Poems by Mary Mathew

Moments in the Rain

a poem by Mary Mathew

Clouds surrender
To its deepest potent urgings,
Satiating my desire.
Listening to the listless patter
Of the rain from my room,
Striking a chord in me,
Like a Beethoven’s octave
Pitched perfectly.

Slowly, I make way
To the empty playground,
The substance of my feelings
Is not altogether clear to me.
I taste the saccharin virgin rain
As it trails a path over my cheeks,
And down, down below
It flows, touching me till.

The earth revives. And so do I.

Then suddenly,
I hear a summons,
A rumbling, roaring noise.
I look up with difficulty,
Well, nothing there!
Then where?

I look sideways,
Inside my home, I see
A figure grumbling
As if having a temper tantrum at the sky.
I bolt inside like a lightning,
To pacify my kid getting bored at home.

“Honey, surely I love you.
I was remembering our honeymoon,
You remember when the monsoon.”

When Nightingale Meditates

a poem by Mary Mathew

Om ~ the sage exhales ~
Lips part as the nightingale
Inhales in meditation.

Om ~ the sage inhales ~
Lips part as the nightingale
Exhales in meditation.

Om ~ nightingale exhales ~
Lips part as the holy sage
Inhales in meditation.

Om ~ nightingale inhales ~
Lips part as the holy sage
Exhales in meditation.

Hungered Darkness

a poem by Mary Mathew

A silhouette of light
Writhes through the seclusion
Of your dusky figure.
Step by step, I progress slowly
But you move far away
As I try to reach out, to touch,
To contour the closure of your lust~re,
Hoping against hope it will satiate
Your hunger.
But it only twinkles for a moment,
And then vanishes.

And I wonder whether it was your love
That hungered on your darkness?

Pamba

a poem by Mary Mathew

Pamba
Loosens her locks
In angst.
The snakeboat heaves its way in
Languid lament,
The oars dive in a cold, almost
Icy numbness.

The water undulates,
Echoes in muffled laughter.
Each ripple
Pays obeisance to Mother Sea,
Plunging
Deeper into her womb.

Her head lowers,
Her jasmine laden hair
Touches gently the gushing water in
Leisurely pleasure,
Her hands reach out to cup
Water’s coldness…

The water undulates,
Muffles her laughter.

“Ammmmaaaaaaaa…”

———————————–

Pamba ~ A river in Kerala, India
Snakeboat ~ Traditional country boat used for boat-racing in Kerala, India
Amma ~ Mother

Apocalypse

a poem by Mary Mathew

The fire lit sky,
The aged nature,
You and I
Have to answer
For the original sin,
When this world is reduced to halves
And soon will be a fragment
In this last moment
Of enflaming Apocalypse.

Creative Suicide

a poem by Mary Mathew

I contemplate about renouncing
My duties that bonded me,
Answerable to a force beyond.
My mortal sight, my moral insight.

Minutes prolong to hours
Yet these rhetorical questions remain
Unrequited of a response,
The heart knows what the mind denies,
Still deep within my heart, coursed
A raging fire of ethics-
Viscously touching, progressively blazing
My moral stand, elusively into embers,
Viciously stirring its cinders all over again
To make me succumb to depraved arty urges
As it scorches me in its ceaseless flames.

It was only yesterday, I remember
That my words were exalted,
My existence glorified.

But today, nullified.
Echoed from the pinnacle
As art’s shrine in a time not long before,
Is now but a ruined temple spire.

What was once
A palanquin bearer
Has become a pallbearer
For my coffin of creativity!

The only thing left sacred

a poem by Mary Mathew

Even the scars remain unaware
Of how its wounds bled,
The mutilated rosy skin
Battered a woman’s honour.
Is there anything sacred left
In this world?
I ask of Thee…
If so, let it be a woman’s body-
A child’s sheltered core,
A man’s motherly figure.

Bleeding Dreams

a poem by Mary Mathew

It bleeds, bleeds and bleeds.
The blood flows cavernously…
My hand is stained,
My soul is tainted.
But where do I bleed?

A deadly maze thrust into me,
Throwing me deeper into its duality,
Drenching me
In its bleeding brutality.
Enough, I scream…
In pain…?

A warm liquid trickles
And then gushes,
Storms…
A piercing cry shreds
Me to pieces
Again…

My eyes open
I remain immobile,
Staring wide-eyed at my hands
Anaesthetised,
Benumbed.
I see no blood.
I don’t see her blood.
But…

My hands tremble,
My heart throbs
And I wince in unseen pain
As I recollect that fateful night
When I was at the wheels of the car,
At the wheels of our fate
When my eyes lost its vigilance on the road
And on our own lives.

Your motherly eyes
Blazing acidic bile drips,
Cursing me,
Condemning me,
“You killed her,
You killed my baby!”

Yes, I killed her.
The duality of the beast in me
Killed her,
Threw her into the dungeons of the dead.
And I imprison myself
With the corpses of the present.

I hear the tremors in her voice…
Pleading, pleading, pleading
Unto me,
Echoing, echoing, echoing
Onto me,
Merging, merging, merging
Within me,
With the unspoken vibration
Of my own pleas.

Oh despair! Claim my soul
And burn it at your stakes of deathlessness,
Immortalise my agony forever
For my sins, for my penitence,
For killing her,
Your beautiful dream.

She bleeds, bleeds and bleeds.
Your dream is bleeding,
The one that you had cherished
Is now slashed, sliced into a nightmare,
And the blood pours out, seeping into unseen cracks,
Coursing over the decayed core
Of my homicidal heart.

The bloody shadows coagulate
Forming a malodorous mass of remorse,
The newborn guilt chained to me-
As an impure bride,
The price of my misdeeds.

I plead guilty, dear mother.
I wronged you,
And these are the words of another mother
Who has been a tenant in torment
For the past ten years,
Living with the fact
That she killed your daughter,
Her own daughter’s daughter.

A mortal never a match

a poem by Mary Mathew

Pretty Hazel and Dashing Acorn
Run about, seeking their companion,
For the affection that is so motherly,
To lie in her arms that holds them tenderly.

They look everywhere and wag their way
To realms unseen by the mortal eye.
Still she is not there, her warmth not around.
They slump into thoughts so profound.

“Where are you?” they endlessly cry
As their eyes search every corner to see
Whom they deem worthy of their sight
Amongst everyone who are insignificant.

Sinking into their master’s pockets,
Peering from the heavy curtain’s pleats,
They continue with their search
As their determination loses its clench.

Perched from concealed heights
Thuddddddd !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! $

“Ahhh! What was that, Acorn?”
Coos a shrilled petrified female tone.

Acorn looks down and sees Hazel
Staring wide-eyed at the fallen angel

“Mary, how did you land here?”
Acorn squeals at the rising figure.

“Oh Little Ones, I was searching
For you two up in there, probing
Every nook and cranny
In the vicinity,”
She began saying with arms flying
In every direction like a bird on the wing.

“Alas! The ladder didn’t comply
And tumbling downwards went I, not lightly
As the sky that spews the morning dew
But harder than hailstones from heavenly blue.”

Pretty Hazel and Dashing Acorn are amused
To see their companion totally maddened
Because she tries more than she is able to do
For them, but she forgets to take the cue
That she belongs to the sect of puny mortals
Who is no match for two mighty squirrels.

Sentenced to Love

a poem by Mary Mathew

“I love you.”

These words reverberate
Within my soul,
As they effortlessly escape
Your guiltless lips,
Making me restless.
I quiver like a black vine,
Twining, trembling, torturingly entangled
In the spontaneous gust of this wind.

The simplicity of these words
Beguiles me,
Yet astonishingly,
Humbles me.

You unleash deafeningly
In your whisper
A storm of unheard fury.
As it stridently voices in my conscience,
An echo of epic proportions:
To concede, to be your blessed beloved.

Your words ignite a furnace within me,
Nullifying the sanctuary of denial.
The misery, the agony, the despondency
Stoking incessantly,
Questioning me relentlessly
On the sense of this solitary life
I chose for myself.
Words cannot express the truth
Of my abandoned desires.
I close my eyes to veil the reality.

And then stare into oblivion, and cry,
Thinking of ways to convince you
That I may be the biggest mistake
Of your life.
Your declaration of love has brought me to tears.
And I cannot help hurling myself
Into the abyss of denial.

I would rather be a withered leaf
On this jade-like earth
Than be a ravished petal
On the soiled land of a mortal.
I would rather scorch my soul in hell
Than put my trust in a man
And his words.

I cannot tell you the reason
For my withdrawal from worldly pleasures.
I cannot reveal my true feelings
Which I withdraw from your mortal sight.
I cannot express in plain words
The dilemma I face,
The truth about my rejection of your love
As I restrain my parched lips
From the lure of the forbidden fruit,
From you, my love.

It is a pitiless escapism,
A senseless suicide.
The misery that ensues is unbearable,
It penetrates through my soul
Like a death sentence.
But in this case, I do not die.
I am sentenced to love,
To be loved.

Promise me…

a poem by Mary Mathew

Promise me that you will whisper softly
Before you bid me tender farewell-
A grieving ode from the lips that be not stilled
Or I will wilt away for I loved thee so deeply.

Promise me not a heavenly aura encircling me
Like the halo around a seraph,
For I am mortal, so promise me a gentle touch
To pacify the soul that may go astray.

Promise me not dreams of what happens after you return,
For I hope not for your homecoming.
If you leave me now, promise me that you will realise
Your dreams with whomever you desire.

Promise me if faced with yet another trial,
You will not emotionally fail or abuse the other
And rip that someone’s heart and soul
As you have done with mine, for now and forever.

Promise me, should our paths interweave
In the crossroads of life again,
You won’t just shrug your shoulder and disappear.
Let me not be forgotten as yet another stranger,
Though I have lost the right to ask
That you remember me, that you remember us…

Oh these are the promises I seek from thee,
But I should give you something in return too
As I have always done, though it was all the time
Giving from my side and never receiving until now.

So here is the promise of a heartbroken man
You once thought you loved, in your words,
Your teenage crush…
From the stirrings of my heart,
Let me try to express the depth of my emotion-
A devotion that is dying a dog’s death
In the desolate alley of your waning purity.

Now what shall I bestow you with?
You will have everything when I leave you to yourself.
Is there anything left to be said and done by me,
I wish to enquire?

But I remain still, for the words stalled on my tongue
And again, I had to pretend I didn’t care
As I searched deeply in your eyes, wistfully…
Hopelessly wishing that you wouldn’t desert me.

I’ve experienced love in its completeness
And I’ve tasted the acidic infidelity by you;
My mind is battling all the ambivalent emotions
Of a man who loved you,
Of a man who was betrayed by you…

The volatile merging of tenderness and bitterness
Makes me a demented devil waiting, wanting
To be exorcised.
Imagining the future without you is agonising,
How dark and forbidding would be the dismal days;
How long and austere would be the ascetic nights.

Silent tears spilled as I wept, the chords of my laden heart
Broken, as I solemnly promise to honour your wish
To sever the bond that binds us together, letting you
Leave with the savage tide that stormed in to rob our love,
Depriving me of my dreams, as it carried them off
To the philandering sea.
Our future seemed so perfect, right there in our hands,
But the sands had to trickle through our fingers.

So part, we must,
I will not hate you or despise,
I will always love you,
As we part company, it may become a lonely trudge,
But I need to be far, far away from you.
This is the last promise I ask of you,
To let me go too.

The writer’s beloved

a poem by Mary Mathew

Oh sweetest one,
Thy fair countenance
Beguiles me
By its pristine grace.
I hear not thy voice,
Yet an unheard song
Lingers…
Echoes in resonance
With my thoughts.

Oh vivacious beauty,
Thy words charge in a brigade
From a dying ember-like nostalgia…
Wanting, awaiting a new form
To unleash my fury
Onto thy bosom.
Oh be still, my love,
As I plunge deep into the depths
Of the origin of our fairy-tale together.

Oh how tortuous
The task is,
Which lies before me
Teasing me all the way as I acquaint
Myself with the angels and the devils,
The priests and the prophets,
The kings and the queens,
The ministry and the mass,
All with the same undying fervour
Of a burning desire
Which is consuming us
In this never-ending saga
Of love and fidelity.

Oh the enigma
Remains in thy hermit-like meanderings
When you wander to the ether
Beyond my mortal sight,
My corporeal insight.
At some crossroads, our consciences meet
And my words metamorphose into a
Poetical expression,
Embellishing thy existence.

Oh the brutality
Of thy wavering veiled figure
Hurts my conscience deeply
As I caress thee
Every night and day.
But thy blank detached expression
Intimidates me.
So many feelings creep in,
Distracting my sage-like devotion to you.
But I wish only to experience thy love,
Let me show the world – my bride
And thy value, one day
Will be judged by one and all.

Oh proud one,
Why is there still the air of arrogance
On thy countenance?
This piercing expression of thy mistrust
Is threatening the sensibilities of my heart.
What is thy fear and the cause of thy wariness?
I brood over and over.
Pardon me, my sweetheart, for these bitter words
Lest my foul and filthy language
Have hurt thy heart and mind or thy innocent eyes.

Oh beloved one,
Thy knight beckons thee
Be no more, the damsel in distress
And reveal thy dusky contours
In bold ink, cascading like a fresh kiss
Of the evening dew.

Oh heavens, behold her… my true love!
Sinking am I, in her presence, sinking…
S…ink…………………………….!

Oh no, my cherished one,
What has befallen thee?
Thy pristine fair countenance
Is paling into a bluish death-like shade
As this mortifying liquid,
Gushes torrentially, mercilessly,
Slithering its way through the end…
The end of this maiden…
… page of my ‘beloved’ manuscript!

Oh well, so what has to happen,
Has happened, I mused
Like an unperturbed practitioner of practicalities,
As I wash my hands, purging myself
Of this unsolicited act.

Oh God,
My editor’s deadline hangs before me
Like the sword of Damocles.
Oh I am not the person who will moan the loss
Of the previous one.
As I pulled out
Yet another blank 8 ½” x 11″ sheet,
I am amazed at the intimidation
That this one is also showing,
No worries, this time!
My beloved, now you are in the hands
Of the master of the ‘art’.
I will coerce thee, and I will woo thee
And you will fall for those words,
Once again!

Oh am I not great,
I found myself saying, with a sheepish grin.
Thus the story goes on and on…
As one by one, shall take her place.
So before I leave, my gentle reader,
Let me say these words as the thought for the day-
“All’s well that ends well!”

Can I ever!

a poem by Mary Mathew

Is that you, when I hear…
A car driven into the porch?
Oh it has to be! Finally
You reach our home,
To me.

What will it be tonight, my love?
The night was tryingly long,
Coaxing in you a desire that was inflamed
Due to my lack of presence in the party.
But my dear, I was never told
About it.

It must have been mortal forgetfulness.
That happens, you assure me.
It seems to happen a bit too often.
But is it me whom you are assuring
Or…?

What is the story this time?
The lingering scent of the jasmines,
The capricious nature of thy youth,
The intoxicating wine…
But how did it stray you into
The equally potent, the other ‘w’
Woman?

Tears unleashed
Like a storm from your eyes,
Of repentance, confessing yet
Condemning the mood of the night
To be liable for your clandestine tryst.
You have done your part well, but
What is mine?

Do I have any?
I question silently…
How many times you have done this to me,
Yet I remain shamelessly helpless,
All the time, all the while.

My inner soul immersed in grave doubts
As to whether I should relent this time too?
But am I truly forgiving or is it
All an act?

As I brush aside the red stain
From your shirt, from your heart,
As the stench of her perfume
Overwhelms me, suffocates me…
Can I ever…?

The Envelope

a poem by Mary Mathew

It laid on my writing desk, hidden
Beneath all those bulky envelopes
Containing rejection slips from the editors,
Book reviews, contracts pending to be signed-
All symbols of my glorious writing career.

But this one’s presence was different,
I slowly took the envelope in my hands,
The lettering of the address seemed so familiar.
As I touched and stroked the alphabets.
Slowly, my mindset drifted to that period,
The era when I used to receive similar mails
Each and every day from this individual.

She has written to me now, after a long spell.
It felt like ages ago, for I never read
Those mails she sent me,
In protest of her rebuff of my wedding plans,
My dreams of us being together,
Each moment I imagined being with her
Was shattered by her loyalty,
In her words, to be there for her family’s needs.

What is now happening to me is strange…
The nostalgia created a lump in my throat,
My heart became heavy, in deep regret.
The agony of her loss seems too much for me to bear,
But why I remained so detached
All this time, I am unable to understand or
Justify myself, for what I feel now to be
Yet another fatal act of my rash conduct.

I have to be with her, it may be late already.
But it is going to be now or never, I reason.
I remembered her tears when I left our village
To the city- to take hold of new dreams,
Yearning for new horizons filled with hopes,
To let go of the despair I had to endure here.

In my memory that moment is etched brutally,
For once I had seen a zealous emotion in her
That never moved me, never made me ponder
On what I was doing.

Her tears fell on my unrelenting heart
That refused to wait for her.
They fell on the barren soulless dried earth that
Only awaited showers aplenty for its lushness
Instead of the meagre droplets she had shed.

These indulgences of reflection make me desperate
To end the torment thronging, rhetorically
Questioning me unremittingly on my shameful deed.

The letter still lies in my hand, unopened,
The contents still undisclosed to me.
I tore it open with trembling fervour,
A second of more waiting will kill me,
But what is this I behold?

…Only emptiness!

The contents, where are they?
Misplaced…
How can that be?
Maybe
It was the fate’s inhuman doing.
Or
It could be hers… hers…
To make me realise that I am a fool!

Even in the emptiness, there was profusion
Of the truth, professing the undying ember-like truth
That I still loved her, blindly…
As a thousand tears drenches the envelope,
Her envelope…