A study of the way children learn languages

Today I learnt of a little boy,
charred to bone, who said “I’m ok”
when help finally got to him.
After a point, what we feel can
no longer fit the bounds of language.
They say using words to tell stories
is the crown of evolution,
But what if all it does is arrest
what we are allowed to feel.
Like a mirror that warps to show
only what you are taught to see.
The heart grasps to find the right words
but they slip through these fingers,
too small to hold, too volatile to share
and ends up a fist — closed, still, resisting
unable to feel a single thing.



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Question the thoughts that jumble
rebuke the words that resound.

Tumble the heap of them
on a wrinkle free cycle,
until they come out longing
and tracing something brighter

Resign to the light that finds
its way to your still sleepy heart
while your benumbed eyes
still make sense of the dark

Find in the end, your feet shuffling
Listen and you’ll hear the rhyme.


The longest night

There is a night, that brings with it the air of finality
and you breathe in those last few breaths from each other
There is yellow light, an apartment you don’t belong in
there are discarded copper coins everywhere.

The street noise usually loud, but today dimmed
against the sound of your reckless heart

Crossed-out terms of endearment
Stories rolled up in towels,
knotted with socks,
Winter solstice.


In a heartbeat

Sometimes lying alone in the night
She felt like her whole body was a heart
There was a heartbeat in the back of her knees
There was one right where her eyebrows met
One even at the tip of her nose
Today, There is a rhythmic beating in her feet
They yearn to walk and find their way
follow the heartbeat and walk
Skipping, jumping
Over many moons and sunrises
Many meandering rivers
And tip toe all the way into a land
where they belong.


Once in a while

“Fight your heart once in a while” you say,
you, who makes a living out of doing just that
constantly, everyday, heartlessly
you, who lives with the constant need to listen to the mind…

And at the other end of the line, me
Me, who lives to listen to every beat, every rhythm of my heart
me, who accepts with love every tantrum that it throws my way

Maybe that is what happens to the best of us
Once in a while,
I learn to fight my heart
And you learn to listen to yours.

This is the first one of a series, started today between a friend and I, where he tells me a line and I create a poem on it.


In the wake of a hurricane

Again, the storms recede only to make tunnels
of silence, to find debris, and other swinging
tchotchke of greener seasons and the cadavers
float up onto the surface foaming, frothing

And yet the heart never gets used to
these routine nips and bites
the first gentle, then persistent tugs
on well folded corners of the night

Inane and unguarded, it is never prepared
not even with a million blinking lights
and a hundred warning sirens.
not even with a storm in plain sight.