Spell (NaPoWriMo) Early-bird prompt

I tighten the muffler of your memories around my neck
warmth seeps sweetly into my sluggish sinews
As your gurgling laughter cascades gently over me
I live another day, so close yet so far from you
My enchantress, the spell you cast on me
won’t let me die, but pray, how do I live without you!

For those of you who want to get a jump on things (either because it’s already April 1 where you are or, who knows, maybe you’re just a glutton for poetry!), we’ve got a special early-bird prompt, based on the poetry of Emily Dickinson.

Dickinson is known for her elliptical style, unusual word choices, and mordant sense of humor. Over the past year, I’ve experimented with writing poems based on, or responding to, various lines from her poems. Today, I’d like to challenge you to do the same! Here are a few lines of Dickinson’s that might appeal to you (the slashes indicate line breaks):

  • “Forever might be short”
  • The absence of the Witch does not / Invalidate the spell”
  • “If to be ‘Elder’ – mean most pain – / I’m old enough, today”
  • “The second half of joy / Is shorter than the first”
  • “To be a Flower, is profound / Responsibilty

Also sharing with dVerse OLN.


Pursuit of happiness

No bondage is worse than the hope of happiness.’– Carlos Fuentes, Diana: The Goddess Who Hunts Alone, Bloomsbury, 1995

Hope alights quietly on my shoulder
helping me navigate deep waters of life
Hope keeps my heart beating
when shocked by brutality, it refuses to beat
Hope gently puts me to fitful sleep
after an agonizingly long hard day
Hope holds my hand firmly at crucial times
when there are no shoulders to lean on
Hope, for me, is not a chimera
I battle naysayers with hope on my side.

But often the hope of happiness
has me so hopelessly in its thrall
I pursue it with relentless single-mindedness
enslaved by the idea of true pure joy
I forget to embrace all that comes by
the journey no longer enjoyable
Becoming a captive of the idea of elusive happiness
I forget to be content with what I have.

Written for dVerse. Today’s host, Linda, says: I have chosen 12 opening sentences from this little book for you to ponder over and choose one that will serve as a jumping off point for your poem today. Below are the sentences, with the Author and book title. Please reference which sentence you chose, either as an epigraph or author’s note.

Morn of happiness/ खुशियों की सुबह


This endless night will end one day
The sun will shine fiercely one day
One day clouds will dissipate
One day someone will open the gate

These old dilapidated steps
Will reverberate with footsteps
If you summon courage to step outside
You’ll find blooms on this path wide

Sorrows will come and go forever
Don’t let go of tenuous hope ever
The morn of happiness will surely dawn
Life will joyfully gurgle, sadness begone!


रात ढलेगी तो कभी
सूरज निकलेगा तो कभी
कभी तो ये बादल छंटेंगे
कभी तो दरवाजे भी खुलेंगे।

इन जर्जर, पुरानी सीढ़ियों पे
पैरों की चाप होगी हौले-हौले
तुम बाहर निकलने की हिम्मत करो एक बार
फूल तुम्हारी राहों में होंगे बारम्बार।

ग़म तो आयेंगे जायेंगे सदा ही
उम्मीद का धागा न टूटे कभी
खुशियों की सुबह जरूर आयेगी
जिंदगी फिर से खिलखिलायेगी।

Hindi in English

Raat dhalegi to kabhi
Suraj niklega to kabhi
Kabhi to yeh baadal chhatenge
Kabhi to darwaaze bhi khulenge.

In zarzar purani seedhiyon pe
Pairon ki chaap hogi hauley-hauley
Tum bahar nikalne ki himmat karo ek baar
Phool tumhari raahon mein honge baarambar

Gham to aayenge jaayenge sada hi
Ummeed ka dhaga na toote kabhi
Khushiyon ki subah zaroor aa दोyegi
Zindagi phir se khilkhilaeygi.


Life is words

Besotted, you watched intently
as words dripped tellingly from my

When I laced my fingers through yours
heart tattooed its favourite song
you’re mine

That summer of love drenched in rain
we traced dancing shadows lying

The intricate latticework of
passion enfolded us in its

No dream did seem impossible
but then, life didn’t like our planning

Shattered shards I pick everyday
never knew broken dreams could hurt
so much


Pain assauged through each word written
therapeutic exercise I

Each experience enriching
however broken; beautiful,
life is.

Written for dVerse. Today’s host, Grace, says:  write a Synchronicity poetry verse.

This poetry form is written in the first person revealing accidental yet seemingly synchronized events.

The definition of synchronicity is the state or fact of being synchronous or simultaneous; synchronism. Coincidence of events that seem to be meaningfully related.

As a poetry form, this consists of eight three-line stanzas in a syllable pattern of 8/8/2. This poetry type has no rhyme and is written in the first person with a twist. The twist is to be revealed within the last two stanzas. This form was created by Debra Gundy.

A day worth remembering

The rolling fog lifts suddenly, her mind is lucid
mom recalls vividly that day spent in a hidey hole
when she was a slip of a girl in a chemise
rampaging hoodlums ran amok
as riots raged across her city

our collective mood soars on the wings of hopefulness
as she chucks her granddaughter playfully under the chin
suddenly she looks at my son quizzically
asking who this teenager is
memory goblins play tricks on her mind again
my siblings’ eyes mirror the pain in mine

but we are determined to celebrate the occasion
through the prism of rainbow hued tears
the milestone of ninety decades
is a momentous one in our family
bittersweet occasion; for this spry woman’s mind
plays hide and seek all the time

no trumpets, no masquerade party
but confetti, her favourite cake and
tea with Florence, her caretaker,
marks her day. A day that we assigned to her
for in the days when she was born at first light
a newborn girl’s birth date was not worth remembering.

Written for dVerse. Today’s host, Sarah, says: I want you to choose one of these paint names and use it as the inspiration for your poem. That’s all. Keep it as free form as you like. You can use the name in your poem, or as a title. You can do an acrostic if you want – or any other kind of puzzle poem you can think of. If you’re feeling like more of a challenge, see how many of them you can incorporate. Let’s just kick back and have some fun here!

Here is your list:

  • Trumpet
  • Tea with Florence
  • Chemise
  • Confetti
  • Goblin
  • Mirror
  • Rolling fog
  • First light
  • Hidey hole
  • Masquerade

Imprisoned thoughts ( a quadrille)

(From Pexel)

Sillily squabbling
talkative thoughts
cooped in a cramped cell
elbow for emancipation.

unable to defend their debilitated existence
they resort to unsuccessful rioting.

most are old timers
biding their time
others; new inmates.

only the lucky few will be paroled on paper some day.

Written for dVerse. Today’s host, De, says: Today, I want you to play on paper with the word paper. Just pen a poem of precisely 44 words, including some form of the word paper.

Masking the truths

“A truth that’s told with bad intent, beats all the lies you can invent.”
∼ William Blake

All’s well is the mask she fastidiously wears
her eyes shuttered, her ruby red smile bright
it was ingrained in her that fate holds sway
bruises bloom beneath full-sleeves
no searching eyes to see the scarred soul
her concealment raises no alarmed queries.

His self sufficiency mask seldom slips
he cannot cry for when did men ever need to cry
he is sensitive and feels fragile most of the time
but to admit it would be so sacrilegious
toxic masculinity wins this game
he hides his vulnerability night and day.

They are so adept at masking their true self
that we know nothing beyond their mask
oily, wily, cunningly vile
they invent lies at lightening speed
twisting truths and fanning rumours
the art of politics is their cloak of indestructiblity.

Intent is the mask you pompously don
it screams don’t look at those things
that you purposely don’t mention
you claim your intentions are pure
so what if the means are questionable
under the facade of righteousness
the rabble-rousing half truths you spew
masquerade heroically as the absolute truth.

The mask plastered on my face is of pleasantness
being nice to everyone every moment of the day
gets my goat really big time
but I fake a smile, exchanging mwahs
biting my tongue lest profanities slip out
my gushing tone fully disguises
my occasional ill-tempered flares.


Colours of love

Flame-of-the-forest or butea monosperma also moduga or tesu

When spring springs a surprise
and disappears before one can
say hello to the soft begonia sky
sprinkled with cotton candy clouds

no dewy dawns or dreamy dusks
flame-of-the-forest blazes across
heralding the festival of colours/love
earth carpeted with fiery blooms

but this time reminiscent of
a faraway bloodied land under the pall
of gloomy granite-grey skies
with determined eyes devoid of tears

as I smear blue and yellow on beloved faces
the bitter aftertaste of sweets lingers
a reminder of truths we dare not face
my heart prays for the elusive peace.

In India we celebrate Holi today.

Written for dVerse OLN.

Juggler by day

A recurring nightmare often
jolts me awake most nights
I am hydra-headed and being chased
by a throng of haranguing hats!

The sum of all the things I do
all the roles that I intend to play
each one vies for the top spot
which will be the chosen one of these hats!

A mother, a wife, a cook, a poet
or actually just a general dogsbody
some fit, some give me a headache
I try not to play favourite with my many hats!

I try to slip into each effortlessly
most times I falter, sometimes I don’t
I wish I were a dexterous multitasker
juggling with the multitude of hats!

What empowers me is also my vulnerability
but my vulnerability gives me strength
how I am perceived with each, is the problem
not with wearing a one too many hats!

’tis not easy to keep balancing
for I can’t pick one at the drop of a hat
I promise I am not talking through my hat
uneasy surely lies the head that dons too many hats!

Written for dVerse poetics. Today’s host, Mish, says: Maybe you have that hat, still worn today or tucked away for sentimental reasons. Maybe someone you know has donned an unforgettable hat, a memorable piece of their identity or personality. Pay homage to the hat in a poem.

Metaphorically, we’ve worn the hats!! Child. Parent. Grandparent. Career. Poet. Friend. Use one as your muse.

OR you can approach the idea of a hat to symbolize something even more abstract. Are you wearing a hat of forgiveness, reflection, self-pity, support, adventure, hope, bravery, justice, generosity?