Captive Speech

I paid a few thousands for my new pair today,
A fine new pair of scales,
A polished silver beam delicately embellished with an artist’s mind.
No, I’m no vendor, the pen is what I employ.
The scales are for me to carefully measure out my words,
Because the blotting paper can only soak up the periphery.
But a pair of polished silver scales? Oh they can do much more!
Keep me from accidentally spilling out words that you abhor.
I cannot deny that I am full of cowardice,
Unable to exist in the underground. I crawl back up with my puny spirit,
A perfidious poet, forcefully shutting my ears to the cries of revolution.
A half hearted agreement to my half hearted mind, “I need to stay safe”.
Within your ornamented walls of facade, I’ve agreed to perform.
Now I’m supposed to speak through your thick veil of rules,
My voice muffled…you’d hardly hear it over the censors.
So I don’t mind paying a a large price for my new silver scales.
If I am banned from speaking my mind,
I’d rather do it aesthetically.

Via Daily Prompts: Price and



I sit before a heap of paper, my fingers smell of cheap ink,
Filing entries overtime. The damp walls stare at me, blankly.
This is what I do every day. In return for a few extra notes, carefully counted again and again,
Before they hand them over to me.
My only companion every night, an old metal fan clanking round and round.
White lights unnecessarily
Hang from the ceiling, shrill brightness echo in empty corridors.
I sit every day amidst the yellowed smell of papers,
And a tireless noise of three metal blades, until the pen slips several times
From drowsy fingers.
Then dragging my weary shoes through silent streets, I take the last local home and walk down a soundless platform.
Silently unlock the door, my eyes don’t need to adjust to the darkness anymore.
Five steps to the right and a small left turn towards the kitchen,
My food is always placed on the kitchen table, covered, pickle on the side.
I think of the old clanking fan, his sound the only sound in my soundless nights.
Keep me company for a short while, unfailingly every day.
I feel happy with arrangement, but not because there are no options to choose from.
I am grateful to those metal blades.

There still aren’t any options,
I sit alone every day, amid the same smell of paper and damp walls.
In the absence of the clank.
They’ve replaced the fans with stylish new air-coolers.
The office will look modern, they said.
It’s a relief to now walk down noiseless platforms and streets,
Eat my dinner silently,
End another day in my noiseless life.
It’s a relief to get out of the noiseless cold storage.

Via Daily Post: Noise

New Medicine in Stores

The new medicine was finally in the stores.

After years of trial and error.

A limited amount for each wrapped in tiny white paper,

My neighbors knocked on my door.

A 36 boldface Arial in the morning newspaper.

They were all going to the med store.

“Come with us”, they said.

“Purchase a miracle you haven’t ever.”

All of us moved in a snakey queue,

If only I could afford some more, I thought.

And packed for a family of four.

Several broadcasts of the creators’ interview.

They sold love in bits of paper,

A few thousand rupees per unit,

The cure for everything.

After years of trial and error.

Via Daily Post: Neighbors



Polonius said of Hamlet-  Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.

A frenzied flurry of pain,

Follow the same old pattern,

Jump from one blood vessel to another-

Bursting each open.

Faces move past in a blur, like streetlights through the window of a speeding car.

It’s the first step I take every time.

Second, I pause at each face.

I am belted on to the driver’s seat, my left foot on the brake.

A maddening reluctance to feel safe, a desire to fall step by step,

Into a dark abyss of repetition. Of methodical heartbreak every time.

Like scientific results of frenzied experiments.

Maddening results repeated every time.

Who evades the fall? I ask.

Those who speed past faces…fall into an unimaginably circular habit,

Of not falling at all.

And some

Keep going back and forth

To new faces and old,

New faces and old.

Because human actions are a methodical folly-

Repeated in circles and circles more.

Smell-less History

Monochrome movements on a wide glass screen-

A bright white sun, white robed delivery at a church.

Stooped black heads moving like ants in line,

But the chains were all human sized.

And the cloth sacks failed to hide whipped backs.

A long black train raced through the image noise,

Or maybe was its cause-

Exhaling black smoke along its way,

A thick burnt smell filled my thoughts

Mixed with blood and yellowed pages.

But let me breathe, unlike raging fire in marble hearths

At winter cities during lavish tours.

It let me breathe, unlike burnt red chillies in the neighbouring Granny’s kitchen.

Because, it was a story of the past,

And I was only watching black heads coughing at black smoke on a wide glass screen.

Via Daily Post: Delivery

Nature’s Angel

The fierce sun shone uninhibited,

Through powerless fleeting clouds,

Pushed through thirsty brown leaves,

Heated up the fractured ground.

And heated up a mound of flesh,

Featherless, fallen off his nest.

His mother’s cries sounded like silence

Mixed with foliage and cricket chirps.

And a pair of yellow eyes watched-

The little bird on the naked ground.

The forest saw his regal wings,

Swooping down upon a helpless prey,

But negated nature’s course as

He stopped abruptly on his way.

Circled round and round above

The helpless one on the burning ground.

The forest watched in silent awe-

A hooded beak hovering broad,

His gigantic shadow never left the bird.

And the fierce sun failed to heat up

Through the regal, wild, Godly gird.

Via Daily Post: Shadow


No doctor, you can’t fathom the

Depth of this wound which,

Runs through my soul and

The blood smeared ball of muscle with

Cylindrical passages,

Both of which carry deoxygenated blood.

I have little hope from,

You, and the philanthropists who,

Offer to stitch my heart severed into two.

No doctor, I don’t doubt that,

You can’t heal my wound and

Also, a local anaesthesia wouldn’t do.


Via Daily Post: Local