The Moment I fell in Love with Poetry

I couldn’t tell
the exact moment.

Maybe it was in 7th grade
when I memorized poems
for home work
so the teacher would not
be mad at me,
or maybe when I tried to
impress her for
3 extra grades.

Maybe it was the time
when two words I wrote
rhymed, and I became
a certified poet in my childish mind.

Maybe it was in 12th grade
when my crush wouldn’t look my way,
so I’d write about it everyday.
I didn’t know I’d really
laugh about it someday.

Cliche, I know.

Maybe it was the first time
I performed in front of strangers
about an animal and the man,
my throat ran dry
every time I had to greet someone.

Maybe it was when
we put up poetry evenings
in our college lawn
shaking but sure,
I decided to perform, a second time.

Maybe it was under the
moon lit February,
the day Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye
filled the air with echoes
of the arrival of love.

Maybe it was
taking a poetry class,
those meek yet subtle
lines that tied all of us together,
spilling truths we’d never tell
anyone alive.

Maybe it was that day
when I received a call for
a paid performance,
but it rained and rained on the
performance day,
not just once but twice.
And yet the soaking rain
made me grateful than sad.

Maybe it was all of those times
I’d divide a portion of my salary
to buy more poetry books,
uncovering secrets of human life
in lines.

Maybe it was in those days
when I couldn’t speak,
unable to devise an utterable word,
but still could write,
miles and miles.

I couldn’t tell
the exact moment.

I couldn’t.


This World Poetry Day, I tried reflecting back on when and where I fell in love with poetry. I couldn’t. I couldn’t. Like the veins of our bodies that run through each of our cells, I couldn’t find a place or a time when poetry was not there, sometimes in foreground, sometimes in background. 

The Adventures of Minu and Bo: The Rainbow Umbrella

Minu and Bo are two brown squirrels who live in a big tree with purple leaves. The purple tree as it was called, was at the center of a big garden, opposite of an even bigger palace. Visitors often came to see the palace and the two squirrels marveled at them.

“Big camera!” Bo screamed pointing at the girl from the tree. There were a few more people behind who were clicking photographs of the palace. Bo ran as fast as he could, Minu followed.

The girl could see Bo’s nose up close, his messy fur and sharp claws. Bo had jumped in front of her camera and started waving his hand while Minu was pulling him away. Bo wouldn’t budge. The girl clicked a few pictures, Bo kept on waving as Minu looked at everyone nervously.

“Lets go Bo,” she kept on saying.

Minu eventually dragged Bo towards the purple tree. Bo kept waving till they disappeared inside the tree trunk.

That was the usual Bo, always happy to meet the humans. Minu was a little skeptic, but the humans often left them a few nuts, which made them very happy.

“Ohooooo….,” Bo said shivering as they reached inside the trunk.

Minu peeked out of the hole. The sky had suddenly turned dark and the visitors were slowing moving away. She could see a colored umbrella lying on the grass nearby. Bo peeked out.

“Someone must have left it, Bo,” Minu said looking at the umbrella. Bo nodded.

They could feel the drops of rain falling over their heads. Minu moved closer towards the umbrella. She pulled it, but it was too big. She signaled Bo for help. They slowly dragged the umbrella towards the tree. The sky turned darker as the clouds moved closer. They stopped just outside the tree.

“What are we going to do of it?” Bo asked. He paused for a while, and exclaimed with sudden excitement, “Its rainbow colored!”

Bo liked watching the rainbows. Minu always told him about the rainbows that would shine after the dark days filled with rain.

“Help me open it,” Minu said pointing towards the umbrella.

The two little squirrels tried their best. Bo had given up many times, but Minu wouldn’t call it quits. Finally, it opened. They kept the umbrella beside the trunk and arranged for it to stand on its own. Minu went inside and bought two nuts. She gave one to Bo.

“Lets sit under the umbrella and watch the rainfall,” she said. Bo finally understood.

They chewed on their nuts as the rain fell on the ground. The smell of wet earth filled the air. The rain stopped after a while and they decided to close the umbrella and dragged it inside the trunk. A rainbow shone across the sky. Bo was delighted, so was Minu.

“Lets thank the owner if they ever return,” Minu said. Bo agreed.

Minu drew two squirrels over a card and attached it with the umbrella. Bo wrapped some nuts to give its owner. They kept the umbrella back over the place they had found it.

The owner hasn’t returned yet, but they keep the rainbow umbrella over the same place everyday. Bo changes the old nuts and adds fresh ones. He usually eats the old ones before they get bad. Minu keeps drawing over new cards, as they continue to watch the rainfall under the rainbow umbrella waiting for its owner.

(Also published in Kindness Times on August 10, 2017.)

Listen

There are days
when I listen to the words
coming out of my mouth
as closely as I can,
after the words
have left me,
materializing into sounds.

What do the words mean,
where do they lead me?

Sometimes guilt takes over,
a little ounce of arrogance speaking;
but time is so that it shall
not turn for anyone.
And all I am left to do
is to listen to them
materialize into sounds.

Word by Word

Have you met someone
just like you,
not by age, or by style,
nor by choice, or by chance,
but word by word.

Word by word,
to come to light,
to discover the rough edges
of the sentences
and the pauses in between.
Word by word,
to realize how you’re
just the same.

Word by word
you’ll build your world,
and then world by world
you’ll come to find
that not all words are the same
even through they may
carry the same aim.

Word by word
you’ll dream,
clinging unto quarter realities
and half imaginations,
engulfing you
more than the air you breathe,
but shall they always remain?

Word by word
you’ll drift apart
from the world
that was.

Word by word
ripping itself
will be your heart,
for all the words
that did not come.

Word by word
time shall pass
filling lines and pages,
and years in between,
stuffed inside
black and blue ink
and all that has been.

Word by word
we’ll rise up again,
word by word.

Have you met someone
just like you,
not by age, or by style,
nor by choice, or by chance,
but word by word.