Punctuate Life

Pause Breathe Relax


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Runaway

I ran and I ran, not knowing what I was running from,

I thought it was the people in my life I was running from,

I thought it was the place I was running from.,

I thought it was the problems I was running from,

I did not stop until I was several continents away,

Till several seas and mountains separated me and all that I had run away from.

 

I did not pause after that,

I filled my days with chatter and travel and social visits,

All distractions.

Until one fine day I found myself forced to slow down and stay,

Forced to fall into the rhythm of routine once again,

Forced to deal with the demons within,

When I stopped looking outside, the answers came from deep down.

 

I was never the victim,

There was nothing to run from,

Only my delusional mind creating drama in its wake,

I may be far away from home but I am not homeless,

I may be unemployed but all my basic needs are met,

And love, beyond my limited definition of it, finds me every day,

And holds me in its comforting embrace,

For this and more I am thankful and feel infinitely blessed.


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Driftwood

I have a one-way ticket home,

No clue where I’ll go from there,

Definitions of home are blurry right now,

Is it the place you share with people you care for?

Or is it the place where all the people who care for you live?

I’ve been cut loose after being anchored for so long.

Maybe drifting is in order now,

After years of digging my heels and growing roots in quicksand,

I didn’t know I was choosing to drown.

Now I’m thrashing around gasping for air,

If only I could relax and go with the flow,

Go wherever the current will take me.

I feel an invisible hand bending the waves and exposing deep perils,

Gently tossing me against rocks when I can go no more,

At times I surrender to this and feel the peace wash over me,

And sometimes I let my delirious mind spin tales of horror and despair.

Yet again I find myself struggling to keep my head above the water,

I let the heavy thoughts drag me down until I can breathe no more,

And just when my lungs feel like they would burst,

There it is again,

A light hovering above the water, beckoning,

As I look at it, it draws me towards it,

It’s pull is undeniably magnetic.

I emerge out of the water sputtering,

The light flits away and disappears,

I search in the distance hither and thither,

Looking for this unspeakable miracle light,

But fail to find it.

It has done its job,

I’m above the water and breathing,

It will be back again in some other form,

When the weight of the world threatens to submerge me,

Until then I will be driftwood and allow myself to be led,

Home.

 


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Goddess

I am a goddess and I know it,

I don’t need external validation

To feel this truth that burns within me

I don’t need to fit into old constructs

Of what that might mean to you

You  or you…

 

It is the feeling of being complete

Within and without

The feeling of being in the flow

The feeling of love flowing from me

To me…

Inundating me with bliss

Filling all those holes left by others.

 

It is that inner knowing that everything

Will be as right as rain

Even amidst the deepest pain

I know I will emerge

Victorious again.

 

I am a goddess and I know it.

Look deep into my eyes and you

Might get a glimpse of it.

The power of love that has no boundaries,

That knows to give as well as receive.

 

That knows when to walk away

And when to engage in a warm embrace

I am a goddess and I am enough,

Enough, enough!


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Who Stole my Childhood?

 

Running carefree with naked feet,

Reaching for mangoes up in the trees,

Endless summer days of fun,

Spent in the lap of the sun.

 

Hours spent in glee with friends both imaginary and real,

Board games, hopscotch, badminton and dolls,

Trips to the beach on moonlit nights,

And ice cream treats to beat the heat.

 

Walks in the evening with pleasant friends,

Vacation at grandma’s comes to an end,

Back to school and back to the grind,

Churning homework day and night.

 

Weekends come and weekends go,

But the churning never ceases,

Cooped up indoors under a light,

Write, write, write, write!

 

Then come the tests that are pointless,

And activities that are no fun,

Slowly they suck out the vital force,

Falling ill is no excuse, the homework must be done still.

 

Summers pass by without a trace,

Holiday homework takes its place,

No where to go and nothing to do,

But homework through and through.

 

Chugging along school and college,

Silencing the child inside,

Work, responsibility, commute, stress,

Replace school work and projects.

 

Working hard, working long,

Surely has taken its toll,

Popping pills and skimping on sleep,

Need to make sure you never skip a beat.

 

Bigger, bigger, better, better,

That’s the mantra of a go-getter,

Going where and getting what?

We all end up in a six-foot plot.

 

 


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Dreaming of Florida…

 

Warm waves wash upon the sandy shore and tickle my toes,

A cool breeze mingles with the salty air,

Caresses my cheek and blows through my hair,

Gulls fly lazily above me,

And pelicans glide effortlessly.

The sun hovers in and out of the puffy white clouds,

Moving slowly across the azure sky.

 

Kids run back and forth with pails of water and sand,

Building castles that won’t stand.

Trying to hold the ocean in little moats built with their bare hands.

Seaweed crowns the castle tops and twigs hold up invisible pennants.

 

I sort through shells washed ashore by the last storm,

The ones I like I tuck away in my child’s pail.

The ocean beckons and the kids take a plunge,

They splash and sprinkle and dodge the waves,

Until a big one knocks them down.

Gasping and giggling they emerge from the shallow beach.

 

I love the ocean but not too much,

So I stand ashore and click away,

Memories stored in digital chips of a wonderful day,

Spent on sand and surf with the rhythmic waves to play.

Sunrise, sunset and moonlit nights,

So many glorious days spent in delight.

 

Magical moonlit nights top my list,

Where the ocean takes on a different persona.

Shimmering silver waters reflecting the moon,

That slowly rises from the ocean depths,

Night’s flimsy veil, partly illuminated,

White clouds highlighted.

 

Sunsets and rainbows come next,

Where vivid oranges and pinks merge with the blue horizon,

Or a light shower and a weak sun create rainbows of light.

Come thunder, lightning and angry waves,

We bolt for cover.

 

There is nothing I miss more than a walk along the coast,

With waves coming ashore to tickle my toes.

The many moods of the ocean I explore,

From dawn to dusk, storms and more.


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Why You Chose to Die…

 

I’m sorry you chose to die,

So did I.

 

Carelessly you threw away,

Everything I struggle to be today.

The money and the fame,

Did nothing for you.

So why should I continue,

Down that path.

 

I’ve been there before,

That dark and desolate place,

Where the evil mind lurks,

Spewing out venom and lies.

The promise of a better life,

If you skip the years,

And choose to die.

 

Nobody cares – taunts that familiar voice,

Getting louder every day.

As the pain explodes yet again,

In your beleaguered body.

But what about her – you ask,

Your eyes darting to the picture frame beside you.

Nobody cares. Nobody. Not even her – comes the callous reply.

And then an even bitter lie –

She is better off without you.

 

That must have been the final blow,

That severed the last thread of resolve,

That ounce of will that you should live.

The battle was lost,

The tears were long gone.

Tomorrow it will be all over the news,

A wave of sadness passing over the globe.

And yet it would pass,

And one day you’d be as dead as you are now.

 

I’m sorry you chose to die,

So did I.

But while you crossed to the other side,

I’m stuck inside.

While you chose to run away,

I had to be brave and smile.

Everything you threw away,

I struggle to be today.

 

I’m sorry you chose to die,

So did I.


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The Winds of Change…

 

The winds of change blow hard

Rattling my windows

Shaking every tree in my yard

I shirk under the covers

Frightened and sick.

 

I try to shut out the howling storm

But it will not be ignored

One by one the windows shatter

And my blanket of safety gets whipped up in the breeze

I hug and hold onto it for dear life

But the wind, it takes no prisoners

The blanket is ripped clean out of my trembling hands.

 

I shut my eyes and bury my face in my knees

Afraid of what is to come next

A minute turns into an hour

As I sit there waiting for the worst

My hammering heart shuts out the calm

That has descended all around me.

 

I dare to open my eyes and peek

At the place I once called home

It was all but a mangled heap

Of concrete and stone

And yet there I was amidst the shambles

Alive and well albeit a little shaken.

 

I picked myself up and shed a tear

For the past that was gone

I looked up at the gaping hole where my roof used to sit

And at the clouds that were clearing

Far away in the shadow of the sun a rainbow was forming

Awakening in me hope for the future

A future built from scratch

A future with no glass windows or roofs

Open and free for the winds of change to blow through

Incessantly.


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Imagine

 

Imagine a sea of humans in a vast expanse of darkness,

A lone candle burns in the hands of one,

Observing his neighbors unlit candles,

He proceeds to share the light of his candle with them.

The light grows in intensity and more shadows jump out of the darkness,

Almost threatening to snuff out the candles,

But the bearers of the light know that the shadows are visible because of the light.

Sharing the light becomes an all important task,

As more and more shadows jump out in desperate need of light,

And yet one candle will suffice to rid us of the darkness.

Every face aglow in the warm light,

Laughter and tears mingling with the soft strains of music,

Every heart bursting with love,

A love that is limitless and engulfs the entire cosmos.

Imagine a sea of dancing flames that illuminates the entire earth

Perceived as a luminous globe by creatures from afar

Love pervading every nook and cranny of space

Every black hole turned inside out to reveal brilliant light.

Our heavy bodies burdened with life

Magically turn light and we float blissfully

The very embodiment of the Divine.

 

 

 


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The Dilemma

Who am I?

I don’t seem to know anymore!

I wake up in the morning

And stare blankly at the door.

Trapped in a body wracked with limitation,

Every breath is an act of suffocation.

Am I the sum total of my successes,

Or the product of my failures?

 

Everything is a lie and illusion is rampant,

It is taken to be real and there lies the delusion.

The truth is hard to swallow,

The pain too much to bear,

This separation between body and soul,

As the body stumbles and the soul soars,

This I’m sure I did not ask for!

 

To be of this world and not to be,

To belong and not fit in,

To be torn between the dream and the awakening,

Is a dilemma that I dread facing.

 

Disconnected from the love of the source,

A whirlwind of activity and emotions I force,

I trip and fumble trying to find

Something that will satisfy this deep thirst in my soul.

What is it that seeks to be birthed?

A tiny voice inside me speaks,

Which I try to drown in the quagmire that is my mind.

Feebly it cries – Happiness lies in the ‘IS’,

In the ‘Now’

In the everlasting that is there forever more.

 


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The Weary Warrior

The constant influx of unimaginable evil and violence is designed to numb you and keep you from taking meaningful action. Fight the impulse to do nothing at all. Fight the good fight. Even in the face of defeat keep fighting. Someone has to do it and that someone is you!

 

The heaviness grows

The weight of a thousand years

Weary of fighting the same old wars

Eyes unfocused and shoulders droopy

We trudge together

Together not in life

But together in defeat

Some fall behind

But a few march steadily forward

Will we be greeted by victory

Or crushed by defeat

We know not

But march we will

Because we know not how to retreat.