Tag Archives: Poetry

Looking back

Looking back, I see the overcrowded past

looping over and over,

trailing like footprints,

on the snow, stamped with regrets,

stuttering, like a garbled echo,

of what could have been.

Looking forward is uncertain

and, looking back is now looking inward.

A matter of perspective?

Drip, drip, drip…
Sanguine drops shatter the silence in a crimson pool
But the voices in her head, the perpetual screams are now quiet
Her frail figure looks serene, as though dreaming of faraway places
That curious half-smile on her lips… as always

In the aftermath,
Those who have heard the faint echoes of muffled tears
Murmur something about insanity
The truth silenced under the numbing anaesthetic of denial
Reasons – tens and thousands are given
To proclaim the victim as accused
She never confessed, she was always so happy, smiling
We all loved her so much, we were always there

Perhaps she knew what it would be like
In the beyond
And that’s why she chose to leave quietly – no note, no explanations
For, would anyone have really bothered to give it a second thought?
But her curious half-smile says it all – the eclipsed pain, the war within, the untold grief…

What would you, in your perspective, like to call it?
An accident, a suicide, or a murder?

Copyright Inara (Samrudhi Dash)

War

You told me once that you have not seen war
you did not know how war smelt:
the dust of disgust accumulated,
hardened layers of dirty hatred 
that formed the bedrock of frivolous minds. 

You told me once that you have not read about war
glorified sordid stories of power retold
Stolen moments of heroes and villains
Pointless anecdotes of their pains and pleasures
that you and I fail to feel. 

Long after the war was over
and the guns grew still
wounded minds refused to heal
leaving behind the impression of futility 
and vehement lamentation of languid souls. 

Long after the war was over
and the world outside grew smaller 
you heard your shadow’s visceral voices as truth
and it was hard to see the point sometimes 
when you were at war with yourself. 

The riot

Distant birdsong, chirps and cries, we hear-
Deafening ears, driving people mad
Ravens grip every inch, calling men to listen.

Whats that commotion we hear?
Is danger coming closer?
What do we need to guard ourselves?

Repercussions keep rolling out
Akin to electricity lighting up the world
And the sun, burning forests and wild bushes.

When the noise subsides, I hear music
Silently invading the bustling lanes.
Media and social media are a carnival, sometimes.

Who are You?

When you ask me, “who are you”
Do you want to know a bit more of the sand
That spread in me from the backyard
After the river overflew to hug me
but later retracted with a bit of my soul?

When you ask me, “who are you”
Do you want to know a bit more of the song
Infused in me from the coucal’s trill
After the jackals barked in the dark
Shooing the birdie with a bit of my spirit?

When you ask me, “who are you”
Do you want to know a bit more of the sky
That draped me with the endless horizon
After the grass beneath and the stars above
swelled the vastness of my cracked heart?

To fathom me is to sway with my shadow
Feel the breath of my spring, frost of my winter
get drenched in my torrential rains,
taste the nectar of my fuzzy newness
and forever be lit by the ash of my burning star.

Game of Life

On many of those winter nights
I wish to see your breath on the stained glass
imagining the warmth of ease, instead
I get the familiar instant message
explaining the shades of your chase.

Sometimes you surprise me, when
you occasionally hold my palm
that reassures the existence of a bond
and a scent of cigar enters my dream
altering the plot, for good.

Between the reality of the bright day
and the romantic dream after dark
our life sails defying the rubrics
There is no pause to this play, even
to frame a well-captured moment.

Punctuation

I penned all that flowed in a hurry
A painful production, artlessly logged
Purposeless and plain…
What are words without psyche and soul?
Asked my curious mind…
Wandering aimlessly for a few seconds…
I erased the ellipses
Warding off the fragmentary thoughts

A chain of familiar symbols stretched wide
Gaiting on the ramp with poise
Commas remained grounded,
Pausing for a little breath
But when inverted, hung like a ‘dangling’
Exclaiming elite attention!
Colon clearing its throat announced:
“I’d introduce my buddies and their roles”
Braces embraced each one (detailing their
names, definitions, pronunciation and etymology)
“Left-brained analysts with a long list!”
“I got to pause; this is never-ending”
Remarked semi colon, impatiently

Elated, I looked at my words, lines –
adorned with pretty brooches
With distinctive rhythm and life
Newfangled characters told my story
the way it should be
Full point rushed to mark a dot.
It knew; this was the end.
--------------------------------

Hangman

As the invisible COVID swallows up the world

We see death in disguise, looming

Is our ephemeral character called back?

When the End casts its darkest shadow

we dramatically see Life’s light

We struggle to break despair’s shackles

that deadbolt our lives down

We are playing hangman and guessing a word

From an unwritten chapter of life

Remember, every crucial move delays the noose.

Heimat

Something about this air makes me poignant
Or perhaps too familiar to be endured…
Those decades-old hollow eyes still stare at me
Elapsed past that smell of stingy rags,
Blood stains and cold logs of human bodies
Reflecting chilling horrors of the holocaust.

Something about this air smells like my home
I may be a gypsy, Jew, gay or communist
I hear marching steps pounding, looming
Mounting tension, loud weak heart throbs
Ghastly commands in the greyish-blue vicinity
And black clouds ready to bomb.

Something about this air creates the autumn of 1943
Leaves fall yellow, brown, dreary and dry
The cries of the camp prisoners go silent
My parched pink lips unable to pray
Wonder where the God fled, allowing
To wipe a nation’s history, hearts and hope.

Something about this air near the ashen memorial
Cries out loud the unheard stories of the souls of sorrow
Of my wounded homeland and shattered dreams.
As I let myself blend with the background
The church bells ring in melancholic unison
Orchestrating the slides of a miserable memoir.
Setting: An autumn of 1943, during holocaust in Germany.