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“What I Remember (17)” – Nayana Nair

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those who spent their lives
wrecking their hands to mould me into something better,
tried fruitlessly
to break me without pain,
to break me and make me into something
that would be accepted by this world.
they showered me with love
so i won’t know, won’t remember
how much it pained me or how much it hurt them
to have gifted me
this painful self-critical view of myself and this world.

while they are growing old, weak and distant
my love for them looks like a failed seed
that never grew nor flowered.
the years that i spent with them
has made me ungrateful.
i have become the fish that never thanked the water
that kept it alive,
thinking that is what water is meant to do.

with time
as a fail to become what i thought i am,
as i realize that doing or even knowing the right thing to do
becomes more impossible as you get to know this world,
i begin to understand the enormous love they must have had for me
to hold my hand and walk with me in a world
that they had never seen
only for my sake,
knowing that their courage and their tears
are destined to be forgotten (or worse- questioned).

and my love?
my love,
it grows in opposite direction of sun,
my love for them grows into the soil my heart
in a world where they won’t see and won’t know.
i will remain cruel and indifferent even in my own eyes.
so i hide my muddled feelings
and walk around those
who have made me what i am
whatever that may be.

“Counting the Pieces Left” – Nayana Nair

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shadows of evening
are still in my room
the morning rays,
the flickering light bulb,
your laughter,
they don’t do much.

cause this life
of mirrored sunshines and smiles
makes me feel nothing.
there is something wrong with my heart
which you might have known all along.

i toss another piece of me
into the ocean.
it is one other piece of me
that you will never see, will never have again.
you hold my hand and tell me
what i have thrown away
was too difficult to find in this world,
that it was your most favorite thing about me.

i want to cry and apologize to you
but i sit there feeling relieved
now that I have one less thing to lose.
there is something wrong with me
to not want your kindness and your love.
it is not your fault dear.

“could-have-beens” – Nayana Nair

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when saw my skin, i saw only cracks
cracks that would have looked worse
if i could see better.
i wanted to look away
but all i could do was think-
age is creeping up on me
slowly and cruelly
and you are not here.

i think of all the things
i can never have now.
things i meant to do everyday
things i put off, delayed
because you needed time.
all the things i denied myself
because i wanted to wait for you.

but the weight of things i have given up
seems to have increased exponentially
since you learnt to change your mind.

so me and my could-have-beens
we sit at different tables in the same world,
looking at each other with disappointment.
how ridiculous is this
that i am waiting,
even when there is no one to wait for,
even when i know that running away
was the only thing you could be relied upon for.

“my dying love for lemonades and other similar things” – Nayana Nair

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In my wardrobe
I have hidden skeletons of you and me
from last year, from the year before,
even the year that never was (as per your memory).

When my head aches from the mention of all the light
I am supposed to see in life

(according to the countless articles on positive thinking),

when I have had enough, but can’t mention it
on the face of well-meaning people

(the handbook of gratitude tells me I should forgive
everything that is done by well meaning folks-
I mean EVERYTHING, have you heard anything more preposterous)

when all the scenarios I used to complain about
become my best case scenario

(it feels like every inch in my home
is occupied with people that I am told not to hate
phew! - you know how forgiveness is not exactly my thing)

when I fail at acting fine, as you taught me to-

I sit among those skeletons
have no care about being with the clothes
that they will never get to wear,
who don’t have a heart to be ruined by.

I try to find comfort
in the thought, in the fact
that an year from now
I will be here,
that I will be the part
that dies by the next spring.

I won’t have to live on to become the part of me
that would hate lemonades, love and laughs.

“Backseat” – Nayana Nair

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we get onto the car
that we wish was stolen
i look at her (not my lover, yet),
at him (my friend – we share the same passion
of finding new things to be disappointed about),
i look at the the small bags we have packed
and realize that this is far too less to start a life
i count them as i get in
i realize one of us probably
has nothing worth carrying around in life.

she keeps telling me that unlike us
she has to take care of things
so she is bound to be late
she says this while she texts the food preferences
of her beloved pet
to someone who owes her one
(i feel something similar to jealousy seeing this).

and he keeps changing the radio station
as if he knows what he is looking for,
as if he has grown up on radio songs and commercials,
but he hasn’t.
he says that is what makes it more romantic,
the unknown that was always in front of you
to finally acknowledge something
that shouldn’t have been invisible from the start.

i just look at them, making mental notes,
calculating the chances that we might come to our senses
(that would be pretty sad, if that happens).
i keep looking back
as if i was being abducted,
dragged out of heaven against my wishes.
but it is no heaven
(not anymore).

so i sleep in the backseat
hiding my tears under the blanket of darkness-
since i do not want to recall every thing
that made this place and my body unholy, unbearable;
since i don’t want ask these two
about what they are running away from.
i wonder if i will ever know a home
that won’t drive me away.

“Red Sonnets” – Nayana Nair

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red sonnets.
every morning,
you always gift me red sonnets.
and i always kiss you back,
the color of my lips fading
in front of acts of affection.

i put them on my bed
as i sleep on the floor.
i stir my soaking noodles
with a branch broken
from this bunch.
i bite the sides of my mouth
make myself cry a little bit more.

“Inviting the Gray Life” – Nayana Nair

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My memories of deprivation,
of yearning
are placed in,
are shot
with the background of
aesthetic picturesque urban structures,
with the clear skies
that only peace or money can paint.

***

How sad
that I feel the need to break down
in grander messed up place and time-
to make this loss real,
to make myself real,
to shed this one tear
that my body refuses to part with.

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