“Unchanging facts” – Nayana Nair

.

All the stories and songs and
in this part of land, at this end of life – they are all about
the boat and its wood, about the shine of its old surface,
the sound of water it carries even as it sits on the dry
dying land, burning for hours and hours.
Hours not measured in the cups of water nor in the shadows
that refuse to fall in spite of all the light,
but hours measured by the cries of gull, the number of sails torn,
the diminishing weight of the men,
and the the silent wrath of all the glorious water.
We ‘the ones rooted to the shores’,
we sing from the shade of generous trees
to ‘the ones who only knew the abundance
of salt and wounds and undying dreams’,
trying to understand their alien love.
We sing of them and their hateful dreams,
of the tears they forced us to swallow because
they couldn’t love us if we wanted to be their shackles,
we narrate these unchanging facts every morning,
we dig a new grave for the same person again and again,
with each hole in earth as empty as the other.

“Looking at the walls of time” -Nayana Nair

.

We are going to remember
and we are going to survive.
We don’t need to peel our lives from the walls of time,
take back words we always truly meant.
We don’t need to forget the faces
that were the most beautiful to us in this world,
they continue to be beautiful even when they don’t look at us.
We don’t need to hate the people who were once our everything
even if now they are not ours now,
not in the way were used to having them.
Though forgetting is tempting and easier on heart,
we are going to remember them well
and when we survive
their goodness shall thus survive in us.

“Morph” – Nayana Nair

.

That feeling
when something of this world
rushes past you
and you are nothing else for that moment
but the afterimage of what has gone by,
something that definitely was
unlike your own self
that never appears but only haunts.

I don’t know how people cope
with that overwhelming storm
of knowing
the worlds that you can morph into
and all the things
that maybe you always were.

When you become a floating hat and its silent river,
when you become the knob of the radio,
the glass feeling the air before the snow,
the shredded corners of a letter that weeps,
the loudspeaker at the corner of the road
with its abundance of sound and silence,
the sundress peeled away,
the flow of time and fate.

I don’t know what to make of this.
I sit on tables filled with people
who know a thing or two about life
and they talk
as if they have always been their skin,
as if no one can be anything else
but themselves.
So I become the table feeling the soft elbows
pushing down some loneliness with its weight.
I become the napkin held in a fist.

I am now the sky looking down at me
and now the child that I lost long ago.
I am breaking and being taken over
by all the beautiful lonely things.
I feel I was probably made for this.

“blessed by the hands of time” – Nayana Nair

.

there.
see there.
that is the soft tree
made of sheep
from my dreams
that i told you about.
the one from which blood drips
the moment i find
the warm back of sleep.

there beside it
is the ink i never used.
the words
i couldn’t bring myself to say.
it is a cloud now.
it is now rain
or rather a promise of rain.
so it is safe.
and beautiful.
it is a reliable source for thirst.
it will stay there for an eternity.
it will only grow more.
it will probably
be the measure of my life.

it will be there
always overlooking
this faithless temple,
these buildings
filled with hollow books,
this smoke that leaves my body
as i burn again.
overlooking this farm
blessed by the hands of time,
where all the food i couldn’t stomach,
everything of this world
that i couldn’t accept
grows back again from the soil
for me to see.

sit here beside me
i will show you the world
that i am doomed to see,
since you want to know me.
see there, all that
was there in me
before i created new doors
in this world for you.
all this will remain with me
when you are gone.
and you will be gone
you just don’t know it yet.

“Something good”- Nayana Nair

.

Even when I have almost
found my head,
though I have finally
lost my madness,
the flowers, these red flowers of blood
still haven’t withered.
This heaven, that has only place for me,
hasn’t yet been burnt.
There is the earth that is yet to be found.
There is a sun that needs to forget the feeling
of being drunk on the dark.
There are walls that must be washed and washed
till they can be painted over with warmth.
So wait a bit,
I will let you in.
I will let my heart love,
once I become someone you can love.
Once I become
someone who can see love as something good.

“I think of you” – Nayana Nair

.

On this new morning, as this new cold finds my old bones,
I think of you.

Today when your name surfaces on the silent lake
I do not row towards it, I do not push it down.

I stare and breathe as the water moves
you and me.

I stare, without making my knuckles red,
without holding onto you or myself.

The mist of time and the storms of words-not-meant
they rise and settle and we part,

just as we rehearsed,
just as we have performed a thousand times in life.

I look back and see only a sunrise of a color you’d like.
I float a thank you, a broken oar towards you,

a hope for your life and some peace for mine.
All that I have loved has been eaten away by time.

Your body, your mind is now broken
into thousand scattered restless dots of dust

so when I think of you, in my mind
you are the life of the light. So unlike your presence in my life.

You remain that even as I lose my grasp
over the meaning and texture of love.

I forget what we were really like.
So I often get to miss you. You often make me smile.

“with the right words, i can hide my unreasonable yearning for you” – Nayana Nair

.

frozen time, open window

a cry of deer stuck in my throat
along with your name

the white spotless landscape of my heart
breaks again,

the summer keeps evaporating

my real smile surfaces and floats
like a dying fish, waiting for

needy hands, hungry lips,
hot oil, cold plate, and a decent death

the radio that plays on repeat
every song i hate,

the fork that traces the outline of my eyes

this empty life, my clean small bones
lying in the sunlit backyard of your world.

“Chorus” – Nayana Nair

.

Sometimes when I forget to live, to see ahead,
I find myself back again in the house of wood
beside my child made of sand.
He looks like me most of the days,
sometimes she looks like him.
They are often speaking like chorus of brokenness.

Some days they tell me that they are not mine,
that they are not children, that I am not me.
I ask them
then why do I feel the way I do?
why do I hurt the way I hurt?
And hearing this
they become the sand that I can only cry upon.
They don’t come alive
until another time.

But until that, I must be me,
and see things not being themselves.
The sand that was a life a second ago,
it melts, it grows wings
and opens its eyes and burns as sun.

Sometimes it opens it eyes and starts crying in my arms.
It tears my skin, it makes me smile
all my dying parts wake up
but in a world where no such beautiful haunting exists
where I have no reasons to cry
only tears that never stop.

“Home of Blindness” – Nayana Nair

.

I have to sing
and keep singing,
have to keep begging people to dance within my heart,
within the confines of these bricks,
with the parts of me that can’t die
and parts of me that I wish I still was.
I have to keep inventing reasons and occasions
I have to paint every meaning within me
in the boldest loudest colors.

Because the moment it all stops
I will hear the shouts again.
There is no silence in this world.
Outside, everyday
the fearful children of a fearless god
shout his name again and again.
Asking for reason, for rain,
for roses carrying their name.

I also once stood there, in the dark corridors,
on burning roads
asking god to love only me,
to hold my hand, to save me alone.
It is a very dark road,
the one we take to find
the light that will only belong to us.

And there is only this home of blindness
far away from all the crying and ceaseless hoping
where I can use these eyes of mine
for something more than holding and spilling tears,
where I get to sing for the god within the song.
I worship these walls that hold me in my place.
I worship all of your laughs, all the steps the never stop.

But I am still afraid
because tears still come easy to me,
because even this borrowed light whispers the name of one
who I still hope to reach.
The one who should exist somewhere outside these walls.
But I can only be here in this world of his
if I don’t run to him all the time.
I can be his, without falling short or falling apart,
only if I substitute what he has made for what he is.

“Named after stars” – Nayana Nair

.

And if we are to delete, to remove,
to erase and whiten the papers
that are not a part of our hearts anymore,
then hand me the forms you want burned,
the words you wish you never heard,
and I’ll help you with your share of forgetting,
just like how you helped me memorize my own name once.

If we are to walk through the burning towns,
that we created with our own hands, which we named after stars,
to find something that is not poisoned by our time together,
then I’ll do the walking for you.

In a room filled with light
I imagine myself breaking apart, it will happen for sure,
but it doesn’t pain me yet.
But I fear the tears that will find your eyes,
the marks of flowing rivers, the civilization of sorrow
settling and flourishing on your face,
if you were to fall in love with something that is already lost.

I fear your loving nature.
I fear your heart to work for the impossible.
I fear you might see our past and mistake it for our future.
If you try to protect me even in our end,
I fear I will be left with no way out.