Thursday, 27 December 2007

some solace

i always enjoy the 'Know Your English' column in The Hindu every Tuesday. especially for the quote at the end of it.
that Mr S Upendran has a sense of humour, is evident from his examples and from the quote with which he ends his weekly column.
this week was no exception. it made me laugh and it gave me a different perspective on how poetry, mine and in general, is greeted today.
" The person who writes for fools is always sure of a larger audience."
- Arthur Schopenhauer

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

A typical day

maybe i stirred the stew
and thought of you
in a mundane meandering way
and looked out of the window
remarked on the passionate day
maybe i pottered about a bit
straightened some cushions
fished out the sewing kit
sat down to embroider
or macramé
or knit
gave them all up to
just sit
to sip wine and
look at old snapshots
play ancient tapes
smoke some pot
maybe i walked bare feet
in the grass
toes curling against the sensation
of the sharp and wet
maybe a whole lot of time
passed
and i know not how
the day you left me
at last.

Animal

is that guilt i wonder
when you smile
and exclaim at how
old you feel
and carefully not hug me
while your new bride
has no such qualms
can you perhaps see
the shattered lil girl in me
kissed with fetid lips
and touched in secret places
in her secret places
that child who came to you
feathers in her hand
gentle trusting
and you used her
against her
used feathered fingers
to touch
her
i remember the smell
that being that felt
rubbery
unyielding
to the little fingers
my little fingers
that held it
the game we were playing
voices muffled
parents in the next room
a child i was
a child
and you put your fingers
in me
made me grow up
now i know
what you did
it has a name
i hate hide and seek.

After…..

a grown woman
i do not bear scars
or trauma
of what you did
and yet i search
feverishly
through all
the news
of abuse
that speak of
a stolen childhood.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Sudden

i never heard from him again
but when i think of that night
making love being made love to
with no end in sight


i still remember his eyelashes
how they fluttered against my skin
the way he spoke of his lust
his voice salt stirred-in gin


yes i have known pleasure
i am married to my lover you know
but the thrill of new experience
makes for a formidable foe


and so i finally succumbed again
committed adultery like you would say
but regrets i have none
what ever happens come what may


these occasional trysts and rendezvous
add spice to my mundane life
you never know
it might be you
seeking a bored wife.

Friday, 9 November 2007

diwali

is it wishful thinking on my part, or was diwali a lot quieter this year?

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

The Widow Series

In 2000, Deepa Mehta was forced to temporarily suspend work on her film, Water in Varanasi India.
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2000/apr2000/meht-a10.shtml

i could not help but think that we were missing the point. in the whole brouhaha over the film, somewhere along the way, we forgot the most important element- the widow and her wretched life.
what follows is my protest.

The Widow 3

broken bangles
hacked off hair
strewn vermilion
everywhere

unbeauty in persona
the stench of death
the soul shivers
cold and wet

mocking eyes that see unsee
the slow eroding
of reality

the wails rise
as the body lifts
in the maze of memories
eyes nervously sift

the child snatched away
the door tightly shut
the last vestige of
the cord is cut

cast off sent away
she slowly sighs
waits for another pain
waits to die
waits to die.


The widow 2

on the banks of the river Ganga
where man immortality finds
you’ll find a house that houses
women of her kind

the shorn hair, the rough cloth
are unmistakable traits
proclaim loud and long
the woman’s unfortunate fate

she is a w word
not woman, not whore
something even sinister
with a putrefied core

her life has no aim
now that the man is gone
her body is bruised and battered
her soul all tattered and torn

she lives on the banks of the river
watches the waves in the sky
her life quietly escaping
even as the water flows by

in rare moments of togetherness
from solitude her self is freed
shuffled feet and silence
that is her life, her creed

from a life of perfect disharmony
the world’s at a standstill
her heart cries out for freedom
this solitariness will kill

some of her kind were happy
they have happy memories
they talk with great happiness
till at the guilt they cease

to live and yet not to
to exist therefore to be
a barren piece of ground
in the mesh of reality

so life wasn’t a bed of roses before
but atleast it was a life
suddenly she just stops being
because she stopped being a wife

in the holy city
she is the eyesore
the pious dip in polluted waters
nothing is sacred anymore

you offer a hand of help
she stares and shakes a no
she is beyond redemption
she is the damned widow.


The widow 1

when I was five
and still alive
my mother said to me
you will be
married tomorrow
into that family
i don’t remember the days
there were lots of sweets
and harsh words
and money I saw my father pay
the little boy next to me
ate more sweets than I
my hair he drenched in red
there was a shower of rice
growing up in my father’s yard
the heavy cloth slowed my gait
the red blaze in my hair
portentous to my fate
a time came when I was sent away
to live with the man who was my lord
that is what he is my mother said
and snapped the umbilical cord
i went alone in a bullock drawn cart
hardly a weight on it yoke
going away going away
i cried emotions evoked
curious eyes assaulting me
i cringed and made my way
everything was normal
just another mundane day
i was expected
someone smiled at me
showed me a corner
my place it’d be
my now family are farmers
live off the land
hardly even touched some feet
a plough in my hand
in the hot sun
my meeting with the man
my lord funny he seemed
as human as anyone can
is this the boy
who’d eaten more sweets than me
no trace of him remained
him I could not see
back in the family house
dinner was getting made
after a day’s work I thought
will I get paid
a dim lamp in the corner
the face in patches of light
it didn’t register
my whimpers
quieter than the night
there was no lust here
let us not even discuss love
it was a duty he had to fulfil
dictates from above
the next day the bruises on my face
told everyone a tale
my mother in law was happy
her son was a man hail
the days in the hot sun
i was one with the land
the nights I clenched my teeth
and performed on demand
many a time I’d have thrown up
but held the bile in
this is wrong I’d think
vulgar obscene a sin
from these violent encounters
no issue sprung forth
a blessing I thought to myself
he’d have killed us both
one day the man died
drowned in the pond
his mistress went down with him
their entwined bodies were found
how old was i i can’t remember
my hair fell around me
my four glass bangles cut my arm
the blood dripped crazily
then I learnt I was a witch
who’d eaten up the man
i was a girl I’d thought
i didn’t understand
a bald head and coarse white
i was sent away
where was I going
i did not know
nobody had nothing to say
there is a place where the likes of me
are kept away from society
who’s too cultured to bear to see
such form such sobriety
his mistress she drowned with him
a widow’s place is born not made
she stood by him no matter what
you destroy the man it’s written in your fate
i will die here among my kind
who’re all older than me I find
i work the day
i work the night
it’s a woman this time, not a man showing might
i wish i had a happy ending for you
but reality isn’t fiction what can I do
this is the price of not knowing at all
the living dead wear a white pall.

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Linger

on the past
what might have been
had i played my cards right
and held you tight
a hidden self
a falling leaf
in a rain drenched forest
a desolate cliff breaking
gently
rather than be
as subtle as a train
as quiet as thunder
and speak my mind
for being true
was more important
than you.

Friday, 21 September 2007

Whimsy

camomile tea
dandelion wine
sip some chardonnay
feel dirty divine
wear a gown of lovelace
beads all shades of blue
a silly beret on your head
salutes the bohemian in you
logs in the fireplace
indian rugs on the ground
the spring flows through the backyard
and makes for a peaceful sound
books in cupboards and shelves of jade
music all over the place
oranges mandarin or otherwise
bring some much needed taste
a dog to warm my toes
a place to call my own
the whimsy which defines me
is all
but all gone.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

why runwrapt?

i have been writing poetry, or should i say trying to, since i was five. trust me, my parents have embarrasing evidence to prove it. note paper with terrible terrible handwriting and people with remarkably good memories who recall my reciting my work to them.
i think my aim then and now is pretty much the same. to write. and to rhyme. but i'd like to think i have moved beyond such gems like, ' my uncle is thin and looks like a pin' and that 'he has a moustache that looks like a sash'. you know? i do try some prose poems as i like to call them..
so 600 or so poems later, i want to believe that i can rhyme but not just merely rhyme, actually make some sense.
and no matter how much i write, i come back to some poems and some lines that make me proud and make me think not bad, you know your way around this girl.
someday is one of those poems, those lines are some of the ones i am especially proud of.
so the title..

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

someday

slow suicide by the bottle
i’ll drink my life away
i have nothing to live for now
not even yesterday

whiskey water whining
rum wrapt reminiscence
vodka’s my constant companion
my drink the point of reference

nirvana what bliss
to live like this
in bed with nothing to do
no stories no sex no nothing
oh but i mourn for you

yesterday i almost got better
actually took a bath
but then i got the better of me
i’m back to the point of start

wine stopped working
a long time ago
bourbon does wonders
when my spirit sinks lower than low

life from a looking glass
a glass full of my sorrow
i’ll drink my fill today
and not think of tomorrow

drink drenched dreaming
liquor’s my lover till i die
my soul’s getting colder
time to say goodbye.