No way back

transformed matter
still ripe with unbelief,
whenever this ends, wherever thereafter begins,
we became ocean, seed, star, poem,
the dark still pumping through our veins —
no way back
no answer yet
everything, yet nothing, left behind,
nothing, yet everything, carried inside

it was convenient, even pleasant,
for a while,
till we learnt reality was the mirage,
and the mirage too real,
what about the years then?
what about being?
being and belonging?
what about moonlight and skin
and the void and the rain,
especially the rain?
what about wetness?

maybe it was only about
that moment of knowing, enduring,
of that certainty of surrender —
knowing the sun would melt our wings
knowing that falling was another
becoming,
remembering that within the clouds
we too smell of unborn lake —
but that wasn’t the plan, was it?

we rose upward on the saddest wave
and even the sky couldn’t tell
what was awake and what surely
was dreaming,
what was manifest and what
was disappearing,
what was true — this hand, that promise —
and what was just a feeling.

27 thoughts on “No way back

  1. I take no pleasure in looking back. I strive to move forward but as your poem suggests “everything, yet nothing, left behind / nothing, yet everything, carried inside /” I still feel I’m carrying everything from these past two years with me. Great write!

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  2. Emerson wrote that the only thing we truly have is the moment of transition; if so, then all we know is what leaps before us right now … it’s why poetry is the best way to find the beating heart of the world with what words human language can cobble. It also offers the surety that if we keep on writing the world will keep singing. Great work here Rajani, it absolutely trusts the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. No no no.. for the poets to try and find that beating heart of the world and then hope the world keeps singing! You think you have it one day… but then you have to start over the next morning 🙂 🙂

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  3. “. . . that moment of knowing, enduring,
    of that certainty of surrender —
    knowing the sun would melt our wings
    knowing that falling was another
    becoming,” YES! I am grateful for this poem and the questions it crystallizes, though I wonder who we think will answer? This is perhaps your most Job-like poem–Job without the pain. I wonder if there is anything “just” about feelings? I will be pondering this for awhile with love and gratitude!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha… no one will answer.. just mountains of rhetorical poetry! Wishing you the best of the season, Susan. May the new year bring us all health, joy and more poetry!

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  4. Ha, I just posted a poem titled Surrender. Yours is beautiful. I especially love “knowing that falling is another becoming.” That could not be said any better. Wow. “We rose upward on the saddest wave” really speaks to me. We are surfing sorrow these days, still looking for the sun.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. “knowing the sun would melt our wings
    knowing that falling was another
    becoming”

    These lines speak to my exhausted (but always moving forward) heart. Sometimes people (and the mirror) might ask, Why keep trying to keep it together, if you know things will continue to break? I think we keep trying because every crash is a promise of change, of growth, of “becoming”.

    Thank you for this, Rajani.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a journey through the heart of pain, from denial to acceptance. It doesn’t make the ache hurt any less right away, but recognizing what’s true helps start moving us towards functioning.

    Liked by 1 person

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