It is the measure of incongruence, the horizon askew,
the wind running amok, the sullen moon a flushed

pink, the world at war with its children, dead in school
yards, drowned in thirsty seas, broken under the rubble

of endless hate. I see you flinch as you read the headline,
another five year old raped and dumped on the side of

the road; a curious fly slips in through the screen door and
surveys the remains of a chocolate muffin as the silence

seeps into the bones of another day that will not begin.
A nameless bird looks out, the words to its song forgotten

in the morning sun; it would make sense, it would all make
sense if the earth had succumbed and spun astray, a flaccid

ball untethered from its orbit, or if all of creation, swathed
in mournful black was biting down on the last trees to stop

itself from screaming. I hear you start the car, I hear it
cough, again, again, as if our air is too toxic to breathe in.


First published on Visual Verse (Vol 05, Chapter 05)
Click on the link to see their picture prompt.

Three Years And Counting

This blog turns three today. Makes me wonder about the journey. Makes me wonder what lies ahead. Makes me wonder how many more poems are waiting.

Am sharing this poem that was published  recently in the Mystic Blue Review. I had responded to an ekphrastic poetry challenge based on the painting titled “Scream” by Edvard Munch. Many thanks to Alexa Findlay for choosing to publish my submission in the second issue of their magazine. (Page 74)

After The Scream by Edvard Munch

Maybe it was the sound of snapping bones that woke
me up inside my pyre, the orange-yellow of the sandal

inferno reminding me of the taste of soft skin and heated
lips, that evening when the setting sky filled every falling

drop and we climbed up rainbows, until you fell, until
you slid into the searing swirl of ink, floating away like

an unspoken word that choked my throat, how did we let
those bridges burn, how did the past become this funeral

bier? It is the smell, though, that gags my throat, the stench
of a life gone bad, the whiff of darkness yet to come, of ashes

that will befoul a reluctant river, why does no one complain
about the smell, why do you drift away holding your nose,

who, just who is screaming here love, look at me, look at the
way the hellish sun keeps on sinking as if it cannot hear.

I also found I’d written micropoetry based on the same piece of art in March 2015.

Memories Age Badly

memories age badly,
turning brittle like dead butterfly wings,
flowers fallen long before them,
songs packed into the dust;
but whispers swallow sound and sighs,
growing, growing every day,
what you said in my ear that night,
how long before it becomes a scream?


Quadrille: a 44 word poem
Linked to the Dverse Poets (Prompt: Whisper)


Soft skin dimpled,
as the horizon curved into a smile.
It was time.
Blood was baying for blood.

as the horizon curved into a smile,
gathering the dregs of the day,
the falling night knew,

it was time;
the jewelled scimitar was at its throat,
pushing deeper,

blood was baying for blood,
he felt the sky heave,
outside, a city screamed.

Trimeric – a four stanza poem in which the first stanza has four lines and the sequence of lines in the next three stanzas is abcd, b – -, c – -, d – -.

Your Name or Mine

drop a coin in his silver plate
the homeless sky
busking by night
your songs or mine

the one-armed wind picks barbed wire strings
rain taps its feet
on bloodied ground
your side or mine

from the mountain of severed heads
let’s bring new ears
do they still scream
your name or mine

The idea was to write a Minute Poem (12 lines of 60 syllables- in 3 stanzas of 8-4-4-4 syllables each- with aabb/ ccdd/ eeff/ rhyme scheme). The structure worked but it sounded better to me without the forced rhyming, so posting it anyway…

One by One

Twilight drips
into the hollow of my palm,
curling under my nails,
charring my hands,
obsidian marbles,
strung on a ray of soft sunlight,
running down my fingers,
one by one,
counting my prayers;

beyond that swaying belt of trees,
a row of crows,
a silent vigil,
perhaps just empty silhouettes
pasted on the cardboard air,
the birds long gone;
my frozen feet hurry,
one by one,
chasing my prayers.

the lid of the night
closes over the
open sores of the earth,
the seeping pus gleams
in the last red thread of sunset,
then from its muddy throat
come the screams,
one by one,
taunting my prayers.

This Hour

watch how the candle burns, from the tallow of this hour
clocks stand with folded arms, how will time follow this hour

clouds and stars shut their eyes, bombs rain down on naked fear
who will count heads and limbs, red rivers overflow this hour

death cries into trembling hands, its lifeline smudged by tears
humanity twists up in smoke, charred souls bellow this hour

shredded screams like fireworks, streak across the swollen sky
one last child, one last wail, who will bear sorrow this hour

somewhere the world sleeps in peace, somewhere the flowers bloom
someone checks one more box, in a screen’s blue glow this hour

(In Ghazal format)
April:#32- 21/30


A very interesting challenge at mindlovemiserysmenagerie on the well known painting by Edvard Munch – Scream- acknowledged, even by the artist, as an expression of his battle with mental illness.

However, it is said, there is a fine line between insanity and sheer genius.

A fine paper fence
splits reason and illusion,
the mind paints both sides;
brush strokes may, born of reason,
cast shadows of delusion.

flip your mind around
screams become soulful prayers
sunset turns to dawn


With bloody fangs,
the entrails of the night
in her talons,
a triumphant look
in her iridescent eye,
dawn descends,
riding a screaming moon.

Poetweet: Exactly 140 characters long including spaces and punctuation.