Aria of a Buskin

Those damned days when the countless voices of the sundry alters (as in alter egos!!!) you created with blood, sweat and tears (and a reasonable amount of insanity and, to be fair, maybe a little psychosis!), over 26 gruesomely long years, stop talking to you one day. ‘All the bees in the bonnet have left the building’, they say. And you have already written about not being able to write, well, that’s pretty much the end of the road, I guess.

Moving to a new city (and a sluggishly slow one at that!) may be the worst time, I can imagine, to be abandoned by those imaginary (they might be for real, too, but let’s keep that a secret!) characters in my head. Since I am pretty much clueless about what to do with my weekends (not that I am a whole lot sure about my weekdays either!), I miss those nagging buggers more than ever.
Since they are on a break (from me, I imagine), I was thinking about things I could write of. Things, places, people, objects, memories that I was fascinated by; that could be quilted together into a (somewhat) sensibly flowing story. And, (as my rusted luck on a lazy weekend would have it) I got a picture in my head, of boots. Interesting shit! These boots had had quite a journey. Although they were only an acquaintance, I had met them, but, once! But heck! Was I fascinated by them! They belonged to a friend whose father went to the Kargil war (and the boots went with him, of course!). They not only went to war and back and survived to tell the tale but are still in a hearty condition (better than my current writing condition, and that’s ‘not’ saying a lot), now, sixteen years hence, passed on as a legacy (or just passed on, to avoid the dramatics!). They seem to be taking the transition into civilian life darned well, from what I can tell! Anywho, if I was feeling a little less punctured, this one would have been a funny one. But for now it’s pretty darn sullen. And not my best, but hey! I at least got something down after so long! Some credit, yo!

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Aria of a Buskin

That trip to the barren lands,
I remember;
The unceasing tors,
And clouds of dust,
Searing ground and no vision,
But for
The rotting red
At every step,
That the eye caught
For a second
Before getting lost,
In the haze.

The trip to the brackish lands,
I remember;
An echelon of,
Discombobulated resolute
Passers-by,
Who didn’t pass-by,
No more…
Loose grounds and no sound
But for
The sound
That merrily jounced
In the distance,
Discourteous
To the dead.

And the unnerving clamor,
Of steel
In his pockets
For each penny
That he won,
For the bet
At the beginning
Of the trail…
Between fits of laughter
In the bunk
Where he states
To all his mates
‘I will bite the dust, nay,
Before you,
And long after,
The fray.’
A bet, now, he wished
He never made…

That exit from the treacherous lands,
I remember;
Graven
In the shape
Of a feather
Of excellence,
Clasped time
In a tight rein…
Sixteen years hence,
I lay supine
Exposed
In the warmth
Of the sun…

Treading new lands,
In old feet,
With the same
Raw poise
And thick skin,
Scourged on the inside
That no one knows of,
But him,
And his son…
When they look at me
And silently smile
As they tell the story
Of my trip to the
Heretic, graffiti lands!

The Grim Reaper!

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The ball of fire surrenders its arms,
To hand the white light its scepter and crown,
While the night frowns with malicious glory
And casts its shadow down-
Upon the wolfish ground…!

Darkest corner of the chamber of night,
Reeking of dread, ire and cry,
In hiding from the moonlight,
Finds the crouched, bleeding tomb and I,
Wedged on the gravel of death, as if by a pitiless gyve…!

The cold stoned distant eyes,
Hold eternal the vacant stare,
As I clutch tight against my chest,
And let the dry red on the spatula declare,
The swarm of sworn ins had not one heart to spare…!

Freedom to the prisoner of eye,
Make the hardened soil go damp,
Fifteen years of laughter, hopes and drive,
In fifty inches of dug ground, are left to cram,
With “a loving son” and a religious stamp…!

Moons after moons,
I walk the ground,
Each night accompanied by the unceasing working shovel,
As the only sound,
The heavy feet and the tired hands that the graves found…!

As I sat in my dark corner,
Still holding what I held each night,
Robed in discomfited gait,
He walked towards me with his shovel and blight,
Gripped by heavy sweat, remorse and fright…!

Slumped down next to me,
With defeated soul and weary eyes,
Looked to the fading letters on the dusty stone,
And began to cry,
I couldn’t understand why…!

Until the moon found him,
And cast its light,
Upon the man’s dying ember,
His tattered uniform and dog tags shining bright,
The mindless rebellion by which he must abide…!

The young face dawned one too many lines,
Masking the gentleness and age,
Drowned in fatigue beyond years,
As to solitude and the dark he bade,
With nothing but a hollowed soul and a spade…!

He kissed the wet soil,
And disappeared in darkness once again,
Watched him walk the green mile,
And yonder I heard the sound again,
Only this time loaded with silent screams of grief and pain…!

The ball of fire still surrenders its arms,
But the night is no more frowning,
The white light walks in with soothing warmth,
And not with a cold smirk at the downing,
Of the King…!!!

For death comes in many a form,
Some lay still but with some it walks,
Its looming shroud crowned with darkness,
It relentlessly knocks,
Until, Oh! Until the sweet door to heaven finally unlocks…!

-Neeti

“UN”BELONG!

We walk to the indefinite grounds,
Raging with phallic dynamism,
They taught us this was it,
This is why you BELONG,
This is why you were born……!

We stomp the grounds like angry mammoths,
Shining in our incandescent glory,
Pacing to the sanguine melody of togetherness…
You alone are insignificant, they said,
The sound of one is gone,
This is because you BELONG…..!

We walk to our goal, the lazy rusted lines,
To protect what is OURS…
The rising clouds of dirt and the hazy vision,
Muzzle the screams in our heads that say,
They are fighting for the same…..!

The cluttering sound of heavy metal,
Makes my body jerk like the dying M-16,
On me, I can smell the musk of what they call crazy vigour,
As they carry me to the ammo dump…
Withering with cold shiver,
I hear them all screaming to me….!

The warm ground painted red,
Takes me in its clandestine embrace,
I hold my head up high looking for an answer,
And in quivering voices the silent mouths say,
Only if they didn’t see me to be ONE,
‘I’ wouldn’t still be gone,
If only I could UN BELONG…..!!!