an adult in which the child is being used for the sexual stimulation of the perpetrator or another person. Sexual abuse is not often identified through physical indicators alone.

Emotional abuse is the neglect or maltreatment of children. It may involve a disregard of the physical, emotional, moral or social needs of the children.

The Indian Penal Code does not spell out  definition of child abuse as a specific offence; neither does it offer legal remedy and punishment for “child abuse”. The IPC broadly lays out punishment for offences related to rape or sodomy or “unnatural sex”. The IPC laws are rarely interpreted to cover the range of child sexual abuse; the law relating to terms “sodomy” or “rape” are too specific and do not apply to acts like fondling, kissing, filming children for pornographic purposes, etc.

Even the law for the welfare of children, the Juvenile Justice Act, does not specifically address the issue of child sexual abuse. It is difficult to apply the provisions of existing laws to any case of child abuse as it is easy for a defence lawyer to make use of the legal loopholes to facilitate their client’s escape from punishment. Even if someone does get convicted under the IPC for rape, the maximum imprisonment is a mere two years.  [ LINK ]

This is what the law says  – Laws on child abuse in India

Organizations like Prayas, CRY and many others are trying to combat this issue in India.

Arpan is a registered organization based in Mumbai with a mission to Prevent  occurrence of Child Sexual Abuse and heal those who have been affected by it.

Asia Sentinel reports :

India is home to more than 375 million children, comprising nearly 40 percent of the country’s population,  the largest number of minors in any country in the world. Despite its ethos of non-violence, tolerance, spirituality and a new trillion-dollar economy, India hosts the world’s largest number of sexually abused children, at a far higher rate than any other country. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one in every four girls and one in every seven boys in the world are sexually abused, hardly encouraging, but still far below India’s totals.

69 per cent of all Indian children are victims of physical, mental or emotional abuse, with New Delhi’s children facing an astounding abuse rate of 83.12 percent.

It is the least documented violation in our country.

Apart from the sexual abuse including child prostitution and child pornography , child labor, child slavery, child marriages and child trafficking need to be tackled with strict measures.

We urgently need a legislation that deals specifically with child abuse .

There is also a  need for strict enforcement of the law.

Also, parents, teachers and others in the community play a vital role to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse.

Children are the country’s greatest human resource and a measure of the country’s social progress lies in their well-being :

Don’t we want our children to be healthy, educated, safe, happy and have access to life opportunities?

Come join hands to prevent child abuse and neglect. Report any case you know of to the concerned authorities. Raise your voice  and make people  especially children aware of what abuse and neglect is and about their rights.

It is time to SAY NO TO CHILD ABUSE. DO YOUR BIT NOW

Vote on Indivine

Poem: A Childhood Lost


She sat huddled in a corner
staring at the pool of blood
between her aching skinny legs.

Her large eyes vacant and dry
her trembling body tattered and torn
and her soul, bruised and ridden to dust.

Her childhood innocence crushed
by someone’s scavenging lust
someone she was taught to trust.

He ripped her veil

and shamed her forever

violating her with a single thrust.

Alone, in the shadows of her
shattered dreams
She tried in vain to wipe forever
the events of the night
her chilling screams.

Her heart, pregnant with
Emotions unknown,
unheard, unseen

Slowly she closed her swollen eyes
and shut herself to the
rising shame and fear

Too scared to speak
too hurt to cry
as the mist began to clear

They found her body in the morn
along with her clothes
bloodstained and torn.

And beside her tender fragile frame
was written in her blood in shame
a single word that said it all

“Daddy”

copyright Tikuli

vote for it on indivine

Read my article on child abuse prevention

Child Abuse Prevention Month Post( April)- A Daughter’s Letter to Her Parents