A Bonfire

it is a bonfire out there;

no one was invited

but they are coming anyway,

bringing their own fuels for the fire;

I see a lyric in ashes,

a dour sonnet suspended

in the forbidding smoke,

and a rhyme going up

in the tiniest of flames,

only to leave charred sadness behind.

together we look up

at the soot-covered sky,

our fires and fates entwined.

©Aaysid

“Isn’t everyone a part of everyone else?”
Budd Schulberg

Photo by Adonyi Gábor from Pexels

Who, Me?

I.

Asking me for directions

Is like asking someone

With chapped skin (also me)

About the trending moisturisers;

How lost can you afford to get?

II.

I trip over the thought

Of tripping over

And begin limping

To trip over something

A little less

Abstract than that;

“Let’s take a trip,” you say?

©Aaysid

Seeking Oblivion

I.

some people try

to make good use

of magic

by choosing moths

over butterflies.

II.

I stick my tongue out,

and roll my eyes

in a nod to the riot inside,

and pretend to enjoy

a quiet life;

not a word, not a fight!

©Aaysid

“When life gives you lemons, squirt someone in the eye.”
 Cathy Guiswite

Photo by Elle Hughes from Pexels

Existing

If you take yourself

Off the shelf

With the price tag

Neither chipped nor torn,

And the expiration date

Still on, not gone,

Is this how

You break the norm,

Is this enough

To justify being born?

©Aaysid

“The stars up there at night are closer than you think.”
Doug Dillon

Unhinged

Three short poems on being borderline unhinged:

I.

What we cannot write

Begins to write us instead,

And seldom does

A good job of it-

We sound even crazier

On paper!

II.

I respond to every rhetorical question,

And do not understand any metaphors,

I ignore the signs from the universe,

And getting jinxed is my favourite obsession.

III.

There are no secrets

Between us,

There is nothing

To hide anyway;

We are

An open book

With pages falling out.

©Aaysid

People think that I must be a very strange person. This is not correct. I have the heart of a small boy. It is in a glass jar on my desk…”

Stephen King

Image by Barbara A Lane from Pixabay

Purple Rain

the rain that falls on you

colours you purple,

serves its purpose,

and draws to a close,

symbolising what every

grey thought in your head

ends up doing to you —

it colours you wrong

and then leaves.

©Aaysid

Daydreaming

As you set

The oven timer

For a loaf of bread,

You have enough

Time on your

Hands to think ahead…

One of these

Days you shall

Be free without any dread,

You will not

Have to reason

With the voice in your head,

And you shall

Not have pasta

For breakfast in bed,

You shall be

In your element

More neon, less lead,

There will be

A lot more

Heard and a lot less said;

Don’t wait for

It to happen,

Happen to it instead…

Is that the

Oven timer beeping,

Have you burnt another bread?

©Aaysid

“Maybe the truth is, there’s a little bit of loser in all of us.”

Ann Brashares

Image by Prabath Gunasekara from Pixabay

Blackout Poetry-I

I love trying my hand at blackout poetry (also known as erasure poetry)! When I am reading in bed after a long day, and have trouble focusing, certain words on the page pop-up. I used to think it was weird before, but ever since I found out about this form of poetry, I have been underlining the words in my books to later turn them into poems. It is fun!

something shrill

woke up everything

in my memory-

darkness full of fumes

hovering over me,

seeking an outlet

utterly remote.

©Aaysid

Newfound Anger

It is all new

and disturbing-

there is a raging fire

inside my head,

and it feels as if

the quiet electricity

has joined forces

with a thunderstorm

that has somehow arrived

at the predicted time.

This feeling has a name,

they say, but I

do not want to call

it that, it feels

so much more than that,

and I am shaking;

terrified of being

at the mercy of it,

scared that it might

never leave my head.

How can life work

for someone

perpetually vexed,

when the entire world

is a trigger, and you

are already full

to the brim?

How can the world

be kind to

a furious woman

after driving her

to the brink?

©Aaysid

“Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.”
Maya Angelou

Image by Here and now, unfortunately, ends my journey on Pixabay from Pixabay

Real World

I have seen the world

On my television screen,

And I know a thing or two

About what is actually real

And what is only a ruse;

Pretty and ugly pictures

Are one side of the truth,

The rest of it is in outlines

And you don’t get to choose

Neither the palette nor the hues!

©Aaysid

Image by Bob Bello from Pixabay

Getting Mail

I receive another

Letter from myself,

But once again,

This is not

The right time!

I have a lot

On my plate,

And a lot

On my mind.

I write back

Of course;

I am not unkind;

I do it every time!

©Aaysid

Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay

“Where to look if you’ve lost your mind?”
Bernard Malamud

The Bookish Joy

You ask sceptically,

“Are you glad to see me?”

Taken aback by your inability

To recognise visible glee,

I tell you in a way

That I know makes

The most sense to you and me,

“I am as happy as I get

When I see a bookstall

In the middle of nowhere

With a sign that says “Free“!”

©Aaysid

“The odd thing about people who had many books was how they always wanted more.”
Patricia A. McKillip, The Bell at Sealey Head

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Adherent

If I could be anything,

I would like to be

A piece of paper

At the mercy of wind,

Not staying anywhere

For too long,

For I am tired

Of being a tape-person,

Sticking to places

For way too long,

And not leaving until

I am yellow

And often not leaving

In spite of it.

©Aaysid

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Loved

I.

To be out of love

With love itself,

May become

An act of love,

If you can love

What can’t be loved

Just to save

Your love for love,

And to fall back

In love with love.

II.

The ones who smile

With misty eyes

Have so much

Love inside;

It spills out of

What they say,

And what they

Choose to hide.

©Aaysid

Image from Pixabay

“We love the things we love for what they are.”
Robert Frost

Letting Go

It had begun

Six twirls ago;

Stop mid spin

To take it slow,

Make another turn,

And let it go!

There are no stars

In a failing show;

A phosphoric life

That does not glow,

It may liquidise,

But shall not flow-

A few things that

We finally know.

©Aaysid

Image by andresilva5 from Pixabay

“Time doesn’t heal emotional pain, you need to learn how to let go.”

Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Getting There

You may not be going anywhere,

but still some things are in motion,

and it looks insane to live

with a terrible, crippling nausea

which only subsides when the medicine

hits your cubital vein.

You talk the talk making ripples

in these placid waters

that on the surface remain,

and your heart looks like a wildflower-

it wilts in autumn, hides in winter,

and blooms only when it rains.

There has to be a cure for

such madness somewhere

for not a thing here lasts forever,

not even the chronic pain.

©Aaysid

“Forever has no meaning when you’re living in the moment. I wasn’t ready for that moment to end.”
Ellen Hopkins

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Her Beautiful Mind

It is difficult to separate someone’s personal tragedy from their art. You cannot be oblivious to the darkness that peeks out from their masterpieces, especially if they were not even trying to conceal it in the first place. I remember struggling with The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath a few years ago. I had read it for my virtual book club, but I couldn’t bring myself to show up (virtually) for its discussion. Simply put, it had left me feeling wretched! The book had such a melancholic tone throughout, with no hope of anything getting any better. All I could do was empathise with the protagonist as she kept going deeper into throes of depression, but I also could not help but get frustrated by things getting bleaker with every turn of the page. I have a habit of reading books more than once, but I have not been able to pick up The Bell Jar again. No matter how much I want to.

A few days ago, I discovered a Sylvia Plath’s poem that made me want to read more. The poem is called Daddy and is quite famous, but somehow, I had never heard of it before, even though I was familiar with some of her poems. I discovered her collection of poems titled, Ariel, and immediately purchased it from the bookstore. Her poetry is as melancholic as her prose, maybe even more so, but boy, is it exquisite!

Her words are a cry for help and a reckoning at the same time. You feel her pain and despair but get taken aback by how observant she was of everything around her! She has written about everyday little things of life, vices of the society, and feminism with such shocking clarity that it makes you realise how deeply she had felt everything she wrote about, and how insightful she was! In every poem of hers in this collection, the flow is effortless, words are spellbinding, and in spite of palpable despair and a lingering feeling of impending doom, there is ethereal beauty. My favourite poems from the book are Ariel, Lay Lazarus, Daddy, Tulips, A Birthday Present, Getting There, Kindness and Edge. I am sharing excerpts from Lady Lazarus and Tulips.

I.

The second time I meant

To last it out and not come back at all.

I rocked shut

As a seashell.

They had to call and call

And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls.

Dying

Is an art, like everything else.

I do it exceptionally well.

II.

Nobody watched me before, now I am watched.

The tulips turn to me, and the window behind me

Where once a day the light slowly widens and slowly thins,

And I see myself, flat, ridiculous, a cut-paper shadow

Between the eye of the sun and the eyes of the tulips,

And I have no face, I have wanted to efface myself.

The vivid tulips eat my oxygen.

(Excerpts from the collection of poems, Ariel by Sylvia Plath)

If you find The Bell Jar gut-wrenching, this collection can completely crush you, but it is worth it. You get a chance to see the world through her eyes while you, along with her, try to make peace with the tragedy of it all. You cannot.

Image by Patou Ricard from Pixabay

Out of Control

There’s always someone

At the door,

But not the one

You’ve been waiting for,

And it feels weird

To bring an empty cart

Out of a shopping mart,

And have nothing

On your list checked off,

And to drive around

All night on a weekend

With a stomach

Running on nothing

But pure wanderlust;

Sometimes life has to

Happen the way it does

To keep the illusion

Of control alive.

©Aaysid

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

Real Games

Hops out.

Breaks a window.

Loses a life.

Starts over.

Lies low.

An error.

Loses a life.

Restarts.

Boss level.

Wrong weapon.

Loses a life.

Fights back.

Last life.

Saves progress.

Mistimes.

Game over!

©Aaysid

“There are no winners in real games.”
Dejan Stojanovic, The Sun Watches the Sun

The Victorious You

When life decides to make

A few unexpected turns

To avoid being swept along

An everyday landslide,

You should think of it

As nothing but a fair trade,

For not all these wars

Inside your tumultuous head

Are supposed to end in truces;

You should march out of time

In your own victory parade!

©Aaysid

Image by Angeles Balaguer from Pixabay

A Thought Spiral

I do not want to fall

For anything not worth

Falling for, and I do not

Want to be on the top

Of the world if peace

Is where the roots are;

It may be my call to feel

The things I feel, and things

I have never felt,

For I do not want much

Out of life, but I still

Want the life to want me,

And I may have found

Some answers, but there

Has been a question left;

“If I keep living where

It never snows, how am I

Supposed to melt?”

©Aaysid

“You can’t reason with your heart; it has its own laws and thumps about things which the intellect scorns.”

Mark Twain

Image by jplenio from Pixabay

Solitary

A few short poems toying with the idea of uncomfortable solitude:

I.

If being like you

Wasn’t a norm,

I, too, would

Get quiet

After raising

A storm.

II.

They laugh at us,

And we laugh

It off,

And there is

Nothing less funnier

Than this.

III.

She needs applause

To live,

And it does not matter

If she

Is the only one clapping.

IV.

He collects another smile;

The photographer in him

Has an eye for such things,

But the person in him knows

That he has not captured

Any real ones in a while.

©Aaysid

Image by claudia martinez from Pixabay

Off to a Wrong Start

The first (in)sane thought

that takes form in my head

when I am half-awake

in the morning,

and smear jam

on the burnt bread,

is that of it being the night,

and I being back in my bed-

comfy, stretched-out,

tranquil and overfed,

and dreaming about the things

from the book

that I would have read,

before slipping out,

leaving all my worries

for the dead…

My productivity for such days

always hangs by a thread.

©Aaysid

Photo by Dương Nhân from Pexels

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