The tree’s threnody


Naked and bent here I stand all alone, save
for the efflorescent rocks and the parched grass
you ruin me, making mother earth my grave
your rapacious, pillaging ways so crass
one day for my brethren’s shade you’ll crave
scorched earth and rivers will be muddy morass
unsullied skies continue celestial dance
heavenly bodies shine and meteors prance!

Written for Sadje’s what do you see and Val’s scavanger hunt (ottava rima).

Unreal dream

He sits there alone
longing burning bright in his eyes
the cool breeze a balm to his fevered soul


gazing intently into the gloaming
he espies a solitary figure yonder
is it the one he has been waiting for


the one who would make him feel alive
make butterflies sing and the moon blush
or is it just a will-o’-the-wisp


enticing, elusive and ephemeral
a heartbreaking but beautiful dream
that leaves shards of longing he bleeds upon!

Written for Sadje.

Wake up (NaPoWriMo)

Dissent and Debate stand there
showing the rule book to me again
wake up before it is too late,
they beseech earnestly,
we are being strangled bit by bit
Plurality is panting, parched for parity
Democracy will be on death bed without us
in the name of nationalism,    
Majoritarianism is asserting himself
parochial views are having a free run
mobocracy is on the rise
there is blood on the streets and hatred in hearts
lumpens and goons are deciding who will do what
how long do you intend to be quiet
how long will the naked dance of totalitarianism continue
they will be pounding at your door soon
wake up, wake up before everything is lost!

Today’s (optional) NaPoWriMo prompt is based on the aisling, a poetic form that developed in Ireland. An aisling recounts a dream or vision featuring a woman who represents the land or country on/in which the poet lives, and who speaks to the poet about it. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that recounts a dream or vision, and in which a woman appears who represents or reflects the area in which you live. Perhaps she will be the Madonna of the Traffic Lights, or the Mysterious Spirit of Bus Stops. Or maybe you will be addressed by the Lost Lady of the Stony Coves.

Written also for Sadje.

What will be (NaPoWriMo)

I

It could be a comma
it could be a full stop
or a semi colon perhaps
no one has ever come back with an answer.

II

Heart stopping
mind numbing
immovable limbs
sweat-less or sweating cold brow.

III

A flight stopped mid-air
a song ending abruptly
a breath unable to exhale
an element of shock in the preordained.

IV

A beautiful release
irreversible cessation
some tasks incomplete
inevitability embraced without bitterness.

V

Exhalation of desire
inhalation of acceptance
ready for whatever
surrendering unconditionally to god’s will.

Today’s prompt is based on Faisal Mohyuddin’s poem “Five Answers to the Same Question.” The challenge being to write our own poem that provides five answers to the same question – without ever specifically identifying the question that is being answered.

Also in response to Sadje’s wdys.

Absence (NaPoWriMo)

Plumblines are useless
naked eyes can’t see
colourless chaos
swirling within

corralled in a small space
a brobdingnagian,
bottomless void;
absence does that

sitting by the phone
willing it to ring
for a voice to fill it
pain drips slowly

Today’s challenge is to write a poem about a very large thing. It could be a mountain or a blue whale or a skyscraper or a planet.

https://lifeafter50forwomen.com/2022/04/11/what-do-you-see-129-april-11-2022/

Making poetry (NaPoWriMo)

1. On a snowy evening, stand on a busy road.
2. Don’t lose your cool if passing cars turn splashy.
3. Centre your mind and align it with your heart.
4. Let go of that treacherous word gurgling at the back of your throat.
5. Watch it cause the snowmelt.
6. Carefully place traffic cones around it, lest it causes an accident.
7. Kneel down, be one with the uncomplaining road.

8. Place your hand on the puddle’s surface.
9. Feel the other words bubbling up to meet the one unleashed by you.
10. Gather them in a fist.
11. Let them warm your ice-cold fingers.
12. Now gently put them in your pocket.
13. Go home and empty your pocket into a kettle.
14.You will find some words may have seeped out.
15.They were never meant to be there, so don’t fret.
16. Put the kettle to slow boil .
17. As you sip tea, feel the poem form in your chest.
18. Pour it out on a paper.

Today’s optional prompt is a challenge to write a poem . . . in the form of a poetry prompt. If that sounds silly, well, maybe it is! But it’s not without precedent. The poet Mathias Svalina has been writing surrealist prompt-poems for quite a while, posting them to Instagram. You can read them here.

https://lifeafter50forwomen.com/2022/04/04/what-do-you-see-128-april-4-2022/

Morn of happiness/ खुशियों की सुबह

English

This endless night will end one day
The sun will shine fiercely one day
One day clouds will dissipate
One day someone will open the gate

These old dilapidated steps
Will reverberate with footsteps
If you summon courage to step outside
You’ll find blooms on this path wide

Sorrows will come and go forever
Don’t let go of tenuous hope ever
The morn of happiness will surely dawn
Life will joyfully gurgle, sadness begone!

Hindi

रात ढलेगी तो कभी
सूरज निकलेगा तो कभी
कभी तो ये बादल छंटेंगे
कभी तो दरवाजे भी खुलेंगे।

इन जर्जर, पुरानी सीढ़ियों पे
पैरों की चाप होगी हौले-हौले
तुम बाहर निकलने की हिम्मत करो एक बार
फूल तुम्हारी राहों में होंगे बारम्बार।

ग़म तो आयेंगे जायेंगे सदा ही
उम्मीद का धागा न टूटे कभी
खुशियों की सुबह जरूर आयेगी
जिंदगी फिर से खिलखिलायेगी।

Hindi in English

Raat dhalegi to kabhi
Suraj niklega to kabhi
Kabhi to yeh baadal chhatenge
Kabhi to darwaaze bhi khulenge.

In zarzar purani seedhiyon pe
Pairon ki chaap hogi hauley-hauley
Tum bahar nikalne ki himmat karo ek baar
Phool tumhari raahon mein honge baarambar

Gham to aayenge jaayenge sada hi
Ummeed ka dhaga na toote kabhi
Khushiyon ki subah zaroor aa दोyegi
Zindagi phir se khilkhilaeygi.

https://lifeafter50forwomen.com/2022/03/28/what-do-you-see-127-march-28-2022/

Masking the truths

“A truth that’s told with bad intent, beats all the lies you can invent.”
∼ William Blake

All’s well is the mask she fastidiously wears
her eyes shuttered, her ruby red smile bright
it was ingrained in her that fate holds sway
bruises bloom beneath full-sleeves
no searching eyes to see the scarred soul
her concealment raises no alarmed queries.

His self sufficiency mask seldom slips
he cannot cry for when did men ever need to cry
he is sensitive and feels fragile most of the time
but to admit it would be so sacrilegious
toxic masculinity wins this game
he hides his vulnerability night and day.

They are so adept at masking their true self
that we know nothing beyond their mask
oily, wily, cunningly vile
they invent lies at lightening speed
twisting truths and fanning rumours
the art of politics is their cloak of indestructiblity.

Intent is the mask you pompously don
it screams don’t look at those things
that you purposely don’t mention
you claim your intentions are pure
so what if the means are questionable
under the facade of righteousness
the rabble-rousing half truths you spew
masquerade heroically as the absolute truth.

The mask plastered on my face is of pleasantness
being nice to everyone every moment of the day
gets my goat really big time
but I fake a smile, exchanging mwahs
biting my tongue lest profanities slip out
my gushing tone fully disguises
my occasional ill-tempered flares.

https://lifeafter50forwomen.com/2022/03/21/what-do-you-see-126-march-21st-2022/

The untold stories of trees

The inimitable trees stand tall and regal
autumn was not kind to them
brushing away their golden leaves imperiously
as if trying to hide
the message of trees they carried


in the starless darkness of night
snow descended swiftly and silently
covering the remnants of the fallen foliage
as if burying deep an evil secret


a path meanders aimlessly through the forest
the log cottage offers solace to achy feet
the trees wait patiently to bloom
fingers of sunshine might awaken the answers
that were drowned in the hum of the city.

https://lifeafter50forwomen.com/2022/03/14/what-do-you-see-125-march-14-2022/