Hippocampus Hippocampus

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I stand on the banks of river Thames,
before crossing the bridge, I pause,
looking over at the water, the wind howling
A plaque diagrams the creatures of this water.
A seahorse is the shape of memory.

This heart moderates,
it has been mild for some time.
Strong currents can do that some time.

I remember now why I have carried it
on my back for a lifetime
studied its origins for months
walked for years backwards
and finally arrived.

Here at this corner
where the ink that was once foreign
has begun to blend in my skin.

illuminations, Uncategorized

An opening of hearts


Today turning a corner,
on a street I have visited before
I found an old record store,
its only signpost- music that floats
and a toddler dancing just outside.

The matrimony of smells & sounds,
carried me to a summer,
in my grandmother’s house,
where the music never stopped,
tea was always brewing,
and there was never any shortage
of pens or playmates.

Today I am like the visitor,
entering the house where I,
not yet ten and tired of summer,
sat in a cupboard reading a book,
just as the store owner’s boy does.

The mind, like old cities,
hides its portals everywhere
and patiently waits for an opening.


Not knowing the opposite of wanting


As I sit here, this moment more perfect
than any I have experienced in years,
I can’t help but smile. This is what it must be
to truly not be wanting
(is there an opposite of wanting?),
this is what it must be like to be her.
A life that sprung with me but was never mine.
Originating from the same place,
seeing the world through the same eyes.
When did the split happen,
deep in the recesses where all life originates?
Or that one decision that created
a clear path where none existed before?
Where I marched on without looking back,
only thinking of the next milestone,
the next question to be answered, a finish line
that could always be seen, but never reached.
While she looked on –
never questioning, always accepting.
Unrelentingly resisting,
the nudges of a world drunk on ambition.

Which is better I cannot know,
the strength to cast aside a life that others create for you,
or the strength to follow it to it’s conclusion.

illuminations, Uncategorized

Midnight blooms


I looked at myself in the mirror and noticed,
at the edge of my vision, a petal – fuchsia in its youth,
now dry, lovelier with its translucent calm.
And I wondered, what has been
my strongest memory in this city?
Perhaps not the screen which instead of
framing the bright blue sky, covers it up.
Not the hours I’ve spent talking about
make-believe ways to save the world.
Not even this new portrait of myself
that I’ve learnt to paint, so acutely.
But most certainly, the bougainvillea I picked up
at this doorstep, when I first knew it would be my home,
while a friend I didn’t know yet waited inside,
and how it greets me now with its tranquil charm
as I prepare to leave.


You tell me about time and I tell you how little there is


I thought of you amidst the monsoon,
the air thickening with nostalgia,
each droplet demolishing me
carrying with it a hundred
conversations of a practical kind
but the wind would drop every so often,
and I would fly away
suddenly in a decade past,
on the grass, in the night,
growing upwards, inwards
where laying on the patch of cold concrete
we felt the universe encircle us.
But the mist, it makes everything beautiful,
even the things that sunlight reveals too barren.


Borrowed paints

It does not matter, whether you sneaked out or I
or that we were lost two years ago or three.
Whether in this tug of you and me, we lost we;

There is very little to do with a certain open air cafe,
where we sat next to each other like strangers,
or the nighttime strolls of our teenaged hands;

There are no clear photos of us, nor is there any saved note
All there is, is the memory of a strange color, that smells of belonging
that disappears as soon as put to a brush;

All there are, are the letters to each other that we hid under
the neighbors lawns. Those we will never go back for,
and those that will become, the earth.


The alphabet

I know how it is to sit in the same spot and see the sun go down,
to not realize, when it’s time to get up and turn on the lights

To be completely, utterly alone and yet speak a thousand half sentences
and have a million conversations, in the midst of many a marching bands

I know how it is to see the swinging tree out the window and envy its calm
to hear the ocean waves in a distance, constant, rumbling when many miles inland

To memorize all the dictionaries, learn new languages
and yet never find the right words.