Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sleep, My Angel

comm-563-change-is-constant
Change, I heard, is the only constant in life. Most of us find change to be the catalyst of our joys and aspirations. There are also people who live in perennial hope of some radical change in their lives, never to live the joys of the moment. And when the change comes, it ascribes an altogether different meaning to the want. Have you ever been stuck in a change that you wished and prayed desperately for and yet, wanted to undo it all when it came in an unexpected form? ‘Sleep, my angel’ is the story of one such person.

“Sleep, my angel, roaming free,
the day is charmed, the night breezy…”
I had never sung her a lullaby. This was an unusual desire. I wished I could cuddle her. She had been mumbling in her sleep for quite some time now.  Her father lay next to her, exhausted by two consecutive weeks of running around, signing papers and finishing off with tedious, unnecessary formalities. She had wriggled out of the covers too. I tried to reach out in desperation; as if in a dream. The futility of it gnawed away at my core reminding me of my inability to make her snug in bed once again. She had already rolled over and put her arms around her father, who tucked her in lovingly.  I lingered on till the cuckoo clock sprung out, gauging the chiasmic distance between us. It had been two weeks now since we had parted ways. The weather didn’t look too balmy either. It wasn’t the ‘thunder, storm and lightning’ kind but just a melting, sweeping drizzle pressing upon the window. Irrespective of the weather, it was getting increasingly difficult to go away now.
Read the complete story at:
http://300stories.com/sleep-my-angel?fb_action_ids=10152387480283136&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=288381481237582

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Revisiting...





 FLIGHT OF FANCY


Green and white,
crisscrossed by black
the tiles on the floor;
some drooping shy,
some free and wild,
spring-flowers through the door
to-
the staircase then
leading to when
they hopped over the fence
the cobbled snake
moved on to meet
a sprightly wilderness.

A look about
and furtive search
for rabbits in the dark
mushrooms and twigs
and berry things
not found in the park

climb up a tree
that doesn't know
its nature, name or fruit
hang upside down
and try to see
the world with wandering roots

the beehive or the weaver bird
don't spare a look or care
the clumsy vines,
the unkempt hair
who needs to stop and stare?

the frenzied brook
and the broody nook
with cradled rocks ahead
the deer, the doe
that briskly go
to the princely tiger's stead

then run askance
and leave behind
all glories
and the chase
if one would stop
to ponder much
they'd lose their wondrous gaze

hop, skip and jump
and lo, behold
the house is back in sight
what joy, what fun
in the winter Sun
and a chair-bound aimless flight !


*****



WAIT FOR ME, TIME

I found my way back to this place, after a long trek through mountainous terrain, sometimes treacherous but mostly pleasantly tiring. Along the way, I met doubt, confronted pain, emerged triumphant and resumed my step, trying to catch up with lost time, sailing adrift a song:


Wait for me...
I’m breathless!
Don’t move so fast,
So reckless!
It’s a snaking spread
For me. For you?
just a darting spurt ahead.
I keep trying
t’ match your step
and just when
I think I’m dying
and barely up to speed,
with a teasing brush
of orchids
‘n’ spearmint
away you sprint
to another arduous lead.

I know you’re strong
don’t need to stop
at any curve or prong;
or even the coveted top;
what you have
I amply lack
the propensity of having
by virtue, vice or tact.

To travel light
like a mountain spring
or a string-less, hands-free kite
or a baby cloud
an empty shroud of
reflective, air-combs white
each one of these, a poet's muse
to the sky? -a wishful reverie
you never take
a walked-through path
yet beaten roads
are forced on me.
So, does that mean
that every walk
will be a test of strength?
I’ll keep calling, catching up
yet you will stay abreast?

Come now, my friend
call off this game
Go find a worthy opponent.
Henceforth, I give you not
any of you that’s mine;
you play with those
who have you none
and chase you so,
a-fleeting, O Good Time!


*****



MY PINK, HANDCRAFTED CUPBOARD


In light of assaults on women in recent times, these few lines are an attempt to relate to the thoughts of a rape-survivor, who is trying to regain balance between the trauma and her life prior to the incident.




It rings loud

and hollow

in its shiny newness

my pink, hand-crafted cupboard,

as I begin

to put in

one after the other

vibrant drapes

to adorn my work and play.

Layer upon layer

the shelves and walls

absorb within

the clamour of loud, soulful hues.



It was then yesterday,

that I wore on me

an apprehensive thought

in rueful blue

and paisley yellow

as I ravaged through

the pile of clothes

from a brand new cupboard

and straight on to bed.

The void inside

started to grow

as the heap on the bed

bled to the floor.



The voice of contempt

rang loud and hollow,

like a void

hitting a void;

guttural sounds

running straight into

a larger empty space

on the shelves now

and the walls

empty with

an emptier nook within,

and hooks and hangers

to put

frightful memories on.

Was that yesterday?



Some time today…

…My hospital bed

and the white-washed sheet

is safe because

an unassuming apprehension

has been replaced

by a listless, sanitised calm.



But the soft caressing

of cotton sheets

can’t stop

my skin from pricking

at the recall of rough hands

like nettle on unsuspecting skin

over my mouth

breasts and thighs

engulfing the memory

of my father’s gentle fingers

and brother’s benign wrist.



The hollows

in my eyes

stare at the moment

that led me to that space,

in which,

robes undone

mindlessly lying

where they didn’t belong

unclaimed, unwanted

yet devoured and relished.



I’ll take them

To a tailor,

perhaps

or a seamstress, that’s better

to darn the gaping holes

or possibly

restitch together

a patterned, patch-work quilt

Would that help?

The nurse is not

a seamstress

She says she doesn’t know.



I wonder as I,

on this hospital bed,

relive

in every empty moment

thrusts

of ruthless, mocking laughter

my body, that cupboard

now a gargoyle

for refusing

newer waste

Then and now.



Be brave

I’m told

stay strong

the only way to be

Alive.

I am, always was

and yet, now

I do not know

how to live

despite the acerbic breathing

in a prickly world

of sympathetic stares
and inquisitive cares

that dress me

like mouldy, nettled fabric…

…I find all around…

barter after barter

trade after trade

bravery for safety

courage for peace

comfort for silence

blue for grey

red for white

And yellow for an abysmal nude.



It’s tomorrow now…

I’m home

and normalcy rules

in the corridor, lane, road

outside my house.

And in the loud

ringing hollows

of my cupboard,

I shall fold the colours

to tuck them away

in the deepest nook;

I am now learning

to refill the emptiness

and order the chaos

In my pink, hand-crafted cupboard.



*****



ROCK, THE STAR



A rock can be a mountain,
and mountain becomes a rock
when shadows
come ahead of you
and the fiesty Sun behind
grips you at the ankles
it consumes
your smallness
that tallness
then purges
the mountain
and you, the rock.

At that step,
do turn around
and leave
the shadows behind
just run up to the Sun
through sweat and singeing skin
does that change the facts?
For some.
As the shadow then
gets to tail you
and before it
nails you
at the next pile of rubble
you have left 
the mountain far
and you,
the rock
now, a hurtling shooting star.

*****