Haunted – Two Poems


1.

She was like that house upon the hill

that no one wants to live in

the one whose scarred walls

hold dark secrets and whose

darkened windows are like

empty eye sockets

that silent, uneasy house

which even the poltergeists avoid

no one ever goes there

but when you pass it there is

always a suggestion of movement

the sound of a door closing

a flicker of light in the emptiness—

haunted and haunting at the same time

2.

We were sitting at the edge of the river

exactly where we’d met a few days before.

 “There is a deathly silence today,” he said,

“‘Deathly’ is the wrong adjective for silence.

Death is not silent.

It is more vociferous than life and anyway

there is never complete silence,

the mind is continuously moving through

the quiet of the inanimate.”

“That’s rubbish.

Silent as the dead is a known idiom,” he replied.

“It is, so is the quote, ‘“silence speaks louder than words.’”

“Have you ever been to a cemetery, a morgue—

or better still a graveyard,

or stood ‘quietly’ where the dead are put to flames?

You must.

The noise of the dry bones overrides everything.

There is nothing louder than dead air,

a dead relationship, dead dreams, dead promises.

Death, my friend, is anything but silent.” I paused.

“Death may not be silent but silence can still be deathly

and that’s what I said” he insisted,

though I felt his conviction wavering a little.

“Silence is not just lack of movement or sound.

 It is the same with death.”

My Mother – A Poem


First Published in Le Zaporogue XVI by various authors

 

My Mother

 

He sat beside me

silent as a breath

memories of that summer

wrapped in the wet crumpled tissue

that lay on his lap, his wrinkled hand

resting on the walking stick,

and then he spoke;

“Your mother’s hands were brown and soft,

just like the phulkas she made, she was

an earth woman. I often closed my eyes

when she sang, her songs rose from the

soft rhythms of the water wheel, the tinkling

of bells around the bullock’s neck, the

sweetness of the mustard flowers, and

the crackle of the wood fire of her stove, they

carried with them the scent of damp earth.

Often I would quietly slip in and listen

to her sing as she went about

doing her daily chores, her wet hair

rolled in a towel or loosely tied

in a bun with one or two tendrils

framing the face.

It was a cruel summer that year,

the river had dried and the cattle

kneeled and bowed their parched

heads to the river bed pleading

for a tickle of life, the fields

turned brown and the leafless trees

stood naked and exposed, as if

atoning to their unknown sins

under the merciless sky.

It was on such summer day I

found her hanging from the cross-beam

in the ceiling, the wood was old and

rot riddled but it held her weight

well enough. Her hair, shorn off,

lay in a jumbled pile on the floor,

next to it were the clothes she had worn,

the milk on the clay stove and boiled over

and dried, the milk bottle smashed against

the wall, the house smelled of rage,

lust and struggle. In the courtyard,

the clothesline had collapsed under

the weight of sorrow, the swing lay

dismantled and chained, a lone witness

to her shame. The makeshift hammock

hung limply from the tree,

a kind neighbour had quietly

whisked you away as the town burned.

Clasping your infant body

 like a broken doll and a

picture of your mother in my pocket,

I took refuge at a patchwork of shelters

that had sprouted on the smoldering land.

A few of us sat under a small covering

of rags, tarpaulin and sheet metal,

holding whatever was left of our

precious belongings, somewhere

a man sharpened the knife on a stone,

click clack, click clack,

the blade glistened in the dark,

another one sang, his low mournful voice

made the night bleed with absence and loss,

but the sun rose just as it always did,

bearing no sense of loss, and with it

we too rose carrying our wounded

identities and slipped into the folds

of anonymity.

A few days ago I walked through that part

of the town where I lived and loved,

where she sang her songs, our old haunts,

the old well, our ancestral home,

nothing lives there anymore,

even the ghosts have moved on,

but the river now flows to the brim and

in the fields the mustard flowers

bloom in abundance, the earth, they say,

still sings the songs of estrangement, in

memory of that summer and

 the sky pours it rains.”

You And me – Three Poems Of Love Unrequited


1.

Time stands still.
I linger,
like the empty pitcher
at the mouth of the village well
waiting patiently
to be filled.

**************

2.

You did not say a word.

Nothing.

I could sense your

  stoic, composed self

from across a thousand miles

as I whimpered

about things gone wrong.

What you said or failed to say,

how I felt, what I thought,

the conclusions I drew

from the things I masticated on,

the hurt, the pain, the want,

I furiously punched  it all.

Glad that I did not have to speak.

That in our technology powered relationship

there were gadgets that could  be used as crutches.

You remained silent.

Not a word.

I punched a few more keys

wrote this and that

and a few more other things.

 I felt pulled from all sides like an elastic band

and then released.

The sting of pain shot through my head

as my fingers tapped mindlessly.

Then,

exhausted by my meltdown

and hoping for a response ,

I waited.

Still Nothing.

“Say something.” I nudged.

Still nothing.

Just a cold silence.

You had begun to bury me already.

Minutes turned to hours,

night turned to day

and slowly fell into the dark ,

a silent dark,

unreadable,

unsettling,

asphyxiating

dead silence

as wide as the distance

between us.

The clock ticked.

The cellphone breathed its last.

Silently.

The pain returned with

greater vengengence,

concentrated at the corner of the eyes,

till the eyes softened

and tears began to recede

carrying the weight of a lifetime

then everything collapsed

I guess that’s when

the sky became overcast

and it began to rain.

***********

3.

That night never left me
It seeped into the hollow of my bones.
People leave
their absence doesn’t.
It goes where the loss 
goes to hide.
Inside the bones.
In the hollow.
filling it
with an immeasurable emptiness

**********

Memories : Two Poem


“This Post is being written for THE POETRY CONTEST at blogjunta.com as a part of WOMEN & BLOGGING month” and link it to www.blogjunta.com

 

1.

Scarred, faded
jaded memories
kept alive
because sometimes
forgiveness is not
what we believe in

In the catacomb
of our hearts
they abound

a penance for loving thus..

 

 

2.

We break

and go our own way

but

tattered remnants

of memories

tangled like shreds of cloth

stuck  in barbed wire fence

flutter

with each passing wind of time

 


Silences :Poem


swaying in the breeze a swing

a bicycle leaning against the lamp-post

cigarette stubs  in the ash tray

worn out boots and an old man’s hat

Coat stuffed in the closet

with a poem folded in the pocket

Spectacles on the writing-table

dust under the bed

the kitten curled up in a corner

remains of a  favorite coffee mug

the pipe now not in use

chessmen waiting

the first streak of light

that slides from under the door

and crawls to my feet

the fixed stare that  follows me

from your  portrait

slumbering spiders in the book shelf

snowfall

A dull ache that seems to live

with emptiness

in my old bones

the swirling darwish dance of shadows

the cemetery at dusk

the neighbor’s tree that keeps watch

the bitter tears shed on your grave

for words left unsaid

and deeds left undone

and lastly

these long hours of waiting

First prize in contest  for the love of poetry.

Silence : Short Verses


1.

My silence stops

at the threshold of your silence

touches it softly

and for that split second

reminiscent  I live

********

 

2.

your silence drips like raindrops

on slanted window of my parched heart

and then slowly slides away

leaving a trail of memories

and

yearning

 

 

 

Me To You : Short Verses


1.

A fleeting touch of your shirt

Just before we parted

Crisp lavender cotton

warmed by your heart

A fragrant memory I still carry

on my fingertips

 

*************

2.

In those moments  of loneliness

when your silence quietly comes

and stands  beside me

to watch the day merge into the night

I curb my urge to even feel its presence

lest it finds me intruding

and moves away

………………….

3.

I swirled and danced in a drunken haze

spinning with euphoria of my love for you

But now all that is left is a hangover

Memory of you

and pain

…………………