We try to capture time
in vases, in glasses and bottles of wine
but it dries;
in prose scattered across words,
in notes and dimes,
but it flies.
We try to capture time,
in the ice cubes that melt
at the first touch of your palm,
in the sugar inside the
cheese cakes when we dine,
but it all ends up emptied
again and again.
We still try to capture time
in games of charades and
questions we’d never ask anyone,
in one word texts
nobody really understands;
in fears we try to drown
by denying the world made
by our very hands.
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
Maybe it was that day
when I received a call for
a paid performance,
but it rained and rained on the
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
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.
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.
‘Mama,’ said the Baby Bear as they dug the pile of garbage for food. ‘Why does it smell so different?’ she asked again.
Mama Bear frowned, she had no answer.
A group of 12 polar bears had left their home in search for food. The older ones were starving, the younger ones were afraid. They had just come across the pile of garbage, where humans, the most superior of beings as marked by God, had left a humongous mountain of waste.
Baby Bear dug dipper, she had found something. It gave off a pungent smell. She realized it was not food. It was a cellphone. She could not eat it.
‘They are coming!’ said one of the elderly bears. The entire group rose up and started moving backwards. The humans had arrived with loud noises. They had crackers along, and a pack of dogs with them. The dogs had already begun barking.
‘Mama, what do they have?’ questioned the Baby Bear.
‘We must move,’ said Mama Bear.
‘But I’m still hungry.’
Mama Bear frowned. Some of the bears continued digging for food. Their pearl white fur had turned brown and black. The smell was unbearable.
A loud noise scared the bears even more. Nearby, the humans had just lit their crackers. The dogs were barking loudly.
‘It’d be better to move,’ said one of the bears. But the pack was very hungry. The bears had not eaten for three days. They had to pick one, fear or hunger. And hunger won the battle. A few moved back, while some continued digging, chewing on whatever their senses allowed them to pass as edible.
Baby Bear found a can of food. It gave off a pungent smell, but she realized she could eat it. She swallowed it in one breath.
A few more crackers went off and the bears retaliated, their hearts stopping for a micro second. The barking had become louder and louder. The dogs were nearing in.
The pack finally decided to backdown and moved further back. They slowly started to disperse. The food hunt had been paused.
A group of polar bears is called ‘Celebration’. But the pack that entered human settlement in the Russian village recently, was not about celebration of any sort. Humans are on top of the food chain so we’ll receive the blow at the end, but the blow is also likely to be final. My heart capsized when I saw the picture of the bears searching for food in the trash. What have we done to bring such magnificent beasts of nature to this point?