My love is a rainbow, my love is the rain 

My love makes me want to play again. 

I’ve been looking around for reasons all along, 

and have only found them 

in his eyes:

I like to think now

how all the time that I can’t see them 

is just because he’s blinking. 

He blinks so much that I can’t breathe

And I feel so much 

That I can’t blink, and

miss it – or him

I can’t miss it

Or him. 

My love left behind a puddle

that reflects rainbows 

in the sun. 

The summer heat 

will have to fight me 

before it takes him away.

I will let my fingers 

wander over the keys again,

hoping that the sound 

can describe what 

his smile feels like,

And that it somehow melts into the sound of his voice:

The slight tremble at the end of his sentences 

And the end of his fingers 

At the beginning of his touch 

And of my hands 

in his hands 

and our hands 

Dancing to a rhythm 

That only they know of.

Will rain let the dust 

settle back onto ground 

Like eager footsteps?

Black 

against white 

against black. 

Can song bring people back home? 

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Paint

[ This piece was written for, and has previously been published by, The Infinity Of Mind ]

 I feel small, sprawled 

On the floor

Eyes low and unfixed:

Eyes watering, vision 

watered-down 

like a mixing jar for paints;

Like a desert waiting for the rain,

Unfulfilled 

(Overdue)

A hundred years may have passed 

Like this. 

Everything I see twinkles

Because I rub my tired eyes 

Because of the brashness of 

Reality

Because beauty 

Is grainy to the touch:

My head is spinning in a waltz

And I 

Can smell the colours

On my brush as it once touched your face 

On a canvas 

Embroidered with your name;

I wish I could see it

Trace the letters with a glance 

Or two

(Three syllables)

They had me undone

(I want to unlearn)

The feeling of them 

rolling off my tongue:

Can I?

Should I?

Will you

Lift me off the floor 

Paint tears on my neck 

Of cobalt blue 

Before you 

Pour thick wine over me 

And press a painting knife to my back?

I know you

draw me with my

Cheek against the hardwood 

As I listen 

To the sound of your feet 

To the sounds of the world beneath –

I hear you breathe 

And smell your colours again

Fading 

Faint 

(Blood, salt and ecstacy):

Does my image plead 

And cry –

Are your eyes 

as unfocused 

as I?

Do you listen 

As the desert wasteland speaks:

Don’t throw me down 

To the floor again 

It’s all that I 

Can see.

The Finish Line 

 

To the future –

I hope you and I are flying.

 

I write about the race against time

Which I keep running for, and I’m

Wondering why it never seems to end

As my aching feet of despair portend:

 

I long for hands to hold, and to be held,

For stories of happiness unparalleled

But alas, no hands are held in running race –

There’s hunger for victory, not love’s embrace.

 

Oft I gasp for breath, wonder if anyone else

Can see it, or feel the music of my pulse

Which rises and falls and makes me a whole,

A river running to peacefully end at its bowl.

 

But I only run in a want to stop running

I run in search of an undefined something

Not found without life and much ado;

I draw the finish line, and name it ‘You’.

 

Time builds its course up and up

And a faint determination helps me to lollop

Through it all – even the rough affection

I run along, not losing direction.

 

I write of you, a glimpse of colour in the grey

Flashing, beckoning to meet me halfway

Promising you’ll stay put, patiently wait

Where you would, even If I slow my gait.

 

And I shall let destiny be the ink to my pen

And guide me to the very moment when

On your shoulder I will find my shore

And run I will no more.
 

House of Grief

The grass is always green on the other side of the glass. Your side is a trap, a greenhouse – it traps you in with the heat, with the helplessness, and it chokes you. The glass is soundproof, and you, like a caged animal in a zoo –  they can all see you, no less as a spectacle, but none can help. None want to, either, for it’s too risky a business – these animals are known to have a sharp bite.

Your house is a funny place, full and empty at the same time – you crave company but won’t wish for anyone to go in, or through, it. You find a new door every time you go looking for the key out of another. It isn’t your house anymore. The house renovates itself. The house owns you, just you – one rentier, one tenant, no boarders allowed.

Maybe a distant lover is your best bet.

So, when the moon peeks through your window at night, you get used to it. You wait for it – the guest knocking on the sill – without even knowing, not aware that your own vacancy signs are alight.

But it knows. It sees, it hears, and one can see the ghost of recognition on its greying face. It suffers, too, silently telling the story of its own plight.

The moon gets smaller and smaller as it consumes itself to satiate an inherent appetite for self-destruction. It takes a holiday ever so often, trying to digest the meaning of its own being. It disappears. The world – your world – is plunged into darkness. The harsh daylight hurts your eyes. The never-ending blackness numbs you down. You wait. It’s cold in here.

The moon reappears, vomiting itself out, forcing growth; all because you’re alone with the night. It walks with borrowed light, always beside you even as you try to run away from the house – especially when you try to run away from the house.

The winds tell you that the moon is in love. You do not believe them, for they do not exist in your world – the window is shut, and nothing comes in or out of it.

Wolves wail at the sight of your white-faced lover at his prime, they say that the shadow on his face is beautiful too. If you listen carefully, you see that the sounds of laughter and wailing are indistinguishable without the emotion. You know how to tell them apart, for you’ve been roommates with grief for a long time. Some say that the moon is friends with her.

You’ve lived together for so long that you think you are friends with her, too.

And how it hurts.

On some day suspended in the time after you stepped inside; the floorboards creak under your careful – but unsuspecting – footsteps as you go looking for the feeling you have been living with, but she is gone. Your lover has wished her away. Your lover, a mere reflection – of your worshipped suitor, of its own daring enemy, the Sun – lacks the heat which makes its competitor dangerous. But he has wished grief away. He has pushed her out, and in her place, there is nothing. Nothing.

The moon never decided to come in himself, either. It stood on its perch in the sky, your lover from far away.

Grief packed up well. She left without a trace, like she was never there. Like she never set foot in a place you verily named after her. And now there’s no reason for your sadness. Now, you’re just alone in a house with no name, waiting.

The grass is always green on the other side of the glass. Your side, it is but a memory.

An Apology 

If I could turn back time 

And undo all the mistakes 

that I have made with you 

I would –

And time 

would keep on turning 

And turning 

And turning 

And we would both disappear behind it 

being another mistake.

 

If I could turn back time 

And save you from the heartache 

that I washed on your shores 

I would – 

And time 

Would watch me work 

With sorrow 

And regret 

And more sorrow 

As I destroy your memories, the very thing 

That I have been 

Trying to save.

 
If I could turn back time 

And see you just once again 

I would 

apologise

For every single tear you shed 

And every wound I scratched 

With every breath I have

In me 

And maybe 

Just maybe 

Time will let you forgive me. 

 
– I can not rhyme but I mean what I say 

Barriers 

The writer’s block. 

It’s a big room that reeks of solitude. The door is open just a crack, a suspended beam of sunlight filtering through and making dust motes look like trembling stars. A boy sits by his typewriter, his fingers lusting to stroke the keys. He taps his nervous feet against the linoleum floor, trying to imitate the drum pattern of an old favourite song that he had long since discarded from memory; but which mysteriously reappeared in his conscousness in moments of despair. A dot of light comes to rest on his nose, making him wonder why he cannot absorb its energy. The memory of what he had meant to write eludes him.

The boy flails his right arm in frustration, but the words still hang on to the inside of his sleeve. His gaze runs out the windows and into the vast blue skies, naming the faces he sees in the clouds. He wishes that they would talk back to him.


Introversion.

The street is wide and curves out of sight over a hill. A girl stands on the sidewalk, counting the number of cars that rush by. She listens to the noise of their horns and screeching tires as if it were musical, and lets her eyes follow a certain red Chevy till it can’t possibly continue to. Every once in a while, she focuses her eyes on one of the cars, and loses track of the numbers. Then she starts to count again, from scratch. When the traffic slows, she snaps out of her passive trance, and tries to raise her hand up to signal for a ride. In her mind, someone sees her waving and stops.

The cars keep driving past the girl, seeing nothing. The wind blows her hair over her face, and they are streaked wet with her tears. Her hands are still by her side, for her strings are pulled by something entirely different from her mind. The puppeteer is not her friend.


Love. 

The old brick house stands in stark contrast to its lush surroundings at the edge of a teak forest. It is the solitary red structure in the otherwise unbroken plane of green. A woman sits inside, her wooden chair rocking in sync with the ticking clock. Her breathing resonates in the silence like the heartbeat of the house. Her hands shake as she muses over the past with her eyes open, memories projected in technicolor onto her cataract-ridden irises. A fly buzzes past her arthritic shoulder and lands lazily on a covered dish of food. The people in her dream never let the food sit long enough for the flies to appear. The people in her dream resemble those in the dust-covered picture frame which rests in her lap.

The woman calls out her sons’ names, and is met by the creak of her chair in response. She sighs and closes her unseeing eyes. The people in her dream come home to her.


Death. 

The air is bursting with the sobs of a little boy. He stumbles around, a single syllable fumbling on his virgin tongue.Tears flow down his reddened cheeks and streak his white clothing a wet, salty grey. The faces around him weep for his sorrow, but the sounds he makes are the loudest. Many arms reach out to console him but he doesn’t care for their affections, for the warmth that he seeks is amiss. He moves about, heading for the bright yellow blaze a little ahead of him; but the tall legs of strangers who stand in his way appear like prison bars holding him back. The boy slumps onto the dirt ground, his tiny hands falling to his sides. His sleepy eyes close for a second. When they flutter back open again, they resemble a bursting dam giving way to the beginnings of a flood.

A yellowing leaf performs somersaults with the wind and comes to rest on a stack of neatly piled sandalwood. As the toddler’s wail of ‘Maa’ breaks the pregnant silence yet again, the burning corpse wishes it were alive.

How Dare I Be Born with Ambitions and a Vagina 

​I was born of the womb of another like me 

They looked at me and said there is no jewel finer 

But I was sacrilegious and blasphemous, they soon realised 

For how dare I house within me ambitions when I have a vagina?

You see, it is antithetical, for my voice is redundant 

Meant to be kept low, to remain unheard and unimportant 

For I am an accessory, not my own person independent 

but wife of, daughter of, mother of – always defined by a man. 

They tell me my body is a temple when temples do not let women pray 

They tell me my sight is a temptation that can lead men astray 

That compromising my modesty will name me a whore 

They tell me some things, they tell me some more.

And who are they, may you ask, and why this they say 

And why not let me find my own way – well, see,

It will make the patriarchy curse, make blood curdle in its veins

For I may get a mind of my own if they loosen the reins.

On streets I collide with men whose paths I allegedly stand in 

For I may be invisible to them out in the public sphere, in a man’s world 

For they may see me as domesticated and expect me 

to step out of their way, and not the other way round. 

Like birds who never left cages thinking of flight to be an illness 

The victims of generations of internalisation of weakness 

Some old women, they tell me to speak no ill of the men who protect me

While these so called protectors spew swear words degrading my anatomy and identity.

I was born of the womb of another like me 

But now I seek to break free of my gender’s perceived infirmity

The shackles will lay broken soon enough if we try 

To educate and empower, to listen to what speaks the cry.

And to the men and women who look down on me I say 

These aspirations won’t be a part of me if it weren’t meant to be this way 

Just like the goddesses we put on pedestals to bestow respect and  honour 

I was born with ambition, and it doesn’t have to go away because I have a vagina.