About lunacy (Root ‘luna,’ being ‘moonstruck’)

Does the moon cast spells at night?

Misty magical moon rays transfixing us as we go about our lives,

Illuminating, elevating, alliteration creating.

 

A silvery net is cast to earth nightly,

By the old man in the moon, but of course you remember him.

And all our deepest dreams, the hopes we live by,

Absorbed by the stars, twinkling in allegiance,

Twinkling in defiance.

 

Every night new stars are born,

Borne of a million silent prayers,

A grandmother awaiting her first grandchild,

A traveler, weary for home, and for a pair of dry walking shoes,

A starfish, thirsty for the sea,

An ear of corn, waving at the sun,

In a wide arched appeal for precipitation.

 

Silver nets loosely tethered to the moon,

Engage in their nightly endeavours,

Of sweeping, sweeping, sweeping our shores,

Our skies, where rogue stars wander,

Always just out of reach,

Vehemently, indignantly, united in a show of force

 

But the moon,

Alas the moon. Casts it’s spell,

Transfixing us all, as we go about our lives.

Reeling in a sky’s worth of stars,

An ocean’s secretly buried fallen stars,

In its silver nets, exacting as they are,

A collective consciousness of constellations,

To add to the night sky.

 

A rather strange idea you venture,

Shall I write you a poem about lunacy?

Nostalgia

What is it about the past that makes it present itself to us in such strange and wistful ways? Like the feeling of a snowflake on your skin, or the evening light glinting into your eyes. Is it perhaps that we’re transported into parallel worlds, where golden light and cotton candy are in free supply? What makes us cling so fiercely to the past? Are we simply the sum of our past lives? Is there no freedom from ourselves?

We long for slices of our old lives. The pale blue sky on a bitterly cold November morning. Golden embers burning on a hilltop, scattered along the way. That are really just markers, proof of life. A reminder that we’re not alone. For the warmth of our best friends, of our parents. Afternoons spent laughing hysterically with other delinquents.

The past is coloured in shades of marvelous impossibility. Because what’s gone is gone. Leaving only threads of memory that we clutch at in our tiny fists. Threads that when laid out on the ground lead to a safe, delightful place. That special place in our hearts. Where we remember.

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Photo credits: The Milky Way, Boris Dmitriev

Wanderings

Cotton candy for grey cells,

Sleep for wakefulness,

The sound of tires screeching as they dig their heels into the ground, adamant.

The world propels its way onwards, thundering its way through the universe

Never stopping, never ceasing, spinning like a top.

The moon and the earth, inseparable, like old friends,

That know too much about each other to stray too far apart.

Light and shadow, light and shadow, the invisible thread that tethers them together.

Communication isn’t the simplest in outer space you see.

All this, and yet I sit here, inert, unchanging.

Wondering why the world goes on, when I can’t seem to.

 

 

 

The Ocean

Golden light dances upon it,
Dances as though free,
Spreading like wildfire across the horizon

The freedom of the ocean.

The moon collects fallen stars,
And holds them in its arms,
Silver, white sparkling diamonds,
That melt into Mercury.

The moon pours it’s elixir earthwards,
Immortality flows slowly,
Droplet by droplet,
In a stream of silver light
Into the vast encompassing sea

Shadows play safe,
Slipping into the darkness,
Silver light dances upon it,
Silver elixir. Silver Mercury.

The infinite ocean.

Mercury 2

Starlight

As we flew through the stars, the Boeing’s right wing shone with the polish of moonlight. The city of djinns sparkled below. We flew through a pattern of diamonds pinned to the night sky. Some above, some below. Countless flights and never once have I seen a night like this. My warm and yet eerily beautiful welcome home. 

The stratosphere seals us off from the lights of the world below. Above, the clear night sky, the whitest moon. This is the warmest spot, a blanket of mist coats the plane. 

Tonights beauty left me dreaming. Of a tale in a clear black sky. On a night when the moon lit the horizon, and the stars shone bright. 

The last light

By the light of the moon’s shadow,
Ripples curl,
The ocean sighs,
The last of the sky’s warmth fades,
A blanket of grey,
A silver cloud descends.

Spray rises,
White,
It peaks, it troughs,
‘I’m still here!’
The only proof of a deep dark sea.

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An old life

The scent of rain, the mist in the distance. Wet wood. A blue sweater with sleeves that extend over my fingertips. A packet of chips, chocolate. The firm ground beneath my feet crunching with each step. Pine needles smothered by fog. The snow caps twinkle in the distance. Winking.

The warm sensation of laughter in my chest travelling through my limbs.

Of living brave and true.

The apricot seed

An apricot seed holds still. It holds true, as life forms around it. Hanging from a branch of merriment – tiny suns are apricots, bobbing against the gentle breeze. A pretty sight.

The tree it grows on begins to grow leaner, it’s boughs hunch with the weight of time. The fruit itself ripens. First a green, then a yellow, striped by wanton streaks of red. The colours fuse together, they melt. The apricot is at once fully formed. The skin velvet to the touch, it’s texture firm. An orange ball of fire.

Each sun must set. Each fruit must fall to the ground. The seed it wonders at its own fate, and folly as it falls from grace. The core, the centre, the tether that holds it all together. Watches it’s own body wither and wilt. Intact, rock-like , it revels in the wonderment of its own transformation. From a seedling nothing, to a ripe red fireball, to a bruised and battered being. It lies in the evenings shadow, on a bed of tufty grass. Yellow daisies wave their happy faces at its aged form, smiling and waving with their forms on their supple stalks. They lean about trying to catch a glimpse. The silver moon, a crescent above watches over at dusk. Watches from its place among the stars. Invites the seed to join its band of merry men – a smiling moonbeam its messenger.

On Parting

And as we live from happiness to happiness,
From sorrow to sorrow,
Does it not seem fitting
That in the end we break each others hearts as we part,
For the exodus cannot be marked
By a cherry blossom floating gently to the ground.

 

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If you were to deign to tell me that this is already beginning to sound a little familiar, well of course I would jump to agree. Enough and more has been written about this city. But has enough been said? As I wind my way through broken cobbled alleyways – shadow roads really, I wonder. Whether the honesty of our days is of interest to a passing tabby cat. Whether a hundred umbrellas bobbing through a sea of misplaced punctuation  (question marks, full stops, and clamouring exclamation marks!!) would cause the slightest of murmers? I’m referring to traffic, sorry I should probably have pointed that out sooner – and its greatest admirers – pedestrians.

I watch these people as I drive in and out of potholes, on their way to an ice cream stand? A kitchen? A life insurance company? A sales-pitch? All of them in their best attire, their shiny smart new umbrellas. Rivers will run, and they do, off the gentle curves of their headgear (again I’m still talking about umbrellas) and into the sea. An ocean called Bombay.

There are few things more beautiful than the stars in the night sky

Excalibur

In the whispering woods of Camelot,
Refuge from the castle walls,
How the hours floated by,
Leisurely under the sky.

Tea-cups and mops,
Chicken broth and a thousand pots,
The life of a scullery boy,
Is truly such a joy.

Pulling sword from stone,
A young king is born,
Merlin’s spells and witches brooms,
No longer take up the afternoons.

A day brought Lancelot,
Galloping up to Camelot,
To see for himself it was no fable,
To sit at Arthur’s Round Table.

Providence brought Guinevere,
To Arthur’s weary heart,
A heart that indeed grew weary,
Of tales of the Queen and Lancelot.

And yet he sought to protect them,
The two he loved most,
Enacting Civil Law in the age of reason,
To protect them from charges of treason.

What a time it was in Camelot,
Where Excalibur was once drawn,
The golden age colored the horizon,
As the stars grew forlorn.

 

“Higitus Figitus,” The Sword in the Stone http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bd5YUEOwlE

the sword in the stone

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Haiku, Origami

In my skin of wood,
As the world watches,
I sail across the seas

For the word ‘Origami’ at Haiku Heights

http://haiku-heights.blogspot.in/2013/03/haiku-heights-212-origami.html

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Haiku, Breeze

A breeze blows gently,

Taking from me my troubles,

Of yesterday.

For the word ‘Breeze’ at Haiku Heights http://haiku-heights.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/haiku-heights-211-breeze.html

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The intrigues of dawn

Puffs of colour tint the sky. Shyly at first but with growing abandon. A wisp of pink, a touch of grey, as though coaxing the day out of it’s slumber. Tempting it to rise, to appear. And in it’s wake to take what colours it likes, and to do with them as it pleases. To paint the evening’s brow before night falls. As day dawns upon day a vacuum forms. With a deep breath inwards, it sucks in the wandering clouds of colour that light up the morning sky. And the evidence of its theft, the trail that we are left with is one of colour. Blue.

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against

Against the tides,
Against the dunes,
Against the silver mushrooms
Against the seas,
Against raccoons
Against the General’s platoons
Against the bends,
Against the grain,
Against the astro-stellar plain,
Against the stars,
Against the runes,
Against the dolphins in the moon
Against the clowns,
Against the King,
Against cranberries in spring
Against tridents,
Against harpoons,
Against non-Disney loonytoons
Against the elves,
Against Neptune,
Against the merry month of June

Excuse me, might you be going anticlockwise?

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The Wall

This image was selected as a picture of the we...

DSCF2739 DSCF2754 DSCF2715I knew he was a Stasi officer from the moment he stepped into the bakery. Within his vacant eyes were pupils of steel. An anonymous face on closer observation, the kind that would blend into a crowd with startling ease. That was the idea I suppose, but the undeniable irony gripped me like a visor – that the most dangerous of men can have the countenance of sheep.

“Guten Tag, one strudel please.” And that was how it came to be – the baptism of Colonel Strudel complete. My voice caught in my throat. The imaginary visor choked my very thoughts. “Does he know?” I wondered frenetically. Like others that lived in the German Democratic Republic or East Berlin, I was consumed by a singular obsession – Escape.

“Guten Tag, right away Colonel.” my eyes dart about like marbles would, had a jarful smashed to the floor. “Everything all right comrade?” Pupils of steel arrest me, making regular breathing impossible. You must understand that Colonel Strudel’s reputation far preceded him. A senior officer in the dreaded Stasi, The Ministry for State Security. Responsible for the deaths of over three hundred of the GDR’s defectors, those who’d tried and failed to scale The Wall, or Berliner Mauer. Amongst the dead were three of my closest friends and allies. How hard we had tried in the last two years to hold onto a sense of dignity, with our strategies for escape. January 17, 1963 and I am the only one of our not-so-merry-band left standing. It has always amazed me how one can be accused of defection for trying to escape from one’s own private hell. For there is no semblance of normalcy East of the Wall.The wafer thin, rapier sharp wall that has kept me from Anna and our two children Paul and Britta these last two years. People go about their business with their heads down, nervously shuffling about awkwardly like penguins moving in small groups for safety. Collective eyes always focussed hell wards. We walk as though weighed down by albatrosses. The slow shuffle of defeated men. The stage is set, the Iron Curtain the indomitable protagonist.

“Forgive me Colonel, I have been unwell this morning.” I knew it was too late. That by the time I got home my apartment would have been searched, the invisible fibre I placed across the threshold to warn me of unwelcome intruders would lay snapped. A potential dissenter has no time to plan his next move. More pertinent perhaps is that everyone in East Berlin is a potential dissenter and treated as such. I sigh in relief for having taken Erick’s advice – not keeping any incriminating materials at home. Erick who now lay six feet under, warmed by a blanket of white ice crystals. We had always conducted our meetings in the Park off Mueller street – Johanne, Erick, Andreas and myself. On an inconspicuous bench under a beech tree, under which deep in the ground were buried our documents and plans.

Colonel Strudel took his little package and with a sharp click of his heel turned around and walked out, questions in his eyes. Questions he would have answers to by the afternoon.

He was back the next morning at 8.56 am, warmer this time for his men had not found anything. “I need to take a vacation” was the thought that flashed through his mind. “I’m working too hard, I see traitors everywhere.”
“Feeling better today Comrade?” As he gave me a lazy smile. “The strudel was excellent yesterday, best I have had in this quarter of the zone.”
“Thank you Colonel you are too kind, what can I get for you today?”
“I’ll take a box of strudels for my commanding officers, would you pack them up nicely for me Wilhelm.” There it was, the little slip and yet hadn’t I known all along that he would make investigations. I had not yet introduced myself.

“But of course Colonel, I would be pleased to do so,” smoothing over his little error. This little ritual continued over the next few weeks, he  would come in, loiter for five minutes over a quick cappuccino, wolf down his strudel and be on his way.

Colonel Strudel watched over a harmless little section of the Wall called the “death strip”, and it was during this period that he had earned his medals of honor. He had been given three shiny gold stars for the three hundred lives he’d ended. To me they stood to honour the fickle nature of man. On the morning of January 31st he was to be recognized again for his outstanding contributions to the Eastern Bloc. He was in a fine mood, whistling his way into the store. “A beautiful morning Comrade, I am to receive the Medal of honour today.”
“My congratulations Colonel, for your considerable achievements.”
The bristles of his mustache visibly stiffened with pride. “Today I shall take sixty Strudels for my men on the front, and in the ten watch towers. We shall have a celebration tonight for the success of Unit 143C.

I knew that this was my one chance. The only chance I would have for a long time. “I will be back at 8 pm Wilhelm, make sure they are ready will you? A red and gold box will do well, this is by no means an ordinary day.”

At 10.30 pm I watched and waited by the death strip. The loud festivities were beginning to lose their mirth. It was a night like any other. As I hid in a clump of trees I noticed how their leafless branches looked like petrified fingers reaching for the stars, trying perhaps to pluck them from the skies. All I had from my life of two years was slung across my back in a small bag.
At 10.45 pm I walked brazenly towards the Wall. The freshly fallen snow crunched beneath my boots. I crossed over into the firing line, if anyone saw me now they would have the license to pull the trigger. Not a man in sight. The ten watch towers were empty. I was ten feet from the wall, every hair on my neck stood up. I was the first human porcupine. I steeled my resolve and hoisted myself up a ladder propped against the wall – usually used for the watchtowers. Atop the 12 foot wall I paused for a moment, partly in shock and partly awed by my daring or should I say death wish. Grafitti colored the entire stretch of the wall on the West Berlin side, whereas it’s eastern counterpart was a sterile shade of grey.

I fell to the other side like a cat on all fours. Brushing the snow off my clothes, with my heart in my mouth, in the dark I walked to my freedom.

I did hope that the men had enjoyed their strudels, that the sleeping pills had not colored their flavor too much. I bid them pleasant dreams.

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Haiku, Ladybird

How the ladybird
Flutters in her garden of grace,
Bowing to all her guests

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Haiku, Moon

The moon looks down
At the dreaming world of men,
And sighs in contentment.

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Haiku, Dewdrop

A dewdrop glides off
A melancholy lily,
Sorrow in parting

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Hope

A fountain in my heart,
A shimmer of gold in the sky,
A shooting star,
A sprig of cherry blossoms,
A little hope,
That a rainbow is expected,
Leprechauns too,
That’s all it is,
A little hope,
And suddenly I’m airborne,
Soaring into puffy clouds,
My being renewed,
My mind alive.

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Let your faith be bigger than your fear

Honeycomb

If love could be measured
In the veins of a leaf,
In the flutter of a butterfly’s wings,
In the shadow of a tree,
In the pieces of my heart,
Would I grow cautious?
Would I look upon the world button-eyed,
Can my love be measured?
Like honey spurting from a comb,
Does it too ebb at last,
Or can I possibly keep,
Handing out bits of my heart,
Packed with atoms of golden rays,
To warm my favourites always.
Oh I’d much prefer the latter.

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Haiku, Storm

Dust swirls in the air,
The rain snatches at my clothes,
The Gods are enraged.

Lightning flashes,
Ripping the sky at it’s seams,
the Gods are enraged.

Multiple growls and roars
Thunder in my tiny ears,
The Gods are enraged.

For the word ‘Storm’ at Haiku Heights

http://haiku-heights.blogspot.in/2012/12/haiku-heights-198-storm.html

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Moonshine

Into the abyss of memory float broken links,
Impaling themselves in free fall,
To let your conscience rest,
To give you the strength, the will,
To forge a new path,
Of Mother of Pearl.

And now and again,
A downpour is expected,
Rubies, Sapphires, Emeralds,
Plummet in your stomach,
Downwards, onwards,
Landing on paths of Pearl.
The treasures of the past.

Adorn yourself not with these,
For they form a string of thorns,
Merely watch them,
Respect them,
Acknowledge them,
Admire them,
And finally leave them scattered by the wayside,
To decorate the avenues of history,

Walk towards your destiny,

In strength and in peace.

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Haiku, Desert

As above so below,

Crystals buried in the sky

Watch over crystals of gold

 

The desert welcomes me,

Into its lair of soft quicksand,

That I may never leave

 

Inspired by ‘Colour,’ The Adventures of Supermrin

http://mrinaliniaggarwal.wordpress.com/2012/11/12/colour/

 

For the word ‘Desert’ at Haiku Heights

http://haiku-heights.blogspot.in/2012/11/haiku-heights-197-desert.html

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Haiku, Tree

A great pleasure,

To feel leaves slipping, sliding,

Through fingers in flight

 

For the word ‘Tree’ at Haiku Heights

http://haiku-heights.blogspot.in/2012/11/haiku-heights-196-tree.html

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Haiku, Silence

Minute by minute

I experience the old

The new the transient

 

For the word ‘Silence’ at Haiku Heights

http://haiku-heights.blogspot.in/2012/11/haiku-heights-195-silence.html

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Left vs. Right

The burning tendrils of mutiny begin to rise, forming columns in the landscape. Or in my mind’s eye anyway. Mirages of marble, ivory, granite float into existence. A short circuit in the right hemisphere of my brain, sparks off the beginnings of what looks like the Parthenon. Hold on a second, the glitch has to be in the left side doesn’t it? That’s the one that’s supposed to be all wired up, with processes and logic systems in place. Of course, how silly of me. The right side of my brain has me running around in the Secret Garden, with silver shoes powered up to fly, correction help me glide to my next destination.

Creak, Whirr, Flicker. Lights flash wildly. Malfunction. Uh oh. A shaky Parthenon, what looks like crumbling pillars of limestone focus and blur in and out of my perspective. Apollo, you have a problem. Greece, you’ve got some more. Is this what sank Atlantis?

My brain is unable to balance its hemispheres for equilibrium. Then again, how can there be equilibrium with Ancient Greece and an imaginary jardin in the same frame?

Daffodils, petunias, phlox are lined up all along the little bridge that crosses the brook. The gently gurgling brook. Fresh blades of grass in a Spanish wave. I sit in the middle of the bridge, skimming pebbles off the lazy bubbles in the stream. The light reflects off my long, straight hair.

Pick a side, says a voice in my head. Choose a personality. Live a life.

June 15, 2012

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Ode to Apollo, God of the Sun, and the God of Tires

Oh Apollo,
Watch over my tires,
I beseech you,
Shine not on them so bright
That they deflate weekly in fright (!!!)

And if you spy any mischief makers
With evil intentions,
Pray keep them at bay,
Night or day.

My hair, it turns grey,
And nightly do I pray,
For the tarmac to be my tires’ only foe,
Increasingly cautious do I grow.

Avoiding bumps and boulders,
Hard shoulders,
Avoiding buffaloes, hippopotami, kangaroos,
For now I do have something to lose

Oh Apollo,
I beseech you,
I will discard JK and MRF by the end of season,
For you have given me good reason
I shall not indulge in such treason

Let me leave this entreaty with you,
And your worthy crew.
Brave, strong Apollo,
Your bidding I shall do,
To my tyres, please be true!

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