rufescent dreams

the red star over there, somewhat distant,
beckons me to leave the cold hearth
and seek the supple-sphere
of my beginning —

the cellular destruction, the neat phlegm,
the eyes that are weakening in their resolve
to see the world through its painful sutures,
almost always hurt,

i have a shadow that only shows the face
behind the face, the trust that has been
doomed for so long, in my own adoption
of time and its wreckage, its subliminal
annihilation of every atomic particle
on life’s horizon,

i wonder if it is to be free that i cage
myself, for if not in captivity, how would
i ever seek, ever speak when cowardice
is at my very door step, ringing the bell?

the red is deeper in the night, like a deep gash
on my thigh, and my mouth is of dust & blood,
and my dreams are but weighed and sold for
trinkets of sorrows, just so that another breath
completes its cycle in the dying light.

.
© Anmol Arora

Linking it up with The Tuesday Platform at WRT, where I am hosting this week and I have shared a Kaifi Azmi ghazal for inspiration.

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body of lies

i don’t have a name to call my own,
the winds have taken my echo,
erased my impression on this sand,

i am reading through the leaves
of the nature’s manuscript, infusing
a blood of green & blue in my veins,

i lie down on the broken boundaries
of a globe, while plucking at my throat-
strings (coursing through the rivers,
plains, and mountains) in search
of a lost voice, that was never mine
to begin with, in this body of lies.

.
© Anmol Arora

For Weekend Mini-Challenge: Homographic Fun at WRT

talk with me

the shards of a halted conversation
are sharp on the tongue,
when the word is finally said,
a little one, a longer one,
two words that are coloured
with anticipation.

i have always wondered at this strong
bond, between the unsaid and the unseen
and how easy it is to forget that
the pause doesn’t mean a full-stop,

not in poetry, not in life.

the conversation is a piece of imagined
reality, a cake without icing, a ballad without
the rhyme, and the eyes without reflection.

so, talk, as if your words are going to rest
on my body,
before slowly sinking in,

the bleeding night-sky as the backdrop,
for this performative exchange.

.

© Anmol Arora

Linking it up with the Poetry Pantry at PU

on kindness

the full-throated cry of the sky
pierces the calm of a spring day
besotted with its capacity to go on.

unhindered —
the shrieks of the crows speak of the agony
of the air, that is carbon, ash, cacophony,
& unanswerable specks of dust and dirt.

why do we forget to be kind to what
we inhale? why do we forget to be kind
to what is ever-present?

the city gleams and glides through the complicity
of its pupils, as kindness is thwarted by the need
for immediate reach and control.

why is it the most difficult to be kind
to our own selves? why is it so difficult
to salvage all the broken pieces?

~
hold your own hand, next time you escape
to figure out the path of reconciliation
with your point of origin —
your nature is to breathe and fly,
and turn through the pages of life,
to find your own love, deep within.

.
© Anmol Arora

A rather different tone and mood for this one, when compared to my other recent verses.
Linking it up with Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Kindness

testimony of march

as the days turn longer, all the silent moments are now punctuated with a realization that the darkness is receding. things are all the more apparent in the lasting light. on a brief walk through the nearly empty streets of an upscale neighborhood, i ponder over the sight of the golden trumpet vine on an expansive property that has taken over the metal handrails and old red bricks, seemingly growing even further with every passing second, as if it is going to consume the entire form and structure of this house. i wonder what its occupants would think of it. this March, i am not going to look for answers.

March comes like madness —
the bright golden flowers glare
at the passerby

~

 March’s mad weather —
a frail little bud drops down
by a sudden breeze

.
© Anmol Arora

For Haibun Monday: March Madness at dVerse

a spring evening

spring evenings are cold like the ghostly feeling left after you’ve taken your hand back from my hand. they’re as if a thing gone amiss, a loss that can’t be mapped or measured in its tragedy. the spring skies are as violet as the mark you left on my neck, painful and gratifying at once. as i walk the path towards home, i pick a tattered leaf and place it as a keepsake in my thoughts. i have a few more steps to go.

the spring moon appears —
a worm-eaten leaf still clings
to the old peepal

.
© Anmol Arora

For Season Your Poetry Part II at WRT
Also read a dawn song and day-breaking

on normalcy

who can verify the cost/revenue of this departure
from personhood?

i can see the light waves on the spectrum
of my performance — my silhouette & skin
are linked with an intransigent belief that
i am not alright or enough to be seen/heard.

the pain of birth leaves marks on my face,
small and insignificant, and still relevant
to my image seen in the deep recesses of
your unwavering eyes. i see how you see me —

an anomaly, an unnatural product of
your imagination,
an offensive form, a mouth drawn by
your discomfort.

i am paying my debt to this earth and its sentient
beings, by giving myself up and away, little by
little, piece by piece,

letting go of my (un)acknowledged/embellished/performed
body before it becomes dust & rain and fear & shame.

.
© Anmol Arora
Also read on self-sabotagingon panic, and on loneliness

Linking it up with The Tuesday Platform at With Real Toads, where Sanaa is hosting this week with an introduction to the poetics of Marilyn Hacker