Sunday, November 30, 2008

Evolution

First came the saintly plants and trees
That cooked their food and gave it away for free
Of peace and prosperity there was no dearth
But God felt he needed more action on earth

Then came the animals, the tigers and wolves
That preyed and killed to feed themselves
But all they did was eat and breed
And soon God was bored with their simplicity

Finally came men, the supreme race
With egos that were hard to satiate
And with creative minds that had a flair
For conjuring trouble out of thin air

They killed, but not anymore for bread
They were insecure, even with a roof over their heads
They plundered the earth in war after war
Until God began to wonder if he had gone too far

November 30th, 2008.

Backdrop: the Mumbai terrorist attacks of the last few days.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The End

(August 9th, 2008.)

In my search for meaning, to a road I was led
That had writ on it the name "Ambition"
I was told to follow it unto its end
To find and fulfill my life's mission

So diligently I walked, for days and miles
On a fruitless road, but saw no end
At sunsets, when I rested for the night
I was kept awake by discontent.

One such day, she graced my sight,
A serene lake that left me so dazed
As I rested in her lap, I felt that night
Lighter than I had in many days.

Came morning, came the time to leave
(for I may not stop but at the end of the road)
So, dutifully ahead marched my feet
While my heart stayed back in its newfound home

Soon I was back, I could go no more
"And this is the end", to myself I said
The end, not a place that has no further to go
But a place you'd stop at, no matter what lay ahead

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Real Me

July 10th, 2008.

Over the years, as I grew old
Many a thing I lost to the world
Purses and pens, keys and money,
And the most precious of them all - The Real Me.

Was that her, The Real Me,
That kid at school that loved to read?
Oh no, that kid only read
So she could be the teacher's pet.

What about this sweet lady here,
A loving friend and a caring mother?
Oh no, this woman cares only so
Some day she will be cared for.

So where is she, The Real Me?
I cannot feel her anywhere in me.
Over the years, her have I lost
In trying to be someone I'm not?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

When You and I...

(Written on May 22nd, 2008. )

A bright sunny day, the gentle breeze brings
Me the scent of summer flowers from those far away hills
I remember those days when you and I
Lazed on those hills, just soaking up sunlight....

The whiny black clouds begin to weep
I smell the first drops touch the sunbaked street
I remember those days when you and I
Danced in the rain, all drunk and wild....

Fluffy white snowflakes fill my window sill
The kettle makes me coffee to keep away the chill
I remember those days when you and I
Drank jugs of coffee and talked through the night....

Everything I see, everything I do,
Always brings me back to thoughts of you,
For the times that we shared, you and I,
Are by far the best I've seen of life.

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Greatest Thing Man Ever Made

(May 3rd, 2008.)

Mighty big pyramids, long great walls,
And bombs that can in a minute ground them all,
Rockets to the moon and far far beyond,
But he made the greatest of them all when he made God.

In his mind and in his shape
Man made God, in many a name.
Hail the genius, for no one doubts
The story man made that God made us!

The bitterest of hatred, the noblest of deeds,
The most baseless of fears, the most hopeful of dreams,
If, are all inspired by just God's name,
Is He then not the greatest thing made?

-----
I apologize if this poem hurts anyone's sensibilities. I am not an atheist, but I strongly suspect that the concept of religion as it is today is completely made up, for man's convenience. In any case, resolving the debate about the existence or non-existence of God is beyond the scope of this blog post.

This post also reminds me of another poem from a long time ago, that, surprisingly, takes the exact opposite stand. Suffices to say that my views on life have changed drastically since then. While I do not subscribe to what is said below anymore, I thought it'd be a good idea to archive another old poem on this blog.

The Play
(August 6th, 2006.)

I knew not why the precious things of life
For no good reason were taken away
I knew not when in utter despair
How a stroke of luck came my way

I wondered how two strangers sometimes
Fit each other perfectly like a jigsaw
Or how two people, brothers for years
Killed each other one fine day in a war

Flustered by the mysteries of life
And brooding over these questions one day
I remembered what I should never have forgotten:
We are all just actors in a play!

Our Master essayed a complex plot
And picked actors for each role
He gave each one their part of the script
But how it all fits, He alone knows

I trust He knows what's best for me
So I question not why the play this way goes
All I must do is play my role
As best as I can, because my Master willed so.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Last Goodbye

Completed on April 30th, 2008.

We said goodbye one last time.
My eyes, that once spoke out loud
Better than any word or rhyme
How deep and tender her I loved,
Today are just mute and cold
In her a stranger they behold.

For, brave is my girl, strong is her heart
But not strong enough to see mine writhe.
Slaves of fate, as we for ever part,
For another day I shall save my cry.
Oh, love her I did, as true as I could,
But part we must, as strangers would.

Monday, April 14, 2008

What a life!

(Written on April 13th, 2008.)

Spring green leaves with morning dew
Trees with flowers of every hue
Birds that sing a welcome song
To every guest that passes along
He walks these woods everyday
Oh, what a life 'tis, I must say!

With aching legs and muddy feet
Cursing himself, grinding his teeth
(The bird's song lost in the grind of teeth
Pretty flowers crushed under aching feet)
He walks these woods everyday
Oh, what a life 'tis, I must say.

Monday, April 7, 2008

More old ones--nostalgia.

A couple more old poems. These are my first somewhat mature attempts at poetry after a lot of "gibberish that rhymed" during school and undergrad.

On the top

(November 25th, 2004. My first thanksgiving vacation in the US. Ended up feeling a bit nostalgic about home and family back in India. Not a very refined poem, but I like this one a lot because of the bitter-sweet memories it brings. Also happens to be my first "serious" poem.)

Not long ago, I lived in the plains,
And life was all happy and gay,
With nothing else to desire for,
Until I spotted a mountain farway.

It looked so lofty and unsurmountable
That at once, I wanted to get there.
The only reason I wanted to go though
Was that nobody else could get there before.

I was fascinated by the challenge,
It was all I dreamt of day and night.
I wanted to be on top of the world,
And smugly laugh at my might.

It would have been tough for the people
Who loved me dearly to see me go.
But lest my spirits be dampened,
They never let their apprehension show.

And finally I started one fine day
On an uphill path that looked daunting.
The tougher the going got,
Stronger was the desire to keep going.

Many a time, on my way up
I had my moments of self doubt.
I would ask myself - Am I going to make it?
On a wild goose chase have I set out?

Then I would look down to the plains
Always to find someone cheering.
That sight meant a lot to me -
It was what really kept me going.

And at last, I made it to the top
The place was simply amazing.
But it was not till I looked back
That I realised what I was really missing.

I was so high on the mountain now,
That I could not see my people any longer.
And it all suddenly dawned upon me
That I had no one to share with my success or failure.

There is one thing I tell myself today
As I stand alone on the mountain, in the snow -
As much as I wanted to get to the top,
My heart pines for the warmth of the plains below.

If time could freeze

(December 12th, 2004. Also written in that initial bout of nostalgia in my first semester of grad school. Now that I read the poem more than three years later, I find that the lines are painfully long and verbose. But oh well...)

Some very special moments surface on the river called Time
So special that I wish they would forever be mine
Innocent as I am, I try to put my arms across the flow
And ask Time to let the moment stay till tomorrow
But, Time, not so kind, simply flows on
With a sly grin as if saying 'Time and tide wait for no one'

As I am cruising along fast on a highway
My heart is dancing in a swing and sway
To the tune of my favourite song in the car
But the end of the journey is not very far
How I wish time would freeze in this trance
And not let anyone interrupt my blissful dance

A few moments left with my loved ones before I leave
To far off lands to pursue my dreams
I give them a tight hug, unwilling to let go
Because when I will see them next, I really do not know
How can I make time freeze, to myself I wonder
So that I can revel in their love just a little longer

Lying on the shoulder of my best friend
And having a conversation that must soon end
So much to learn from her that will help me grow
How much she means to me, I can never show
If only time would freeze, I silently pray
So that we can talk and talk forever this way

This has gone too far, I tell myself one day
Why doesnt Time relent even as I beg, plead and pray?
I decide to confront Time, and take him to task
'Why dont you stop even once when so many times I ask?'
The reply I get makes me realize what a fool I have been
'If I stopped at one of those, the others would you have ever seen?'

Some old ones--sugary stuff.

Here are a couple of my "romantic" poems.

My Love

(May 31st, 2006. This one, though a little sugary, is one of my favorites.)

The memory of the feel of my hand in yours
Seems to be, in the pile of years, long lost.
The picture of yours I have is so old
That I am sure you look like it no more.
Even the sound of your voice in my mind
Is made feeble by the passing time.

But still, my love, I never miss you.
So people ask me if my love is true.

I open my heart and close my eyes,
And lo! You fill me all up inside.
No time no space, try however hard they may,
Can do us apart, because you're just a thought away,
My love, when you are that close to me,
Missing you?! How can that ever be!

Won't you come again?

(July 23rd, 2006.)

You came as the wind that ruffled my hair
And blew away the frown on my brow
You were in the rain that tickled my body
And washed away all my sorrow

You shone as the sunshine all over me
And decorated my smile with a rainbow
You came with the moonlight to kiss me good night
And hugged me as my pillow

Won't you come as yourself just once
And let me melt in your tight embrace
As I stand with arms outstretched
Alone in front of your grave.

Black and White

First poem to inaugurate the blog. Wrote this one a couple of days ago on 4/5/08.

I remember being taught as a child -
"There is black and there is white.
Embrace white, of black stay shy.
A simple rule to live life by."

But living on my own, soon I saw
I couldn't tell black from white at all.
What some called white seemed black to me,
My white to them, as black as black could be.

The hard way this lesson I realized -
The world is neither black nor white.
What I embrace to me seems white.
And the rest is all black to my eyes.

Disclaimer: The words "white" and "black" here are used as poetic metaphors for "right" and "wrong" or any dichotomy in general. The poem has no racial implications whatsoever
.

Hello world!

On this blog, I hope to post my poems as I write them, and a few old ones too. I'm no great poetess now. But someday in the future, I hope to be a decent one.

Brickbats are welcome as you read the blog.

- Mythili