I try to read the clouds
the angry, roiling, dark ones
obscuring the opalescence of the skies
no answer forthcoming!

my fossilized pain spills over
dangling over the edge
aghast and immobilised I watch
as it coalesces and drops in a puddle.

purged but now a hollow, scorched husk
I dither, unprepared to face the empty chaos
then rain starts to fall gently
the crevices slowly begin to fill.

Written for Sadje’s wdys and Eugi’s weekly prompt.



(From Glamour UK)

Chauvinism’s foot pressed firmly on the reverse gear
the cycle of life hurtles at break-neck speed
back into the dark ages of yore
crushing progress in one fell swoop

Men! Strut your stuff
pick up the arms
go on a rampage
hunt down dissenters
as well as naysayers
brook no argument
cock that snook
bam! wham!
the sham of civility shattered gleefully
justice will be served
by the barrel of the gun!

Women! Cross your legs and press your knees together
you are being recast
as damsels to be disrobed
and used as a product
your body no longer yours
your life worse than chattel
barefoot with swelling belly; that’s your destiny.

Rights! What rights!
might is right
and how can the right be wrong
bring forth in this world
the unwanted
raise an army of abandoned, misfit kids
then give them the licence to hunt and gather.

Rejoice! Patriarchy rules again
we are in the war zone
fodder for the frontline
should be churned without shame
the darkness of heart
envelopes the world
maniacs are in charge
life is cherished
the living be damned!

That heavy feeling

The grainy texture of hazy memories
evokes myriad long forgotten tastes
some ambrosial, some miasmic
some that leave me pasty faced.

suspended in the half light of living
an unnamed bird flutters haplessly
singing no song of eternal hope
yet it can’t stop whirring its wings endlessly.

tonight the moon’s forehead is lined with worries
the fragrant skies will smolder throughout the night
heaving under the haze of monochromatic thoughts
the sun’s endeavour to slight the moon may never come to light.

time fades bit by bit bleeding every second
hunger throbs voraciously in my aching bones
tears gather drop by drop in the hollow of my neck
I brace myself for the colossal shadows of unknowns.

Sharing with dVerse OLN.

The first brush

He opened the book with a sharp intake of breath
from picture books he was now graduating
to the fascinating world of written words

his eyes grew large in wonderment
as the higgledy-piggledy hieroglyphics
were finally beginning to make some sense!

he dived right in, ablaze with excitement
his eyes all goggled, his young mind boggled
as the word-adventures began to unfurl!

he rolled his tongue around every groovy morsel of words
he read aloud words captivated by their sound
he mumbled the long words under his breath

the first brush with reading took him to worlds unexplored
these days he knows not his own whereabouts;
whether he is inside a book or a book inside him!

Written for Sadje’s wdys, David’s W3 and Eugi’s weekly prompt.

Flying solo

’tis not always in your face
oft it is subtle
camouflaged in persuasion
sometimes a veiled threat
the pressure to be a part of the herd;
elite or otherwise
you know it is not right
but you give in
to blend in
to belong

’tis gaslighting by another name
breaking their rules
not toeing their line
seems more sacrilegious
than any other wrong
you know it is wrong
yet you give in
to blend in
to belong

And then comes a time you realise
you are an individual
an outsider in a sea of conformity
sometimes an outlier; which is okay
doing your own thing
doing what your heart desires
and you stand your ground
no longer giving in
no longer trying to blend in
no longer trying to belong
finally free to fly solo.

Written for dVerse poetics. Today’s host, Sanaa, says: For Today’s Poetics, I want you all to think along the lines of Peer Pressure.

The best things in life are free

And with fingers entwined
we lay on the mud floor
counting stars and gifting each other
constellations. During the day
we dodged the streaming sunrays
as we dreamt with eyes wide open
our upturned palms
caught the crooning raindrops
rainbow bubbles our prized possession
the whispering trees our steadfast guardians
the laughing blooms were our playmates
we had little then but life overflowed with laughter
now there is no dearth yet no reason to laugh too.

Written for dVerse MTB. Today’s guest host, Anna, says : Gnomic poetry is the long lived and loved practice of moralizing in verse. Choose a maxim, aphorism or proverb, the focal point of your poem must have a moral or assert a philosophical position on life. 

#1 New Release: Wounds I healed : Poetry of Strong Women

Honoured, privileged and proud to be a part of this amazing anthology which has poems by many of my fellow bloggers whom I hold in high esteem.

Heartfelt thanks to Gabriela and Ingrid for their hardwork in curating and editing and also to Nick Reeves for the fabulous cover.

Please spread the word. It is a joint effort of the wonderful WordPress community and deserves stupendous success.

You can join the launch party tomorrow. The link can be found on Ingrid’s site.

Gratitude and thanks once again.

Alas! No famous last words

I must go in for the fog is rising:
she says, a tad weakly, clutching his hand.
through clenched teeth he hisses, playfully winking:
the fog rises and falls like hourglass sand!

Though in delirium, she glares at him:
I have no will to continue living
not being melodramatic or grim
I scarce can breathe, for sure I am dying!

You spoilt my perfect last words: she does pout.
His eyes dance merrily, his voice is gruff:
get up my drama queen, go on, get out!
Last words are for fools who haven’t said enough!

Written for dVerse poetics. Today’s host, Laura says:

Select ONE phrase from these famous departing words

  • All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain” -Roy Batty, Blade Runner
  • My battery is low and it’s getting dark” – Mars rover ‘Opportunity’
  • A certain butterfly is already on the wing.” Vladimir Nabokov
  • I must go in for the fog is rising” Emily Dickinson
  • Ah! The times were good! It was I who was so unhappy”. Sophie Arnould, French operatic soprano
  • My anchor is well cast, and my ship, though weather-beaten, will outride the storm” Samuel Hopkins, theologian
  • Go on, get out! Last words are for fools who haven’t said enough.” Karl Marx

Then using your chosen phrase:-

  • Write a  ‘deathbed’ poem of your own imagination (time and place optional!)
  • It does not have to pertain to the author of your chosen words but can do
  • You could include backstory, personality, remembrances, other people present
  • Make it sad, funny, sudden, expected, personal or remote
  • read Billy Collins’ “Deathbeds” poem – it sets all sorts of scenes

Your poem may take any form and that includes a prose poem

OR (for those who like an extra challenge)

Write in elegiac stanzas i.e quatrains with the rhyme scheme ABAB written in iambic pentameter.

No to hate

The sea of intemperate words turned cataclysmic
heated arguments rose like angry waves
fanaticism battered tolerance
the red-flag of religious bigotry
overwhelmed me with helpless rage
I retreated to my inner island
cold anger has chiseled my quill
it spells out the unpalatable truth.

Written for dVerse and wdys. Today’s host, Sanaa, says: Carve us a poem out of the word “Spell,” and make it precisely 44 words long, not counting the title ofcourse.

My furlough turned out to be much longer than intended. I had thought it would be easy to keep up with blogging while visiting my mom and brother’s family. With other siblings and their kids joining in, it turned out to be a fun family get together after three long years.
I don’t watch TV news but a completely avoidable controversial comment on religion, which brought international shame(and provoked this poem), sickened me to the core. I stayed away from writing to process my despair and anger. Today’s two prompts seemed the right vehicle to blog again.

My story

(There are) many stories which are not on paper, they are written in the bodies and minds of women.
                       Amrita Pritam

his, “will you cook for me forever!” 
that had seemed the most romantic question then, was my undoing
as I happily immersed myself in pots and pans,
tied to the invisible post of domesticity; I lost my true ‘self’

my turmeric stained fingers had no time to stain paper
measuring lentils and rice, I forgot to weigh in my views
relegated to the background
I became a mere prop; useful but useless

every night i braid pain, pillowing my head on it
uncoiling itself, it slithers on to my chest
humming a mournful berceuse to lull me to sleep
the moon wanes dolefully behind pewter clouds
smudging my cheeks, as i forbid the tears from falling

oblivious, uncaring and narcissistic
he sleeps deeply, purged of his angst and manliness 

i find blisters on my heart as the morning dew falls
suppurating in the dappled sunlight 
as dawn brings more unwarranted outbursts
my mind; a numb cauldron
bubbles with indignation
but is conditioned not to boil over
a tempest brews in my chest
screams suffocate routinely in my sternum
when I throttle the voice that clamours in my throat

i don’t recognise my body anymore 
bruises speckle my once smooth skin
like blooms of putrid decay; hurting but not painful
then wither away, to make place for more

i am a book written in tears and blood
my resilience keeps my spine intact 
though it would be a relief to crumble
a poem dies in my womb everyday
while waiting to tell its story

my story is intertwined with the story of every woman 
that needs retelling every generation.

Written for dVerse poetics. Today I am the guest host at the pub. For poetics we are invoking famous Punjabi writer, Amrita Pritam. We have to use one line from the five given, as an epigraph and write a poem.

  1. When a man denies the power of women, he is denying his subconscious.
  2. Like an offering at the altar of the spirit, our names slipping out of our lips, became a sacred hymn.
  3. (There are) many stories which are not on paper, they are written in the bodies and minds of women.
  4. Perhaps I will become a ray of sunshine, to be embraced by your colours. I will paint myself on your canvas.
  5. Look further on ahead, there between truth and falsehood, a little empty space.

Also written for Sadje’s wdys and linking to Eugi’s weekly prompt.