Pretend

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Do you have a fine roof over you head?
Echo: Shed

Strong walls, do they stop the howling storm?
Echo: Warm

Snow beyond window – inside a soothing fire?
Echo: Mire

Good food on plate, rose wine in glass?
Echo: Class

Have-nots, poverty, hunger, dearth?
Echo: Mirth

Do you think you are really free, friend?
Echo: Pretend


This week on Dversepoets Meeting-the-bar, Mary asked us to write echo verse (An Echo Verse is when the last word or syllable in a line is repeated or echoed underneath to form a rhyming line, normally ending as the last line being the title to the poem). I picked an old piece and restructured it in this form. I dedicate this to India’s 68th Independence day.   

Photography: Uday Shankar Sarkar.


Blood Birth

This solstice, like every year
We were waiting for the star(s)
To show up at nightfall, as man-made
Glittery, ornate silver pieces
Shone on our
Christmas
trees, and candles
Burned on the porch

When He graced His presence
we adorned Him with a crown,
thorn-ed with
our anguish
and today,
A whiff hushed out the candles
– and no new star appeared,
Innocence gored by
tormented souls.

Come solstice, give us the strength
to forgive ourselves-
A hundred thirty of them didn’t die, today;
A hundred thirty of Him were born.


Remembering the brutal attack on Peshwar, for which I have no words to condemn. My piece for Gay’s MTB prompt on Dversepoets about birthday poems – a small tribute. Let there be light.


 

Wake Up

A lump of flesh, as big as hill
That is what he was
Warrior prince but deep asleep
Snoring all along

Months of fate, love and hate
All aware but him
Peril came at him is home and
he was still asleep

Duty called, half awake, he
went to battle field
A legend died, on that day when
they saw the last of him

~

Then years passed
He became a myth
The new nation
Took after him

Little history
Did they read,
Snoring along
Deep asleep-

The sages’ souls
Left to burn,
Kept the door
Wide ajar-

Women hurt,
Children squealed;
A new peril
Was calling in

“Wake up, wake up”
Echoed around
The warrior prince
Smiled down.


This is a late entry to Tony’s MTB prompt on nonsense and narrative poetry.What greatly motivated me were the few lines that he said in his prompt.

The 17th century in Britain was a time of great political and religious tension. The century began with the death of England’s Queen Elizabeth in 1603. She left no direct heir and so James VI of Scotland inherited the throne, becoming James I of the newly united kingdoms of Scotland and England. He was succeeded in turn by his son Charles I. Tensions between the Crown and Parliament erupted during his reign, leading to the Civil War and ultimately to the execution of the King and the installation of Oliver Cromwell as Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland.

Against such a turbulent and violent background simply saying the wrong thing to the wrong person could result in imprisonment or worse, and publishing your views was a very risky business indeed. Step forward nonsense as a form of political writing in which you could say whatever you wanted while being able to claim that any meanings other people might choose to read into your words were not necessarily what you intended. Nonsense writing was a way to make a stand for what you believed in and against those whose political and religious views (and actions) you opposed.

I took longer to write as I had a difficult time constructing the piece. It is based on a Hindu mythological reference – Kumbhakarna, who used to sleep 6 months to wake one day. Once, in the middle of his sleep he was awaken to fight a battle for his brother, Ravana, in which he was defeated and killed. I put a metaphor to present day situation, when the nations sinks into a state of oblivion and ignorance, allowing bad things to happen to its own people – the peril is not far away. This is actually based on a recent incident in my city where college students were beaten by cops and goons at the dark of the night. I feel that a nation who allows women to be beaten – the peril is not far. Through this poem I voice my protest. This is a high time to wake up.

Long leave revolution.


 

 

Belittle

Once, there was a puzzle that had a straight line
And said – without touching it,
Make it shorter?

The tip of my pencil remained motionless
Till the teacher, would take the pencil from me
– Draw a second line, longer than the original, in parallel.

Since then I am drawing lines every day
In an attempt to make the last one shorter
And so is everyone else,
As if that is all that matters
– Disparage every rivalry at the core, while you can.

The riddle probably wanted to say
– You don’t belittle anyone but yourself
Now merely ridicules itself,
As we are all set busying our pencils
Leaving marks; and shameless, dirty, envies are written.


Tonight on Dversepoets, Claudia and Bill has us write about Rilke – “write about what your everyday life offers you; describe your sorrows and desires, the thoughts that pass through your mind and your belief in some kind of beauty Describe all these with heartfelt, silent, humble sincerity and, when you express yourself, use the Things around you, the images from your dreams, and the objects that you remember

Join us to read some wonderful poetry.


 

Two lives

With protest from Egypt

#1
Today I scribble peace, love, harmony
On a piece of paper
Because it’s easy.

#2
Before her hymen was gored by a rod
She was deflowered,
She lost strength

Before she was screaming,
Her clothes were torn
And her words failed her.

#3
All the world’s a battle, &
Lives across a thin line
Face triumphs, or defeats.

Stories are made, narrated
Till they become legends
and the losers – villains.

That’s what we want to hear
And words fail, every time
The other side is silenced


Tonight on MTB, Brian asked us : So what do you believe of language? which is it? the best tool? does language fail? Answer that, or perhaps tell us a time language failed you. or maybe when you found just the right words.

May be I sound way too sad tonight – may be that’s what I feel. I can not write peace even if I want to.


Rendezvous

Resting beneath

#

Half-awake,late night me
rendezvous

often

#

soft words, seductions, reticence
she Walks in

Calmly

#

Brings a lot of cold or spring
with her, all

along

#

I ask – where are you from
As if it

matters

#

Is there a hungry world
waiting for

you?

#

Do they hate each other
out there

still?

#

We mate, rejuvenate
I & night

wind


On Meeting the bar, Victoria has us write Tilus. Read more about this interesting form here.