“You’ll wonder how, and you wouldn’t have a clue.”
–Vandana, my ex-roommate and favorite contemporary poet.
Tag Archives: Poetry
April is apparently ‘poetry month’, and I am a closet poet. I suppose it’s the sort of event/ celebration/ motivation/ muse that every poet-cum-postaday-blogger aspires for. I, however, have been suffering from a paralyzing case of poet’s block. Unable to pen down a single couplet of free verse, let alone a rhyme.
It is frustrating, it is annoying, it is a case of stubbornness of the subconscious. That is to say, my subconscious refuses to do anything that is required of her, especially at the time she is required to do it. She may complete the job the minute the deadline has passed. Or, in some cases when perhaps she is feeling charitable, about 15 minutes before that. Have you heard the phrase ‘at the eleventh hour’? My high school principal loved to tell us to refrain from leaving things ‘for the eleventh hour’. In my case, or more precisely my subconscious’, it is literally the quarter-to-midnight-th hour. In rare but much appreciated instances, half-past-eleventh hour. I kid you not.
So every day I sit with my laptop on–where else?–the bed, and wait for inspiration to knock. In vain. Because, let’s face it, it’s not April 30th yet!
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.
In today’s world of jet travel and internet, personal boundaries are almost non existent and borders occur only on maps. However, we still like to believe in the old adage of “Good fences make good neighbours”.
The phrase comes from a very well known poem written by Robert Frost, called ‘Mending Wall’. It talks of how the wall that divides the poet’s property from his neighbour’s just won’t stay put. According to the poet, there is something in nature that hates walls. That is why everything from the springtime frost to summer heat to wild animals to their hunters tries to break down the wall; every year various factors, both natural and man-made, persist in trying to bring the wall down. Every year the poet and his neighbour diligently put the wall back up again. Because, the neighbour says, “good fences make good neighbours”.
As a child when I first read this poem, it confused me. Aren’t walls between people bad? Like the Berlin Wall, shouldn’t we be working to pull them down and not put them up? There are enough walls–both real and metaphorical–in this world that divide people. If somehow they are breaking, we should encourage that rather than build them up again. The last few years, in fact, have seen many such walls coming down. I mentioned the Berlin Wall that divided erstwhile East Germany and West Germany and that has now fallen unifying that great country; the cultural wall that divided Northern and Southern USA has come down after the Civil War and with it came down the loathsome practice of slavery, to mention a few.
Sure, some metaphorical walls e.g., those that promote cultural, racial and caste bias between people would be better eating dust. But there are some walls that are necessary; walls that allow people their own personal space, walls that encourage mutual respect are better left in their places.
Specifically in the case of international borders, walls are definitely required in order to make good neighbours. Had India guarded her walls better, Pakistan would have been unable to occupy a piece of Kashmir. That small piece of land now called Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir is a bone of contention between the two countries. We could have avoided this if we, like the poet, had mended our walls in time.
Some walls are good.
Some walls are essential.