in the wake of a life’s end

a kind of gloom sets in the body,
that you can feel lying underneath
your breath,

your words careful, so that they do not
harm the light, your silence loud
enough to make your presence known,

not to counter the void left behind
but to embellish it with your steps
as you move here and there, and
speak solemnly in the shimmer of
another pain that may always stay
within, like a story’s sudden end —

death always leaves one astounded,
even if it is writ in the sky, and on
our fingers, as we touch and hold
each other, we know it is there in
our very blood, and yet it shocks &
deprives us of our effort to under-
stand its proximity when it slithers
inside the room like a voice caught
from miles away to prick our ear,
and say what was not awaited but
known, visible just as the stars are,

until they disappear in a blank fog
and the eyes don’t want to see or
be seen any more.

© Anmol Arora

Something I wrote yesterday after we got to know of my uncle’s passing.

Image source (MOURNING CHANT OF A WHALE, 2014, by Hari Beierl)
Linking it up with the
Tuesday Platform at With Real Toads

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on self-sabotaging

rene-milot-fall-of-icarus-illustration-painting-art-rene-milot


your voice carried the weight of your histories,
like those block prints on a century-old manuscript
that you cherish,

you seem to have lived multiple lifetimes
in a span of one (not singular),
as people often do, like a bejeweled carving
on an empty palm,

you set the reel rolling from the desolation of Mongolia
to the ruins of Pompeii, in quest of an experience
of its own volition, of its own existence,

as i recovered from the resting thought
of my own creation, the progeny of woe,
the offspring of caged freedoms (self-imposed)—

ash and want strewn between the feet (four and many)
i, a moon-monstrosity, of a magician’s curse
ignorant in my limited imagination,

and all of a sudden, i wanted to see a sunrise
unfold in its innocence of birth, and hold
my own body aloft, at the cliff of longing,
and plunge into the cold-bitter sea of despair,
with another cutting-off, of ties, with Elpis —

a ritual closing off in its burning delight,

like the Icarian wing, with its abrupt necessity
to rebel against the desire of life.

.
© Anmol Arora

Image source (The fall of Icarus by René Milot)

Perhaps a category of confessional verses, accompanied with on loneliness.
Linking it up with the Poetry Pantry at PU

i wait at a lost November’s altar…

i wait at a lost November’s altar
i’ve stood long by your remembered altar.

the mist has enveloped your revered limbs
o, my burnt god, at your embers’ altar.

i’ve sought grace from you, my offender, — kiss
and bless my blood on the weather’s altar.

the snow-peaked red of my surrender made —
o, my hemlock-love, at gender’s altar.

i am not a man, nor nature’s rendered spring,
unworthy of your sight’s treasured altar.

the sweet incense hangs in a slender hope,
o, my sinned friend, at forever’s altar.

accept my sacrifice, my splendor’s death,
i, Priceless, will wait at winter’s altar.


© Anmol Arora 2018

For “All in November’s soaking mist” at With Real Toads — a try at an English Ghazal, with seven couplets and ten-syllable lines, and radeef, kafiya, matla, maktaa, et al. No constant metrical foot though. For the takhallus, I used the English meaning of my name. To be edited further.
Also linking it up with OLN #232 at dVerse
Image source (Sacrifice of the Rose by Keith Carrington)

For a treat, enjoy Begum Akhtar’s magical rendition of Faiz’s “Aaye Kuchh Abr Kuchh Sharaab Aaye”

first meeting

964593-6
of an igniting kind,
your eyes held an allure,
the iridescent gaze never touching me,
but keeping stable the carefully-crafted
space between us,
between restraint and desire,
demarcating our manner of speaking,

i wonder if you knew of my need to forego any
responsibility, why i did not take the first step
towards breaking the hazard of a first meeting,

i had held my words close to my chest,
tasted eucalyptus at the back of my tongue,
crafting the sounds of my voice in a way
that they shall not dissect this set order,

i was scared, i am scared, still, that i can
not be trusted to peer through a pair of eyes
to know or begin to know, all that i seek
and all that i may want,

your resting pose only perplexed me,
i seemed to be lost in my sapling-like
mind, a single thought rising in warmth
(this is where it begins to fade)
drinking the sunlight off your face, and
the silence of my dusk-enamored smiles.

your leave-taking compounded my interest
in that yearning, and not your absence —
i keep it near and vanquish the details
of the loneliness, of that solitary evening,
which is not mine to hold on to.

it is also yours. i accept,
pulling back my heartstrings.

.

© Anmol Arora

Image source (Man with a heart-IV by Stanislav Bojankov)
Linking it up with the Tuesday Platform at With Real Toads

a sunset song

the-banquet-magritte
through my bespectacled eyes,
i cannot pinpoint when the orange
turns to blush, or when the savage
evening bares its blunt fangs for
a final feeding, and still, i am
engrossed in the spectacle of
this agitation, or the sense of
its happenstance, its belief —

a half-dead day looks down on
its own destiny, of consumption
without pleasure. my pink-gold
lips flutter in this breeze that is
no breeze and i hear the drop
of a celestial bell, coming
into being,

purple sights cartwheel in this
shadow-scene.

where do you go from here?
where do you find a colorless sunset
for your blindness?

left behind —

a nightless mood
revels in this pause, that goes on
and on,

as survival hangs by the toe-nail
of a petrified sky, pure in the pale-
horror, turning into

ashes, tears, and
undesired rebirths.

.
© Anmol Arora 2018

For The Midweek Motif at PU
Image source (Magritte’s The Banquet)

***
For contact, you can reach out to me through my multiple profiles, enlisted here.

an evening reverie (iii)

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bricks, mortar, dull-white paint shedding
down the wall — the iron rods sticking out
like the full flush of loneliness — pennies
stuck to my palate — empty eyes stinging

with an evening demand for staying, clay
pots scattered, broken melon lips linking
skies with mouthed words, those unsaid
are never too dull – fuchsia pink – boiling

tricks, sweating armpits, a pulsing heat —
smoking, sweltering, steaming —

.

Image source

That kind of an evening — linking it up with Poetry Pantry at PU.

an evening reverie (ii)

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signaling the day-end is a light
soft to touch, sweet in its flavor, dark
in its attire, wiping smiles and words
from my ramshackle lips  – empty eyes

carrying in its hold wry remembrance,
it tricks me by wind-woven fingers,
playing with a velvet shadow, blue-green
in color, smooth dew-leaves in temper.

.

Image source
(Anticipation of the evening coolness by Nikolai Taidakov)

Edit: Linking it up with Tuesday Platform at With Real Toads