day-breaking

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a blushful pride — the grey cloak lifting
gently, sweet dreams rising, treated with
sulfur and carbon all night long — PM 2.5
as the air emanates a deathly spell, ghostly-
white with specks of pink-red phlegm on
a boastful sky —

take a whiff of cold and dust, rubbing
irritable, sleep-deprived eyes, and find
the wind-passage to comforts of urban
pleasures and umbral treasures —

waiting, waiting for it to become a time-
turned reality — the morning of this hour,
the cajoling fear of the march —

a numb reckoning for another one to pass,
a chimney-reserved sigh to veil the dark.

.

© Anmol Arora

For Midweek Motif at PU
Image source (A cyclist rides along a street as smog envelops a monument — NDTV)

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a dawn song

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as dawn breaks and starts spreading its blush through the dark eyes of a distant cloud-riddled sky, i pick at my skin and hair, trying to be at ease with the chill penetrating me, in more ways than one. the music of early morning routine starts flourishing — the shrill of the water motor, the flush of the sink, the naivety of the kitchen song, the singular bark of the street mutt — gradually the night becomes one with the day, the day becoming one with my insomniac breaths. the bristly winds carry the taste and touch and sound of an impending cold, a sulfur-infused smog, a trilling bird’s sorrow. it is unlike any other wind, any other gust of air that passes through the seasons, through the reverberations of living. i am still pinching myself conscious, the wind is still playing its solemn instrument.

picking at my grief —
the early winds of raw cold
raise the sky in red

~

dawn arrives singing
notes of a known winter’s song —
lights seen through the haze

.

© Anmol Arora

For Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille at MLM Menagerie
Image source (City at dawn Painting by Barbara Pastorino)

all our riches

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i spend the exact change (i have left) of simple words,
gentle words, neurotic words, hunchbacked words,

to have the evening speak and last for some more time —
every second of the same quality and ruse as the lingering

fragrance of raat ki rani, dreaming dreadful thoughts
and foregoing them in a simple parable – “it is only a phase” –
i laugh at my own conjecture that it will perchance still
get better — normalcy lies ahead in a neo-noir paradise,
waiting around the corner.

“life is like a dubious pile of ash” — but Gulzar has already said
that the ashtray is full — no more space (maybe money) left
to fulfill the urge for another puff.

perhaps it is not, perhaps it is another currency,
unfamiliar in shape/size, when the exchange rate
is not known and sapphires already spent —
the parched mouths do not ask for another name
of the word — the spendthrift work over moments

to make sense of a cloud-befuddled mood, depicting natures
of the orange moon (lost in the haze of untarnished selves).

“there is a worm within us that turns everything into a threadbare
experience, a frayed impression of our yearnings,” you said.

it is good that i have another penny left in the pocket within the
pocket, where words do not reach, budgets do not measure
our wealth.

you can have it.

.

*raat ki rani (lit. the queen of the night; Night Blooming Jasmine; scientific name: cestrum nocturnum) — the fragrance abounds anywhere and everywhere these evenings
**Gulzar’s poem, Ashtray puri bhar gyi hai; trans. The Ashtray is Overflowing

© Anmol Arora 2018

For Midweek Motif at PU
Also linking it up with dVerse OLN
Image source (A Trompe Loeil Of Paper Money Coins by French School)