Words

Like a cosy fireplace
on a cold, cold night
Your warm words.

~

I haven’t read ‘The 5 Love Languages’ by Dr. Gary Chapman, but I know my love language is Words of Affirmation.

Words hold so much emotion. Solace, joy, hope, reassurance, warmth; also despair, loss, grief. Nothing can beat the sound and substance of words, their ability to move you, the rush of blood they bring. Whether spoken in a sincere voice or written with a fervent hand, they are gifts. Rudimentary but cherished, like a warm fireplace on a cold cold night.

~

Harvest Moon

I don’t know how to love you
Other than laying odes at your feet
My skin tingling at the thought of
How you turned suns into moons
Just by whispering my name.

The waves lost all direction
Got consumed by the river
I heard the Harvest Moon rise
Saw you cascade in its light
And found a way to shine.

You weaved flowers in my soul
Held a mirror and gifted me beauty
Now the raindrops dance on leaves
Sparkle like diamonds and I know
Love will always stay.

~

This poem is inspired by Neil Young’s iconic song, Harvest Moon. The power of classy music and undying love, both come together in this absolutely gorgeous song and I wanted my words to reflect that enduring feeling.

Read the poem to someone you love. And if things go well, you’ve got the song for a perfect Sunday night serenade.

Happy twirling!

PS: This post could have been saved for the next full moon, but if these uncertain times have taught us anything at all, it’s to avoid putting off things for tomorrow.

~

A Day’s Toil

I tromped on clouds
Tore apart a sky
Rode the wild winds
And you ask me why
It’s another day’s toil
Oh! how much I toil!
Just to say — I love you

How do I unbosom myself
If not with poetry.

~

Most days are like this. Words are either difficult to catch like the wind or too distant like the clouds. But I like the labour that goes into poetry and love.

Grabbing minutes from busy hours, thoughts tumbling into simmering pots, the strong smell of garlic clinging onto verse – this is how my poems come together. This is how love unravels.

~

Stillness

Sit still now
Breathe in
Feel my hand
On your heart.

~

Four tiny lines today, soaked in love and tenderness – for ailing hearts to sit still, sip a drink and listen to a song.

How about ‘It Takes a Lot to Know a Man’ by Damien Rice? When I first heard this song, the tears kept coming long after the song ended. The lyrics are intense, but even more intense is the way the song moves. It’s a cascade, that starts slow, then quickens, until in the end, it just sweeps you away.

Happy drowning, y’all.

~

Abandonment

Sometimes silence feels like
abandonment
Where have all the words gone?
We must learn from birds
how to be consistent
And infuse the colour of our love
into a barren, lackluster sky.
As the years gather behind us
we must not be left measuring
what wasn’t there versus what is
and asking questions — the answers
to which will only be found in the
surreptitious flipping of a coin.

~

I’ve been thinking a lot lately, so much so that I feel tipped over by my own thoughts. Feeling abandoned by a lack of words is one thing, but that image of old hands flipping coins, chills me to the bone.

Amidst all the white noise of things irrelevant, when was the last time someone asked you, “What are you feeling right now?” And, tell me, when was the last time you coloured someone’s sky?

~

How I write you poems

Between polishing windowpanes
and carrying out the waste
I offer my ears, my shoulder,
every bit of space
Does anything belong to me anymore?
Desires of yesterday have settled in veins
My body hurts, I cannot think straight
Piles of laundry and obligations await
But for now the tea simmers
in soft morning light
And I use the six hundred seconds
To lean against the countertop —
and write.

~

It’s déjà vu all over again. Like a game of Snakes & Ladders, we keep going back to where we started. With six Covid positive cases in my apartment building this week (which means more restrictions and no house help) , it is difficult to find the right headspace or even the time to write. And yet, I somehow do.

When we offer parts of ourselves – through our art, our passion, our efforts, our time – even when we are uncertain, when we have little to give, what we essentially put out is gratitude and love. This is what I want to share – that life is not about certitude, it is about fascination and child-like wonder.

~

Pressing Dreams

Upon waking she always keeps
her memory-laden eyes shut for
a few minutes
pressing dreams between lids —

like flowers.
What is fallen must never rot
she says but turned into art
and hung up on walls.
Slowly
she points to her forehead
that was once smooth and
her body that is visibly
accumulating layers and layers
of unclaimed love —
even as she softly speaks.

~

Disappointments, loss, longing, are woven into the fabric of life. Little imperfections that make it interesting and meaningful. Like spirit lines in Navajo rugs, irregularities in Phulkari embroideries or the Japanese wabi sabi.

So let us embrace life’s flaws and turn them into art. Weave poetry out of pain. Pick up forgotten dreams and gilt their edges with gold. Because what is fallen must never rot. Never.

Luggage

There is a thought behind a thought
A dream that carriers another dream
Stories that hold in their womb
smithereens of themselves.

What moves me the most though
is how a heart innocently holds
within its small, sequestered confines
The luggage of another heart
Too heavy to carry
Too precious to put down.

~

Ancient Egyptians believed the heart to be the center of a person’s being and intelligence. Even during mummification, it was never removed, because “the dead will need it in the afterlife!”

It is a proven fact that muscles get stronger with exercise. Maybe this is why a heart that beats for others, gets stronger over time; why loving selflessly makes it increasingly and enduringly beautiful.

~

The Scent of a Memory

An expanse vast as the skies
and not a thing to call our own.
Yet, glimpses of love’s face
tenderly held at twilight and
the moonlit visage of a song.
Like rich, earthy fragrances —
the remembrances bottled up.
On long, weathered nights
when the errant moon slips
through a tangled mess of stars
Do you dab on a scent?
Do you have a favourite one?

~

An aroma can take you back to childhood, a fragrance, to a feeling lost in time. But have you considered the idea of bottling up memories like scents and neatly arranging them on your dresser like souvenirs?

On Sunday evenings, when the birds are flitting across a purple-orange sky and nostalgia creeps in, you reach out for a bottle and dab on a remembrance on your warm neck. Wouldn’t it be nice to take a whiff of a favorite memory? Wouldn’t it be comforting to inhale a moment?

~

You come and go

In the midst of a moment
as I potter around the house
You come to me in the lyrics
of a song
As dusk descends and the walls
turn to gold
I’m reminded of all things old
Sometimes as a poem dressed
like an ode
Sometimes a movie
Sometimes a quote
You come and go
You come and go.

~

I had once written about how listening to music while cooking or watching a funny show while ironing clothes can turn boring chores into a pleasant activity. Instead of ‘time-table’, I called these to-do lists ‘love tables’.

One morning, last December, ‘Coming back to me’ by Jefferson Airplane was playing while I was pottering around. I find the refrain particularly haunting and it kept playing in my head. Later that evening, this poem came to me. : )

Enjoy the song with some wine and let yourself slip moodily into a charming night.

Happy Saturday!

~