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A Father Mourns

My baby, daddy misses you
It is crazily lonely here
I swim in a big bad dream

Nothing I have to hold on to
My little finger hangs abandoned
By your sweet little fingers

My voice is hoarse of late
Your cradle being empty
Haven’t sung a lullaby, since

Where is the chirping bird?
I see nothing as pure as you
That glow in your pink cheeks

It is cold by day and by night
Come kiss my old beard
And hug me, hug me really tight

Summer’s pretty flowers wilted
I cared not a little bit, because
None of them can grace your hair

Reprimand me sometimes, please
For my drunken breath, with
Your adorable, wrinkling nose

I want to sleep, tired I am
But my chin won’t rest at all
So used to your tender curls

The child in me has vanished
With the light that left your eyes
Peace is nowhere in sight

I wished to catch the snowflakes
Just for you my dear, this winter
Delighting in your merry squeals

But here I find myself so numb
So hopeless, kneeling down
Brushing ice off your poor grave…

ManCrying

Grandma, did you have to go?

How I loved resting my burdened head
In the harmless cocoon of your lap
You watched over me quietly as I slept
Just guarding the serenity of my nap
Oh grandma, did you have to go?

How you waited calmly on the porch
Not one reprimand, no phone call
No reminder that I was carelessly late
Yet, your anxious eyes would say it all
Oh grandma, did you have to go?

After evaluating my crumb-littered plate
You frowned that I wasn’t eating enough
I rubbed my belly and pleaded for mercy
You piled more helpings of sumptuous stuff
Oh grandma, did you have to go?

You had such a vast repertoire of stories
Picking one of those each night to tell me
Even if you retold one, it still felt new
Uniquely laced with wonder, terror, glee
Oh grandma, did you have to go?

Your weathered palms were most kind
I can’t even describe the way I would feel
Even if the world collapsed around me
Gentle palms would soothe and heal
Oh grandma, did you have to go?

Bereft of your beaming toothless smile
Feathery frame that I could twirl around
Deprived of the words to make my day
I want to be swallowed by the ground.
Oh grandma, did you have to go?

Yes, it must sound real selfish of me
Demanding that you stay here forever
When you probably had more kids to meet
Shower on them the light of your star
And yet grandma, did you have to go?

Grandma

Bring Back the Days

Bring back the days
When every stolen kiss
Was a secret exchanged between our lips
Every soft touch
An assurance that you were there for me
Every goodbye
But a promise that you would rush home to me
And each step you took
Would bring you even closer to me
When every leaf and flower
Was an excuse to thank life for wonders

Bring back the days
When we danced all night
To passionate tunes in our hearts
When we laughed together
At private jokes none could understand
When we thought aloud
At once and the words were the same
When every bit of silence
Was our toast to sweet nothings
When holding my hand
Was most natural for you to do

Oh bring back the days
For I miss them really bad
Don’t you understand?
You were the one treasure I had
The sole reason I could be glad
I miss you real bad
Bring back the days, please
Bring them back to me
Before my voice dies out
Hear me, please
Bring back the days

If they were meant to be mine alone
Bring them back to me

Cry

Let Them Come

They will come for you
Brace yourself
No running, no hiding
You are better than that
Deserve to defend
The fire in your eyes
The heart in your body
The thoughts in your head
The faith in your soul
For you have done no wrong
Never a con
Never sly intent
Only innocent, naive
So you owe yourself love

Let them come for you
Embrace yourself
No whining, no crying
You are more than that
Deserve to avenge
The love you put out there
The pride you set aside
The trust you offered freely
The dream you cast adrift
You owe yourself cleansing
And then, a hero’s welcome
Loud, clear, rousing

Let them come for you
Raise yourself
No stopping, no sighing
You are stronger than that
Do not pretend
It didn’t hurt
It didn’t sting
It didn’t stun
For it threw you off balance
Snatched a moment from life
It had to happen, though
For you to see yourself
To rise and shine
Believe in the design
Of fate’s skilled hand
And meet its demand

If you were wounded
‘Twas so you could learn to heal
If you were betrayed
‘Twas so you could open your eyes
It was meant to be a hard lesson
So that, when they come for you
Again, as they plan to,
You will know better
Than to let yourself down
Let them come for you
Let them come

Lion

Daddy Dearest

A father is not superman. He is mostly ordinary, with an average way of life, family, and the occasional bad habit or weakness. He is mortal, and so I will not wax eloquent about the qualities of the super-dad. No, he is most likely incapable of bashing up the baddies or saving lives when the scary villain turns up. Who is he, then?

Assuming you are among the blessed ones, ‘dad’ is the man who fell in love with your mother, and committed his heart to her for life. Dad is the one who dreamed of ‘starting a family’ with your beaming mother; he is the one who was perhaps required to think of how they would manage expenses with a kid or more around the corner. He must have bitten off his nails as your mother went into labour, with the entire household fussing over her. Well, to tell you the truth, folks probably fussed over her all nine months, assuming that the would-be dad was doing fine, no tension and no sweat for him.

Your dad was the one who held you as you slept, as your mother slept. He perhaps worried that you looked too fragile to be true! Handing you over to your mother, he must have gazed anxiously and attentively while the doctor went on and on about caring for you.

Your dad must have looked into places he never bothered about before, like schools and day-care centres, to help your mother decide where the kids will have it best. He is the man who may have kicked one or two bad habits, or promised to stop swearing around the house on his rough days because the kids should not be exposed to the bad world at their tender age. While your mother reigned over the household, acknowledged by all as the parent supreme, dad fumbled around to see how he could make life more comfortable for all of you. He was often the villain disciplinarian when your mother was the loving angel, or the parent who enjoyed fooling around a bit while your mother tried her best to officially instill good principles and mannerisms.

Your dad got you a bike, or took you walking if he couldn’t get you one. You probably held on to his little finger so tight because you did not want him to leave you, ever. Dad introduced you to the world in his own way. Perhaps taught you a few things unknowingly. Maybe you started scanning the newspaper just to see why he loved to read it right in the morning, and he patted your back when you read the headlines aloud with the emphasis only a child can offer to reading material. Perhaps he caused you to win the school race just by constantly telling you that you were capable of it alright. It could be that he did not know how to prepare you for a fancy dress contest, but he was right there, cheering you when you went on stage. The poor thing must have cringed to himself when he told you he could not make it to your big event sometimes because, of course, his boss HAD to get the report that very day. How bad it must have felt for him to break the news to the eager kid demanding his attention in the sweetest way possible!

Your dad is the one who may admonish you at home all the time, but will praise you to other parents. He may have seemed distant, choosing to peek into the little aspects of your daily life only when he saw an impending problem that needed action, or was informed of a ‘situation’ requiring intervention. He might not be the epitome of patience, but he sure did repeat things to you when you tugged at his sleeve wanting the explanation all over again. He carried you on his shoulders in the parade so you would have the best view, even when he had to wade through sweaty crowds. Dad is the one who told you off if your manner was whiny, or instructed you to be brave when you were at the doctor’s for getting those nasty stitches. He probably ran pillar to post to get things done for you. Who knows, he might have planned to go catch a game live with friends, but ended up babysitting you in his time off from work, and you took the chance to throw every possible tantrum.

Dad can be part-Hitler part-Santa part-Goofy, and you cannot figure him out half the time! You often wondered if you were important to him at all, judging him wrongly on his grunting or nodding or hmm-ing in conversations, when all the while, he considered you an integral part of his soul. Sometimes you might have been embarrassed about him making jokes that only he found funny, or giving your friends the lecture about their lives when they showed up at your door. Dad just feels good when he knows he is needed, and you most certainly did not assure him of that as you grew older. You probably dismissed him in that polite yet aloof manner when he wanted to talk to you. Do you remember how he sat and admired your toddler-level drawings for a whole hour as you narrated how the accomplishment came about?

Dad honestly does not expect he deserves your 100% commitment even if he demands it aloud; he probably hopes for 10. Could you give him 5 to see the smile on his face, or hear the familiar grunt of approval? Look beneath the bushy eyebrows and the aging jawline. You will find the proud eyes of a man who is but a little child within. All he needs is you to reassure him that he did not fail as a father, that those little shortcomings did not make him less of a dad. For while mothers are the angels heaven sent down, dads are also the fierce guardians of their flock. “My daddy may not be the strongest, but he is still my daddy dearest.”

FathersDay

For you have all of me

Like warm honey down a sore throat
Like in bleary winter getting a fur coat
You save me with your presence, and
I can’t seem to do without you
You have the power to dull any ache
Stay that way if you can for my sake

For I give you all of me
That is how it will be

Take care, would you?
For I cannot settle for
Small portions of you
I too need all of you.

Like a love sonnet Shakespeare wrote
Like chancing on an old friend’s note
You soothe me with your spirit, and
I can’t seem to heal without you
You have the power of the divine
Shine my way and gift me sunshine

For I give you all of me
That is how it will be

Take care, would you?
For I need to be told
That nothing’s unfair,
I too have all of you.

I have given myself away to you, walked down the aisle
Your name is on my heart and soul
And it’s only just that you do the same too, pretty please!

For I give you all of me
That is how it will be

So take care, would you?
For I deserve to be held
Told again and again
I will always have all of you.

heartinhand

I Once Slept in Heaven

I slept in heaven
And dreamed
Of us, lips locked
Romancing wild
Urgent whispers
Blazing passion
Unlike what
Any other duo
In love had ever
Known, or so
It seemed, until
It crept on me
Throwing me
Right off guard
Off balance
Upside down
I was hung, with
My whole world.

Not sure if I
Heard you right
That things end
Tonight, that
We are done
Tonight, that
I better get out
Of sight. Well,
Who was I kidding?
Dreams were but
A refuge, where
I escaped to,
Shutting you out
Yes, both of you
For ‘she’ exists.

Perfection was
How I defined ‘us’
The way everyone
Recognized ‘us’
In ignorant bliss
I sat in your lap
On my ‘throne’
While she ruled
Your bleeding heart
I had titles once
‘Darling, my dear
Oh cute little lover’
Boy, how I pranced,
Childish joys, and
Kept on bragging
My man, unaware
Of developments
All around me.

Fine print, damn
Always unread
Until the moment
They point it out
In this case, you.
You read it out.
I repeat after you
All the reasons
I am to blame
For you failing
On your promises.
‘You are paranoid,
You have trust issues,
You are emotional,
Vulnerable, lost.’
If I had no cause
For complaint, ever,
Pray tell me why
You have that
Look in your eye?!

I signed up for love
Crazy, pure love
Unashamed love
But just ‘our’ love
Not unexpected,
Outside love.
Not ‘her’, no.
I fell for you
Prayed for you
Lived for you
And now you
Want me to
Die too, for you.
Of course you
Won’t say it loud
But I can hear it
Clear alright, that
I wasn’t thrown out
Just brushed aside
Gently, slowly, as
I slept in heaven
And dreamed. Well,
I won’t, anymore.

Heart-hearts-26537377-497-367

Finding Me

I stand at the threshold
Of a chaotic universe
I’m committed to see it
While escorting a babble
Of doubts and some blues
Like unwelcome guests
If only they were absent
But then, it’s a chance
I’m told is ‘heaven-sent’
So biting my fears down
I step into a labyrinth
Seeking some resolution
The answers to a future
I’m told I ‘certainly own’.

And what did I expect?
It is dark and muddy!
But no point hovering, so
I make my way forward
A tad gingerly around
My shattered illusions
Scraping mud and grime
Off my poor self-esteem
Often picking up hopes
Half-eaten by distrust
My clothes they tear on
Tiffs and bad thoughts
Ouch! I swallow and sigh
Stumbling on egotism,
Of this one hindrance
I was so duly warned.

Obstacles at every step
Garbage round the bend
It is far from an easy job,
This ‘incredible internship’
And then I recall, that
The brochure also said
I would learn some things
If I just applied myself
The whole of my soul
And so I… I continue
Without a guidebook
Only a heavy backpack
Of curious possibilities…

I fumble for my notes
Made the night before
In astonishing clarity
Alarmingly rare, that.
Wiggling vanity? Trample it!
Squeaky cynicism? Squash it!
Wary “what-if”? Crush it!
Aching ambition? Nurse it!
Precious memory? Save it!
Lasting love? Pick it!
Feeble faith? Cradle it!
It helps that I prepared
To give this all I had
For the mist soon clears
And I see what I need to
Though it’s not quite
What I expected it to be.

I stand still and solemn
At a mirror labelled “You”
And I find myself in it
Clean and properly shiny
Not a trace of past filth
Nearby, a bin to dump trash
And a bag to carry back
My keepsakes, treasures
Things I was meant to have,
And best of all, I then find
A growing, glowing smile
I trade it for my frown
Excited at what I’ve found.

So this is what it is,
The lesson I must heed
As the clock ticks by, must
Have the time of my life
And so I turn my back
On existence I don’t need
Marching home instead
With a life I’ll proudly lead.

make-the-rest-of-you-life-the-best-of-your-life-580x200

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