I pick it up, I feel its form I hold it in my hands, the warmth Transfers slowly and I sense The tingle of the words within
I gaze at the lines upon its face I turn it over, my eyes trace The tale it whispers all its own Its beauty hidden, as yet unknown The seeds of intrigue have been sown It invites me in, in subtle tones We follow, I and my intuition On lightning wings, we race in! Another stridently demands that I Feel its spine from end to end And then I oftentimes comply As it tells its story by and by
I leave my existence behind For a while I’m in another life I go on voyages fraught with love With pain, with humor with suspense I journey on through these realms Sometimes laughing sometimes tense And then I will glance again At the portal to the world I’m in Pausing my trip-in words The story wraps itself up, and I’m Whisked back into the world Where I’m dutifully marking time
I feel its form one last time I leave it with a wistful smile That Teller of a myriad tales Waits until I visit it again
* Title inspiration from the novel by Thomas Hardy of the same name
I hear the leaves rustle in the breeze The gust picks up slowly, gradually I hear the rattle of a window The one that lies loosely in its frame Like a watchful sentry Announcing the entry Of a wayward breeze That rolls in through its screen To knock upon the door At the end of the corridor
I walk out of my bedroom into the lounge The sentinel window Is now trembling, recoiling Rattling its pane Warning of rain That will soon moisten Its face; gushing, Rushing, tearing The dust off old memories - Renewing the pain
I see the first flash of lightning and then The thunder breaks The storm has arrived I look at it through the window Now lying quietly in its frame Soon the glisten of its pane Swells into a stream flowing Down silently, as I sit quietly With the sweet ache Of old memories again
I saw a little spider today Weaving itself a pathway; In silken thread and zestful strides It made its way up the side Of the glass wall close to me I kept watching it carefully Partly because horror flicks Have made me squirm around these arachnids But mostly because of the enterprise It put into its little life
It climbed halfway up the glass And then a gust of wind alas! Tore its thready ladder up It swayed before going plop! Right onto the table where I sat with my coffee to stare At this busy creature lift Its body up bit by bit
I moved back in mild alarm Not because I’d come to harm That was not the thought I had My arachnophobia got me to stand It sat there a little concussed I think Before it gathered up its wits And off it went climbing again Forming anew, repairing
With so much drama in its life Buffeting winds, with predators rife The spider stays focused on its goals It weaves its web, mends broken holes. We can learn a thing or eight From this marvellous arachnid - To go on even when we’ve gone plop! To persevere, to climb back up Folks, if little spidey can be A superhero, so can we.
I see her sitting under the tree Dignified and serene even as she is encircled In the cumbersome arms of poverty. Destitution has cloaked her for many years From head to toe it has persevered. But still There are nuances of grace and light; Of a decorum that has bested the blight.
Sparse hair is pulled back into a little knot Threadbare clothes are mended and clean Calloused feet wear leather sandals Thousands of steps etched into their seams. She sits there solitary and separate Her expression is one of learned abjection As she labours on in her enterprise To live another day, to go on, to survive.
But every so often, when there is a lull In the cresting and falling human swell Where she sits, under the leafy canopy The wretchedness leaves her face And in its place Shines a serene and quiet majesty A poise, a stateliness Quietly they still linger in her being. Even as she sits under the tree To beseech, to plead, to request I can still see the queen.
Spring turns to autumn which moults Into winter. The winds blow cold And the skies are a myriad shades Of grey. The trees in their glades Stand stark and naked. Their leaves Now mottled, dying underneath Trampling feet. Hurrying feet across Paths well trodden and paths that are lost In the gloom. Winter’s dirge Fills the spaces in between to merge With the Mist. She throws a blanket On the quiet world. And then she touches My cheek. I turn my face away and she spreads Her arms. I’m enveloped from toes to head From right hand to left. I stand still And let her feel. She takes her fill And then undoes her vapory hold. I finally see The path stretching clear ahead of me.
I am Laughter and I am Tears I am the apex of my most lucid Fears I am Joy and I am Peace I am all that the tranquil dove sees I am Chaos, I am Discord I am the Trodden, I am Master and Lord I am Winter and I am Spring I wither, I fade and I waken again I am Rage and I am Love I’m the depths of the ocean, I am the heavens above I am the Devil and I am the Saint I’m rampant, unbridled and also restrained. I am the Thundering Eye of the storm I am the Deluge that it brings along I am the Space Dust whirling around Deformed defacements that once were sound I am also the Centre of the Universe I’m the Infinite Beauty of prose and verse I am Kindness and I am Faith I am Hope and I am Grace I am the Atom, I am the Whole I am the Body, I am the Soul I am whoever that I want to be I am Maya*, I am Cosmic Energy.
* MAYA: The personification of the idea that the material world is illusory. Maya is a female name in various languages. In Sanskrit, for instance, it means "illusion or magic", and is also an alternate name of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi. In the Tupi language, of southern Brazil, it means "mother". In the Māori language, it means "courage" or "bravery".
She bubbles and she froths She spills over on the table cloth She frolics and she plays My steaming mug of latte
Voluminous creamy lace Hiding her caffeinated face Her heart swells in youthful glee On the table in front of me.
I read; wait a while; turn a page In latte time, it’s already middle age The lace is tattered, burnt skin showing through The passionate heat has left the brew
Mindful of its waning charm, I grip My mug of latte to take a sip. I grimace, the perfect moment has passed I get a mouthful of tepid coffee, alas! She’d sat before me, in gracious state I ignored the moment, realized too late.
And so it is with so much in our lives Rich with serendipity, with do-overs rife But We sit back ignoring the universe Rueing our luck - ‘Our fate is cursed!’ Opportunities come and pass us by ‘It’s just God’s will’ we blame it on high.
But here’s the truth, simple and clear The passivity, the stupor is unfounded fear. So as each opportubity bubbles and froths Onto your life’s pristine table cloth Know this is your moment to make your own Reach out to receive it before it has flown.
The beautiful tropical monsoon sky That changes colours in the blink of an eye. Inspiring awe in its kaleidoscopic wake It shifts and shimmers; now translucent, now opaque.
From the deepest depths of a cornflower blue To the delicate flush of a just ripe peach, It drifts and glimmers in rainbow hues An iridescent paradise just out of reach.
Then there’s the never ending mesmeric motion Of the cresting and falling Indian Ocean; It’s white laced edges hugging the shore In a primal dance telling tales of yore. This is the magic of the Lighthouse* promontory Where the heavens lustily encircle the sea.
We have all, at some time or another been overwhelmed, overpowered, bested by our grief, anxiety and wretchedness. At those times, some of us have also been lucky enough to have that one place where we have, for a while, found some degree of quietude and peace. This is a tribute to those secret little places and spaces of comfort and healing in our lives.
There is this wooden bench I like It’s not fancy; quite the common type. Cloaked in by the dappled canopy Of a gracefully pirouetting Mara tree, It sits in the park like a dear old friend It’s well-worn embrace ever welcoming. A young couple walks up, caught in the grips of wrath Love is lost; it’s the wretched aftermath; Words are exchanged until the fury’s spent Frustration - Anxiety - Sadness - Silence. Then they sit down on the wooden bench ... Gradually, muscles relax and nerves untense. Even if it is a passing interlude, Loads are lightened; hearts are soothed.
Wild flowers grow lushly around its feet Bobbing bright heads to Earth’s vital beat. The bench sits there like a quiet friend It’s well-worn seat ever welcoming. A man sits down in a state of unease Holding on to his hat in an errant breeze. He picks up his phone and looks at the screen; The unlit glass reflects the tranquil scene ... He looks up and around him his brow somewhat eased Fleeting albeit, he’s found his moment of peace.
Songful birds and their terrestrial friends Roam warbling and chittering around the bench; Hoping for a serendipitously fallen treat They browse busily around the seat. A wheelchair-bound man looks up at an overcast sky; His female companion already has water in her eyes. They sit side by side in worlds of their own Reminisnce weighs heavy of days that are gone ... A mynah trills as a light drizzle falls And a sweet petrichor briefly dispels the pall. The man looks at her, takes her hand and she smiles For now they’re alright; tomorrow is still a while.
I too have sat in Nature’s restoring arms On that bench where she weaves her alchemical charms. I too have unburdened my hopes and my fears I too have laid my bursting heart bare; And I have heard her soothing murmurs That have quietened my deepest despair. I’ve looked into her soft eyes from that corner in the park For a time, my soul too has emerged from the dark; The clouds have parted; the sun has shone through And I’ve breathed more easily, sitting on that wooden pew.