A smattering of wispy, delicate clouds
hide the brooding blood moon
light dims, air stills
comets whizz past softly
lest they step on the nebula cart

wheel gently past all the stars
waiting for the clouds to part
in awe watches the earth
quake in anticipation all earthlings
perfectly aligned moon, earth and sun

burn all the books proclaiming
sun has been swallowed by the beasts
if the end of the world seems nigh any day
time to go back to history books.

Written for dVerse poetics. Today’s host, Lillian says:  I want you to choose at least one compound word from the list below to use in your poem. You may choose to use more.

FOR EACH COMPOUND WORD YOU DO USE, I want you to take apart the compound word within your poem. You can do that by a) putting the first half of the compound word at the end of a line and the second half of the compound word immediately at the beginning of the next line OR b) by separating the two halves of the compound word with punctuation. You MUST separate the two root words that make up the compound word.

You may  NOT put additional words between the two root words, and you may NOT add a letter to either of the root words.

In other words, the root words must be used exactly as they appear in the compound word!

Here’s the list you can choose from:

(I used words in bold italics.)

Sweet indulgence

Thine alabaster skin makes me sigh
Thine alluring rotundity is oh so sly
A flowery tale more sweeter than thou
I pen to proclaim my abiding love and how!

Thou oozy overload of tastiness
Thou sisterhood of lusciousness and sweetness
Soaking sweetly in a bath of sugary syrup
Thou makes my knees go weak and heart rate climb up!

Ah! Delirious do I feel as I bite
The pillowy softness, airy and so light
As juices invade my mouth gushing forth
My eyes close in ecstasy untold!

The gustatory gratification that you generate
The cavalcade of sweetness I venerate
Your chilled demeanour satiates my sweet tooth
Dear rasgulla*, you’re my favourite dessert is the truth!

*rasgulla: Rasgulla, also known in Rosogolla, Rasagola, or Rosogola is a South Asian syrupy dessert popular in the Indian subcontinent and regions with South Asian diaspora. It is made from ball-shaped dumplings of chhena (an Indian cottage cheese) and cooked in light sugar syrup made of sugar. This is done until the syrup permeates the dumplings. Should be had chilled.

Written for dVerse poetics. Today’s guest host, Misky, says: So here’s the plan. Let’s play with our food. Our favourite food. Or treat. Breakfast? Lunch? If this was your last meal – what would you want on your plate. Is there a plate? Maybe it’s finger food. So instead of counting syllables on your fingers, let’s lick our fingers, and write some food poetry.

P.S. I have changed the image because the previous image (which I am sharing below) seemed like boiled eggs to many! 😅

The most dangerous

It does not feel good when made fun of
to take all the insults,
meted out by those in a better position, quietly

to never call out a bully
to know you are right and still not assert self
to never raise your voice against injustice
all these are really, really bad

It is not the worst thing to lose the race to top
It is also not the worst thing to have your heart broken

To be cheated of your hard-earned money is certainly not the worst
nor is being beaten blue and black by the upper caste people

To be leered at and groped is very bad
to be abused, sexually or otherwise can almost kill, still it is not the worst!

to be put behind the bars for having a mind
to have no one at your side
to bow to the tyranny of a tyrant
are surely signs of a deeper malaise

It is quite bad knowing
that what is being done to the environment is not good
yet shrugging your shoulders thinking
how can one person change things

Deriding others on the basis of religion is terrible
as is on the basis of gender
yet it is not the worst

The worst is being so burdened
by the humdrum existence of your life
that nothing ignites your passion nor boils your blood
to be the living dead, to just exist
to be indifferent to all that is happening around
is undoubtedly the worst curse of all

carrying the corpse of a throbbing heart and a thinking mind
is the worst crime and the most dangerous of all.

Written for dVerse poetics. Today’s host, Li, says: Today’s challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to choose one or more of Kubler-Ross’ stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance) to write about, in relation to your, or another’s, current state of being. Or maybe you aren’t in any of these stages at all. Write about that. There will be few restrictions on the writing challenge today.

Calling Mr. Brutus

Brutus, dear Marcus Brutus, where art thou
We have present day Julius Caesar
and thy presence is acutely missed now
His ambition would sure give you seizure
He is no one’s friend, nor faithful and just
He wants to bring many a captives home
For justice his sacrifice is a must
On the face of earth he shall no more roam.

Rise, rise, wherever you are please rise
It is time to slay the tyrant tormentor
Strike firmly at his heart thrice in a trice
Rid this world of despotic dictator
Finally in peace entire world will pause
No more damage will anyone dare cause.

Written for dVerse. Today’s host, Ingrid, says: We are paying homage to the Bard. Use your chosen title somewhere within your poem (you can also use it as the title of the poem, if you wish).

A lemon’s lay (NaPoWriMo/dVerse)

Absent friends crawl out of woodwork;
fans of my versatility
lip-smacking, sour, tangy citrusy;
my taste in your memory lurks

I’m no longer the free perk
you can indulge in this summer
my sky-high price is a bummer
a whiter shade of pale you turn
my charms  you unwillingly spurn
safe from squeezing, I gladly smirk!

(This summer lemons are almost four times their price! In India, most people rely on lemons for cool refreshing drinks. But the start of summer has been different.)

Today’s NaPoWriMo challenge is to write a poem that anthropomorphizes a kind of food. It could be a favorite food of yours, or maybe one you feel conflicted about.

Written for dVerse. Today’s host, Merril says: Choose one—or more–of the names from the list below and use it in your poem OR as a title for your poem. Just to be clear, you can write in any style or form, and the poems do not have to be about roses or flowers.

Absent Friends
Absolutely Fabulous
A Whiter Shade of Pale
Bobby Dazzler
Boule de Neige
Julia’s Kiss
Leaping Salmon
Pretty Jessica
Purple Tiger
Twice in a Blue Moon

I am also responding to Val’s scavenger hunt. Write a Espinela poem or write a poem on the theme of passion.

(My apologies for not responding to your comments or reading your posts these last few days. I have been down with stomach flu. Today I am better. Will catch up soon.)

Till then… (the light of Vika Muse/ NaPoWriMo)

By Ukrainian artist Vika Muse

bathed in the forest light
listening to the night song
we will be closer than ever before
I will lean on you, o moon!
I will listen to your stories
and recount mine
words will be our balm
so will be silence

life will be full of
simple pleasures
mundane routines
and ordinariness
of your coffee and my tea
of smiles that don’t hide pain

we will learn to coexist
till then
life I will continue to exist.

Written for dVerse poetics. Today’s host, Mish, says : choose an image by Vika Muse that speaks to you. Let it guide you on your poetic journey wherever that may lead. Any theme, any style of poem.

Read more about Vika Muse here.

Also for NaPoWriMo. Today, in honor of the potential luckiness of the number 13, the challenge is to write a poem that, like the example poem here, joyfully states that “Everything is Going to Be Amazing.” Sometimes, good fortune can seem impossibly distant, but even if you can’t drum up the enthusiasm to write yourself a riotous pep-talk, perhaps you can muse on the possibility of good things coming down the track. As they say, “the sun will come up tomorrow,” and if nothing else, this world offers us the persistent possibility of surprise.

My body

My body does not remember
the pain inflicted on it
though the scars in their ugly permanence
evoke memories I’m unable to erase.

My body does not remember
the abuse I made it go through
the sag testimony of the flab
that was shamed for being there.

My body does not remember
the infrequent bursts of joy
they were so insufficient
I can’t recall their taste.

My body does not remember
the touch that made me quiver
but it does remember the touch
that made me cower in fear.

Written for dVerse poetics. Today’s host, Sarah, says: Anaphora is a powerful way of creating emphasis, and I think it gives a feel of a litany or a great speech. It’s something we all use quite casually in our verse, but tonight I want you to really lean into it, and work that repetition.

I’d like you to pick one of these verbs as the repeating verb

  • remember
  • dream
  • eat
  • choose
  • love
  • fear
  • hope
  • paint
  • lose

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.

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

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?