Peace within

Day 31: Peace within

What is the rush, why the hurry
Why chase after a chimera
That will only bring grief
Ain’t you tired of running against the time
Can’t you see the sand slipping through your fingers
That elusive contentment comes quite cheap
But you are too blinded to see the secret door
The door that leads you within
There is an oasis of peace there
Untouched by the chaos and mayhem around
When the world gets too much to bear
Turn inwards to calm yourself
Being at peace with self is not easy
One has to forever be a learner
But the first step is to stop deconstructing self
And accept the warts for what they are
Serenity descends with the acceptance
That you have only one you to work on
And as you work bit by bit
The chaos will begin to dim
Stop seeking answers outside
Your questions are for self
Embrace yourself, as the adage says
And you may find peace within.

( Written for OctPoWriMo)

Is this me?

Day 30: Me or Who am I?

The sum of all the things I do
All the roles that I play
All that is expected of me
Is that what makes me, me!

The things I want to do but can’t
The words that sit unspoken on the tip of my tongue
The dreams I crush with my own hands
Do they also constitute me!

Am I lost in the roles I play
Am I made up of bits and pieces
Do you see the real me in my words
Do they successfully camouflage real me!

Why am I one at the cost of the other
Why does one take precedence over the other
Why should I be faced with a choice
Where I have to forsake one for the other?

Why does the mother take a beating
When the writer in me triumphs!
Why can’t I be multi-armed like goddess Durga*
To vanquish all my fears and doubts
And wield a pen, a ladle, a nappy, a cursor, a needle
All at the same time with the same dexterity!

The dilemmas I face everyday
Weaken as well as strengthen me
Dichotomies define and mar me
I ask the questions and give answer too
And I realise as I take stock of self
I am to you what I am
Because of the way you perceive me!

*Durga- Durga is depicted in the Hindu pantheon as a goddess riding a lion or tiger, with many arms each carrying a weapon.
She is the warrior goddess, whose mythology centres around combating evils and demonic forces that threaten peace, prosperity and dharma of the good. She is the fierce form of the protective mother goddess.

(Written for OctPoWriMo)

Oh, the lightness of being

Day 29: The Lightness of Being

To flit from flower to flower
Just like a pretty butterfly
To float like a falling leaf
Languidly on the pillow of breeze
To naively chase the iridescence
Of the dragonflies’ wings
Oh, the lightness of being!

To procrastinate, just because
To laze without a single care
To live in just that moment
To spare no thought for the future
Oh, the lightness of being!

To never run behind the beauty of anything
To smile at strangers without a reason
To laugh unrestrainedly and whole heartedly
To giggle unashamedly and being silly
Oh, the lightness of being!

(Written for OctPoWriMo)

Poetry Form: Sei Shonagon type list

Healing

Day 28: Mending the Broken Places

I sit with bandaid, dressing and gauze
Wondering from where to start
It is useless to ponder about the cause
Even though I am left with a broken heart

Wondering from where to start
I decide to ignore the jagged edges
Even though I am left with a broken heart
I can avoid falling off the ledges

I decide to ignore the jagged edges
To begin the process to mend
I can avoid falling off the ledges
I must not be rigid but bend

To begin the process to mend
Dwelling on the past will not help
I must not be rigid but bend
Painful memories I should skelp

Dwelling on the past will not help
Love is the only regular salve to be used
Painful memories I should skelp
Nobody in this world is unbruised

Love is the only regular salve to be used
It is useless to ponder about the cause
Nobody in this world is unbruised
I sit with bandaid, dressing and gauze

(Written for OctPoWriMo)

Poetry Form: Pantoum

Right now, here

Day 27: How Did I Get Here

Born in a country rooted in karmic belief
I learnt to accept everything as fated
But then I wondered, is this really life’s brief
Shouldn’t I consider this notion dated
Leaving everything to fate brings one to grief
Not every step that we take can be rated
Sometimes we have to go with the flow
At others you have to take charge to grow.

We are where we are supposed to be
The reins are not always in our hand
Life takes charge of you and me
There is absolutely no magic wand
But we can’t stop working hard you see
Even if nothing goes as planned
I know this much right now I am here
And no way I would like to be anywhere.

(Written for OctPoWriMo)

Poetry Form: Ottava Rima

I would like to wish all of you a very Happy Diwali. I am so sorry I have not been able to visit your blogs or respond to your comments. I promise I will respond in a day or two. Enjoy!

Not white

Day 25: White

I

Colour
Is it karma
Non pallor

Not white
Accountable
For plight

Fatal
Dark complexion
Total

Poetry form: Musette

II

Does the colour of my skin bother you?

Does the hue of my skin define me?

Who decided fair is beautiful?

And that dark is ugly?

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder,

Why don’t the eyes move beyond the complexion?

Does the shape of my eye,

My radiant smile amount to nothing?

I am not white but brown

In a country of brown-skinned majority

Yet, men and women alike

Have reminded me time and again

That my skin is of a tone,

That is found unacceptable by society

I didn’t choose my colour

I was born with it

And I proudly flaunt it

I care not what others think,

I grew up looking at it

staring at me from the mirror

This is the colour I am most comfortable with.

(Written for OctPoWriMo)

I have posted two poems today, one in the suggested form, musette and the other in free verse. We were ruled by white men for many years and though we blame them for most of the ills plaguing our country, we are obsessed with white skin.

Breathe Easy

Day 24: Breathing

Everywhere I turn I see your face
My heart stops then begins to race
Why did it have to end this way
Why can’t I push your memories away

Breathe easy, breathe easy dear heart
Life is sweet but sometimes tart
Breathe easy, breathe easy dear heart
You have to somehow play your part

Yesterday I couldn’t live without you
Today I wonder what I saw in you
Tomorrow I don’t want to see
Is this how life was meant to be

Breathe easy, breathe easy dear heart
Life is sweet but sometimes tart
Breathe easy, breathe easy dear heart
You have to somehow play your part

I know I have to pick the pieces and move on
It is not simple, it is crazy but there’s no way out
I know you don’t care
So I am learning not to care
I will survive for I have me
I will always love me

Breathe easy, breathe easy dear heart
Life is sweet but sometimes tart
Breathe easy, breathe easy dear heart
You have to somehow play your part

(Written for OcttPoWriMo)

Poetry Form: Song

The lovable stray

Day 23: Fur babies

It was a dark, cold December night

Made colder by the incessant rain

Shivering and bedraggled, barely three weeks old

He walked into our lives, following my eldest sibling.

We were floored by his chocolate eyes

And his dappled, shiny coat

Mom, a stickler for cleanliness, was wary

We begged her to keep him for one night

Reluctantly she allowed us to keep him in a box.

“Just one night, mind you!” she warned!

Next morning saw him pawing the door

To go out and do his business!

Needless to say mom’s heart melted in a trice

He became the fifth sibling.

He came without a manual

We had never been owned by a pet

But his easygoing manner and fierce loyalty

Made going easy for all of us.

He was our playmate, our bodyguard

Participating in all our conversations

Sitting on his favourite chair

And generally having a blast scaring others!

Panting under our beds on hot summer nights

Snuggling at our feet on cold winter ones

He became an integral part of us.

He grew up to be a handsome dog

Loved by everyone, feared by strangers

His devotion saw him running behind our car

to movie theatre as well as my siblings’ college

Waiting patiently and then following back!

But perhaps mom commanded the most respect

One stern look from her and he would quietly slink away

He loved playing with dad,

who would feed him tidbits under the table.

Almost thirteen years he was with us

Never ill for a single day

So when his heart just gave way one November evening

It broke our family’s collective heart

Even after so many years

We haven’t had the heart to give it to another pet.

(Written for OctPoWriMo)

Poetry form: Ode

Broken pieces of dreams

Day 22: Broken Pieces

I look at my skinned knees

Knees raw from crawling over

Over the jagged edges of reality

Reality which was summarily discarded

Discarded in favour of fantasy

Fantasy which shattered everything

Everything seems lost forever, but…

But now I am retrieving broken pieces of dreams

Dreams thus fragmented, you may say, would do no good

Good times alas seem so far away

Away from my here and today

Today the salt from my eyes may sting these dreams

Dreams that continue to lie prone

Prone and battered out of shape

Shape of my future splintered badly so

So I lay them away from the escarpment

Escarpment which beckons with suicidal notions

Notions that may make them fall off the precipice again

Again to be shattered and scattered all over

Over which I may cry no more but reconcile myself

Myself to the inevitability of stark truths

Truths that stare me in the face, but

But if even one dream manages to resurrect itself

Itself, of its own volition, it will be a reason to revel

Revel because dreams do keep us alive and going.

( Written for OctPoWriMo)

poetry form: Loop poetry

Screaming in the wind

Day 21: Screaming in the wind

Disappointments seep under my pallid skin
welts appear on my heart from the whiplash of harsh words
pain drips poison slowly into my bloodstream
rejection gnaws my ankles surreptitiously
frustration causes my body to go rigid
blazing anger oozes red hot from my wrists
I am a ticking live bomb waiting to explode
but the superficial beatific all-hiding smile on my face
encasing my true emotions in an invisible bubble
has been plastered there for too long over the years
I watch wordlessly as ominous clouds gather in the sky
the wind howls a mournful dirge
and then I am thrashed by hard, pelting drops
my eyes are blinded… by tears or raindrops…can’t say
I can scarce see ahead in the darkness
the plaster gradually begins to loosen
I open my mouth to let out a silent scream
but end up keening like a banshee over and over again
till I feel cleansed and whole, finally.

(Written for OctPoWriMo)

Today’s suggested poetry form is shape poetry but I couldn’t shape my words into either a scream or wind! 😓