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. 😀)


Train travel

Day 29 OctPoWriMo

Prompt: Railroad tracks

Form: Free verse

The squalid, squat, sanguine structure
once busy and bustling, is now bleak
the surreality of the empty room envelopes me in desolation
waiting rooms used to be overflowing with people
now the vacant benches wait forlornly
pigeons parade on people-less platforms
no hawkers and no vendors screech
no jostling crowds, no luggage strewn around carelessly
the quiet, the emptiness cling icily to my soul.

Then the clangour and clamour of the chugging train
tooting twice tiredly
as it moves on the worn out waiting tracks that are
patient, prone and parallel
coolies are neither there nor required
as the few passengers have just a small carry bag each.

Masked I board the sanitized, slightly decrepit compartment
reminiscent of my childhood ramshackle trains
no air-conditioning, no rush, just a handful of passengers
surely not a childhood memory
as buildings and fields whiz past backwards
my hair is a messy bird’s nest in the breeze
I can feel my eyes smarting from grit
I am a ten year old asking my mom excitedly
” how far is nani’s* home?”
but there are no siblings, no packed lunch and eatables mom would carry
for the annual, long 36 hours journey
no easy banter with co-passengers
no running up and down the coach
no chattering away into the wee hours of night
ensconced in the coveted upper berth.

The barren stations stand stoically
the speeding lampposts have lost their lustre
I sit pensively, my book neglected, the song in my earphone playing unheard
hoping and praying nothing would go wrong
railway journeys are not the same anymore.

*Nani- maternal grandmother

Self discovery

Day 28 OctPoWriMo

Prompt: Journey/ choices

Form: Free verse

The face that stares at me in the mirror, I know not

seems vaguely familiar, but different

I look closely and trace the contours of my face

trying to find what you see there

your fingertips, as they trail over my soul,

reveal facets that were unknown to me

It is a lingering gaze one day

unravelling all my resolves

promising me an unexplored vista

yesterday your piercing stare

flustered me and derailed my plans

rebuke stares me down some days

loathing on others, halts my pace

Every night I meticulously organise my life

every morning you tear my organiser

as I continue to look at my reflection,

the one who gazes at me from behind the mirror

smiles wryly at my bewilderment and disappears

I sigh as I embark on the unremitting journey of self discovery

yet again.

The night of reckoning

Day 27 OctPoWriMo

Prompt: Magical/ magic

Form: Terzanelle

As an icy curtain of frost descends down the vale

‘Tis time for him to perform the rites of the living

As an icy curtain of frost descends down the vale

He has in his hand a hesternal torch burning

Bravely he strides into the dark, haunted cavern

‘Tis time for him to perform the rites of the living

The dead and departed never make him feel craven

Obsidian giant moths, flapping coruscating wings, guide his gaze

Bravely he strides into the dark, haunted cavern

Bewitched and entranced he follows them in a daze

Standing now in front of the dank, ornate crypt

Obsidian moths guide, flapping coruscating wings, his gaze

In a messianic frenzy his heart is gripped

Tonight he will reunite with the succubus spirit

He stands now in front of the dank, ornate crypt

Glad to exchange his life for this victory pyrrhic

As an icy curtain of frost descends down the vale

Tonight he will reunite with the succubus spirit

As an icy curtain of frost descends down the vale

Eugi’s Weekly Prompt “Bewitched” October 26, 2020

VJ’s Weekly Challenge #118: frost

What do you see- 53 – 26 October’20


Day 26 OctPoWriMo

Prompt: Being different or same

You are you and I am me
that is how we are meant to be
if both of us become me, not we
the differences will dissipate in the ether
what then of individuality!

There is no beginning, there is no end
strong is the urge sometimes to blend
I then change and backwards bend
but I also want to stand out as me
to celebrate my own unique trend!


Day 25 OctPoWriMo

Prompt: Breaking rules of poetry

Form: Self made

Rebellious words decline to kowtow to diktats
their free flow refuses to be restricted
I call them to order
today they are the rule breaking brigade
plotting to topple my lofty plans
all allegations of my stranglehold are false
strange it may sound, I don’t define my words
they define me
they are not in a mood to be framed
in the way I want to
after wresting with them the whole day
I banish them to the corner
they glare balefully but stand their ground
I admire their tenacity
cede center stage to their idiosyncrasies and
their intent to be the odd ones
too long they have followed form and order
today the form follows them.

Friday Fun – odd one

I have followed the form rules till now so today I break that rule and write in free verse!:)


Day 23 OctPoWriMo

Prompt: Gratitude

Form: La’libertas

Darkness, the candle in my heart
brightens the goodness around me
I surrender to its joyous glory
thankful for this mosaic art

for the dawn after the endless night
for the unseen friends who cheer along
for those moments of utter cowardice
for the ability to fall on my knees
for the abundance of sorrow in happiness
for that hidden reserve of can dos

When it’s difficult to just be
I watch myself falling apart
a helping hand helps me restart
I accept my faults grudgingly

Amid the gloom, bloom love and acceptance
hope thriving in the face of hatred
happiness refusing to back down
family and friends silently mouthing ‘I care’
these are enough to light my world
and my half filled cup runneth over.

वे रहीम नर धन्य हैं, पर उपकारी अंग ।
बांटन वारे को लगे, ज्यों मेंहदी को रंग ।।

(Rahim says just as the hands of the one who applies henna on others get coloured, similarly the one who is always ready to help others leads a blessed life.)


Day 22 OctPoWriMo

Prompt: Inspiration

Form: Acrostic

In shadows she lies today, curled like a tendril of fern

Nebulous, not affected by my predicament

Slinking sullenly to silence

Prevaricating when I need her the most, so

I carry on my own

Relying on my vivid imagination

Alleviate I will, this situation

Turning drab grey ideas to blue sparkling ones

Inking my lacklustre thoughts in fancy parlance

Obduracy, my hallmark

Never giving up, my motto!

Ode to ooziness overload

Day 21 OctPoWriMo

Prompt: Taste

Form: Tongue twister type free verse

An explosion of taste, ecstasy in a globule
spicy, savoury, sour (some like it sweet) sensations
mouth watering, mouth numbing, mordant mishmash
wafer thin, crispy, delicately round
fried hollow wheat balls
stuffed with a smorgasbord of spiced potatoes and black gram
topped with tart, tangy, tamarind infused water
acrebic, acidic, acrid and astringent ambrosia
profusion of pulsating, piquant, punchy puchkas/panipuris
bursting with flavours in your mouth
a gastronomical gorging of gigantic proportion!

This is my ode to my favourite street food which due to the pandemic is an absolute no go! Making it at home is just not a good enough substitute.

In various parts of the country (India) it is called gol gappe, puchka/fuchka, pani puri, pani batasha etc. To enjoy it you need a strong stomach and a love for spicy, sour food!

You can read more about it here.