This one’s for my aaji (grandmother). May she rest in peace, at least in death.
Prompt 13: write a poem in ABCB rhyme scheme.
Nath: nose ring made of pearls, traditional to Maharashtra region of India.
Kumkum: a red powder or paste applied on the foreheard at the hairline of a woman as an indication of marriage.
~Hiravati – the end~
Her feet were more beautiful than I remembered.
Pale, white, glowing
against the dark sombre moods around her.
A light wind blowing.
Only a few hairs on her forehead parted limply.
The bright green of her saree,
the fragrant yellow of the lowers around her neck
the nath, the kumkum: a bride to marry.
Except her husband stumbled around her,
his useless eyes shedding tears,
his wrinkled fingers caressing her lifeless eyes and blue lips.
A cascade of fears.
The howls of her sister fell deaf on her ears,
the muted whimpers of her daughters-in-law,
the stone facade of her sons.
I wonder if she saw;
hovering over us
just making sure we’re okay
whispering last words, instructions
before being carried away
by the four sons she had borne strong:
her children in sweat and blood,
in the village which she called home.
Surrounded by all the people she ever loved.
To be honest, this one makes no head or tail. At all. If you figure it out, please tell ME.
Prompt: Write an acrostic poem by @airplanepoetrymovement so I used my full first name.
~Questions and Confusion~
Viscous. Venom or velocity?
Eccentric. Essentially or extravagantly?
Dashing. Doomed or dreams?
Adventurous. Am or aspiring?
Nefarious. Nagging or nitpicking?
Tiffany. Trousseau or trademark?
Infinity. Insecure or instantaneously?
Prompt: Hold your breath by @airplanepoetrymovement
~Hold Your Breath~
Hold your breath.
Don’t waste it
trying to link alphabets to syllables,
syllables to words,
words to thoughts.
Communicating? To whom?
Unravelling that ball of yarn,
spinning words into yarns,
that complex wooly yarn
that won’t keep anyone warm
but the child in you.
Hold your breath.
Don’t scream into a valley
where even rock faces won’t echo back.
It’s a void.
but it’s white noise
because each voice is drowned
by the voice of another.
I’m holding my breath.
But to what end?
Prompt: use the words ‘pumpkin’, ‘nightmare’ and ’emoji’ in your poem by @airplanepoetrymovement ~Of Phones and Lattes~
I have a dream –
and it may be my sister’s nightmare –
that we go travelling together.
no Instagram stories,
no Facebook check in,
no Snapchat filters,
no conversations via emojis.
Just boots, coats and scarves
walking on the roads of New York
sipping warm pumpkin spiced lattes.
Or trek up Macchu Picchu,
race to the top, flushed
and lie down on the cold stone
laughing, catching our breath.
Maybe just lay on the beaches in Spain,
tanning, listening to music
in cheesy, matching bikinis.
Okay, I’ll give her an occasional photograph.
But I dream to have
with zero connectivity in our phone.
Prompt: Use the name of a TV Show as the title by @airplanepoetrymovement
Kali – Hindu goddess, often symbolising death, violence and destruction along with motherly love, feminine energy and creativity.
Pallu – the loose end of a sari (Indian traditional clothing; a length of cloth 6 yards long draped around the waist and over the shoulder).
Mahishasura – a demon known for deception, and a shape shifter. Slayed by the Goddess Durga.
Kaliyug – one of the four ages/stages that the world goes through where there will be a decay in values and amorality will flourish, leading to catastrophes. AKA Dark Age.
~Two Broke Girls~
There’s two broke girls today.
One in Kashmir –
Her screams plastered
on the stone walls
of the home of a goddess;
ashes of her future
wafting in the air,
freezing in the snow;
shadows of her questions
lurking behind trees
wishing never to be found.
Her body, scarred
Pieces of it under the nails
of the monsters who mauled her.
The second is India.
Split between howling with rage
and whimpering in confusion;
wondering what she did unto others
that they did such unto her
She is split in half –
Should she be Kali
and behead all the Mahishasuras?
Or be protecting her children
under the pallu of her sari
in this Kaliyug?
There’s two broke people today.
And none of them
are the men who broke them.
Prompt: include the sentence ‘is this what home looks like?’ at least once in your poem.
~Tea for Travel~
I tread slowly
balancing tea cups on a tray
with my sister striding forward
with toast on a plate.
My parents drink their tea –
my father with nonchalance
and my mother like it’s a relaxant.
The parade of Sri Lankan elephants
watch us from the corner
and trumpet quietly.
The African masks sway slightly
to the rhythm the wind carries.
The Rajasthani dolls watch the sun set,
just not over sand dunes.
The horseman made of wood
trots in his plate eternally.
The Russian Matrushka doll
keeps her family safe
and the painted shoes from Holland
dance in silence.
The mini water jug from Spain
is empty and
the fan from Japan
is propped against the wall.
Is this what home looks like?
My parents look at us and ask,
“So where do we go next?”
This is what my home looks like.
Prompt: Title your poem “Scars” by @airplanepoetrymovement
The scars on my body
belong to the Earth.
My knees have worn out
by taking a sitting start
since I was eight
and jumping long
into a sand pit.
My feet have blistered
and torn away
from walking up the Himalayas,
trudging in the snow.
My fingers tips are raw
from the rocks I have climbed
or abseiled down in the Sahyadris.
My thighs have lightning marks
from sprinting like light
and elbows are forever grazed
from the innumerable times I’ve fallen.
And then gotten up.
Until this day,
I carry some soil on my forehead
from the number of times
I’ve bowed to the Earth.