A queendom of one


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Image info: Reflection of overhead lamp at a local Starbucks, superimposed on an out of focus photograph of the Flat Iron Building on the iPad

There is this light
lingering, deliberate and oddly strange
Behind my ear
On my nose tip
Flitting across from one eyelid to the other
Dilating my irises in the process
Mocking me
Making a cat out of me
And I chase it
It has emanated from a point within me
A point, which grew exponentially
Until it swallowed me whole
And now I reside in this chamber
of sinusoidal light
Invariably riding over the waves
Like they were my serfs
And I, their queen
Or perhaps it is the other way around?

From behind a lace curtain


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Image: Madison Square Park, 2011

The way you look at me
Those kohl rimmed eyes of an impish fawn
Crows feet playing oars to a fisherman at dawn
I see two of me quivering in those brown irises
Like unsteady static on a television screen at midnight
The right corner of your lips
twisted into an infinitesimally small dip
Who knows what’s behind that elusive smile
Perhaps stories that run a thousand miles?
Those high cheekbones
like pedestals and sacred stones
for your deepest emotions can moor
Do I see a hint of rose?
That solitary long stray strand
swinging and flapping like a celebratory riband
tickling me more than it does you

That way you look at me
Stripping me of my ego, superficialities, false pride and all
Chastise me not, if I were to trip and fall

Wings of a cloud



[Photo story: reflection of overhead lamp superimposed on sketch filter image of own eye on iPad]

Under the pretext of mist
There was a silent darkness that hung
And yet she kept reading
The electronic backlight causing an eerie glow
She was seated, she was moving
She was pleased, she was frowning
But she was always reading
And suddenly there was a noise
of breaking glass
The eerie glow had gone
A different kind of silence had descended
The book had fallen from her hand
The story was now a spatter of invisible words
Words that had spilled on touchdown
And as she sat there, crouched, uncomfortable,
part perplexed, part dazed
Picking up pieces of glass and digital flesh
She felt a strange weight lift
She felt the mist rise
She felt mended inside
– like a stitch melting into what was once an open wound –
Permanence, she thought – while still squatting – was a myth.

The semicolon


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Image credits: Kavita Rao

Image shot from Brooklyn Bride, NY. Credits: Kavita Rao


In that one moment
Where each pixel stretched
from one frame
to the jagged edge of the next,
Where shadows
were mere dancing ghouls
of a strangely nomadic past,
Where humanoid forms
tautened to the craggiest peak
of their stringy existence,
Where images raced to and fro
like nervous vibrations
from a newly born strum,
Where now and beyond
were the two faces
of identical twins separated at birth
Where all that was dead and inert
sprang to life,
Where all that was living
was set into feverish locomotion

All that remained still
All that remained fixed
– transfixed –
Was I

*Sometimes it takes moments, but sometimes, even MONTHS fall short, to get an idea worth typing. But when such a thought does make an appearance, it finds its way onto paper (in my case, on to some screen or the other) 🙂
Dedicating this thought today to the incomparable Open Link Night at D’VersePoets Pub – clink your versed up glasses, and have fun!*

Silent fire


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Photography and image editing - Kavita

Photography and image editing – Kavita

As the navy pigments
fade into embers of saffron
infused in tints of rose
And as time settles its dispute
between bygones and morrows,
today has lazily set in
– behind the stretched landscape –
– above the river’s mist –
– grazing her edifices and steeples –
She awakens like she does each day
Her smell reaching my nose
– Not of burnt cigars –
– Not of rough pavements –
But of sacred ashes
scattered among snaking railroads,
And of an old tea house
at the corner of my street
serving life in little cups

And my heart whimpers
in nervous exhilaration
as she – yet again –
whispers to me
She’s mine and I, hers

**Also posting for Open Link Night at d’VersePoets pub… the craziest place in town, where every hour is happy hour! **

A wordless ballad


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Image credits: Google images for the bird silhouette; Other editing, layering and artwork done by me

Image credits: Google images for the basic bird silhouette; Texturing, layering and artwork done by me

Every day and every night
I hear you
call out to your kin
Your song
– rising above the sounds of the city –
– shying behind the rustle of summer –
– travelling afloat Hudsonian waters –
You remind me
of an exuberant rainbow
now faded into a monochrome of grey
You remind me
of that beautiful verse
now buried beneath the heavy pages
of my favorite book
You remind me
of my unchained thoughts
that somehow lost their way
in dark alleys of ennui

I might be a stranger to you
– to me even –
but you are no stranger to me
I see myself in every feather of yours
I hear my dream in every flight of yours…

**Dedicated to that awesome bird (whom I’m yet to catch a glimpse of) who has been giving me company even in the wee hours of the night for the past one month (at the very least). He (or she) keeps singing the same song over and over again, in the same tempo… and NO, I’m not at all bored by it. I only wish I could see the throat that emits this tune, day in day out.
And I REALLY WISH it could read my post 🙂 **

**Also posting this for the 100th week of Open Link Night at dVersePoets pub… If you haven’t already gotten high here, it’s high time you did! 🙂 And join me in wishing these awesome folks a veeeery happy 100th!! Woohoo… **

Beyond the foliage


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Image credits – Kavita

Hidden from the
blank stares of common eyes

in the autumnal rustle
of percussive willows

I hear footfalls
curtaining everything
that walked
before or after

The raised hair
at the nape of my neck
– just like when you rolled over
to whisper my name in my ear –

scream to me it’s you

Maybe it’s a dream
– or maybe not –

But I don’t want to find out
I like the standing hair
I like my name whispered in my ear
I like the sound of your name in the leaves

**Written for day 3 of NaPoWriMo… And now it’s just 27 days to go 🙂 **

Tangerine blues


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Image credits – Kavita

And that October evening
when the sun went down
It took with it
a little part of me
That part
whose skin yearned
– in anticipation –
for the sting of your touch
whose lashes quivered
– with delight –
at the thought of you

It took with it
that which I once
held dear
Very dear to me
– half my soul –

** Written (with great effort) towards NaPoWriMo… Okay, I’m off by a few hours, but hey! I did write, didn’t I ?! Well, anyway, it’s 2 down § 28 to go 🙂 **

On a bloody note


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In a confused state

Image credits: Kavita

Still flowing
in my serum
are your minty memories
I leave them there
Lest they transmute
into deliberate clots
Riddling the veins
leading to my weakened heart
 – making –
– it –
– stop –

** Written (with great effort) towards NaPoWriMo… Only 29 more days to go 🙂 **

Birthplace of a song


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Buried in deep

Photography and image editing by Kavita – Cancun, Mexico

In that dreamed of heaven
– called shore –
where a grain of sand met a drop of water
I placed a foot, or two
I sipped a mojito, or two
I picked a conch, or two
And I knew why it was the dreamed of land
I knew why not everyone could be there
I had learnt
the difference between
existing and living
the link between
music and lyrics

Moments defined themselves
in expanded universes
of little trivialities
And even the mundane
seemed liked sacred rituals

Waves touched my feet
and whispered between my toes,
secrets, which carried themselves
to the trenches within my heart
And suddenly it was all so simple
All so clear to me
Clear as the first raindrop
– that ever kissed the sea –

*Posting this for OpenLinkNight @ d’VersePoets(week 87).. my favorite stop for poetry & inspiration! *

Spires into the sky


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The urban mantra

Photography and image editing by Kavita

Long after the days and nights
have merged unceremoniously
into an eclipse of hardened truth
Long after life has perished
and death has vaporized
into a cloud of tearful smog
Long after voices have dropped
like insignificant pennies
into bowls held by callous hands
Long after dreams have realized
into bittersweet delusions
catalyzed by an ambitious cocaine
Long after the feet have run
beyond those thorny pinnacles
coveted by many a faraway eye

The city still breathes
in her million pulsating hearts
The city still bleeds
into a million curious minds

Mostly thriving
Sometimes conniving
But always striving
To seduce the unknown
To accompany the lonely
To hold back her own

And she lives…
like none other…

*Posting this for OpenLinkNight @ d’VersePoets… my favorite stop for inspiration! *

The other side…


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“Hush of a storm”
Image capture and editing done by Kavita

She’s pounding on my windows
I can hear her sobs
– her nerve twisting wails –
But little does she know
that while she is wreaking a havoc
with her disgruntled sighs
I am right here
– helpless –
Watching her tears
flood my sight
Beating the walls
of my own pounding heart
– we’re both trying to escape –
She, from us…
And I, from me…

*Posting this for OpenLinkNight @ d’VersePoets… Always my favorite! And once you visit, it’ll be yours too :)*

Grappling with a verse


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“An eye that dreamt”
Image capture, editing, rendering and color extraction done by Kavita

Look at me, how I sit here trying hard,
pen in hand and a sheet of page in front:
To scribble a word and be called a bard;
Of muse’s wrath, instead, I bear the brunt.
I beseech her to come to me one more time,
pacing back and forth, reaching my wit’s end;
Watching morose clocks of wordlessness chime,
my broken poetic cord I try to mend.
Her silent laughs through clouds of hush I hear,
mocking me at my moment of despair;
While from my red eye, slips a lonely tear
screaming her name through ripples in the air.

Wait! Are those the footfalls that have returned?
For words I feel; my listlessness has burned.

**Posted for Poetics: ‘First Times’ @ d’VersePoets… The folks here make me do things I have never done before.. like write a Shakespearean Sonnet! 🙂 And that too, at a time when I am experiencing my all-time poetic low! Seriously, when decent poetic words are hard to come by, these guys fill me with inspiration! CANNOT thank y’all enough, d’Versers!! **

Zona oblivia…


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Faces in the crowd (an iPad attempt by me)

Plunging into
the familiar abyss
of scathing looks
Stung by
the gnawing tongues
of a raging ocean
Surrounded by
the jarring sounds
of a chaotic world
Cocooned in
a transparent bubble
of chromatic moments
They stand alone
– ensconced –
in each other’s arms

And emerging from the
stark clouds of apathy
are the first signs
of a fluttering kiss…

Posting this poem for Week 56 of OpenLinkNight @ d’VersePoets pub… if you haven’t already been there, NOW is the right time to do so! Enjoy!! 🙂

The heart-collector…


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– Clicked (and later iPad edited) by me @ Marine Drive –

With her translucent veins
invariably spilling commuting sighs
With her Arabian waves
magically forming a quixotic mist
With her thumping heart
thrusting life into her slender body
With her sultry skin
attracting a rush of excited nerves
With her monsoon scent
injecting doses of moist earth
She stands there
– poised –
Eyes inviting
Arms outstretched
Smile bewitching

And all one can do is
to her incomparable charm
in her sweltering heat
before her yielding embrace
While only hoping to chant
the syllables of her tuneful name

**Mumbai, Bombay, call her what you may, she will always remain what she has always been – a mystic lover, a heart stealer, a soul quencher! For a person (like me) born and raised in her arms, there exists no better place on this fabulous planet (other than NYC perhaps 🙂 )! This poem is my heart’s snapshot at how I felt about her when I lived there, how I felt about her on my most recent trip there, how feel about her now, and how I will always feel about her! They say good things are better shared… So here I am, sharing a little bit of my Bombay with all of you… **

Over leftovers…


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Clicked and edited by me…

Like draff brimming with ennui and insipidity
Draff, swelling with pasts, breaches, gnaws, creeps

Brimming with untethered tears, tomorrow keels over

With past’s tears so easily shattering me
Ennui breaches tomorrow, easily crushing thought’s cell
And gnaws, keels, shattering thoughts passing by

Insipidity creeps over me – cell….. by….. cell

*Try reading the poem horizontally or vertically…it should read the same :)*

**This 7 X 7 square poem has been written and posted for Form for All – Square Poems @ d’VersePoets… A place where learning and fun go hand in hand :).. And while you are here, check out the awesome created by others as well…you’ll be stunned! **

An upended story


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Reflections through my lens vis-a-vis Reflections in word

Alone among myriads
When words become scattered droplets
and reality, some sheer film of mist,
A singular reflected ray of light
grabs me by the ankle
and before vanishing, it says,
“look for me when you need me most…
If you find me, I am yours to hold
If you don’t, you’ll seek me
till you choose to forget”
And among the shivering shimmers on the surface,
Where truths ripple and lies fold over,
Where smiling masks float yet eyes plead guilty,
A lone image befriends…

**This poem marks the end of my hiatus from blogging and versing (thankfully!)… 🙂 And I am posting it for Week 40 of OpenLinkNight @ d’VersePoets – where awesomeness happens! **

In fragile circles


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Image credits: Tess Kincaid@Magpie Tales

She lay on the bed
Her arms extended
ever so listlessly
Her lips quivering
with a waxed passion
Her tresses arranged
in careless swirls…

Her skin radiating
a lingering warmth
of some passing summer
Her singular tear
with the ripping force
of a bursting volcano…

Her eyes searching
through the myriad pores
on the plastered ceiling
For one glimpse of return…
For one moment of benign sparkle…
For just one sign
Of he who had kept
– Of he who had left –
her lying on the bed
with her arms extended
ever so listlessly…

**Posted for Week 104 of Magpie Tales and for Week 31 of Open Link Night @ d’versepoets – the two poetic haunts you will never get tired of! **

*** Oh, and by the way, HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!!! 🙂 ❤ ❤ ***

(K)not with love…


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Image made by me using iPad's ArtStudio

Somewhere in the space of time
our hearts crossed paths
Mine was red with passion
Yours, dark with desire
And it only took us
a few moments to realize
that while I reddened yours,
you had blackened mine…

**Posted for Open Link Night‘s 30th week here at d’VersePoets – one of my favorite Tuesday afternoon hangouts! **

Dormant, not dead


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Image credits: Tess Kincaid @ Magpie Tales

Like haunting shadows
dancing in dark alleys
They spoke to me
in hoarse whispers
They told me
never to let go of them

Like famished souls
severed from grungy bodies
They clutched
at my flaming little heart
Their sole desire
was to seep deep into it

There was no escape
from their thorny vines
– no denying
their omnipresence – 

And while I melted into
their burning passion
– While I gave in to
their relentless cries –
They transformed
into a beautiful verse
– an epitaph –
on the headstone
of my wordless reflection

**Posted for a smashing Week 103 of Magpie Tales – Where images demand answers, and we poets and writers attempt… **

In a spot!


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Image credits: kavisionz

In this universe
drizzled with black and white
My mind twirls unsteadily
Looking for something
A tap on the shoulder perhaps…

But all I see
is a maze before me
spiraling inwards

Dotted with mixed emotion
I continue to fumble
watery eyed
Hoping for a green patch
A straighter path perhaps…

But all I keep finding
is point after red point
like stains of my wasted blood…

**Posted for Week 29 of Open Link Night @ d’VersePoets Pub – the ultimate hangout for poets!! **

In a grey bubble


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Image credits: Tess@Magpie Tales (with some editing by me)

I heard your voice
fade into a lingering shadow
of a hoarse whisper

I felt your presence
melt into a stagnant puddle
of diluted memories

I watched you
slip into the recesses
of a pale obscurity

Wells have run dry
Trails have gone cold
Your teacup lay untouched
Your chair by the window rocked…
– empty –

And yet today,
when every sign of you
is ready to evaporate,
There awakens a sleeping candle
in a guarded corner of my heart
And I see your name
dancing in the flame
Teasing me
Nudging me
Telling me you aren’t
too far from my staccato thoughts
Telling me you are
wherever I choose you to be

I’m vacillating hopelessly between
an eclipse of the forgotten
and a penumbra of potent tomorrows…

*** Posted for Week HUNDRED of Magpie Tales at the Willow Manor, and for this week’s Open Link Night at d’Verse Poets Pub! These are 2 of my favorite haunts, and they ought to be yours too!! ***

** Oh, and heartiest CONGRATULATIONS to Tess on a CLASSIC CENTURY of Magpies!!! YOU ROCK!!!! Wooohoooo…**

Stranger in the house


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Image Credits: Tess Kincaid@Magpie Tales

I have seen you
precariously follow me
on treacherous dark nights,
tugging at my skirt
on chirpy sun-soaked days

I have heard you
bouncing right off
the tree-lined scape of a valley,
call out my name
from the belly of an alarm clock

I have noticed you
curiously peer at me
from the other side of a mirror,
poke faces at me
from ‘neath ripples in my fluvial teacup

I have felt your presence
nudge me lightly
in my deepest hours of slumber,
cuddle me tightly
under the coldest sheets of winter

You seem to stay by my side
through thick and thin
I know you do…
I seem to think of you
as my closest ever friend
I know I do…
And yet you remain
~ the forever stranger in my house… ~

**I wrote this poem as an ode to “Reflection”… After writing it, when I went on to visit Tess’s Magpie for this week, I saw this image for this week and thought to myself, “what better picture could go with my poem than THIS one!!” So, here’s my offering for Magpie Tales (week 98)!  And oh, this also happens to me my first poem for 2012! Yaaaayyyy!!! 😀 A very happy 2012 to alllllll of you!!**

***Am also posting this poem for week 25 of  OpenLinkNight at d’VersePoets Pub – the place where poets meet and have a gala time! Have a look yourself, and avail of all the poetic wonder here! 🙂 ***

Silent desperation


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Image credits: Tess Kincaid @ Magpie Tales

A stormy eve it was
when they had to part
She leaving him
by the deserted shore
He leaving her
by the raging waves
She making her headway
into the open arms
of a welcoming world
He heading back
to his clumsy shackles
which he called home
She promising to return
to his modest love
He vowing to receive her
with undying warmth

A stormy eve it is today
with a thousand waves lapping
against every moment that passed
between then and now
And once again he stands
by the deserted shore
still waiting
still modest
still shackled
still loving her
-Only, she is yet to keep her promise-

**Posted for Magpie Tales – Week 95. It’s been over two months since I’ve published anything on my blog, but today, the image at the Willow Manor totally inspired me!! Yaaaaaaaayy!! Thanks, Tess!! And yes… I’m sooooo glad to be back! **

Atlas meets Eos


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Image credits - Google images

For a long time now
I have been lugging
your dead weight around
It lies there
crippling my mind
rending my gut
cramping my style
weighing me down

And yet
I cannot leave it behind
I cannot move ahead

I wish you’d just
over the mountains
into grey dust
beneath the riverbed

I wish you’d just
bid me a tearless adieu
show me a weightless ray
and let me be

‘Coz for a long time now
I have been lugging
your dead weight around…

**Posting this poem for Week 13 of Open Link Night at d’Verse Poets Pub – the favorite hangout for poets and artists! Check it out… NOW… for now is the best time! 🙂 **
***Also wanted to let you know that is a poem which Vayavya has kindly featured on their wonderful blog… A huge thanks from me to the Vayavya team for featuring this poem… Luv y’all!! ***