Deceptive appearances

Your perception colours your vision
You have never tried to know my side of story
Though you may see me as a threat
I am just protecting my territory.

Appearances don’t define character
Hatred so often hatred does beget
I am just protecting my territory
Though you may see me as a threat.

You see what you want to see
Invisible my teardrops to those consumed by bigotry
Though you may see me as a threat
I am just protecting my territory.

I am as terrified of you as you of me
Danger makes me too break out in sweat
I am just protecting my territory
Though you may see me as a threat.

Myths and lores fuel our fears
You tend to believe distorted history
Though you may see me as a threat
I am just protecting my territory.

Maybe time will be kinder with you
Maybe your actions you will regret
I am just protecting my territory
Though you may see me as a threat.

dVerse: write a mirrored refrain.


Not just another tree

When you turned the corner yesterday, I realised,
a part of me left with you
I have seen your tears, heard your rants and felt your frustrations
drunk on your happiness when you returned home,
I have seen the spring in your step
never oblivious to your joys!

You always stopped by when you were burdened
and poured out your anguish to me
the low marks, not being selected to the football team,
broken heart and a not so good job
I have been a witness to all
I asked no questions nor offered solace
you wanted to hear no platitudes,
your tirade directed against the world
I quietly absorbed!

I may be just a tree on the side of the road
but you often stopped by to swing on my boughs
as sunlight filtered through my verdant leaves
to run your fingers across my gnarled trunk
and get your knees skinned at your umpteen attempts to reach the topmost branch
how can I forget the games you played on me and around me as a kid!

Before you embark on a new path
you stopped one last time
to feel life pulsating within this old bark,
like many others before you,
I bear the imprint of your palms on my soul.
come around with your kids some time in the future
the thought of playing with them will sustain me.

Not so supermanly but humanly

Soaring temperatures, sweltering heat
Two lonely old superheroes out on the street
No sign of rain and the infernal capes
Looking for something cooling, whatever it takes!
They spy an ice candy man and shout with guttural glee
Startling the poor man and making him flee
Slurping on the ice cream with obvious relish
Doing foolish things can be so delish!


The whirlwind of his words
though expected, always knocks me down
leaving my knees weak and wobbly
scattering my composure like a bundle of straw
the slurry of alcohol and contumelious derision
pours forth contemptuously
from his frothy, sneering mouth
the tar black viscosity of toxicity
crushes me with the ferocity of a ton of bricks
then dribbles down deep into my denuded heart
corroded and misshapen beyond recognition
creating a stygian worthlessness
tongue tied and petrified, I stand rooted
facing the obnoxious aural onslaught
spleen spent, he staggers away
my timorous soul wrings it hands
bemoaning the lack of courage at disposal
but promising resolution in future
which, in truth, eludes with regularity every time.


“This is insanity”, I shout at her rigid, receding back
her eighteen year old spine
has as much steel as did mine at her age
I curse under my breath
memories of distant past flood my troubled mind

It still lies in the dusty corner cabinet
beneath the silken, floral duvets
hidden and buried deep
but unforgotten
a piece of my past that I cannot erase

ever the rebel, in a fit of anger
to spite my mom
I had coloured my hair fuchsia pink
that one act of madness, of defiant delirium
a show of my cussedness
drove a wedge wide and gaping between us forever

The frostiness of our relationship
has not thawed with time
“Harlot” she had called me then
splintering an already tottering bond
forgiving and forgetting had gone past repair

I don’t want history to repeat itself
nor be the mother my mother was
with resigned footsteps and a forced smile
ruing my own foolhardiness
I make my way to her room.

Just today

Today I don’t want to live in today
Today my mind travels the maze of past
Synaptic network brings alive yesterday
Some reminisces however forever last!

Today my mind travels the maze of past
Thinking of the trusted jalopy that would take us near and afar
Some reminisces however forever last
How can I ever forget that beloved yesterday’s car!

That truly trusted jalopy that would take us near and afar
Crisscrossing across the undulating, languid country
I can never forget dad’s all yesterdays cars
Adventures, breakdowns; memories special as well as sundry!

Crisscrossing across the undulating, languid country
Rekindling old obscure and forgotten relationships
Adventures, breakdowns; memories special as well as sundry
Life did bloom abundantly despite the hardships.

Rekindling old, obscure forgotten relationships
Today is the day, I don’t want to live in today
Life did bloom abundantly despite the hardships
Synaptic network brings alive precious fragments of yesterday.

The king

All hail the king!
The king of our hearts
Hearts like putty in his paws
Paws, pretty tail and a chocolate gaze
Gaze that melts away all our worries
Worries he has none any day
Days he spends lording over willing subjects
Subjects in whose eyes he is a superhero
Superhero with or without a cape ruling our hearts
Hearts which sing;
All hail the king!

The gift of humanity

Alone, abandoned and adrift
in the tsunami of turbulent times
we learnt the hard way to stay afloat
we also learnt to look out for each other.

Each day a commoner lent a hand
each day brought stories of humanitarianism
each day many a precious lives were lost
each day some small victories were won too!

The powers to be never tried to make us feel safe
so we learnt to be brave to survive
the best gift that we gave to each other;
we not only held hands, despite the distance, but also beat most odds!

Waking up amidst alien surroundings

Whose high rise is this I think I know
he resides I think on exotic foreign shores though
he may not take kindly to my illegal humble house here
which the municipality uprooted and callously did throw!

His overseas schooled kids may think it queer
to find my colourful house so near
between the posh location and manicured park
this dark night of this strange year.

I could not but help but feel like a fake
surrounded by ostentation when I did wake
I certainly don’t fit in this milieu
rehabilitating me here was a mistake.

The surroundings are alien, intimidating and not cheap
I have to find a job that I can keep
and miles to trudge before I can think of sleep
and miles to trudge before I can think of sleep.

What do you see # 70- February 22 2021

(With apologies to Robert Frost and anyone who is offended by my verse🙏🏼)

Suspended time

The image, forever frozen in time
is imprinted indelibly on my mind
the city of love that denied me love
returns to haunt me every then and now

holding that moment in my palms
I watch time unfurl its whorls inexorably
the piercing tendrils touch my face not so gently
my memories are followed by a trail of sighs

my past colouring the present
future remains a slate so blank
the static of my soul presses pause
I suspend the hourglass and the tick-tock freezes

days and nights lose their meaning
I refuse to acknowledge their acceptability
the sun, the moon and the stars are but
unwanted intruders in the entr’acte of my life

I choose to live in this suspension
till I find words
to leave my mark and stain the moments.

What do you see # 69 -February 15 2021

Components of time