Enigma of Poetry

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withering, burnished thoughts
seek to crochet poetry,
in the emptiness of solitude
pregnant

~like tempestuous skies
with raindrop metaphors
or a gloaming enceinte with hues.

in distant horizons
obscure and enigmatic,
with many a quixotic tale breathing within,

the commonplace, the routine,
the rare and the exotic,

nature’s boudoir
and writings of the old,
ranting scribbled in
yellowed, dogeared reverie~

I sought poetry,
–elusive, ethereal, mystical,
oft deluding fingers of the pragmatic
like trickling sand grains,

I tried in vain,
grasping at mirages and straws,
unaware that
poetry discovers itself
penning itself in verse…

Chanted Lines of Poetry

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When I die~
embalm my skin with sonnets
fresh n’ fragrant
from the stalks of imagery,

shower me
not with reluctant roses
and strings of singed marigolds,
but let poetry
echo from hard bound silences,

let murmured hymns
whispered threadbare down eons
be replaced with
lines of vibrant vignettes~
replete with emotion,

read to me
from volumes of ornate metaphor
bathing me in
dewdrops of imagination,
pour a fluid cinquain
down my parched throat.

cover me
with a spun fabric
sequined in versicolor haiku,
such that
the flames of blazing pyre
chant verses
to ignite poetry in
fertile minds of posterity…

Meeting A Cheater…

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I met him
after years in a train,
~ an unavoidable prank
of the elf kismet,
forced to paste
a fake smile
trimmed to perfection
to avoid misinterpretation.

he had
silver in his hair
and crowfeet too,
but that smile
was still slimy~
dipped in cheese sauce
and rancid too
stale from overuse.

fixing my eyes
to the pages of a novel
I doggedly pretended
concentration and indifference
to discourage
any conversation,
despite hints of cleared throat
voiced hesitantly.

he settled behind
a reluctantly spread newspaper,
oft sipping noisily
from a lukewarm cup
of dishwater cappuccino.

the train halted
he descended for water, chips(whatever)
I hastily picked his cup
and spit in it,
for once glad for
the scanty number of passengers
travelling with us,
and hid my smile
behind the ignored novel
lest I burst out laughing…

I Dreamed of Mother…

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colored tendrils
frozen on distant horizons,
like versicolor yarn
tangled in disarray
~reflecting confusions
of memories mutated
by whimsy of racing eons.

I saw her
face forgotten yet
familiar,
like a faded photo,

her smile like a wisp of fall
floating in potpourri draught,
or a sliver of silver
on uncompromising black
of fathomless night.

fingers yearned
to caress those contours
chiseled in reverie,
but palsied I stood,
mesmerized as a moth
in lantern light,

while she beckoned
with a promise of embrace
long hankered for.

like a rain-song
her presence satiated
the thirst for maternal love,
as my loneliness
was erased forever and beyond,

I relived those
scanty memories
nostalgia a rolling spool
of precious but elusive
moments captured
like fireflies in
in a crystal bottle,
spread prismatic winks
of delight.

her voice
echoed dwarfing
the distance of lost years,
butterflies fluttered
in a hue-filled fog,
my gaze filled
with anticipation
of love nurtured by love
of a mother
now my shadow…

Relentless Woe…

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sewing sequin tears
unto night’s benevolence,
with starlight threaded
into the needle
of hope~

I sought
to borrow fake smiles
from sparkle of glowworms,
the constellations
strewn carelessly
over drowsy river at dawn,
and the daisies
etching ebullience
onto the face of quietude.

but my woes
were like wet blankets
weighing down carefree skies,
the graffiti
painted on clouds
now but streaks of mascara
~drab and colorless.

life once
mellifluous as
the lark’s vibrant strain
is now discordant
as raucous cacophony
of ravens cawing
to breech sanctity
of a silent morn.

haunted by my own shadows
chasing elusive mirages
etched by treacherous sunlight,
going nowhere in
a riddling maze of
concentric circles of despair
I scribble my inadequacies
on cemented indifference
of mute walls.

plaster peeled
heralding ruin by angst
leaving my writings illegible,
I then wrote them
on withered flutters of fall,
to allow vagrant wind
to blow away my grievances,
only to find them
rot to humus and stink
with unwanted reverie.

gathering
the remains of dead leafage
in reluctant fingers,
I burnt them
scattering the ash in air,
only to let it sting
my eyes forming tears anew.

Amnesic Anecdotes Scented in Caffeine

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(i)

tongue scalded
by an absent-minded sip
I bit back both cry and curse,
and gulped down brew
both unsweetened and angry,
aroma rising with
steaming plumes to flavor
a surreal moment
gestating with tension
and anticipation witnessed
by demitasse fragilities,
when two individuals
talked nuptial affiliations
over coffee~
trying to forge a relation
between strangers
who remained as such.

 

(ii)

Cramming unseen chapters
from unfamiliar volumes~
never cajoled in
careless overconfidence,
on the night before final tests,
befriended by adrenaline
and caffeine in overdose,
left eyes red-rimmed,
pulse racing to compete with
electric shuttle or rocket launcher,
mind like scrambled eggs,
fireflies within my rib-cage
~fluttering and burning,
while I blankly stared
at questions refusing
to be answered.

 

(iii)

Within my pocket
were some crumpled notes
and wilted longings,
after a weekend of splurging
I could ill afford,
yet a glow-sign beckoned
with aromatic promise,
‘Madras Café’
and I entered to lavish
the last of my money
for a taste of famous filter coffee,
made from fresh beans,
unlike its instant cousin,
insipid and limpid.

 

(iv)

Forced to drink
an obnoxious excuse
pantomiming as coffee,
pouring from faceless machine
in coughed out measly dribbles
to rejuvenate
tired sighs of routine drudgery,
I oft carried pouches
of coffee granules
to polish tarnished smiles
and erase lethargy’s shadows,
unable to stomach
the free tasteless brew offered
in the guise of coffee.

 

(v)

Over shared
coffee and camaraderie,
on a soggy monsoon evening,
we relived memories
of another time and place,
within a bubble of oblivion
nostalgia adding a glimmer
to echoing laughter,
as new memories
were formed to embellish
a dishwater existence.