Reluctant culprit

(for all women who fight to live in dignity)

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I turned around and
years had
been swallowed

and nobody told me
life would hasten
to judge me again

reluctant culprit,
twice convicted,
being a woman,
and now growing old

years ago
wanted for play
and wanted for work
curves could convince
and eyes would coerce
(parentheses
around the lewd,
of course)

I waved
a red flag
to go beyond
no audience there
to crush these walls

of a prison set
right after birth
the law could bend
albeit never break

today
not wanted for play,
not wanted for work
no respect to get
or wisdom to give
(a target for botox,
that set aside)

I waved
a white flag
at an empty hall

no audience there for
a withering hag;
no status or justice
for this gender spurned

rules can still bend,
and yet never break.

Appeal to Ignoramus

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Clouds to heaven
sky to earth
can you see end
being at birth?

Cotton ball mountains
across the sphere
rain giant figures
march on the pier

Wind to hurl
air to storm
can you paint life
just being torn?

Sorrow curled waters
head onto sea
stone barrier monsters
crumble the plea

Ashes to bones
dust to skull
you cannot read death
being a lull

Uncertainty of a life ahead

(because every now and then I ask myself: is it still there,
the willingness to choose the less obvious path?
)

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When fog has slid off the up-rolling hills,
Will I take the footprints captured in snow
or choose to climb the rough path of thrills?

When angst has left the up-growing child,
Will I tend the bench and watch people flow
or climb the boat of destiny’s wild?

See, the tree standing age-old
has felt the world of ages unfold
The woodpecker’s knock pounding the trunk
I listen in vain for secrets to thunk.

When cold has fled to un-distant shore,
Will I swim the creek my custom in tow
or ride the ocean to se
arch and explore?

When fear has left the un-certain youth,
will I till a land quite painless to sow
or plod through the mud to find out the truth?

See, the cliff mounting the guard
has watched the sea for years without part.
The sea gull’s complaint screeching the rock
I listen in vain for stories to squawk.

But! Hear, the water lying so quiet
underneath the snow waiting to riot.
The primrose’s push breaking the earth
will bring me the tales of thousands of births.

Notes between the colours

Part 1:

We call for Purple
to turn into night
and find that Green is
common and trite
When Red performs
in fire and motion
then Orange becomes
a reddish devotion
If Blue is reserved
for sky and the water
then yellow is sun
on the hair of your daughter

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Part 2

Beware though then…

…when Yellow passes you may not see
the thousand of specks that melt into glee

…when Blue is in motion you may not grasp
the billion of moons that aged in its path

…when Oranges it shivers you may not feel
the rivers and creeks that licked on the keel

…when Red is pounding you may not hear
those words and hearts that batter a weir

…when Green dissolves you may not gather
the ancient ground splitting the dagger

And least of all…

… do we believe that tedious Purple
is more than a colour filling a circle.

A spark in the Rainbow

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Had longed to hear the colour’s song
had searched for substance in the light
had called the stars for comfort’s sight

but none so far had given way
so my heart’s howls would all allay.

Was tensed with worries of the bolt
was lost for darkness in my steps
was pained for gloom in all respects

but none so far had reached its aim
that this and all was not in vain.

Had borne the thoughts like cracks of dusk
had carried stones in head and soul
had dragged these bones as piles of coal

but none so far had come to ease
the fear of that futility’s breeze.

But when I turned my glance outside
and there, it was – undoubtedly bright

A rainbow touchdown in my yard.

(…no answers yet, if just a spark)

The eternal transcience

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Little petal’s white on the grass
a stain in time.
They have been thrown – simply to pass

Noble peacock’s call in the grove
a plea in haste.
They have been reared – only to rove

Tender lamb’s black on the green
a flash in life.
They have been bred – plainly to wean

Gentle mother’s tears on the face
a cry in gloom.
They have been sent – purely to brace

Greater grief will lapse in season
but leave a trace.
They have been cast  – surely with reason

The ballet of a lonely poet

Sculpture A. Tallil

Sculpture A. Tallil

Words that tumbled through head & meadows
were randomly danced in sound & in echoes
there wasn’t a score or a note to be followed
then why does it feel but clumsy & hollowed?

One of the days, I swore, it would change
then days became but years in a range
my shoulders slumped with burden of times
my age was counted in strokes & in dimes

Could I have betrayed the truth and the real?
Could I have reshaped the spin of the wheel?
I wonder most & on every corner
why others succeed when I am a mourner.

I fret, bewail, do stretch & bemoan
senseless it seems; the fate’s to be worn.

Absurdity of an ordinary existence

IMG_0436

I

The rains of eyes have left a stream;
the thoughts of morn upset the mist

II

I’ve lost my footsteps in the mud;
have searched the skies and found but void;
believes and truths have overturned

III

The bark of dog proclaims new light;
a virgin breeze affects the ridge;
a noble drop commends the seed;
small hopes pervade the rays of dawn

IV

I choke until I breathe again

 

The reticent call of tiny things

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Drops of chant
leaves of mist
hands of light
have kissed our lives

and yet we do not realize

birds of airs
rivers of kind
words of light
have served our path

and yet we do not visualize

wanting and longing
running; unceasing
always and ever lagging behind
until destruction lays its veil
upon what once seemed comfortably great

angels of earth
mountains of peace
eyes of aid
have kept our fate

and yet we do not sympathize

songs of dew
clouds of paint
whispers of dust
have lead our step

and yet we do not emphasize

wishing and hoping
bustling; unyielding
always and ever casting about
until cessation lowers its bars
upon what once seemed crucially key

Not morrow and past
not sorrow; unending
always and ever making us bend
until we lose our sacred core
should ever define the here and us

it is up to us to legitimize

Nostalgia on an automn’s day

IMG_0299Septemberwings
they bring the chill
to pull off summertired leaves
to suck the breath off warmer lakes

I learned the seasons by my heart
they know on how to play their part
as stars wipe out the evening glow
then chased by sun with light in tow

Automngasp
it brings the mists
to stroke off all the wilted vines
to push the birds towards the South

I gathered years in broken jars
locked them far behind soul’s bars
as age removes the trace of youth
followed by the aches of truth

Eveningsilence
it brings the dusk
to cover up the dog day’s heat
to tell the fields they now must shiver

I sailed through time on borrowed boats
forgot to look for beacon’s coasts
as people loot and leave my sorrows
replacing old for new tomorrows

The drums of war and sorrow

angola17The head is filled with pain and flashes
a splinter of a memory
sable dust on open wounds
becomes a human’s tragedy

The house is worn with holes and bruises
a shadow of hilarity
scorched earth on gaping fields
becomes a country’s malady

Who has said we want this war?
Who decides on less and more?
Who can take our lives away?
And who’s the winner anyway?

The sky is shred in tears and claret
a fragment of eternity
billowed cloud on beaten ground
becomes a soldier’s blasphemy

The air is cringed with dread and terror
a notion of its purity
anxious thought in battered minds
becomes a people’s atrophy

Who has said we want this war?
Who decides on less and more?
Who can take our lives away?
And who’s the winner anyway?

Grievance of a dismayed child

Ganges

Mother dear
I know it’s age
that runs away on riverbeds

your patterned swimsuit
on my mind
I was so small and you so tall

 now I have grown into the sky
left you there on shifting sand
pebbles roll beneath your feet
and waters lick around your calves

Why does the tide not stay away?
Why do you have to drift along?
I cannot swim to rescue you
out of a lifetime’s ocean

Each creek does find the sea it needs
I learned this from the tales you’ve told
and yet how could I not foresee
that drops and people flow the same?

I’m just allowed to let you float
and send some lonely tears with you
One day my creek will follow yours
and find the ocean that you know

Hymn of the elusive magic

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It is the hope for a window agleam in an open house
when tundra nights stretch beyond the morrows

It is the hope for a roof ahead in a faithful land
when libellous streets curl beyond the frontiers

 

It is the hope for a raft afloat in a placid ocean
when hungry waves crash beyond the shores

It is the hope for a cloud adrift in a lucent sky
when furious storms lash beyond the heavens

 

It is the hope for a seed alive in a friendly soil
when barren sands rush beyond the gardens

It is the hope for a song aloud in a mellow hall
when fatal quiet reaches beyond the gates.

The journal of a blistered country

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The morning gust
dispersing the dust
the sweeping sound
of brooms on ground
the veil of fire
exhausting the pyre

the mumbling of the early voices
rising
to absorbing sky
the promise of the heat and hunger
crawling
on disheveled shacks

the midday low
of cattle and glow
the rustling note
of dearth’s abode
a horizon of blaze
melting the haze

the desperate cry of men and children
smothered
by relentless sand
the knowledge of enduring plight
roaming
in a sweltering brain

the evening’s weight
on absence and wait
the merciless hint
of coming day’s stint
the night on the rise
gives strife a disguise

the chilling caw of slaughtered beasts
travelling
through forgotten bush
the rumour of a kingdom come
creeping
in a desolate earth

The courage of a rebel’s mind

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cloudswimming, sunsinging
wallshifting, treelifting

Who says if all is set and done
when just one voice can crack the dawn?

goldbreaking, tearbaking
muddancing, lightlancing

Who sets the rules of whole and grail
when just one glance can tear the veil?

bloomfreezing, airseezing
moonturning, tideburning

Who carries the law of right and wing
when just one thought can down the king?

songmolding, seafolding
skychanting, lifegranting

If no one can tell of truth and prayer
why be afraid to turn and dare?

Requiem for Fugacity

IMG_0095a rip in the haze
a split in the rays
a seed in the bloom
a room in the womb
a print in the cloud

so not
to
end
in a
grievous
shroud

one drop in the air
one line in a prayer
one seat in a town
one gem in a crown
one truth in a lie

so not
to
end
in a
rueful
sigh

we deal with life’s board
to lift off the sword
that hangs as a threat
and tend to forget
what is our lot

to
matter
at
all
or
probably not

Quest for Queendom

This post was written for Sakshis’ Blog, which you can find here. She is (in her own words) “An Electrical Engineer by profession, A poet at heart, A drama queen in real life” and has many brilliant ideas. One such idea  was to write a poem for  each letter of the alphabet. She  invited others to choose a letter and to contribute a guest poem on her blog.  This is my contribution. I choose the letter Q. This post is also an opportunity to introduce one of my other passions in life: To make collages of  all sorts of material, for example cardboard or things I find in thrift stores or flea markets:

Quest for Queendom EvB2013Quench your Qualms
and Quibble not;

Quit to Quaver
and ignore the Quandary.

Start your Query
and Quest for truth …

then life will follow to the Quick

Do not be Quaint
nor be Quadruped;

Question deeply
and ponder your Quotes.

Find that Quality
in Queerest Quarters…

then you will get that Quid pro Quo

Embrace the Quirky
and do not Quip;

search for Quiet
and use your Quickness.

Quiz all Quantity
and Quite each thing…

then Queendom surely is to come…

Idle Curse of a Pretentious Broad

IMG_0105Poison seeping from my bones
dripping into convenient veins
beguiling stomach, heart and brain
till dust and rust are left to call

No hunger nor ache
no sickness nor chain

I have a roof and people to love
a work to pursue, a talent to hug
my mind is not shut
my body not bent

There should be no poison
to savage my soul

Luxury problems,
vanity fair,
when I should be dancing
like Sundays in May

Sculpture © A.Tallil

Lesson for the Disoriented

DSC01154I am Northwest
the moss of the tree
the damp, the dark, the direful me;
the one that only the brown owl can see…

My malice,
my caution
will keep you away.

I am Southeast
the grape of the vine
the luscious, the luring, the magical kind;
the one for which all creatures do pine…

My kindness,
my ardour
will both reel you in.

And if your compass is out of control
you may well have lost the cardinal pole
There is no need to look for direction
as I am far gone from any detection

All life collapses

IMG_3462You (Yes, you!) who swallows that petrol
until your mind turns raven-hued
You thought it’ll last forevermore
Mind you! Life always asks for what it’s dued

D’you think the subduer would never crawl?
D’you think that empires were never to fall?

All life collapses
all systems must die

We are but a few; you can kill us away
yet change is born in simple hear-say

You (Yes, you!) who munches that money
until your eyes turn round and gold
You thought it’ll flow forevermore
Mind you! Life firmly does not what it’s told

D’you think the walls would never crumble?
D’you think dictators were never to tumble?

All life collapses
all systems must die

We are but a few; you can kill us away
yet change is born in simple hear-say

You (Yes, you!) who vomits those dogmas
until your lips grow white and rigid
You thought it’ll con forevermore
Mind you! Life clearly is all else but frigid

D’you think the flat earth wouldn’t alter?
D’you think fanatics were never to falter?

All life collapses
all systems must die

We are but a few; you can kill us away
yet change is born in simple hear-say

And the mighty, the holy and upper crust
are all transformed to common place dust

Prayer of the Weary

Picture 033Shut my head
block my eyes
forget, forget that I’m alive.

Greys of rain-twines irk my being
enough, enough, you springtime fleeing!

Bolt the house
secure the yard
recall, recall that I am marred.

Browns of mud-rows vex my substance
begone, begone, you winter’s nuisance!

Break the rigour
blast the frost
reveal, reveal that I am lust.

Reds of sound-strings quiver my core
Come on, come on, you riot times’ lure!

Libretto for My Beloved

IMG_1244Epilogue
Look me up when moonlight calls, roll me in your gentle dreams
soak me with your animus
and guide me through your reverie.

Take me on this twilight fancy, hold me in your lunar gaze
wrap me with your starlit laugh
and chase away those mares of night.

Prologue
The sun purloins nocturnal cloaks, strips us bare of cosmic bonds
tend me through the days of ire
and lead me back to evening’s tomb.

Of Meadows and Alleys

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Let ’em out, the somber horses
let ’em pound the stones and sludge
let ’em run on nightfall’s ardor
’til they trampled all those forces

Let ’em out, the piercing orders
let ’em smash the flame and glee
let ’em screech on suntime’s field
’til they blasted all those borders

You toy around with all my essence
looking out just by yourself
you leave behind a trail of dust
where once upon a meadow lived

Let ’em out those eager dogs
let ’em maul the brawn and hope
let ’em race on daydusk’s garden
’til they gorged on all those togs

Let ’em out those sordid slanders
let ’em bang the sense and wit
let ’em crush the forenoon’s laughter
’til they stirred up all of those angers

You dance atop my all that is
running forth all on your own
you leave behind a path of shivers
where once upon an alley curled

The Chorus of the Doomed

IMG_1888A girl who clutches her trembling legs
her frame for final salvation it begs
there is no protection to obtain
just crude abuse; an innocence to feign

A boy who clenches his bony fists
no flesh is remaining on his wrists
there is no morsel left to chew
just groaning void; an ache to subdue

(Chorus)
Who looks after those
who mankind simply throws
bogged down by their destiny
left to simmer in tyranny?

Tell me, all you society’s helper:
Will the rich, the monarch or the despot give shelter?

A woman who lies in wretched waste
with scars and marks her body is traced
there is no hope for her to spare
just raw ordeal; an oblivion to wear

A man who cries to no avail
is caged in ruthless poverty’s jail
there is no money here to squander
just vacant treasures; a survival to ponder

(Chorus)
Who looks after those
who mankind simply throws
bogged down by their destiny
left to simmer in tyranny?

Tell me, all you society’s helper:
Will the rich, the monarch or the despot give shelter?

1 Billion Rising

Today women around the world will dance against violence and rape (see http://onebillionrising.org/) A small poem is my contribution:

A silent soul in tortured pain
She cries and moans, it’s all in vain
Her body broken, her mind unspoken

For all the beatings that she took

1 Billion Rising
No end to sizing
We have the strength and aptitude
To step outside mere gratitude

A quiet heart in grand commotion
She stamps and moves, it’s all in motion
Her eyes dilated, her mouth extended

For all the conventions that she shook

1 Billion Rising
No end to sizing
We have the ability and the skill
To break the line of patriarchs’ will

A bashful psyche in poetic upheaval
She hurls and defies, it’s all in retrieval
Her thoughts regained, her words delivered

For all the stories she wrote in her book

1 Billion Rising
No end to sizing
We have the knowledge and the wit
To stop this fury’s endless hit

Daylight haven

IMG_0023There is a murmur in the wall
it burdens my soul with an eerie call
ponderous thoughts are cast my way
for on my brain they all will prey

They whisper darkness, chill and sorrow
and break the faith for a soft tomorrow
they keep me off my grounded self
and chase me far to treacherous shelf

The night is spreading a leaden sheet
upon my mind so not to heed
the pleasant ballad ascending from
a lucent horizon when morrows come.

 Is this murmur an absurd chimaera
a passing, fleeting, cumbersome era?
I have to curse the nighttime raven
and thank Aurora for daylight haven!

Angels and Demons

women attending disaster preparedness training3At times I lose track
Of my demons and angels alike
(Not even lights onshore blinking
Luring me through a breathless blindness
When all is swallowed
And the heart becomes a stranger
To its body)

Not die yet.

Come demons, come
holar me back
chase me forward
make me run from you
onto shore again.

But the angels – ah – the angels!
If they’d come back;
I’d be flying.

Ode to family and friends

The clouds are breathing
The skies are beating
Sun hurrying from night to day
Life sweeping from day to night

I cannot prevent the glow from fading
I can only reach for clearer horizons
I cannot prevent the threat from striking
I can only guard my sacred home

(But)
When warm hearts melt frozen planes
And passionate eyes find misplaced souls
A timid flower starts to bloom
And captures clouds, skies, and sun
Altering all to a rainbow haven
Where love finds a blessed shelter

(And)
When lifelines weave wandering fates
And delicate hands stroke upset bodies
A trivial universe starts to swell
And swallows hearts, souls, and bodies
Merging all to a bright creation
Where harmony finds a constant calm