I wanted to come up with a bunch of limericks and haikus for this penultimate post. I was done with one limerick:
I once knew a girl from Nayi Dilli
Who went to a town that was hilly.
She did love the place fine
Till she learnt of the wine:
It came in a jar with hot chilly!
When a friend caught up with me. He had a sad story to tell. I had to abandon my limericks.
Rafts, Storms, Winds
The stormy waves of societal prescription;
Stirred by the relentless winds of ignorant speculation;
Caused by the merciless heat of cultural intimidation:
Inflexible, unstoppable, and implacable.
All working their evil cruelty in the vastness of our material condition.
What about those delicate rafts of unbridled passion?
Unstable, and unsecured yet exciting, and fulfilling.
Sailing towards that welcoming island of hope.
Can’t the winds slow to a breeze?
And waft the rafts towards the happy shore?
And calm the waves too?
Softly rock the rafts and lull the tired sailors to rest.
Where are the clouds of understanding?
To be shields against the unbeatable heat.
And to encourage these daring creatures.
The vast ocean of our material condition cannot be overcome
Not with the heat still beating down,
Not with the winds still roaring,
And not with the waves still raging.
What began as a verse rendition of a ‘fabricated’ drama around Taurus, the zodiac sign and constellation, became one about me and the dilemmas and constraints plaguing me currently. But then, diversions of this sort are endemic among those who dabble in verse.
(A decent knowledge of Greek Mythology and the constellations is recommended. Otherwise, the poem will be rather bland.)
Sisters of the Pleiades
Aprilius’ last days fade as Maius marches;
Zephyrus’ gusts sustain as summer marches.
Helios invades Taurus’ dwelling,
So Aldebaran no longer glows.
Orion’s swift pursuit unfailing
And Canis Major gladly follows.
Seven sweet sisters of the Pleiades,
May you never see gloomy Hades!
Continue the flight,
Despite the long night.
May Aldebaran’s smothered light
Serve as your feeble but precious guide!
For Helios at length will leave for Gemini;
Conceding light to the brightening bull’s eye.
Radiantly you too will shine,
Luminous, fearless and bright blue.
Looking up to Perseus divine;
Asking, “Can we be heroic as you?”
Seven sweet sisters of the Pleiades,
May you , like your sisters, the Hyades,
As they bore Achilles’ might,
Engage in the fateful fight!
And at last may you rise from this plight
And triumphantly cry, “We were right!”
Dedicated to all peoples divided by arbitrary political boundaries.
Beyond the Fence
O hear! these words I have to say:
A tale of fellowship and rooted feet,
Of pride upon the timeless clay,
Of lives nurtured and hearths provided full.
A people brave in heart and head —
So feared: but whose uprightness more revered.
Deceit and cunning left for dead.
Instead sincerity and bluntness cheered.
O hear these words I have to say:
A tale of woe, of strewn uprooted feet,
Of timeless clay that’s swept away,
Of lives ruptured and hearths destroyed in full.
Despair, most tragic — a harsh fate.
The union of ages past now severed.
Callous concrete closes the gate
As free and fair people become fettered.
O hear! I beg of you, for once:
“For peace!” they cried, and cruelly built the fence
“To halt the ‘rebels’ fast and stop the guns.”
At what great pains? At whose bitter expense?
O hear! at last, one small request:
A plea to Justice fair — her scales dispense —
To grant sentence, to save her best;
Who deep in peril stand beyond the fence.
So, I am kind of cheating in that this poem was composed a while back. But since there were no written terms banning such delinquency,* I have chosen, if unethically, to exploit the loophole but only for now. I will end with 7/6.
The Time Beneath the Pine
A lonely singularity
Of infinite density;
Devoid of space —
A saving grace?
A heart of stone,
Never did mourn.
Such then was bliss.
How I will miss!
For one April evening,
It had been, I recall, raining:
Smiling through rain,
You quickly ran
Looking for shade
(Blessed be fate!)
Towards the pleasant pine.
There we spent minutes nine.
And in those deciduous seconds,
Sprung a universe so fecund
That I became
One with a name.
Such then is bliss.
Sweet as a kiss.
Kept low in feverish torment;
But impelled by roseate ferment,
I tread the miles.
Spurred by your smiles,
Learnt to amuse
Life’s myriad hues.
For which I thank the time
We had beneath the pine.
* I am supposed to compose 6 poems in 30 days.
I come up with six ‘poems’ in thirty days while a friend (go there for poems) does thirty.
It’s wonderful what can pass off as poetry these days. Add some random line breaks to a paragraph — make it lively if you can but you don’t have to — and that’s it. Why stick to rhyme or meter? These are devices of oppression, power structures that pervade every sphere of life as we know it. Why be constrained by them? Before you go off in disgust, my tongue is firmly planted in cheek.
O what terrible contagion must infect these
Plebeians that has extinguished their ability to
Conjugate — if they ever could, that is! — words in the
Proper fashion, and not to mention, with the
Supplies a plural verb and makes him
Cheat though the subject is truly one. Only,
She has many friends.
Yet the damage is done and the
Marriage is gone. What cruelty!
Prejudice the hyphen with all manner of
Hype. En and Em dashes, silent victims, are
trampled and cast aside. Their places usurped, their
Birthrights denied. All without recompense and
Apology. What injustice!
“Its literally a disaster, no pun intended.”
To use the possessive for the
Contraction. All the while implying
Stellar, literally, destruction. Where, by the way,
is the pun? Or the (non)intention?
Three assaults covered in a
Sentence. That could be one.
Also, the simple past instead of the
Perfect. What ills have they against
Tense? That they misreport events, the
Grammar is a fickle
Mistress. Her rules, flanked by
Exceptions innumerable, stare pitilessly at your helpless
Words. But know, respect, and then, occasionally,
Flout them. For what beauty lies to be created!
What delights of the heart to be experienced
And what fulfilment of the mind to be had!
A dusty dreary day;
Companion of the fall;
Beside a mud stained trench;
I sit down,
In distant mem’ries drown.
The sky in dark tone shrouds;
Concealed within — sweet rills;
Shivering hands — they freeze.
A long wait,
Three hours art any rate;
Or even better — thrive
Midst the deep
If torpor — hope I keep.
Restless — give up I must.
The voice of boredom calls.
Then I hear,
Soft footsteps closing near.
That fond voice
Before which had no choice;
At whose sounds
Happiness knows no bounds.
So we sat
And for long did we chat;
Of new days
And hopes of sunny Mays;
Wonderful love and strife.
Teddies, barbies — which’s cute?
Dark or light —
What impels men to fight?
The ground chafed
But we made faces, laughed;
All the care,
Abandoned in thin air;
How time flew!
The swift winds never knew.
The sky’s hue
Had since turned brightly blue.