Nothing lasts forever...

Not even this beautiful picture book.

I brought this book home years ago
even as I saw the folds in the corners,
even as I heard the crinkle of the pages turning.
Because the pictures stood testament
to the journies endured.

These pictures, they translated silence.
So I brought the book home.

I didn't recognize then...
that this book didn't need preservation
It was meant to be read and destroyed;
that nothing lasts forever,
Not even those beautiful pictures.

I threw this beautiful book in the fire
And silently watched it burn to ashes.

-Srividya
Dec 9, 2018

Heroes and the wind

The wind sweeps over the empty battlefield,
drifting through this perpetual night
and filling it with screaming echoes
of heroes past...

The heroes -
   Mere legends of their youth,
   now transformed into hungry ghosts;
   on their incessant search
   of that one last morsel
   they may never find.

Meanwhile the wind -
   just sweeps on over this empty battlefield...

-Srividya
April 24, 2018

Some thoughts

Something happened a few years back,
He has remained like this ever since.
I think about him often.

But right now, I'd really like some fries.
I wonder if they use the same oil to fry the meat.
Ah, I don't care about it today.

Love is such a strange thing.
One day, just like that, it makes an appearance and
puts a permanent smile on my face.

Oh, I also have to tell you about my day
The spinach tasted great,
And the smelly guy on the subway is back from vacation.

I am feeling grateful today, every day lately.
Sometimes life isn't fair.
Why do good people suffer?
And, why do you work so hard?

Perhaps we should slow down a little
Smell roses, hold hands.
Or even just sit in silence.
Breathing, and together!

Srividya
March 27, 2018

Nostalgia

Yes, we need a separate word for this...

The pain of accepting the now,
The disconnect, and the anguish thereof,
The memories that live and die
at the same time,
Knowing that complexity gets distilled
into the ease of simplicity with time,

Yet, nostalgia almost always gets you.

Home is not where the heart belongs.
Home is where the heart once belonged.

And you have moved on,
even when the memories linger.

-Srividya
Dec 22, 2017

Saturday Mornings

My eyes stare at a crack in the blinds through which daylight is struggling to pour in.
While the church bells toll in the background,
and the birds chirp outside my window,
my husband plays a warm tune
On YouTube.

The smell of hot milk and instant coffee wafts in through the door
That he intentionally left open…
so I could be nudged into starting my day soon.

 
Meanwhile the warm blanket is fully bunched up on my side
Leaving little warmth for the husband I share the bed with.
That makes me smile;
perhaps that's why he loves warm music!

A million unidentified feelings run through my being,
With countless to-do lists that may or may not get done today.
Yet my body still wants to be motionless under this warm blanket.
Aah-sweet Saturday mornings!

-Srividya
April 8, 2017


 

Everyone said...

Everyone said to me that Death
would wear a familiar face;
I didn't expect it to be yours.
It is I you have been looking for
Then why did you come for him?

Everyone said to me that Death
would walk me into the night,
sparring any indignity.
But I have seen you linger
and enjoy the slow decay.

Everyone said to me that Death
will make you live your questions;
Instead you took away my answers
and left me alone in the dark forest,
running naked, away from you.

Yet, in this stillness
my stammering voice still seeks answers.
 

Srividya
Feb 8, 2017

m

I packed ten pairs of clothes
into a suitcase and headed north
so I could try to run one more time.
But m saw me get in the car
And decide to follow.

 

Most of my life, I have tried to escape.
But m somehow finds me.
m is a master, you see. 

 

On Thursday I realized
m will never
let me free; never
let me be
silent.
m will always lurk
in the corners,
waiting...

 

When m's games
no longer evoke reaction
m becomes a friend.
I must remember where I hid the key
when I wake up
from this long dreammmmmm.

-Srividya
Nov 29, 2016

Ladder and Red Dress

Sometimes in the middle of it,
I forget what it is all about.

Sometimes in the middle of it,
I forget I am playing a game.

Sometimes in the middle of it,
I forget I chose that red dress.

Sometimes in the middle of it,
I forget I am babbling.

In the middle of it all...
The ladder is the only real thing,
And the climb is all there is left.

-Srividya
Nov 16, 2016

PS: I loved the last two lines that Tyrion Lannister says to Jon Snow, at some point in the first season of the Game Of Thrones. And the rest of the poem, just came along.

On the bus

I am on the bus.

I am grateful that I am not
    searching for it anymore.
I am grateful that I don't have to
    walk all night looking for
    that exact pick up spot.
For I have been picked up already.

Those nightmares
    of being left behind
    of losing my luggage
    of not being able to find my passport - 
They're irrelevant now.

Neither do I need my baggage,
Nor will there be any further stops.
For I have got on
    and we are headed our way.

 

-Srividya
Oct 30, 2016

Time

I can hear you in the soft crashing
of the waves on the shores.
I can see you in the kind wrinkles
around the eyes of one who has smiled a lot.
I can touch you when I stand quietly
as the cool wind blows through my hair.
Yet, I know you not.

 

I am on a fast train to nowhere,
and sometimes, I see you there, 
sitting by me.
I know you silently watch...
as I fold the sheets every morning,
or rinse my glasses each night.

 

-Srividya
Oct 5, 2016

Flies and Picnics

Come along with me 
     to my little corner of the world, 
Where every step you take is a pilgrimage,
     and every turn you make is the journey.

Where these obstacles...
     They are the path.
And where those pesky flies...
     They are the picnic. 

Where the mystery remains enchanting,
     because there is wonderment.
And questions remain 
     sexier than answers.

-Srividya 
Aug 11, 2016

On never being lost.

This dog...
Is constantly running around town,
Oblivious to purpose.
The incessant fear of getting lost,
And of forgetting his way home-
These are his only reality.

He notes everything he sees. 
The landmarks, the intersections,
The shops, the train stations,
The restaurants, the police stations,
The tourists, the locals, 
the happy and the sad.

He resolves to note everything down,
Because he doesn't want to be lost.
One day, fairly tired from the running,
And the noting,
He sits down for just one second.

And asks just one question- "Why?"
And at that very instant,
He feels a slight tug around his neck,
He quickly turns around, paranoid.

In yet another frantic moment,
He sees the Master,
He sees that he was never running alone.
He finally sees the leash. 

And when he turns his gaze ever so slightly upward-
The Master's kind countenance is
Gently smiling down upon him.
And in that instant he knows that
He could never be lost...

-Srividya
Feb 8, 2016

Normal

I took one straight look at him,
No words were exchanged.
We both smiled at each other, and I thought-
He seems normal!

We walked along a long winding road,
Just him, me, and a couple of birds,
that followed us closely because
he was dropping bread crumbs for them at every step.

I asked him if he had eaten dinner yet,
It was past 9 pm and he answered-
Perhaps I have.

Now I thought- what does that mean? Perhaps?
That can't be normal.

Maybe he is trying to hide something from me.
Or maybe he is mourning one of the birds that dropped dead halfway through it's meal? 

I am afraid of asking what's wrong.
Maybe something is terribly amiss,
Maybe he thinks that I am too stupid to understand.
Or maybe he thinks that I am too weak to bear the news. 

Maybe the game is too complex to be fathomed by normal minds.
Maybe he was in deep thought and
Maybe I had merely disturbed his silence.
Or maybe he was just annoyed by the silly question.
If "perhaps" is not normal, then can "maybe" be?

 

-Srividya
Feb 7, 2015

The Non-Road Taken

I have certainly walked down this road before.
I have walked down this road-
not once, not twice,
but probably a trillion times.

 

This road is not my way home.
This road is not my way out.
This road is certainly not my destiny.
This road is my exile!

 

But my feet,
they think that this road is the only one.
My feet know nothing better than
to keep walking on any road;
And this is the only one there is!

 

But my mind has seen my destiny,
in a different direction
where there is no road.
But my feet cannot walk on a non-road!

 

So I have to jump and
believe that I can fly.
Because freedom is my destiny.
My wings will take me where my feet cannot.

 

-Srividya (July 12, 2014)

I can't pretend anymore

I am laughing right now but tears,
Have already formed-
Behind those crinkled eyelids. I pretend to not notice, and
Continue on laughing. 

 

Those tears start to fall.
Now I can't pretend to not notice
These warm drops on my cheeks.

 

I watch morbidly as
All of a sudden
They start rolling down in streams.

 

Within moments
My laughter morphs into despair.
I just watch this strange phenomenon
Knowing that laughter and despair are each
Nonexistent without the other.

 

-Srividya (May 6, 2014)

Recognition

I walk down the street and I find

that same person I always see.

With his long beard and walking stick,

his shadow spread across the street,

and smoke flitting in little circles from his cigarette.

 

With a mysterious smile, he

leans forward some, to rest on his walking stick

As if he beckons, for me to join in,

on his lovely journey to the other side of the world.

 

I want to stop and notice him, but I find that my feet take me further away.

I turn around, but my eyes resist seeing him.

And Oh! I realize I dont recognize

who I have become anymore.

 

He was a guidepost

in the convoluted grid of space and time,

And because I have learned to recognize him now,

it is, but a matter of time,

until I find myself.

 

-Srividya March 2014

The dancer and his dance.

A convulsively distorted face gazed at him,
The two terrible eyes fixed straight upon his own.
With momentary wonder, he thought,
Is this a guardian or ghost?
He couldn't tell.

 

He tried to scream,
To find the voice within;
But there was only silence.
He is asleep today, but knows,
He will become awakened tomorrow.
And, this is but a dream...

In this dream, he began to dance...
that eternal dance between the mundane and the extraordinary. 

How can one know the dancer from the dance?
Oh! They are so hopelessly intertwined.

 

-Srividya
Jan 14, 2014

PS: The last paragraph is a tribute to W B Yeats. I read his poem Among school children and couldn't get his last line out of my mind.

He walks alone

He walks alone...
They call him the lone traveler 

With a calm, composed gait,
He walks on. 

If you need a hand,
On any stretch of your journey,
He will hold your hand and walk with you. 

Across that dangerous bridge,
Over the terrible valley of despair,
Where countless travelers have fallen prey
To the demons of delusion,
He will gently guide you through... 

As you step off that bridge
You may close your eyes for a moment,
to let that shudder go down your spine,
And with gratitude in your eyes,
You may turn around, but he will be gone... 

Without even as much as a nod,
He will have walked right on...
Why did you assume he was your friend? 

Who can tell?
On another bridge someday,
He may walk with you again. 

They call him the lone traveler,
And he walks alone...

 

Srividya
April 12, 2013