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!

~

Closeness Between

Some affinities are greater than
other affinities
How else do we explain infatuations
that never die
This love is a happening by chance,
they say
But in matters of the heart
Isn’t it all fair?


It is winter solstice and I long —
for the promised kiss
Come, let us set the sky ablaze
And show a pessimistic world
How even a million miles cannot
Eclipse the dance of a willing heart.

~

Written on a cold, beautiful December night when the great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn left us all mesmerized. An intimacy that will not occur again until 2080! Some occurrences, whether celestial or earthly, are magical and precious only because they are rare.

In the image above, a fiery sky setting Jumeirah beach – and my heart – ablaze. Hope the sunset this evening bring you immense joy.

Happy weekend. : )

~

From the Mountains

I write from the mountains
where cows calmly graze
to the faint sounds of a village
waking up in the distance and
a plaintive tune of you that
I hum over and over and over
like a song stuck in my head.
Here at the edge of this elusive
wasteland I am myself —
wrapped in your fragrance
moving in and out, in and out
gasping, fading, utterly spent.

~

Lines about everyday life have always intrigued me. In simple acts like the grazing of cows and morning sounds of life stirring and preparing to face another day, lies truth and wisdom. What a poet chooses to archive in a poem and what the resulting image evokes in the reader, is what transforms those few lines into a profound experience.

These lines written in the lap of the splendorous Sahyadri mountains where for a while I shamelessly surrendered myself to reveries. Hope these lines inspire you to lose yourself too.

Happy daydreaming!

A Toast to Love

First, some good news. My poem ‘Methuselah’ features in a new anthology, #Versesoflove, a wonderful collection of 100 poems that celebrates love in all its forms.

I was reading about the 4,852 years old Methuselah tree in California’s White Mountains one rainy September night, and just like that a stream of emotions had gushed out without warning and indiscriminately arranged themselves into verse.

Poetry, as they say, is the poet’s effort to make sense of the universe. As much an observation of the outer world, as it is a reflection of the inner one.

The book is currently on Amazon India and will be available worldwide shortly.


~

Today’s poem, ‘A Toast to Love’ was written on 31.12.2020. A toast as was raised then is due tonight too. To survival, hope, inspiration and above all, hearts being held with love. Cheers!

Tonight let’s raise a toast to
how we fought and survived
turning every terrible day into
a victory of enduring hope.
The way we never let distance
stop us from reaching out
to say how much we care.
Let the new year inspire you
to polish your soul to a shine
But what is really, truly worth
celebrating tonight is someone
who knows you by heart,
understands your darkness and
continues to love you.

~

Vacancy

It’s been days since I heard
music from yonder or
what aromas fill up homes or
snippets of solitary lives that
keep hearts close.
I pass by and hear muffled voices
from behind closed doors
The ones left ajar only open
onto empty rooms
How are we supposed to go on?
The mornings are eerily quiet
no birds sing, the air is damp
and I can hear my own breath
ragged and heavy.

~

Once someone wrote to me saying my poems should be happier and hopeful. But shouldn’t we also acknowledge and work through the darkness?

I work relentlessly, never wasting a moment, trying to stay motivated and pushing others to do the same. But I also cannot disregard the setbacks, the emptiness that sometimes creeps in, the feeling of loss.

Life cannot be romanticized all the time. How are we supposed to ‘be’ ourselves, if we cannot ‘accept’ ourselves?

Here’s wishing you plenty of birdsong and doors that open onto full rooms. But also, moments of reflection that resound with your own, ragged breath.

~

The Stillness of Rivers

It is neither morning nor night
I am wide awake and the river
is flowing back —
quiet, quiet, always quiet.

The moon has left, yet again.
The water is still.

Another river softly flows —
like a whisper
A cold pebble turns warm
in my soft palm.

~

I’ve been told some of my poems are too abstract. For me, though, these are the ones that are most cathartic.

The beauty of poetry, or any art form, is that it is open to multiple interpretations. Let the words take you where they will. Happy flowing!

~

Things that make the heart beat faster

there are things that make
the heart beat faster
desires that rise at dawn
and take one’s breath away
dreams that keep us awake
memories left like graffiti
on skin and mind and hearts
flowers noble and white
a sweet farewell song
the slow cadence of your voice
warm on my winter bosom.

~

Spring in Mumbai is not so pleasant, but it’s officially a time for new beginnings and Easter always brings new hope. We might most likely go into another lockdown this coming week, but for now let’s focus on what’s bright and good. So here I am talking about all the little things that make me happy. What makes your heart sing?

Count your blessings and stay cheerful. Happy Easter, everyone. : )

Where Love Is Found

When subtly asked where
real, flaming love is found
One is inclined to say:
The eager arms of a lover
The heat of lips on fiery lips
A tender, caressing gaze
A body warm beside you.

But has anyone told you
how words and verses can
arouse you in their embrace
How the passion of a poem
can cause an explosion that
rocks your unsuspecting soul
and brings you to your knees
begging, begging for more.

~

It is only about three years ago that I started giving myself wholeheartedly to poetry. What started off as a medium for expression, soon became a reflection of my deepest self. I discovered an intimacy in poetry that wasn’t possible in prose. An intimacy so stimulating, a cascade so beautiful, that there is no option but to remain addicted.

Love and Other Habits

I always said ‘we are made of love’
That love should come naturally to us
like breathing, eating, sleeping.

I held up that placard like hotel staff
at airports waving ‘Marhaba’
to strangers.

Now at times I notice how
my breath is held without intention
How I eat mindlessly
to feed my hungry soul
How my skin visibly flinches
when someone mentions love or
how the night disturbingly crawls
into the marrow of my bones.

~ Renica Rego aka Zara

A Practical Kind Of Love

A whole year has gone by without a single post and it feels strange, like coming home after a long stint overseas. But apart from the obvious pandemic issues, I had a good enough reason. Getting a book published is an arduous process and I’m happy that 2020 wasn’t all wasted. For those interested, my second book, ‘The Silence Between‘ is available on Amazon worldwide. I’d love your feedback, so please get yourselves a copy, read at leisure and let me know what you think.

So now that that kind of busyness is out of the way, and since April is the official poetry writing month (#NaPoWriMo), I’ve decided to resume on a poetic note. Here’s my first offering of the month.

A PRACTICAL KIND OF LOVE

I’m done with romanticizing
a longing for what is no more there
Why must I keep the nights that
tore my insides apart like
flowers pressed in favourite books
and call it nostalgia?
Let me walk lightly, be practical
It is my problem that I care
You’re not the one to pine for me or
interrupt your busyness just for love
So take my memory and make
a mad, roaring bonfire of it
And if you still aren’t warm at night
I’ll write you something pretty.

~ Renica Rego aka Zara