Poems by Pravin

What is love?

a poem by

Pravin

I see her in floral white demure,
Glancing across the crowded aisles.
Fairy in white and modesty in pink
As we exchange vows and kisses.
The tin clang sounds are stilled
By the incurious motorway crickets
And our impassioned breaths.

I see her poised in apron prim
Humming lilting tunes interspersed
With ladles of custard pudding.
As I share the travails of commerce,
She teases my lips with taste and sight.
Our laughter echoes on the feeble porch
Hands coiled we rest in the vernal breeze.

I see her anxious in weathered gown
Waddling after pamper-foots
Amidst shrieks and salbutamol.
Naughty Nikki and bronchitic Granny!
She catches my smirk and disarms
My caution with wrinkled smiles
And meliorate matured intimacy.

I see her restful in her rocking seat
Savoring my gaze as we lounge
Near the crackling insulating fire.
My wistful presence is in every wall
Window, fitting, curtain and fall.
As we look unto each other
She accosts me again, ‘what is love?’

‘You Inamorata. And infinity’,
I answer finally from the ether.

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Winter

a poem by

Pravin

The Past sets as the winter withers.
Slowly and painfully the leaves succumb
To the deceit of peace the rain portrays.
The dome is but a gloom, the sun escapes
The dreary heartland of mourning foliage.
Herein lies the deeds of men forgotten
Like Time which hast passed its prime.

The Present strides like grace become.
Audacious and simple the squirrels frolic
To the betrayal of light tantalizingly encompassed.
The winter isn’t dead; the lost hills beckon
The pacified sphere to which they belong.
Herein lies the mortification of men tested
Like Time living its futility.

The Future stalks like infinitely surreptitious.
Fear it faces lest mortals dutifully rebuke
The promise of glory it may never foretell.
The pastures anew for winter’s belching
Of it’s last curse of creepy rain.
Herein lies the hopes of generations
Will Time withstand winter’s strain?

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Tethers of Memory

a poem by

Pravin

I fled desperately from the caves of Memory
I plunged down the fathomless sea.
I swam hard down the surging waters
And struggled against the heaving waves
Hoping, ceaselessly hoping to outrun
The pounding feet of Memory.

I ran, swam to the shore’s sands
And stumbled over fallen rocks and logs.
I looked up at great gulls circling overhead,
Watched them spiraling down on my wearied body.
And yet again stove to beat
The pounding feet of Memory.

I slouched, cringed and wriggled my limbs
Fanatically along the desert sands.
Hot sizzling sands parching
My brown ruddy crimson hands.
My sweat vanished in a cloudless smoke
My body ached asking for no more
Of this tortuous eternal flight.

Just then I heard the wings overhead.
Huge black brawny vultures descending
Pecking at my bloodied scalp
Whence dripping blood and sweat alike.
I saw hordes of crooked claws and ravenous beaks
Chiding my soles to flee again.
And then, I heard and saw
In the madly gyrating wings,
The pounding feet of Memory.

I wearily lifted my senseless shell
And dropped down yet again
This time never to rise as well.
I shut my eyes and squirmed
And felt the creepy talons tear
At the dead inert mind of mine.
I lost the feeling of life
And the necessity of living.
I dropped into a word of paralysis
And subdued maddening silence;
I drifted into its widening wake.
But yet again I heard and hated
The pounding feet of Memory.

Madly thudding and swaying
And suddenly all at once still.
I realized and deciphered
The logic of this lull.
The chase, the quest was over!
So stood the halted feet of Memory
Pointing wickedly and roaring haughtily
At the hollow sunken victim; Me
Who tried to elude, escape
The clutches of His omnipresent tentacles.

Then, He bellowed majestically,
“Oh! Poor vain captive, thou hast
Tied to abandon my Web
And sought to free your mind.
But I pervade everywhere.
Surrender your futile instincts to my Bind.

I cried, I wouldn’t believe Him
But He laughed and mocked my plea.
Villainous contraption my mind was
For inexplicably it accepted His pillar of Professory
With joyous tumult and ascending glee!
I sat aghast and stumped at
My mind’s beastly betrayal.

I raved and screamed in alarm
Never relenting my passionate agony.
But then Memory thundered,
“Do be docile and suppress your
Meaningless whimper,
Subjugate your blundering passion.
Hark! Yield to my conquering power,
Listen to my protective counsel.
Man cannot obliterate me.
Me who have chosen to fuse
Strange constitution of thoughts.
Thoughts of devotion or desertion,
Of music or melancholy,
Of faithful friend or fuming foe,
Of darkness or deliverance”.

“Comprehend this Truth, my Child
Convey unto me your willing mind
And cease to seek removal of me
From the recesses of your cerebral blind”.
I still cried, I couldn’t believe Him.
But now He never mocked my plea.
Soothingly He caressed my weary brow
With His expansive motherly hands.
Whispered words of reassurance,
That I was indeed His son, His loving fetal Wand.

I gazed at His tender eyes
And cried still, since I now believed Him.
He wiped my tears and smiled
With His caring, compassionate gaze.
Villainous contraption my reverberating soul was!
It accepted Him, His pillar of Professory
With joyous tumult and ascending glee.

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How?

a poem by

Pravin

You were wet from the dew
And provocative.
I didn’t feel you until you were
Trembling along with me.

How did I yearn for you!
Count the seconds when you weren’t there!
While you cherished other bodies,
Other un-shaven chins, other warmth.

How much did I carry the mildew perfume
Of your hair in my nostrils!
While you trod on my dreams
With high-heeled bitchery.

How long did my ears resonate
With your tinny laughter!
While I gazed into the drab walls
Of my pent-up cubicle
Thrashing deadlines and fidgety.

Now you say the words I’d always dreamt of!
As I reach for the weathered wallet.
‘How’, you ask, ‘it’s possible for Love’s richness
To fade, to cease?’ as you gather
Your trailing hose and smear on lip gloss.

How can I ever accept?
When you just sold yourself again.

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Lady of Honour

a poem by

Pravin

She floats down like rivulets
Of rain making patterns o’er
The grimy glass panes.
She soils my soul pitiless
With her studied silence
And resenting eyes.

She flits across my dreams
Like mosquitoes would o’er
Unprotected elbows.
She wakes me up listless
With her tinkling laughter
And inviting lips.

She abounds my conscious
Like waves swamping fisher-boats
Descend, rebound, descend.
She envelops me scarceness,
Without physical union
And endeared memories.

She lives and fights me endlessly
Through shredded words and
Pain-filled ‘membrances.
I cherish and seek her gamely
In every waking moment,
Content that she throbs in me!
Despite her stoicism.

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In-animated

a poem by

Pravin

Wretched doll I am, wallowing
In yesterday’s refuse.

School bus, singing children
Pass by; curious eyes.

I await to be chosen
By the next rag-picker.

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On Loneliness

a poem by

Pravin

How gruesome the challenge of loneliness!
If I could never see you again
I’m a dry cinder, aimless, my sorrow begin.
Does it suffice that I see you no more?
My heart would bleed, you know, dry and sore.
Can I seek you in earth’s mess?

My Fates shalt falter if I can’t touch
Your pearl-chiselled lips; my agony’s such.
Would you sit betwixt me and my sorrow?
Smother with your eyes and my squalid morrow?
Should I rust in love’s doom?

Are you not fleeting from my desperate reach?
If only I could halt you for a divine moment,
Unwreathe my agony, sweet, and this torment!
Would desire only me, love me for what I am?
My drifting life I’ll dam.
Am I not beseeching?
Would you my heart let breach?

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Note from Past

a poem by

Pravin

I walk into the classroom unsure
Whether the remnants of our relationship
Still lingers, to be savoured again.
I am surprised that it is so!
Is it my imagination? Who knows?
It won’t matter, not today.

The desks are arranged like
They used to be.
A wonder, really!
The same old furniture, fans, board,
Charts and windows that were
The epitome of our innocent delight.

I sit on the bench which
Was caressed by your presence
I put my head on the desk and
Try to feel the softness of your cheeks,
The aroma of your skin and hair.
You know? You used to lie with your
Cheeks on the desk, espying me
With mischief in your eyes.

I think I can still feel your touch
On the porous wood.
Where your hands with bangles,
Jingled my consciousness
Whenever you moved.
You know? I used to wait
For these distractions just
To look at you again.

I can see the faint blotch of ink
Where you threw away the pen
When it refused to write.
I touch the faint indenture
On the desk, created by the nib.
It’s curious that I still feel its sharpness!
You know? The pen is in my pocket now
And the blotch, a blue on my soul.

I put my fingers down into
The recesses of the desk, feeling
For the tiny nook betwixt the joints.
Ah! There it is. The small note
You had wedged with precision.
‘Ready for the treat today?
Your purse, no jokes
And don’t brood so, on reading this.
Its not often a guy gets to dine with a lady!’
You know? Often do I brood
On these little nuances, little bits
Of education.

Did you know? I made a note too.
It said, ‘I’ll miss you a lot.
I can’t say thanks for all
Those moments you made life rich,
Your studied smile, gentle chiding
And glorious companionship.’
You never saw it though, because
I feigned impetuosity, bravado
And left you only with half a wave
Of ineffectual goodbye.

‘Why did I do it?’ you may ask.
I can tell you why.
Longfellow was supremely right!
“The leaves of memory make
A mournful rustle in the dark”.
I didn’t want to burden us
With that last sentimental look
Around the corner whence your
Bike doth disappear.

I slip your note into my case,
To be treasured and revisited
Many times over.
Mine, the note from the past that
I then didn’t dispense with,
I slide into the same secret nook
Hoping you’d visit our sanctum,
Find my note secure and know that
I thought about us, our warmth
And our parting.

If you do visit, I know that
You will understand it all now
And feel the pangs I felt years,
Half-a-score, before.
I also do know that
You will too treasure my note
And our unrequited vindication.

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Hollow and Stuffed

a poem by

Pravin

I am hollow, I am stuffed.
With the wind I sway gaily,
Like rocks I unbend o’er the mighty sea.
I am full of straw, I am full of Muse.
Like pale-strewn leaves I float earthward.
I rise wondrous like seagulls palpitate.

I am a silent muted vexatious observer
Of proclivity of wrens and taloned rogues.
I am built to forget all that I can see
And trained to punish all that I can forgive.
I am full of hope, I am full of agony.
Like a wretched doll, opulence casts me astray.
Jubilant am I, when coveted by proletariats.

I am eternal, I am moribund.
Destined to adversity, averse to vacuity.
I am bucolic even to ageless crows
And a precocious terror of urbane pests.
I am no totem, but am fixed to poles.
I am a beacon cos’ I blot the landscape.

I am free, I am shackled.
I need affixation, I seek freedom.
Tortuous the path I sway, betwixt
The burning sky and furrowed earth.
I am hollow, I am stuffed.
With the wind I sway gaily,
Like rocks I unbend o’er the mighty sea.

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How?

a poem by

Pravin

You were wet from the dew
And provocative.
I didn’t feel you until you were
Trembling along with me.

But how did I yearn for you!
Count the seconds when you weren’t there!
When you cherished other bodies,
Other un-shaven chins, other warmth.

Now you say the words I’d always dreamt of.
But are you not a spent concubine now?
How, I ask, its possible for Love’s richness
To fade, to cease; I know you are vexed!
But, how can I accept you?
When you just sold yourself again.

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Ode to Roses

a poem by

Pravin

Oh Rose! Oh Rose! Cadaver!
Thou hast toxic plumes.
Your fragrance, an executioners chop.
Your bloom, a sensuous witchery.
Indeed I do perceive, your beauty lies
Not in thine sprouting incense.

Nay! Your beauty rests inglorious
O’er the colour of the palms
Your thorns pricked!

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Questions

a poem by

Pravin

How gruesome the challenge of loneliness!
If I could never see you again
I’m a dry cinder, aimless, my sorrow begin.
Does it suffice that I see you no more?
My heart would bleed, you know, dry and sore.
Where are you? Can I seek you in earth’s mess?

All the flowers that bloom will ever be so gloom.
My Fates shalt falter if I can’t touch
Your pearl-chiselled lips; my agony’s such.
Would you sit betwixt me and my sorrow?
Smother with your eyes, Dear, this squalid morrow?
What are you whispering? Should I rust in love’s doom?

Are you not fleeting from my desperate reach?
If only I could halt you for a divine moment,
Unwreathe my agony, Sweet, and this torment!
Would you only desire me, love me for what I am?
My infertile Self will pasture, my drifting life I’ll dam.

Am I not beseeching? Would you my heart let breach?

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Voiceless Refusals

a poem by

Pravin

Timeless consequence of my
Infallible yearning for your soul
Has left me in shudders!
The naked love I proposed to declare
Is still in my throat.
If only Gods would grant me the boon
Yet, as I wish I can imagine your
murderous scorn!
You kill me not only with my love,
But also with your voiceless refusal

If I ever fade out before these
Lines crumble like withered leaves,
Just remember – You are what I am and
You are what I could yet be…

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one day, someday?

a poem by

Pravin

By the tall pine trees
In the soaking ground you’ll feel
The pain I once felt before.
In the flashes of lightning,
Peals of thunder you’ll hear
My distressed call.
One day, someday, you’ll wait for me there.
You’ll wait till the day burns out,
You’ll wait till the night erodes,
You’ll keep waiting when I ain’t there.

By the tall pine trees
In the swirling mists enveloping your feet,
You’ll feel the pain I once felt before.
In the rustle of the bark,
You’ll hear the sound of my fear.
One day, someday, you’ll wait for me there.
You’ll wait till the day burns out,
You’ll wait till the night erodes,
You’ll keep waiting when I ain’t there.

By the tall pine trees
In the howl of the dancing beasts,
You’ll feel the separation I once felt before.
By the course of the slicing wind
You’ll hear the undulations of my soul.
One day, someday, you’ll wait for me there.
You’ll wait till the day burns out,
You’ll wait till the night erodes,
You’ll keep waiting when I ain’t there.

By the tall pine trees
Your changed heart will search,
Your darting eyes will perceive nothingness.
Your agony will stifle your cries.
In the beat of the earth
You’ll feel the warmth of my veins.
In the movement of the sun
You’ll see the shine on my face.

By the tall pine trees
Your lips will not blow chaste kisses,
your burning cauldron of Being will not
Envelop shivering Me.
For I’m long gone,
Long gone into the lost recesses of twilight.
One day, someday, you’ll wait for me there.
You’ll wait till the day burns out,
You’ll wait till the night erodes,
You’ll keep waiting when I ain’t there.

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