Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"Split-Selves" published in Reading Hour

"Split-Selves" has been published in the May-June issue of the Reading Hour magazine... :-)
It is elsewhere on this blog, of course, but I am still re-posting it here: (and happy 3rd birthday all over again, beloved blog)

I was born whole, yes,
but the Fates that decreed me a gemini
split me into two
The quiet, serious me and...
the wicked rebel.
Freud further split me into three
the yearning in me, the stoical
reason in me, and the balancing act
of yearning and reason in me.
I inherited my mother's hair
my father's eyes, my mother's mouth
and nobody's nose. I mean, Nobody knows.
And anybody's height. and whobody's brain?
But my grandma's memory, that's for sure.
This body of mine that now lives in delhi
is part gujju-part tamil, half punjabi and
used to live in Benares. But even that
is history. Places proliferate
and multiply.Yes, I believe in post-modernism
yes, I believe in pluralities, and liminalities
of Identities.
But sometimes, I yearn
to carve an imaginary
unified Identity

Monday, May 23, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday,Beloved Blog!! and a poem :-)

Happy happy 3rd birthday, dearest, beloved blog!! You have become an integral part of my existence which I cannot imagine myself without, over the course of the past 3 years. I have started considering myself an experienced blogger :p, and I have thoroughly enjoyed poetrying and blogging more and more. Ummm... yes, so exactly 3 years today, and here's this poem I just wrote. And no, the poem has absolutely no connection with the blog completing 3 years.

Evidently Not Enough

A few dozen poems
and tear filled buckets
Those night vigils
and those greened-down screams
were evidently not enough.
Not enough to corrode
the heartstrings which tie me
to the presence of your absence
Living with this presence, carrying
this absence, trying to become
like you, I wait, groping to pass
the test which would be called

Friday, May 6, 2011

CaPoWriMo-- April 2011

CaPoWriMo April 2011 Confessions!!

Yay!! I did the Caferati Poetry Writing Month for the second year running!! :-)
okay, so last time was the first time, I had a lot to say about my experiences and I remember I did in just such a post. This time I knew that what it's like to have given themes, play around with them and write voraciously. I'm glad I got the chance to explore certain new kinds of poems like the photo-poem and the nonsense one. I'm very glad of CaPoWriMo because unless you begin to write, you don't realise you can make such interesting poems out of out-of-the-way, seemingly banal topics. Last year I was free. this year, balancing it with work wasn't easy. In the middle, I decided to give it up, and did. then I got a fresh burst of motivation and wrote, wrote wrote voraciously, even at the cost of my studies! It also helps me see at a glance the progress I might have made over the period of a year. taking stock, so to say. Well, so it's done. 27 poems, not 30, I will confess. Last year I wrote 25. come on, some topics are either un-writeable, or you've written enough on them before or well, whatever. or you run out of steam after writing 25-27 poems on consecutive days!!
Thank you, CaPoWriMo, my writing times were usually right-after-breakfast, and right-after-dinner, now it feels sooo wierd to have no poem to write at such times, I don't know what to do with myself!!

Day 1-- The Pensieve, day 2-- the Midnight Black

(using unusual words )

The Pensieve

Strands of thoughts swirl madly
with unbridled energy. Stray-
fore and after-thoughts gush
in random confusion. Melancholy
and hope conjoin in the mind's
magical potion. They overspill.
Dumbledore's Pensieve cannot contain them and
They escape into air as effervescence

( something you wear everyday or a trinket you use)

The Midnight Black

Arabian eyes. Oriental eyes.
Wicked, mesmerising, soulful
eyes, Witch eyes, big-fish-eyes
Laughing, black buttons of
eyes. Kohled eyes. Kajra eyes.
Heavy sooty beauty eyes.
Clothed eyes. And a playful
twirly-swirly moustache

Day 3-villanelle

(pattern of rhyme scheme and line repetition. In "a" and "b", the rhyme is repeated. In A1 and A2, the entire line is repeated. A1 b A2, a b A1, a b A2, a b A1, a b A2, a b A1 A2.)

Why did you go?
I am sick with fear
I want you to know.

It cannot be so
Eyes fill with bitter tears
Why did you go?

How do I express my woe
It is not a trifle mere
I want you to know.

In vain I cry hello hello
I cannot find you, far or near
Why did you go?

My heart aches with sorrow
Without you, my world is drear
I want you to know.

You will not answer, No?
I wish you would hear
Why did you go?
I want you to know.

Day 4- a photo poem for Nabina Das' sketch 'Mer-city'

written for Nabina Das' sketch "Mer-city"

I am a riverine nymph
with long black woman hair
and a forked-fishy tail
But my fishy tail won't swish.

Long ago, I was an earthly woman
my wild roving heart and spirit river-
-dreamt, river-walked
But now, my fishy tail won't swish

I river-talked, river-loved
and thought I could become the river
my dreams swam, my thoughts glided
But my fishy tail won't swish.

One full moon night, I climbed
out the window, downhill to the river
My heart laughing and singing with merfolk
But my fishy tail won't swish.

I puffed, I dragged, I sprouted
a tail of brick, it held me back
I could not reach the water
And my fishy tail won't swish.

Restless as a Byronic wanderer
between the river and the chains
On the yellow sands of the nodi Luit
But my fishy tail won't swish

Day 7- Sport with Sport , Day 6-- haiku

(a poem on sport)
I could sport a new look
hippie clothes, a trendy bag
I could be sportive and sport
a beard, or a moustache
a sarong, a kimono, a feather in my cap
ridicule me, make sport of me
I would be sporting and take it in play
I could ride hobby horses and rocking horses
But from a sportsfield I'd run away!

Haiku (syllables-- 5-7-5)

wicked poppy seeds
scarlet waxy jealous anger
opiate cocoons

Day 9- A Red Sonnet ;-)

Sonnet-- Red

In a riot of colour, the lawn is ablaze
The red silk cotton tree seen half a mile away
Hanging brooms of bottle brush scarlet sway
The waxy crimson poppy petals glaze

My aching-breaking heart bleeds passion red
My angry jealousy burns all flame and fire
My impish wickedness jumps, plays, never tires
And I mourn the loss of something dead.

Red is the knowingness of menstruation
Jane's rebellious rage in the Red Room
Anne Shirley's red haired temper when it fumes
Little Red Riding Hood's cruel deception

Red is intensity of a passionate kind
That which I lost and yearn to find.

Day 10-- on Poetry and Photography

(a poem for a gadget. the camera is implied, not visibly present in my poem)
I need a decent title for this one!! For now, randomness on poetry and photography!! :-)

The play of light and shadow
hides fault lines
and seeks to delude
Focussing and zooming
craftily make the backdrop
pale away. the angle and
the perspective are tricks
artificers use to lure the senses
Cuckoo's eggs in crows' nests
Art designs illusions, conjures
to deceive, magics
wizards the banal to look romantic
Photography is an art, poetry too
They do it exceptionally well
A photo is a poem which rhymes
metres, line breaks truth into lies
A poem which seduces the most apathetic reader
willing suspension of disbelief
into accepting secrets of my heart
which you threw into the bin yesterday.

Day 11-- Asomiya

(a poem about a language you cannot speak, read or write but have an associaton with)


You are the allure of a bihu geet
the mystery of matsyagandha
you are turmeric, you are plantain plant
and I a pure virgin girl
you are the secret in the folds of this mekhala
the mad fervour of the bordoisila
you are in my ahom stole, in my ahom bag
but I can reach you only in translation
you are poetry, bihu dance and melody
hiding in the clining mist
you hug the Luit river in your fold
you kiss me, caress me fleetingly
I feel you, love you, wonder you
But I do not know you.

Day 12-- For Nadia :-)

a poem about a distant relative you don't know too well

For Nadia

An aunt in the U.K.
who is a twin and who visits
every five years, was an exotic
mystery to my child eyes.
An aunt so un-auntish
so much an elder sister
a friendly cousin, only ten years
older than me. Poof, what's a decade!
An aunt who initiated me into card games and
the beloved Anne of Green Gables
Small and slight with short trimmed hair
her distinctly accented "shrew-tea"
sharply cuts across time
leaving indelible imprints in my memory
An aunt I want to carry back home with me
An aunt so cool to marry at thirty five
An aunt with an aura
which the passing of timeless years
could never fade.

Day 13-- Purple Acrostic, Day 12-- Irom Sarmila Ghazal

Irom Sarmila-- a ghazal

Do eleven years go in vain, Irom Sarmila?
As she lies in worse than pain, Irom Sarmila.

People are killing and dying in Manipur
Are those deaf ears in power insane, Irom sarmila?

They put her in jail and her demand on the shelf
She from food and drink for us abstains, Irom Sarmila

How long can we sit in apathetic silence
Let's join her, protest, complain, Irom Sarmila

She has unflailing courage that does not give up
Shruti wants to learn your refrain, Irom sarmila.


Poignant poetry of a twilit sky
Unearthly symphony
Rivers and seas and storm tossed waves
Pregnant as hope, passionate as dream
Love and love's longing and Shug-Celie
Eggplants, big elephants ears, eerie.

Day 14-- Anyways

write a poem about an overused word.


Anyways. This poem
is about Anyways.
Anyways is such a cliche
Let's write a poem about Anyways
Anyways to drop the subject
and anyways to change the topic
of Anyways.
Anyways is my boredom
Anyways is incomprehension
Anyways is anticipation
of rejection. Anyways.
Anyways expresses everything
without needing expression.
Anyways is not a lexical word anyways.
But who cares? Anyways is "our" word
Anyways so I decided to write a poem
about the delightfulness of Anyways. Anyways.

Day 16-- Women Help Desk, Day 15-- Scarred

a poem about a scar or a person with a scar


The beauty spot of the angel
the kiss of the sun
Voldemort's Dark mark
it brands you, stamps you
good and evil vie for you
it makes you so uniquely you
yes, you you you!
You marked and scarred you
Blyton and Rowling hold you in deep suspicion
And mothers tell you thet the fairies love you.

a poem about something written on a billboard. well, it wasn't a billboard but it was a board all right. :p
Women Help Desk

'Women Help Desk' says the board
brightly painted in red, blue and white
staring boldly at the back entrance.
A large desk in a tiny cabin
to help women.
All day the women come and go
The desk always ready to help them
Always there to help them
But recently I found
the big desk in a small cabin
and a woman.

Day 18 ~River~

write a poem about the first face that comes into your head.

~River~ :-)

Frizzy ribbons
stream down like unruly black Rivers
A face revealed
A face concealed
The forehead cries Asomiya
and the lips take up the refrain
Kohled eyes that murder me
Kohled eyes that consecrate me
Straight-set lips that smile poetry
when they look at you
The erotic ring of silver in the nose
Pottered masks make faces in the ears
A long face, a dusky face
with the layered depths of a forest floor
with creased lines that hide
secrets which I yearn to know.

Day 19-- Dear Old Eighteen

a poem as an apology letter to your 18-year old self

Dear Old Eighteen

Dear old eighteen
your naivety could not read
other people's minds
your trusting innocence believed
too much too quickly
your meekness could nor refuse
imposing demands and pompous exteriors
your receding backstage modesty
held you back from centrestage
you were ignorant
to the blunt point of dumbness
Uninitiated into this world
You were a stranger from foreign lands
perhaps you stepped off a rainbow.
But your heart was true, dear old eighteen
I will say so much for you
Courage enough to play the fool
and laugh at it afterwards
Idealistic and stubborn, you wanted
to keep the cake and eat it too
Youw ere the seed half a dozen years ago
that gave birth to me, to the last quarter
of my twenty four
Learning, skipping, sliding, falling
Cursing, aching, yearning, mourning
I look at you with amused nostalgia
Thank you for you, dear old eighteen
It ain't that I'm wiser
I've picked up a couple more years
on you baby, that's all.
I am still as true
a little less naive
and a lot more wicked. :-)

Day 21-- Rain, Day 20-- The Ladies' Car

a poem about a mode of commute or transport

The Ladies Car

Running for the pink lines
that mark our sex
A bee line for an empty seat
Putting down stray men who dare encroach
upon this female sanctum.
Shooting invisible glances
at earrings, slippers, foppish hairstyles
Eve, Belinda and Becky
travel in style through vanity fair
We do not like to pull push snatch
We believe ourselves more civilised
than those uncouth men.
The train hurtles down a tunnel of darkness.

poem about an element-- rain, heat, earthquake etc


Music of the aeolian harp
melody of flute and lyre
It is the sound of heavens laughing
the thunder is the tabla beating
destroying habit
enforced freedom from routine
I tune in with the rhythms of this dance
to be set free

Day 22-- Smell Spells

a poem about a smell-- a person, animal, food or waste

Smell Spells

The polite fragrance of elaichi
is the dining room visitor perfume
the tangy amchur remembers
the green mango before its demise
the heeng invades all your senses
but the laung reveals its sharpness
only to the tongue
the ajwain is strong and yet prim
like a school mistress.
the dries methi seeds tell you the story
of how the sund ried the green fields
the abrupt saunf bids goodbye to the guests
the boring old jeera screams everydayness
and the tej patta is what everyone uses
but secretly hates
In a North Indian kitchen, I drown myself in Malabar

Day 25-- Migrainitis , Day 24-Shefali

6-line poem


Spirals strewn in white fragrance
dew laden in the dawn
with orange filaments nestling in grass.
the bounty of a benevolent caopy
if I touch you, I might squah or sqeeze
for your are of the fairies, Parijat!

write about a person with a disability or your own disability.

Shiva's Tandava Nritya
in the Bhayanak rasa
his left foot right foot alternating
pounding, resounding in my head
the balance shifts for the thirty seventh time
Condemned to burning in hellish fire
For sins of past births and this
In the Benares Shivnagari

Day 26-- For Nandita (Das)

a poem for a celebrity-- actor/dancer/singer-- you have a massive crush on.
For Nandita (Das)
Her dusky beauty puts to shame
cliches of the fair and lovely
Her eyes speak to me, her smile
knows me, and her mouth
blunt yet kind joins in.
Secrets hide in the rustle
of her gorgeous skirts saris
I am closest to her
when she is unreachable
on a film reel
when my eyes ardently follow
her ephemeral figure.
She just refused a role
in your new advert
which was worth a fortune
The world screams actress! social activist!
but she hovers at edges
which defy definition
Passion, elegance
honest intelligence
I yearn to follow her
beyond the silver screen.
a poem about a mythical figure

Aphrodisiac Desires
She comes to women in fleeting visions
loves them, makes much of them, teaches
the secrets of love to them
with her eyes and soft kisses
the enchantress writes a 'how to love' poem
and I stumble to write.
For aphrodite goddess of love
who taught most beautiful Helen
and whom Sappho invoked
Aphrodite high on mount Olympus
cannot hear me.

Day 28-- birthday poem

a birthday poem as a gift to someone you love

You have given me
more than you would care to give
you have given me what
you don't know that you gave
or did I steal?
Even when you hurt me something escapes
you and comes to me
what offering can I give you
more constant than this faith
deeper than these tears, more precious
than this very self
when you gave my self to me...

Day 29-- Panchgani

a poem about a place you have visited as a tourist
The vigour of mountain air
wraps you
Cold breezes frolic and play
with you, strawberry fields
hug you in an embrace
Prim cottages in a row grow
red heart strawberries, pulpy
and jelly-like to my touch
I pluck them, eat them
cannot get my fill of them
basklets and baskets full of them.
Their sweet, sharp juice
seeps in like tangy mountain air.
Later, in out-of-the-world
picturesque, fairyland you
I bask in open terraces
gotging on the delicacy
of fresh strawberry and cream.

Day 30-- Flee Fly Floo

a free poem. about freedom. 20 lines. I decided to try my hand at amphigory nonsense :D
Flee Fly Floo
Fumungus grothucus wurrwurr
buzz growl wuthering smurthering
Frazzy hishy frooky pooky
wolving snappiting frappish snarging
the humbug grotchety way of the world.
Wuzzbuzz poof! Stomp it, Shuntit!
Damn it, whumpit! Fly floo
wheeze around it, frick it, jonk it
and waddledydoo, escape from it!
Furly in the friggin morn
Let fluty warbles ting-a-ling
chant fleely flawly flee fly floo
birdies chreeping, freezes flowing
Stomp the fumungus, whomp
the wurrwurr, frick and jonk
the wolvish snorging
Wheeze around it, gleely, plyly
easy there now! Hunt and runt
for zing, zwang, and zappyness
Flout the Droner, Free Chielo!