Friday, April 4, 2008



A smile died on her dusky face
as her bird picked my tarot-card.
She twitched in her sharaai; said:

“Watch the faithless word –
breaking the watch and ward –
catching you all off guard:
you strike, grovel, demur,
but still it nails you down
with all those vacuous vows,
debts deferred, pledge forgone
to end it once for all".

A smouldering new nakedness
devoured the old magical clothes;
I hobbled back from oracles
And laid me in a mummy-case.

The dusk that ominously hung
Outside the sinister windows
Blends one drop more of poison
into the violet horizons.

the painting: Paul Klee's Magic Mirror (1934)


vrinda said...


ARUN said...

was written in an eerie mood, say.

crumbs said...

speaks to me of a past that refuses to give up. like a thread, that is thin enough to be almost invisible, but strong enough to hold on to you tight...but it's not to told you down is it? I get this feeling of being trapped inside oneself...but that may not be so bad afterall.
did that make sense to you? din't to me...!

Zeinab said...

"walked off into my benison..." Benison? Like walking off into my *blessing*? Something seriously awry here... You shouldn't strive for that rhyme, it will kill the thought.
Above all, don't use archaic words, it's probably not worth it.
Nice template you've got, the page is very pleasing.

Zeinab said...

And, my dear scribbler, my warmest regards. I'm only staring with your blog, may take a while as I can't sit still for long these days. The paintings, the really one-off (off by two?) thoughts you want to express (I basically don't think words express thoughts, but that's just what *I* think), it might take a while.

ARUN said...

dear hari, if i chose an 'actual' (as opposed also to casual) affair with writing at a certain point, that owes a lot to the way your words cut through the thoughts. you'd say words don't express ideas, and you may be correct at that. but they sometimes, at least, acknowledge the presence of ideas. and your words (the few that i've read from your blogs) do so by burning the grass of meadows that i had unassumingly passed over.

I'm quite lucky that you thought you would look into what i wrote. and now, to tell you the truth, a bit apprehensive as well of writing anything, that you have done so.
but please, do correct me where i should be corrected.

as for the rhymes - i understand your point. they tempt me. and i give in so sweetly too. will check that, for sure.
good day :)

Zeinab said...

I spent a lot of time talking to Raphael (who indicated your blog to me in the first place) before I made that comment. I have the rather undesirable knack of being too heavy-handed when I write comments. (Raphael would tell you how unforgiving I could be even on things I write.) You might have found out by now how rigid I am, and how little I allow things to go out of control. And your output (and your academic achievements and considerable fan-following) attests to the fact that you've been writing a while. So this comment probably is justified. And all the "suggestions" I make can actually be incorporated into your writing without major stylistic changes (which you might not be able to do right now.)

You have some undeniable qualities; the most important, of course, being your vocabulary. (I have glanced at that joint-blog on GRE words, too; I don't appreciate the effort, though.) But I'm not very sure if you are putting it to the right use. (Forgive me if I''m getting heavy-handed again.) What you have written me in the comment is terrific; it is matter-of-fact, which is how a man should write. (I am not moved by style. There will come a point in every reader's life when he is not moved by style; I have been in this state for more than 15 years now.) Which brings me to the point I wanted to make: you have some qualities which I'd happily forgive in a female; not in a man. (In my college days I was known as a sexist and racist.)

And please try to really understand what the comments actually say. If someone found this poem enjoyable all-through, without ever stumbling on the wordiness... well, I am not such a person. Poetry should be smooth. If I wanted wordy entertainment, I'd settle for Ramarajabahadur or Finnegans Wake; I'd never look for grandiloquence in poetry.

You have the potential to be quite candid yourself... I've been writing for 22 years now. Be true to your thoughts, since you think writing expresses thoughts. In a way, you're right; words do stand for thoughts, at least that's what most people think, that's the "moral ground" for writing. I do not think so, but it doesn't matter.

What what the reader feels, what he gets. A hundred different readers will feel a hundred or a thousand different things, depending upon their context (I'm almost slipping into academic nonsense, which I despise). So what I feel is not relevant, but when you prepare something for public consumption, please punctuate it properly, and check it for grammar. Other things, such as the consistency across the POV, come later on. A blog is not an SMS. Take some time to prepare it. It takes actually less effort than having to complicate a thought which you are only regurgitating. (Since you feel words actually represent thoughts.)

Writing means writing well. You are not writing to impress someone (what I describe as strutting); you are writing to express your thoughts, etc. You shouldn't have to make any excuses. What you write should be your stand; you are identical with what you write. Draw the reader directly to the point where he can either agree or disagree with your thoughts, and not make comments about the style. (Since you feel words actually represent thoughts.)

And thanks again for those kind words about me; if you read me and find it interesting, that's a wonderful thing. It takes a while to get above the "style" affliction. You have to write quite a bit and think for yourself quite a bit. I've had a rotten life. I think it shows.

Once more, my warmest wishes for a very significant talent.