The Sunday Afternoon
Is that Melancholy never leaving you away?
Or the loneliness bothering you by any chance?
Stray, your mind wouldn’t get along.
Roll up your sleeves and get to the bazaar.
Walk aimlessly, through the crowded streets..
Search nothing, exploit your vehemence.
Look and observe, people around you.
The age old buildings rest in the state of dilapidation,
cars could be rushing if streets wouldn’t be jammed.
The long wait near the level crossing,
there goes the train whistle…
A child holding a flower, sitting beside her mother
in a bus and questioning her about the flower endlessly…
Couple of old men carrying piles of goods in handcarts,
crossing a jammed street under the scorching July sun.
A ragpicker laying in a pavement, resting under a tree,
eating hot cross buns with her two little children.
Of the stores and open markets in the Sunday afternoon,
the road vendors, the greengrocers, the huge bazaar,
27/7 working gym for those fitness fanatic breed,
the overcrowding salon, the beautiful bakery outlet,
two adjacent fashion boutiques and a retail plant shop.
Couples shopping in the exorbitant malls,
some are on dates in the vintage cafes and
the others filling up the bars and lounges for the night.
There is so much to see, the grace of busyness
in every corner of the city.
Some may look bizarre, some real,
some obnoxious, some following normalcy…
every single person is busy, some are engaged in working
whereas some are enjoying, probably some are napping too!
And there is You,
who is busy thinking how ugly your face can appeal?
Slowly, the blazing sun will silently fade into the horizon,
the bright yellow sky will turn crimson red
and soon the twilight will fall,
the sky attempting to grow darker and darker
until the night with starts and the moon shall appear.
If you were to swipe bodies with another individual,
how would you like to spend your Sunday Afternoon
on a day like this?
The beholder of this mesmerizing sight,
to experience the beauty of a busy Sunday afternoon
prevails over this melancholic person,
absorbed by the world,
so here they should stand quietly to see through…
“If I could change one thing about you, I’d change your eyes,
exchange them for mine so you could see what I see when I see you.”
You must wait,
till the day gets over.
Day 23 of Na/GloPoWriMo 2023.
Prompt 23 source: https://www.napowrimo.net/day-twenty-three-9/
here’s our optional prompt for the day! Start off by reading Arvind Krishna Mehrotra’s “Lockdown Garden.” Now, try to write a poem of your own that has multiple numbered sections. Attempt to have each section be in dialogue with the others, like a song where a different person sings each verse, giving a different point of view. Set the poem in a specific place that you used to spend a lot of time in, but don’t spend time in anymore.
Have you ever been happy in a dream?
I had a dream last night,
swirling through the tranquil green waters,
my body floated like a quill,
while opening my eyes
I could feel myself swimming
across a blue-green ocean, unfamiliar.
I flapped my limbs as if it were palmate feet,
I can’t feel my hair, nor my stomach rumbles,
my brain was empty; something was eerie about me.
Yet I kept swimming, looking for a shore..
but something dragged me underneath the emerald waters
I dramatically sank under ocean world, feet feeling numb,
my hands fluttering, rapid heartbeats, over breathing…
I fear running out of oxygen, choking in the midst of dashing
but to my surprise, I could breathe waters and oh see-
What flabbergasted me more was my long tail.
A fluke? Oh, there you go, startled by my own appearance.
Did I just turn into a mermaid?
I instantly tried my fluke into a drifting a circle in the water,
Woosh, I immensely enjoyed that feeling!
As I swim through the darkened waters,
the depth expands, darkness rises, and all I could search for
is the Marine Garden, until I reached an abandoned wretched abyss,
I stepped in to find an inscribed nameplate of Davy Jones’s locker.
I still couldn’t find out who pulled my tail down to the ocean bed.
Yet I kept flowing to the land, wrecked in the underworld,
So I explored through the ruins, to find a whole pod of mermaids.
Their home ruined by a sea dragon and they are homeless now.
I went a step closer, they bowed their heads to honour my presence.
Oh good heaven, where did I land?
When I realised something wasn’t right,
one of the nereid tried to explain me,
Another shock, goodness gracious! I discovered-
Davy Jones’s locker, the magical palace of the underworld!
As I swam towards the sea dragon’s lair,
I knew this battle would be difficult.
The mermaids had told me about the destruction the dragon had caused,
but I was determined to protect them.
The dragon awoke with a roar,
and we engaged in a fierce battle.
He was powerful,
but I used all my strength and cunning to evade its attacks
and strike back with my own.
Finally, after a long and gruelling battle,
I emerged victorious.
The mermaids cheered and sang my praises as I returned to their pod.
They crowned me the queen of the sea, begged me to rule as the Nymph.
Then onwards, I, in my finest element ruled with fairness and justice,
protecting all of its inhabitants and ensuring that they lived in harmony.
My alarm went off… It was just a dream!?
Confused, I kept introspecting for few minutes but,
What could be more mesmerizing
than feeling the ecstatic experience of a childhood dream?
As I woke up from my dream,
I felt empowered and inspired.
I knew that I had the strength and
courage to face any challenge that came my way
and that I could make a difference in the world around me.
Even though it was all just in a dream,
It all felt so real for a while.
A dream come true inside a dream,
Gave me utter happiness at the end!
Day 17 of Na/GloPoWriMo 2023.
Prompt 17 source: https://www.instagram.com/poemsindia/ I had a dream you won’t understand even if I tell.
Today’s poetry prompt – a window into the unknown, a door left slightly ajar to a world of symbols and hidden meanings. It beckons us to delve deeper, to unravel the threads of our own personal myths and legends. It is inspired by the enigmatic nature of our subconscious thoughts and the mysteries that lie within them.
What secrets does your dream world hold? What truths lie just beneath the surface of your unconscious mind? Write a poem for #poemsindianapowrimo day 17
vindicated my desires
Day 15 of Na/GloPoWriMo 2023.
Prompt 15 source: https://www.napowrimo.net/day-fifteen-9/
Here’s our (optional) prompt for the day. Begin by reading June Jordan’s “Notes on the Peanut.” Now, think of a person – real or imagined – who has been held out to you as an example of how to be of live, but who you have always had doubts about. Write a poem that exaggerates the supposedly admirable qualities of the person in a way that exposes your doubts.
Of Love & Grief
If it’s better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all,
Then how do you explain grief
To Romeo in sight of Juliet’s lifeless body?
How do you weigh grief and love
In the scales of emotion
When the pain of separation
Is enough to kill the lovers and set aflame years of togetherness.
Henceforth, it is a plea to the creator-
To let the characters live in their aura,
To summon Romeo and Juliet in the multiverse-
The greatest of all, not a tragedy to be called hereafter:
Juliet: Oh Romeo, what costs you to deceive such a love,
and to carry the pain of sustaining your beloved in thy mighty arms..
Romeo: My dearest Juliet, the pain of deceiving you against all odds,
is beyond measure to the pain of living an insensate life devoid of your presence.
Juliet: Unsought all these years, I’m surprised to seek a man,
Who fights like a fierce rebel, and aspire not to be a hero-
Rather set a glory to procure his lover.
I must praise your resolute attitude, darlin’
Romeo: Your words cut deep, my love,
but what glory remains in the bare cold hands of your beloved if not love?
Juliet: I’m certain, ‘tis the dire desire of belongingness.
To be yours, to be mine and to become us till the end of life.
Romeo: So be it, if union isn’t written in our fate,
We shall chisel our love into the pedestals of time with our bare bloody fingers
Till every next lover is called Romeo, and his beloved, Juliet…
Juliet: We shall remain eternal lovers,
in every universe and in every poetic verse of romance,
our souls bleeding love enamoured with ceaseless joy,
To hold each other in every story, soliciting the creator-
a blithe tragedy shall never be bequeathed on any beloved individual.
Romeo and Juliet: Let us be free from your yearnings, oh heavenly Master.
We meet in the next alternate universe,
where time and space cannot keep us apart
and the stars shall guide us to a happy ending.
~Navaparna in collaboration with Minhaz
Day 14 of Na/GloPoWriMo 2023.
Prompt 14 source: https://www.napowrimo.net/day-fourteen-10/
Now for our (optional) daily prompt. Hopefully, this one will provide you with a bit of Friday fun. Today, I challenge you to write a parody or satire based on a famous poem. It can be long or short, rhymed or not. But take a favorite (or unfavorite) poem of the past, and see if you can’t re-write it on humorous, mocking, or sharp-witted lines. You can use your poem to make fun of the original (in the vein of a parody), or turn the form and manner of the original into a vehicle for making points about something else (more of a satire – though the dividing lines get rather confused and thin at times).
Today, I’ve tried something new in composing this poem. With my friend, Minhaz who is apparently another poet, we formed the dialogues impersonating Romeo and Juliet, him acting like Romeo 2.0 and Me as Juliet 2.0! It was so fun and creative that we really enjoyed letting our creative juices flow restlessly. We can literally change the world with our new vision isn’t?? haha do let us know your thoughts on our newest attempt for trying out unconventional way of composing poems.
A satire in the form of a conversation between the two famous lovers of all time from Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy- Romeo and Juliet. The dialogues are directing a new way of exhibiting the characters in the modern context, to exist as the power couple in every universe and to not give up on love, while fate may guide them in a better path so that do not they end up dirty in the hands of fate. The poem is a plea to the Author, to recontextualize the plot and bring in a new light to the characters. The main reference of this poem is to criticize Tennyson’s philosophy/ poetic context:
“I hold it true, whate’er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.”
from Lord Tennyson’s poem, In Memoriam A. H. H. OBIIT MDCCCXXXIII: 27 https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/45336/in-memoriam-a-h-h-obiit-mdcccxxxiii-27
Listen to me.
Listen to my thoughts,
Until they find a way to reach you.
Believe me they are alive,
when they speak of you.
Be my strength that can,
condemn my weakness.
You are the voice,
that echoes in every dark hallway,
in every empty street,
and in all the vacant squares
of my hollow heartbeat.
You fill that void inside me,
that no man could ever complete.
You are healing me;
healing a broken heart,
painting my b&w life
with all the colours of rainbow.
You are the oxygen I need to survive.
Be my ventilator,
if I ever go down in life;
I would embrace death happily,
with you by my side.
Day 12 of Na/GloPoWriMo 2023.
Prompt 12 source: https://www.napowrimo.net/day-eleven-11/
Now for another (optional) prompt from our archives. Today, I challenge you to write a poem that addresses itself or some aspect of its self (i.e., “Dear Poem,” or “what are my quatrains up to?”; “Couplet, come with me . . .”) This might seem a little “meta” at first, or even kind of cheesy. But it can be a great way of interrogating (or at least, asking polite questions) of your own writing process and the motivations you have for writing, and the motivations you ascribe to your readers.
I’ve tried voicing my thoughts and turning them into a poem. Some speak requests, some are praises, some are advice whereas some are merely asking them to listen to them. Oh it’s hard to convince both mind and heart, yet we need the ultimate satisfaction in the end. At least I need that. ‘Thoughts become words and words permanently stay with us.’ With every new thought, a poem can be formed. It’s beautiful to think how our mind works, the way we have the ability to fantasise, romanticise and dream about almost everything and much more beyond than everything that we can ever think of. Rupi Kaur is my favorite author till date, she has always been. Motivation, reassurance, most realistically, poetically ever written short poems are a great source of inspirational powers to me, and for all of us I hope. And another favorite author of mine- Noor Unnahar for her book “Yesterday I was the moon”. “Milk and Honey” by Rupi Kaur has healed half of my heart.
A lover to another,
“I will never tell anyone about us,
You are my secret.
I will keep it like an oath babe.
We sit there listening to the cries of the world,
We sit there listening to the heart beat of ours.
A world outside a world within,
A world of us.
Our hands touch as it sounds of thunder behind,
And we blink back to reality.
I can’t be so harsh with you,
You deserve so much love.
You were wonderful
You were trying to love me
It hasn’t happened in such a long time now
I will not see you again
I am sick i need to heal
Goodbye my nemesis,
I am sorry for being too weak this time
to let you destroy me.
Maybe someday later”
Day 11 of Na/GloPoWriMo 2023.
Prompt 11 source: https://www.napowrimo.net/day-eleven-11/
Here’s for our daily (optional) prompt. This prompt challenges you to play around with the idea of overheard language. First, take a look at Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem “One Boy Told Me.” It’s delightfully quirky, and reads as a list, more or less, of things that she’s heard the boy of the title – her son, perhaps? – say. Now, write a poem that takes as its starting point something overheard that made you laugh, or something someone told you once that struck you as funny. If you can’t think of anything, here’s a few one-liners I picked out of the ever-fascinating-slash-horrifying archives of Overheard in New York.
The lines used in the poem are taken from a conversation with a once-upon-a-time’s my favorite person. The entire poem is quoted because I want to make it pretty clear that I have not written this poem. The lines are various messages/texts from a different person, not a single sentence is written by me, No. I’ve curated, filtered it from my chats from this particular person and the messages are just copy pasted here- literally formed a poem itself! Surprising isn’t? This person must have some kind of literary genes, maybe.. But he is super good at writing terrific one-liners. Oh it breaks my heart to say he is no longer with me but we had a past, with all the lovely memories that we cherish now. His texts fascinates me, and I don’t know why he texts like he is writing poetry but I melt down whenever he texts me this way. Hence, I really wanted to show you people how this person and his words affected me in a number of ways, ‘inspiring’ to be precise, and yes I treat him like a poem and he is my subject for today’s prompt. ‘Romantic at heart’ you can say after reading this text-curated-poem-from-a-conversation, but then we couldn’t continue our relation due to some personal reasons and that’s something I had to face long way back when he bid goodbye and even his goodbye sounds so poetic that I couldn’t resist crying like a baby for hours! The last phrase broke me into pieces. How can you be so good while breaking up??? So gentle, so kind, breathtaking yet so heart-breaking. And this poem is the evidence of everything that happened, that was said between us until now, a souvenir.
Can I call it a love story or a catastrophe?
Can I call it a love story? The one where you broke my heart into pieces.
He shall burst into flames, for crashing like a meteor wounding my faith in love.
My faith in him faded like the clouds disappearing from a dark moonless sky,
The Moon no longer being espied as if lost in the haze of your vile fumes.
I have delved into the chaotic chasm between us,
searching for what true love is, only to taste disappointment.
Is it my profound fervor for obsession or am I delusional?
He who acted like the London Boy written by Taylor Swift;
not only flawed his identity, yet also faked his sweet disposition.
I was the lonely bearer of all the grief, ridiculed every committed man
until I find ‘the one’, certain of the fact- him and I could never be us,
though, had the privilege of being written in a novel or a song lyric.
Two virtual characters falling in forbidden love- a catastrophe,
one drifted by passion, the other silently absent in the picture.
Day 9 of Na/GloPoWriMo 2023.
Prompt 9 source: https://www.napowrimo.net/poets-start-your-engines/
Today, sonnets are probably most commonly associated with Shakespeare (who wrote more than 150, and felt very little compunction about messing around with the form, at least to the extent of regularly saying “who cares” to strict iambs). But poets’ attention to the form hasn’t waned in the 400 years or so since the Bard walked the fields around Stratford-upon-Avon and tramped the stage-boards of Merrie Old England. Take a look at this little selection of contemporary sonnets by Dennis Johnson, Alice Notley, Robert Hass, and Jill Alexander Essbaum. You’ll notice that while all of these poems play in some way on the theme of love, they are tonally extremely different – as is the kind or quality of love that they discuss. Some rhyme, some don’t. They mostly stick to around 14 lines but They’re also not at all shy about incorporating contemporary references (the Rolling Stones, telephones, etc).
Today, we’d like to challenge you to write your own sonnet. Incorporate tradition as much or as little as you like – while keeping in general to the theme of “love.”
I was out of my mind, confused how to start off with a sonnet, eventually I let my tangled thoughts run across the way it likes and certainly I was unsure as to what exactly am I proceeding to write about but then I found a contrasting effect between two mismatched lovers at odds and the story of a heartbreak took the way out. I am actually glad the story line reflected my past relationships and it portrayed the more one tries to cling onto the other obsessively, the more they get hurt and for the other one, it doesn’t even matter to them when they are so evidently not pouring enough love, simply using it for their advantage. I hope this poem literally depicts the picture of the two lovers, one broken by the other and obviously written by Taylor Swift!! I wrote it in a way Taylor would have chosen the boy in her song and probably using her kind of language in showing the boy’s character in my poem, little lyrical, little passive, not sounding brutal but little bit of kind and compulsive.
Windows full of watercolors, glowing in the dark
when the world sleeps, silence penetrates like a mischievous thief.
owls can watch you at night,
bats hear your tiniest whisper,
bears who can smell your dirty feet,
venus flytrap is rooting to feel your presence,
anaconda hopes to have pleasure eating you alive.
Be aware, tonight you are meeting a predator,
who can taste your breath and smell your whisper.
He can be in any form, be aware while you walk in the dark.
The predator who owns his empire, the hell-
the fallen angel who rules the mortals.
I’m talking about the king, Lucifer, yes.
When silence bumped into dark, the watercolors melt.
Each time a mortal dies, bleeding seamlessly flows in black
unable to recognise, death carries perpetual mystery
says the pessimistic devil, a trainwreck himself.
Day 8 of Na/GloPoWriMo 2023.
Prompt 8 source: https://www.napowrimo.net/poets-start-your-engines/
Here’s for our daily (optional) prompt. This is another oldie-but-goodie. I remember being assigned to use it in a college poetry class, and loving the result. It really pushes you to use specific details, and to work on “conducting” the poem as it grows, instead of trying to force the poem to be one thing or another in particular. The prompt is called the “Twenty Little Poetry Projects,” and was originally developed by Jim Simmerman. And here are the twenty little projects themselves — the challenge is to use them all in one poem:
- Begin the poem with a metaphor.
- Say something specific but utterly preposterous.
- Use at least one image for each of the five senses, either in succession or scattered randomly throughout the poem.
- Use one example of synesthesia (mixing the senses).
- Use the proper name of a person and the proper name of a place.
- Contradict something you said earlier in the poem.
- Change direction or digress from the last thing you said.
- Use a word (slang?) you’ve never seen in a poem.
- Use an example of false cause-effect logic.
- Use a piece of talk you’ve actually heard (preferably in dialect and/or which you don’t understand).
- Create a metaphor using the following construction: “The (adjective) (concrete noun) of (abstract noun) . . .”
- Use an image in such a way as to reverse its usual associative qualities.
- Make the persona or character in the poem do something he or she could not do in “real life.”
- Refer to yourself by nickname and in the third person.
- Write in the future tense, such that part of the poem seems to be a prediction.
- Modify a noun with an unlikely adjective.
- Make a declarative assertion that sounds convincing but that finally makes no sense.
- Use a phrase from a language other than English.
- Make a non-human object say or do something human (personification).
- Close the poem with a vivid image that makes no statement, but that “echoes” an image from earlier in the poem.
It was challenging yet it kept me intrigued. Really trying the best way possible but it takes a lot of time. I went half way through, might complete by tonight.
Things I was denied to do in my teens
No, I’m not allowed to have fun with my friends,
Dad says I can’t trust them.
No, I cannot argue with the elder members of the family,
they say it is unethical, even if they are wrong.
No, I’m forbidden for bringing boys to my home,
they say boys cannot be friends.
No, I’m strictly restricted from going out after dark,
must return home by 6 in the evening.
No, I am not allowed to fall in love,
it can ruin my life entirely.
No, I was scolded for using slang while speaking, at home,
whereas father could use it to command over us.
No, if I need money I have to answer a hundred questions,
the money should be wisely spent.
No, I don’t have the rights to scream at my mother,
but for father, it is his birthright to treat and torture her the way he wants.
No, I am taught how to deal with an angry man in my house,
to be patient and quite till he calms down.
No, I have to abide by the rules and regulations set by the society,
otherwise I would bring shame to my family’s reputation.
No, I am not allowed to feel the emotions,
feelings are temporary, it’ll pass soon.
No, I cannot be myself, I cannot take my decisions,
I am way too young to have experienced the world right?
Day 7 of Na/GloPoWriMo 2023.
Prompt 7 source: https://www.napowrimo.net/poets-start-your-engines/
Here’s our daily prompt (optional, as always). Start by reading James Tate’s poem “The List of Famous Hats.” Now, write a poem that plays with the idea of a list. Tate’s poem is a list that isn’t – he never gets beyond the first entry. You could try to write a such a non-list, but a couple of other ideas would be to create a list of ingredients, or a list of entries in an index. A self-portrait (or a portrait of someone close to you) in the form of a such a list could be very funny. Another way into this prompt might be a list of instructions.
Here is a list of things I was denied but there were lots of hope and dream that is now left as a dream. Moments became memories and my parents didn’t let me enjoy my teen. They were scared, still are as the world can be too dangerous for a girl but I was always a rebel. I wouldn’t stop waiting for things to happen, I rather risk my life to enjoy and live my life that I know time wouldn’t return back and I cannot keep looking for the right time forever. I understand they want the good things to happen and tries to save us from the bad and protect us all the time but it wouldn’t be wrong if I say overprotectiveness is harmful sometimes. Our parents treat us like their little kids, never realises we are growing older too and we will face the the harsh world one day so let us learn, understand and experience the beginning of the bitter world. For my parents, there are some unjustifiable commands that they would like to impose on their child which is literally irrational and doesn’t make any sense. There are a lot of instances where my parents are the obstacles and I would end up crying and cursing them. So yes I really wanted to enjoy my teen, I somehow in a sneaky way I did created some memories but little did I expect my parents to be supportive until I leave home for further studies later. I’m stepping in my 20s, and I don’t want ruin another phase of life just being caged in this little hometown because I have a long wish list to fulfill these years and enjoy the best way possible!