Ten Percent

Often, the stories we hear from unfortunate brothers are the same,
Stories of loss, stories of failure to keep ahead in the game,
Whatever their story, all that seems to change is the name,
The rest is simply different shades, flavours of sorrow and shame.

The one thing they won’t tell you, is it all began with an action,
The rest of their story is merely the compulsion of reaction,
Ask the ones with broken relationships from a fit of fury,
Ask the ones with the lucky hand, now enduring penury.

All they did, was react before they thought,
Striking when the iron was way too hot,
And you know what happens, when molten iron breaks the mould,
It frees the butterfly before the cocoon is ready to unfold.

If only they had waited for the iron to slightly cool,
They could by now be holding an indispensable tool,
But most often, the maybes are never meant to be,
Else their own sweet future everyone could see.

If only they could pause those words, to sit back and think,
They wouldn’t be struggling to pull their lives from the brink,
They wouldn’t be burning their bridges faster than they blink,
After all, even the Titanic took only a few hours to sink.

Most of your life happens based on your reaction to it,
And that itself is the simplest way to fix it,
You cannot change life through some fancy premonition,
You can change it by simply changing your reaction.

When hysterical, just sit down and give it some thought,
Whether it is an issue really worth being fought,
Freed from emotion, when your mind is allowed to consider a thought,
You will suddenly find all those answers you have always sought.

Although this is one for the Mirror, it goes elsewhere because it is inspired in part from Stephen Covey‘s ‘Ten Percent Rule’. So, here’s another for the Beacons, one of my funda principles that has held me in good stead in life. Since the poem is in non-abstract verse, no more stories necessary to explain it. 🙂

Leaving Neverland

It never ceases to surprise, the emptiness that makes up the inevitable,
It teases, taunts, it makes a mockery of everything that is believable,
And it never goes away, morphing into a vacuum that feeds into itself,
For, the soul can only be torn away once, from this body, the self.

It all seemed a dream, since I never really woke up,
Woke up that is, before this charade of a game was up,
Funny, how these seconds steal their minutes from you,
And each minute conveniently forgets to remind you.

Times when you get so attached to the things that made you grow,
Are when you least realise, you love them more than you know,
So much so that you never really learn to accept the reality,
And resign to acknowledging separation as a definite possibility.

The first step, they said would always be the hardest,
I thought they were mocking, when I found it the easiest,
They were probably seeing it the wrong way all the time,
Because it was the last step that gave me the hardest time.

When the foot that is lifted, stubbornly refuses to fall,
In that fraction of a second when I take the final call,
I realise there never was, and never is, any hope of going back,
Every time that determination questions the courage I lack.

While the eyes are busy herding the crowded tears,
I am left alone, to confront new and unknown fears,
Fears of leaving the certain, venturing into the uncertain,
Fears of being unable to cope, unable to bear the pain.

And then it happened, my worst nightmares came true,
Though the signs were clear, miles before they became true,
I could never retrace my steps, as there was no turning back,
So I stand, in the battlefield, not knowing what to attack.

This one is for the Mirror. It deals with my apprehensions of getting into a ‘professional’ job and letting go of my reckless freedom. Not everyone notices that after you have placed your first foot in a new venture, there is still the last foot left in the previous venture. This poem is about that last foot, one that doesn’t want to rise. The one that makes change the hardest.

Strangers Again

Not long after monsoon bid its last droplet goodbye,
Uninvited, unexpectedly, you happened to come by,
Looking out for someone, who definitely wasn’t me,
Politely reminding me, to not bother, just let you be.

But time is a trickster, so it decided not to wait,
And hooked us together, with a common bait,
Coming together seemed so much of our own accord,
That we never wondered, on when time had played its card.

They say time flies swifter when it is least observed,
Specially, times when life seems not, the least bit reserved,
So too were we, drawn together, like sparks from a flint,
Warming up into a flame, without the slightest hint.

Every time I believed there was something more than I knew,
You made it appear that there was a lot more still due,
And every time I believed that it was finally over,
You teased me into reconsidering what I meant by over.

That was a long time ago, a time when you were here,
Now all I can do, is to imagine, you are still near,
The ensuing years have dried out the last tear,
Making me believe life never took away anything too dear.

Even today I wonder, if it was all a game, merely a test,
Whose result I know nobody who will truly attest,
For, everybody has their own journey of no return,
And along the way, they have their own bridges to burn.

Our time is now gone, like it will be for all some day,
The day when each of us must inevitably go our own way,
Strangers we had met, and strangers we shall remain,
Until fate decides, to bring us together again.

This one is a continuation of a previous post Strangers. While that was an abstract one on the relation between love and life, this one is more grounded, and is about people. That pushes it into Gazebo.

Dilemma

Every dream needs a sacrifice to begin,
And every sacrifice needs an objective to win,
But is not every dream a sacrifice in itself,
Does it not relinquish its life to fulfill itself.

And every sacrifice is but a dream,
A dream that fulfills another dream,
But not every dream realises the sacrifice,
That the previous dream had to sacrifice.

When such a dream gets shattered,
And even its fragments get splattered,
What happens to the sacrifice done long ago,
Must it follow its dream and likewise go.

When the sacrifice itself becomes a dream,
And the dream therefore must be sacrificed,
Is it right to consider the sacrifice sacrificed,
Or does the sacrifice live on, if only as a dream.

Is any dream worth the sacrifice,
Or will mere dreaming itself suffice,
Is there any sacrifice worth a dream,
Is a person alive enough for such a dream.

We choose to sacrifice because we dreamt,
Did we ever sacrifice because others dreamt,
Sacrifice was a mere tool to get the ultimate prize,
Therefore we never dreamt to be able to sacrifice.

This is probably the most non-sensical piece of language that you have probably read till now(won’t say ever, because i am confident of writing loads more of such gibberish). Frankly initially it was supposed to be a fun poem which was to be built on an interplay of the two words. I had this concept from quite sometime, that every one of us have lots of dreams. Some that we barely remember, others that are more clearer, and others that we will never forget.

Dreams in this context are supposed to also include desires that are long unfulfilled. A lot of times, to fulfill these dreams we need to make sacrifices, and many of us think either then or retrospectively, whether the sacrifices we made were worth the dream that we set out to fulfill. Quite often we find that this is not the case, and that a lot of times it was pure satiation of the dream that drove us to the sacrifice rather than the actual worth of the sacrifice.

So as the poem progressed, it began to confound me even more, by the kinds of meanings each sentence was assuming of itself. By the time it was finished, i could no longer relate to the above lines as the poem that i had set out to write, it seemed more and more to me like a complex philosophical question about the very nature of the two terms, and the extent of their symbiosis. So much for a gamble on a fun poem.

Goodbye

When the words come to an end, there is no sentence left,
When the memories come to an end, there is no thought left,
When the feelings come to an end, there is no emotion left,
When this love comes to an end, there is no life left.

From your life, from your heart, when you threw me away,
I had only one choice, to let you have your way,
With all your force, when you slam the door on my face,
You believe and you know you are long past the grieving phase.

You think you have finally bid goodbye to your tears,
And that I will just be an image down the years,
You think you have bid goodbye to all your fears,
And that no deeper than this can sorrow pierce.

You think that you have bid goodbye to my smile,
But in the process have yourself forgotten how to smile,
You think that you have bid goodbye to my joy,
But in the process have forgotten how to enjoy.

You think that the goodbye warrants this distance,
And that your mind will maintain that resistance,
The more times you think that we belong to history,
The more it seems like the beginning of a new story.

Because this isn’t a decision that only one can take,
And love isn’t an object that we can make or break,
What you have bid goodbye is the fury, the anger within,
But that realisation will only come, when the ire wears thin.

But don’t worry, I haven’t yet said that goodbye,
I will always wait for that frustration to pass by,
Only when we both decide to call our lives a lie,
That’s the only time, we both will ever bid goodbye.

This one is another of my autobiographical ones. However, with a twist. It so happens that this one is one of the few ‘unautobiographically’ autobiographical ones. For those to whom it seems a little above the head, i would just like to explain that, in my concept, we will never be on ‘conversant’ terms in the first place. So the very thought that we may split is absurd in itself.

However, that is exactly what this poem is about, taking an absurd point to its logical conclusion. I understand that such a conclusion in the most diplomatic terms could be termed as ‘absurd conclusion’. But then this isn’t about being politically correct or about being astute. This is about being frank and true to my heart, in case an impossibility becomes a possibility.

Bridge Across Forever

We looked for the ending right at the beginning,
But couldn’t see beyond the place we were starting,
We searched for its beams, tried to hold its railing,
But couldn’t feel anymore than where we were standing.

Every time that we felt, were stepping onto empty space,
It sprung up beneath, matching our steps, pace to pace ,
Whether climbing with a smile, or slipping with a frown,
It was the one single thing that never let us down.

Our thoughts built it up, with every single thought,
Our words spread it across the breadth of every thought,
Only stepping forward whenever possible, side by side together,
As our love for each other held its planks together.

Times it would seem to creak, with every new fight,
But over time, the clamps and bolts only grew more tight,
As it arched upwards, trying to send us into flight,
Fly though we could not, atleast it gave us the delight.

It would heave sidewards with our growing discontent,
Seeming to fall apart, everytime we were hesitant,
But somehow it held on, maybe awaiting the time that would come,
When these petty differences we would surely overcome.

We look downwards at those who couldn’t come join us,
And across at those in this journey like us,
And wonder if they all have the same anticipation,
To reach the end, of this journey with no destination.

For, we, together, are the bridge across forever,
And we build upon ourselves to walk forever,
And time, a jealous spectator that keeps trying to disrupt,
But the love that it cannot grasp, it cannot interrupt.

As the title reads, this one is inspired from, and dedicated to, the beautiful moments that Richard Bach gave me through his novel/autobiography “Bridge Across Forever”. In many ways though I disagree with his definition of love and the treatment of that definition, what is unforgettable is the impact the book leaves on a person(left me euphoric for atleast a week). So this one is dedicated to him, though remodelled on my concept of love.

The next few ones coming up will have original titles by me, so people would have to bear with the titles unless I gather up the energy to visit a music store, and catch up on ‘good old Yanni’. I never cease to get surprised at the beautiful titles for his pieces that whoever it is who names his songs comes up with. They just keep the words flowing simply by chanting the title over and over again like an incantation. So the next one coming up is one on my evergreen muse “Aparna”(have just got confirmation that she still is Aparna [Reddy], though have long decided to dispense with that part of her name).

 

A Walk To Remember

Remember the walk, that we walked to remember,
When we decided to walk away during life’s December,
The pounding rain had slowed down to a drizzle,
As if to keep quiet during our ensuing tussle.

It never came, for, didn’t we amicably split,
Maintaining our dignity, our civility we called it,
And thus buried in our minds the remains of bitterness,
After we had burnt to shreds, every last bit of happiness.

Happiness, that elusive word that brought us together,
But to find it, many a storm we had to weather,
Not finding it together, we decided to search for it alone,
And so we went our own ways, leaving happiness alone.

Having gone down many roads, seeing the world,
And having learnt that compromise never grows old,
We came back to the beginnings, this park, the walk,
Only, this time, there were a thousand things to talk.

We ambled along, as if we had all the time,
As we explained to each other, the passage of time,
How much we were sorry wasn’t even betrayed by a tear,
That much we both understood, just by being here.

Bygones were already bygones before the walk began,
Now every footstep was a new journey, a new lifespan,
There was no more looking around, and no looking back,
Maybe afraid to find the past, if we ever turned back.

In the simplest of ways, it all began with a walk,
It all ended in one, and all it took to begin again, was walk,
We promised ourselves that we would remember this walk,
Never mind, Not only this, we have many more miles to walk.

Happened to come across this title when i was taking part in a “Never-Ending Movie Quiz”, and though i haven’t seen the movie, have simply fallen in love with the title. My obsession for fancy(catchy?) titles being what it i, i couldn’t sleep unless i had written a poem on it.

This is a slightly “gazebo” kind of situation that i see myself in, and wish maybe that someday things would simply get sorted out by walking and talking. Although wishes never did fall form trees, wish this one does happen, given the slow death that walking is slowly experiencing, must be painful, to know you are dying and watch your last moments on its last legs.

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