“You’ll wonder how, and you wouldn’t have a clue.”
–Vandana, my ex-roommate and favorite contemporary poet.
Category Archives: Poetry
the stars shine so beautifully at night,
the sun looks brighter than bright,
flowers smell prettier than ever,
I don’t anymore say ‘never’,
I jump every time my phone beeps,
stay awake while the world sleeps,
am learning to cook your favorite dishes,
‘Mr. Right’ is no more one of my weekly wishes,
why I’m happy, and smile all the time;
you’re the reason why I write sappy poems that rhyme!
the day we met last;
seems like here and now,
though a thing of the past.
I can still feel
your palms over mine,
those futile efforts at palmistry,
that corny pick-up line.
Can still smell
the lunch we shared.
Over coffee and burgers,
not a subject we’d spared.
I still dream
about that perfect day;
a nip in the air made you offer me
your jacket in that offhand way.
your smile, your laugh, your chivalry;
in my heart they ever stay–
your jokes, your compliments, your gallantry.
how it would be
if we were together–
just you and me.
A young guy was bullied by his sister fair
But behold! he didn’t turn a single hair.
’til he grew taller,
so at her he could holler–
Sis! Howz the weather down there?
[Based on a true story 😉 Also, my very first attempt at a limerick. I’ll try to improve!]
“Shout”, you tell me, “have it out”.
Why won’t you learn
that’s not my way?
make a scene,
then sleep better for it. But
I’m not you. I
fight dirty, and
close doors where I’d rather
have them open.
So I don’t fight anymore,
not like you do.
You think I’m a floor-mat
Because I forgive.
You tell me
I have no opinions of my own
don’t take part
in your inane conversations
about juvenile things.
And you laugh
at things that matter to me.
You believe me fickle
because I try
to look at things
from others’ perspectives.
Because unlike you I
am open to new ideas.
And when I make a stand
for something I believe in,
You say I’m a fool.
Why will you have me change
when you don’t even know
who I am anymore?
Why won’t you see
I can never be you
I don’t even want to be.
Somewhere atop a lonely mountain, a blue swan waits. Waits to spread her wings– and fly. She waits for the mate of her soul, the one who has seen her sky-dreams, the one who will fly with her. But the clouds call to her, they speak to her in the language of freedom. And she waits no more And soars.
“When I use a word, it means exactly what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.”
–Humpty Dumpty in ‘Through the Looking Glass’
I love how the English language is so flexible. Of course there are rules, but there are also exceptions. And there are exceptions to the exceptions! These things bothered me no end when I was a child. Should it be ‘who’ or ‘whom’? How can the same word mean three different things when used in three different sentences? You know what I mean.
In fact, some things still confuse me. And many grammatical mistakes irk me no end (people using “your” instead of “you’re”, saying “literally” when they mean “metaphorically” or “figuratively”). However, I still love the fact that I can say something like, “I’m so technologically handicapped that I can’t even operate a hair-dryer without electrocuting myself”, and still make sense! (And if I’m still not making sense to you, ‘technologically handicapped’ isn’t really a thing.)
I think what Carroll was trying to say through Humpty Dumpty is that context is as important in English language as the rules of grammar. An example is his extremely famous poem ‘Jabberwocky’. An excerpt:
“Twas bryllyg, and ye slythy toves
Did gyre and gymble in ye wabe:
All mimsy were ye borogoves;
And ye mome raths outgrabe.”
The grammar and syntax are perfect, but the verse itself is nonsensical; yet we love the poem and understand it exactly how it’s meant to be understood. (Like Alice says after finishing the poem, “Somehow it seems to fill my head with ideas—only I don’t exactly know what they are! However, somebody killed something: that’s clear, at any rate”)
Another fine example of the importance of context is Douglas Adams’ Vogon poetry from ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’:
“Oh freddled gruntbuggly
thy micturations are to me
As plurdled gabbleblotchits on a lurgid bee.”
We might not know the meaning of the words, but we get the gist anyway; and we realize first-hand why Vogon poetry is the third worst in the Universe. (If you want to know the worst and the second worst poetry in the universe, read the book. I assure you it’ll be worth it.)
The fluidity and voracity of the English language is what makes it so universal. All the Grammar Nazis notwithstanding–and I confess I’m an occasional milder version, if there is such a thing, myself–that is the most interesting and fun thing about writing!
Like Alice, I might not always say what I mean, but “at least I mean what I say”!