“Always Spring” – Nayana Nair

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There is mercy in shadows,
there is healing in light,
and in the darkness?
There is always something in darkness
but we never know what.
Only there I can invent, imagine
and pretend.
Pretend
that this is my heart,
these are my people,
these noises that scare me
are of ghosts,
here I can see their teary eyes
Pretend
that the one coming towards me is
a kind monster,
that the bleeding has stopped
that outside is spring,
is a life better and wider than this
Outside is always spring
till I don’t open the windows,
till I don’t look out.
What a sad fragile relief this darkness is.
A never-ending cycle of hope and pain.

“Whatever good remains” – Nayana Nair

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I looked at the beautiful beautiful plate,
the rice lit like pieces of paradise,
the spice, the salt,
a garden, a farm,
a forest fit into morsels.
I wanted to write about food
and realized how it no longer fills me
but what feeds me are the hands that make them.
Carefully they serve the empty cold plate,
fill it with love and color and texture
and sprinkle “i love you” and “hope you are always happy”
and “hope you are always full” without restrain,
always, always in excess.
But I am never full,
and I am often not happy.
I eat this world and their love
always with half my heart heavy
with ugly yearning for things that cannot be.
But whatever good remains of my heart
remains because they love, they care
for me like this,
without reconsideration,
without restrain,
always,
always
in excess.

“Walking off the cold” – Nayana Nair

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The stones are stacked,
a song is sung.
The invisible hands
and wailing throats
are at work again.

The yard grows sand,
grows salt and sun
and water is what it waits for.
Colorless blue is all
that eludes the grand plan.
And the wait for it is a snake –

a snake crawling through
the alleys of heart,
upturning graves and homes,
looking into the eyeless sockets
on walls, waiting for some light
to illuminate something true here.

Wait is the girl who pukes
at the mention of hope,
and walks off the cold
by lighting her own legs.
Her feet that always survive miraculously,
dance on the grassless yards
yearning for blue.

The yard grows feet
grows heart and fun.
The yard is lit with
the light of fried birds –
this is the liveliest moment
that all hands here know.
What else can one do with life?
What else can one do with death?

“today’s weather is fashioning a hollow revenge out of my sorrow” – Nayana Nair

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“all those creatures of rotten wings
that circles above us,
not even waiting for our death,
not even the basic respect for a life
hanging by its broken teeth
on the clothes line of memory
in the unwelcome worrying winds
of this world,
what if we get to them first,
what if we didn’t use our last breath
to remember our love, to seek the god we never bothered
to think about in life, to raise our hands to give forgiveness,
to the ones who are already fighting over our funeral cost, to sit
by the trashcan fishing out and reviewing
our stories, our lives, only to let out a sigh,
always a sigh.
what if we take out the meanest arrow
in our anger filled, no-longer-shaking arms
and shoot them down, not even bothering
with threats and pleadings. what if we end things
with the sky lit in red. what if we end
it all ourselves. without wait. it sounds clean, mean,
and better. better than all the things
we are allowed to do with our last drop of strength.”

“what’s the meanest arrow you’ve got?”

“Getting better and better” – Nayana Nair

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I don’t trust myself with water these days. Of late I have found my arms devoid of the will to struggle. I seem to be getting better and better at abandoning myself.

I now only stand rooted at places where life comes easy. I only linger in spaces where not-breathing is more difficult than breathing. Against my best efforts, all I do is try to live.

The ways to live, the painful familiarity of the world, this stone stuck in my shoe, pressing against my sole, it all used to be unbearable. For long I tried to find a way to live with it. I always failed to find its use.

But now I know how to surround myself in the suffocation of it all, to fill my mind with the smoke of this crude life as I learn to see from scratch again. Hold parts of me captive somewhere, till the rest of me can chip away at my spirit that only sings of blood and end.

Today, in the hot summer afternoon, covered in breaking illusions, I walked away from the lake where my past swims. I unlearn one more pain. I found a road I had never seen, a garden never tended to, a foot of mountain where there was abundance of fruits and all new reasons to live.

“he, whose hands only know how to build. he, who only remembers grace.” – Nayana Nair

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there is a garden
wilting and blooming
in the most lovely ways.

your hands water them,
bring them up
in the softest light.

in the dying wind
you teach them love
and the geography of pain,

the correct way to place
names on lost tongues
and people in failing heart.

the world is ending
in the background
but you never take notice.

how lovely you look
as you worship this life
that has only broken you.

“framing our dreams in the living room of my life without you” – Nayana Nair

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and hope shall play
on the beaches that you drew.
it will run
along the cold melting lands,
holding your hands,
smiling with lips
that curve like mine,
that opens like yours.
a song shall arrive in the air
a laughter, a tear will arrive in our hearts
again to knock, again to let in life.
we will look at our skin
that breaks in the same design
and we will rejoice.
we smile about something
that was once insufferable.
we will hold each other
laughing about how
nothing can make us
let go, nothing can make us
give up on this.

“Because anyway I had already lost myself in more ways than I had ever imagined” – Nayana Nair

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My tiny life holding its tiny fist
stood at the gates of a thatched school.
The broken lies and lesson flew out of windows
with their sharp painful wings.
And though my heart despised such birds,
hated the thought of growing
in the presence of their mocking chirps,
I still walked. I walked
because the winds were strong,
and my eyes were pricked with the image
of the ones with warm leaving in hurry,
because i too wanted
to be at a place where “i need to be”
even if it was filled with cruel noise,
even if my skin was shrinking in fear,
and maybe precisely because I was going to lose myself
some part of me wanted to know who would care.
I walked towards walls, windows, and wells closed (for now).
I looked in and saw faces and their lips
that sculpted words without breaking.
I looked at the empty place waiting for me.
I could already see – my bending spine and twisted tongue.
I could feel my heart already learning not to care anymore.

“By holding you back” – Nayana Nair

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And what do I desire
when I plant my body
in the path of storm,
when I place my hand
on your ailing nerve.

The ideas of gaining,
of becoming, of light –
the unholy invasive light
claiming all my hiding spots,
why do they seem to not matter.

The slow definite end
that I looked forward to,
whose hopes I relied on
to just breathe,
why does it seem hateful
when you are the one
moving towards it.

When my skin knows every surface
your struggling hands have grazed,
when I know sometimes
one cannot just go on,
why do I feel this all is unfair
when you are the one
who yearns to dissolve.

“When we all meet” – Nayana Nair

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The silence was deafening
because there were people in it.
There was a tiny space made of granite,
a smallness born out of the spacious halls
now crowded with people.
the air stale with staring. The long moments
of confused and alienating gazes.
The wait. And for what?
Everyone knew they must speak,
only then a god will be formed,
only then we’ll have a reason to meet again.
But they were afraid of everything.
which was not really a problem.
They also felt among many other things
that only they felt and knew fear,
that fear kept only them as a pet to be played with.
They felt good and miserable when they though that.
They also felt special.
And because we were all special and doomed
and carried poetry in us to be looked at, to be listened to
we all stood there staring.
We stood shoulder to shoulder, sorrow to sorrow
trying prove to others that we knew life,
and that once, once we really did live.
But all we were seeing and feeling
under our feet, in the hollow of our hands
was that place, the house on the slippery slope,
the home we could never leave.
We were all there alone. Trying to avoid the weight
of another person who might just end it all for us
by saying something stupid as
“you are a bit too much for me”
and “this generation is not capable of love”
and “poverty is a state of mind”
Or something as true as
“this was a bad idea”,
“you do know that we will never meet again, don’t you?
at least we are all praying for that.”