Deepest, darkest night

It’s late in the night,

that strange hour without a name.

Long after midnight, not quite dawn,

a time for times gone by.

I startle awake, consumed by

a deep, nameless fear I cannot name.

Nebulous, unformed thoughts

hover at the edge of my mind.

Dark, shapeless, formless,

yet fighting to take shape.

Memories that are hard to face now,

in the deep, dark, recesses of the night.

Perhaps not even, in the false courage

of bright daylight.

They drift past, rapidly, randomly,

like dark rain clouds on a wet, stormy day.

Crashing into one another, taking form,

and losing shape in the blink of an eye.

They are bittersweet, these memories,

of times, and people, long gone by.

Moments I can never recapture,

times I can never live in again.

I reach out, but cannot capture them

no matter how hard I try.

Thank you Lord

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Thank you Lord
For moments such as these
Quiet and tranquil
Overflowing with ease

I look up from my device
Stare fleetingly at the green
Then bend down again
A slave to my machine

I can feel my heart’s rhythm
Slowly picking up its pace
It’s hard Oh Lord
To stay still in one place

The ticking of the clock
Metaphoric of course
Rules all my moments
With barely a pause

Teach me Oh Lord
To sit back and let be
To not feel so guilty
When I take life slowly

And here’s a message Oh Lord
To friends reading these lines
It’s ok, please don’t worry
I really, truly am fine

Because my words, though born
from my innermost thoughts
Do also reflect
My minds creative plots

And as I sit here
Not looking at this beautiful view
There’s a question my Lord
That I’ll put to you

How is it that a simple thank you
Has zigged and has zagged
And ended, so very far
From the place it was meant to?

Walking in the garage at night

Bright, blue, fluorescent lights
flickering in the garage
Chase the encroaching dark
from the gleaming white walls

Bright yellow arrows,
guiding left and right
through multitudes of ramps,
racing up, then down

Gleaming, metallic monsters
shut down for the night
Their predatory engines
silenced for a while

Grumbling thunder echoes
Rainwater gushes through the pipes
Dark, dripping leaves, mourn their kin
Lying afoot, trampled by the rain

And I walk amidst it all, reflecting,
savoring the day gone by
Finding my moment of solitude
In a classic, urban, site.

Memories of Delhi winters

 

Delhi winters
magical and cold
bring back memories
faded and old.

Of endless hours
spent soaking,
in the pale winter sun,
shelling peanuts,
and fresh green peas,
and drinking cups
of steaming hot tea.
Those foggy mornings
blowing clouds from my lips,
with frozen fingers, frozen toes,
frozen cheeks and frozen nose-tips.
And best of all was the joy
of sitting in a warm heated room,
tucked under quilts
and perhaps blankets too.

But then there are those
other memories
of the homeless and helpless
suffering in the cold.
No blankets, no shelter,
no roof of their own.
On pavements, in parks,
in bare little rooms,
covered in scraps,
shivering under
the crescent winter moon.

I saw and yet
didn’t see them,
didn’t notice at all.
Indifferent and blind
willfully ignorant,
pretending they’re fine.
Telling myself
they have somewhere to go,
someone who cares,
some charitable soul
giving them blankets,
warm food, a shelter, a home.

And even as I write,
these words are
like a release for me.
Putting them down
somehow, somewhere
sets me free.
I’ve poured it all out
I’m done with the pain
I can bury the guilt
the sorrow and the shame.
I can look elsewhere,
pretend it’s done
carry on with my life
of hot tea, warm blankets
and soaking in the sun.

Winter in Delhi
brings back memories,
but the memories
are not always
what I want them to be.

Sleepless

 

Eyes closed, I try to sleep
But I can’t do it
Restless
Disturbed
Agitated
My mind runs in different directions
Trying
And failing
To hold on to my errant thoughts
Like a hamster on its wheel
It runs in circles
No beginning
No end

School supplies
My girls
Books read and reading
Films and gossip
Grocery lists
Friends
Family
Fused bulbs
Dripping taps
News, views
Everything vies
For a piece of me

I lie in bed
Heart racing
Listening
To the sounds around me
Cars on the highway
The creak of the door
The whir of the fan
Falling rain
Rustling sheets
The beating of my heart
Every sound is magnified
In the dark

Until one sound impinges
Above all the others
Deep breathing
Beside me
I scoot towards the source
Mumbling in your sleep
You instinctively 
Naturally
Pull me closer
My breathing slows
My eyes drift close
And at last
I sleep.

Clutter

“Why are your books scattered all over the place?”

Yell I in my little ones not-so-innocent face

“Because I was reading them” she smirks back at me

“She’s incorrigible”, I tell my husband, quite helplessly.

And then, as I get ready to launch my tirade,

she moves rapidly, in a commando style raid.

Before I know it, the books are all gone

Vanished, disappeared, like the moon at dawn

All this done without a single tear or a whine

It almost feels like there was intervention divine

I look around, amazed at how pristine it all looks

and quite contrarily, long again for those scattered books.

Because, at the very moment, as I watched her clear

My mind jumped ahead to a time not yet near

When I will look around me, and find uncluttered rooms

Devoid of books, toys or her mysterious gear

And then I will wish she was there to lighten the gloom

With her mess, her clutter, her mile-wide  smile,

Teasing, cajoling, laughing all the while.

So I call out to her, she turns in my direction

Wondering what will be, the next source of contention

I hold out my arms, “Forget about the muddle,

the heck with clutter, let’s both just cuddle!”

Letting go and holding on

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When I was young
I always wondered
why you didn’t want
to see us go away.
I thought
you were being
over-protective
and much too
emotional.
Not ready to
let us go, to fly and to soar
Though you did let go
eventually.

But this morning
my alarm rang
and I realized
it was time to send
my first born
on her way
to her very first camp
As my heart beat
in panic, as my hands
grew clammy and cold
as I bravely pinned on
an encouraging smile
to keep her bold,
I understood,
really and truly
what you felt, and
what you went through.

Deep in the depths
of my heart I knew
that this was
just the beginning
The first of many
such separations
Each one longer
each one more difficult
for me, each one
somewhat easier for her
And I knew
that the day will come
when that umbilical cord
between our hearts
will stretch thin,
so thin that it will be
beyond my power
to pull her holding it

And then the only
hope I have, is that
just as you, my mother
understood the power
of letting go,
and left me free to fly
so will I, your daughter,
let my daughter go.
Believing that
no matter how far she flies
she will hold on to me
as I have held on to you.