Wednesday, May 02, 2018

NaPoWriMo 27

So the tortoise is still at Prompt 27: 

We challenge you to pick a card (any card) from this online guide to the tarot, and then to write a poem inspired either by the card or by the images or ideas that are associated with it.

This is the card that I picked : 

I was not sure how to go about it. I began by actually describing what I saw and then it evolved into a message about saving the Earth. I don't think it was a conscious process. So this is what I came up with :

Daughter of The Sun

Where has she gone?
Did we send her on exile?

Seated she was
On scarlet velvet cushions
Wearing a tiara of starry gems
Robed in satin silky sheen
Falling about her stockinged feet
in downy ripples

A benign smile adorned
her firm and gentle countenance
eyes swimming with kindness and resilience
The shield of Venus abounding
in love, vitality and courage
lay by the side
Holding aloft a marble sceptre
Hand raised in blessing
Bestowing Power and fortitude
Bequeathing lushness of grain
And abundance of water

We need to find her and reclaim her
We need to cajole, coax , convince her 
Never again shall we disregard her
Never again shall we plunder her
We need to bring back her regime
Before the day of Doom
Gains upon us!

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

NaPoWriMo Day 26.

Had been traveling. The poetry challenge is over, but I wish to try out the various prompts. Today I attempt this one:

"Write a poem that includes images that engage all five senses. Try to be as concrete and exact as possible with the “feel” of what the poem invites the reader to see, smell, touch, taste and hear."
And then I was reminded of a translation that I did of my cousin's poem a few months back. Since I feel that this poem is replete with the 5 sensations, I present the same. The original was in Malayalam. 

Do you converse with the walls?
They may have no arms, but they can
bind you fast between their expansive, sleek veneers.

Keep up the chatter and
They might end up reaching out to our dialect
and we might end up living in theirs
And some might pierce through our warmth
Imbuing their concrete chill…

Be warned though of Ancient walls –
They might ensconce you deep
into their decrepit slumbering leaves
Taunt you with memories of bygone youth
Making you shudder in chagrin
Before their towering vainglory

The new pristine walls through a forgotten switch
may gently graze your brows
with sizzling current;
Caress your forehead with
the dust off a Picture frame

A distressing odour of the paint
clings all over
and whispers into your ears: “WE”!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

NaPoWriMo18 Prompt 3

My writing is all disorderly. So today I work with the Day 3 prompt which says:  "Write a poem that plays with voice. For example, you might try writing a stanza that recounts something in the first-person, followed by a stanza recounting the same incident in the second-person, followed by a stanza that treats the incident from a third-person point of view. Or you might try a poem in the form of a dialogue, which necessarily has two “I” speakers, addressing two “you”s. Another way to go is to take an existing poem of yours or someone else’s, and try rewriting it in a different voice. The point is just to play with who is speaking to who and how. 

SHE : ( 3rd person)  

She struts about like she is royal
Her nose up in the air
She looks you in the eye
And answers like she dared you      
There is no smile
on her little upturned lips
She shrugs her mane
like the wind was her play thing…         
PC: from the www
She twirls her pretty little fingers
Drawing graceful arcs in the air
She sashays past ,with  cheeky impudence
swinging her arms, 
her head in the clouds
You can’t help but
Stand by star gazed…
How can she be so forthright
It is not  her time yet
She needs to wait, she needs to learn
Before she earns her worth

I : ( 1st person)

I am just a young girl
Searching for my bearings
I wish you looked at me
A little more kindly
With a little more understanding
But I shall not ask, I shall not plead
Don’t judge me by the way I walk, talk or look
PC: from the www
Don’t look at me with scorn in your eye
Don’t look at me like I know nothing about life     
I may not, but I am learning
I shall not cower nor crouch
I am not afraid to learn
I too have my fears, I too have my doubts
But  I don’t let them
mirror in my eye
Pacing with steady steps
Looking at the world straight in the eye
Gives me the strength
To deal with what comes on life’s platter
You think you’ve got me all sorted
But let me tell you
The story may be different from
What strikes the eye…

YOU : ( 2nd person)

Don’t you see?
She is a child woman
She is evolving
She is vulnerable
She is fragile
The fingers of life
are reaching out to her
Sometimes in gentle caresses          
PC: from the www
And sometimes in shoves
Be gentle, be kind
Don’t you remember?
How you longed to be understood
To be accepted, to be liked
Don’t you see a little you and me
In her eyes, in her words
And in her deeds?
Is it really not so easy
To cast the gaze of love
To stride along unobtrusively
With a gentle pat, a tender hug
To just let her know you care
Just to be there
If and when needed…

( all images are from the internet. ) 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

NaPoWriMo 18: Prompt 25 : Warning Label

Today, we challenge you to write a poem that takes the form of a warning label . . . for yourself!


Handle with kid gloves!

Tread with care !
Waterworks in progress!

Take Diversion!
Explosive terrain ahead!

Searing Sarcasm Expert!
Thick skinned apparel advised!

Specialist in Cold shoulder treatment
Prudence recommended!

Shhhh! Silence mode!
Breathe only if absolutely essential!

Introspective Mode!
Don’t disturb!

Brainstorming session
Participation mandatory!

Loving cap on
Abject surrender Imperative !

NaPoWriMo 18 : Prompt (1) : Secret Pleasure/ Secret Shame

1. Write a poem that is based on a secret shame, or a secret pleasure

A secret shame or a secret pleasure?
The secret shames or the secret pleasures?
This one or that one
So many buried under the avalanche of memories
Sometimes I rake one up
Some harmless, innocent ones
And some not so pleasant
Some real awkward that I shudder with shame
And some bring a smile
On my face
And then I realize
One just cannot grow up too soon
One shall commit the deeds of
Folly of innocence and ignorance
There is no skipping to maturity
One stumbles and falls
Before one takes steps of
Confidence and cognizance!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

NaPoWriMo Prompt 24

And from Prompt 1, I jump straight onto Prompt 24! Why? Because  Prompt 24 says: 

Today’s craft resource is a long-ish essay by Hyejung Kook regarding how poetry can be created from absence, or in the wake of loss, and how awareness of mortality drives a desire to produce art, people, poems.
Today, we’d like to challenge you to write an elegy – a poem typically written in honor or memory of someone dead. But we’d like to challenge you to write an elegy that has a hopefulness to it. Need inspiration? You might look at W.H. Auden’s elegy for Yeats, which ends on a note suggesting that the great poet’s work will live on, inspiring others in years to come. Or perhaps this elegy by Mary Jo Bang, where the sadness is shot through with a sense of forgiveness on both sides.

And since I had already written something a few years ago on these lines, I thought I might as well post it here. It is about a very special person who left in 2010.  

To someone who left...

Hi, are you there? Are you listening?
I want to tell you something
I am angry, very angry
But sometimes I miss you, lots…
But let me also tell you that
sometimes I don’t…
You know,
Sometimes I want to talk to you
Sometimes I just want to listen to you
And sometimes I don’t know what I actually wish-
Sometimes I think I should wipe out every memory,
every thought of you…
And sometimes I want
to cling to even the tiniest moment
And don’t want to let go ever…
Sometimes I ask why, how..
Sometimes I just don’t care…
Sometimes I think
I’m getting used to your absence
And sometimes I feel its unbearable
Sometimes I think I’ll get over you…
And everything will be fine,I’ll keep moving on
And sometimes I’m stuck, I am lost
Sucked into a bottomless vortex
Struggling to stay afloat

Sometimes suddenly I get the feeling you are right here
Right in front of me or by my side
And when I reach out
Colliding into the emptiness and the silence
A sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach
A wrench in my heart, a sob in my throat
Reminding me that you are not here nor anywhere
Sometimes I think I heard you giggle
I fancy I saw you here or there
And I forget you are elsewhere or nowhere
And then when it dawns yet again

It is another stab for the millionth time
Knowing that the past will never come back…
It is so hard to believe that
That which was is no longer is …
Sometimes I can accept, and sometimes it hurts
in some place that cannot be seen, heard or touched

Sometimes I want to call out your name Loud, loudly…
Sometimes I want to hear you call out my name Loud, louder
And I want to answer
And then I realize with a shudder
I’m forgetting how your voice sounded
I keep looking for remnants of your voice, of your touch
And I drown in an abyss of despair and desolation
Of helplessness, of hopelessness
And yet, there is an absurd sense of relief
A weird reassurance
That you still exist- in my memories
Because I’m terrified of letting myself forget you
Because if I forget you then that will be the true end
And that I can’t bear
When you flash in my memory
It means you still are, and that you remain
I want to talk about you without my eyes welling up
I want to smile when I think about you
And for me to go on
I need to know that you are watching, listening,smiling too
I want to let the waves of your memories wash over me
I want to drown in them
I keep reliving those moments,
keep retelling those stories
In a frenzy to keep you here

Of how you chided me
How you teased me
How you annoyed me,
How your eyes crinkled when you smiled,
How you waggled your finger in mock anger
How you laughed, how you rolled your eyes
You said this, you did that…
The calendar is now marked forever
As before you left, and after
You just picked up and left
No goodbyes, no farewells
The onus on us left behind
To trudge through the quicksand of life
I always knew you’d leave
But when you did
I realized I was hoping you’d stay…

Hey ! Are you there? Are you listening?
I want to tell you something
I am angry, very angry- but
Did I tell you how much I have loved you
Did you know how much you meant to me?
Wait, I cannot let you go yet
I refuse to think you are not here
You are still here amidst us
In our words, in our thoughts
Now and forever…

NaPoWriMo 2018 ( Prompt 1- Early Bird)

NaPoWriMo 2018

I am very late to the party. But no worries. Let me start from Day 1prompt

Day 1 Prompt  :  to write a poem in the form of a love letter . . . to an object. Ideally, the poem will be a kind of riddle, where it’s not totally obvious that the addressee is your beloved childhood pogo stick, or a dish of pad thai from your favorite restaurant, until near the end.  A great opportunity to play with some of the clichés and tropes of love poetry.

You were a gift

A very thoughtful one

You looked very strange

And yet I liked you

From the very beginning

You sang the sweetest songs

Your voice like the tinkle of bells.

I held  you in my arms

day in and out

Never wanting to let go

You were mine and  only mine  

And then one day

It happened

Everything changed

We had a fall out

I lashed out

In mad, blind fury

You were shattered

You whimpered

In feeble, garbled tones

And then you went silent

Silent forever

I’ve often wondered

What became of you

(Music Box : p.c: Internet)
I still remember the songs

That you sung

Your tinkling sound

Continues to Haunt my dreams

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Are you there???

Today again there was that  fraction of a moment when somebody’s expression suddenly gave me  the illusion that I was actually talking to you. It is such a fleeting moment but in that fraction of a second , I believe you are right here – in front of me, for that fleeting moment, I experience a sense of revelry that you are still here among us. And the next moment yet again that sinking feeling emerges reminding me of the painful truth that you are not here any more. One wishes to prolong that sense of suspended belief , that delusion but it is not to be. There is a pang in the depths of the heart, an overwhelming sense of loss, a feeling of desolation, hopelessness, and futility. And yet there is a weird feeling of reassurance , a sense of absurd relief that you are still alive in our memories. Because I’m terrified of letting myself forget you. Because if I forget you then that will be the true end and that I can’t bear. When you flash in my memory, then it means that you still are, that you shall remain. And for me to go on, I need to believe that . I need to believe that you are watching, that you understand …

I like thinking about you, remembering your expressions, your chuckles, your laughter. I love talking about you... without my eyes welling up. I like to smile when I think about you, talk about you... I like to think you are watching, listening, smiling too... may be, just may be that I would have liked to see you again, talk to you again, listen to you some more, tell you a few more special things...

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Way Beyond...

You want to chain me in words. Cage me in boxes. You want to define me. You want to claim you understand me, you have got me all figured out. You want to cross check, you want to prove, you want to analyse ,you want to dissect, you want me to fulfil criteria charted out by you- you want me to adhere to facts generated by you, to observe rules drawn out by you, to abide by regulations fabricated by you!
You want me to have me tallied- you want to quantify me- you want to have me accounted for!
You want to tether me in words, in tabular columns, in bar graphs…you are excited when you think human intellect covers me up totally- and that I cannot exist beyond that!! You pat yourself thinking you’ve got me all figured out!
But sorry- I don’t fit in- I cannot be caged or chained in words or definitions, in facts or figures, you can’t map me , you can’t chart me out- I extend beyond your x-y axes…
I stray into un-chartered territories- un-traversed by human intellect- I stretch across borders and definitions- I am invisible, I am intangible- how can you hope to catch me with your finite intellect when you can’t even see me fully?
I escape like sand in your clenched fists- I am in the air you breathe- and the air without - I’m in the void- I am in the spaces. I exist in thoughts that cannot be expressed, in feelings that cannot be understood- I am in your sighs, even in your yawns. The alphabets shall never suffice to encompass me, language shall always be found wanting.
I’m grainier than the sand grains on the seashore- saltier than all the salt in the sea. I'm colder than the ice flakes in the arctic, deeper than the tears in your eyes. I’m in the roots that meander their way under the earth, in the leaves that sprouted and then wither and fall; I'm in the buds that are yet to blossom.
I’m the colours beyond the vibgyor, the sounds beyond hearing. I’m brighter than the sparkle in a child’s eye. I go beyond learning, beyond understanding, beyond experiences- then why this craving to have me all figured out- hold me in your clasp- chain me in fetters of grammar and format?
You see, I existed before all that…

Why is it so difficult to accept that there could be things beyond language, beyond borders, beyond limits, beyond concepts, beyond definitions? Is it really so difficult to comprehend?

I am so much, so much more - beyond your reach… beyond your view… beyond the distant horizon…