NaPoWriMo – 2021 – Day 19 – 2

Poem in Shadorma form. (Based on Prompt from The Significant League FB group)

Shades of Autumn
(in acrostic)

Parting clouds
Abandon blue skies
Redolent –
Tinted with
Infinite shards of April
Naked and longing – 
Geese… wild, ash
Inking yellow skies
Scrambling on
Until a daisy sky melts
Crooning about love
Seasons once again
Woodlands wake
Enacting –
Elves, Titania and Puck
Till Oberon’s dream
Sweet sorrow
Overcomes a leaf –
Retires red
Once green on bark – Juliet
Weeps wisteria

© Feby Joseph

NaPoWriMo – 2021 – Day 18 – 2

Your favorite chair and why you like it . (Based on Prompt from The Significant League FB group)

The nine-month feud

Sleeping in chairs requires some romance –
Listless tired eyes of the sitter
And comfort and convalescence and well… chair

As a pragmatic flâneur, these love stories
Were alien to me and I often sat in
Unrequited benches, never knowing what I missed. 

Until one day at the house of an enemy;
I was invited under pretext of politeness
I accepted under the pretext of society and chess.

To get away from important chatter about social maladies
I had gone there to spite, in spite.
I found refuge in a large library.

There tucked in a large corner was a chair
A beautiful floral monstrosity of a wingback
Guaranteed to embrace all clichés and velvet dreams.

I sat in it – Never had I been embraced by anything so –
By anyone, so wholly, so warmly
As if flowers and the bible drew metaphors from it.

Of course, I made up with my enemy – (my dear friend now)
He knows why but is bemused and grateful
I make a better friend after nine months as a pesty fiend.

Oft, I can be found in his library in my chair curled
Like a well-cooked prawn – Soft salmon, embracing my belly 
In the memory of the most comfortable place, I once occupied.

© Feby Joseph

NaPoWriMo – 2021 – Day 18 – 1

Day 18

The Poemfish

Best caught by moonlight 
The fisherman must be patient
For this silver and saffron coloured fish
Loves to play peek-a-surface.

Once caught, cut the head immediately –
It is the first to rot; if not handled properly
Everything will rot in rhyme leaving behind
The white bones – the pure thought of a poem.

Fry with ground pepper 
Fresh with the memories of the tree it hugged
And strong sea-salt from Ahab’s grit –
The umami of a few sea-shanties and ancient rhymes

Serve with fresh butter sauce with lemon and dill
Consume while hot, lest the bones ooze regret –
The thought of cooking the fish differently or worst...
Longing for poached eggs.

© Feby Joseph

NaPoWriMo – 2021 – Day 17 – 2

Abecederaian poem. (Based on Prompt from The Significant League FB group)

The following lot was auctioned off at the famous Parotheum’s auction house on Friday the 22nd. It was willed to the house for sale by the late owner Mrs. Phillis Plungebottom nee Lederhosen. She was a famous ornithologist and part-time professional female companion to one Mrs. Packletyde before the latter’s travel to India. 

Lot No. 435

Abyssinian snake scaring device (2)
Bird cages made from linoleum and string (20)
Count of Monte Cristo’s mouth organ (1)
Duck eggs preserved in golden syrup (3 jars)

Egg cracking device with candle holding attachment (15)
Fishing for aquaphobics (435 copies)
Gorbachev’s original hair in formaldehyde (1)
Henry VIII’s guide to dieting (20 scrolls)

Invisible-man’s underwear (2 pairs)
Jane Austen’s binoculars, facing west (1)
Kite making kit with additional lard and dynamite (15)
Large black box with 27 perforations for ease (1)

Match-making kit with extra string and police whistle (38)
Napoleon’s original skull – age 15 (2)
Ornate Englishman-scarer of Bengali make, with fish attachment (33)
Pickpocketing for beginners with dictionary of aliases (5)

Queen Victoria’s chamber pot with original Mural work (0.5)
Rare Pink elephant tusk powder once owned by Columbus (3 jars)
Siberian winter-kit, with wood and complimentary matchbox (4)
Turkish Bath explained, by P. Tchaikovsky; transl. Benjamin Britten (I copy)  
Ukulele in 20 lessons or how to get rid of unwanted neighbours (8 copies)
Valentine’s day starter’s kit with extra chloroform (1) 
White chocolate bars – recipe by Ms. Whilma Fingerdo (1 copy) 
Xylophone parts from Beethoven’s lost Symphony No. 11 (45 pages)

Yiddish Ham and sausage delight recipe by Mrs. Gladys Prong-Twiddle (1)
Zsa Zsa Gabor’s wooden leg, facing east (3 right)

© Feby Joseph

NaPoWriMo – 2021 – Day 17 – 1

Day 17

Planning an itinerary to visit the moon

There must be a beach on the moon –
A lonely and long silver stretch
where insomnia and dreams hold symposiums;
Have discussions on ambition and destiny;
Hotly debate freewill and fate
Under a blue shining earth in the equinox of the night.

Fishes and Pigs must sojourn there 
After their earthly plights
Just like our vapour-bodies which holiday there
In the deep hours of the night
Floating like yellow balloons
Tethered by silver threads to our bed-bound flesh.

Maybe the genesis of art is there –
At these meetings of minds.
Surely Chopin’s nocturns must originate there
In the soft ostinato of the moon-sea waves
Or the leaves of Whitman’s sea poems
Or the moon-salt encrusted drifts of Debussy’s ‘La mer’.

There must be white steam-trains 
That escort to the moon 
Forgotten dreams from our now-distant childhood
Like paper boats carrying ant-passengers
Propelled with a child’s prayer into brooks,
Trailing behind, fast fading white puffs of steam.

Clotted memories and pains must ferry at midnight,
Suddenly – on ash-white yachts
Jettison in spas for rumination and healing 
And sneak back in, just as suddenly
For we go to bed with heavy eyes
We wake at dawn, different – Unexpectedly smiling.

The beach on the moon must be a waiting room
For all our souls in transit – Finally –
We would meet old friends by that midnight bay
While we tan our new skin languorously
Under a glowing blue earth
As we await the onward journey with a blank ticket.

© Feby Joseph

NaPoWriMo – 2021 – Day 16 – 2

Free interpretation of “3 exercises poem”. (Based on Prompt from The Significant League FB group)

Mood – At one with solitude
Emotions – tranquil, content
Objects – Piano, books, sketch-pens

Posing for Gulzar

As evening settles around me 
Lights start to fall asleep – one by one
I light a candle (old habits or reflex-action… reflex-heritage?)

I play some Schumann and my solitude reads Lawrence
When I stumble of the same old passage
I expect to hear – but hear no tsks!

I get up from my piano, go into the kitchen
And start making tea as my solitude once again
Starts using sketch-pens from a chipped Oscar Wilde cup

He stumbles somewhere – I know, for he looks up – irritated
Expecting me to tsk – I don’t of course but
Suddenly a familiar scent calls me

Once again, the milk has spilled
And once again, I clean the black granite-top
Smooth from all the times I made tea – yet I know better

I start with extra milk now; and so, as another evening settles
My solitude and I sip serene cups of chai
And turn into a Gulzar poem.

© Feby Joseph

NaPoWriMo – 2021 – Day 16 – 1

Day 16 – Off prompt

Two Mirrors – II

She looked back –
At her house… her Tharavad
Keeper of her secrets; her jail

She thought about her parents
Achan and his regal rage –
Amma and her sympathetic eyes…

She looked down –
At her purple half-saree – her favorite…
Her grandmother’s jewels.

She thought about their surprise
Her defiance… her elopement
She smiled…

She looked ahead –
The open road… the rising moon
She dared to dream

About a new word – passion
And it’s ornaments – roses and kisses
And a tranquil new colour… white.

 She looked back
At a house… her Tharavad
Beacon of her stories; her home

She thought about her childhood
Achan and rides on his shoulder to Pooram
…Amma singing and playing her Veena 

She looked down
Her saree of forgotten colours...
The tattoo of once-was jewels.

She thought about a thousand stories
Called love… called youth
…She smiled

She looked ahead
The empty road… the same old moon
She didn’t dream now

Passion had donned a new garb
Death and transfiguration
And the new colour of tranquility – Blood. 

© Feby Joseph

* Tharavad – ancestral home
* Achan & Amma – father and mother
* Pooram – festival
* Veena – South-Indian string instrument

NaPoWriMo – 2021 – Day 15 – 2

Free interpretation of “Turning inwards is not more or new”. (Based on Prompt from The Significant League FB group) 
Ode to Fatherland

It started somewhere in the colored pages of ‘Balbharati’ textbooks –
The pure and innocent infusion of knowledge and pride;
Pride which later, went through periods of self-doubt and questioning 
When a part of the crown-head of the country was to be muted in slanted lines
Did we claim that land? – was it ever ours...? What was the truth?

Questions soon forgotten, in the wake of competitive learning –
Evaporated wisdom and page-heavy books that broke our backs.
Yet somehow in a few moments of repose in that chase after higher percentiles 
A few snatches of ear-tailored news seeped in and lay forgotten for decades –
Rekindled, when essays by truth-seekers would tell stories of tribal people – 
Displaced from their land in the giant strive towards development of a nation
And how they fought back – their primitive, elemental and only course…
Only to be labeled, forever and more, toxic – unquestionable under patriotism.

Later in the murky hot mess of a universe called family – 
Golden memories of eastman-color courtyards and trees and rivers were to be buried; 
To fight battles over land, claimed and disputed 
Over yellowing papers in the wake of evaporated tears after departed ancestors.
The soil, still damp and fresh over their graves…

Land – which cost hours of toil in soul-bleeding fields and redefined morals;
To earn that baseline credit – to buy that plot of land – to insure –
To worry – to guard ferociously – till all reason and logic were lost 
For now – they had become the enemy and the mantra would remain evermore
They will come for you… 
they will come for you… 
they will come for you…

The same land echoed cries from a dream that was once Kashmir –
For Kashmir is a dream for the rest of us. Beautiful – Hazy – with no concrete facts.
Turning a deaf eye to catered news, once again we turn inwards 
And see it all again – The repeating of history; the greedy industrialists
Waiting in the wings to pounce under the pretext of “Development”
The unheard cries of the native people – Desperate people
People in waiting for a label – Naxalites? 

© Feby Joseph