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Three Poems: Whispers of a Broken Spring, Slow Rain, Departure

Three Poems: Whispers of a Broken Spring, Slow Rain, Departure

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{1} WHISPERS OF A BROKEN SPRING

nothing is moving, even solitude seems immobile and infallible.
my room has stayed on with the nonchalance of the last winter.
ㅤㅤㅤit smells of roasted potatoes and damp laundry.
silence walks around barefoot, with a candle perched on its head.
ㅤㅤㅤeverything has become more imminent.

the air outside is unusually heavy with incense.
ㅤㅤㅤour neighbours are remembering their dead.
ㅤㅤㅤit smells good though, for us, for the living too.

this desolation does not resonate with me.
ㅤㅤㅤIt is putrid and menacingly visible on the smirky face of time.
a man hunches, walks in his backyard with a cane.
apparently, he is afraid of the dormant fears that might catch him unawares.
his slow walk reflects memoirs, a testimony of the last war:
ㅤㅤㅤeven an apocalypse is transitory.

this world has become a broken mirror.

the puddles down on the streets are stagnant,
longing for a foot to splash them over.
ㅤㅤㅤdoes rain ever feel lonely like humans do?

my mama has developed a habit of growing old with every passing hour.
she constantly dreams of a lake where her father had bequeathed her a paper-boat,
filled with the shards of a broken spring.

‘this world is a broken spring,’ she says.

there is a peculiar shyness in stars,
a shyness found so vividly and intimately
in the eyes of a woman
watching her own naked reflection.

it is almost midnight, and people here are unhinging their sleep in an utmost frenzy.
windows and doors have been opened,
dreams have been paused and poems have been put to risk!
ㅤㅤㅤthere is an unprecedented roar around,
ㅤㅤㅤslashing through the veils of this tranquil night.
well, this is quite a spectacle to watch, to witness the execution of naked dreams!

inside this woeful domain, my recollection betrays me.
it always leaves me out, under the mother’s impenetrable stare-
ㅤㅤㅤabandoned, chained to her palpable sorrow.
like a forlorn child, her gaze remains fixed upwards,
always around the thresholds of infinity.

there is a definite rage in this profound silence.
the streets outside, sodden in the day-long downpour,
have accumulated the demeanour of a Holocaust movie.
ㅤㅤㅤtheir existence seems to be walking inwards, toward their own end!

about a dead butterfly:
ㅤㅤㅤI know she was there, sprawled on the wet concrete,
ㅤㅤㅤwith a timid appearance of an abandoned flower.
she was there, I know,
ㅤㅤㅤdead among the forgotten memories of a lost season.

the night long downpour had deformed the sleekness of her wings,
she resembled an artwork drawn on a crumpled paper.
ㅤㅤㅤher eyes were opaque,
ㅤㅤㅤwithout a shadow of any flower.
she had died of sorrow, unnoticed by the spring!


{2} SLOW RAIN

when it rains in my city,
death becomes slow with its subjects.
maybe, it awaits the sky to pull a kiss
before a lament could be heard.

roses fall, elegies run in the puddles
to claim their source,
a nocturnal hand reaches the door
after door
in search of a grave.
it chases after the young people who
run with graves in their hands!

this city shoulders the pain
of cemeteries, of people who
chase their own shadows,

when it rains, a lament dances on
the tip of the offshore winds,
a child cannot contain the funeral
of his father,
he comes down from the attic
with his empty lunchbox
and consigns it to the rain.


{3} DEPARTURE

Hello. How was your journey?

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Did our pain of departure coincide somewhere?
ㅤㅤㅤIt surely didn’t. Pains never coincide.
ㅤㅤㅤThey just whirl like sands around us and leave us blind!

Love gets tired.
ㅤㅤㅤIt becomes a restless pain when left unattended between two places.
ㅤㅤㅤIt turns into a frozen flower.

Since your departure, this city feels cold, and weird too.
ㅤㅤㅤEvery day is a stampede.
ㅤㅤㅤPeople without faces run in search of their lost legs.
ㅤㅤㅤThey bawl, even cry, looking for their lost voice.

Today, I bought a rose for our (un)happened memories.
ㅤㅤㅤI’d keep it with me until we reclaim the serenity of this place.

A tear rests in my eye while I calculate the frailty of my love.
ㅤㅤㅤDistance didn’t succumb.
ㅤㅤㅤIt stretched further, even after an uninterrupted journey of months.
ㅤㅤㅤPerhaps, distance is not a road, or a wall, or anything measurable.
ㅤㅤㅤIt is homelessness. Homesickness.
ㅤㅤㅤIt is a gnawing thought of our yet-to-be constructed home—
ㅤㅤㅤa place where we could grow old.

How was Kashmir? Do you already miss it?
ㅤㅤㅤI still owe you the rains of Himalayas,
ㅤㅤㅤthe fragrance of shrines and the autumn of chinars.

The yearbook of my memory still remains undocumented:
ㅤㅤㅤa stint of timeless longing.
ㅤㅤㅤa hope
ㅤㅤㅤthat swayed along the rhythms
ㅤㅤㅤof a slanting willow.
ㅤㅤㅤthe voice ( hello )
ㅤㅤㅤa two months old sigh!
ㅤㅤㅤa pair of eyes filled with the dreams
ㅤㅤㅤof a prisoner.

It snowed the day you reached home.
ㅤㅤㅤDid snowflakes swirl in the language
ㅤㅤㅤof our covert romances?


(These Poems appeared in December 2020 print issue of the Mountain Ink.)

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