Poetry Tuesday #4 – Blue

And for the last Poetry Tuesday offering this November, the prompt is ‘Blue’ – sky, sea, mood, music, sapphires, ink – blue is where poems begin! Blue was also the soul of my first poetry collection ‘Water to Water

Here’s my poem for the prompt today. Share yours using the Mister Linky widget below. Thanks to all those who’ve been part of this series with their thoughts and poems. Maybe we’ll do another one sometime soon!

 

 

On the other side of rain

The rain comes first and then the darkness,
then the fear, then the silence – louder than
the rain on glass and tile, darker than the
night, afraid of itself, holding me like a long
lost lover. If you were here, I would tell you
there are sixteen types of quiet. In fifteen of
them, I talk to you without saying a word. A
yellow chrysanthemum describing itself to
a moonless sky. Tonight, you speak and I
point to my ear and shake my hand, you are
too far away – on the other side of rain, at the
beginning of a protracted monsoon. Silence
breathes hard, holding my face in its hands.
Isn’t conversation easier when someone is
actually talking? The blue sky explaining to
the blue lake why they are both colourless.

Poetry Tuesday #3 – Borrowed

When French Violinist Philippe Honoré performed in Bangalore last month, I learnt he had inspired Vikram Seth to write his splendid little book ‘An Equal Music’. I brought the book home from the library and found that Seth’s dedication was an acrostic poem, intriguing and elegant. Perhaps, the symbiosis of poetry and love is so successful only because it works despite love and despite poetry!

But here is Vikram Seth’s poem.

And here is what it led me to write:

Eden Unclaimed

What of love that falls like a tree in the deep
forest? That falls like rain on the open sea?
Is it still love if no one knows? That night,
the deluge came to Eden. Promises sank,
the apple orchard was left kneeling in bare-
boughed prayer, the rain, like unconsummated
sin, was swallowed in aching gulps by the
disconsolate dark. That night we lay unmoving,

skin against skin, dream against dream,
breath against breath. Was that not love? Can
love not let paradise fall? Can love not bear
the wound of exile? What will you call love that
has misplaced its word? That night, in Eden, I lost
a love that didn’t know how to become a poem.

 

 

The prompt today is “Borrowed” and it asks you to borrow some magic from a poem that inspires you. Share your poems using the Mister Linky widget and tell us about the poem that became your muse!

 

Poetry Tuesday #2 – New

When you parse the science, it seems crazy that we’re carrying on like everything is fine, while life, as we know it, is hurtling towards an unceremonious end, Eliotesque, not with a bang, but with a whimper. It seems crazy that we’re reading Eliot. It seems crazy that we’re writing poetry.

trees and rhinos, bees and
kelp, waves and puffins –
how do they describe us to their young?

The prompt today is “New” – whatever strikes you as timely, relevant, in your face, here and now. Share your poems, old or new,  using the Mister Linky widget. Or just stop by and say hello in the comments section.

 

Mousetrap

And when nature became a vengeful beast, a
monster unleashed, and every love poem became
a nostalgic ache for a time when the sea was a
troubadour on the street corner, crooning soft
ballads, the sky was the cloth around his hips,
and the moon was a pin on her shoulder, holding
the edge of her saree –

I remember when we caught the first mouse at
home, my mother setting an ugly wooden trap, a
piece of stale copra, the lure for some wretched
creature that would in the morning, half-crazed 
with fear, its tail twitching outside its cage, realize
primal hunger had turned into modern sin. I don’t
know what happened to that first mouse –

She didn’t tell me. I never thought to ask. I was
seven. Now the earth shudders and I wonder 
what will kill me first – the congenital desire, the 
rotting coconut, the rusty hook, the proud woman, 
the indifferent man, the interminable morning or
inveterate hunger –

In the distance, cold clouds find new syntax for a 
familiar dirge.

Poetry Tuesday #1 – Old

The subject today is “Old” – an eventuality I considered at length in my chapbook “On Turning Fifty” – there’s something about a milestone birthday that makes you want to stop, look right, left and right again, before going forward. Today’s poem, however, comes from a divergent thought about reality, about time and by extension, all things existential.

One more bean

The line from me to myself arches across the southern
sky, plummeting through a cloud of stardust, or maybe it

scours the bottom of the ocean, dragged up, wet and
heavy: either way, both lines pause at the threshold of

this argument? On one side, worn, wrinkled fingers shell
hyacinth beans, dropping them into a wire basket —

79, 80, 81… the toothless smile is capitulation and
resigned acceptance. The beans will be skinned and

cooked in powdered spices at dawn. On the other side
is the moon, watching with one eye. Languishing. She

too will be peeled and colourless once the kitchen fires
are lit. See how both parties offer their transience in self-

defence. One more bean. One more hour. One more
meaningless night. As if time is just a farcical construct, a

peg on which to hang our last excuse for being here. As
if every clock face is a pulsing confession of age old guilt.

 

Do share your poems, exploring any aspect of the prompt(age, history, evolution, geology, childhood, yesterday, nostalgia, rust, wisdom – whatever it means to you), using the Mister Linky widget, or leave the link in the comments section below. Even if you don’t have a poem to share, stop and say hello! Next Tuesday’s prompt (12th November) will be “New“!