Where Is Your Bookmark?

What is a bookmark? If not a promise to come back, where you left off? We go around bookmarking chapters of our life we couldn’t quite finish, that perhaps made our heart ache. But they also made our heart warm, like the winter sun on cold mornings.
Are you smiling right now?


There is a book I can’t make any sense of,
yet I cannot seem to put it away.
Flipping page after page,
with faint, lingering hope,
it’d turn to something beautiful.

One day I chance upon a chapter,
that takes my breath away,
until, after a couple of flips,
it too, stops making sense

But since abandoning things midway,
demands a strength I am yet to have,

I bookmark this chapter,
& keep it aside quietly.

Someday when I’m wiser,
and my heart has more strength,
I’ll come back to you.

Until then, I’ll let you rest,
On the shelves of my weak memory.
Hoping that when the time is right,
I may have not forgotten about you.


Keep bookmarking chapters of your life like this. Open them in secret & feel that warmth again from time to time. Or open them for good, and start all over again.

 

Love always,
Your blogger.

All that hangs in the air

i pour cereal in your blue, ceramic bowl
as blue as the creases of your sheets,
when you’re tossing,
& sleep is out of the question.

i’m as blue as your bowl
as fragile as the ceramic
perhaps not as glinting
but you won’t notice

cereal floats in cold milk,
‘my body is not used to warmth’
a naked corner of your diary says,
one you’ve kept since 02′
i know where you hide your diary,
in the same nook, you hide your hurt.

drops of cereal topple to the floor,
it’s 6 in the morning,
my eyes are heavy,
half open,
i feel your fingers,
untangle the knots of my morning hair
& slowly take the bowl,
walking away

my heart thaws a little.
the shampoo bottle can wait another day.

it all started,
when a song in my playlist,
asked me to knock on heaven’s door.
& there i was,
at 3 a.m,
knocking at yours.

 

 

Love always,
Your blogger.

heaven is here

you go,
wherever the urgency of time
leads you.

i wish to stay here,
where the pink of the sky is just within reach,
& where waves crash & fall,
like a million diamonds scattering.

where cherry blossoms bloom,
with all their might,
& whirl away softly,
by a cool breeze.

i want to be consumed,
evaporated,
soaked by the sky.

you go claim mountains,
as if they were your own,
i will be here,
as still as the ocean bed,
as roaring as its gut.

Poem to fix someone

Sometimes it gets so quiet that my head hurts,
then i see a slender beam of light escaping
through my curtain,
at 4 am,
and all is well for 15 seconds.

until I jerk to reality,
and go pee,
in the tiniest bathroom in the world.
but big enough to fit us.

sometimes at 3 am,
when sleep is out of the question,
i hear the distant rumble of a train.
bellowing through the night,
someone on that train can’t sleep either,
thinking of stuff he cannot fix,

like I think of myself.

To think that things cannot be fixed,
is a folly.
even a broken bone is healed,
what then is a broken heart?

only sometimes to get fixed soon,
you need a hand.
a pair of hands,
and a pair of eyes,
and a pair of arms.

“Come here”, I say out loud in my empty room,

“I’ll fix you.”

 

Love always,

Your blogger.

Fleeting pillars

I put my chin softly, carefully
On your shoulders
They seem strong
like you have the world depending on them.
I take my first, calm, heavy breath in ages,
and look at you, looking at something else
you don’t even know.
you are looked at like that.
wonder if you’ll shrug & walk away
or will it make you sit and brood
the knowledge,
That you are looked at like that.

 

life has been gazing at, from a distance. From a safe distance.
life has been wanting to take a plunge but panicking on the first step.

Life has been aching from a distance.
Life has usually been a giant, barren field.

that gets flowers and rain occasionally.

 

my chin still rests on your sturdy, capable arms. Far more capable to ever turn towards me.

I know it. So I close my eyes and try live the brief comfort wholly.

And then I feel you slipping away.

then you stand and walk in a direction I can’t follow.
then I see you not looking back.

my chin plunges down and I take a moment to find balance.

you never knew,
If only for while,

you put all my fears to rest.

 

 

Love always,

Your blogger.

How’s the Weather Inside your Head

I look for ways to try & prevent my heart from racing

or to not sink when they say that my face looks like the sun,

& that how marvelous to smile like I do.

I look for ways to make my life smell like damp earth,

hoping my mind to assist

Because in my head,

it is twilight,

& it is always raining.

The Only Tree on a Hill

After what feels like centuries a story has been brewing inside me, earnest to be put on paper. Enjoy. 

My grandfather housed a distinct fondness for trees. A love he happily passed on to me after failing to do so with my father. Being a reclusive child I seldom ventured outdoors, fearing human malice for, as a kid I was once pushed in a muddy ditch for committing the innocent crime of being the new girl in town.

The cucoon into which I invariably recoiled in grew into a home. I turned inwards for respite and befriended books and nature to ward loneliness. But the queer claws of time germinated an odd upheaval in my bosom. A longing for something so elusive it prevented me, at times from getting sleep.

Perhaps, my grandfather sensed this turmoil within me, an utter restlessness and angst for desiring something farther from my reach, and invisible to the eye- like friendship but not with a human form. Humans repelled me.

Thus, one cool April morning when the sun was tepid enough to cake us in its warmth and the air still tasted of dew my grandfather took me to a nearby hill, where I often previously went for walks. I noticed the clatter of a shovel tied to his waist against keys dangling from a belt loop, and a small plastic bag full of what seemed like dirt; but didn’t say a word.

We stopped at the highest crest the hill could afford. A few gulls croaked in the distance and a warm breeze swept the fields. Far East, I could see our little house, a tiny dot within a green pasture, a muddy road snaking its way into it.

“Do you know why we’re here?” my grandfather asked with a twinkle in his eyes, breaking my reverie.

I shook my head. Even at the usually stimulating age of fourteen, my heart somehow was always too tired to speak.

“I’m here to introduce you to a friend. Who will stay with you throughout your years and will stay further for your posterity and perhaps further for more generations to come.” 

With this he dug a small pit in the heart of the earth and handed me the bag of dirt, which upon closer observation, bore a tiny sapling. I placed the sapling in the ditch gently and pat it shut.

My grandfather passed away shortly after and I found respite in the sapling when my heart ached too much for him. Its existence became my purpose. I spent my youth watering, nurturing and at times even talking to it.

Time flew past like gusts of wind and ten long years later, I sit under what grew into a magnificent, sentinel, behemoth tree- lush and green, watching over me like a silent guardian. The distant longing inside me quelled with the tree’s pristine, watchful presence- quiet and sincere. The tree taught me stillness and how to give without expecting.

My grandfather gave my restless ship an anchor. He gave direction to my rapid thoughts. The tree embodied his own spirit, omnipresent but never holding you back.

Today, sitting under its shadow I brood over my life so far. Remember those who left and bemoan those who never arrived. I hope the tree will remain, if nature permits, perhaps for centuries,  and will continue granting stillness to those running from the future’s chaos. I pray it assuages their inner wounds too, doled out by a callous world.

A warm breeze tussles my hair and makes the leaves above rustle with delight. I’m pulled back to the present.

‘I know friend’, I muse looking up, ‘you too like the breeze as I do.’ 

 

Love always,

Your blogger.

 

Extremes

Lately my heart oscillates too much,

between boundless joy and utter despair.

The joy dissipates as fast as it arrives

The despair however lingers longer.

The centre of my heart turns cold

The core of my body layered in sheets of ice

When I breathe

It takes collective effort of every muscle.

I also feel weak, emotionally.

Drained, mentally.

I have always had a fire burning inside me,

It feeds my spirit.

In despair, the fire dies. Only wisps of spoke remain.

Until a tiny, insignificant moment ignites it again,

And my heart is warmer,

like it’s home.

I live for those moments of joy,

I wait patiently for them to show up,

I revel in their uncertainty, like a drug,

I wait for them to grant me a quick flash of intense euphoria,

until my heart starts beating again,

instead of thrumming.

Soon it is over.

A giant heaviness seems to have taken residence in my heart,

I have a feeling it won’t leave, but grow.

I will come to hope more,

And after having it tossed aside,

I will learn to live in the comforting possibility of what never was,

but could’ve been.

My inner Seol is my consolation. 🙂

Love always,

Your blogger.

Plane watcher

New cities are hard to feel at home in
every face a stranger,
every room cold
devoid of the comforting sense of familiarity. 

that’s why I find myself perched in balconies
of hotels, studios or polished penthouses
hunched over railings,
scooping a mug of strange tea.

eyes glued towards the vast expanse 
of a foggy night sky
traffic in the backdrop a distant hum,
conversations facile
while my eyes face the universe
with hope

When a plane snails its way under the moon
red lights twinkling at me, teasing.
I blink and sigh
The birds have left this city
Look,
I am now a plane watcher. 

Coffee counter- behind the scenes

briskly she wakes up at 4
and shrugs off tiny remains of the dream that lingers from last night
it’s December
month of endings
giving way to beginnings

she scurries to the bathroom
and before the crisp morning air
could bite her lungs
and remind her she’s human

she’s behind the counter again
taking the morning shift
brewing coffee like she once
brewed her dreams

her eyes are of glass
smile is mechanical
‘thank you sir, please visit again’
like an encrypted code

the morning rush dies down
and she peers at the remains of
a coffee cup
once full of bubbling fuel
now only tiny specks of brown dirt

who could’ve guessed something
so coveted and longed for,
fresh and strong an hour ago
would reduce to nothing
in a few slurps

her eyes meet a mirror
she looks away
this metaphor is too much to endure

a bell rings
her thoughts break
and then a voice escapes out of her
without even trying
then a smile
like a mechanism
‘good morning sir, what can I get you today?’

Blunder

The clock strikes 12 and my phone buzzes
It doesn’t feel right
I’m cucooned in my blanket
My heart is so heavy
It’s full of nothing but grief
I pick up the phone and
put up a good show
‘i’m proud of you, you can do this’

smile
smile between tears
don’t let them notice the hiccups
or how your voice wavers

say thank you
and hang up
stare at the ceiling
while you breathe from your mouth

Stare until the blades of the fan make you dizzy
wipe your nose
not your eyes

people, goblins, fairies and witches
Gods, kings, queens & elves
carry on
it’s another day
or raise your empty goblets
tonight

your girl turns 22

No sleep for this sad

The date was 15th,
and my head bobbed with the train’s rythemic jolts
two hours past midnight & everyone’s asleep
white ghosts hanging in the air
swaying softly as the train lulls them

the window which I peer through is shrouded in dark
and my own, restless reflection ornates it
Until i raise my head
and see lights twinkling in the distance
it’s a factory

I see small figures on metal beams
Pounding the hammer for tomorrow’s meal
silhouettes of smoke
rise through tall chambers
like a serpent keeping watch
the workers grind
quiet and morose

hours past midnight
and my train marches through
the factory recedes from view
so do the workers

the window is dark again
I’ll keep peering
untill tomorrow morning when I deboard
sip my morning tea at the station

and silently hope
they got their meal too.

 

Yet so far

In the math of two numbers
My life vacillates
11:10
So close to being lucky
So close to being loved
So close to being chosen
So close to 11:11
Almost
But never quite there.

I see the shore every time
From the boat
In which I paddle alone
Grappling, sweating
I reach out
Almost
I almost reach the shore
But I don’t make it.
Just like the numbers
11:10

I’m running
I see the finish line
I see the ribbon fluttering in the wind
I see it between my labored breaths
It’s right there
Only if I could just stretch my hand and grab it
But I don’t. I can’t.
Almost.

In a sea of numbers
I’ll always be 11:10
Almost reaching what my heart desires
But just missing it
Almost
But never quite there.

Don’t take my hand

My palms were never soft. If you ever held my hand you’d feel they’ve been chiseled and worked with.

They’re not fleshy, they’re not silken. They don’t possess any generic mark of femininity.

They are flat and pale. Like a slab of colorless granite. Green veins pulsate beneath my cold, pasty skin.

The upper terrain is rigged and rough, with blotches of sun burns I try to hide.

My palms are so even, so toned. There is no plumpness to denote that they were ever fostered or caressed.

So when you hold them, you might flinch, but you’ll come to know what years of struggle does to a pair of hands.

Because unlike other women, I never had a chance to be soft.

Simplicity Rhyme

simplicity

They promise me hoards of gold and glitter,
And a jewel to bedazzle my slender neck,
A ring to festoon my lady fingers,
A sparkly dress to adorn my chest.

I smile with gratitude,
While they try to find the perfect shoe,
For what more could a girl desire?
Than a closet full of exotic tulle.

They scamper across the country,
Fidget, fight, falter and ferment.
Frenzied by my lack of satisfaction,
My heart had exposed my furtive pretend.

Aghast they make a one last try,
And scour the stores for a velvet sweater,
Displeased I caress its threads and wonder,
When was the last time someone wrote me a letter?

Wistfully I smile at my list of pleasures,
A little pile of invaluable treasure,
A mix tape made of our favorite songs,
A good old journal, that time had worn.

A wooden mug, a home for my coffee,
Maybe flowers- tulips and lilies.
An album of old photographs,
Stuck on a paper haphazardly.

Matching bands,
A token for our friendship,
A ticket for a stage play,
A messy unplanned road trip?

A picture on a key-chain,
For I shall carry it forever,
Small antique wooden artistry,
A box of varied stationary!

And the most precious of all,
What you’d find in every corner and nook,
A beloved obsession,
A precious book.

While I tried on that sweater,
Smiling at my imaginary list,
Secretly bubbling at my fictional tryst,
My smile faded at the wonder of how,
They only measure joy in bills.

As I looked at my velvet image,
A living example of standing travesty,
My head shook in contempt,
How hard is it really to comprehend?
That a feeling as pure as felicity,
Some people still find in simplicity.

I Got It

I get it.
When you told me you loved me, while simultaneously replying to an urgent mail.
I get it.
When you said you were too tired from work, to listen to how much I loved the rain.
I get it.
When you said I should cut the carbs, for all the weight I’ve gained.
I get it.
How at parties I was invisible, for you were too busy shaking hands and making bargains.
I saw it.
How you fixed your gaze on how she talked and glowed like fire.  
I saw it.
How when we came home, you still couldn’t stop talking about her.
I noticed it.
How you started drifting away, for you said you had important work.
I understood it.
That you instead chose to spend your time with her.
I reckon. 
As I lie in my bed alone,
And the rain beats down my window pane.
If you ever managed to understand,
How fiercely I loved the rain.
My floor is covered with pictures of you.
While you’re with her singing a happy song.
I’m still here trying to contemplate,
Where is it that I went wrong?

I Drive

The road is long and I cannot see the end, yet my foot on the accelerator is stiff as I drive through the unknown.

A mountain range is following me through my journey as I glance at it frequently while I drive. I may feel bored of its perpetual rocky view, yet it refuses to leave my side; it stands there with all its might.  Like it’s somehow tied to my fate.
Just like a soul mate.

I drive and I see a lamp. Covered in a layer of nightly frost. A warm abode for the buzzing moths. It glows in the dark and shows me the way. The right, safe and honest way. I can see the direction it’s steering me in and I know I’ll be safe. For this lamp has brought several lost, to the right, successful place.
Just like a teacher.

I drive further and my feet ache. I am thirsty and I start to faint. I slam the break near a flowing stream, getting thinner and thinner as I further my journey. I lie down on its moist, grassy bed. I drink the crystal water and continue the path I tread.
The stream was a gushing river when I was young. Now it’s thin and old. But it still promises me solace and asks me to move even when I’ve lost my hold.
Just like a parent.

I resume my drive and the road ahead is no more straight. It bends and breaks and jerks. There are tortuous loops and bumpy potholes. There is a storm and thunder and lightning crashes on my way. The wind is strong and it tries to steer me away. I shudder and cry and start to lose my faith.  But my car doesn’t stop and I pass through unhurt, unbent, unbroken.
I pass through all the vicissitudes of life.

There comes a forest. Lush and green. Long deciduous trees wave at me through the dark. I pass by them anyway, and glance at them through my rear view, they are still waving at me. I prefer not to stop, they are ones I already left behind.
Just like the relations that never work out.

I once again begin to lose my way, and the path becomes darker. There is no light and I’m lost and scared. Suddenly a voice whispers from above and I look up to a scintillating view of a thousand stars. The night sky now burns with a silver glow, and now I realise I’m not alone. For these stars may not be visible throughout the path, but I know they’d always be there. Bright and cheering, guiding me midway.
Just like friends.

The journey continues and the stream is no more present, but the  moist earth it left behind reminds me of its existence. I come across a diversion, where the path breaks into two. I stand there still, wondering, fearing which one to leave and which one to choose. The mountain range is enveloped in fog, and the stream is no more there. The stars are hidden among the clouds and the forest wouldn’t care.
I am alone and my mind wonders. I close my eyes and breath in the air and ask the person inside me. I ask my little beating heart to resolve the query for me.
The air soothes my lungs and my body becomes light. A little voice inside me tells to follow the path to the right.
When nothing worked I closed my eyes and allowed the air to wake me up from inside.
Just like our conscience.

I turn right and I know not where I’ll go. Where the path would bend and where it would flow.
But I know this I’d drive unbowed and unbent, my faith strong and unshaken, the river will flow and the stars will shine, while I tread this road that is my life.