The River

If I were to give my heart to a river,
This murmuring one would be the one…
For that matter, I had already given this one,
Many summers and memorable childhood daysImage
This beautiful soul has been an occupant of my heart,
For days on end, without fail now
Every day, my wandering mind travels past
Vast water bodies to reach this little one
The one that follows the many bends in her path
With so much ease and élan
That she fills my heart with joy like none
For this one and I share a bond that goes back a long time,
A really long time…
 
I have moved on, so have others with whom she has a bond,
But each time, we think about her, we get the same old feeling
Of wanting to take us into her fold, into her flowing waters,
Into her vigorous tidal spirit,
Bathing us with her bubbly, effervescent self,
Effusing us with her deepest sense of joy,
And here, I am, looking at this picture,
Swathed in nostalgia, enwrapped in a longing
To go back in time, just once more…

Alone, but not lonely

I don’t remember the last

When I sat like this, alone

But not lonely,

At my home,

By this table

On a peaceful evening

As the Sun sets quietly

As birds return to their nests

As leaves flutter in the breeze

I can see them move

Not only that

I look at them with longing

With joy, with calm

I love this hour,

And, it makes me long

For days when I can wander

Alone, but not lonely,

With my train of thoughts

Rolling by with me

May be a hotel room

Or a long distance train

Where I sit by the window

Sip hot coffee

Read from a book

Write a few poems

Edit my stories

And, move my dream

Of becoming a writer

Closer to reality.

Their Love

It’s noon, well and bright,

The breeze is in, going around

Taking the trees on a ride,

The sun is out, happy and content,

Shining bright though the thickets,

Lighting up patterns on the ground,

Beneath thick canopies of my Jamun tree

 

It’s as if there are many others with me,

For, in the wind, shadows dance,

Hopping and tottering like restless squirrels

 

I must go in for a nap,

My body feels the advent of age

My joints ache, my heart too,

But the reason I know not know,

 

I must go close the yard gates

The wind loves to swing the fastened gates,

At times, they wouldn’t give me peace at all,

The wind; it rattles the iron chain on the gates

Metal clanking metal; takes me to my past

When little children made merry

By banging metal spoons on metal plates.

But they aren’t there anymore with me…

 

These noises in my life;

They are disturbing, and peace-depriving,

But they keep other distractions at bay

 

My loneliness I forget on cheerful afternoons like this

While watching shadows

And when the wind attempts to take my clothes

Away from the clothesline

My clips keep them secured, but they do attempt

To tease my strength and my thoughtfulness

 

When there aren’t many reasons to get up

The birds are at my bedroom window,

Calling me out to see them at play,

It’s their way you know,

Of the sun, the wind and the birds

To give me company

It’s their way of telling me that I am not alone

It’s their unspoken language of love

That keeps me going

It’s the reason for old-age days

To wake up in the mornings.

 

Empty Nests

trees-2013-feb-002“Look at that big tree by the side of the road. See, it has no leaves, no flowers and no buds. But it has bird nests. It has two of them. Look closely; do you sense emptiness in and around the nests? The birds have flown away, and it must have been at least a few weeks, isn’t it? Look how windy it is today, but see, the tree holds dearly onto the nests, even when the wind pulls its brittle branches along. Am sure when it snows, with its thin, wiry branches, it’d try to cover the nests. But to shelter whom; does it even know? To shelter this painful vacuum? The only knowledge the tree has is that it gave the birds a home once upon a time, shielded it from rain and shine, even from the cold autumn winds…and that, today, the birds aren’t there, they have gone far…The tree pointlessly hopes one day, the bird may come back, with its proud flock flapping closely.”

“You talk only from the trees’ point of view? Don’t the birds have their story to tell as well?”

“Tell me, what is their story? Won’t you? Are you one of the birds yourself?”

Fallen leaves

Pulling up the blinds, my eyes fell on trees. Their leaves; golden yellow like sunflowers, flaming orange like marigolds, bright red like roses, deep maroon like certain withering flowers, and even green. They seemed to make haste. To fall. To break free from what held them together. To fly away, if possible. A deep sense of unrest lent heaviness to the autumn air. I stared longingly at the fallen leaves lying here and there, some in groups, some alone. And then, the sun, like an artist seemed deeply engrossed in filling up vast canvases of grass with its dynamic shafts of light, for a moment here and then suddenly there, a step ahead, and then, a furlong ahead, slowly but beautifully shifting its focus, taking me along.

What is it about them, the fallen leaves that makes me want to look at them again and again? And, when some of them glisten in the early morning sunshine, what is it that my heart longs for? 

It reminded me of home, to which I was bound in more ways than one, from where I yearned to fly away, afar. We had trees aplenty, leaves fell copiously, layer upon layer where I walked time and again. Beneath them I discovered life; throbbing with desire. 

The leaves are fallen, dead or so they said, but to me they were the receptacles of life; fresh and raring.

The leaves; I have always felt a connection with them. They link me to my roots, to my very being, to a simple life back home, to days when trees filled my life with more than just shade and fruits, with perspective, meaning, and depth.

The Red Berry

Tucked inside a dark crevice

In the roots of an old coconut tree,

Its bark; slippery and slimy,

Home for snails and moss colonies

Fallen leaves rot away

Some float in muddy puddles,

Skeletal remnants of a harsh summer

Wriggly worms, at least a dozen,

Some climb up the tree

Others rest on the compound wall

Some parallel, some perpendicular

Born in to the bosom of the prolific monsoon;

The worms; yellow and black

Stand out like wild blooms in a spring meadow

The compound wall; an eco-system in itself

Rain drops rest on a million moss heads,

Their crowns sparkle though the sun is in hiding

Lady bugs, a handful at least,

Move in and out of the moss patches

Earth worms, thin and many

Slither up in search of a better abode

Up above the thick thickets

Of a plush Loobikka tree

A bee; orange and black buzz around

Down below, a single berry; red and ripe

Catches my eye in earnest

“Pick me up, pick me up”,

Hushed whispers reach up to my ears

It has been a few days since,

The red berry now rests by my window pane

Reminding me of the big wonders in my small backyard