Waiting for this year to end like waiting
for the second line of a poem — the first,
a recursive imperative that keeps looping
back to an undefinable beginning. The
days have to be rolled uphill, a Sisyphean
production in which the movement of time
is a measure of naked ineptitude. We wake
together at midnight, this is when the
gradient sharpens and darkness needs to be
pushed with two hands— sweaty, grimy hands
that have touched skin and broken promises—
with dawn the stone will slip again, past lips
and waists and lies and feet. All this in the
space of a day, in the space of an empty
second line, this year that should end like
a poem, but is always one damn word away.
A wall to the right of the empty bed, concrete
blocks and wood that feel the first desperation
of night. To the left a window where dawn’s
seduction begins. Does light pick a side first
or does darkness? As usual, evening is the
arbiter of arguments over illumination. It was
evening when you left. It is evening while I
wait. Evening that is neither light nor dark.
Evening that pronounces: the moon is neither
empty nor full, neither real nor imagined, the
moon both is and isn’t. Is such a moon not
borne? Is such a moon not a chant? Is the
moon first light or first dark? Why then can’t
you bear absence? When can’t you speak
of love? Are they not moon crust? Why then
can’t you forgive this infidel flicker of love?
To all you poets: Am going to be writing theme-based poetry every Tuesday starting 5th November. Do let me know if you’d like to share your poems (spoken or written), discuss and critique all things poetry. More details soon!
Your desire for love defies the fear that
bookends it. Finding and losing both
unfasten stars from the sky. Will you give up
this world for the one without expectations?
What thoughts came to you when you
sat cross-legged under that peepal tree?
Previous: Tao inspirations #12
You made up these rules. You set the bar for
longing too high. You wanted to be exalted
as a star, as a god. But I know love refused to
play your game. It fell into your arms and fit
its weight into the yearning in your heart. Didn’t
it teach you to fly with your feet on the ground?
Mohini on a swing: Raja Ravi Varma
Previous: Tao inspirations #7
Follow series on Instagram: @tp_poetry
Count all the things that are eternal. Then
count all the things that are not. In which
list did you put the love you feel? The love
you received? In which list did you put
yourself? When creation made its lists,
which one do you think it placed you in?
Dreaming Shankuntala: Raja Ravi Varma
Previous: Tao inspirations #6
Does love come to you as a kindness?
Does pain seek you in vengeance? Your
poems are your own failings. Think how
much more can be said by your silence. Do
you hear the remonstrations of the moon?
Isn’t she still the greatest of poets?
In Contemplation: Raja Ravi Varma
Previous: Tao inspirations #4
The moon brings its fullness to fit
into the small of your eye. To blink
would be sacrilege. Would be to
count its failings. Is there a greater
love, a higher love? To seek love is
blasphemy. Your job is just to be.
Lady in the Moon Light: Raja Ravi Varma (1889)
Writing 6-line poems inspired by the Tao Te Ching. Also posting on instagram @tp_poetry
Previous: Tao inspirations #2