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“Not So Bad” – Nayana Nair

he sings the most beautiful song.
so beautiful
that the sky becomes a reflection of the heart
that he can barely carry in himself.
the words on his lips
they break, they sound different,
feel different,
they sound like the first cry of a baby-
the violent coming to life.
they run and collide and shatter
against the rough indifferent surface
of this dying world, a not-so-bad world.
he becomes a not-so-bad singer.
as he runs out of breath and love
someone places a coin of gold in his hands.
he means to feel grateful for this compensation,
but all he can do is hold his tongue, hold his tears.
hold his bitterness in himself
and sing another song dreaming, waiting
for an honest reply, a genuine care,
an understanding gaze in return for laying bare his humanness.

“What I Remember (18)” – Nayana Nair

today’s sadness is brought upon
by the increasing count of the words
that i have forbidden myself to speak.

today’s sadness is brought upon
by the particularly sad song
that i have chosen to listen.

today’s sadness is partially due to the strangers with sweet eyes,
partially due to my angels with weak hearts,
and also the fact that i must love (and have loved) everything wrong
without causing pain to anyone but myself.

i must write without baring myself.
i must write to never let myself forget what i can’t speak.

do not write this, do not be mean, do not be ungrateful
do not blame, no names, no dates, do not put anyone’s weakness on show

all such favors that i must do
for the sake of my perpetrators and my protectors.

i must act like a better person, even when i am not
in my fingers i am told to hold
everyone’s shame and everyone’s guilt,
and find my freedom in that.

today’s sadness is a breather,
the rare moment i allow myself to see
how messed up all this is,
before i turn off the light
only to stumble through life again.

“Outside (Me)”- Nayana Nair

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Outside me
there is a wide world,
there are your wide arms ,
a beautiful fate with your voice,
words that you and I made together,
a seat for two, a future for more.

Outside me
exists everything I ever cared for,
ceaselessly asking me to open up
telling me this would be the end of my loneliness
if I do the ‘letting-in’ this time.

Outside me
there supposedly exists a world
that doesn’t hate me as I thought it would.
I know it isn’t me,
it is what I love that keeps you all away.
But what good is laying myself bare
when I can only breathe in the darkness
that you and this world hates so much.

Bitter Wind

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Forsythia“, Billy Collins

I would rather not look around the next
corner of the year to see how this will die,
its light going out,
its bare, arching branches
waving like whips in the bitter wind.

So I sit facing the past,
letting my feet dangle over the wall,
beating time against stone with my heels,
as the the long gray clouds roll over me.

“Substitute of Light” – Nayana Nair

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Here in this night glowing with memories
placed as substitute of light in the face of storm,
I sit with all the words my body clung to
in spite of its bare, aging and passing spring.
I scratch out all the definitions of what I am
from the paper that seemed to once shine
and reflect an image that could have been me,
if only I didn’t have to live till this day
to realize what a mirror really is
and how painful it is to look into one.
Now when I write down new rules and new directions for myself,
I envision another day in future
when again I will have to strip myself
of all I believe to be true.
And knowing that a day like that exists ahead of me
makes me look at myself with certain pride
for trying again and again.

“Be You” – Nayana Nair

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Oh! Let me be you.
Who walks with a sun in your pocket
for every rainy day.
Who stood at crossroads
and decided which road shouldn’t exist.
Let me be you for a day.
So that I am not the one
who hides in hollow words,
who makes her bed on the dreams of others.
Let me be you,
so that I can put out my hand
always with the confidence
knowing that the love I ask
shall be given.

But what is this that I feel?
Why my hands shake?
Why my heart cries?

Is it because
the one who is breaking the wall
with bare bleeding hands
has the same pain, same fear
as the one who is hiding behind that wall.
Is it because
this love, this life
leaves no one without scar.

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