clichés.

It is a fresh sunny day. You are strolling on this narrow street beside a park, listening to children giggling, riding high on their summer spirits.
The grass is tender. It is like a newborn baby that just made its way out of its mother’s womb; too scared to face the world, but too pure to feel the fear.
It is the peak of June. You are at the noon of your life, and if you were to paint this scene on a vacant white canvas, you would call your painting nothing but ‘Nostalgia’.

I am a poet, and I have been writing for as long as I can remember. Through my rendezvous with the tunes of Mozart and the legends of Shakespeare, I have found art, but not so much so as I have found ‘homes’.

Homes of all kinds and virtues. Some were simple; naked bricks on the outside and stained whites in their hearts. Others, though, were grand; they poured charm with their stature only to lure people into the shenanigans of their discomfort.

Regardless of what I say, these were ‘homes’. More so, these were the voids that were ‘once homes’. They were the clichés which we often find scattered like loose glitter; metaphors that decorate our poems.
Their residents left them to mother sentiments in the due course of history; what happened was just that!

Humans, of all things, have always been fascinated by clichés.
Why?
Because clichés make us feel safe. They take us back to a world that was once our concrete paradise a few heartaches ago.

People often denounce poetry to sing lore for the clichés; they call out poets to be lazy and frugal.
But there’s a lot that the world fails to understand about poetry.
There is no poem half as beautiful as the one woven by our memories. There is no metaphor half as endearing as nostalgia.
Clichés don’t need a poet’s pen to flow through a poem; they are exquisite poems all by themselves.

Cages…

Our history has known cages;
Of all kinds and characters.
The one with bars of gold
And the others with floors of dirt.
The ones which held the innocent
And the others which freed the ghouls.

But not very often,
When you walk through the pages
Of your own history,
You land up
Imprisoned.

Imprisoned behind the walls of
Some doomed silvered glasses.
Imprisoned to a cage of mirrors.
Imprisoned to yourself.

Up until this moment,
The clock hands never echoed louder.
Up until this moment,
The questions never sent shivers down your spine.

The clock now,
Is running on a timeless retreat.
The questions now,
Come for YOU,
From yourself.

Who are you?
Why are you?
Where are you?

You run to the mirrors,
Banging at each one of them,
Hoping to
Either knock the glass out
Or make your hand bleed the answers.

None happens.
Nothing shatters.
Nothing bleeds.
All fall silent.

Then,
You begin
To hear
Clearer than ever.

You begin to hear your soul hum,
As faint as a whisper,
But as clear as a woman weeping
On a dark moonless night.

Your soul hums to you,
How
You
Are a handful of Earth;
Fertile, magical,
Yet forgotten.

You
Are a waterfall;
You fall down
The damp rotten roof
Of an old cave
Standing right in the middle of an enchanted forest.

You
Are a gentle breeze,
Flowing through an Orphan’s hair
On nights when he misses having a Mother.

You
Are a ball of fire
Burning inside an old lantern
Lighting up someone’s dark world.

You
Are the limit of the skies;
Unknown!

You are a poem
With all the five elements
Entwined in your heart.

So,
When next time
The world asks you
To introduce yourself
Tell them;
“I am life”

pause.

Your song

is a
choir of
rushed strokes
of black
hollow
paint
on a
white
anxious
canvas
dangling free.
Free.
From a
lone nail
on a
brick wall
standing old
behind
the house
of your
dreams.

You bury
the dead
behind it.
They rise
up
as
demons
on starry nights
and
throw
an embrace
around your
weary
tense
bruised
neck.

You love them.
They love you.
They love you
for giving them
a paradise
to stay at.

Your heart
was once
heaven
to the lost.
Now,
it’s home to them.
‘Cause
the lost
never knew
a comfort
half as dark
as your
darkness.

Your darkness
is
their refuge.
Away.
Away from
the light and luster.

‘Cause
the lost
got lost
in their quest
away
from the light.
And,
that light
chased them back
every morning
until
they found
your heart.

Now,
they won’t
leave.

And you,
you will
have to
make peace
with these
new demons of yours.

Will you?
If you,
then
you too,
go lost.

Would you
like that?
If not…
then,

pause.

Dear ‘home’

We live in a lost world.
We are wanderers, miserable vagabonds!
We feed on anger and breathe out fires, then cry at the sight of burnt cities and homeless hearts.
We gulp tears and our eyes bleed, then we frown at the sight of spilled gore.
We smoke ashes, bathe in swamps, wear mere shreds of envy and then flaunt our prides.
Such is our foolery.
And, in a world as lost as ours, we dream of love and preach its beauty.
Sing it to glory.
I believe; hiding behind our quest for bliss, we are at strife for a ‘home’.
Enraged by our solitude and grieving our nostalgia…we are demons!
We are demons, hiding behind a charming bouquet of scented paper roses.
We hawk those flowers and break inside the deserted hearts of our patrons, vowing to fill their void with nectar and honey.
But….
We are hungry bandits!
We rob them off their peace and leave them to suffer in the torment of heartbreak.
Dear ‘home’,
I know; I know that you are lost in this pack of howling misers and you fear the day when you will have to wake up… to the nightmare of a shattered heart and an empty soul.
I know; I know that you want to find your ‘home’, as much as I want to find you.
But… what assures you, that our greed won’t take over and we won’t abandon each other, as soon as we catch our breathes and the sores on our feet stop oozing blood?
What assures you, that our ‘forever’ won’t be just another voice in the piercing cacophony of lies and that our ‘happy ending’ will not abide to the taunting title of ‘crippled rainbows and fantasies’?
Dear ‘home’,
Don’t you fret the horror… It may be lying at the end of our quests?
Isn’t ‘homelessness’ a bliss, when the walls of your abode chase the daylight out of your life?
With love,
From the ‘home’ that you may never find.

Abyss

Have you ever stared down the demonic depths of a dingy abyss?

Or

Have you ever felt that sudden urge to resign…when those dark eyes of lucid heights call you?

If not… then allow my words,
To take you,
Through the tranquilizing horror,
And the anxiety-ridden silence,
Of that moment.

That moment when life knocks you down,
You hit your head on the cold and rough floor;
The world goes dead;
Your feet go numb;
Your eyes meet the dark;
And your ears…
Your ears embody those maniacs,
Who talk to the hushed nights
And claim to have learnt the secrets of life.
Those maniacs might be poets!!

Anyhow…

That moment, my friend…
Can be the death of your soul.
That moment, my friend…
Can bequeath you with scars…so deep;

So deep…
That an artist won’t shy away before carving them onto a stone and shouting out loud,

“Has the world ever seen a carve so abstract?”

You… my friend,
Will be standing in that crowd of mute spectators,
About to raise your hand to claim that,

“This is the relic to my crippling agony!”

But…
Those words will never leave your lips;
Your teeth will bite your tongue before it sins to let them out!

Why?

Because…
When you take your pain and pour it onto those words;
When those words escape your mouth and reach some ears;
Then… your pain comes to life;

It becomes your “Forever”!

Dawn

The night smothered you,
With the smoke that rose above,
The burnt remains
Of your tender heart.

Now…
Now, your lungs ache,
Your guts lie,
Tied in knots,
Churning,
Wringing your life out of you.

Coiled like a foetus,
Drenched in tears,
Is that you?
Who carved these scars
Deep… in the tenders of your skin.
Is that a memoir
To your unworthy sin?

Pulling your hair,
Clenching your jaw,
Is that you?
Who strangled that beauty,
Over the rotting remains,
Of the fantasy of a paradise?

I know…
I know my friend,
You’ve waited for the dawn…
Like the staunch nightingale,
Waits for the last of the amber,
To fade away.

Don’t you fall prey,
To your bouts of fear!
Don’t you dare concede,
To the taunts,
Blurted by the deadly demons,
Of your crippling anxiety…!

For…
The dawn mustn’t shine
On your grave….

Ghosts…

“Do you believe in ghosts?”

Yeah…

They live in my closet,

And yours too,

Don’t they?

 

There are nights, when I wake up,

Lying in this pool of sweat,

Or… is that blood?

I never chose to know…

 

Those eerie nights, I hear then growl,

Or… is that, their kind of a scream?

I never chose to know..

 

They must stare at me, from the creek and crevice,

Of the worn wood,

To know that, I am trembling with fear,

To know that, they need to howl,

Sing those tears.

 

There are days when I hear them knock,

Knock on my mind,

Knock me, off my ground,

In a ditch of worms,

Eating me up.

 

Perhaps… they’ve been dead since the dawn of the last summer,

But they are waiting for me,

To bury them,

… And, what am I waiting for?

The night of the next winter?

 

They are dead, yet alive enough,

To have an appetite,

To fantasise a feast,

the want… to feed on my soul.

 

They are dead, yet alive enough,

To be ridiculed for their deeds,

To be cursed for the gore,

Yet… to be called a part of my heart,

The corpse of a dead Ghoul.

Lifeless….

I was lying there. Still. Lifeless. Numb….yet breathing.

With a body, curled up…. curled up like a fetus, waiting for light to dawn upon her untouched body.

But….with a body, cold…. cold as a dead and stale corpse, waiting for the ferocious hungry beasts to take away what death left behind.

With eyes, wide and open…. wide and open as they tried to make sense of the warm whispers in my ear, prophesying a life longer than I would want.

With a brow, frowned…. frowned to greet the thought of filling my lungs with the poisoned air…. poisoned with crippling regrets.

I was tired. Exhausted.

My eyelids felt heavy, like they weighed pounds. So, I allowed them to fall and shut the world away…. for…. I wanted to explore my world, the realm within.

But alas, torment doomed over my joy.

I found myself standing in a cage of glass, a cage that I built for myself over these years of agony….

Within no time, I was out of breath.

I was helpless, running my hands over the four glass walls.

I would have cried for help…. but the dark is cursed to be deaf.

I would have broken the glass…. but I crafted it to be unparalleled.

My lungs ached, I was choking….my body lost its power and my heart lost its hope. I surrendered to the fate that I chose for myself.

I was lying there. Still. Lifeless. Numb….yet breathing…. for…. I learnt to breathe in, on my emptiness.