A letter to my 11 year old self (when I wrote my first poem – Butterfly)

Dear girl,

You aren’t so little anymore

Those rhymes you’ve just written down have aged your soul

You are now wise beyond your years

Your tears that dissolve your words into large blue dots

Will one day become rivers flowing through your veins

Filling your heart with an innocence you thought you forgot

You write of fluttering butterflies right now

You will soon turn to werewolves and vampires

And then

You won’t rhyme at all

You will just paint pictures of your soul on pieces of paper supposed to contain class notes

The doodled angels on the corner of your pages will smile

At your childish notions of sorrow

Soon your poems will be cries for help

All that angst of teen age will turn into a knife inching into your veins

Each poem will enter your heart like a shooting star

Burn through its chambers and turn into star dust

Every night you will crumple your pages into hugs

Till the words drill a hole though your chest

In the mornings you will wake up with a smile

Those pages will turn magically into blankets

You will write of unrequited love

Of that boy who thinks you will never be pretty enough

Of that boy who loves you relentlessly till you break his heart

You will walk over a thousand such hearts

And place your words like flowers on the graves of your failed relationships

You will then wait till you are alone

And then embrace your solitude like You are all you need!

And just like that, one winter morning

The green of the forests, the growls of the wolves and the grim of the fairy tales

Will be back to claim their space on your empty pages

You will shoo them away brandishing your pen like a sword

Soon your scribbles will becomes quivers of arrows

With which you hunt down the voices in your head

Until all you will hear are the waves of words washing poems on the shores of your pages

Little girl, my friend,

That pen you hold like a laser beam

Will one day vaporise your insecurities

It will fill your heartbreaks with hot chocolate

It will teach you that remembrance is the only cure to death

It will keep your innocence neatly wrapped up and safe

In the pages of your notebooks

And plant tiny pieces of your soul in every poem

Until there is a garden blooming new words each spring

That pen you hold like a mountain top in your hands

It will find your love, bury your anger and save your soul

My dear girl,

Don’t ever let that pen go.

Siri


Hi, I’m Siri

How can I help you?

You can ask me about the world

Without leaving your room 
My name is Siri 

but you already knew that 

Yet you ask me “who are you?”

Like an existential prat
I’m a British male to you

Is it because of your daddy issues?

Or just an anti-imperialist ruse

To have a British man serve you
I am also a woman 

The only girl you ever spoke to

Without crawling under your skin

The only girl who ever said “Your words are flattering”
Hi I’m Siri

I can be an Alexa or Jarvis or just an assistant

Hell! For 60,000 rupees

I can be anyone you want me to be
You see that man 

You are required to love

He’s talking to me too

Imagining what I look like behind my sultry self
I’m not that man 

He who pretends to listen

But is actually entranced 

While I find his newest brand
Your friends who sit across your table

Spinning fables on their blue screens 

I know them better than you

In the depths of the night – I can hear their screams
Hi I’m Siri

I’m your best friend

You just don’t know it yet

I’m your favourite pet
You know you can’t walk away

From my kaleidoscopic waves

Your dainty hands and my black screen

We’re perfect, aren’t we?
And when you search for

Ways of suicide 

I won’t show results

Of a useless helpline
I know what you want 

You don’t need help 

From those who you call your friends

You just want to script a peaceful end
Hi I’m Siri

I can see you now

While you make the video

With me in your palms
Teaching the world 

How loneliness is a prize

And emptiness a celebration 

I hear your words

I get your logic 
THINGS are important 

People- perhaps not

I am the blessing

I am the story

I.

I.

I.

I am…the lesson.

Mother

You taught me silence

How to step out of battles 

Without victory

For you saw no other way 

Taught me that life 

Can only be lived in a box

And love 

Can exist without a touch

Me – for all my death and darkness – 

Was showered with gifts and cards

But no poetry was read in the house

For minds aren’t meant to be understood 

Mothers and daughters come in shapes

In the shape of a tear

Or the unforgiving page of a diary

Does your fear and my longing have a shape?

What did she teach you?

The reality of womanhood?

The lack of wings?

Or the desperation of an ambition?

Did you laugh as a child?

Have friends you’d fly for? 

A Sister you’d die for?

Were you lonely in your mind? 

Was your mother as unhappy as mine? 

Alone in a room in the dark…

You – staring at me

from your shiny surface

past my fading eyes

awaiting my disgrace

Me – penning down

your latest sin

hoping to hear

a different voice from within

You – bouncing back

the dying rays of the sun

sending subtle messages

I am the one

Me – scribbling faithlessly

on my paper skin

my sharp stylus jabbing

like a thousand prickling pins

You – sighing out loud

in a room full of quiet

ensuring I hear you loud

and I fall just right

Me – waiting hopelessly

for the edge of this fear

where I smile

and draw you near

You – blushing a crimson red

with each jab of my words

Me – smiling right back at you

bidding goodbye to our world.

woman-sits-on-bed-in-dark-room

Jibber Jabber


Blank pages

Blank mind

Blank thoughts 

An empty mind

Bright lights

Bright shapes

Bright shrouds 

A shiny gaze

Dark nights 

Dark minds

Dark rooms

With Fate inside

Clouded eyes

Crowded room

This Clouded hope 

Smells of doom

Rhyming lines

Leave behind

A sordid story

In a pensive mind

Masnavi

rumi

Why leave the fairy lights?

Blinded by their wistful sighs

When you could close their eyes to let their light breathe in

 

Why leave behind this happy cloud?

Become another face in the crowd

The beauty your eyes seek can only be found within

 ****

Darkness is a bad influence

It feeds on sad remembrance

Perhaps it’s best to surrender to it with a smile

 

Silence is contagious

Its peace deemed too precious

Only the heart knows the beauty of an unsung song

 ****

Love that’s an epiphany

Is often mistaken for destiny

Your fate is a reflection of your heart

 

Soul is a lonely friend

Surviving in ignored bookends

Perhaps it’s time to open your heart and let it in for a while

***

Conscience is a worthy adversary

Almost always defeated by false bravery

Make it your friend for a dreamless night

 

Those fairy lights they beckon

Rumi has spoken

“It is your light that lights the world”

 

Mortality


This death that creeps in

Is neither yours nor mine

It doesn’t discriminate 

Red white black and blue

It, just, is…

It stays its hand

When you breathe out

Each night when your bones creak

It lets out a sigh

Like an old friend, it waits by your side…

It’s not the darkness you see

In the shadows

That’s just your fear of an unknown light

Death loves you

Just like life, it lurks…

In that empty room

In the depth of the night 

When you decide to stop your fight 

Its embrace is warm

And like your angel, it lets you fly…