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Silence is all we dread
There’s Ransom in a Voice —
But Silence is Infinity.
Himself have not a face.

bergman'sMonica

 

cabin

It’s because of them. Isn’t it?
You slam the receiver down, and wonder what to do next.
You close the door, sit down on the toilet with the seat lid lowered,

and give the floor a blank look for sometime. Or slam your fists   
against the walls until it hurts, fill yourself with some unknown rage,
familiar tears. It does not seem to help at all. You do not understand 
how cruel they can be. You do not understand any of this.

You sleep thinking of this “new acquisition”, which seems busy in
laying down a stone fence around your world. You wake up to see
stained cheeks, worn facial features, a fresh new wrinkle of sadness.

It’s because of them. Isn’t it?
You walk around as if you are in a bizzarish state of the union
with failure, a charming sight, so understated for them to steal
some glances from you when you are not paying much attention.     
You look so boring, some sensible dress hung down loose over  
the shoulders, which feel much lesser confident today. Your feet are   
frozen inside the carriage- the shoes. You do not understand any of this.
 

You are making friends with the bitch inside you, which barks hysterically, 
at those careless humiliations, casual dismissals, they make. It’s been done. 

The Damage. You are weary of them -People who come with words.

Yes, you are weary of them – People who come with words.  
Wearing no emotions. People who stitch a wretched soul out of you.
They do not settle for nothing less. They create stuff that pains most. 
They are in the business – Casual Dresses for Inhumans.

After thought : “Lessons on  How to be nice to others, how to be understanding towards others, need to be taken for such creatures in some class room. Admission is open to all age groups, both the sexes, old, old getting younger, young and young getting older. Kindness needs to be Advertised in & around the city – on the hoardings! such a wrecking influence, the world I work in and live about, has on me….”

{Link : Pink Floyd Or stay on as One more stunted mind}, someone who I write to these days, said something truly valid, ”People are being designed to maintain STATUS QUO in Organisations or Work places” .

Life’s all about – wooden benches, classes, stunted minds, Ants, Grasshoppers, Teachers’ pets, Bosses’s pets, Sleepers, and Coaches! A vicious circle is drawn with a renewed vigor ,time and again. Huh!

JamesGalvin

We don't belong to each other.

                     We belong together.

                                                          Some poems 

belong together to prove the intentionality of subatomic particles.

                                     

Some poems eat with scissors.

                              Some poems are like kissing a 

porcupine. 

                God, by the way, is disappointed in some of your recent 

choices.

               Some poems swoop.

                                        When she said my eyes were 

definitely blue, I said, How can you see that in the dark?

                                        How can

you not? she said, and that was like some poems.

                                          Some poems are 

blinded three times.

                Some poems go like death before dishonor.
                                                                                         

Some poems go like the time she brought cherries to the movies; 

later a heedless picnic in her bed.

                                    Never revered I crumbs so

highly.

           Some poems have perfect posture, as if hanging by 

filaments from the sky. 

                         Those poems walk like dancers, 

noiselessly.

                      All poems are love poems.  

                                      Some poems are better off 

dead.

           Right now I want something I don't believe in.

42-20527692 

villagestreetinauvers

{Painting : Van Gogh’s Village Street in Auvers}

There was no water at my grandfather’s
when I was a kid and would go for it
with two zinc buckets. Down the path,
past the cow by the foundation where
the fine people’s house was before
they arranged to have it burned down.
To the neighbor’s cool well. Would
come back with pails too heavy,
so my mouth pulled out of shape.
I see myself, but from the outside.
I keep trying to feel who I was,
and cannot. Hear clearly the sound
the bucket made hitting the sides
of the stone well going down,
but never the sound of me.

Lost Generation by Jonathan Reed….{http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42E2fAWM6rA}

 

I am part of a lost generation
and I refuse to believe that
I can change the world
I realize this may be a shock but
“Happiness comes from within.”
is a lie, and
“Money will make me happy.”
So in 30 years I will tell my children
they are not the most important thing in my life
My employer will know that
I have my priorities straight because
work
is more important than
family
I tell you this
Once upon a time
Families stayed together
but this will not be true in my era
This is a quick fix society
Experts tell me
30 years from now, I will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of my divorce
I do not concede that
I will live in a country of my own making
In the future
Environmental destruction will be the norm
No longer can it be said that
My peers and I care about this earth
It will be evident that
My generation is apathetic and lethargic
It is foolish to presume that
There is hope.

And all of this will come true unless we choose to reverse it .

Read the message, then read it again in reverse.

Which generation do you belong in?

Before I start this poem, I’d like to ask you to join me

Moment of Silence is a controversial poem by Emmanuel Ortiz published on September 11, 2002, the first anniversary of the September 11th, 2001 attacks. The poem links the history of colonialism, neocolonialism, imperialism, the War on Terror, environmental racism, and structural violence to the attacks. This is one of first such linkages in public record.

 

elderlywomanprayingforMumbaivictims

elderlywomanprayingforMumbaivictims

    In a moment of silence

    In honor of those who died in the World Trade Center and the

    Pentagon last September 11th.

    I would also like to ask you

    To offer up a moment of silence

    For all of those who have been harassed, imprisoned,

    disappeared, tortured, raped, or killed in retaliation for those strikes,

    For the victims in both Afghanistan and the U.S.

   

    And if I could just add one more thing…

    A full day of silence

    For the tens of thousands of Palestinians who have died at the

    hands of U.S.-backed Israeli

    forces over decades of occupation.

    Six months of silence for the million and-a-half Iraqi people,

    mostly children, who have died of

    malnourishment or starvation as a result of an 11-year U.S.

    embargo against the country.

   

    Before I begin this poem,

    Two months of silence for the Blacks under Apartheid in South Africa,

    Where homeland security made them aliens in their own country.

    Nine months of silence for the dead in Hiroshima and Nagasaki,

    Where death rained down and peeled back every layer of

    concrete, steel, earth and skin

    And the survivors went on as if alive.

    A year of silence for the millions of dead in Vietnam – a people,

    not a war – for those who

    know a thing or two about the scent of burning fuel, their

    relatives’ bones buried in it, their babies born of it.

    A year of silence for the dead in Cambodia and Laos, victims of

    a secret war … ssssshhhhh….

    Say nothing … we don’t want them to learn that they are dead.

    Two months of silence for the decades of dead in Colombia,

    Whose names, like the corpses they once represented, have

    piled up and slipped off our tongues.

   

    Before I begin this poem.

    An hour of silence for El Salvador …

    An afternoon of silence for Nicaragua …

    Two days of silence for the Guatemaltecos …

    None of whom ever knew a moment of peace in their living years.

    45 seconds of silence for the 45 dead at Acteal, Chiapas

    25 years of silence for the hundred million Africans who found

    their graves far deeper in the ocean than any building could

    poke into the sky.

    There will be no DNA testing or dental records to identify their remains.

    And for those who were strung and swung from the heights of

    sycamore trees in the south, the north, the east, and the west…

   

    100 years of silence…

    For the hundreds of millions of indigenous peoples from this half

    of right here,

    Whose land and lives were stolen,

    In postcard-perfect plots like Pine Ridge, Wounded Knee, Sand

    Creek,

    Fallen Timbers, or the Trail of Tears.

    Names now reduced to innocuous magnetic poetry on the

    refrigerator of our consciousness …

   

    So you want a moment of silence?

    And we are all left speechless

    Our tongues snatched from our mouths

    Our eyes stapled shut

    A moment of silence

    And the poets have all been laid to rest

    The drums disintegrating into dust.

   

    Before I begin this poem,

    You want a moment of silence

    You mourn now as if the world will never be the same

    And the rest of us hope to hell it won’t be. Not like it always has

    been.

   

    Because this is not a 9/11 poem.

    This is a 9/10 poem,

    It is a 9/9 poem,

    A 9/8 poem,

    A 9/7 poem

    This is a 1492 poem.

   

    This is a poem about what causes poems like this to be written.

    And if this is a 9/11 poem, then:

    This is a September 11th poem for Chile, 1971.

    This is a September 12th poem for Steven Biko in South Africa,

    1977.

    This is a September 13th poem for the brothers at Attica Prison,

    New York, 1971.

    This is a September 14th poem for Somalia, 1992.

    This is a poem for every date that falls to the ground in ashes

    This is a poem for the 110 stories that were never told

    The 110 stories that history chose not to write in textbooks

    The 110 stories that CNN, BBC, The New York Times, and

    Newsweek ignored.

    This is a poem for interrupting this program.

   

    And still you want a moment of silence for your dead?

    We could give you lifetimes of empty:

    The unmarked graves

    The lost languages

    The uprooted trees and histories

    The dead stares on the faces of nameless children

    Before I start this poem we could be silent forever

    Or just long enough to hunger,

    For the dust to bury us

    And you would still ask us

    For more of our silence.

   

    If you want a moment of silence

    Then stop the oil pumps

    Turn off the engines and the televisions

    Sink the cruise ships

    Crash the stock markets

    Unplug the marquee lights,

    Delete the instant messages,

    Derail the trains, the light rail transit.

   

    If you want a moment of silence, put a brick through the window

    of Taco Bell,

    And pay the workers for wages lost.

    Tear down the liquor stores,

    The townhouses, the White Houses, the jailhouses, the

    Penthouses and the Playboys.

   

    If you want a moment of silence,

    Then take it

    On Super Bowl Sunday,

    The Fourth of July

    During Dayton’s 13 hour sale

    Or the next time your white guilt fills the room where my beautiful

    people have gathered.

   

    You want a moment of silence

    Then take it NOW,

    Before this poem begins.

    Here, in the echo of my voice,

    In the pause between goosesteps of the second hand,

    In the space between bodies in embrace,

    Here is your silence.

    Take it.

    But take it all…Don’t cut in line.

    Let your silence begin at the beginning of crime. But we,

    Tonight we will keep right on singing…For our dead.

   

    EMMANUEL ORTIZ, 11 Sep 2002.

 

 

Wong Kar Wai's In the Mood for Love

Wong Kar Wai's In the Mood for Love

We hurry back to resume our awaited commissions:

the press’s annoyances, our bitter disputes and our

wars, ferments, infirmities, a battering music

that strikes at us without letup : we are

back in the ranks on the barricades :

though everyone takes us for dead, here we are

as before, with our counterfeit smiles, flinching,

we say, at the thought of our looming oblivion,

there on a palmless plot in the sea

where noses are chiseled in stone

like triangles traced in the sunshine and brine –

on a minuscule navel of ocean,

denying the spaces, closing our eyes to the ultimate purity,

the tribes who raised the nude stone and

the verities none dares to claim as a loving participant.

Wong Kar Wai's In the Mood for Love

Wong Kar Wai's In the Mood for Love

 

That is my cowardice now, the witness I bear :

I was meant for more tentative edifices.

Here in a waste without walls, a capital

hacked out of sunlight and salt, contemplation and stone,

Wong Kar Wai's In the Mood for Love

Wong Kar Wai's In the Mood for Love

 

I look back with the others, a trespasser,

afraid in myth’s limpid perfection, seeing only

blue silences encircling the statues.

{Image : Anna Karina}

Lean back. Close your eyes. Be still.

I know you are as excited about this as he is.

Press your palms deep against the wall.

Watch him walking about the room restlessly.

He dressed carelessly and unaffectedly,

just the way you imagined him to be.

Crane your neck, strain your ears.

He is whispering something to you,

there is color in your cheeks, which

look even more soft and feminine.

You are asking for too much.

You are not that lucky to share his life.

Open your eyes, slowly and silently,

gather the last crumbs that fell down

from his lips. You find nothing,

a room naked and cold, with no trace

of movement, of any kind. And your palms

are still pressed hard against the wall.

Your hands feel empty just the way

your heart feels. God, you feel so

 dumb inside your skin, one more time . {Jyo}

 

I need  to let things happen just the way they are designed exclusively for me and I need to maintain an elegant silence while accepting them, even if they come to me as a delayed response from life. If things do not happen, I need to maintain a cheerful face thinking they were not meant for me at all. These things could be people too. It’s tough and I am  trying to figure out how exactly  one achieves this.

 

Heavy dark clouds 
over a fragile leafless tree
– Morning News scream of Exploitation

{A Table Plant at my window}


It so happens I’m tired of just being a man.

I go to a movie, drop in at the tailor’s – it so happens-

Feeling wizened and numbed, like a big, wooly swan,

awash on an ocean of clinkers and causes.

A whiff from a barbershop does it: I yell bloody murder.

All I ask is a little vacation from things: from boulders and

Woolens,

from gardens, institutional projects, merchandise,

eyeglasses, elevators – I’d rather not look at them.

It so happens I’m fed – with my feet and my fingernails

and my hair and my shadow.

Being a man leaves me cold: that’s how it is.

{if you look at this pic closely, you may get the hint of a nest where the little crow who I named “Break free” lived with its mom and dad}



Still-it would be lovely

to wave a cut lily and panic a notary,

or finish a nun with a left to the ear.

It would be nice

just to walk down the street with a green switchblade

handy,

whopping it up till I die of shivers.

I won’t live like this – like a root in a shadow,

wide-open and wondering, teeth chattering sleepily,

going down to the dripping entrails of the universe

absorbing things, taking things in, eating three squares a day.

I’ve had all I’ll take from catastrophe.

I won’t have it this way, muddling through like a root or a

grave,

all alone underground, in a morgue of cadavers,

cold as a stiff, dying of misery.

That’s why Monday flares up like an oil-slick,

when it seems me up close, with the face of a jailbird,

or squeaks like a broken-down wheel as it goes,

stepping hot-blooded into the night.

Something shoves me toward certain damp houses, into

certain dark corners,

into hospitals, with bones flying out of the windows;

into shoe stores and shoemakers smelling of vinegar,

streets frightful as fissures laid open.

There, trussed to the doors of the houses I loathe

are the sulphurous birds, in a horror of tripes,

dental plates lost in a coffeepot,

mirrors

that must surely have wept with the nightmare and shame

of it all;

and everywhere, poisons, umbrellas, and belly buttons.

I stroll unabashed, in my eyes and my shoes

and my rage and oblivion.

I go on, crossing offices, retail orthopedics,

Courtyards with laundry hung out on a wire:

The blouses and towels and the drawers newly washed,

slowly dribbling a slovenly tear.

{a tree near the sea side, will soon get its fresh batch of leaves and branches}

………as usual, I am struggling to construct my thoughts. There’s so much happening around in those strips of local bazaars, where visibly tired men and women (after tiresome and demanding work) with their backs stretched over the baskets filled with fresh vegetables and greens, chatting up with the vegetable vendors, striking a better deal for the evening, the tired truck drivers indulging in light-hearted conversations with the barbers in a dimly lit barber shop, a group of women in their 40s standing frozen in their thoughts while waiting for the bus that takes them to their respective homes safe, a little girl standing next to her mother pouring clean water, collected in a small pot, over the Siva Lingam in the Hanuman temple, adjacent to a tiny shop that sells old junk, a few feet away, is a tiny mosque where men assemble in the afternoon to offer their prayers ….watching people going about their daily tasks, carrying on their faces a commitment to finish the varied tasks by the end of yet another emotionally debilitating day (this is true for many. Those fortunate ones can be counted on fingers), fills me with a sense of energy and optimism about the world and life, which seem to be hurtling towards shocking a level of unpredictability, these days. It’s like withdraw self from the world, bring the knees & limbs closer to the stomach, feel the tightness around the thighs, as if a human body is closing its doors tight against the world outside, crouch in the shadow of a branch that crawls against the bedroom window and draw strength from the little bird who is being fed by its mom. And meditate on decay, on life, silently. Interestingly, it’s the poor, the struggling class / the working class of the society gives me that required bit of energy and courage. The superficial and shallow beauty being flaunted by the rich and successful, the so-termed class disturbs me a lot.

Neruda’s “Walking Around”, a melancholic walk across streets, captures the existentialism of life, a sense of disappointment about the disturbance being caused by the structural progress, the destruction of nature and man himself. All of us, subconsciously (the screams of which, at times, are loud enough to cause tangibly felt discomfort), feel the need to take a “little vacation” from regularity of daily life, formulated in well-defined moves, i.e. get out of a rectangle shaped bed, 10 mins of reluctance with the hand perched on a sleeker rectangular bodied mobile communication device with curvaceous corners, enter the “phase of civilisation”, commute through the roads-based commotion that comes in various forms & sizes, walk into the artificially lit liveable-breathable-cylinder shaped environment, deliver organised talk (presentation) to the benumbed souls around a rectangle shaped wooden table…..one feels numb and staggered after such drone-like encounters! 

…All I ask is a little vacation from things: from boulders and

Woolens,

from gardens, institutional projects, merchandise,

eyeglasses, elevators – I’d rather not look at them.

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