Once upon an another time

Once upon an another time,

I found my forever grow with me.

I walked down a winding road,

When did dreams need a hand to hold? 

Cloudy days and rain washed streets,

Cigarettes and fallen leaves,

Tyre tracks and window sills,

Candy floss and carousels.

I walked alone and found my way,

Along that lonely mountain pass.

Tea cups and handle bars,

Sun kissed valleys and humming bees,

Silhouettes and starry skies,

Among them I stood, only me.

I climbed the hill only to find,

I left the child I knew behind.

No enemies to call my own,

No shadows on the porch calling me home,

No letters in the mailbox haunting me,

For I was free like a sailor at sea.

By myself on those summer nights,

I knew that was where I wanted to be.

Piano keys and paintbrushes,

Musty books and ink blotches,

Soaring eagles and scuttling mice,

In unexpected places I found paradise.

Once upon an another time

I found my forever grow with me.

Where I stood my world began,

And my past never haunted me.

I Found You

You, who smile when you find the moon looking at you as the clouds leave her face, like a veil being lifted. You sing of nightingales and forgotten things. You dance to a tune that plays in the orchestra of your mind. You, who appreciate the enormity of life and yet are humbled by its fleeting presence. I found you.

Your eyes are like looking into a galaxy of emotions, the Stars sparkle in the depths light years away. You hold me spellbound with that smile like a newborn babe. And all I ever want to do is smile with you.

We come from two worlds. You have seen more frugality and hardship and believed a prosperous world would be a better one. I had wallowed in excess and romanticised the notion of a more equal world. Our conversations were like a painting, never before had so much contrast existed in harmony. 

For the first time in a long time I waited in eager anticipation for the future to unfold. I knew it could hold sorrow that could sway me to madness but I knew there was a real possibility of finding happiness more profound than the stillness of a lake in a quiet countryside. Because I found you.

Your stories of home and everyday life made me smile at the innocence in your heart. Your simple yet eloquent embrace brought tears to my eyes. I have seen something so mesmerising in our midnight conversations like gazing upon a scene so intense the time stands still.

I found you unexpectedly. It was like soaring into the clear blue sky with the wind caressing my face. I found you when you were hurting  from losing another. I looked on to the swirling sea of pain within you and a wave pulled me into the darkness. 

And I lost you to a sea of faces as you disappeared into the crowd on a busy train station…

  

Fickle love

Her hand was her story and entwined with mine it was ours. And at 24 that hand still eludes me.

Romantic love has a way of making it into stories. Love can be acted out by the players in the Queen’s Court. Love can be destroyed by the sweat of the slaves who built the Taj Mahal. Love thrives in the hearts of a revolutionary hiding from the guards in a darkened alley. Love dances by the light of a flickering candle and a frayed book- narrating a story of freedom, equality and justice. Love dies on a battlefield with the last breath of every soldier. And love is reborn with the first cry of every child.

I implore you to not belittle this emotion with mindless gifts and empty promises. Don’t singe the fabric of this treasure shared by all that grows and breathes with your petty bickering. Don’t confine it to a day of shallow celebration.

If  you don’t realise that love is more than a ring at the bottom of a champagne glass. If you can’t fathom the idea of love existing in multitudes. If you can not understand why forced monogamy may not be what true love is. If you chose to believe love is found in sameness and that it is possible to fall out of love. It is you who  will never find it.

Because love doesn’t have to be forever to be. A gesture, a look, a word, a song, a dance can make the heart take flight. Love doesn’t glitter it shines-through the eyes of those who can feel it. It comes in many hues, like seeing light through a kaleidoscope. Love cannot be chained and it is not the beginning or the end. It might find you at a crossroads and it may not walk the path you chose to take.

Love may be a part of your story if you find it, but it is never the entirety of it. Our stories are not measured by the promise of forever but by the life we live and world we leave behind.

 

 

 

 

Lost in translation

They always ask why I chose so poorly when it comes to love. Why I don’t chose the guy at a karaoke bar who sings like Frank Sinatra and asks me to sing along. Why I don’t stay and chat with the boy in a bookstore, who saw me holding a copy of The Idiot and asks if I thought the unevenness of the story made it more whole. Why I don’t stand and listen to the student who sits on a bench by the art gallery playing his violin, even though the strings pull at the chords in my heart.

I don’t chose wisely because I fear love. The possibility that I might find someone who would ask me to dance with him in an empty ballroom or a newly bought studio apartment. That he might have his favourite bedtime poem for nights when sleep evades him, that someday it might lull me to sleep. That I would one day hold his hand sitting side by side on rocking chairs out on the porch and listen to the crickets. It’s like that one frequency of sound which resonates with every crystal in the glass before it shatters. It is those shards I fear because they are impossible to put back together. 

 I imagine that feeling every night before I go to bed. Yes I am a romantic if you hadn’t guessed by now. But every morning as the sun shines through the blinds I put my dream to rest. It does peek out from the grave quite unexpectedly. That I might have met him sometime somewhere but I chose to walk away. That even though I sing like a crow I should have taken his hand as he reached out while singing “if you go away.”  That I didn’t ask him if he identified with the Prince or that he wondered if he world sometimes feels so full yet so desolate? That I chose to walk past and never gave the music a chance to thaw my frozen heart.

I chose instead that which cannot comprehend my love. That which cannot hold me captive to its tune. I chose that soul so foreign that it’s words are always lost in translation. I chose that which I couldn’t love even if I tried. So my heart remains and there it shall lie buried in my chest till the day I die.

  

The art of lying

I love you.

 You looked away.

Was I joking? You ask.

Yes. Of course. Love is for mermaids and barbies. Love is not for me. It is an incomprehensible mystery that doesn’t interest me. I have watched too many backs walk into the distance. I know, forever is a mythical three eyed beast.

 Yes you say. You deny its existence and put off meeting it till eternity.

You call me your friend. Do you want the title? You mock me with those uncertain eyes.

 No I don’t! Because I love an empty bed in the mornings. I never think of fooling around in the kitchen on a Sunday. Just us. Never. I don’t want to run my fingers through your hair and watch you smile in your sleep. The thought of you reading me a poem as I drift into a dream. With your voice rolling in the distance amongst the threads of my imagination. Why would I want those things?

Nobody in your life knows I exist. You never said it. But I knew. You were always holding back. I take time letting people in. You said.

You were always hidden. Like that garden guarded by walls I could not scale. I have a wall too, every brick is a scar. I was that girl who had her heart put back together so many times, she didn’t know it could work again. But I had a back door because I had hope. And through that I let you in. To you I must be a monster because I never found yours.

  
But there were gaps you couldn’t seal. I saw that lonely heart through your timid gaze. When I looked away and felt your eyes on me I saw a yearning. When you thought I was drunk and won’t remember you told me you didn’t trust easily, I knew you were fighting to keep me out and let me in. When you called me because we hadn’t seen each other in days, I knew my voice made you smile. You were my secret garden. 

Does it bother you? You asked one day. Not knowing me well enough?

No. I am not inquisitive. I saw glimpses of you and created the rest. But knowing will ruin it. Knowing you are flawed like me. Knowing you run wild like overgrown weeds. Knowing you dream of ridiculous things. Knowing you are capable of love. But incapable of loving me.

So I lied.

The scarlet letter

Shards of glass all around me,

An eye streaked with tears,

Dark mascara staining the bloodless cheek

Bright red lips silently trembling.

 

 

I can’t sit still, for soon I die;

In my ashes I shall be free.

 

 

A heart that beats woefully,

Betrayal and incomprehension weighing it down.

A mind lost to a hurricane of thoughts,

Fragmented memories and frightening scenes.

 

 

I can’t sit still, for soon I die;

In my ashes I shall be free

 

 

Voices outside my head talk to those inside,

Caught in the crossfire I lie unable to move.

My lifeless hand with that scarlet A looks up at me,

A pool of blood and the ravings of a madwoman.

 

 

I can’t sit still, for soon I die;

In my ashes I shall be free

 

 

The whiskey bottle and my pen, beacons through the fading vision,

And I write on that paper. Ink. Blood. Tears.

Your scornful words, your despising words,

They find my language incomprehensible.

 

 

I can’t sit still, for soon I die;

In my ashes I shall be free.

 

 

It was base of me to have lived my youth,

When it is honourable for you to overlook heinous crimes?

It was selfish of me to have danced in merriment and give in to hopeless abandon,

When you scared innocence out of your heart?

 

 

I can’t sit still, for soon I die;

In my ashes I shall be free

 

 

I blame you not! In my letter, I write of my soul

The endless ocean, the crashing waves,

The unyielding desert, stillness and silence.

The night sky, each light, a smile, a tear from my lonely life flicker.

 

 

I can’t sit still, for soon I die;

In my ashes I shall be free

 

 

For my soul is untouched like a new born babe.

The dignity of my body, lost to your talk.

Enslaved my freedom, chained to that look of disdain.

 

 

I can’t sit still, for soon I die;

In my ashes I shall be free

 

 

You see me for who I am but don’t comprehend,

I am freer than a bird, I soar higher than an eagle.

My story, not scandalous as you claim, it is but like the sky.

warmth of a sunny day, cloaked in darkness of a moonless night.

 

 

I can’t sit still, for soon I die;

In my ashes I shall be free

 

 

One sheet of paper, smudged at places,

All there will be, this is my memory.

 

 

To the girl who believes in happy endings

Dear little me,

I wish I got this letter growing up, I wish time travel existed. You are only fifteen, and I may be only twenty three but I have so much to say.

You dream of that stranger on a white horse and imagine you are being held captive in your home. That wistful look is one of innocence and ignorance. You don’t know what a heartbreak is. You have not spent hours, days even weeks trying to shut out the world. You have never experienced the free fall when that hand holding yours just disappears.

Turrets and rainbows turn into faded pictures and monsters in your closet. You think after half a dozen not-so-happy-endings you would be numb to happiness or pain. But that doesn’t happen. You meet the seventh prince (they dress in tee shirts and don’t call you darling), and your heart skips a beat and you blush like you did when your crush talked to you during recess. It truly is the you could have danced all night and still have begged for more kind of a feeling. Until the day it isn’t.

But scaring you into a life of loneliness is not what I want. There may be no happy ending but there is happiness. To know what it feels like when he reads the owl and the pussycat under that old elm tree. To know how the thought of him smiling makes you feel loved even though he is miles away. To have that one picture where he is not looking at the camera but at you and his eyes say more than words ever will. To forever cherish that night he cooked dinner (yes, rocks taste better) and you danced….your shadows intertwined in the candlelight. To have that one song that reminds you all at once about how he made you feel. And yes the fights hurling the first thing you find at him over losing a game of scrabble or is-that-lipstick-on-your-collar? Making up after the fights because it really was just tomato sauce(yes the tests confirmed it, not a false negative, yes I am sure).

Sometimes it will not be about love. You will make choices that end in a 7 AM taxi ride (messy hair and heels in your hand) or an empty bed and an almost illegible note. They may be stupid decisions (like the last whiskey shot) but you get to decide if they are right or wrong.

There will be a time when love will take a backseat. You will want to change the world, to grow wings and fly. Don’t dismiss that person who made you laugh. Don’t give up on someone who can hold his end of the conversation. Yes it will end and yes it will hurt. But if you do, someday you will look back you will regret letting him go without a fight. Because love that doesn’t last is just as true as the love that does.

I will not tell you to love yourself because what’s not to love?!

So promise me you will never give up. He will never be what you expected, maybe you meet six guys before you meet him maybe sixty. Maybe you meet someone else after you meet him and maybe he turns out to be Harry to your Sally. Maybe you meet him in high school and he is your prom date or maybe when you are in an old age home half demented and losing bladder control. Just promise me you will never give up on love.

Your so-very-messed-up-23-year-old-self

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