Month: November 2010

Us -ed to be

He was my best friend
who stood by my side
for me against the world
who took me with him
on dates with his girlfriends
who made my heart flutter
with his presence
who promised me my first romantic date
but never fulfilled it
who made me yearn
for something beyond my reckoning
who made me write countless love letters
for eight years and replied only few
who helped me see the beauty
to feel the restlessness of love
who made me wait six years
for my first kiss (time when we confessed our love)
who made fun of me
but wanted to spend his life with me
who made me whisper ‘I love you’
in his absence, every night for six years
who cried when I left
because he never stopped flirting
who grew up to be a man
leaving the boy behind
and now all I have is the boy
my first love
the man he has grown into, is a stranger
and as he promised, (when I seem to forget)
appears in my life, like a gentle breeze
to remind me of the love we shared
to freshen my memories of my first kiss
to tell me he will win me over
in the next life and never let go
to tell me he will marry me in this life
if situation comes forth,
no matter at what age


Human and Animals

This poem is entered for Monday Poetry Potluck at Jingle Poetry and the theme for this week is Nature: Plants, Creatures and the Cosmos.

Picture for WordsWorthMillions

Unsurprisingly in the country
silence, animals, nature and human
live in harmony
unsurprisingly in the country
exotic birds stay perched on roads
undisturbed by human presence
unsurprisingly in the country
deers continue grazing in the dark
un-threatened by vehicles’ head lights
unsurprisingly in the country
monkeys park near the roadside
watching human activities
while humans watch them all
unsurprisingly this will soon be a lost world
where human will fight for survival
animals will fight for survival
surprisingly knowing
that existence of both is essential
for the existence of the other

[Despite the threat to wildlife, our country still enjoy all these scene without having to visit zoos (there are hardly any zoo in the country) and the ‘hazy’ picture here was taken from a distance as not to disturb the birds. ]

The Snake Brides

The mother died at birth
leaving the father to raise
their daughter single-handedly
so he did
until he met a snake
who wanted the daughter’s hand
in marriage
in exchange for the father’s life.

The daughter on knowing this wailed
but she had to save her father
with heavy heart handed over
his beautiful daughter to the snake
as soon turned into a handsome prince
whose curse by the wicked witch
was broken
because a girl agreed to marry him
and they lived happily.

The news of this travelled on the wind
to reach a rich man’s ears
who had a daughter
expecting the same fate
to become a richer man
with greed captured a big snake
locked it in a room
with his frightened daughter
only to unlock a bloodied room
with a dead snake
and a hand in supplication.

[A Bhutanese folklore of greed. The story version, written by my friend Ngawang ‘Penstar’ Phuntsho, is published on Writers Association of Bhutan. ]

Of gold and children

Photo by Passu

Two brothers of same birth
lived in the far East
where the younger a simpleton
kept his small plot of land
and the elder being sly
with their parents’ wealth
lived comfortably.

The younger brother was rich
in happiness
for he had three children
while the other was child-less
and with envy
he listened to his poor brother’s laughter.

Unable to accept his brother’s happiness
asked his wife to display all their gold and silver
and tried to laugh, to be happy
but no laughter came nor joy
they forced themselves
hopelessly their laughs sounded empty
as his wife’s bosom and his lap.

The joyous laughter from his brother’s house
continued to echo and vibrate through the walls.

[Based on a tale I heard. ‘Children are the greatest joy.’ The story version  is published on Writers Association of Bhutan.]

Mila Thöpaga became Milarepa
Mila Thöpaga

His hair swirled around his face
as he summoned the keepers of black magic
calling them to bring storm and hail
down upon the vale at the behest of his mother
where the crops were pregnant with yield
where the cattle grazed in meadows
where the trees in the orchard bent with fruits
where a house was jubilant with newlyweds
that was the time for revenge
that was the moment to inflict pain
to hear the cries of agony
to avenge the poverty his uncle and aunt
thrust upon his family after his father’s death
the hail storm raged down
portraying the fury of nature and of a wronged soul
a satisfying roar from his heart echoed in the vales
but the aftermath of the destruction
took away the evil smirk from his face
filling his heart with remorse uncontrollable
rage-filled heart searched for repentance
for years the master Marpa tested him
made him build three towers
and with the same hands demolish them
meditating and surviving on nettle tea
the sorcerer Mila Thöpaga became Milarepa
a great Buddhist teacher
the first one to attain enlightenment
in one body, in one life time
who calmed a frightened deer
subdued the ferocious dog that chased it
and turned the hunter into a believer
with songs of the wisdom of the world

[Like every religion, I have been fascinated by the religion I was born into, though I am not religious the stories of religion amuse me. This is my first try at writing poems based on religious stories. The story of Milarepa is very close to my childhood like most Bhutanese of my generation and before, because we heard the story around the hearth passed to us in the traditional way, orally. There are many stories surrounding this yogi but the ones I narrated here are the ones I heard and saw enacted.]

This poem is entered for Monday Poetry Potluck at Jingle Poetry and the theme for this week is magic and miracle, wizardry and wonder.

The begging entertainer

Picture for WordsWorthMillions

A very busy bright afternoon
took me to a bar
to get myself a bottle of coke
then came a man
with a rope around his neck
by which he said he will hang himself
if people didn’t give him money
nothing sad here
he was smiling all the while
even enjoying the attention
when he signaled to people around
the bar woman shooed him
people laughed
he kept signaling to hang himself
with my eyes on him
I reached in for my purse
gave him some money
but I didn’t give alms
for he was an able man
I paid an entertainer
for amusing me that hot afternoon
posing for my camera

Counting sheep

Counting sheep
two gates
first gate open
count and second gate
open into the barn
I lose count;
one entrance
count and into the barn
they run too fast;
lead them one by one
into the barn
this takes time;
I will let them jump the fence
count and into the barn
some jump too low
get stuck in the fence;
it’s been hours;
shall I lead them
to the slaughter-house?
they look at me with sad eyes
guilt gets me there;
I open my eyes
it is morning already

[This poem is entered for Thursday Poets Rally Week 33 (November 18-24) on Jingle]

Comforting me

My head on his chest
I listened to his heart beat
more than normal
it sounded
it wasn’t lust
it wasn’t love
it was an understanding
the need to hold a woman
who had been deprived
the warmth of a man’s embrace
for too long
the need to comfort
another human
controlling his lust
though it hurt
it served the purpose
of comforting
a sad soul

The headless man

The man with his head
hacked off
right below the chin
fifty years later
in blackness
sits on the concrete bench
near the haunted house
a fan of leaves in hand
keeps the flies
from attacking his open neck
swings his legs
to a rhythm
waiting for someone

[Based on a story I heard on a journey I took in late 1997 I wonder if the story still continues to haunt people..I add the year and the last line to spice up the story.]