Scent

I walked into the perfumery today.
Oh, the sweet smells!
I felt like I was surrounded by
A whole garden of roses, and daffodils, and orchids
Walking on the wet green grass beside a lake.
And out of all of these, one scent stood out.
I wish I could bottle it up and send it to you,
Because you were the first thing I thought of.

Do you think something can smell like a color?
I could smell the color yellow.
Do you know how that feels?
Like Sunshine, and sunflowers.
Like going to bed after a long, dreary day,
And waking up to spring,
The sun shining through the blinds.
Playful.

Do you think something can smell like a memory?
I could smell our car rides.
When we would cross our fingers
And hope for as many red lights as we could get
So we could sit together for just a few more minutes
Time never did stop for us,
So we made the most of it we could.
Happy.

I wish my words were enough to describe it,
To describe what world it took me to.
I can’t bottle up the scent
And send it across the world.
But I’ll keep it with me in hope
That one day, if you do,
It makes you think of me too.

[NaPoWriMo’21 Day 5] Confessions

Okay, so here’s a confession.

Amidst all the days that I pick myself up
And go about life with a jump in my step
Soaking up the sun
Getting drenched in the rain
Cuddling with my dog
And driving around, purposeless
There are days when my feet refuse to move
When my mind refuses to work
And my ears tune out everyone and everything
When I sit in bed crying, and even I don’t know why
Days when I just don’t feel…enough.
Not strong enough.
Not pretty enough.
Not smart enough.
Not enough.

My body feels heavy
Like a rock, just wanting to be left alone
My eyes feel like a sea, never dry
And my brain doesn’t want to listen to anyone
If you’ve seen me on those days
Please know that I’m sorry
I don’t mean to shout at you
I don’t want to hurt you
But my heart is in so much pain
That it can’t fathom anyone else’s

I can’t find the words on those days
To tell you that I’m hurting
So I stay silent
I say nothing, and I cry, endlessly
And I know it hurts you to see me like that
I know you care, I do
But at that moment, I’m too busy
Caring about myself

All the pain comes pouring out of me
All the pain of the past
Which I have no control over now
Mistakes I’ve made
Ways I’ve been wronged

The pain of the inappropriate touches
When I was too young to know what it meant
Too little to fight
The pain of hurting someone I loved so deeply
The pain of being hurt in return
Because what goes around, comes around, they say

The pain of disappointing the people I love
Maybe I didn’t make enough if my life yet
The pain of everything going wrong
Always.

But I’ve had these days for a while now
And I know they always pass
All I need is a little time
To feel. To grieve.
Close my eyes and wait
Because tomorrow, is a new day.

[NaPoWriMo’21 – Day 2] Chai

The cup feels warm as I touch it.
Even with my low threshold of heat,
Occassionally I don’t mind burning my tongue
On a perfect cup of hot chai.

My relationship with tea has been on and off
Throughout my life, after I was old enough
To be allowed a sip
It’s often been overshadowed by coffee
As my preferred beverage
But then come days,
When I wake up in the morning
With no muscle in my body wanting to move
The days when I’m sick
Or fighting off one of those days when my head
Feels like it is ready to burst open at the tiniest sounds
On those days, my heart craves nothing more than
A perfect cup of hot chai

I don’t like the taste as much, no
It’s the feeling that comes along with it
When the faint smell of ginger wafts up
And reminds me of the rain
The days when I’d sit with you in the balcony
Sharing tea, made just the way you like it
And I’d make faces, because to me
It tasted like sugar syrup
But on those days, my heart also found comfort
In your company

It reminds me of long road trips
That we’d take
And stop on the side
In the shade, with the cool breeze
For the thele-wali-chai

It reminds me of the mandatory drink
Served with breakfast at home
Because my parents
Can have 10 cups of chai a day
And still want more

It reminds me of when
I was living with my friends
And we’d wait for our chai time
To catch up with each other
Talk about our day
About work, and everything in between

I don’t like the taste as much, no
It’s the memories it brings
Of happy days, tiring days
Days that bring a smile to my face

And so on the days
When my mind wants to give up
Cover my face with a blanket
And just stay in bed
My heart craves nothing more
Than a perfect cup of hot chai

***************************************************************************************

Prompt: Think of the food you crave when you’re sick, sad or somewhere in between.

What is it? Why do you crave it? What memories does it evoke?

Hurt [NaPoWriMo Day 1]

I find myself alone again,
And my heart is free to feel,
The pain and the hurt.
There are memories sometimes,
And on others, just thoughts,
Thoughts and tales that my mind spins,
Because I’m a dreamer,
And sometimes I dream of sorrow.
I can feel it course through me,
Like an unstoppable tide.
It engulfs me whole,
And I feel that the world,
Will never be okay again.
But I’ve been here before,
Broken.

Don’t tell me to be brave.
Don’t tell me I’m weak.
Say it’s okay to hurt,
And let my heart heal,
In my cocoon of pain,
Till I emerge,
Stronger.

NaPoWriMo Day 30: Agnipath – A Translation

Prompt: Because we’ve spent our month looking at poets in English translation, today I’d like you to try your hand at a translation of your own. If you know a foreign language, you could take a crack at translating a poem by a poet writing in that language.


For today’s prompt, I will be translating a very well known poem by a famous Hindi poet, Harivansh Rai Bachchan. Instead of a word-for-word translation, I’ve made a few changes. I hope you all like the poem 🙂

Agneepath

Translation

Even if trees surround you,
Gigantic and plentiful,
For the shade of even a single leaf,
Don’t hope, don’t beg, don’t ask.
Walk on the path of fire!

You will never tire,
You will never stop,
You will never turn back,
Take this oath, make this vow.
Walk on the path of fire!

It is indeed a spectacle,
To see the man who walks,
In tears, sweat and blood,
Covered, soaked and drenched.
And still treads the path of fire!

NaPoWriMo Day 29: I Remember

I remember the young girl
Gentle, trusting and kind

I remember taking leaps of faith
My heart and soul, still unscathed

I remember falling prey
To the vagaries of time

I remember the world
Destroying my very essence

And everything that made me
Wilting, slowly dying

I remember the burning flame
That defined my existence

Now, it stands doused
Into tiny spark of hope

I remember the world
Slowly turning darker

With each passing year I realized
Everything doesn’t shimmer and sparkle

And the darkness of the world
Slowly took hold of my soul

Engulfing me in the shadows
Lurking in every corner

But my darkened soul still holds on
To that tiny spark of hope


Prompt: Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem based on things you remember. Try to focus on specific details, and don’t worry about whether the memories are of important events, or are connected to each other. You could start by adopting Brainard’s uniform habit of starting every line with “I remember,” and then you could either cut out all the instances of “I remember,” or leave them all in, or leave just a few in. At any rate, hopefully you’ll wind up with a poem that is heavy on concrete detail, and which uses that detail as its connective tissue. Happy writing!

NaPoWriMo Day 26: Motherless

I open my eyes to my mother’s screams
Far away, I hear her crying, screeching
I’m just a baby, should I run to her?
She told me to stay, said I’d be safe
But why is she piercing the sky
With her agonizing wail?
Is she hurt, my mother?
Suddenly, she stops
Dreadful silence all around
I should wait for her to return
But slowly, scared, I tread out
‘Mom?’ I trumpet out
An eerie silence surrounds me
I see her bushy tail, lying on the ground
I found her! I found her!
Maybe she fell down
I run forward, relieved
I run my trunk, playfully over her back
Why won’t she get up?
Why is she so quiet?
I run around to lift her trunk in mine
A horrified scream scares me
My horrified scream scares me
All I see are two gaping holes
Where her magnificent tusks once were
And she lies there, cold and lifeless
A pool of blood beneath her
Then I see them, far away
Two creatures rejoicing
The beasts who walk on two legs
My mother warned me about them
I crouch in the bushes, terrified
And I run, and I run
To find the others
Knowing full well,
Now I’m all alone


Today’s poem, not following the prompt, was inspired from Jade’s poem, “It’s Our Earth Day Too“.

NaPoWriMo Day 25: Chasing Butterflies

Prompt: Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that begins with a line from a another poem (not necessarily the first one), but then goes elsewhere with it. This will work best if you just start with a line of poetry you remember, but without looking up the whole original poem. (Or, find a poem that you haven’t read before and then use a line that interests you).


Fluttering and dancing in the breeze,

Enticingly, glittering in the sun,

Flapping their vivid, beautiful wings,

Creating a world, colorful and bright.

All my sorrow fades away,

As I run around, chasing butterflies.

Strange, how my joy comes,

From what I inadvertently destroy.

Maybe, just maybe,

It’s not a bad world, after all.


I took the first line of my poem from Daffodilsby William Wordsworth.

NaPoWriMo Day 24: Halycon Days

She sits, recollects
The halycon days
The sun dazzled her eyes
Flurries of leaves flew by

As she sat on the swing
She heard the bombinating bees
And the mellifluous song
Of the frolicsome Koel

The salubrious breeze
Ran through her hair
As the sky transmogrified
Into a tincture of red

And when the sun
Settled into crepescule
The sea turned into
A coruscating mirror of colors

When her heart is shrouded
By the tenebrosity of the days
She sits, recollects
The halycon days


Prompt: Today I challenge you to write a “mix-and-match” poem in which you mingle fancy vocabulary, overly poetic words, with distinctly un-fancy words. Hopefully you’ll end up with a poem that makes the everyday seem poetic, and which keeps your poetic language grounded. Happy writing!

Photo clicked by my sister, Bhavya. You can see her other photos here.

NaPoWriMo Day 23: The World of Books

As I sit here reading and turn the pages,
Gleefully, I visit many lands unknown.
I see a ruthless king on a mighty throne.
Unseen, I travel through the ages,
With witches, wizards, Gods and sages.
One day, I’m in the hut of a crone,
Another, with a pipe and a mystery of my own,
Amidst torrid affairs and worldly outrages.
One day, on the back of a Hippogriff I fly,
Or soar across realms, from the Landing to The Wall,
And beyond, where White Walkers crawl.
One day I’m off to where shadows lie,
To find the one ring to rule them all.
As I turn the pages, worlds fly by.


Prompt: Today, I challenge you to write a sonnet. Traditionally, sonnets are 14-line poems, with ten syllables per line, written in iambs.You can write a “sonnet” that doesn’t have meet all of the traditional formal elements, but still functions as a mini-essay of a sort.

Since today is World Book Day, I decided to base my sonnet on the World of Books. I chose the Petrarchan sonnet with the following rhyme scheme: a b b a a b b a c d d c d c
I haven’t followed all the iambs. Turns out, writing a sonnet is not as easy as it looks.
Hope you enjoy it 🙂