Voyaging Along

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Mist, a blanket of death, is rising.

 

With sunken eyes I look around,

seeing nothing but damp darkness.

 

The night’s dank dew clings

to blades of grass.

 

The cold wind chills the marrow—

an invisible stiffness grabs from behind.

 

A crescent moon rises up

from distant hills

 

like the face of a corpse,

surrounded by dim, starry candles.

 

Beside the gnarled tree of ancient wisdom,

under leaves dripping with oily water,

 

under the wake of an earthquake,

I stand quiet and mute.

 

Longing for dawn, I move

in a new way to a new space.

 

Leaving dead petals back

with heavy memories of the Past,

 

I move on, searching for a place,

where suffering meets its end.

 

Stepping over black twigs and a dead fly,

with all my soul, with all my bleak thoughts

 

of death and decay,

I move on, searching for a place,

 

where misery meets its end—

and shrinks like raisin in the sun.

 

 

Twitter @bibek_writes

Not Floating but Exploding

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A sheaf of paper drops like a Raku bowl
From the edge of the table.

The light plays the trick, reflecting,
Momentarily blinding
With million images and mirages.

The paper drops and explodes,
The fragments go on and on—
Like rumination.

I was a child once, then young,
Now an exploding piece of paper,
Waving through the furious air.

Rumination won’t stop.
No, not even with the corked bottles,
Or the bright multicolored pills.

I used to hide under the covers,
Or in the closet with my own clothes.
It was of no use.

This pain, this rumination would
Wake me up from my dreams,
Leaving me lethargic for rest of the day.

The juniper outside, the dull furniture inside,
They are of no use—
They do not listen to me rant.

The paper flies away,
Away from a lifeless body of mine,
Across the ethereal void of time.

I am just an object in this space
Without any aura,
Or any meaning attached.

Twitter @bibek_writes

Melancholy Eggs for Breakfast

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The time for melancholy
Has just started.

I think over breakfast, slicing
The poached egg into two.
Melancholy is all yolky—
Easy to digest and remember.
I wonder how it is often
Confused with creativity.

I dab the brown bread
With a lump of peanut butter—
Smooth as sadness—
And take a greedy bite.

“Is it the only way for artists?”
My friend had once asked.

I rant of things in retrospect,
Scribble lethargic lines of divine despair,
Unable to keep my mouth shut,
Or my pen down.

I once wrote a hate-poem
About a friend,
Now she’s no longer my friend.

I’ll never forget what her eyes looked
As she read the poem—
Marble-heavy, burning with loathing.

Sometimes silence is golden.
And gold is the solid quantity
To measure anyone’s success.

I finish my coffee.
I eat the last bite of the poached egg.
It’s poetic whether I want it
to be or not to be.

Twitter @bibek_writes

Nicotine

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I started smoking at four,
At thirty-two I had lung cancer.
The same year
Mama had died of alcoholism.

Now and then, I coughed
Blobs of yellow phlegm
Sometimes, even blood.

The doctor said
I only had a few months more,
Told me to put things in order.

I came home,
Took off my jeans,
Unbuttoned the peacock blue shirt,
Sat on the edge of my bed
In my underwear, and lit a cig.

With sweet smell of
Nicotine covering my face,
I thought about my will.

Children I had none,
I never saw my father,
I doubt if I even had one.
But I had a wife, I think I had one,
Who left me a year after our marriage,
And ran away with a taxi driver.

I don’t know where she is,
Or what she does.
I wonder if she found
The man of her dreams,
I heard she ran away twice,
My god,
She must be an awfully good runner.

I pulled out a briefcase
From under the table,
Opened it, took out an old photograph,
Taken by a film camera, probably a Yasuda.

A portly kid in khaki shorts
and bare chest stared back at me,
squatting, the underpants visible,
and smiling.

Caressing the blunt edges of it,
I felt, I, too, had a childhood,
Or at least a sense of it.
But now, I was going to die—
I’ve got to be prepared.

So, I lit another cig and took a deep drag.
Then and there I knew what I was going to do—
Sixty cigs a day—that’s my will,
And a ticket to heaven
By the end of this month.

Twitter @bibek_writes

Waiting

A poem from a year ago!

writing till the end

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It is one of those days when

Everything seems blocked,

Everything seems crushed,

Everything seems so slow and heavy,

You don’t even want to wish for a change.

You lie down lazily on your bed,

Look out of the window,

Watch the clouds change into

Objects of your desire,

While the wind softly blows

Trembling your heart like a leaf.

You keep waiting

With a cup of coffee in your hand—

Waiting, waiting, waiting,

Till the coffee cools and thickens,

Now you don’t even want to take a sip.

It is one of those days when

You look into your breast-pocket,

Find out you can’t even afford to smoke.

Arms behind your head,

Legs crossing and uncrossing,

Every now and then,

You look inside—the wanly lit room

You look outside—the dawn turning into daylight

And keep waiting.

It is one of those days when

Everything seems blocked,

Everything seems disturbed,

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I long to go away

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I long to go away
From this city,
Leaving the streets and houses
Calcified and mauled
Like ancient cemeteries.

I long to drift away
Like soft autumn wind
Blowing the ghosts
That hang in the air.

As I am walking away
A leaf falls on my hand.

Distant mountains wallow
Over the fallen foliage.

A ghost falls
From the sky,
Paralyzed, electrocuted,
In this city
Of sadness.

Darkness swirls.
Silence descends.

My thoughts deepen.
I am a lonely wanderer,
Lost, walking through time,
Laden with grief.

I am unable to compose
A verse
Of life.

Sad.

I am the saddest person alive
In this city.

Twitter @bibek_writes

No one is here

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No one is here.

 

Rain falls

On the tile roofs

Of lonely nights.

 

An old owl hoots,

The sound echoes

Through the silent streets.

 

At this ungodly hour

Wet voices meet,

Rain soaked and puffed.

 

I sleep in my small

Suburban room.

 

The rush of the downpour—

Voices and their wasted alchemy—

Poises an equilibrium against

A floating stillness.

 

Shadows mingle.

 

This concrete city sleeps

In a Lethean stupor.

 

No one is here.

 

Rain falls.

 

An old owl hoots,

The sound echoes

Through the silent streets.

 

 

Twitter @bibek_writes