And now for our prompt (optional, as always). This is one that we’ve used before, but one test of a good prompt is that you can come back to it! For this prompt, you will need to fill out, in five minutes or less, the following “Almanac Questionnaire.” Then, use your responses as to basis for a poem.

The longing is sudden and intense

made more acute by the greying skies

as well as the letter of a childhood friend

which I found tucked in the folds of my old school dress

during an intense bout of cleaning

I tell my beloved I must have jhalmuri*, now!

he shakes his head at my childish request

tells me to look out into the empty street

lined with stern, sentry like lampposts

not even a stray dog is visible from my window

feeling small and woebegone I sit there

when a sudden downpour pelts me

taking me back to the red-bricked maternal childhood home

where I would stand in the courtyard in a cotton slip

under the large gulmohar tree

and catch the petals caressed raindrops

on my tongue

shivering with fever at night

I would insist grandma tell me

the story of prince charming again

as she applied warm oil on my feet

now in this huge metro, confined in a thousand square foot

can’t even walk to the cornershop

down the alley for groceries!

the borders all around, completely sealed

with a sigh I get up, saving my tears for later

pick my pen then put it down

thoughts too jumbled up to flow with ink

the newspaper lies neglected in a corner

for all it does is reduce people to numbers

and propagate theories of megalomaniac leaders

as well as lab-made diseases

a hot cuppa is thrust in my hand with a pat on my back

and the tears flow unbidden

will I be able to see my mom soon

will we rise Phoenix like

or crumble like the ancient fort of my city

suddenly the graffiti on the subway flashes across my eyes

“You are not alone!”

*jhalmuri : a spicy, savoury snack made with puffed rice and vegetables. Watch it here.


65 thoughts on “Longing

  1. I feel such longing and frustration here. Being boxed in and not able to see loved ones. Even simple pleasures are denied. The imagery is so vivid you draw me right in. Makes me curious about jhalmuri also, looks tasty!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. poignant memories provoked … this too will pass. Then you can spoil yourself silly with desserts and visits and shopping and walking …

    How do you get your groceries?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, of course! This too will pass. Thanks heaps. ❤️
      Groceries are delivered to my residential complex gate. We have had home delivery for ages but now not being able to go out is frustrating. 😐

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Yes my newspaper stays on the kitchen table, I only do the puzzles…. these days…..
    “the newspaper lies neglected in a corner
    for all it does is reduce people to numbers and propagate
    theories of megalomaniac leaders and lab-made diseases”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I feel, that all we can do is fight this disaster with our humanity, with dutiful compliance of our responsibilities. We can be in touch with our lonely and stranded by leveraging technology. That’s it.
    What will/might happen is completely beyond our control. There’s nothing else that we can do. 😞

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It truly can be…if it goes on too long, it grieves the heart, spirit within. But it can sure make good poetry 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I grew up in the mountains and only saw Gulmohar when I left home for studies. My college campus has so many Gulmohar trees and it was such a pleasant sight to see them 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I can stay on my own in isolation indefinitely but this imposition gets me at times! And then the prompts laid bare those feelings. Thanks a lot, Rachel dear, for your encouraging words always. ❤️❤️


  5. Wow, got a chance to read your poem after a long time. It was simply superb. “Petals caressed raindrops” was just amazing. Please keep writing and keep sharing the poems with us too.

    Liked by 1 person

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