VERSE | BEDROOM PRISMS

I get out of bed, slowly, numbly
The morning dopamine has not kicked in
In fact, I have no sense of it
I sigh … that’s never a good sign
It’s going to be one of those days again

I turn off the AC
The gentle hum that had filled the spaces
Where my happy hormone should have been racing
Stops.
I blink slowly
I look at my bedroom slippers
Their shadowy forms
Like yesterday’s leaves
Plucked off by the breeze
Lie on the ground

I get up and look at my curtains
Drawn together like knitted brows
Beige-blonde brows in a frown
Censorial, dragging down
I can’t bring myself to touch
Those sulking folds,
To draw them back
In the ritual
Of morning time

I sit on the stool in front of my dressing table
I look at the woman
Staring back at me
Barely visible, her outline perseveres
Reminding me that I am still here
I watch her for a while
Feeling nothing - vacuous space
And then -
I see something glimmer
At the back in the mirror

The prism that I had hung up
A vestigial piece of love
From a chandelier that has long since
Ceased to grace the space above
Had caught the first ray of light
That had tried to flow
Into my chamber of shadows
Teasing, romancing it
Holding, embracing it
In all its radiant rainbow hues

I turn around towards this scene
Of sudden brightness
I get up, pull back the curtain
Just a little bit. The colours
Fall in shimmering streams
Across my feet
I lift one up and then the other
I slowly dance with the rainbow of colour
My blood gushes warm, I have to smile
It doesn’t seem like another dog day after all

VERSE | A LOVE STORY

LISTEN TO THE POEM BEING READ AT: https://vm.tiktok.com/ZSewAcj86/
When he smiles
His mouth curves up a little
Just a bit. The teeth don’t show.
But sometimes a rare glimpse of ivory snow
Peeks through. Like weathered pages
From a book that has seen the ages;
That has been loved, and also has
Been tossed around in the hands
Of those that loved it less -
Now hiding its parchment yellowness.

When she smiles
Her cheeks skip up, joining hands
With the crow’s feet at the corners
Of her eyes. Hands and feet
Join together in a wreathe
Its flowers have been abloom a while
Many now wear waning smiles
Just a few are waxing still
Of bountiful life taking their fill.

When they look at each other
He and she
And they smile for all the world to see
The mouths, the noses and the cheeks
The enamel pearls, the crow’s feet
All fade away as eyes light up;
Two sets of windows brighten up
Spangled pathways to twin souls.
The radiant smiles reach deep inside
To gently touch two pages bright
Of a love story yet untold.

VERSE | I’M HAPPY TODAY

LISTEN TO THE POEM BEING READ AT:  https://vm.tiktok.com/ZSdJJQM5y/?k=1
I’m happy today, I can feel it inside
The laugh in my belly comes bubbling outside
I feel a strange lightness like I have grown wings
Yesterday’s burdens seem like faded old things

I look in the mirror while fixing my hair
I smile to myself, my reflection smiles back
I giggle aloud, my twin does the same
We go back and forth playing that funny game

With my bag on my shoulder I step outside
I walk to the tree with the dappled sunlight
There I stand for a while to glance at the world
As the brightness of spirit around me unfurls

Two dogs amble on, happy kings of the street
A little old lady dips in her bag for a treat
The trio stand out like a painting of love
Surrounded by kindness, lit up from above

The resident Tuk Tuk is parked in the lane
Its sarong-clad driver is humming away
A handheld mirror is clutched in one hand
The other is smoothing an errant strand

He looks at me, smiles and says “Good morning”
“Where will it be to? The usual madam?”
I grin back as I sit down on the seat
Sandwiched between two photos of pedicured feet!

I arrive at my destination, feeling crazy and light
I’m still warmly cloaked in the joyful vibe
Yes! I’m happy today, it’s been pouring right out
The smile on my lips has been hard to wipe out

VERSE | PRECIOUS DAYS

LISTEN TO THE POEM BEING READ AT: https://vm.tiktok.com/ZSddVeUtc/?k=1 
I’m sitting today at a new cafe 
They bring me my tea in a beautiful cup
And a saucer to match. I catch
My breath. It reminds me so much
Of the tea set so loved
And cared for by your beautiful hands.
Of the cups of tea that were sipped
In your company, by smiling lips
Listening to a conversation
Laughing at a joke
And your own tinkling laugh
I remember it. I choke.

I remember so many late afternoons
Like the one that just pierced my heart
So many memories, tender and raw
Memories that flood in and then depart
Replaced by others, thronging along …
Like the one of you putting an earring on
My ear where the flesh always fused
Making it an adventure, a laugh a ruse.
Or when you bit into an elephant’s ear
The pastry, the confection, the palmier!
The chemo still filling your vital veins
Dripping its disease numbing potion within
You still grinned; your face came alight
You kept all the simple joys alive.
And then I’m assailed by another memory
Of another cafe where you and I had tea,
You sipped it slowly with your eyes closed
Your beautiful face in gentle repose
You smiled and I heard a contented sigh
And that smile from your lips reached your twinkling eyes …

Today, I’m sitting at a new cafe
But in my mind I’m with you on all those precious days.

VERSE | JOY MEETS WORLD

It was just another day
I was going to my cafe
I got onto the escalator
Inching me up on my north-easterly way

I turned around to the sound
Of a straining, hassled parent
As he looked at his little one
His mildly stern gaze quite apparent

The boy looked away; he was not in the mood
To be held back from his play
The stairs running up all on their own!
What fun to skip around on them all day!


I sensed his bright happy energy
Even as his little hand was grasped
In restraint; in gentle admonishment
Grown-up impatience was writ quite large!

The agitatated parent caught my eye
As I took in the scene from five stairs above
I smiled; he smiled; something freed up
And he looked back down at his little son

He picked him up and kissed his cheek
Then up on his shoulders the little boy went
The child gave a glorious whoop of joy
As on the magical stairway he made his ascent.

I looked up, the special journey was ending
I bade it farewell with a skip and a hop
The child still grinning chortled with laughter
It was just another sweet day out and about.

VERSE | A SWEET MOMENT IN TIME

Sometimes while I sit, engrossed in life
My brow lightly furrowed, concentrating
On getting the task at hand done
Running my five miles in the circle of creation

I hear a rustle, a little whisper
Of someone on the periphery of my thoughts
I glance up, as if to see the vision
Of that someone that always flits across
My mind on busy days like these
Resting otherwise in my heart;
I glance as if that heavenly soul has
Bridged our realms that are so far apart.

I look up, afraid to lose the thread
Of that feeling, that gentle touch
Of someone nestling in my core
Someone beloved, someone missed so much.
I look beyond into the blurry depths
Of my vision, desperately holding on
To that fleeting caress upon my cheek
Gifted, bestowed by a precious one.

The atoms of day, ricochet and I blink
Once, twice. I am back in the circle of life
I grope twice, three times for that lucid moment
When i was in the same space, alongside
Someone who most days quietly rests
In the warmest nooks of my being
A cherished one who on special days like this
Takes my hand, eyes twinkling as she beams!

I glance up, my soul surging with joy
For that precious moment, filling the void.
Sometimes while I sit, engrossed in life
I am touched by a beloved for a sweet moment in time.

VERSE|THE QUIET TEA BAG

This started out as a children’s poem and ended on a not so PG-13 note. (Or maybe I’m being overly protective of our 21st century babes who are not so much in the woods as we were!). Anyway, reproducing it here for my readers. Let me know what you think. Cheers.

There was once a teabag 
The orange pekoe kind
more shy and timid little leaves
Would be hard to find.

She sat in her little bowl
With all her other tea friends
Raspberry and Chamomile
And Lemon tea with mint

They tried to talk to O. Pekoe
But she would turn away
Wrapping her little string around
her filter-paper sachet

Then one day the tea bags saw
The handsome Earl grey gent
He sat in his aluminium foil
Scented and Elegant

They looked at him in caffeine tones
twirling their little strings
While O. Pekoe sat primly there
Now and then peeking out at him

Then came the lady of the house
And put the kettle on
The teabags rustled in suspense
Who’d Earl grey have along?!

Earl grey sat in stately grace
Inside the china cup
Wearing his bergamot bouquet
Waiting for his tea time love

And then out of the blue
Orange pekoe was lifted up
And placed alongside Earl grey
In the pretty China cup.

They smiled at one another
their strings entwined in love
The perfect pair to ever make
The nicest brew in a cup.

Their love suffused the teacup
With the most divine of flavours
Caffeine and tannins flowing forth
In hot and steaming rivers.

Thus was spent their one time love
To create sweet nostalgia
A Tea Time special between good friends
In the romance of the camellias.

VERSE | IMAGINE THAT!

Have you ever woken up some days with a spring in your step?
A smile on your lips and a gladness in your heart?
When that first mug of coffee tastes satisfyingly divine
When the day just gets off to a really good start?

It’s on days like that when my imagination too
Wakes up laughing, grins at me and flies into the great blue.
And then with some dread but mostly merriment,
I await its adventurous shenanigans.

And then I imagine I am one of the clouds
That looks like a dragon breathing fire from its mouth.
As it rides along on the currents above
It gently morphs from a monster into a paddling duck.

I imagine floating in the arms of a breeze
A monarch butterfly; a sparrow flying atop the trees.
Then I imagine catching a jet stream nearby
And like an eagle, gliding into the vastness of the sky.
I am Mistress of all that I survey from on high
I soar through the clouds, I spy with my eye.

Then some unsavoury vestigial reminder
Will bring me right back to solid terra firma:
That time when i just wasn’t quick on the ball
And let the neighbourhood bully caterwaul.
Then I imagine I’m body-suited tight enough to give me a rash
Replaying the scene; now Super Hero-ing it with panache!
(I imagined going at it in my everyday best
But the Superwoman is quite lost in all that bagginess!)

I imagine being able to read and bend minds,
Like the X-Men*; more the Professor Xavier* kind:
With truckloads of conscience but the power to appease
My bus loads of ire at all the villains and thieves.
The balancing Yang is the goodness within
To the viscerally satisfying acts of its twin.

Then I imagine myself as a whisperer of sorts
Of elephants and mynahs, leopards and peacocks;
Exchanging secrets of our combined universe;
Talking in tongues; speaking in prose and in verse.

I also fondly imagine that
I can get through to the domestic cat.
These creatures with their many moods profound
Irk and delight, but never cease to astound.
(I presume you can tell I’m what they call a Cat Lady
With A grocery bag full of feline treats on the handy!)

I’m exaggerating a tad to make this verse rhyme;
I also adore all sots of canines!
But imagining the power to amass the city’s hounds
Just invokes nightmares where mad cacophony abounds.
So even in its buoyant, unfettered jubilation
I have tended to rein in my leaping, bounding Imagination.

And then when night falls and I’m finally abed
When the mind is exhausted and the body’s fed.
I imagine one last little thing:
Floating in the night sky with Orion;
So close to the Cosmos, that I can hear her hum
As she slows down the pace of her infinite strum.
As she gathers up Earth in her bountiful arms,
Embracing us all; anointing each with her balm …

I drift off to sleep; while the chimera of my mind
Plays the best parts of my day in a happy rewind.
* X-Men/ Professor Xavier: X-Men is an American superhero film series based on the fictional superhero team of the same name, who originally appeared in a series of comic books created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and published by Marvel Comics.  Professor Charles Xavier is the founder/ leader of the X-Men.

VERSE| AN ODE TO LITTLE JOYS

It’s the little joys in life 
That lift and hug the soul;
It’s the little brushes with sublimity
That paint the rosiest strokes

It’s the steaming mugs of tea shared
With a friend, over confidences and laughter;
The mugs wrapped in hands as warm as the hearts
That are bonding, ministering, healing ... and after
Memorializing that perfect little moment of joy.

It’s the sudden cool breeze that caresses the cheek
And then wraps me up in its vital embrace;
It’s the happy burst of a monsoon shower
As she dances and cleanses; prances and quenches
Leaving behind her intoxicating petrichor
In a joyful bouquet of nostalgia and grace

It’s the intrepid, songful, mirthful mynah
That unexpectedly struts right up to my feet
Warbling of little delights; trilling with all her might
Laying her little heart bare in melodious refrain
It’s the big, big soul in that fragile frame
That reminds me of the precious little joys.

It’s the beautiful Sakura tree, bounteous in its white and pink
Waiting for a wayward breeze to stir up her flower-bedecked limbs;
It is seeing the frolicsome duo of tree and breeze
Create magic in a moment they mutually seize
As the blossoms flutter down in lusty effusion
Covering the ground with inflorescent profusion
An enchanting, enthralling moment of joy.

It’s little kindnesses wrought in the moment
A helping hand on a busy street,
A warm smile in the milieu of rushing feet
A tender word to the transiently fallen
A little something more for the lonely and forgotten
It’s seeing this shared transcendental camaraderie
That gives me that small little rush of joy.

It’s looking up into a clear night sky
And finding Orion and Taurus winking up high
It’s watching the Big Dipper look tenderly upon
Little Ursa Minor nestling just under the moon
It’s seeing our little world from the vastness of space
That fills me with joy and bolsters my faith

The quickening string that binds us all
Our whole web of life; all living creatures
Are these startlingly simple acts of joy
These wondrous, alchemical creations of nature
It’s this coming together of life’s vital energy
That lifts and elates with its mystical synergy
This is the mannah that nurtures the soul
Mending our cracks and making us whole.

VERSE| CARPE DIEM

I sit here, encircled in my routine,
My safety net spread around me like a bright yellow blanket.
The sameness, the everydayness keeping it close, gently embracing.
I’ve gulped down the first half of my mug of coffee
So now I’m surrounded also, by a warm cloak of caffeine.
I stretch inwardly with the languidness of a just-fed, just-loved cat.

I look outside at the recently blue sky
Where the clouds have now gathered in heavy eskers of grey
The suddenness of the assailment, the eclipsing of the sun,
Breaking the spell of my Constancy Ritual.
I sip on the second half of my mug of coffee, rhythmically bolstering my caffeine haze
Even as the sudden coolness of the breeze loosens my other subliminal layers of warmth.

Then the rain begins to fall.
Free, fluid, gleaming,
Skipping down the sidewalk; dancing in eddying pools on the street below.
And i stand up and stretch with the lustiness of the Alive and the Kicking.
I reach out and catch the falling raindrops in the trough of my open palm;
I reach out and seize the day.

De Khudai pe aman.

VERSE|Thank you for the Joy – Part 2

For my beautiful, wise mother on what would have been her 72nd birthday on the 8th of July 2020. And to all the other wonderful mothers who have left us too soon ❤️🌺

Sometimes I wake up in the morning
Feeling a little less vibrant, a little more melancholy...
I get dressed, and I look in the mirror
My hairbrush poised in my hand...
And I see a flash of someone familiar
A fleeting gesture, a nuance, an expression,
And I smile, a gentle joy touching my cheeks.
And then I look into my eyes
And I clearly see the lingering glimmer of someone resting in my heart
And my heart bursts, my throat chokes up and my eyes twinkle
And I know that I have shared
A special mother-daughter moment in my dressing table mirror.

VERSE|Our Little Girl With Rosy Cheeks

Our very own little girl, my niece, is all grown up now! I wrote this poem for her on the eve of her high school graduation. As she heads into another chapter of her life, a beautiful, young girl, we her family given to copious nostalgia as we are, will always remember our little girl with her rosy cheeks.

Here’s to you my dearest Maheen gul ❤️

I remember, i remember, our little girl with the rosy cheeks
Our little girl with the silken hair like a gleaming waterfall.
I remember, i still so vividly recall
From your very first day you held us in thrall.
With those big bright eyes and that soul full of pluck,
Yes, we'd been kissed on the forehead by gracious Lady Luck.
Your joyful energy, your skips, leaps and bounds
And your blitheful grin, Maheen gul, made our world go around.

And then you were suddenly 10 years old; our stalwart little rock
Buffeted too early by the rapacious winds of life,
You were pitched things to deal with far more than your share
But you dear girl, displayed a strength that was precious and rare.
And so you bounded on, with a heart big and strong,
With your eyes full of dreams and your soul full of song.
You were a powerhouse of fortitude for so many around you
Your infectious laughter, Maheen gul chased away all manner of blues.

And now, darling girl, as you conquer yet another milestone in life
I am awed by the lovely young woman that you have become
Funny and loving, compassionate and wise
You're every inch a chip of the old block, which is not a surprise.
I pray that the universe continues to open all doors
For you to go after your dreams, your joys and so much more.
May you continue to grow and prosper in glory and grace
May the gods of good fortune forever hold you in their embrace.

I will always remember our little girl with her rosy cheeks
Now a young woman of substance in her own right.
May you carry your parents’ legacy in all its warm goodness;
May you thrive; may you always shine with your special light.

A WordPress.com Website.

Up ↑