Day 24 NaPoWriMo 2020

(Photo by Aashish Vaidya)


“You and I, Love, together we ratify the silence”
The thunder pierces the ears, but we abide by the silence

Let the town crier shout his lies at high decibels,
You and I, swing on our lanai, and dignify the silence

The rising waves of the sea and the oncoming tsunami
May test our patience, but it will never liquefy the silence

The shouters see everything as either black or white
On them, lost is the beauty of rainbow that tie dye the silence

When you put an ignoramus in charge, expect the experts
To get hogtied and their voices crucified in silence

The lickspittles, bereft of a moral compass
Parasitically rationalize, glorify and justify the silence

I cherish your voice with the sonority full of love, but its
The curl of your lips, full of meaning that beautify the silence

‘Mirage’ may seduce with sweet talk and low whispers,
But it can’t disrupt the calm and shanghai the silence

Notes:  Day 24 of NaPoWriMo 2020.  Off-prompt today, penned a ghazal for my muse on her birthday today.  The first line is from Pablo Neruda 100 Love Sonnets IX translated by Stephen Tapscott.  The original Spanish line: “Juntos tú y yo, amor mío, sellamos el silencio.”

You Say

Day 14, NaPoWriMo 2020

Photo by Taylor Ann Wright on Unsplash

You Say


Writing ghazals, oh what a noble pursuit, you say
Following in Ghalib ’s footsteps bears fruit, you say?

Working from home, can be confining at times, but
means comfort in sweatsuits and no commute, you say.

Spending lazy afternoons with grandpa, listening
to tape recorded ghazals was such a hoot, you say.

The ghazal weaved into raga, the singer teasing nuances
With accompanied tabla, harmonium and flute, you say.

How good is your advice?  Versifying in couplets will
impress that cute girl in a floral jumpsuit, you say?

Because I spend time in your tavern, drinking wine,
O saaqii. That makes me a person of disrepute, you say?

Squeeze fresh oranges, pour juice in a glass, stir with
Screwdriver after adding two shots of Absolut, you say.

Like the causal tone of Faiz’s poems carrying embers
of revolution, who’s the heir, the new recruit, you say?

A devotee or an atheist reading Kabir’s dohas, Mirabai’s
vani or Narsinh’s bhajans will transmute, you say.

The stories from long epics Ramayana and the Mahabharata,
Sip into your soul, and lay deep roots, you say.

If I can see through ‘Mirage’ and can discern the
true reality, that makes me very astute, you say!

Notes:  Day 14 of NaPoWriMo 2020.  The prompt “asks you, like Alice Notley, to think about your own inspirations and forebears (whether literary or otherwise). Specifically, I challenge you today to write a poem that deals with the poems, poets, and other people who inspired you to write poems. These could be poems/poets/people that you strive to be like, or even poems, poets, and people that you strive not to be like. There are as many ways to go with this prompt as there are ways to be inspired.”

Poets referenced:

Ghalib – Mirza Ghalib
Faiz – Faiz Ahmed Faiz
Kabir – 15th century mystic poet
Mirabai – a 16th century devotional (bhakti) poet
Narsinh –  Narsinh Mehta, a 15th century devotional (bhakti) Gujarati poet, whose Vaishnav Jana poem (bhajan – devotional poem) was one of Gandhi’s favorites.

Though Ramayana and Mahabharat are usually accessible and consumed in the narrative form, they are actually big lyrical epics.
Saaqii – literally a bartender, or barmaid.  But, the word takes on different metaphors for lover, friend, alter ego, the divine in Hindi/Urdu poetry, ghazals.