Dignity and respect
I was asked
Featured Image – Odd Nerdrum (Dawn, 1989)
Dignity and respect
I was asked
Featured Image – Odd Nerdrum (Dawn, 1989)
Hate to be a taboo
Learned to hate.
In their eyes
I diminished, into point blank.
(Featured Image- Saatchi Art Artist Serge Alyaev; Painting, “Hatred”)
Began to not love.
before my eyes.
(Featured Image- Wendy Lippincott Regret and Apathy 2016)
The sun shines too bright
On my latent dreams
The day doesn’t pass
And the night doesn’t come
I wish, sometimes
I could throw stones at the Sun
And splinter it
like it worked with the streetlights.
It doesn’t work that way, does it?
(Featured Image- Night Light Street by Casoni Ibolya)
For a while now
Clouds have taken over
They don’t rain
Between me and my sky
I want my stars back
my lights, scattered
over a dark dreamy night.
I close my eyes
dreaming of lights
Twinkling, dazzling, glittering.
Every night instead,
And I wake up
shattered within my nest.
I don’t dream of flying.
The dream of flying
comes with the fear of falling.
I dream of falling,
Along with my inhibitions
I want to fall off a cliff,
A high mountain,
Stripped off my fears
One by one.
Letting go of everything
That I have,
Until I have nothing
Nothing but my soul.
As I fall deeper,
I become light,
A cotton wool,
Maybe on my way
I shall become a rain drop
Maybe when it’s time
To touch the ground
My wings will open
And I shall fly.
(Featured Image- Ron Griswold)
Let our love be a taboo
Hidden in the deeps
Of our hearts.
Let’s not let it out.
Let’s not speak of it.
Cross your heart and I will, mine
For the world is a cruel place
It ruins all that’s virgin
And kills all that’s life
It can’t keep a secret.
Good things don’t last
And rare ones often get extinct.
If they won’t understand
Why even give them a chance?
I paint monsters for living
Sea monsters and the flying ones.
Their beards grow by day
Their hands everywhere
Touching and feeling me
Sometimes my mind hurts
When they pierce it with their claws
Trying to find their birthplace.
I sit for days,
at the brink of my chair
Computing the cost of what I have created
Not the paint and the brush
But the imagination which I have let out
So vividly that now I see these monsters
On every wall I face,
Same canines, same claws,
Conniving against me,
A conspiracy, a killing
Not of me
But my mind.
What’s a body without its mind?
What would be left of me if they succeed?
The day I decide,
To go lay in the ground
And ants would feast on my humus,
I would let my soul free
And command her
To become love,
Mine, for you.
My absence won’t be felt
Ever, not once,
Years later, when
Time will be old and wrinkled,
When kids will have their kids
And I will lose all my teeth,
When you will need a third limb
For your daily needs,
When no one will care
About us being in love,
When the mirror
Would blatantly lie,
Don’t believe him,
Just use my glasses and not yours
And through my eyes,
You will still be beautiful
And I will still be charming
Featured Image- Old Couple or Musician (Salvador Dali, 1930)
When our boy is out there,
Playing, hurling himself into the mud,
When our girl is with him,
Beating him, like girls always do,
When the scene makes you smile,
And your mind wanders to the past
That was different and difficult,
You look out for me,
But where am I?
‘Right behind, Ma’am’, I say,
Your tea is with me.
Just the way you wanted,
Just the way I promised,
Then, now, forever.
When world is done shouting,
And silence is making your tongue heavy
Like a bad taste, pukish
I will let your head collide with my chest
Your hair scattered on my belly, crimson
Like blood at a murder scene
Your vermilion smeared on my shirt, crimson
Like a bullet through my chest.
I die in that moment of mum,
In that moment of mum, we live.
We will live through it,
When you are sleeping,
Cold and blue,
Unaware of the blanket
That lies right there
I will open it, And fold
gently at your feet
Quietly covering you and me
Letting you hold my body
Still unaware of my being
But I will be there, forever
Beneath our bodies beyond our souls
We keep a few secrets.
There is so much within
That no one knows
No one can and no one should
The ashes of cigarettes we say we don’t smoke
The apathy in love we say we do
The cringe in the calls we have with parents
The lust in coffee we share with someone
Who is ‘just a friend’
We are good people, God fearing and all
We can’t cuss, can’t hate, can’t deny
So we bury
What we feel,
In the underworlds of our hearts
Simmering with smokes and lies.
Let’s fall in love.
Why shouldn’t we?
Just because you are you
And I am I?
‘Don’t Do it!’
The society would say, I know.
But that is what societies are for.
They have always been like that,
Trying to hold us back on grounds
Which don’t exist for birds
Like us, me and you.
Let them draw their own roads
While we fly high above,
Flapping our wings of love.
Let’s rise in love.
Two starlings seen at once
Is a good omen.
Two starlings sit
On opposite ends of a porch.
It is impossible to see them at once.
Don’t look at just one. It’s bad omen.
I bring handful of chickpeas
And spread at our feet.
They flutter their wings at once
I look at you rolling eyes, smile
Two starlings turn into good omen.
They finish the chickpeas in haste
And return to their opposite ends
No more on talking terms with each other.
Two starlings are now back to being bad omen.
(Featured Image- Starlings by Anna Wright)
I say something,
You say something else,
We break off,
Two sentences go nowhere.
We go nowhere, separately.
I say something,
You listen and reply,
Words turn into pearls,
We make a necklace,
We begin a conversation.
We go somewhere, together.
When you are ‘very’ angry
Don’t eat and become ‘hangry’
You need to be fed like a child.
Like a child,
When you sit in the corner
ballooning your cheeks,
A conscious effort must be made
to understand how you feel.
it is absolutely entailing
That I apologize to you
Even if it is your fault.
You need to be kissed
On every part of you,
Parts I can’t see
But you have.
You need to be kissed until
You giggle with hand over your mouth
And say ‘Stop it!’
You need to be hugged,
Until you hug back,
need to be loved.
Outside, the Sun rests
In the laps of his mistresses,
The rays, gorgeously gravitating
Towards the earth, still nursing
Her wounds of winter,
Covering her naked self with fallen leaves
Of a dying tree, who has fought bravely,
A battle that was not meant to be won.
The window pane has a splotch of fog
Perhaps the fist mark of our nemesis,
Spring is yet to prepare and
Summer is stuck in far east
We must escape before
The moon turns pale again.
Bring out the boats,
We must skate through this icy river.
He will come back, one more time
For his final assault, the winter.
Featured Image- ‘The Winter Scene’ (Hendrick Avercamp, 1620)
Like a tree
I am laden
Help me shed some.
I want to fall
With my leaves
Be the wind
Take me away.
Lets lie side by side
Within tangled sheets
I am too tired to speak
Too broken to rise
Put your head on my shoulder,
Lift me by chin and kiss
Believe in me,
Be my wings.
I promise, I will fly.
Open the refrigerator door,
take my heart out
Put it in a pan, on the stove
My hope is the burner, your love the lighter.
I need some warmth yes
But careful! Don’t burn me.
Come, when I am not home
Lie on my bed, crust my sheets
Leave your body behind,
In your dried sweat and strands
Of hair, your strong perfume.
Stay back, with me, in the creases of my bed
Long after you are gone.
I pray you,
To kill me once every night
Just as I am about to sleep.
Use the blanket as your arm
Clothesline me on my pillow
Catheterize me of yesterday.
Make everyday of my life, a new life.
Let your smile be a hug
To my aching heart,
I am tired of my senile self.
My eyes are heavy with tears
I wish to shed over your shoulders
My lips hurt, explaining things I don’t know.
Only you can stop this flood of words,
Stop it, Please!
Smile at me, will you?
We sit in circles
Around the bonfire
Which melts the flesh of wood
To relieve our tired bones
We recite poetry to each other,
Poetry like this moment,
Like an estuary, saline yet serene
We know the end is near
Hence, a breather is warranted
A final halt by the sea
Only a few miles to cover
Before we reach to part ways
Where this singular road breaks
Into distinct destinies
We have taken our timely
Steps, Careful and consternated
Perhaps we deserve this moment,
The melody of the roaring sea
This Stark vulnerability of the naked sky
Shy and Shrinking in fear as he watches
Us, creating new stars with sparks of crackling wood
As our poetry rises with smoke,
Turning the moon’s face ashen.
We have waited so long for this moment,
To turn the sky starry again,
For We want our Vincent back,
Where he belongs, among us
We, the strangers to impatience.
Dear! I have to go,
Somewhere I haven’t been,
Where? You may ask!
Where? I don’t know.
I have to do something,
Something I haven’t done
What? You may ask.
What? I don’t know.
I want to love
Someone I haven’t met
Whom? You may ask
Whom? I don’t know.
I want to live before I die
Alas! I haven’t yet
How? You may ask
How? I don’t know.
I want to die once I know
Enough I must know
When? You may ask
When? I don’t know.
Why? You may ask
Because you don’t know,
Oh but I do know!
Oh but I do know!
Are all we ever had,
have and wanted
One way or the other.
By those who are deprived.
Taken from them,
abused, locked away
By those who didn’t find them worthy.
Either way it has been a hot potato,
not handled with enough care,
reeking through revolutions
of sweat and blood, all unnecessary
dying one war at a time,
So many wars, so many deaths.
fractured, leaking like a gas jar,
somehow condensed and put
into one day, unceremoniously
By those who were
neither deprived nor deprivers
10th December, announced
like the birth of Christ
As if it would matter
As if they care.
Laymen lead an interesting life,
They know things but not so much,
Speaking not to be heard
Reading just enough to be pleased
Too paltry to be written upon
Incomprehensible often and flustered
They debate sans a conclusion
They can’t be contained and don’t care
They don’t exist in democracy, debates and journals
After all, they are laymen,
Their opinions don’t matter.
Only if they knew more than they do.
Don’t leave me just yet,
Stay for a while,
let me be lost,
enchanted by the magic
that I still see in you.
Allow me to love you madly,
to bite you, scratch you,
to omit the difference,
between the blood and rouge on your cheeks.
I want you to forget about your beauty,
I want you to hate the mirror.
Why can’t you just love me,
Unhinged, unreal, as I am?
We will be gentle to each other,
We walk around in circles,
Trying to keep up with our roads
There are no trees, no sacred fire,
no holy hymns, no vows waiting to be taken.
We have not committed to anyone, anything
Sincerely, there is no promise made,
between ourselves either.
We are happy this way,
On our different roads,
keeping an eye on one another,
finding collision points,
Dust has settled on his glasses,
that used to settle down on his nose once.
His pocket watch doesn’t chime like before,
Maybe the battery has passed away.
The Lathi has been given to the gardener,
To support the falling pomegranate tree.
The three tamed monkeys of great fame,
Have understandably gone Pariah,
Listening, watching, saying things
As they like it, even if others don’t.
Yesterday, they peed on the walls of ashram,
Why would anyone care anyway now,
Now, that Gandhi is dead,
Even if they don’t admit it.
The road back home is well known
Unlike the one ahead of me
The horizons are familiar
Contrasting the ones yet to see
The road back home greets me with smile
Every time I step onto it
Much to the dismay of the darkness ahead
The streets are always well lit
The road back home is full of scars
But my valor is what they showcase
The infidelity of the future succumbs
To the exhibition of these medals I possess
The road back home gives me nerve
To look into the eyes of the unknown
To walk past the fires and the bergs of ice
Which my path shall be prone
The road back home defines the legacy I shall leave
A record the moment of end shall see
When my soul shall decide to forsake my being
I shall sleep with pride glory and glee…
Days are easy, full of sun and men and so,
I wave at them often and they revert with a smile
Nights are different, sans light sans shadows, not even mine
Stars too far from my casement.
Every night, I stare a blank sky,
dark, desolate, carrying an old moon with rashes
My heart no different.
In my balcony I stand, facing the winds who talk
Trying to hear them whisper
For they often talk about me
They bring the memories from my glorious past
One of these nights, I will bribe them to take me back
The winds pass too soon, in a moment or two
Leaving me with my barren present soaked in my own salt
Stars still don’t show up, they don’t come my way too often.
Words have taken a sabbatical lately,
My pen pining for them
I often try to read off the old scribbles
Scratches on my glasses don’t help though
The creases in the bed, I leave them untouched
They remind me of wrinkles on my face
I live in a mess, things hurled haphazardly inside
But I keep my balcony decorated
Passersby seldom care for what is inside
They judge what they can see, the balcony.
I stand there, hiding my present behind a hideous beard n broken glass,
Showing them a smile, borrowed from my past
They can never tell!
Down the lane of thunderland
Is a little portal that opens inwards
Even in the dark gloomy hours
Life blossoms Behind the closed doors
there lives an old shabby cobbler
They have seen him mending shoes
They have seen him tore and tight
But never did they see him sans a smile
There also lives an old lady, his wife probably
Sewing clothes all day all night long
She has not seen the world out a lot
But she speaks truth, wisdom whenever she does
They call them a happy couple
Happy sans pennies sans children sans much adieu
But do they lie?
Every day I pass by
I see a gallery passing all along the roads I walk
No matter where I go and where I reach
It is there all through my custom
Countless doors sans glass sans wood
I see people always walking out of its portal and people going in
Today when I passed beside that gallery
A decision was made in instant mood to pay homage to the artifacts held up by the place
I searched for a gatekeeper or a ticket checker at least
But instead I found someone whose mere presence shocked me
I found myself framed in there as if a mirror was placed opposite to my being
My face was a moon of winters and my eyes ashen like just to say the least
The people saw that work of art and I was one of them
I was there as if I never existed
Unnoticed unheard unseen they saw what I say was a mirror again with glass nowhere nearby
There were people all around caged in their own mirrors or as I say
Drowning in the sea of sorrow screaming for more pain
Standing there we were all admiring what we saw
We all seemed confused and we all felt embarrassed at our own state
Eyes glued to our humiliation and smile glued to our lips
As if trapped in unseen cobwebs we screamed chastised by the pain
We tried to run only to find cliffs ahead
We drowned in our own salt
The wounds we had were treated with the salt we produced
Still that smile was there
It seemed unreal, unfamiliar with the way to escape this unknown adversary
I wanted to escape, my teeth bathing in the salt flowing from the ever flowing waterfalls.
The taste was bad now also grinding the recipe with my crimson blood
Seeing no other path to tread I closed my eyes with all I had
Last I remember was when I was back to my customary walk
Sans the crimson marks sans the salt dried down my cheeks sans that smile…
Standing by one noisy Monday traffic
He goes easily unnoticed chewing on his paan
Waiting for a bus to stop, a horn to blow
Scuffed shoes exhibit his passion for these paths
Experience peeks through his thinning hair
These roads are oh so well known
Sun looks down at him with all his pitiful light
The paled white shirt definitely deserves a hard wash
As he slowly drags himself out of yet another building
Denials don’t hassle him anymore
He casually hurls his credentials back into his worn out satchel
The twilight quietly sees him home
Ma looks jovial as ever
Over the years, she has mastered mending her face as soon as he appears
Her smile is his only escape, and she knows
A bedridden father groans feebly, for he wins no bread anymore
And by the way, who weds the sister of a loafer?
If only he could escape his mortification, even that is just a wishful notion
Nuptials were sung in neighborhood last night
Someone must have raised his case too
For, Ma did return abruptly
They say a man never cries, but they must not have known him
For his pillows are often wet, eyes frequently crimson
He does wear a disguising smile nonetheless
He often stares through the stars from his casement
Wondering if education was his sin
For his qualifications don’t allow him to carry bricks
The night passes in slumber, changing sides
Wishing if he could succumb silently in bed
After hours of tumult, sleep finds him somehow
The Sun wakes again, as he carefully leaves the alarm clock dozing
He shaves, shines his shoes, wears his best
Fates don’t shine with dates, do they?
Tuesday traffic is as noisy as it was on Monday
He stands by, unnoticed, chewing on his paan, waiting
For a bus to stop, a horn to blow
A bus might take him away and never bring back
He won’t be missed though, not for a day
Another chap shall take his place, with millions in the offing.
india suffers from the issue of educated unemployment and underemployment more than any other place.
I hope someone connects.
(copyright Anurag Chaudhary 2014)
Eyes opened when it was still dark,
the night was whining making herself stark.
the moon was shining high, blowing winds in retard,
sun trapped between two hills in his backyard.
confusion persisted whether dawn followed or dusk preceded
somehow night and day felt succeeded.
in his own little yurt he felt uneasy,
the same old part of the globe once made him cosy.
the world had changed,
adaptation was far fetched.
a sudden cold wave had replaced the warm tropical breeze
somehow life around him had deceased.
where were the people who once resided the city?
the foul dead soil was feeling pity.
the scene was disturbing,
as if he was the left trash after a disaster curbing
his mind was all but numb,
no wonder he had throat choked of lump
somehow the calamity, the unknown and the nature had mated
in his own world, he was left alone, alienated…
I beg your say apprehending appreciation
I have decreed to stay in hibernation
Not much shall be heard from me
Let silence be my semblance, complaint be a far-off enemy
For I have spoken way too much than the power I command
Let my words flow only when time demands
I have to offer a lot more to the world
So many stories left to be told
Stories about life, about death
Lore of love, tales of faith
Let my eyes be the casements to selfdom
Let me face my ego, let me gain my freedom
For long I have belied my truth
For long I have lived in Ruth
The questions within scream for empathy
For long I have given them nothing but apathy
No more shall I lie to my sinking soul
For long I tried to sneak in discordant roles
Let me observe, comprehend my existence
Let me bathe in light for once
For a while, let me sleep in the lap of serenity
For a while, let me fall back in ambiguity
For once let the answers flow by
Whatever they might be, good bad or wry
Let me face the elephant in the room
Let me visit my dreadful doom
Let me vanish from your eyes for a while
I promise to the realm I shall return my servile
Someday you might find my body deceased
My name forgotten, my legacy ceased
I shall be present as an essence of friendship, suave
Smiling at abodes of compassion, places of love…
During those melancholy midnights when slumber sleeps far away
His concrete walkway bed seems an enemy as the night quietly passes
His eyes wide open, brimmed with dreams undaunted by the forces of reality
Reality that embraces his fragile frame with all the compassion and warmth,
While other kids of his age are treated with the tales of moon every night,
He is often seen befriending the neighbors of the lunar god who reside beyond the dark.
Stars like him back too, he is different, they often discuss,
Unlike others, he never tries to count them or find them when they are lost
He simply goes to them when he is lonely and his dreams are dwindling
He goes to them to seek their light and company
Unlike others, he is not finicky in his choice nor is he clichéd
He talks to them all, whoever is available,
Even to those who were left alone when galaxies were to be formed
And them, the miserable ones, who couldn’t fit in any constellation
They like him, o yes they do,
They like him for his dreams might be surreal
But he plans them oh so well in his little mind
Now, he knows a few dirty starry secrets too
For one, those tiny pin-ups aren’t quite fond of the moon
The self proclaimed wannabe lunar god who is smaller than the smallest of them
He has also unlocked a few myths with their help,
For one, not all of them belong to the Milky Way
That there is no such grandma with a spinner or a boy named frost on the moon
Stars have shared all they know but he must stay hush
For only then, his dreams can come true
They show him their scripts, as testimony to their vows
For they say about his destiny, it’s written in the stars.
We all have songs we sing in various moods. Every couple finds solace in humming something. Well, “Mr. Gentleman” is a song, which this couple likes to hum. Its their song. What are the lyrics? Doesn’t matter. Just sing along them!
Whenever she is sad
She pretends to be mad
When a smile hides away from her face
And I have none of its trace
When I have no backup plan
I sing… Mr. Gentleman…
When the garden isn’t neat
She has work and no time to beat
When she tends to be too busy
Life sounds a bit uneasy
I, the broom, the trash can
We all sing together…Mr. Gentleman
When we are in the market
The grocer is the target
She saves a penny or two
After lots of hula-hoo
She does a good bargain
I hear her hum in her breath…Mr. Gentleman
When the guests spoil the party
I tend to be too hearty
Her mind boggles out
She wants to have a shout
I take a spoon and hit a pan
and whisper in her ears… Mr. Gentleman
When my little guy’s grades mirror my past
The poor lad with folded hands taking all the blast
His petite teary eyes making me chastised
The wrath of Math making my dinner jeopardized
We both say sorry like a man
and mutter quietly… Mr. Gentleman
In the backyard every eve
When the day silently takes the leave
We are alone sitting together
her hand on my cheek, like a peacock’s feather
Unknowingly yet wishfully everything happens again
it was about us the song, it still is, Mr. Gentleman.
One pale winter morrow,
A man was trying to sleep draping all his quilts
Oh it was so cold and sun was so lukewarm
The unsuccessful poor man was out of all his wits.
Did I say the mattress had its share of holes?
Did I say the quilts were torn?
Did I say his wife had died last night?
Leaving him dry and alone to mourn…
Through the big parts apart of the grass roof
The sun would throw his rays on his lids
His hut was in the marketplace to make the things worse
The same marketplace where lived a widow with her five crying kids…
I wish he could have slept sound that morrow
But his only sweater was his skin
Yeah the poor old sweater of his gave way to things to come
Sun shone bright over his dead body pale, lean and thin…
It sometimes happen as such,
that people don’t care for you much
Enraged, thrilled, you roll up your fists
Decided, to have a fighting feast
A slugfest is all you can think of
Looking for a proper payoff
Your mind rumbles
Your lips mumble
Your eyes show crimson in them
An eye for an eye is the fairest game
But behold! Just wait for a moment
Before you do so, let me put my 2 cents
Look into the eyes of the mirror
And beware! A monster hides there
You may faint out
Or run away with a shout
Don’t want to see him?
Then sneak out like the little Jim
Why keep grudges?
Life runs fine without crutches
Take a deep breath in and breathe out some
Keep a bit of mum
Why make a row?
Better, just let it go!
With eyes closed in the crowd, his mind bustling
Feet around him, hundreds of them, all hustling
Silent as if he was not there, swerving the crowd
Like a moon on a new moon night feeling grumpy, feeling proud.
He was too good too long in his talent
His experience covering up his effort even when it was most blatant.
One fine night, someone caught up his theft
Stunned he was, his mouth gaped.
He asked the genius, how he did that,
The answer was silence, and a little pat…
Personal note to readers: This is a sarcastic work. WIth the recent massacre in Paris, which has followed several other equally antihumanity activities in all parts of the World. Palpably, these people, whether, ISIL, TALIBAN, LASHKAR etcetera don’t belong to any religion race or nation. They don’t qualify as human beings.
There is a disney-song like touch to it. If you get it you may be able to hum it along.
He comes out of a crowded cab covered in dust and sweat,
The day full of exhaustion shows in his slumbering tired eyes,
Carrying his briefcase in one hand, settling the glasses with other,
Shades of his father are prominent.
Crawling little lad of his, screeching “Papa” reminds him of himself,
His wife’s disgust on him coming late is not new either,
The mirror reminds him of the damage his buccal has gone through due to tobacco,
A tummy has quietly protruded its way outwards
Shades of his father are prominent.
As the springs have gone by, he now likes to keep his manhood close to his lips.
He never did when he was a college chicken
He doesn’t believe in painting his ageing head black
Every day, he stares through the portrait of a man, who looked so similar,
Shades of his father are prominent.
The responsibilities have brought his shoulders down
But he never complains, his father never did,
He has learnt to smile through pains and perils
He breathes a sigh of relief when someone points,
Shades of his father are prominent.
Personal note: This I wrote on my 18th birthday. It has been four years and this is certainly not my best work, rather, at times it sounds childish. But it still is a sweet reminder of that morning and very special! Enjoy!
Years to come will have some stranger looking days
A past behind, a future looking at our face
Things which were said will be memories
And words between the lines will make us feel sorry
A few matters of facts will be grave to digest
Solutions to troubles tough to suggest
Years to come will see more regrets
Some coming to ages some revealed secrets
There shall be a sense of reprisal
An awkward wait for an unknown arrival
Yokes will make our vision blurred of personal truths
For the tears to cleanse our eyes reminding of the lost Ruth
Years to come will see us graying our heads
Experienced enough of life’s thousand shades
Our eyes will have a pair of lenses on them
Covering the past from future like a fabric’s hem
Standing in the crowd, life will still be alone
Loving others but no love to own
Years to come will have imprints of years gone by
Of each truth said and of every single lie
Among the changes piling up
There will be a constant I will safely keep
My heart will always beat for you
No matter what you did or what you’ll do…
Thought Catalog is a digital youth culture magazine dedicated to your stories and ideas.
Never get lost in the Sauce
Today is the oldest you've ever been and the youngest you’ll ever be again! So keep smiling and have fun!