So far yet so close

He can imagine her sitting on the porch

in the fading light of a long day

the setting vivid in his mind

as he too watches the dying embers of the sun

dusty and muddy, lying in a trench

he knows the radio would be tuned to the evening news

her heart in her mouth as she would intently hang on

to the monotone of the newsreader

her tea forgotten, a v-shaped frown creasing her delicate brow

happy tears hugging her cheeks

on learning of no more casualties

there is only static on his radio

a disembodied voice suddenly reads out a list

of cities spared bombardment

the voice fades in and out

still he catches the name of his city

relief courses through his weary, wounded body

as they both caress their radios

for a heartwarming moment they are connected

so far yet so close.

What do you see # 60 – 14 December 2020

VJ’s Weekly Challenge #125: heartwarming

Your hands, my words

Your hands hold me protectively

my hands write, evoke life’s glory

the give and take, the working in tandem theory

unfolding every day a new story!

Your hands are pragmatic and solid

keeping me grounded on world stage well nigh!

my words rise loftily high

building a mansion in the sky!

Your hands are cool and neutral

not withdrawn but working methodically

my words spill moodily

somewhat convinced but not completely!

Your strong hands are lovingly gentle

making me twirl giddily on my feet

my words are shy and sweet

promising you heaven, when with thine they meet!

Your hands span my waist

spinning my world dizzily

my words unfurl softly

caressing your feelings tenderly!

Your hands weave magic mostly

with joy they make me scream

my words gush forth like a stream

passionate and full of dreams!

Our hands discover and create

as we continue on this journey shared

in silence as well when words exchanged

we may regret, but want nothing changed!

Waiting for January

Riding on the tired shoulders of December

across the not so pellucid sky

the phlegmatic moon trudges wearily once more

one last circumambulation, it fumes inwards

in search of the change that might be the harbinger

of a chance to offset the rapscallion year!

Its pearly luminescence waxing and waning in vain

searching solutions for the earth’s quandary

seeking unsuccessfully remedies unavailable

no ingenious answer written in the stars

no messengers sent by the apathetic heavens!

The migrating cranes escaping the hogamadog

awash with pity for the unevenly sliced orb

promise to look for the reluctant January

and persuade it to replace lumbering December

cynical Luna believing unbelievingly

(for it has no other recourse)

awaits sceptically for it to usher in fresh beginnings

post haste!

What do you see # 59 – 7 December 2020

News in peril

Before my sleep addled mind could align with my lazy bones

my hands would reach out for the crisp black and white

morning tea was incomplete without

worldwide view sans sentimentalism or sensationalism.

There was a time I used to carry a newspaper

while waiting at the post office, metro station or at the doctor’s

to avoid engaging with people

for the daily told the truth at a slant.*

That was the time when a fire in California could undo the reader

or a Wimbledon match energise everyone

burning issues of the far-flung world

condensed in 600 by 750 broadsheet.

Now the world has become smaller

our vision narrow and parochial

mired in local political concerns

narcissism triumphing over the canopy of universality.

Fires of nationalism fan fragile feelings

real news hidden in small columns on page 18

journalism on sale to the highest bidder

newspapers don’t carry the onus of news anymore!

*Doffing my hat to Emily Dickinson.

Being alone

Horrified by my own shadow, I retreat
but the cold walls of indifference repel me
despair clings to my fearful heart
emptying it of all hope
am I dying as I lose all my desires!
my smile has never been more artificial
the lonely ocean lures my ghosts of aloneness
offering refuge in its suspended waves
the jaded feelings set sail to darkness
not afraid of sinking in the quagmire of hopelessness
the sun offers nothing new or exciting each day
so I warmly embrace the chill night
waiting for eternal sleep.

Ode to friendship

When I got to know you

we were barely five or four

there might have been others before you

I scarcely remember if them I did adore!

What bound and united us then

remains difficult to explain till date,

we are as different as chalk and cheese

so maybe it was karma or plain fate!

I was dark, skinny and quite shy

you tall, fair, pretty and brainy to boot

all things considered

we were mismatched, to tell you the truth!

We were never the ones to take things lying down

together we were sisters in arms, having each others back

your enemy was mine too, as was mine yours

taking up the cudgels for each other, we often cut each other slack!

Despite marriage, kids and distance

this unlikely alliance has survived till date

we have remained committed to our friendship

though along the way we gathered many a mates!

We may not meet often but our bond gives us comfort

for first friendship is like first crush

it can never be easily forgotten

years may have gone by, it is still in its first flush!

VJ’s Weekly Challenge #123: warrior

What do you see # 58- 30th November 2020


Another day, like the one gone by

so not unlike the others before

segueing shamefacedly, silhouetted

against the abnormal new normal

held captive, not by oppressive heat or gelid winds

but fear and concern

loneliness, my unwilling mistress

sometimes drowning me in a downpour of misery

at others keeping me awake

staring at the skies through the polluted haze

my craving for human touch is intense

I look around the room

well, I have a picture pinned to my wall
an image of you and me and we are laughing
and loving it all

seems from another lifetime

memories etched deeply on my fragile heart

I am on the edge, teetering towards the inviting oblivion

clinging desperately to a modicum of sanity

the phone rings, shattering the frangible silence

“join zoom!” hisses harried sibling,
her tone dripping with blame

as my mind weaves between reality and fantasy

I see mom, frail and bewildered by technology, sitting in front of a cupcake

breaking into a beatific smile at the loud chorus of happy birthdays

I touch the screen trying to feel her wrinkles

saved by the phone call and her distant presence

atleast for the time being.

My absence has been longer than intended. I can’t pinpoint any one reason for my inability to find time to write and read. I do hope to be around regularly from now on. Missed you all.

What do you see # 57 November 23, 2020

VJ’s Weekly Challenge #122: the phone call

Emerging from shadows

Day 31 OctPoWriMo

Prompt: Light, dark, shadow

Form: Free verse

The moon offers her light, quietly

just as darkness descends on me

I bathe luxuriantly in its gentle caress

with much fanfare the sun arrives

then gets busy casting its shadow

for it loves to play around with darkness

afraid of being blinded by the shadows of my soul,

drawing curtains, I sit cross-legged

ready to face my shadows one by one

I think we’re alone now,

there doesn’t seem to be anyone around

yet, I am in the icy grip of foreboding

here in the dark they appear translucent with gossamer filigree

I hesitantly extend my hand

to touch the shadows’ susurrus suppurating secrets

undressing them of my fears

I shiver at their vulnerable nakedness

undone and overflowing I bathe them

in tears of molten lava

they freeze at the static touch of my skin

wrapping them in scraps of love that I could muster

I begin the ritual of anointing them with acceptance

finally, embracing my darkness

I emerge from the shadows into light.

(With this, OctPoWriMo comes to en end. It has been a busy, exhausting month. Writing is a solitary activity but when we share what we write, we seek validation from our peers. It would not have been easy without the support of friends who were here every single day. Know that your presence means a lot to me. Thank you. ❤️

I would also like to thank fellow bloggers who dropped in whenever they could, reading everyday is not easy, I know. 🙏🏼

Tomorrow, I rest. 😀)

I am

Day 30 OctPoWriMo

Prompt: I am

Form: Free verse

I am not what you think
I am not even really what I actually think I am

I am not what the world wants me to be
I seep under the skin where I can only be felt and not seen

I am not just my words most days
my expanse is way beyond them
though, my words are very much me

I am not only someone in relation to others
I am me before all relations

I am
a suspended wave
a hurricane in the making
sometimes a river in spate
yet, insatiable

an exclamation in anticipation of a full stop
a worn out book
with some still unturned pages

an answer to unasked questions
a question to all answers
sometimes an adrift statement

an unpeeled orange
a somewhat bitten apple
or maybe somewhat like a carved watermelon

an enigma
so predictable
still unwrapping the beauty of existence
but yearning for the familiar

I am so like yet unlike you
I am mostly me
but some days quite unrecognisable.

Friday Fun – beauty