Mother

Mother, I’m scared.
I’m far away from you
And so long we haven’t met!

I don’t know these people I live with.
Sometimes when I’m sad
I long for a loving hand
But I fawn- I have none.

I feel insecure,
I feel a constant threat.
I miss your cocoon of warmth;
I know life is thorny path,
And I need to keep moving;
And I’m trying to do that.

Do you remember, mother,
When I was a kid,
In the evening,
When I returned from school
You’d always be at the gate,
Waiting for me.
I’d waive my hand and you’d wave back;
And then I’d run
From a distance
And reach you in a second.

Everyday you did that;
You never missed a day!
Mother, do you still wait at the gate
Seeking when your son would come back?

You know mother,
Last week I was not well-
I had a fever.
We talked over the phone
And I tried to hide my breaking voice.

I don’t want to let you know when I’m sick-
When I’m sad.
You already have a lot of worries,
I don’t want to trouble you more with my concerns.
But somehow you still know when something is wrong!

Mother, I’ll be a good boy,
I’ll make you proud,
I know you’re already proud of me for who I am-
I’m gonna make you more proud.
And I’m gonna come home soon,
You keep waiting at the gate,
And I’ll make a chase for you.

~KMnO4

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Machines

Holding on a plastic train,
I try to cross a busy lane.
Cars pass by and motorcycles scoot;
Coats, ties, hats, trousers and boots.

I look to the right, I look to the left;
Walking machines— emotions bereft..
I take a step forth, and then I move back;
Foxes, jackals, wolves—all march in a pack.

Trucks honks hard and buses fumes;
An old bot breaks down a new resumes.
I look to my reflection on a cab passing by,
I see screws and nuts and bolts and a digital eye.

Is it a dream or am I awake!
Is this our future where everything is fake?
Should I talk to the President and give him a clue?
Or brush away my thoughts like nothing is new?

~KMnO4

Sand-Castles

The thin line of insecurity breaks,
And the dream bound to the chain of hope shatters.
The perils of mistrust loom again,
And a hazy picture of paradise appears and disappears.

The knots and joints in the rope pricks now;
A line crossed not meant to be.
Held and tied— fastened for so long with care;
A fragile grip on reality.

The secret angels resign today,
Refusing to guard the sand-castle anymore.
A bond so special so long endured;
Wrecked remains of the citadel stay on the shore.

The extremity of faith breached;
Hearts broken that cannot be joined.
The plastic love stings today;
The wicked witch over-enjoyed.

~KMnO4

Do You?

Do you tell lies to everyone?
Do you still try to hide the sun?
Do you break hearts so often ?
Do you ever care for anyone ?

Oooaah, do you ?

Do you still make promises?
Do you know how it feels when it breaks?
Do you now try to keep your words?
Do you still make excuses absurd ?

Oooaah, do you?

Do you ever apologize?
Do you know people see through your lies?
Do you know people still loved you?
Do you ever hear the cries ?

Oooaah, do you?

Do you know time waits for none ?
Do you know one day I’d be gone ?
Do you feel any pain in that ?
Do you even know how much I cared ?

Oooaah, do you?

Do you ever know how much it hurts?
Do you know so well to give the scars?
Do you ever see my tears?
Do you ever feel my fears?

Oooaah, do you?

~KMnO4

Back Home

The looming clouds
Hover over the wary sky,
And the timid sun,
Hides behind the black curtains.

The scary storm
Flings the strayed kite,
As it helplessly
Flies towards the high mountains.

The pouring drops
Drowns the paper-boats,
And inundate
The poor tiny lanes.

The fading light
Scares a little boy,
As in the pastures,
He tends the herd of cattle.

When you’re afraid,
And you’ve nowhere to go,
You must know,
There’s a place called home.

A mother’s kiss—
So soft and tenderly,
Nurses all the scars,
And heals all the pains.

The father’s words,
So very sincere—
Says there’s a rainbow,
After it rains.

A long-lost friend
Greets with open arms,
And brings back those
Sweet golden-old days.

A childhood crush
Meets with a blushing smile,
That excites you
In the same old ways.

You’ve wandered so long,
And gone so far;
How long will you roam?
It’s time you head back home.

It’s time to come back home—
Where you’re safe and not alone.
It’s your home;
Come back home.

~KMnO4

[Published in the book “Kaafiyana”]

The Distance between You and Me is a Blink

The distance between you and me is a blink;
So will you dare to take a leap,
And fly to the point where our horizons meet?
And leave all your worries just behind your feet.

We’ve waited so long for this day.
I went mine, and you went your way.
But when it rained and you had nowhere to go
Did you miss me in the downpour?

Coz every moment as they day gloomed-
In the skies the clouds fumed,
My heart went out only for you;
But you were nowhere in view.

So shoo away all your fears-
For long you’ve shed your tears.
And leave the boat before it sinks.
Because the distance between you and me is a blink.

~KMnO4

Limbo

I saw you in my dream today.
Even there I could not understand
you loved me or you hated me.
Because I saw love in your eyes
and in your deeds I saw loathing.

I saw tears swelling up in your eyes
that you held with effort.
Like a bubble that would burst
just by a touch,
you’re holding a river in your eyes-
not letting it flow.
You’re holding a storm-
dark rain-bearing clouds.
I turned my face away as
I could not see you cry.

Maybe you thought I looked away
because I hated you.
But you didn’t know
how much pain I was going through.
Your cute face had become even more cute.
And you looked so innocent.
And how helpless I felt!
How much I hated myself
for letting things to come to this.
How could I let you cry?

But your deeds spoke the opposite.
You’re trying to return the money
for all the gifts that I had given you.
How could you do that?
You’re not even talking to me directly
you’re using a mediator
to pass the money.
And I was shying away
as I could not have let our love
stoop so low.
And all this while
I felt my heart ripped away
and I don’t know
even what to say.

That’s when my dream broke
and I woke up.
But I couldn’t determine
I woke from a dream
or I entered one.

~KMnO4

Black hole

The cryptic blues engulf my soul,
And it’s dark inside where I hide.
A vacuum pops that can’t be filled;
The shimmering moon triggers the tide.

A devil creeps into my mind;
It lasts with me throughout the night.
A war breaks out between me and me;
And in my head my demons fight.

The blazing sun refuses to shine,
The helpless wind twists and turns,
A daunting fire haunts my psyche,
And in the flames my fairies burn.

The crafty witch rocks my crib,
And incites me into a mystic sleep.
I get trapped in its web;
Stuck in a black hole so dark and deep.

~KMnO4

Cryptic Affliction

I get lost
In the crowd.
I hear voices—
Shouts so loud.

They scream and say
Words unclear.
I don’t heed them;
I don’t care.

I want what?
I don’t know.
The world moves fast
And I go slow.

I feel hollow
Deep inside—
A constant ache,
A burning ride.

I walk alone
In the rain.
I seek the clouds
To heal my pain.

But they endure;
They won’t go.
The shower ends
And I bleed more.

~KMnO4

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