I am no Atlas

I may seem self sufficient

I may look strong

I may multi – task

I may work hard and long

But I do get tired

My poor feet hurt too

Sometimes it’s difficult

Most times I have no clue

Yet I plod on doggedly

Though I may be hurting inside

I try to be outrageous

But I am a bewildered child

You may find me cheap

So I lock away all feelings

Because I so want this world to think

I am so, so stunning

And then one day realisation dawns

I may try my best to please all

My every step is noted

Everyone’s waiting for my fall

This enrages me so much

That I refuse to break

I decide to live my life

As I envisage

No more toeing lines

No more capitulation

If I can’t live on my terms

You can hug your damnation

Now you may think of me

As a case gone all wrong

I do things on my terms

For this alone I was born

Don’t burden me with social mores

And unrealistic expectations

I am a wild, wildflower

Not greenhouse carnation

I can survive in this big, bad world

Without your advice though

Yes, I am fragile yet tensile

But I am no Atlas, you know!

Post War

All’s quiet on the front
As he lay in the trench
All dusty and muddy
Watching the dying embers of the sun
His crackling radio comes to life
Informing a truce has been declared
With a whoop of joy and
A jaunty toss of his head
He springs up to reach the base.
He knows there will be an epistle waiting for him
As he reads it over and over again
He can see her typing feverishly
On her old rickety typewriter
Crafting her epistle with the beats of her heart
Her dark eyes glittering with unshed tears
And he knows that all this while she was
Wondering what justice is served
By any war?

Refereeing

They look at each other

with all the venom they can summon

hurling accusations like torpedoes

I warily look up from my book

loath to leave my hero mid action

wondering if intervention is required

as the fracas seem similar to yesterday’s

they leave the room arguing

usually these bitter feelings are ephemeral

my book beckons and I am engrossed again

the decibles go up suddenly

a door slams, a chair scrapes

and just as my hero is about to

discover the murder weapon

I hear a loud wail

I jump out of my skin

angrily I barge into their room

it is a free for all nite

they are punching, kicking

pulling hair and biting

screaming at the top of their voices

both not ready to back down

my loud bark is ineffective

I have to physically wrest them apart

panting heavily they direct their angst at me

accusing me of being biased

suddenly I become the villain of the piece

reasoning loses its reason

they are in no mood to reconcile

the younger one tearfully blaming

me for siding with the elder

the elder one sullenly says

I am always soft with the younger

exasperated I send them to separate rooms

the referee retiring hurt to her sanctum

no longer interested in her fictional hero

as I sit there ruminating

where I had gone wrong in parenting

I hear soft whispers

I tiptoe out of my room

they are together in their room suppressing giggles

with a deep sigh of relief

I put the kettle on

time for me to go back to my hero.

Critical Romance (revisited)

(The first line of this poem is critical and the second romantic.)

I curse the day I said yes to you,

Why couldn’t it have been sooner my beau!

Your mom and sis are imports from hell

If hell is here, heaven should be here as well!

I am sick and tired of your defiance

Honey, what would I be without this alliance!

How do you think we will manage with your income meagre

My love, to sacrifice for you I am always eager!

Your hirsute body is akin to an ape

No matter dear, I do admire the body’s shape!

Your beard prickles like a porcupine,

Darling, will you rub your face down my spine?

Your breath reeks of alcohol today

Did you miss me while I was away?

I can go on and on about your shortcomings

Which are overshadowed by your nature so loving

You are the inspiration for this third class verse,

My love for you colours my vision for better or worse!

Chasm

We look at each other

And look away

And feel nothing

Nothing at all

Silence reigns

Desolation all around

The eyes are vacant

The hearts torn asunder

The love, the laughter, the lust
All gone.

After our loss we clung to each other

For succour

For support

Then gradually

we drifted apart

Infinitesimal changes

In the beginning

Then a widening rift

Withdrawing into a shell

Cocooned in sorrow

His heart a fortress now

My silent cries can’t scale the walls

I am left with only emptiness

My womb feels the loss of my child

Contracting and pushing
In remembrance

Experiencing birth pangs

And my body feels the pain of indifference

Of my beloved

Who is there,

but not there at all.

He is immersed in his pain

Unable to see and feel mine

I reach out but

The chasm is so deep

My feeble heart can’t surmount

So I sit listlessly

Watching my life slowly disintegrating

Too weary to make a start

Waiting helplessly for a miracle.

For a dear friend, on her loss.