Thursday, January 31, 2008

singing cherries---Friday 5/Friday Fiction

with his fingers in that blue porcelain cherry bowl
he picked a few, popped those into his mouth.
without discarding pips, he started singing
those notes going off key.

Unaware of those strange stares he kept on,
lost in a world of his own.

No more cherries left now, he suddenly stopped,
finding himself in a beach-side restaurant.

all were quiet save him; he wished for the ground
crack up and swallow him whole
without a single word he got up.
walking as hurriedly as the sand would allow him.

waiter bore the brunt of it
as he had forgotten to pay for those cherries.

Friday 5: brunt, crack, key, cherry, discard

[Fiction] Friday Challenge for February, 1 2008: Your character was lost in her own thoughts. When she snaps back to reality, she realizes she was singing out loud. Unfortunately, she wasn't somewhere private. How embarrassing... Take it from there.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

bag and baggage----3WW


there were sunken puckers, where orbs of her eyes ought to be.
she crouched on the ground, pulled out a sack from underneath her bed;
untied it clumsily, poured its content on dusty floor.
sightless she might have been, her instincts worked fine.
with right approach, she found an almost empty bottle of wine.
this, she had saved for special occassion. she took a swig,
relishing those last few drops of rancid liquor.
changing into her least patched clothes,
covering her head with a shawl which had seen better days-
leaving everything, she walked out, ready to go to a new place.

foraging, begging days were over; her tired bones needed rest.
old home for the destitute had come to her rescue
hopping into ferrying van, she huddled into a corner;
closing her eyes relishing her moment of glory.

when they came to help her out, death had claimed her
ever so swiftly, wrinkled skin, now smooth.


*This is roughly based on a real life story. There are too many beggars and rag-pickers in the streets, including the very old. Lucky ones get picked by a home for the destitute. Younger ones do not want to be. However, the older lot homeless that they are, wish for it.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Life Force------Totally Optional Prompts/The Last Piaster

This week's prompt is a quote: "When you were called upon to speak, you were supposed to say why you think you're alive, why you were born, and why you're still around: What are your reasons? Everyone needs to come up with his or her own personal answer." From a novel called Diary of a Heretic, by Kathleen Maher. For an extra twist... try responding to this prompt without using the word "I" (me, my, mine).

Piaster 003 Vision Burn Brain Drain from The Last Piaster

Integrate each of these 11 phrases unchanged and in the order listed throughout your poem. There are no other restrictions. This exercise should cause a few of those synapses to fire.

the moon, broken off like
a red flower brilliant as

her fingers delicate as

the island stretches off the coast like

your backbone rigid like

the bicycle careening down the hill like

soft as

crazy bird its song like

she spun of like

his monotonous voice like

days pass like

I experimented, combining both.

She stood watching the moving sliding clouds. Slipped out
the moon, broken off like
a biscuit dipped in tea.
She smiled, concentrating on the sky,

Mars showed up like
a red flower brilliant as a ruby
her fingers delicate as
a cooked plate of noodles she had eaten a while back.

Her vision reached far, thinking
the island stretches off the coast like
a shapeless amoeba in her school biology book so long ago.

Sighing, she asked the polar star
"why is
your backbone rigid like ramrod?"
A noise broke into her reverie, looking towards the road,
she saw her husband
the bicycle careening down the hill like a serpent slipping on glass.
For a miniscule moment, scaring her out of wits,

her thoughts revolving like falcons preying.

Drops of rain fell on her
soft as melted butter
That lonely helicopter acted like a crazy bird, its song like
a screeching tyres of a skidded car.

At the sound of deep dark silence, she spun of like a top.
With mixed feeling, she watched her husband walking down to her

and heard his monotonous voice like pebbles hitting water,
ripples of her heart going round and round.

Why had she blanketed out her mind, shrouded it with boredom
with him,
letting her days pass like snail trying to cross a road, costing all his lifetime.

What was it that kept her alive; pages of her days should have ended.

A tiny whimpering sound tugged at her heart.

Picking up her infant from the carrycot, she hugged her daughter.

Reflexively baring her nipple for her baby to feed on.

Nurturing a life created by her is reason enough to live, to be born.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Poking angles

It was a very interesting prompt by Read.Write.Poem. That is, to incorporate mathematics into a poem. I had initially thought of using a mathematical equation as a refrain and write a Villanelle. I even started one. I trashed it and wrote this piece. I post this for Monday Poetry Train too...

Enclosed in the blackboard, tangents go in all directions

Can secants be left behind, cutting the circle into two
They show their supremacy.
Radii watch silently holding hands with chords.
Inscribed angles lie askew
Central angles shed tears.
Sectors made, Segments demarcated,
Triangles cut into shapes.
Nothing left of that ringed shape.

What started the fight
Who asked the toughest question
It was just a taunt by centre of that circle to the inscribed angle
Don’t you know I am double your value
Pandemonium broke out.
Fist fights, poking eyes by those staid rays of the angles
Squeaking voices, scratching parts

All things considered, what it said stands true-
Inscribed angle in a circle is half its central angle

Do feel free to critique it.

Update: I found a new prompt, Weekend Wordsmith. This post works great for their last prompt, It's illegible as many think of mathematics as that.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Housing my soul

This is getting ridiculous, my obsession for you
I am beyond any thing else, save you
I know I am being very predictable
Grand passion, heated body, exploded senses are nothing new
In a way, those are most over-rated.
You can see how everyone goes on and on about it.
Still, that is how I feel about it.
As they show in those movies
Write in those soppy novels
Can’t you feel electricity flowing through us?
Each electron going towards its goal with a single mindedness
My fingers slowly touching you, pushing all those buttons
Right touch, exact amount of pressure
Nothing is forced or contrived
Intensity seems to touch a new height each time
Newness never ceases to surprise me
Is it all from my side?
Without me you are reduced to nothing, incomplete, a block of wood
Even after so long an association, you are so detached
Do you realise, when I wish to forget myself, I come to you
How our desires merge, becoming one.
Housing my soul in yours, we together make music

Arty? Not me!!------Sunday Scribblings

Posting this for Miscellaneous for Sunday Scribblings.

In July 2007, I joined a course for Art Appreciation conducted by National Museum in Delhi. There are twenty classes of two hours duration each every Thursday for 6 months, that is, until mid December. One has to attend at least 16 lectures and submit an assignment consisting of answering five questions out of many at the end of the course. After that is evaluated, one gets a certificate through convocation, held by the museum.

The big question is why I joined it and what does it entail?
Since I was in school, I had heard of this course conducted by National Museum. I had wanted to attend it. Something or the other came up and I could never get around it. This course is not really meant for those arty types! It is in fact for the nonprofessional, who has no knowledge of art, to create awareness about what is art, how it developed through the centuries, why we should learn about it. Therefore, people from diverse fields who are interested to know about art, join this course. From journalists to diplomats, to bureaucrats, teachers, students, homemakers and of course, foreigners.

Every Thursday, it felt good to attend the classes from 5:30-7:30 pm. It had been a long time since I took any kind of course. The lectures were good and interactive. Those covered history of art right from Stone Age to present times. It dealt mostly with Indian art although Japanese and Chinese art were taken separately. The influence of religion was taken in a detailed way. The centuries were seen through development of art, i.e., sculptures, terracotta, architecture, collages, various forms, certain nuances pertaining to those prevailing times. Via art, architecture, I learnt about history, those finer points of it, I knew nothing about.

We were shown films, slides and provided with materials for certain lectures. Although, National Museum is a familiar place for me but a guided tour was in the agenda of the course and it was very enlightening to see it through the eyes of the academicians. There was a field trip too for the various monuments in Delhi at the end of the course. One had an enhanced sense of understanding those various art forms on those monuments. There was a difference in our outlook before and after the course. Writing those assignments too taught me a lot. I had to look around from books, internet and photographs. After a long time, I was doing assignments and that too I opted for hand written ones.

What did it teach me? Mainly history and how to look for finer details to know what period it might have been made. It also taught me about mindset of rulers. The subtle shift of religion... when, where, why and how was somewhat understood. It felt good to interact with such a varied group of people. Our discussions were good. In a way, I was richer for the experience. I think more people should opt for it. I am trying everyone I know to get enrolled into it..:D

Friday, January 25, 2008

swaying dandelions---[Fiction] Friday/Friday 5

[Fiction] Friday Challenge for January 25, 2008:
Describe a first brush with danger.

Friday 5
cohere, dandelion, immerse, create, glass

Danger had been omnipresent, serpentine in her vicinity
Why hadn’t she recognised signs
Symbols enveloped by deadly intent
Coated with syrupy honey
Too late should be banned, declared passé
She shivered with after effects
Wiping her dry eyes, she resumed her work
Fingers typed furiously so much so that keyboard jarred
Still Immersed in those vitriolic words,
she was unaware of what she was creating
Jumbled prose refused to cohere.
Nonetheless, she continued with mad tapping
Dandelions placed in glass vase wilted by her sombre mood
Her much coveted blue-framed spectacles slipped, shattering to splinters
She picked pieces with her bare hands
Lacerate was inevitable, so was flow of blood
Stinging antiseptic soothed her cut with sweetest of pain
With a detachment befitting a queen, her thoughts were

‘Why is it that mental anguish diminishes physical distress’

Thursday, January 24, 2008

love in a sonnet-----Totally Optional Prompts

if you ever change your mind, give me a ring
we’ll check out the weather to take out the boat.
carrying food, clothes, other essential things
going out sailing, whirring away- keep afloat.
sleeping it out, soaking warmth of the sun, in.
to prevent you from sunburns, I put up a shade
applying lotions, sunscreens on your fair skin;
so soft, so smooth to touch, as velvety as suede.

if you rather not, we might go to an isolated beach-
watch those sea waves so beautifully green-blue.
against my better judgement I would slowly reach
out, pulling you into me all of me to love all of you.

just when you ask me to take you back to land
reaching for your finger, I push in the gold band!

Hope this works as a contemporary sonnet!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

if tomorrow comes----3WW


in that early morning mist,
lake appeared calm almost serene
she had arrived there even before dawn broke out
sitting so if carved out of stone-
chilled cold froze her breath to walls of her nose

scent of rose in its first bloom permeated her senses-
her fingers crushed a bud, scattered petals on her shoes.
same old routine each morning,
arriving before sun showed its sparkling face.
twenty five years was too long to wait for someone.

"plunging into water, she bid tomorrow goodbye"

Monday, January 21, 2008

fluted----Writers Island

fluted patterns on the minaret took him to another era

what was the king thinking when he had it built
why construct a tall tower
arches over alcoves, tapering towards the sky-
it had what purpose, he could not deduce
neck turned up, eyes so wide, rubbing his back, he looked over.
iron pillar, a garden fit for angels, places of worship
his vision encompassed all. he stiffled a yawn
stealthy gazed at his watch, time well past his lunch.

work was waiting, his mind desired playing hooky
hunger pangs hit him, deciding his next move
he hurried to the nearest food joint-
"fork in the road, at crossroads"

Sunday, January 20, 2008

bottled---Read Write Poem/Monday Poetry Train

twittering words scattered like specked dust
still have that capacity to pierce.
maybe to touch too in ways no one envisaged-
grains of rice glued together;
taking apart scatters, rendering it meaningless.
one heart can read another if they are in harmony,
in our case, we depart from norm. suspend it
in timeless space…my prose or poetry
as you deem fit with your narrowed vision.
not that it makes any iota of difference
if you shelved those into a corner.

“I will bottle it all, throw it into vast ocean”

From Read Write Poem prompt: meta-whatsits? I took the following and wrote the above piece.

A Gift by Amy Lowell

SEE! I give myself to you, Beloved!
My words are little jars
For you to take and put upon a shelf.
Their shapes are quaint and beautiful,
And they have many pleasant colors and lustres
To recommend them.
Also the scent from them fills the room
With sweetness of flowers and crushed grasses.
When I shall have given you the last one
You will have the whole of me,
But I shall be dead.

Do not forget to ride the train...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

leveller----Sunday Scribblings

any path traversed was filled with travellers like her
looking out for wealth, a few for their lost souls
on much thumbed map, folded into itself
bonded by despondency, blank eyes, lined face
sleepily she examines each face
tightly holding on to her umbrella
big black one like the darkest of nights
she wishes for thundering rains to cleanse people of their thoughts

sky breaks into two, lightning splits forth into resounding doom
each face turns above somehow divested of gloom
nature always comes into aid of fellow travellers

slowly she walks away, parasol clutched to her side,
humming a tuneless song with no words
disintegrating into waters of paradise

Friday, January 18, 2008

pyramids of dreams--Friday Fiction/Fiction 5

Friday 5 words are:

[Fiction] Friday theme for: January, 18 2008

that elegant singer had created chemistry between herself and her listeners
after that standing ovation, silence was so thick that it could be cut with a knife
he was enjoying the interlude
he bent down to re-tie the shoelace, which had come undone
if only it was that easy to get his life back on track
because of his sheer neglect, everything around him was in shambles
he was not even particularly fond of classical forms of art
loud music with no substance was more his style
soothing notes, according to him, were for weaklings
shadows on the walls appeared so normal
were his thoughts grotesque
pyramids over pyramids of it
if his work was all done
why was he not taken seriously
when the opera started again, he daydreamed some more

“snake was being chased by a snake charmer”

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Menhir-----Totally Optional Prompts

Intangibles of his life is what had sustained him
Dried crust of smeared mud going in what direction
Amoebic movements
When it got too much, he laundered himself of his thoughts
Willing himself to go blank
Knobs pulled him out of it after a while
And he did come back. He had too.
Who else would clean the doormat?
If only he had a menhir
Wouldn’t it make his burden easy to carry?
What was one more?

‘Power of psyche- ever the magician

Wednesday, January 16, 2008



His birthday. A non-existent one, if it ever was

Throughout the day, his movements had been awkward
Nonetheless, his father had not noticed
He never did. They seldom exchanged any words
He did not even remember why he had stopped talking to his old man
Lately he had been having strange dreams
Cats, eagles, fishes, mythical dragons too
Fine sheen of dust mixed with spotless snow
Sticking like fish scales on walls of his inner mind
He was obsessed with it, this need to escape

Sliding the kitchen knife into his socks, just in case
Picked up is his backpack; he sneaked out in the dark.
Pulling on jacket closer, he kicked at the pebbles on the way

He was not much surprised when a black tomcat said,

“What took you so long?”

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

life's treasures----Writers Island

Tapping with his fingers, he was calculating mentally
He was not the paper and pencil kind of person
He did most of his computations within the confines of his mind
It exasperated those who lived with him
No chalked out plans, no clear cut goal
What had he really done in his whole lifetime
He had not amassed wealth, not the kind, which shows achievement
He had no family, no home, nothing/no one he could call his own
He only had a small tiny space where he slept
Clothes on his back and then some.
He had not had to ask any one anything
He did not need those, not from where he came from
He let people think what they wanted to
Was he wasting away his education, his share of the family fortune

Loud laughter broke his reverie. He shook his head.
He looked at those children playing happily in their break from studies
He had used his means well. Spending it the right way
He owed it to the world and its people
Making a life for those homeless kids was the best treasure one could amass

Monday, January 14, 2008

comrades in arms----Read Write Poem/Monday poetry train

Do not forget to ride the Monday Poetry Train....

Packing my assorted things, I go over it yet again
This was getting ridiculous
You just lay there with that longing look on your face.
I knew I would go to you, doing what you desired
However, not for a short while.
We had planned to go out together long time back.
You had wanted it to be as soon as possible
Since the day, you came home with me.
We were near yet there was space between us
We both wanted it to disappear
Somehow, that had not happened.
No instant chemistry, not the way I wanted it
Only a comfortable feeling.
On the long run, that might work better.
Slowly affection might turn to raging love
We were both prepared to take the risk.
Very open to go to new frontiers.
To be truthful, you were not the only one I was going out with.
I have had my moments of madness.
You are unperturbed about that.
I also know I will move on after sometime.
I know me, I know my limitations
I suppose you know that too.
Your exterior speaks out to me.
You are my travelling companion this time.
Both of us are aware that there would be something lasting
You would still be very important when I do leave you
A part of me. Always with me. Bits and Pieces.
I go to you. Take you in my arms.
Inhale you slowly taking in your newness.
Yes, you always seem new to me.
I lock up. Without looking behind, we venture to the unknown

On that car to airport, I hold you so close not wanting to let you go
After checking inside the Aeroplane, I finally open up.
I flick the pages and start reading you, getting totally engrossed,
Thinking why didn’t I do it before this?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Iron Hooks---Sunday Scribbling/Cafe Writing

Occasionally I resort to write prose which might not make much sense. I let out thoughts and write as they come. Afterwards I try to put a semblance of order to those seemingly disjointed sentences.

His world has gone awry
Rock stays steady albeit a little tilted

Only a few souls under that umbrella

A family is deep in conversation oblivious to all else

A lonely boy watches them with deep longing
He is too far away to even listen to the sounds

Any movement in the vicinity is felt by him in his bones

Silence seeps into each pore
Dotted horizon fails to please him
Surprisingly there are not many chirping birds

He listlessly observes an ant climbing on to his right foot

How far would it go

Should he flick it away

Would it return to its home

How would the ant know where he lives

What good that would do

Why do questions become iron hooks, which trap and then tear
Suddenly, he strikes his head

It is his birthday

He has no place to go, no place to call his own

Now dates hold no meaning for him

"That thought releases him from his sorrow"
Photo Credits: Cafe Writing: Option Three.

Friday, January 11, 2008

see you? I don't think so---Friday 5/Friday Fiction

[Fiction] Friday Challenge:

Write a scene that ends with your character saying:
'I never want to see you again.'

Friday 5 words: floss, intense, prey, cease, swallow for January 11, 2008.

holding this way, that way he flosses.
intense pain suddenly cease-
as a tooth has fallen prey
to vigorous brushing.
For a while now, he had been unable
to swallow half chewed food.
he looks at that defenseless tooth.
gleefully throws it into waste bin
shouting at top of his voice,

“I never want to see you again”

Thursday, January 10, 2008

hungered-----Totally optional Prompt

However much I tried, I couldn't do this right. Even then I am posting a few American sentences taken together in a verse form.

my stomach rumbles at the sound of rice crispy packet being pulled apart
i gobble it up hungrily, crunchiness disappears into my hungry mouth
teeth grind it to a fine pulp, tongue savouring it as never before
funny noises in my belly stop suddenly to be taken over by digestive sounds
why do our very own natural bodily functions embarrass us no end?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

edge----3WW/BAFAB Week


for a worldly wise male

it was a blow to his ego.
defending himself
was beneath his station.
how could he been so naïve?
with clenched teeth, closed fist-
he lay down seeking oblivion.
Eyes were squeezed shut,
tears lurked at edges-
sleep was not to come.

when they took him to asylum
he was beyond gossip.


As it was BAFAB week from Jan 1-7, I bought books for my nephews, nieces and friends. I donated 50+ assorted books to an old age Home. I suppose I was just plain lucky to win three books I had put my name for. Thanks Melody, Dewey and Rhinoa. I look forward to read those. "The Road" was a coveted one!

The Road by Cormac McCarthy from Melody's Reading Corner
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher from Dewey
Magical tales by R J Stewart from Rhinoa's Ramblings

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

sans defeat-----Writers Island

I am a symbol of what I would become-
fragments fraying eventually.
one day all I would have is moment,
when I do forget my own essence.
It takes courage to master past, present, and future.
I find myself in a colourless void of hope-
a horizon I would never reach.
I am a mirror, which only sees your image,
reflected against my anatomy,
echoing human intuition.
I do not fit into my own identity.
aimlessly I meander around a life worth living,
I will wake up, put on walking shoes,
take off to become what I will be-
every moment along the way satisfying me.
no longer a inert observer of my world-
breaking out of these cocoons,
patiently constructing doubts into walls,
sans past, sans present, sans future.

remind me to drop you a letter.

Monday, January 07, 2008

one too many---Read Write Poetry/Monday Poetry Train

standing in front of my plush wall to wall wardrobe
I search for perfect apparel. choosing one, rejecting
yet again. colour is not suitable, pattern is too bad
texture is obsolete. cotton scrapes, scratches smooth
skin, synthetics give me rashes, silk simply slips over.
ochre is passé, mauve is dumb, green is down market
lavender is ugh, white contrasts with my dusky tone.
a colossal pile on bed, waiting, begging to be picked.
no second glance, no second chance, despondently
I find nothing appropriate to go well with my mood.

cursing myself to stupidity, I struggle to be so cool-
words in my head, nothing to wear. Whomsoever
said women have too many clothes- was a big fool.

Do not forget to ride the Monday Poetry Train

Saturday, January 05, 2008

As new as it can get----Sunday Scribblings/Cafe Writing

For someone who seldom makes resolutions for the New Year, I certainly have goals. Those are not entirely for this year. My elusive goals are not visible to any one even if I achieve those. I wish to grow in many dimensions and material aspect does not even enter into my plans. I strive to be a better person in all ways each day. I have this inner urge to learn. What I do not know, I diligently teach myself. I am grateful to my genetic make up that I got good genes as I have the aptitude to do anything if I put my mind to it. For me the newness does not happen in a new year. It happens each day of my life. I try not to reflect on the negatives. I cannot be vibrant at all times, but I need not be pensive either.

Getting into the specifics, writing is one important aspect. Those days I cannot write, I make myself write. I set myself small goals and try to touch those. Reading too is very important for me. I plan to read lot more than what I did last year.

Then there are some areas in my personal front that I need to redress and change. More important, I need to discipline my mind to accomplish all that I seek. I need to curb on my impulsiveness, which has landed me into trouble in many ways. I have won over my surge of anger to some extent. I will go on doing whatever I can for abused children. Maybe more than what I have been doing.

Each day is new, each experience is new. Hence, our perception has to be to according to what is going on each moment. Renewing ourselves is what we are doing at any given moment of time.

Friday, January 04, 2008

flopped!---Fiction Friday/Friday 5

realist was gone for a while,
replaced by a stranger, wildly
fanatical tapping at growing
moss at her feet, reminiscing
forgotten events- drowsily so .

tired to core, crumples with thud
on hard ground- distorted image
as if engraved on vellum. drastic
measures frantically needed to get
her back on track of normal life.

“every so often, all one needs is rest-
along with books of fiction on bedside”

Thursday, January 03, 2008

epistle of dribble---Totally Optional Prompts

as a last resort, I write to your esteemed paper,
kind sir. never having addressed to an editor,
please do excuse my very poor language skills.
lest I forget what I need to say, drain water spills
inside my apartment block, despite repeated
remainders, authorities have remained seated
glued to their chairs, wholly deaf to my entreaty
stink is too much to bear, shedding my brevity
now I want needful to be done pressuring them
via your printed media, drawing a bit of shame
on their demeanors, so they dig deeply into soil
laying sewer line ten feet under, so that their toil
would not go wasted- all that muddy stench is rested!

I now end it here, before I go on about more dribble
hope you publish my epistle as soon as possible.

This is a true account. Sewage water was flowing through our Apartments block and no one was ready to do anything. I contacted the local papers. After they published it, the pipelines were repaired in no time. I obviously did not write it in a poem form!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

squiggles-----3WW/Friday 5

My first post for 2008. Another unpoem. My muse needs to be shaken, I suppose.


walking around that parapet,
i chew on my pencil pretending
to look like a scrivener.
fixing my eyes on a distal point-
superficially plucking on my gilt button,
thinking luck is on my side-
i trace outlines on those loose sheets-
squiggles, which do not make sense.

“who said it was easy to decipher mind?”