The whisper in the woods

The wind came in today –
uninvited, cheerful.
It’s an old soul,
you could tell.
It knows it’s stories well.

It has heard people breath.
It has heard people laugh
and sigh.
It has carried kisses
and left them burning
on an anguished lover’s cheek.

All this and more,
And yet it plays
with curtains
in my little hall.

It says there is a whisper
in faraway woods.
And the whisper
has enquired
if it knew a girl
by my name.

The wind knew me well.
Trapped in my hair once,
it had heard my fears.
It knew me as how
the night would know a dream.
It asked of the whisper,
this story held in the woods
in which was my name.

The whisper spoke
of love and fear –
and how they shape
men and women;
the degree – it differs.
Some lean on love, some on fear.
Most – on a mix of both.
There is a story in the offing,
the whisper said to the wind.

The wind played purposefully
in my hall.
The curtain grazed my cheek.
A little less fear,
a little more love;
I heard.
The stories are in the woods.
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Frail Selves, ephemeral lives

There are nights
when moonlight
comes home
into the cup of my hands
and time holds still, shy
to move on.
Within its bosom,
the night holds
a wisp of the serene
and I glimpse it
reflected in another soul.

Know this –
as the world around
diminishes
and you recognize
the faint markings
of this another;
Know this –
Moments are ephemeral;
however heavy, they linger.
The cup of your hand
cannot hold
all of the light
there is to see.

What then, you ask –
What of life?
Why gather vulnerabilities?

Because it is love
we are here to discover;
Empathy – for another.
We are frail within ourselves,
vain and forlorn.
All that you are –
there is – another;
Know this, too.

A nomad’s musings on home

Sitting in a room designed to shelter a wayfarer or two, I look around and think of the word – home. Why does that word comfort? Is it it’s sound – the way it closes a loop towards its end or is it the images that come up when I think about home – a distant house; a parrot that can recite my name like a mantra, but would not know me if I stood right before it, as if answering its call? What is it, that comforts?

The smile on my face reiterates what Pliny said a long time ago – Home is where the heart is. My home – my heart! This throbbing, inconsequential heart of mine – that detaches and feels, alternately. Could I trust my heart to know where my home is?

There are a few clues it gives – unsurprising responses to the slightest probing – mother, family, friends. That circle of love and warmth a parent holds witin his/her arms. That feeling of ownership and pride a sibling’s presence evokes. Those bonds of shared guilt, happiness and trust that make people friends.

But still, you move about leaving these little worlds of warmth you call home and make islands of shelter here and there. These islands become home quite soon. The heart finds attachments everywhere. And the heart detaches soon enough.

*
A cluttered table lies, bearing miscellaneous articles of everyday life, a few books that string time together, pictures of gods one believes in and don’t. The nomad in me knows, the next time I move, I will pack them all neatly into boxes and send them ahead. They will receive me like a home looking for its favorite occupant when I arrive, holding curiosity and loneliness in each arm.

I will find a friend or two, explore places and lives. I will find new homes to shelter my soul in. These objects would, in the meantime, create an air of familiarity that would displace some of the alienation I feel.

Are we then, really disassociated souls looking for an anchor wherever we go? Do we weave nostalgia into a place, onto some relationships so that we can call some place, some people, ours?

Is that all home is, then – a way to bind ourselves to the world, while time takes you on journeys – some planned, some unplanned?

*
Outside my room, through my window, I see – it is raining. There is a bit of home there too – in the smell of the earth, in the cold water falling into my palm.

I am a seasoned nomad. I carry a hope for home wherever I go.

Elements of Resilience

I am so used to hope-
I could carve one out,
of the densest rock.

I am so used to peace-
I could set to its tune,
throbbing waters of the seas.

I am so used to love-
I cannot leave it’s high throne,
for shallow depths of the other.

I have not found a single grief-
I could not wash away-
with ounces of time
and drops of neglect, studied.

I cannot live the night,
bound to the dark!
I delight in the sweet conquests
of smatterings of distant lights.

I cannot be undone-
by a mere travesty.
I do not trade,
a lifetime for a penny.