grave news

death lifts its shroud
but there is nothing to be found inside —

who would i mourn?— i have no
temporal recollection — childhood-
paper-cuttings are fading, news-
print almost illegible — i do not
know how to react after someone
dies —

i bring a veil of pallor on my face,
my candy-lips quiver, a heat passes
through me, as if to denote the contrast
of my temperature — blood rushing
as a reminder, but life exists within me.

so i close my eyes, &heart — let moments
pass before it all starts to seem ordinary —

unoriginal, repetitive, coming daily
unlike some newspapers.

.
© Anmol Arora

Day 24
(Inter)National Poetry Month

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a paean to pain

have you seen the festering wound
with maggots and flea eggs, defining
the scope of pain and hurt as just
a preoccupation? did you pour liqueur
and salt on the scraped skin that has
covered the scissors with a ritualistic
charity, to part with your sadness?

unless there is a scar, no one would
know how carefully you have figured
a way to wound without wanton dis-
charge of pus and blood-filled nerves
that define your convoluted desire
for all this pain and hurt. catharsis is
the name of a tiny hair sprig sprouting
from an open contusion, like growth
in decay. they have restored cellular
activity (godly) in the porcine brains of
the dead. so what are you going to do,
if not pulling it all out with a tweezer
for a microscopic study of metabolic
activity that denotes that life reverses
and re(as)sembles itself, and applying
a gauze to move out, and hide and smile
till it looks becoming on your face?

grief is the name of your eyes that
refuse to cry. loss is the truth of your
lips that cannot remember the sparse
touch of all that you did not say, and
all that was injured by your mistakes.

.
© Anmol Arora

Inspired by the Day 18 prompt at NaPoWriMo

Day 18
(Inter)National Poetry Month

each spring

each spring, i try to count the gossamer-
seconds of a sun-stricken day, that
is not too long or too short anymore.

each spring, i return to the same old
snapshot, which is only defined by
its heat, against my lengthy heart-
palpitation or recovery of eyesight.

each spring, i try to return where i was,
somewhere down the rainbow mile of
a memory that is now too far behind.

each spring comes with its armored-
chest & wheezing cough, and i look
for a dial on my streamlined life, that
could turn back the flow of time,
encapsulating all these springs in
a needle-hand, pointing right at
the point of my origin or perchance
the drop-dead familiarity of its end.

.
© Anmol Arora

Linking it up with my ‘Open a Book‘ challenge at With Real Toads for the 10th day of the poetry month. I opened at random a page from the Six American Poets anthology (edited by Joel Conarroe) and my sentence of inspiration was the first line from Wallace Stevens’ Anglais Mort A Florence: “A little less returned for him each spring”.

Day 10
(Inter)National Poetry Month

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

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