The Mouthless Woman

The drip of a leaky tap

Has turned into a gush of blood.

I am terrified of time:

Its malevolent, fickle movements.

The night no longer embraces me

In its absolute blackness:

I can hear all of its voices now.

I fear if I turn just an inch,

They will tear my skin off.

.

I find myself being afraid

Of so many, many things.

I am so full of secrets.

History’s pull is stringer now

I dare not imagine a future

Rid of yesterday’s scratches and screams.

.

I fear I will turn

Into the mouthless woman

Decked in her father’s sweat

And her mother’s tired expectations.

The mouthless woman is dangerous:

She lets him have her life.

More importantly, when she finds a voice

It will only say, “Keep your eyes down, dear”,

“Do not provoke them, daughter”,

Or worst, “you’ll grow up to be just like me”.

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My Bible

Writing 201: Poetry

Day#8 Prompt: Drawer, Form: Ode, Device: Apostrophe

.

You have travelled with me, you thick worn out text littered

With bookmarks and letters and dry flowers to commemorate

Some memory of some vague day spent with some person

Whose smile is already blurred, a part of another life, another me.

You’ve find your place in different spaces – the bookshelf on the corner,

Stuffed in a bag of things which didn’t fit anywhere else,

Locked inside a cupboard, in a box of sentimental yesterdays.

And now, you rest on the drawer next to my bed, closer

To me than you’ve probably ever been in your younger days.

.

I didn’t realize how much my life was linked with yours –

How your place changed according to the battle I was waging.

Your words were beautiful, rigid utopias which could never

Neatly be fixed into the sheer irredeemable mess of the everyday.

I held you at arm’s length: sometimes deriving comfort,

Sometimes agony at the distance between what you proposed

And how life actually was, sometimes an intoxicating joy

In being momentarily blinded from the world. Mostly, I was

Weary of you and everything you promised.

.

Now, after the repeated amens and endless recited

Rosaries and routine masses and alienating sermons

And the agony of my soul at the distance, the

Gigantic gap between what you contained and the hole,

The emptiness and death and stupor I saw my life as,

You rest on the drawer next to my bed, closer

To me than you’ve probably ever been in my younger days.

What to Make of You

Writing 201: Poetry

Day#7 Prompt: Fingers, Form: Prose poem, Device: Assonance

I could look at your restless long fingers the whole day long.Your soft, fond fingers rubbing my aching back so tender, so gentle. Your nervous fingers, fumbling confusedly as you speak to someone you don’t know. Fingers that fail at tying my hair. Experts at holding me before I fall and dividing food. Fingers that lazily tap on your stupid phone. Make me feel loved, make me feel covered through their warmth, no, their heat, through all the different ways they know to touch. Scare me like nothing ever has or ever will when you are angry, the grip of your fingers so icy, so strong on my arm that I am choked. I don’t know what to make of you or your fingers: should I trust the warmth or the cold anger? Your fingers lay waiting and apprehensive as your mouth asks for forgiveness. My eyes are still fixed on your fingers to read what you’ll do next.

Moulds and Shapes

Writing 201: Poetry

Day#3 Prompt: Trust, Form: Acrostic, Device: Internal rhyme

Deliberating, her eyes raised and hand stretched, she waits

I grab hold firmly. I don’t want her to let go now.

Shakily she stands, her quivering hands, my heart wearily pants

The anticipation of what will come, the weight of what is done.

Rotten memories cloud us both, they will mould us

Unwilling we are to let them shape us, we tighten our hold

Striving to change our shapes, to be what we want to be instead of what we must

Till at last we can learn to trust ourselves not to let the world shape us.

What is my Voice?

BlogHer prompt for September 5: Do you feel you have found your voice on your blog? What techniques have you tried to develop your voice in your writing? What are some characteristics of your personality in your writing?

What is my voice?

.

The one that smiles happily when friends talk

Or lowers eyes when a stranger walks by?

.

Is it the sound of my rushed footsteps as I get ready every morning

Or the silent treads that find its way to my bed at night?

.

Is my voice in the words that roll off my tongue carelessly and cruelly

Or the stutter I am too nervous to complete, much less for you to comprehend?

.

Will my voice sound like the laughter of children playing with balloons

Or the old lady who just doesn’t find a seat in the metro?

.

Do the words I say matter more,

Or the pauses between each word?

.

Is my voice the public one I use everyday

Or is it the private scared and excited one

That shyly clicks, “create post” and smiles?

The Day My Friend Cried

Writing 101: Unlock the Mind

This post is written in context of the flood that is ravaging Jammu and Kashmir, India currently. This is a personal account of a friend’s grief. If you can contribute towards the cause, please do.

I saw her cry for the first time. The person whom I thought was the strongest in the world. The person who goes through more in a year than what I have gone through throughout my life. She cried in my arms. As her sobs travelled up her body, I felt so inadequate trying to contain her sorrow in my arms. But I couldn’t let go.

Her parents hadn’t called her in five days. She didn’t know where her sister was, or half of her relatives. Were they alive and stuck? Had they been rescued by the army? Or, was it…too late? She didn’t know. Being away from it all made it harder. It was her land that was drowning, her people that were isolated. And all she could do was cry in my inadequate arms, trying to contain the sorrow within her. There was nothing she could do. Helplessness is the most painful emotion. It compounds grief and kills fleeting moments of relief. She was helpless because she was away. She was alone because she wasn’t there.

She scans the news every day. When I sit next to her in class, I see her refresh her screen every now and then. Her eyes are constantly drawn towards the unresponsive phone, as if staring at it would make it ring. For the first time, I see that the allure of Literature has failed to seduce her. As our teacher talks about Eliot’s existentialism and Hemingway’s sparse writing style, her mind roams, refusing to be captivated by words which she’d hung on to eagerly, earlier.

I do not know how to comfort her. I hug her as tightly as I can, trying to contain the sorrow, letting her know that she’s not alone. But when she looks at me and says, “What will I go back to? Everything will have changed. When the hard earth which I can feel on my palm begins to slip away from my grasp, what is home anymore?”

I cannot answer her.

Happiness

What is it to be happy?

Is it a constant state of mind,

A barrier which holds strong

Against every adversity, trial or loss?

A calm confidence which stops you from breaking

Even when the world is closing up on you?

 

or is happiness found only in fleeting moments,

In a distant memory, stale laughter, almost forgotten dreams?

Is it just a pause

Between the tireless grief that is life,

A moment of cool relief merely to hold on to

When daily you burn in the heat of life?

 

Do you have to seek happiness,

Knocking shamelessly until you find it?

Or does it come to you,

And embrace you in a moment unexpected?

Is happiness real, or is it just a superstition we invent

To bring some meaning to our senseless lives?