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.
the dirt on my clothes-
the white muslin
and the brown
the earth dripping.
its spots, that i dare not touch,
they seep in,
seep into the revolting blanks in me.
the tireless cutters of trees,
the sleepless lumberjacks in me,
look up at my skin and its new ink
and breathe in some understanding.
they choke on it, they sleep on it
they carve it
on everything they have destroyed.
they have new gods again.
gods that they will never pray to
nor please. the gods
they can’t ever leave.
The leaves flew back to their trees.
The fruits became never eaten, never ripened, never born.
The papers on my desk forgot how to exist for themselves.
For a moment I feared maybe this is how
the past love, the healed hurt returns.
But it wasn’t so.
That day, on that bleak morning
you looked at me
and my heart learned to believe again.
My lips reached out to learn your name.
Your name, as if out of a dream, settled on my shoulders
and told me I can rest.
On that morning, that should have been like the hundred others,
I learnt that in spite of my bitterness and my disappointment
I wanted to believe in this world.
And even in my denial I was waiting for a moment like this.
A moment in which my broken and incomplete heart
is returned to its original state of trust, as if by a miracle,
by your gentle touch of understanding.
I feared calling it love, when I knew that it already was.
No other word would suffice.
Across this glass,
across the tired melting clouds of mist,
on the other side
there are trees and homes and forests
that are just like places on this side that I rest.
The places where I am not
look as sad as all the places I have been.
Everywhere, on every road there is always a person
who knows a way to break my heart,
and I always end up thanking them for it.
There are rooms where I put up
lights and posters and curtains
and lovers and music,
those are the rooms I want to die in-
with some beauty, with some consolation of meaning .
But always I find the reason for my end outside these walls.
Those reasons live under the brightest light on the darkest road.
And because I was told that the light that I don’t know of
is the one that saves all, even the hopeless ones like me.
So my legs forget how to stop,
my hands forget how to let go,
and my blood glitters for a moment under the light of lost hopes
before it turns black, before it invites in the cold
that I always thought belonged to the inanimate world.
I think of the room I won’t reach,
and the songs and the faces and this world
that I will not be given a piece of, to keep.
As the sky fills me up, pats me down,
and tucks me in the snow
across the white,
I feel someone stir from sleep.
The wail that my throat cannot make,
finds a home in that other world, in the other me
that unlike me
knows how to cry and how to be loved for it.
i think this suits me most-
to lose myself
and yet look okay.
god gave me a face that always looks okay
even when i don’t want it to.
(there have been only handful of days
when i want to look as miserable i am.)
i wonder how it feels
“do i look broken today yet?
“i cried all night”.
i have never cried at nights.
i have never skipped a meal for my sorrow.
i feed my heart too much fats
and instant unhealthy happiness.
i cut down my green trees
and kill few birds, make a fresh trap
that smiles through my gaping wound.
i live life the only way i can.
look okay cause all parts of me are
still working fine.
god gave me a heart that doesn’t break
the conventional way.
i walk this world fearing this heart
The light that drips from your skin
feels like sunlight frozen.
As you float among the spirits
of far away desolate planets,
who have found home in you,
who like me have found you too full of life.
You walk to me,
hold me close and bury your fire
in my heart. The mountain and the sea
that belong to you,
have erased the life
that I’ve lived before.
On the path lined with trees-
their shade and your joys
becoming just memories with approaching night.
You walk to me,
you hold me close and bury your face
your regrets, your tears in my skin
and give me a moment of the future I can never have.
And soon I see you dissolve in the sea foam,
in the waters where we were born.
I find my hands filled with your share of happiness
and sky filled with flowers that once grew in your hands.
My seasons are excited
to be finally released into the world again,
after wrecking havoc over people
whom they saw as trees to be burnt
and rivers to be flood.
Before they leave me
they look into my eyes,
and again they have
misunderstood the fear in my eyes
as my wish.
Again I prepare my heart for the disasters
I must take responsibility for.
“Small Door of a Dream“, Jacob Glatstein
Those trees whose names I never learned
Identify themselves at the window
With their proud blooming.
The night shadows itself
On a small joyous lamp.
A silvered butterfly dances
Into our flickering life
Through light of a dream’s
The momentary happiness
of the warm embraces.
These gifts of few seconds
have become our only curse.
For this life never lives upto
the beauty of those seconds.
And now we can only live on
in form of secrets in our books.
These seconds, these pages are where
our story stopped.
I remember you
sitting under trees
waiting for the your tears to melt,
for your vision was frozen in a past.
For you knew too late.
You found who were yours
only when looking back.
The trees don’t whisper,
don’t console me with lies
that they have heard too many times.
They tell me that this sorrow won’t go away
atleast not without me.
That there will be days I will look at
the empty chair opposite me
and my coffee would taste of tears.
Days when I would wake up
with a blanket of despair over me.
That I will stop at certain words
and certain names,
and feel too broken in this happy world.
That I would stop taking certain roads.
Stop going to certain places.
So that my ache in my chest
won’t eat me up.
There will be day
when I would have given up
on all that I was.
And sure enough
the sorrow went away,
taking away everything we were.