The blues

I dressed my blues prettily

and sent out for fresh air

but it looked pensive in pink

standing all alone

where once blossoms bloomed

an empty bench, where loneliness sat alone,

invited it for company

but it trudged back home

lodging deep down inside me

content to curl quietly

dripping drop by drop,

painting my pained soul

I am learning to live with it

too tired to look for metaphors

I delve deep, cladding myself
in the darkest hue

revelling in the pleasures of darkness

bottling and imprisoning light

for it hurts my eyes and blinds me

blackness envelopes me comfortingly.

"you revel in pleasures of darkness
bottling and imprisoning light"

What do you see # 30 – 18 May 2020


And now for our prompt (optional, as always). This is one that we’ve used before, but one test of a good prompt is that you can come back to it! For this prompt, you will need to fill out, in five minutes or less, the following “Almanac Questionnaire.” Then, use your responses as to basis for a poem.

The longing is sudden and intense

made more acute by the greying skies

as well as the letter of a childhood friend

which I found tucked in the folds of my old school dress

during an intense bout of cleaning

I tell my beloved I must have jhalmuri*, now!

he shakes his head at my childish request

tells me to look out into the empty street

lined with stern, sentry like lampposts

not even a stray dog is visible from my window

feeling small and woebegone I sit there

when a sudden downpour pelts me

taking me back to the red-bricked maternal childhood home

where I would stand in the courtyard in a cotton slip

under the large gulmohar tree

and catch the petals caressed raindrops

on my tongue

shivering with fever at night

I would insist grandma tell me

the story of prince charming again

as she applied warm oil on my feet

now in this huge metro, confined in a thousand square foot

can’t even walk to the cornershop

down the alley for groceries!

the borders all around, completely sealed

with a sigh I get up, saving my tears for later

pick my pen then put it down

thoughts too jumbled up to flow with ink

the newspaper lies neglected in a corner

for all it does is reduce people to numbers

and propagate theories of megalomaniac leaders

as well as lab-made diseases

a hot cuppa is thrust in my hand with a pat on my back

and the tears flow unbidden

will I be able to see my mom soon

will we rise Phoenix like

or crumble like the ancient fort of my city

suddenly the graffiti on the subway flashes across my eyes

“You are not alone!”

*jhalmuri : a spicy, savoury snack made with puffed rice and vegetables. Watch it here.

O captain!

The ghostly galleon was a pale shadow in the skies

nervous moonlight peeped from behind the clouds

silvery, slithering snakes streaked down to the seas

the lone, ageing vessel valiantly tried to stay afloat

wailing waves walloped the deck again and again

the master helmed the ship stoically

though his heart was grim at what lay ahead

as the sea-spray hit his face once more, she tasted like memory

of all the good times he had had on her calm waters

and he smiled

her turbulent, troubled flashes of temper did not frighten him a bit

sea was his beloved, he could read her every pulse

yet, he admitted to self candidly, she could be capricious

he wouldn’t mind dying in her arms

but he knew they had many more years of togetherness

he had learnt to starve the fear that gnawed in his gut

never letting the hungry beast devour his mind

he used it to keep the fire in his belly alive

he had been successful in the past

it was a battle he was going to win this time too

he straightened his spine as he saw another wave coming

no wonder he was considered a legend on the seas!


What do you see # 26- 20 April 2020

Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge: Tuesday, April 22, 2020

Eugi’s Weekly Prompt – “Legend” – April 20, 2020

A vegetarian nightmare

Write a poem based on an image from a dream. We don’t always remember our dreams, but images or ideas from them often stick with us for a very long time.

The aubergine rolled up as fast as it could

plonking itself on the topmost shelf

the green chilly glowered at me

threatening to bite my fingertips

my eyes had turned saucers by now

the potato just stood its ground

and admonished me for eating too many carbs

I think I then heard my jaw drop!

right then the onion barged in

querulously asking me why I sliced it so thin!

I gingerly stepped back,
with a scream rising up my throat

when the ginger accosted me

and warned me against using it in writing

I turned with my heart in my mouth

and just as I was about to flee,

a bunch of french beans swung by on a vine

tying me tightly to the refrigerator

I opened my mouth to let out a wail

when a tomato affixed itself on my face

they all threatened me in unison, “Better stop cooking us

or else tonight we will cook you up, champion!”

as I thrashed my legs trying to free myself, while shivering all over

someone shook my shoulders not so gently over and again

I cracked open one eye and met my husband’s exasperated gaze

I got up with a start to find myself on my bed

scarcity of vegetables in lockdown is sure giving me nightmares

I refuse to cook any longer

I fear being threatened by my utensils next!

( I literally dreamt of vegetables a couple of days ago! 🙄)

Solitude (revised)

When the world becomes too much for me

I prefer then to be with only me

When the mind flounders in the shallows of din

It is best then, to retreat within

No company can be better than your own

To be able to explore own facets unknown

For that you have to leave your baggage behind

Calm all your senses and have an open mind

Quieten the voices clamouring to be heard

Listen to the inner silence, be deaf to the world

Solitude is a wonderful place to be

When you are in touch with only me

The quietude, the silence, the nothingness around

Is necessary to balance the hubbub all around

With too many voices and opinions crowding you in

It is better to log out instead of staying plugged in

No intrigue, no suspense just a feeling of calm

Enjoy isolation without a qualm

Nature walks, gardening or meditation

Whatever it takes to keep you from frustration

Listen to yourself, sing or read

Enjoy your own company to feed your need

Once you are again in touch with self

Go reconnect with the world and forget yourself.

This is one of my early poems. I thought it a good time to post a reworked version.

An unequal fight

The scope of my glorious independence
now confined within four walls
alone and isolated
masked and frightened
I stare into oblivion
reflecting on the hands I shook,
the meetings attended
and the crowded commute
Alone and distant from all now
if only I had kept my distance then!
I now fear for the loved ones
regretting the hugs I shared with them
The question that bothers me most is
How do we stay focused
when the world around us
is falling apart?”
I can feel the mask of sangfroid slip perilously
into the raging waters of uncertainty
but I will not get mired
in the quagmire self-pity
I will survive and rise
wiser and more determined
Alone I may be in this fight
against an invisible, faceless, wee invader
arising out of nowhere
but maybe, just maybe
having faced the worst
the best will triumph eventually.

What do you see # 21- March 16, 2020

Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge: Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Oops! I did it again!

Thank you, Mich, for pointing out that comments are disabled on this post! This happened once earlier too! Please, please leave your precious feedback, for my writing is nothing without your love.

One day….

Yes, we had to start from somewhere

Yes, it is okay to have a day to mark that beginning

But for humanity’s sake stop mouthing stale platitudes!

Let the moth-eaten adjectives that you air once a year

remain in your dusty, masculine cupboard

I am much more than the curve of my breast or the size of my butt

but you are myopic, visualizing me just as an object

correct this glitch in your thinking circuit

this one day of paean singing combined with putting on pedestal

is trust me, just tokenism and you know it too!

And you! You who body-shame,

age-shame and deride your sisters

passing judgements from the comfort of your position

and you who smirk at stay at home mothers

as also you who bad-mouth working women

stop purring with contentment and try to be helpful

also those of you who tolerate just anything

maybe you should acknowledge

some woes are created by you too!

For once I have to be the person I want to be

identify stereotypes that are to be shattered

to accept this beautiful gift of womanhood

to turn this silence in my heart

into a rallying song of moving forward

trust my instincts to leave footprints on the sands of time

which no water can wash away

I have to stop complaining about the predicament I am in

and believe one day I will be accepted on my terms too!

What do you see # 20- March 9, 2020

Eugi's Weekly Prompt – Song – March 9, 2020

It’s a jungle out there

The bridge appears to be straight and smooth

but fear sloshes in my belly turning my legs to jelly

trepidation makes my heart race for it’s a jungle out there

hatred and violence roam free

baring their vicious fangs and growl in a stentorian roar

misplaced pride turns a snooty nose at reason

crazed look on every twisted face

blood on each hand and the smell of burning flesh

yet the call is so invidiously beguiling

I salivate at the mere thought of that power

tethering at the edge of insanity

lured by the promised bounty of righted wrongs

but I recover from the transient transgress

with sanity sharply knocking me down

eyes with hope serving as a beacon

Let there be storms of paranoia all around

it may seem like a daydream but is a heartfelt desire

that peace with its winsome ways will eventually win

human will not another human butcher

the arc of fear will not be allowed to persist

time will have to change its course

for humanity to finally prevail.

Goldilocks Part 2

Distant evanescent lightning

imparts a faint blush glow to the room

I am faced with the prospect of being alone in the dark

as mom and pop are away

losing track of time, I am plagued

by dangerous thoughts

banishing them away, I stay brave

I don’t want to go anywhere

history repeats itself, they say

I sit on my bed waiting

for the very social Goldilock’s arrival

‘cos I don’t believe the rumours about her.

Eugi's Weekly Prompt – Blush – February 17, 2020

Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge–February 18, 2020

Wednesday’s Level UP Challenge, 2/19/20 and Tuesday’ Writing Prompt Challenge Round UP