Winter Fix

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Brumous nights
And wet skies
Veiled the soft shivers
Of sundered bights…
The talking breeze
Healing whispers so deep,
The surreptitious sensations
Of Erato…

Laced fingers
In thick blood
Under the spread
Of skins…
The melted crud
As warm as cinder
Splashed fire
On two canvases…
The painted souls
In slippery time
Soaked in sweet brine
Sucked out of ghouls
The red so red
As the texture
Of wine
On a white night…

From the depths of me
To the depths of you
Embrace your darkness
And the fireflies will find you…

 

The admonitory sage called ‘Afterthought’

It is quite often, lately, that I find myself fettered in perplexity, to be a respectful and silent listener to the beautiful unmusicality of bewildering sounds trying to reach some sort of a consensus in my head. I am lost on the cause of the debate since they happen to make sounds that haven’t found their way into any living language. It’s like Morse fuckin’ code, every time I begin to follow a little of the dialogue, it changes pattern! It’s just noise to me! Loud, impetuous noise! Multiple speakers and not a word that makes sense, and I am just sitting there rolling my eyes, waiting for them to unite or tire! It’s like being in a colony of puffins’ right around the time of hatching!

Soon I come to realize the number of debaters are only two. Carl Jung from my college days, says, they go by the name of anima and animus. She tries to be the woman, encumbered by all the virtue she has learnt from centuries past, graveled in her characteristic form and, he, the uncouth bawdy man with his anguish of being all that comes with the territory of being defined since the beginning of time and associated with his form (the duality of existence manifested and symbolized in gender; or genitals, is it?!) All of this discombobulation playing out in the top shelf I used to, very mistakenly, address to as ‘my sacred house of blissful sanity’.

It would explain so much to think that all of my relationships have been a projection of the interplay between my anima and animus; no wonder they follow the same trail and end at the same place! It’s like it is a show in real time of all those explosions in the unconscious at the time. The cord or discord between my archetypes defines my interactions with any significant person; the actual conversation between the two parts of me.

This poem is about more things than I can hope to elucidate. Its hero, though, is smoke (which is obscurely clear); the smoke that wavered around and molded the imagery, words and colors! This poem could be about my relationships or about the anguish of duality or a description of me making love. Or it could be all of it, or nothing entirely!

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Swathed

Cream
As the color
Of old,
Shriveled
Bones…
Seated on the cold
Rhinestone,
Singing in a
Baritone,
The cornerstone
Of eventual
Bemoan,
The gnome
Guarding
The crossbones
At the entrance
Of the crypts
Where lay
His chivalry…

His chivalry,
Cream
As the color
Of old,
Shriveled
Bones…

White
Of the floating
Smoke
Afoot
The clandestine
Ceiling…
Its furtive sway
Quite revealing,
Or concealing,
Flicker
In and out,
The mummer’s dismay,
Aithalos
Was healing
Quite appealing…
Wings her Eris,
Strict annealing,
For her innocence…

Her innocence,
White
Of the floating
Smoke
Afoot
The clandestine
Ceiling…

Quiet
As the
Long drawn
Silence
Between me and me…
Gee! It felt
Kinda feathery,
A little cold,
A little thick,
And a little tickely…
Against a stone face
And an
Indiscernible smile…
Acquiescent to my
Plea,
To flee
Into the corner
Of the edge
Of my world,
And look down into
The quiet…

Quiet
As the
Long drawn
Silence
Between him and me…

 

BASCULE: Creating balance or purging instability!?!

Perception makes all the difference, they say! We are metaphorical beings, we understand everything metaphorically, PERCEIVE metaphorically. All of religion is based on metaphors and symbols and so are our lives! Everything stands for something which it necessarily isn’t. And the metaphors manifest themselves, mold themselves in the curve of perception. Change is not change, change is movement or is it replacement, movement is going away from being stuck, stuck refers to being scared of transformation, transformation meaning beyond or is it re-formation, formation meaning growth from potential to actual…………………………..Cow is not a cow, it is a holy being, Shiva not Shiva but the force inside each of us instigating destruction or transformation…his third eye not an actual eye but a symbolism of seeing beyond physical, the snake not a snake but the representation of coiled dormant energy, the trident not a trident but a showcase of three aspects of life…a dove is not just a bird, its embodiment of peace……..Everything leads up to something or is something else entirely. Nothing is what it is. But everything is what it is understood to be, or made to be.

We base our decisions and judgments, create our schemas not based on what things actually are but what we make of them. Everything kept constant except what you felt while doing something can change the course of everything that follows. The emotion at a particular time has the power to alter the entire course of the future.

That was the thought behind the story that follows. It is an alternate version of the poem “BASCULE: The Balancing Act”. Everything else kept constant but the emotion “He” felt while doing the deed and how it completely changed the ending was fascinating for me to witness. It is full of metaphors and how we choose to deal with things symbolically to find a way to be at peace. Metaphors for life 🙂

Bascule: Creating balance or purging instability?

The pleasant man who lived alone in the third house from the corner of the street, his house dressed in bright and happy colors; bursts of red and green and blue and he always dressed with a warm and hearty smile. He was loved by all, even by people who had just looked at him once, his smile so contagious and enticing; it magically made you fall in love with him, his kindness so infectious, he carried around him the halo of happiness. He was the embodiment of pleasure and everything that is right about the world. Always carrying a light hearted joke up his sleeve to brighten your day, a trick for the kids to bring a smile to their droopy faces. No one knew much about him but then again, he didn’t have an air of suspicion around him. Everyone believed there was to him as much as met the eye; a lone man in his early adulthood, a creature of habit, living in his house, holding a job and basically happy with life!

His house had a backyard. Gloomy, untouched; the only sight about the house that could give away the fact that it was about a century old. At the centre of the yard was a huge object always covered under blankets. It was the only thing in that colossal backyard. No one had ever seen what was under there.

One day the man suddenly disappeared, without notice, not to be seen for days. His doors were bolted and he was gone so long that now they had started to gather dust.

He kept walking in the scorching heat, like the heat did nothing to his body; didn’t burn his skin, shrivel his insides and left his vitals parched. He walked like a camel in the desert, like he felt at home. He walked with a gait of a leader, bearing the air of purpose. But for real, he had nothing to do and nowhere to be. He walked these sands for days at length, stopping each day for an hour to sit by the little stream which added a little color to the surrounding and supported life making the greens dance around it in joy as it went past. He liked sitting there listening to the water go by him, as it joyously streamed past its course; a DEFINITE course. It was soothing. Calming to his nerves. Made him aware of the heat and he liked it even more. The little stream, perfect to break the monotony of the long drawn-out, indefinite nothingness.

Somewhere along his days there, a buzzard had started to take the same course and made a routine similar to his. It was drawn to the man. It would watch him day in and day out and timidly started to get close to him. From circling around him in the sky to getting down on the ground and sheepishly, slyly, walking towards him. So close that it would, now, come and sit next to him as he sat listening to the tales of the day as sung by the stream. The man noticed it. He made no move. Let it get close to him. He liked the buzzard, had a special connection with it. He had loved them ever since he was a kid. Day after day the two of them grew habitual to bask in each other’s silence and sat together for hours by the stream till the sun decided to call it a day. The buzzard let him pat its head and caress its neck. It made tiny moans of appreciation when the man touched him. The embodiment of strength, power, purpose, independence and the air of majesty. That was the buzzard. A meek man and a sigil of supremacy, they both fell in love with each other as the days went past.

Until one day when he sat by the stream humming the tune of piano he had heard when he was back home given to him by a friend. He sang this tune with a content, satisfied smile on his face. He looked to the long drawn surrounding as he started to work his hands, holding its neck in a tight grip. His smile, it was not sinister, not diabolic at all. It was the same warm and comforting smile he wore back at home on the streets of his town. He was always known to hold an agreeable temperance, never learnt to be any other way. He ran the gimlet over every inch of its body slowly making it do its job. The buzzard was whimpering and screaming. The man seemingly ignoring it like he could not hear it at all. And in essence, he could not. The piano playing the beguiling tune in his head; filled up his insides, everything around him tranquil, in place; perfect.

Today, he walked back to his life like he had walked out, with complete indifference like he’d never left. Everything back to normal, the happy children, the smiling neighbors.

Although there was something different. The thing in the backyard, the one under the blankets for as long as anyone could remember, it was now left open, uncovered, unveiled like it didn’t need to be hidden anymore. Like its existence didn’t stir anything up in the man anymore. Like he had made his peace with it after all these years. But nothing that the people around him would notice. He was still a happy, laughing man walking the streets with the smile as bright as daylight.

Somewhere far away, severed and mutilated the buzzard breathed his last and lay scattered on the ground. As it waited to turn to dust, the man had destroyed a wish, a wish he held to become but couldn’t, he’d killed the embodiment of the thing he hated about himself and now he felt relieved. It reminded him how much he hated himself, loathed himself for all that the buzzard was and he couldn’t be. He loved it, but he had to destroy it to be at peace with himself. Destroy something to create a balance in his head; a balance restored……or the need for balance eliminated, was it!!!?

And the rusted see-saw, exposed to the sun, with its balancing rod pushed all the way down into the ground, just lay there in a straight line, mute now as it was decades ago, a mere spectator but still so much more.

BASCULE: The Act of Balance

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The dark is an intriguing phenomenon. Marry it off to shrieking silence, and its power to do crazy things to your brain grows many-fold. Its amazing how they, together, have the ability to make you delve deep into your consciousness and pull out things you never thought existed, make connections you never would have thought of otherwise, connect dots like they were actually lying in a sequence for you to see. The capacity to accumulate all random thoughts, events, ideas, occurrences, anything minuscule and easily discard-able by memory and put it in perspective. Who is to say they join hands and do this of evil intentions or out of goodwill!!!

I found myself in the middle of the grasslands with no sounds of civilization for miles for around a week, only random sounds of lions roaring in the background and millions of crickets going about their nightly business. They were scary as shit but amazingly interesting…

What follows is a product of the Dark!

Bascule: The act of balance

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Basking in the gracious kindling,
Sagaciously on the rocking chair,
Clothed in warming content-ness…
The day finds him sitting in the dark,
By the hearth,
His eyes closed, hands rested on the side-press…
Sounds from his kid-dom,
Fill the space they share…

Symphony from the percussions,
Resounding his ears,
An image forming a convoy in his memory…
The see-saw bare on the other end,
Bedazzled by the rays,
He awaits his companion unwearyingly…
Wonted kindness never ditching his countenance,
For that was the worst of his fears…

Walking the years through swarming spaces,
Compassion conspicuously painted in his gait,
Benevolence for every strange face…
Relentlessly sauntering the streets,
Waiting to be shadowed,
Under the flight of the bird of Jove…
Felt a crushing weight,
Oblivious to his dire strait…

From the streets, gathering plumes of eagles,
Amassing them in a glass jar,
Locked away in a secret place in his room…
Back to being agreeable,
Once the boundary was walked over,
Light overshadowed the alleged darkness and doom…
Glee and laughter,
Masking the scar…

Tinctured by unscrupulous thoughts,
On befriending one flying sigil of power,
Who sat affably by his side, each sundown…
Possessed by a diabolic spirit,
He sat waylaid with his gimlet one twilight,
And maimed his loves beating heart out…
Its plumes now lie in a glass jar by the window,
Sparkling in the ray, as medals of mar…

Basking in the leashed kindling,
Procrustean-ly on the rocking chair,
Clothed in warming content-ness…
The day finds him sitting by the window,
Next to the jar,
His eyes closed, hands rested on the side-press…
Silence now,
Fills the space they share…

The see-saw STILL bare on one end
But this time the other way round!!!

-Neeti