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Hold your breath

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.
Expressing? Why?
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.
Yawn.
Hold your breath.
Don’t scream into a valley
where even rock faces won’t echo back.
It’s a void.
Vacuum.
Vacuole.
Everyone’s talking
but it’s white noise
because each voice is drowned
by the voice of another.
Who’s listening?
I’m holding my breath.
But to what end?

By,

Vedanti

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Of Phones and Lattes

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 phones,
no camera,
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
full connectivity
with zero connectivity in our phone.

By,

Vedanti.

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Two Broke Girls

Prompt: Use the name of a TV Show as the title by @airplanepoetrymovement

Glossary:
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
playing hide-and-seek
with men,
wishing never to be found.
Her body, scarred
beyond repair.
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
and hers.
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.

By,

Vedanti.

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Tea for Travel

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.

By,

Vedanti.

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Scars

Prompt: Title your poem “Scars” by @airplanepoetrymovement

~Scars~
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.

By,

Vedanti.

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Khul Ja Sim Sim

Prompt: to write an ode by @airplanepoetrymovement

Glossary:
Khul ja sim sim – Open Sesame, from Ali Baba and the forty thieves story.
Tijori – treasure chest

~Khul Ja Sim Sim~

At 10, when my loud neighbor boy
pulled me behind him
and touched you,
I never knew
you were something to be touched.
For years since, I wouldn’t.
Anne Frank, at 13,
discovered many things.
One of those was her vagina.
So, at 16,
I locked myself in the bathroom
with Anne
and found you.
Hair.
Thick, brown, curly, a little stiff.
Broad, luscious lips
protecting the delicate with utmost ferocity.
YOU SHALL NOT PASS.
Supple fingers that part them
find a little swelling;
a mountain amongst sinkholes;
the khul ja sim sim sim to my tijori;
the red button one shouldn’t resist pressing.
Then as more folds of skin were lifted
I discovered a few more holes.
And for the first time, I marvelled
at how well you were
organized and packaged down there.
Two different rabbit holes –
for entering and exiting –
and one of them led to wonderland.
Unlike men, poor things,
with one limb for everything.
Like Anne, I couldn’t fathom
how a man could enter you
let alone a baby come out!
I pushed one finger in you,
then two and three
with my mouth opening
just as wide in wonder
and later, in ecstasy.
Today, I know just how
everything works with you.
But I continue to be awed
by your beauty
and strength
every time.

By,

Vedanti.

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Prompt: Use the words butterfly, despair and mozarella in the poem by @airplanepoetrymovement (This one was a difficult one)

*Untitled*
The Pavlovian ping of my oven
triggered a mouthful of saliva
as a warning to my hangry stomach.
The baking pizza and bubbling mozarella
is only a way to fill
the hole in my heart
via my stomach.

I watched a butterfly at my window
drifting, flitting, fluttering
at it’s own pace.
Charting a path as it went along,
with no care in the world.
And I knew this
is what would truly fill
the hole in my heart.

Instead, I’m filled with despair
because I couldn’t choose
the latter between the two.

By,

Vedanti