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

On My Mind Are Some Poems Long Forgotten


Love

Photo credit Shubhang Dogra.  All rights reserved.

1.

On my mind are some poems long forgotten,

pressed between the pages of an old book.

Poems written in a language I no longer know.

Poems carrying the scent of some other time,

some other place, now just a shadow.

On this sultry summer afternoon I sit back

with a glass of mint infused lemonade and think

of these autumnal leaves which once were tender green.

2.

Off the island shores
on a nameless night,
lava meets its match.
Colours explode,
fill the sky,
fire and water,
hot and steamy,
the desire burns slowly,
subtle, with spurts of intensity,
just like it should be,
in two bodies
ruined by a single sweetness –
love

(inspired by the volcanoes of Hawaii)

3.

we became strangers that night.

A brief encounter

when you colonized my body

in the hotel room

charged with the smell of sex.

It was a prelude

to the harsh winters ahead

and all the coming seasons

lost to the inequity of desire

between

you and me.

Four Assorted Short Poems


1

let’s hold hands and lie still on moist green grass

and watch the eagle fly in the clear blue sky

let’s chase the butterflies among the wild daisies

caressed by the soft breeze

let’s catch the edge of a rose tinted cloud

and float on the moon beams upon the waves.

Today let’s just lose ourselves.


2

the splintered day  ends

now the night will come dressed in shreds

tugging  its  blanket of stars

and on its frayed ends

a pale and lonely moon



3

people see my life

as an exquisitely embroidered shawl

they see the rich hues and  arabesques

of the outer layer

admire the  intricately woven patterns

on its smooth silken surface

but it is I who  feels alone

the inconvenient knots and tangled threads

of inner side


4

passionate verses

seductively sway

on  moonlit walls

artistic masterpieces

with every stroke

they merge and flow

rise and fall

a rhythmic ritual

aphrodisiac

yet

spiritual

 our shadows on fire

the blazing dreams of desire

Poem : Fallen Leaves


 

 

Once green and pulsating with life
kissed by the morning sunshine
and bathed in the misty dew
dry brittle leaves
silently fall to the ground
passing winds stir, sift and swirl them
into open grounds, forgotten vacant lots
green pastures and cobbled streets

They quiver,
shiver
and fall silently
footsteps pestle them to dust
but these little waifs
never question their fate

Carried by the swift currents
they meet whirlpools and rocky shores,
rapids and precipices
only to disappear forever
culminating their journey of life

Such is the fate of man
riding on the winds of time
carried by the river of life
he too slowly vanishes
into the realms of unknown