Indefatigable

Image Copyright Vibina Narayan

Elusive sunshine, playmate of the cassock clouds

Let me soak you in, until you allow.

The birds cackle- happy silhouettes of freedom

In a happier blue sky,

A song of chores and forage, amongst the thicket of

Coloured woods of a depleting August summer.

The gentle breeze, that was yesterday a storm to reckon,

Makes the trees sway and dance to soothe our listless souls

That lay basking in the afternoon drizzle, believing

they will escape what they cannot.

Home is much cherished with pride until

Love is replaced with the truth of what it is not.

And I breathe to myself, a silent whisper-

Heaven and winds churned by the same skies know,

These trees can bend to break and destroy, but do not.

As much as they know me, indefatigable

Beneath the placid armour of livelihood I don,

To make everything simple and worthwhile.

H is for Hamlet

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This gray day has bought with it

Some wizened thoughts

Of a past not long back

When the feet knew of stinging bites

And the heart found love in

Nothing old or known and

Thorns and stones

(and stupid idealism).

 

The hunger has died, but the burn remains.

The urge to purge the stillborn memories

Of many of our dreams we built callously,

(brick by brick)

Whetted by the stone of curiosity,

Licked by the blade of loneliness,

they have planted beautiful blooms

for the Gods in their slave’s garden.

To be enjoyed while taking a pinch of salt

With a drink to our sealed fate.

 

Grief comes to those who have the time to cry.

The rest of us keep on running until

we run dry.

And sometimes we remember to breathe,

As there is nothing any longer to feel.

While the gush of air in dissolves the body

Into the universe of our head rush,

And the clouds above roll out the drums and the show,

but no rains or tears from within,

I often question the distant rainbow,

I remember seeing while I walked a prayer for you, only to get

An endless reflection of vacuous colours,

in the mirrored room of illusions I built for myself. All over again.

Forget me never

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Forget me never

Forget me not.

I am the music in your heart.

I am the soul of your art.

Forget me never

Forget me not.

I am the faint whisper in the sweetest of your dream.

I am the wisp o’ air caressing your face, in the deepest of your sleep.

Forget me never

Forget me not.

I am the remnant of your love for tomorrow.

I am the remnant of all your bygone joys and sorrow.

Honeysuckles

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Hold me tender, hold me kind

My bones are as fragile as your promises.

Hold me tender, hold me kind

My skin is as brittle as your valour.

Hold me tender, hold me kind

My breath is as feeble as your presence in us.

Hold me tender, hold me kind

My heart’s flower is as delicate as your fiery words of love.

Divine Retribution

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What is ignorance

But another face of arrogance,

Wisely chosen to believe in

Bliss.

By her.

 

Cantankerous cackles of a misfit

Over air borne signals,

To the only blood minimally worthy

Of trustworthy.

 

Of pompous cries of valour in the battlefield, she spoke,

If the arrow of extra meat ever found her.

Her tired jowl and

Always sad scowl sighed,

She could endure

The poison her lover drank

And walk the darkness through blindness with

No sticks and pities required.

 

Will she be forgiven by the deities

Of her tribe?

Will she be laughed at by the children

Of tomorrow

With tales of jibe?

Forsaken by waves of mirthless merriment

Across the room,

She ruminates of all the galaxies to feast on

Had she loved a little more.

 

Will she have peace

In her silent thoughts

Of absolutely silent nothings.

Haunted by a heartburn of undigested concoctions

Of loss,remorse and musings now

So morose.

 

For life is a cycle of moments,

More so gray when living through them

But evermore greener when looking at them,

Had she held a palette of colours and a paintbrush of wit,

To imbue yellow into the stones of blue

And stroke a right red

As the mightiest of hues.

 

 

Reflections

reflections

Where did my dear

I let go off you?

When did I leave

That rope

I had tied your heart to

My able, small hands?

In between the lines of our lives

To the lines that now lie

Beneath our eyes,

When did I lose you

While seeking lost treasures

In the kingdom beneath

The sea that held legends and gold

And ships and shells

As false as their

Tales of mermaids.

 

Will a note of love be good enough

Or a Sufi’s* blessing?

Bottled with the pearl of

My yearning,

Pushed across the sea

By the abr** sent by the

Gods above who have always

Loved me.

Will the pining heart of

A shy poet do?

Will the strength of a

Monk in reverence,

To let us be

Do?

There must be a map somewhere,

Hidden amidst rocks and thorns

In a cave swallowed by the

Shadows of phantoms of

Another world,

That will take us to

Jannat***

Far beyond our

Conscience,

Our grasp.

 

I will get on my saddle now,

I will ride my white beauty

Through the moonlit fields now,

Like a raging dacoit.

Silence torn by

Screams that will never be

Let out.

Before anybody else up above

Throws an irate sword of thunder

To plunge this night of

Our lives.

 

*mystic (Urdu)

**clouds (Urdu)

*** paradise (Urdu)

 

 

 

 

 

Home

A Long Road Ahead

It is a long way to home.

Home, where sometimes I know

no Home.

Well, what is a home

When the heart is

Always a nomad.

Somedays here, somedays there,

Somedays found and

Somedays lost.

The sun shined above the fields of heather for me

Today.

Maybe an invite

Wrapped in purple to lure

and call it a

Home?

*

My mind runs faster

Than my deformed feet.

*

My heart is still sunk

In the memories of

Yesterday’s winter.

The cold and dark

My motel for a long time.

They let go of me

Even the frost needs rent,

And I am penniless

With no dimes to rub or spend.

I am back with my old friend

The shadows from the alleys.

Together we lurk

Like the ghosts of a long lost legend,

Listening to the jingles and looking at the twinkles

Oggling at drunk wanton cherub faces of

Joyous December,

And remembering the warmth in the innards

Of our soul

That could vein in us

With hot boiled spirits.

*

I ran the entire length of spring,

Blooming buds of cherries and daffs and all.

Baby greens dotting the widowed trees,

A new promise laid in

The womb of time.

Branches singing together

With the mirth of mynahs.

 

Let this be where I breathe

In and out now.

This cloud and sun speckled ground

Where I dance the songs

Of lost dreams.

Lost,

With the youth of time.

 

But I still know

I am miles away from home.

And I still know,

I will return back to that motel

I once belonged.

 

 

 

 

The Pillage

the pillage

Darkness rummaged through darkness

Inside and out.

A star

Of fairytale myths,

Disguised the answer

With the cloak of

Peek-a-boo.

Together, I entered into

A room

That was never there.

Trying to fit my square peg

Into a ring.

My hand held vacuum,

My heart held a prayer,

Of strength, I don’t know of

Of salvation, I will never see.

Vacant promises of loneliness made

In the sanctuary of holy smoke.

And,

I abide by

These rules of

Pillaging again.

 

Lepers Lunch

LL

 

Yonder was a Wednesday noon,

The October sky,

Up high

Pastels of blue, pinks

And golden hues

She beamed up high,

A siren of the 50s.

 

Her jewel brewed brine from

A frail body of mine,

A body played by

Life and her wits

To bits of veil,

Bought for a better marriage.

 

The heat balmed my flesh,

Melancholy marred by monotony,

I saw the grey craters of a rising moon.

She, a faded pearl of the night,

Masking her golden nemesis of the sky

In beauty, worth, poetry and more.

 

I’ve walked down this murky path alone,

Several times before, several times after now.

A shack that was once a home,

With no more yellow canaries

To tweet me a goodbye.

 

My mind grumbled along

The stones on which I

Tumbled,

To balance my youthful body

I immure my soul of its own.

 

Oh! Longing for a downpour of rains

To wet my body, to whet my appetite.

To slip down the road

And dance away the pains,

To live on this earth

Over the moon!

As my muses knotted along the road

To twisted truths,

Of friends, strangers and ghosts;

Trying to keep my left

Yet, to be reminded

by honks and bonks and the dust in my conks.

To enact a life,

We chose to know

And chose to see,

I chanced upon this small brown man,

Frowned with age, bound with bondage

To a friend that

Slowly feasted on his flesh!

 

A midget of a man,

Seized at the corners by shun.

Neglect of love, neglect of fate,

Pulled down by the grimaces

Of a thousand faces

Known, unknown,loved and disliked,

That saw not beyond

A receding man in a yellow rag.

 

He looked like a wild cat

Out of the huge yellow box,

Fishing out a pack

Of unopened rice.

Rich man’s waste, a leper’s joy tonight.

 

And with the smile of a child

Whose eyes held delight

Like a novice to the fair,

He squat on the ground

Delirious with his find,

Nimbly guarding his small feast

With little worm nibbled knobs,

Which once held, stroked and played

Every face of love!

 

No more in his world was

You anymore than I,

Glutton gnawing in the glory.

Hands on rice,

Rot on hands,

The eyes that watched him

He uncalled for.

 

For he, who woke up to a sunrise and

Roamed the streets under this sky,

Unclad feet, uncared for

In the heat and cold alike.

Senseless.

Baseless.

Comfortably numb.

No random thoughts, to play on.

Nobody to own

And to be owned.

A stone for a bed

And the shadows of night

To blanket him.

 

I, a slave of my rants,

A queen of supposed laughters,

A loud woman who pitied none but me,

Heavily rimmed eyes

Now punched by a blinding light.

 

The sun finally rose in the daze of

An unsettled mind

to finally realise,
As it sank into the sky

Dropping a mirage of,

What is true?

What is false?

Seine

 

 

I stood by the banks of Seine,

Watching a million faces talking in

Smiles and lines of pain

Dwelling in hope,

 And losses lost in

Dreams.

 

I watch lovers kiss,

And lovers cry,

And lovers giving 

Life a try.

 

The breeze envelops me 

Like a strong man’s embrace,

And he whispers into

My nonchalant ears,

“Happiness tonight is measured 

Not in gold, nor in silver

Or signs or silk slivers.

She lies waiting,

In letters written,

With years and years of yearning

In the middle of time,

Hiding in the crevices of

Crackled spines, 

Mopping up their breath into

The fibres of dried pulp,

Like a lovers’ lips

Sealed in her nether heavens.

And broken dances ,

Strumming from the strings 

Of a vagabond ukulele.

Once a kid’s, once a nomad’s

Once a collector’s,

But forever someone’s.”

 

By the banks of Seine,

My friends and amors 

Dance and caress,

And drink the moist sweat

Of an evening they will remember 

The rest of their lives by.