She hovers around the home in the evening,
Sipping on tea, watching TV,
Exchanging stories of the day –
Decisions made, realizations had;
“How was your day?” She inquires.
She potters around the kitchen
Peeking into the fridge, planning dinner,
And decides to make soup.
The pot boils and the croutons sizzle,
And breaths from many mornings ago
Play on the nape of her neck.
The sounds of oil and water
Awaken a poem inside her
Which refuses to be lost
In the eloquent prose of her life.
The poem of silence and laughter,
Of smoke and chocolate in winter afternoons,
Of late night conversations and early morning teas,
Of snow, sand, sweat and peace,
And restlessness, which surrounds her
Even as she shrugs it off.
It has already moved the rivers inside her
That threaten to fall off her eyes
And drown the beautiful prose
On the counter in front of her.
So she quickly serves out the soup
And moves to the dinner table
Away from the kitchen sounds,
Announcing, “Soup everyone.”
A blank white space to write on,
I am smooth and crisp, but you can fold me at will.
I have lines over me to guide your words,
And help you watch which way they go.
I flew into a window once
Where a lover with words trapped inside him
Stared expectantly at me
Because I would take his words
Words he knew he wasn’t allowed to say,
But he still wrote.
As I lay on the table
Straining under the pressure of his pen,
The day turned dark,
A lusty wind threatened to drag me away,
And the clouds poured over the world.
A forceful rain leaked through the roof
Onto my blue lines.
The first drop made me quiver
And my edges curled up a little,
Before my body gave in to the coolness
Of the water.
As it continued to fall on me,
I stopped resisting and my skin tore,
Until there were no more lines on me.
And the water swept out of me
The weight of his unrequited words.
The rain stopped;
My skin dried in the breeze,
What remained was a rough, patchy open field;
The rain had left its footprints
Where his words had once marched in sync.
I thanked the rain
For the lover didn’t know
That I always hated the words written on my lines
And hoped someone could read my blank spaces.
She walks down the damp lane,
Balancing her steps and her thoughts,
That threaten to slip down the mossy path
And unravel body parts that hold things together.
There are snatches of rain falling
Through the open spaces between branches
And on the windshields of bright shiny cars,
Smudging the pieces of her identity
Written on the white pages of the big drawing book,
Lying vacantly in the bag on her back.
She sees him at the corner,
Standing on the steps,
Waiting for her on the terrace,
Dry in the pouring rain.
“How did you manage that?” She asks.
“Imagination.” He replies.
She sits by the window
As thunder and lightning
Rip through the darkness of midnight.
A cold wind pushes her,
As she breathes a familiar smell
Of hot and damp mornings in a small room,
And relives each word
Of long, intricately woven conversations with him.
She watches as he scribbles on her writing pad,
As he picks up the phone to take a picture,
As his eyes pore into her from a distance.
He walks over and touches her nose;
She soaks her skin into his soft fingers,
And looks down, only to find a smooth, black screen.
“What do you see?” He had asked.
How could she tell him
That what she saw was reality,
Perceived with another mind.
(The title is inspired by TTT’s series of poems such as this one)
I tumbled onto the world today
Ill-timed, inconvenient and desired,
Making mornings inconvenient and days long.
Pattering on the spaces between
I make everything lose –
Stones, cement, branches and reason –
And weak at the roots.
I create holes
On the ground – and in souls –
Where I fill up and
Dislodge memories and dreams,
That move around and make movies in the mind
And real life unreasonable.
Sitting pretty on leaves,
I tempt the eyes of the woman
Standing on the balcony with her lover.
As he puts his arm around her
And slowly leads her inside,
I ask the wind to carry me too.
I fall through the bars of the window
Onto the floor next to their bed
On the paper that the wind dropped there.
And continue to sprinkle on it – drip, drip, drip.
With each drop the paper softens a little
Until it is wiped clean of everything on it,
Tearing and crumbling as he picks it up.
And then she writhes and crumbles on him too,
Emptied of everything inside her,
Including the parts of me in her eyes.
She sighs and smiles at him.
I withdraw gently with the wind,
So that they may dry
And collect the ignored pieces of their sanity,
To face the washed world – afresh.
I sit at the window and stare;
There are thoughts inside me,
Tangled into balls I can’t unravel.
And so, the words that escape
As the knots on them break,
Are from this thought and that,
A tapestry he cannot understand.
He comes in again with a painting,
“Look at this one,” he nudges gently.
I remember this one too:
The ripples in the water near the boats,
The boatman entering, not leaving,
As his teacher had showed him;
The hold of his fingers as he
Negotiated the curves of the boats
With a brush too long for balance.
These stories hidden inside me-
Pieces of my life, his childhood-
Are unable to find a form outside,
A form he can recognize.
These stories that make me –
The me before the tangles and knots
Took away the meaning of thoughts,
Took away my filling smiles,
And left behind an inexplicable pain
That refuses to go away.
These stories I cannot share,
Because the chains of my logic
He cannot understand.
Perhaps that’s why I’d put my self
Into everything in this house
For him to rediscover today.
All the old pictures and paintings,
The books and diaries and my writings too.
The stories are now in these things outside,
And its all that’s coherent to him,
And now – perhaps- everything that I am.
Inspired by this tale on TTT.
If we had all the time and words in the world,
We would talk of where work was going,
And discuss music and cinema.
We would argue the merits of each others’ ideological positions,
And watch funny videos, laughing at the silliness in the world.
If we had all the time and words in the world,
We would speak of the beauty of the mountains,
And of distant lands like Iceland and Egypt.
We would discuss our favorite foods,
And plan lunches and dinners.
But if we had all the time and words in the world,
They would still not be enough for the truth –
You wouldn’t know who I was
Or what I wanted.
For even if I poured my words out to you
Would you want to understand?
And even if we had all the time and words in the world,
They would still not be enough for you –
I wouldn’t know who you are
And what you wanted.
For even if I gave you all my words
Would you rearrange them to show me you?
Inspired by random conversations and some beautiful stories on Terribly Tiny Tales.
That day at mid-morning, she stood at the window watching the rain fall and sipping on the last of her almost cold tea, thinking of old conversations.
“I tell you, I’m such a lazy guy. You’ll get a call from me one day,” he had said as they lay in bed one morning, before kissing her again, “telling you that I’m really late for work.”
“So what’s new? I’ll ask.” She had replied pulling him to her. And they laughed. It was only half joking though; it was half wistful, for she knew that it would kill her to say those words when the call actually came. Because he would be in another part of the world and she would be here. Because he would be late on account of someone else and she would be here. Because they would be back to being “just friends”. Because he would be in love with someone else and she would …she would still be here.
On the counter in front of her, the phone vibrated and she picked it up without checking who it was. “Hello?” She said. “I am so late for work.” His voice said.
She looked out of the kitchen window and smiled. “So what’s new?” She replied and waved, as he looked up and gave her his widest smile before disconnecting the phone and turning the corner towards his office. She turned around and sighed. Somehow she had gotten lucky – she had got a few days to live that conversation from long ago.