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Twilight

An evening rises
The day’s intense death
Screams like fire
Desires unbound and dying
Paint the sky
Like mad angels
A reluctant sun drowns slowly
Trusting the forlorn moon.

Nightshade

In that slate-grey room
Where your silences pile up
It’s mildewed and musty
Mottled and moldy
Like ragged tattered dolls
In a childhood trunk

Your love that was warm as coffee
And woodsy as the pines
Has deteriorated into numbness
You fight your pillows at night
And your solitude by day

In a thousand acquaintances
You look for that old friend
And end up confused
Amid busy, winding roads

They drive themselves with laughter
Seeming perfection and bonhomie
Their lives are full of cheer
You hastily presume
As you shrink into your shell

Yet you shut the window on rain
And shy away from the bloody rose
You nibble bits of sins
And riddle yourself with guilt

You are warm and tend to wish well
Camouflaging yourself in grins
Exchange pleasantries
Sweet social nothings
Friends, followers, obnoxious banter
And you flit by like a dandelion
Wanton, seemingly boundless

Yet deep down you die
In that land of deliberate silence
Where the nightshade grows
Wondrously purple
Its yellow heart bleeding
Disguising venom
In frail tulle petals.

Firefly

The fool that she was

She wanted to incarcerate him

In that closed casket called Love

 

He who conquers the explosive suns

And violent moons

To him love is like a field of poppies

Red, intoxicatingly red

 

To her it is life

Bursting through cracks in the wilderness

A grapple hook to scale mental walls

 

And she wanted to confine 

An ebbing wave in a blue bottle

As a message to his soul on the other shore

The night he uncorked the bottle

And let her soul out 

To fly free with the fireflies

She died many deaths

 

To him love is freedom

Bird feathers, horses, and the sky

To her it is a fence

Protective and regular

 

Her love meant music to him

Unabashed kisses without consequences

Dreams and imagination uninhibited

A self-effacing madness

Time and space forgotten

 

He meant everything to her

Her past died with him

Her present lives with him

And her future begins in him

 

She loved bondage and slavery

When she was binding herself to him

And his destruction meant hers

Love was her suicide bomb

 

And he stood for a silent minute

On a crossroad

The wind grinding the earth and sky to powder

And he took the other road

Away from her

 

He set her free to fly

“The earth is huge”, he said

“And the sky endless.

Love is a pitstop not the destination

So fly little bird!”

 

But how could she

Her wings clipped

Her heart too heavy

Dragging her back to the earth

She still stands there

Waiting for sunset

When all things will pass

And everything will fall in place

With a death and a prayer.

 

~ Mathangi

I’d rather be

This moment I’d rather be:

Walking down some rocky place in the hot sun

Looking at a book full of primary colors

Ploughing a paper with a sharp pencil

Wearing oversized shoes

Wearing oversized glasses

Wearing oversized watches

Biting into rubbery cheese

Collecting oozing red berries in a basket

Or disoriented beetles in a bottle

Chewing green unpalatable grass

Attempting a headstand in foam cushions

Wearing squeaking rainy sandals

or getting bitten by grit in my shoes

Swearing and wheezing for breath on a cycle

Palpitating without hope and lost

In an obnoxious night full of

Whisky-breathed strangers

Anxious and failing an exam

Hating a song in some pub

Fighting an overgrown garden

Deciphering an alien script

On the walls of a random bus

But here I am:

In a safe
and predictable place
Called “Office.”

Sunflowers

Wilting sunflowers
How they wilt
They who paraded
Bold
Like alchemists
Transforming sunbeams into gold
Now wear their colors out
These muses of Van Gogh
Shed their radiance

Petals losing their yellow
Wrinkle and fall
The creator’s pride palette
Shrivelling, mellow – dies.

Epitaph

“Yes”, they would say,
“Her life was a fight
Between the creative and the mundane.”
“But she fought well,”they would add.

Then they would go back
To fighting their mirrors
And donning the glossy masks.

“How unfortunate,” they would exclaim,
“That she had to die” they would sob
In shock and sadness

Then they would go back
And write their wills
And pay their premiums.

“If only she had told me,”
They would exclaim
And shake their heads

Then they would go back
To silent mode
Signing deals for their future.

“Did she not try?” they would wonder
“She called once… maybe twice”
“Or am I forgetting all the times
She appeared in little hints
Unopened mails, unanswered calls”

Then they would go back
To weeding more seeds
And seeding more weeds.

Do Us Apart

“as long as there is memory, loss is never total…” ~ Shashi Deshpande

I am frozen
Thoughts might resurrect
And float like dandelion hope
Or just sleep
Like peaceful bones.

This is a different sleep
From the dream I began
Reality might fall in place
Altered, lucid
Permanently displaced.

Preoccupation –
This beautiful trap
The web and happy lies
Immunity to illegible voices
Sun burnt and faded memories

Remnants fall now and then
Like an ancient ache
Mere memories
From an impotent past
Laughable caricatures

These pearls
I hoped to count
When I grew wrinkles
But a lifetime with you
And everything is back
Sooner than I thought

That corner you promised
I still flicker there
Wherever you fly, fall, feel
I quiver in your neurons
Like a forgotten number.