Withdrawal Space.

Withdrawing into a hypogeal world, detached from the surrounding is an old habit. I learned the habit when I was young; humiliated into desiring non-existence, I would crawl on my forelimbs to a bereaving dark corner of the house. There occupying the sarcophagus, I would let out animal-like howls, unhearable to humans. That non-dimensional silent space was uprooted, as in the nature of ordinary human living, and with it, me. I have sought it ever since like an orphan child seeks its parents, disagreeing with the diktats of its condition.

Modern architecture is revealing, disrespectful to haunting spaces co-existing with it. In it, I cannot withdraw. There are glowing lamps hung like corpses, controlled to send alarming light, leaving no shadows, no withdrawal spaces. What draws the culture to this intolerance, I do not understand. It abhors invisibility, a human soul discontent with the plasticine reality and wanting to remain removed from it. So, artificial suns are launched on street corners turning the night into artifice.

Parts of my humanness are severed, deposited on the culture walls, prostituted to voyeurs who relish its flesh unbeknownst to me. To their eyes, they already know me while I pull closer the holy veil around me. Where I should preserve, nourished with rainwater and mud, I am rendered impotent in their dog-like viciousness and under their night suns. My precious silent space is no more; there, fill broken bones and bonces.

I fight however I can. I climb up poles and break the artificial suns to their atoms, sweeping them into crevices thwarting their resurrection. Against the voyeurs I stand refusing to speak; I am there but not. I continue my search, when they leave aghast, hateful, until again. I howl, unheard to humans, anticipating when the howl bounces off and is returned to me. There, there I will spread out, rooting into the earth and sit forever.


Learning Poetry.

Suddenly trauma has descended into a vault, finding its way to the night, to rest and lay dormant for a while. The time is right; on the surface, there is aglow the tender light of new beginning. Like the micro-cosmos reverberating in excitement in preparation for the upcoming change. It seemed, standing on the wet grass the other day, the memory was jolted to a time when the Earth and I were indistinct, inseparable. I come to life, stirring the primordial soup to consistency, applying this warm, textured life-source on my body. I breathe.

I listen to the poets; the way they borrow the smells and visions and decode them in their leather-bound notebooks. On one side, a peripatetic poet whispers a message, he wrote for me. On another, a peer only in age takes a turn, calling me to follow him. There are dogwoods where I open the first message; the chill of an English grave when I walk toward the other’s call. Both are masters; both muzhiks, peasants tilling the Earth to raise poems.

I sit stock in the middle, inane but alert, in readiness to pester them both, starting now. In discipline, I draw lines around me, turning them, a séance; waiting. Here I call them both in a twitching voice that gathers tone and tune. ‘I am here. Teach.’

The ground hidden under autumn leaves, we sit, I at the confluence of their tradition, their vocation. I hear, I sway and mouth the words after them, one and other. Together we triangulate; the dogwoods, the grave, and the protégé. Ghosts rise up around us casting a veil of protection, let the transfer complete. I am taught.

A poem is a fallen dogwood leaf on a grave.


It has taken me two months to come back to writing.

I lived an alternate reality where like little kobolds events haunted me that only remnants of a former life come to memory. Each event had in its bosom the travails of unprecedented nature. The newness, the sodden struggle as one has with untimely rain caused diminished attention to the environment and a desperate grab at the comfort of a home. Until some of these events left vouching for a moment’s respite, I could not but drag on.

In that uneven state of mind, I baulked at the thought imploring me to write, a lot had to be documented. There was the time when life was attacked on all sides, and it appeared to the noble eye that divine help had to be sought, as did once, the great emperor for his son. The time when like a growing sapling that has built trust with its growth suddenly gives away. The future looked as bleak as the present. So much was happening.

Now those mischievous goblins have receded. Health comes back to life bubbling, grasping, and vibrant. Like a rivulet jumping over bumps, life ascends restoring where loss had visited. Like the emperor’s prayer, bullying the divine for the injustice, and winning, I too feel successful.