The Bells

Pretty things blowing in the wind.
Lend your hand and hear church bells sing.
White, blue and lilac dance in the wind
And get caught on my crystal wedding ring.

I wonder if the flowers in my hair
Shower my brow in childish glee, so fair.
Oh, how you love it when I smile
Albeit transiently, everything seems fine.

Promise me that we’ll grow old
And never settle in our own world
We are nomads of time.
Honey, do you hear bells chime?

I promise to be your gypsy princess,
You’ll have all my forgiveness.
And when our time is up.
Hope we’ve had enough.

But let me touch your face again
All the creases, all the freckles.
That little crinkle when you strain
And marvel at how it feels different.

Syllables

Time waste.
Cold faced.
Shots fired.
Not replaced.

Back and forth,
Tennis court,
Stabbing knives.
From both sides.

Kicking them out.
Memories, doubts.
War declared.
Hands are red.

Sides are taken.
Friendships shaken.
Killed in due course,
Only remorse.

Limits pushed.
Feelings shushed.
I surrender.
You murder.

I’ll question.
Propose solutions.
And you’ll make
That same mistake.

We can still
Go up that hill.
Shove our pride,
To the side.
Be happy
With our lives.

But you won’t.

So I stare
In despair,
At our pictures,
Another world.
Till my eyes blur.

Poisoned by Lead(ers)

There was a girl,
Born with the world In her hands,
but she didn’t share
No she couldn’t care.

And this prodigious girl
Knew from the start,
Blessed with beauty and brains,
she was Destined for fortune and fame.

The girl knew she was destined
To lead us poor souls, restless
To make it to the top
It was her birthright, of course.

Who else would take the reins,
The rest were all too plain.
“The mortals should be honoured
To have me as their ‘mother’.”

However, some were not convinced,
And she determined them to be minced.
She demanded their respect.
How dare they object?

So she sent out a message,
To all the non believers,
And this is is the response
Of one such receiver:

I got a message the other day
From someone with too much to say
Told me I should make them my leader
And who am I? A bottom feeder?

Oh my dear sweet innocent ‘leader’
Let me tell you why I’m not a believer.
Why should I stand by you?
Became you tell me to?

My leader won’t ask for my respect.
That’s something for me to accept
Don’t try to buy my reverence,
It is not your defence.

There are many that proclaim,
“You are not worthy of such fame.
Entitlement is not an accomplishment,
With nothing to your name, you’ll repent.”

So my dear sweet child,
The world is rarely so mild.
Be ready for a rebellion,
For we, the followers, will be jubilant.

Toxic shame

A constant pounding on the inside
Trying to escape the feeling,
Of being crushed by the idea of
Yourself, that others are seeing.

I’m pounding on the doors.
They aren’t bending to my command.
Yet I do the same for,
All the people that demand.

That I shut myself inside
For I don’t have the strength.
To break free from my shackles,
All my hope is spent.

Some laugh, some pity.
Some try to act like nothing has changed,
It didn’t occur, I did not try,
and then shamefully fail.

Failure is the fatal poison to my hope,
Of thinking, one day I shall be worthy.
To rise and make my kin proud,
But I fell before I even tried for glory.

She laughs at me, “You?”
She says, “Are not worthy of love.
Not that anyone would want to,
You have nothing to be proud of.”

Maybe she’s right, maybe not.

The only way to decide,
Is to vanish; a soul lost young.
And see if anyone pays their respects,
To the soul not worthy of love.

Oblivion

I’ve lost my anchor.

And I’m free to float. Yet I’m not happy. But I’m not depressed either. I’m stuck in a limbo somewhere in between. I feel what can best be described as nothingness, but with the occasional but powerful bout of nausea. Like I’m drowning.

I’m drowning in this world that I can no longer make sense of. I’m drowning till the edge of recognition. I’m drowning, yet I’m making no effort to surface.

It begins with shafts of sunlight seeping through the water so I can see the intensity but I can’t feel it. This disjoined sensory intake confuses me. I can see my life that I left behind, yet I can’t feel it. The memories are there, but the emotion is lost. But what good are glimpses of a past life without despair or desire to put it into perspective?

As the wings of the water envelope me, the sunlight fades into a gentle glow. And my memories become blurry. I chide myself for not appreciating the memories I that could see. The feelings may not be there, but there was a safety in seeing familiar faces. As the glow dims, I feel agitated. I can’t remember the faces in the memories. I’d forgotten the names long ago. And as I sink, I forget why I was agitated. So I let the water engulf me to fill the empty places in my soul.

The water tangles my hair into knots, but vanity was the first thing to leave me. I wonder if my sanity will soon follow. I wonder if my humanity will too.

The steady current syncs with my heart beat while the stream of water dissolves the layers of myself that I’ve built up over the years. One by one, every element of my life is stripped away until I’m naked and my soul is bare.

Now I am pure. I am unadulterated. I have no memories, no emotions, no preconceived ideas and no bias. I cannot remember anything that was externally put into my head. I have no ideas of beauty, happiness, success, god, life or death. I am my unsullied self and only myself, not a product of society.

I still have my consciousness and my body. The darkness around me grows thicker and the last remaining hints of light on the surface look like stars on a cloudy night.

But I can feel my body slipping away too. My limbs aren’t responding to my consciousness. The cold is slowly replaced by a numbness and the suffocation comes so transiently that I almost don’t notice. My eyelids start to close like flowers when the sun goes down. I’m almost at the bottom. I’m almost done.

Then I suddenly I remember everything. It all comes back to me faster than lightning. My family, my friends, my aspirations, my dreams. My life flashes before my heavy eyes and I suddenly get the strength to lift my limbs. I trash and turn and move and slither, screaming till my lungs feel like they will burst. I cannot let this go. I was so stupid to think that this was the best option. The sorrow and hurt I will leave in my wake is not worth my selfish insecurities. The sound of silence is not worth it if it is permanent.

I will not go down with this ship.

Then I hit the bottom and I’m lost in the oblivion.

I Believe in Me and You.

I believe in me and you.

I believe that I can fly and will not need you to be my wings.

I believe that I can walk out into the sunshine enjoy it on my own.

I believe that I can be the woman I want to be, I need to be, and I won’t need you to show me how.

I believe that I can grow into a butterfly and you don’t need to be my cocoon.

I believe I can achieve great things, not by your side.

I believe that one day you can be a guest and not a permanent resident in my memories.

I believe I can protect myself, for myself.

I believe that I can be a bundle of contradictions, an enigma, that you don’t have to solve.

I believe that I can eat chocolate ice cream and cry, but not about you.

I believe I can buy a book without thinking what you might have thought of it.

I believe I can make a joke and not wonder if you would laugh at it.

I believe that one day I’ll stop looking at the words you wrote for me.

I believe I can go to the restaurant where you told me you loved me and sit at a table for one.

I believe I can stop thinking about you.

I believe that one day, years from now, I’ll think of your face with no regret.

And I hope that we meet again, not as lovers, but as strangers in a crowd and just smile at each other. And no more, no less.

I believe in me and you.

I believe in me.

The Loveless Storyteller That Didn’t Belong

“Great stories happen to those who can tell them.” -Ira Glas

She sits quietly on the side. Her green headphones engulf all of her face, but for her eyes. They dart from place to place stealthy but observant. People mull around her, and she knows that she doesn’t belong. But it does not bother her, because she came for a different purpose. So she waits patiently.

She sees happy faces and hears laughter echoing. Yet, she wanders until a face decides to start a conversation. As is a common trend, it is a boy with a drink in his hand. She knows his type. An alpha male who is actually an uninteresting, attention-seeking marshmallow on the inside. Boring, but she decides to give it a try. She might as well get something from the party. He hovers over her and casually tries to start a conversation. Then she looks up and their eyes meet.

She has cast her spell.

The bad-boy act drops and he is lost in her eyes. His nonchalant attitude is replaced by nervous anxiety and unparalleled attraction. He is deeply interested in her but also fiercely intimidated. He is intoxicated and her eyes are the toxin. She smiles.

She sees a warmth spreading throughout his eyes yet she can sense pain. She talks. He confesses. She didn’t expect much from him, but he surprises her. He isn’t like them, he isn’t entitled.

With a sort of nervous desperation, he confesses his story. He describes the story of his family and how at the tender age of fifteen, unfortunate circumstances lead him to break off ties with the ones that gave him birth. He had decided to live with his alcoholic uncle who didn’t give two fucks about him or what he did. Without the guiding force of his parents he fell into a downward spiral. His grades were as bad as his company. His body was on the edge of permanent exhaustion. More than substances, he abused himself.

He would have hit rock bottom on his little rabbit-hole journey had he not woken up in the beginning of his senior year realising he didn’t have a family, nor a future. The weight suddenly overcame him and he had to wake up, but not because he wanted to. He had to live his life well and not merely survive it. From then on, he has been working his way back from the centre of the earth and one day he hopes to reach the sky.

Yet, he expressed no need to have a happy family ending. His family is still of peripheral importance. That’s the difference between real stories and made up ones. Real stories have many rights, and many wrongs.

He shifts in his seat, but not uncomfortably as he did when he first sat down next to her. She has become a calming presence. Her eyes now shine with understanding and an affection he didn’t know he needed. But he needs it now.

She listens patiently as he talks about the career he has chosen. Travel photography. He says that it’s because he realised that there is more than one way to escape the world. Or just certain places of the world.

She feels a growing sensation telling her it’s time to leave. Her job is done and his story has been collected. She has done this countless times before. But she is intrigued by this boy. He seems to have grown into a man through the course of their conversation. Then she sees it in his eyes – longing.

She is used to her muses becoming attached to her, but her job as a story collector is to get close, but not personal. But this type of a longing is different from her pervious muses. It’s a longing that has been awakened in a boy who forgot what longing for comfort felt like.

Her eyes betray both her restlessness and her magnetism for him. He stops mid-conversation and gives her a questioning look. Then fear creeps up his body. He doesn’t want her to leave not now, not ever. Two hours ago he didn’t know her, now he cannot live without her. Once you have found your missing puzzle piece, you cannot afford to lose it again.

With great effort, she gets up. She can feel the tension in the air, but she has to go. She smiles at him one last time once with her mouth and then with her eyes. She gives him a peck on the cheek and turns around. She can sense him standing there, feeling lost and confused, but she moves on.

That’s bane she carries. She chose this life. She collects stories from people she meets, and shares their beauty with the world. It’s a lonely job, but stories can never become too personal because she is merely a story teller; the medium of propagation. Attachment to the story means attachment to the person behind it.

Attachment is never an option.

Especially not love.