Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Autumn is only 3 days away, but it already whispers in the air. I woke up this morning to its crisp bite on my legs and immediately my blood coursed with prose and poetry. Something about this season, it stirs those feelings of change and stability together so that I feel most aware of the present moment in the folds of its turning leaves and inviting scents. And in the midst of a present moment, of course, is the best place to write poetry. Here are my offerings today...

To A Close

Sweet persimmon flowers begin to fold up, filling the air with their fragrance.

Lightning bugs send out a final call, signaling to each other, hoping for a beacon in return.

The first of the fallen leaves rustle at my feet.

Summer is coming to a close.

Used To

I lost sight of you somewhere between good bye and the road home.
We used to laugh at the silliness of the world together,
we used to protect one another,
we used to share a moment every day...
now the phone line crackles with the silence of our breath, the effort to find words to say

The feeling of you being near began to fade somewhere between the top of the stairs and miles between us
we used to have an unbreakable bond,
we used to find warmth in daily bread,
we used to remember each other...
now the length between phone calls is longer and the space in my heart empties more.

Far Apart

I am alone here, you are with there
my heart still calls you, your heart stopped answering long ago
an eternity together, forgotten in a few short days
not so many miles, but still very far apart.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Sweet Belinda

This is a short story I wrote in 2009, but I wanted to add it to the blog...

Short story inspired by a classmate's response to our discussion this week. And thanks to Shruti for helping me with the Indian linguistics. (What was your favorite toy when you were a child and how does it connect to the post-modern popular culture? Her (paraphrased) answer, a little doll my father brought back from Germany, I named her Belinda.) Thought I'd post it on here. :) ...

The streets are full of the flurry of color and spices. Oranges and reds billowing through the air like flames dancing, the scent of cardamom and curry intoxicating us as we pass through them. The threatening word—“Industry”—hangs in the air like a dark cloud around a mountain. It looms over us with the threat of disrupting all that we know here. But we will not let it fade the colors of our festival or make our spirits cold, not today at least. The music stirs and we run, my friends and I, excitedly through the streets of our home as vendors set up their little shops, creating a path before us. We stop to look at the hand-crafted treasures glistening like all the jewels of India, hanging delicately around us like so many fragile eggs. Though beautiful, they are not made for loving; they are made to look at, souvenirs for the tourists, decorations in homes. If I were to hold them, they would shatter or break in the same way we scatter away with laughter and longing.

We have heard stories of white dolls; a certain richness in the ivory skin and pink cheeks. Dolls made of soft cotton with hair like golden sun and silk. Like our festivals, they are something bright and beautiful, something to feel and touch, hold and smell. We talk about the white dolls as if they would somehow dispel all the wrong with our world. We are interrupted from our daydreams as a vendor calls us over and happily gives us a taste of samosa. We, in turn, happily accept. The taste is still in my mouth as I walk home. I remember that my father is to return today. He is there waiting when I walk through the door.

“Ah, bheta!” His voice booms, mellow and deep, a familiar sound that I at once revere and love. Today it is more love than reverence. He laughs as I run toward him and swings me up to his lap. “How have you been?” he really means “Have you been behaving yourself?”.

“Very good.” I answer. Truthfully.

I notice a box on the table beside him—white with pink ribbon. “This is for you.” He hands the box to me, excitement sparking in his eyes. I open it carefully and there inside is a doll—a white doll with pink cheeks and golden hair. She is beautiful on her own. She is beautiful because I can love her. She is something real and magical all at once. “So you like her then?” A huge smile has stretched itself across my father’s face.

“Very much! Oh, thank you Papa!” I feel like words have been taken from me because I am so overjoyed.

My mother calls us to dinner. We all eat and talk of our day. We are happy when we talk about the festival and more somber when we discuss the changes of our country.

“We have much to make this into an even prouder place.” The adults are going on about political things, matters of “importance”.

I am beside myself the whole meal. I think about my doll, about showing her to my friends. I think about how much I have, what a proud place my heart is right now—whatever is happening outside its boundaries, I feel that there is enough joy in it to fuel the world.

Not too much later that night, after we have finished with the things of the day, as I am lying down in my bed, I take my doll in my arms and whisper in her ear “Sweet dreams, Belinda.”