Tomorrow I will bear no weight

Tomorrow I will bear no weight
24 June 2022
Courtesy pinterest.com
Fed with constant realities
their idle waves of intent 
breaking through my fears
I bear fruit to a sullen morrow

I fixate beyond the edge of myself
on the anticipated remembrance
of the snow-white place in me
where I fail to see you no more

Your face grows stark and steady
In a solitary place I keep hidden
between collar bone and chest
bubbling with the residue of unrest

My brain will build tall citadels 
where your name will reiterate
like a broken disk hitting my skull
one dull thud after another drops

There are fleeting looks encircled 
by the morosity of frozen cheeks
They bask in the sunlit shadows
born to the eye that blinks never

Tomorrow I will bear no weight
Like a maiden before her sunset
I will tear away my shaking limbs
in offering to the beasts that pray

Reading of the poem: 
Adam Hurst - Reflection

The death of her dreams

The death of her dreams
3 January 2022
Courtesy pinterest.com
Windchimes blowing mud
Replica of ghostly snow
trickling music slides

A symphony arises
blended with her heart
Musical feat strays

Orchestra goes on
Sound a slave to her teardrops
a simple witches’ brew

Fusion of features
An amalgam of sounds stir
Ice around her heart

A pulp of papers
Letters from a time long gone
components of slush

Hope and fear’s union
The slight feelings compounded
the death of her dreams

Reading of the poem:
Diary of Dreams - The Valley 
Written in the context of Ronovan writes weekly Haiku Poetry prompt challenge using the words “blend”, “slush” and their synonyms. For more information and to see the contributions please follow the link below:

Setting boundary

Setting boundary
4 September 2021
Courtesy pinterest.com
A figure so slight
a toe out of dainty shoes
Fleeting outlines blurred

A dash of sulphur
sinuous lines on her brow
a frontier defined

Exploring unknown
tuning into the channel
seizing vast landscapes

Limits extended
choice to heed fluttering ribs
Pinnacle of life

Throbbing subsiding
contours of the world fading
move into nothing

On the edge of death
the Queen handed back the heart
setting boundary

Reading of the poem: 
Nancy ajram Hassa bik New نانسي عجرم حاسة بيك with english lyrics

Written in the context of Ronovan writes weekly haiku challenge using the words “line”, “toe” or their synonyms. More on the rules and other poets’ contribution here https://ronovanwrites.com/2021/08/30/ronovan-writes-weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-373-line-and-toe/

I yearn for your untouched skin

I yearn for your untouched skin

29 July 2020

Courtesy freewallpapers

 

I want to seep into your bones

like the chill of a winter night

I yearn for your untouched skin

its shadows now forever closed to me

like a book of secret pleasures

stowed away in a convent of nuns

 

With the yearning of a lifetime

I haul myself through summer

burdened by the winter’s pull

It hangs like dead leaves

fallen from a tree

where spring had once made its way

 

The fruit now lays barren untouched

like the skin of dead virgins

stopped in their tracks by an unknown war

their unseeing eyes swallowed

by the onslaught of darkness

 

I yearn for your untouched skin

Its light now a pale moon

rising in the midst of the hollow night

where only the waterhen cry

in a place I now call home

where the seagulls laugh no more

 

Reading of the poem:

Flam Monsoon Buddha Bar

The taste of ripe mangoes

The taste of ripe mangoes

4 July 2020

Courtesy quora.com

 

It used to be one of her favourite moments in childhood. They would sneak out of the house and run across the fields to the point where the mango groves began. They would hide at the extremity of the fields waiting to see if the guardian was there and if he wasn’t they would step into the grove and steal some ripe mangoes. It was usually a boy they called Thengai who used to climb the trees as he was used to climbing coconut trees and had a good foothold. His name Thengai which meant coconut came from not only because he climbed coconut trees but also because his hair combed down in a shell shape manner made the top of his head resemble a broken coconut shell.

 

Thengai would climb like a daredevil any tree in the mangrove and if the guardian was spotted he would be able to clamber down in no time often surpassing them as he ran towards the fields. Little did they know that the guardian always made a show of chasing them but slowed down if he got too close because he never actually meant to catch them. There would be no use indeed of catching them as the mangrove belonged to their family although they did not know it. In fact, almost all the lands around the houses up to the neighbouring city belonged to her family. Unaware of this, the children including her used to run like their life depended upon it, holding on tightly to the mangoes packed in their shirts or dresses, when the guardian chased them.

 

Later on, they would stop in the fields and put the mangoes together. They would then divide the ripest mangoes amongst them for eating on the spot and leave the greener ones for later. It was usually she who got the greener ones as her grandmother was very skilled at making mango chutney with the green mangoes. Once the bottles of chutney were ready, her grandmother would give her a basket of these to distribute around the neighbourhood. The neighbours respected and loved her grandmother not only because of this type of small kindness but also because she gave the lands to plough to the neighbours and only asked for a small share of the crops as compensation. People considered the grandmother as the main village benefactor.

 

She used to love going to the village and spending a part of the summer there during the summer break when her father did not yet have his holidays. It was all wonderful until that fated summer when everything had changed. She had not witnessed it herself but she often had nightmares about it and would wake up in the night trembling. For a long time after the incident, nobody had gone to steal mangoes from the mangrove. The villagers would talk about it in hushed tones when they thought the children were not around. Thengai had been riding the tractor of his father next to his older brother when he had slipped, and the tractor had mauled him before his brother could stop the giant wheels.

 

Some children had started going back to steal mangoes the next summer and one of the children had volunteered to take Thengai’s place as the picker. When they passed by her grandmother’s house she kept the door tightly shut and did not respond to their stage whispers calling her out. She could not bring herself to accompany them like she could not bring herself to eat ripe mangoes anymore. It was as if the mangoes’ ripe insides were like Thengai’s and for a long time the idea of eating them seemed repulsing. She also could not bring herself to distribute the mango chutney among the neighbours anymore and had grown sullener by the day. At the end of that following summer, her father decided to make her spend less time at her grandmother’s house.

 

Long after she had grown older and found out that the mangrove was theirs, she still would not accompany the children to the mangrove during the short breaks she was at her grandmother’s. She had started eating her grandmother’s chutney again, but nobody had offered her anymore ripe mangoes given her clear revulsion to these. One day, as she was walking through the fields, she found herself in front of the mangrove. The guardian was there and he seemed now a wizened old man. He looked at her and made as if he were going to chase her, but she laughed so he laughed too. He went towards a mango tree and reaching out pulled a ripe mango off the tree which he then offered her, slicing it in the middle. His face was wise and kind and she wondered how they could have ever felt afraid of him. She took the mango almost in a second state and bit into it. The taste of the ripe mango was heavenly as it mingled with her salty tears. She smiled up at the old guardian.

 

Kahlil Gibran – On death

Centuries of gifts

Centuries of gifts

13 June 2020

Courtesy pinterest.com

 

Walk with me

in meadows of green

I am witch

of the land

The time is but creeping sand

passing through fingers

 

Death lingers

on the land’s outskirts

Body hurts

as it breeds

swallows fears that it yet feeds

Dichotomy’s stance

 

The shining

Magic awoken

from my heart

to my hands

They give and don’t make demands

Centuries of gifts

 

Reading of the poem:

Antaeus – Kyrie

Desolation’s land

Desolation’s land

26 May 2020

Courtesy Stefan Gesell

 

It rises

From deep within me

Molten fire

Lava’s ash

Through mind’s eye I see them crash

The colossal waves

 

Tsunami

Riding through the coast

In my mind

I see it

More than it was meant to be

Upon the first look

 

Bodies strewn

Particles of dust

The engines

Steel and rust

The only witness that stood

Desolation’s land

 

Reading of the poem:

Dido – Hurricanes (Official Lyric Video)

The Malachite Curse 5 : Who killed Cuifen?

The Malachite Curse 5 : Who killed Cuifen?

21 March 2020

Courtesy pinterest.co.uk

 

Ming-Hoa’s sight was darkening as he felt the pressure of Chow’s hands around his neck strengthen. Soon he would be reunited with Cuifen he thought for an eternity or at least until only their bones were left. Ming-Hoa believed that once the flesh was gone, the consciousness of the person was also gone unlike the other villagers who believed that the life energy ceased to exist once the breath had gone. He could feel the blood beat at his temples as he mechanically gasped for breath. Suddenly he felt himself freed from Chow’s clutch. Those restraining Ju-Long had come to his rescue and pulled her off him. The women came over to try and reason with Chow so that she would stop trying to go back and strangle Ming-Hoa.

 

Slowly it would seem that Chow had been reasoned into passivity, so the men returned to their rolling of the coffin on the platform. Somehow none of them felt it was safe enough to directly haul the coffin over their shoulders like they would normally do. Besides, with all the marble of the coffin it was easier to roll it to the graveyard than carry it. Ming-Hoa who was now freed from Chow’s vice-like grip was wailing and following Cuifen’s coffin, uttering from time to time nonsensical whimpers that sounded like muffled words. Eu-Meh thought she could hear something like “Three drops of blood”… “One minute you were”… “body so pure “… “why did you tear” “my ponytail”. She wondered whether Ming-Hoa had attempted to abuse Cuifen and subsequently murdered her when she refused. It all seemed so logical. She should remember to mention that to the police when they would come.

 

There was no policeman in their village, just one in the nearby village and it would take a day or two for him to come over. She knew that the inquest would have to be handled by more than just that policeman so he would need to wait for the other ones to arrive from the city. This could take another two or three days so the inquest would only start around a week from then. She wondered whether it was wise to already bury Cuifen and have her dug out when the inquest started. There had been one other murder a long time ago and although the murderer had been known, the inquest had still decided that the body must be dug up to corroborate the way the murder had been carried out and the murderer who had been responsible for that murder. She wondered whether she should ask the villagers to stop the burial but realized that everybody seemed to want to be rid of the sight of Cuifen dead.

 

Chow who had now been relatively quietened by the women was now following Eu-Meh. This latter slowed down so Chow could catch up with her. Without a word Eu-Meh put a reassuring arm around Chow sustaining her frame as she could see that the normally stoic Chow was very near to collapsing.

 

  • I think I know who killed Cuifen, she said in a hoarse whisper, but promise me you will not do anything if I tell you.

 

Gurdjieff / De Hartmann – Persian Song

 

A seagull flew

A seagull flew

17 November 2019

Months had gone by since she passed away yet the memory of her wane face was still imprinted in my mind. I was in Egypt when she died and my brother and I were by coincidence in the same neighbourhood in Cairo when we got the news. We both tried desperately to get back to her to be in time for the funeral but I was only able to catch the evening flight the day after she had passed away. Our family members had delayed the funeral so that we could attend. I arrived almost the morning of her funeral, weary and still in shock. I was still unable to face the reality of her demise. Later in the morning, I sat by her side still numb with the shock of the news of her death. She looked so frail wrapped in her light green and white saree that she used to like. The lady who tended to her had wrapped her in it and it was tightly secured in a few knots over her head.

 

I asked my aunt if we could unwrap the top as I wanted to kiss her goodbye and my aunt unsecured the knots uncovering her face. It was pale, thin and drawn. I kneeled and put my lips to her forehead and the moment I did so it felt like a dam had opened up in my heart and the pain seared through. The tears flowed down my cheeks uncontrollably as I kissed her forehead and held her. After a while I regained composure and sat beside her as other members of the family moved around arranging everything for the funeral. People came and went offering their condolences and asking me if I remembered them but I recognised none, my mind blank to any memory of their faces. I don’t recall much in the days that followed, except for the aching sense of grief that would not leave. I could not believe that she was gone and I would see her no more.

 

She was an ordinary yet extraordinary woman. She had lived a difficult life after she had married my father and joined him when he had wanted to return to his home country. Ostracised, unable to speak the language and to adapt to the surroundings she was not used to, she had concentrated all of her attention on us, her children. Later, when she had returned to her home country, it was always visible that the experiences she had lived during that period away from her home had significantly marked her. She remained despite all the hostility she had faced a woman with a positive heart and a desire to always help. I remembered warmly now – although it would drive us crazy when she used to do it while we were young, how she used to gather all the stray cats that had been tortured by some awful kids in the neighbourhood and slowly nurse them back to a healthy state.

She was a beautiful woman, not just outside but also inside and her thoughts were always about how one should be a better person and make the world a better world. She believed in the virtues of kindness, respect, caring, independence and equanimity. She lived her vocation in all aspects of her life. A nurse by profession, tending alternately to children with severe diseases or to third degree burn victims, I remember how the patients would talk of her with praise and gratitude. It was not that she was a soft woman as she could be really tough on us sometimes, having spent several years taking care of us on her own. It was that she truly cared about others and was a nurturing human being. It was not by accident that she had become a nurse, she had always wanted to help others hence her choice of the medical field.

 

I returned to my daily routine but felt listless as if something had been broken. I realised that it was because with the death of my mother a whole aspect of my life was disappearing. When we lose our mother, it is almost as if the last link to our childhood is broken. Mothers are so emblematic of those times of innocence when we could huddle up closer to them and feel comforted and safe. I had spent many a night tucked underneath her arm when I was raving with fever and waking up tightly held by her had always given me the feeling that everything would always be alright. Somehow, the fact that she was no longer there made me feel like I had lost the possibility of feeling that comfort again. There is something unique about the comfort a mother can bestow and that nothing else can replace.

 

One day, I was feeling particularly destitute and thinking about my mother. It pained me to think that a woman like her who had cared so much for others had died all alone. Indeed, by a rare coincidence, my sister-in-law had not returned before her carer left and in the thirty minutes or so between the leaving of the carer and the return of my sister-in-law, my mother had breathed her last. I was thinking about how I had been planning for my children to visit their grandmother again that summer and how this would no longer be possible. My thoughts were focused on my mother and I could feel the grief well inside me again. I had stopped writing as I could not bring myself to pen anything and the weeks were turning into months.

 

As I walked, cloaked in my grief, a shrill call from above caught my attention. There, just a few meters above my head, a seagull flew with its arms alternating between stretching and flapping. It seemed to fly in a criss-cross pattern, right above my head, all the while calling shrilly. I stopped and looked at it and it stopped on the rooftop to the right of my head. I moved onward and the seagull called out and flew over my head again. From the entrance to the compound where I lived until the building where my apartment was, it continued to follow me calling shrilly all the while flying above my head in that curious criss-cross pattern. As I reached my building and looked up at it again, it turned its head one way and the other almost as if it were sizing me up. I felt as if it were a messenger from above as it called again shrilly. I thought of my mother again and as I smiled up at it, I could feel a weight lift off my heart. I looked around me and noticed the intense purple of the lavender in the pot and the bright yellow of the fallen leaves. That sense of comfort would always be there. Her body may have disappeared but she was still there, in every bird that flew, in every leaf that fluttered, in every beautiful thing that shone on in this world around me. I smiled up again and the seagull flew.

 

 

Mother (in Arabic) and Woman (in English) both dedicated to my mother – Geetha Balvannanathan