Sunday, May 2, 2021

Red flag raised

I pace.

It's not that hard, 

I tell myself

it's not that complicated.


Look at her,

this beautiful one-year-old

she is an amethyst, her soul

may be just mineral,

but the shortness 

of the life we lead

and the beauty 

of things we don't need

is what makes matter 

matter.


~ her breath was my answer






i had two things to say

honesty?
honesty.

— i want you
to know
that i deal
myself a new hand
from a deck
with some cards
— missing. you
don't see them
but i call them
— yours.
stare at
fate,
face
— tired of asking
where they went.
if there was a thief,
if there was another me,
— my love,
love lost.
but mostly
— i ask again
so we don't have
to play
with my incomplete
— ...

— every time?
— every time.



 

Hey, Look at the Cookie

I sat down slow.

Pencil in hand 

and

love on a platter,

and thought about how 

I may reach you

beyond, and deeper

than mere chatter,

convince you,

that the intricacies,

the struggle, the ache

you feel,

I feel,

is just as temporary

as full stomached satisfaction

and the hearts that melt in our hugs.


We're always turning 

our heads away

in the wrong direction,

looking ‘neath the flowers

at thorny torment,

glancing above the cookies

to see more space in the jar,

growing, to get over.


What sounds inside

takes me to task, asks,

with every silver lining

don't tell me

you don't see the clouds?

To which I say

I do,

but that isn't 

what the sky is about.


I wonder then,

that when I say,

the world is a tad sweeter

with you in it

and that you live 

in someone's smile 

and mine

will you believe it?

just for a short while,

that you're a gift

worth every dime

and life has wanted you 

and waited a long, 

long time to love you.


Sunday, November 15, 2020

I Want To Be Three Again

When I cross the road,
I want to slip my hand into another
and let them guide me
through the blundering traffic.

When I finally start schooling, 
I want to wake up to clothes
ironed and folded,
emboldened by prints 
that I didn't choose.

I want to meet new people,
and tell them everything 
in exactly my way, and anyway,
I know they'd stay.

I'll go the places they take me,
see the faces I've always seen,
and believe me, I'll be keen,
I mean, at least I'll be happy.

I have as many houses as I have fingers,
so don't tell me which is more important,
because without my fists
how will I punch the bad away?

I want to be scared of thunder
and wonder why the sky is so angry,
then marvel at the beauty of lightning
and accept the storm.

And for that,
I want to be three again.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Fine Tangled Strands

I walk right into it,
feather-light neglect
thriving at vision's edge,
the cobweb.

It lives loftily,
but sinks on landing
and sticks,
tickling
its inner twin 
the thought counterpart,
my brain signals: laugh
so I do,
but my stomach hurts.

In the absence of articulation,
and the passing of time
marked solely by the hands of the clock,
my thoughts spun differently.
Some primal spider instinct
wove a web, 
and I watched them ebb,
watched them trickle out
from whence they came,
saw them change.

They were stretched,
thin enough to almost disappear
but still remain,
fine,
I brush them every morning,
align my intentions,
smile at my reflections,
live the affirmations.

tangled,
And then I forget,
passing words and feelings
are caught, 
—a myriad of muscle motions, emotions,
and they hang in the air,
waiting to be carefully picked,
but there is nothing nimble about this.
So when I reach out 
my limbs clunky, 
they pile and mix,
nearing an impossible fix.
The exhaustion is exhausting,
strange sleep is costing me,
the calm is violent,
it's actually the silence…

strands.
Eating food is a feeling I want to feel more often than I should.
Sometimes I am sunshine.
Other times I am an eternally cocooned caterpillar.
I turn my nose up at melancholy but it's seeped under my fingernails and now I keep tasting it on my tongue instead.
I think I know my own skin but I moult with the weather.
I see lives and I see choices. 
Decisions pierce like sharp notes in the artificial mellow spontaneity I've synthesised.
It happens to be that I have caught the conductor of my complexity:
“How can I let anything be everything?”

                                       


Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Is There Room For A Flood?



Seeing 02:23 in your
24 hour system
daily,
pinches in strange places,
upsets 'real'-time.

Keep Notes
can not process
what you tell it now
not because it is foolish
but because
it is always late 



Lying here today
I wonder
how honest I really am
I wonder
how candid is too candid
I wonder how plain truth, may bring
plane boundaries
that are overly defined
but vaguely understood,
paving
stern glinting metaled roads
in place of
randomly romantic,
unstructured undulating,
content,
goat paths.

Should heads bow down shamed
when they are
illuminated by confusions
should fingers hesitate
to share words
unknowing,
unformed,
should we not tell
we are fuelled
by the sharp tastes
of uncertainty
drunk on the magical
dancing spontaneity
the absurd sudden loveliness,
almost a deity
--we pray variably, of course.
~
Is there room for waves
in this world?
Room for their
cresting and crashing
constantly
and cresting again.
Room for their
chatter that perpetuates
coastline after coastline
only unheard on the inside,
distanced.
Room for their
meek withdrawals
though bold returns.
Room for their
certain uncertainty,
the majestic power,
the pounding persistence,
the relentlessness,
the flux,
the movement,
the transcendence,
the vastness.
Is there room for a flood?

~

But they're late thoughts
blurry by means of
less light,
less mind,
surreal time,
no?
Dismissible.
© Utsa Seth, 2020

Talking Through The Day

It was in the afternoon today,
in my retrograde nostalgia,
that I was listening to
to the chatter, the banter
that once lounged with us
in classrooms that felt full,
that felt alive,
with the
breathing-coughing,
looking-feeling-thinking,
loving-upsetting,
of physical presence,
now sounding
abbreviated,
broken,
new,
since fifty people
were reduced to a group chat,
and their friendships
to WhatsApp.

Sometimes,
I can hear the music,
in these words we type,
like in a language
I don't speak,
it's in their virtual dullness,
in that feeling of detachment,
in the lack of commitment,
absence of tangible warmth,
the tunes of texting
are melancholy,
they take to the air
like birds at twilight,
loud, but escaping to horizons,
when vibrant verditers
and cacophonous crows
all become the vagrant Vs
we drew as children,
unidentifiable.
The warmth of these evenings
only exists
in the bright but brief,
pinks and oranges,
but they are too soft for whole days,
too short, too little,
easy to miss
and even easier to dismiss,
yet they leave me wanting
for just another glimpse
of the silver lining...
It doesn’t return.

I watch the seconds ticking,
afternoon turn to evening
and evening turn to night
as I finally find,
our primal communication,
the same space speech song,
it sings like the night sky
two melodies harmonising
one low, one high,
richer, fuller.
The words
are the stars,
bright, bold, visible, beautiful
shiny, sharp, burning
and the non-words
are the firmament,
vast, abundant, comfortable
filled with sighs and smiles
beating hearts and rolling eyes,
the grunts and groans,
the energy,
it’s both the contrast,
and the grounding.
We sew our words into it
into the gaps,
into the space,
into the time,
creating a bejewelled fabric
holding them together,
dressing our relationships.

Still, new days dawn,
and the world moves on,
we will renew, replace, create,
and perhaps find other ways
to sate, our need for
these common spaces,
but a lifetime taste
of what that sky can mean
has been
both perpetuating,
and subtly devastating,
in these lock-down mornings.

© Utsa Seth, 2020

Friday, April 24, 2020

Configuration

Personalities are
poetic enemies,
escaping, twisting,
over smart.

Can always find
another word to put,
or to remove,
hunting for
just the right words
the apt phrases
the vague but pointed,
to substantiate,
embody,
empower.

Tagged in some spaces
by how many connecting lines
we draw outwards
and how many are drawn to us,
and where we draw our lines,
and how well we draw them,
lines accumulate
and define.

But other spaces
have other definitions,
other rules,
unruled,
undefined,
poetic.


© Utsa Seth, 2020

Plain Words

I threw a testament at you.
Words in a sack
That you had no need for.
I entered on Christmas night
Dropped them 
down your chimney
Like Santa supreme,
You were gifted.

They landed sooty
They landed old
They'd travelled so far.
After all,
After all, 
they'd been 
At home and seen
Shelves of ideas stored away,
Brain tight, invisible,
A priceless clutter
A warehouse,
Messy and full but frequented
If only by me,
So all surfaces dust-free,
Singularly touched
Unless 
You can mind read.

I had so many things to say
So I parcelled
And pampered
And prepared,
Alongside my mind
Busy elsewhere.
Conjuring these compulsions
Decorating, dressing them
In necessity
Smudging unseen corners,
Implications, 
I drained everything
Into you.

Can't help wondering 
What you'll do with my words.
If you'd 
Eat them
Seat them
Seed them
Need them
Or anything
At all.

With the phone in front of me
A dimmed reality,
The falling of night,
An app dulling the light,
I'm able to see
nothing else.

Plain words.

© Utsa Seth, 2020

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

The White Bougainvillea

It fell
appearing suddenly
a surprise,
a blessing,
a small papery thing.

I needed a standstill
a tangible silence,
I needed time to procrastinate.

A longer elongated second
a moment starting
here and moving to
the next without pause
but very slowly.
Instants like droplets in a wave
inseparable, continuous, infinite
to create a reception.
I needed it to flutter down...

It fell.
Into the Prussian embrace 
of a full moon night,
from amidst a past of emerald leaves,
to a ground existence.

A white bougainvillea,
like life, 
a passing wonder.

© Utsa Seth, 2020

In Need Of A New Poem

In my attempts to translate
thought to word,
I face the absurd,
the moment i look
into THAT book.
Reading from the top
I stop,
and then I read
and then I crop
and then I reread,
reread, 
reread, 
reread,
till letters float off the pages
retelling ages
filled with 
words I didn't mean
situations I didn't feel
needs that i didn't need
dreams that i thought i dreamed
but didn't.
But in my greed
for new words
I blur the print,
remove my inhibitions
and squint
but i find only hints,
and no answers.

© Utsa Seth, 2020

Movie Night Hand-holding

Painted in crimson,
pale skin and dark hair
in the wicked monster's lair
where the prince's dare
and eyes stare
glued to the television screen.
Ah!
a jump scare
catch on to the nearest hand there.
Silence, a pair
getting comfortable comforting
attentions diverting
horror converting to something else,
its working 
for both of them.
Yet, uncertainty taints
for there are fears at play
trying to keep those devils at bay
but it is difficult to say
walls could crumble
so you mumble
but on this trip,
your grip is all that matters.

© Utsa Seth, 2020

Sunflower

A follower of radiance
is hesitant to farm her own
and yet the glow stays the night over.
Her yellow tosses among blades of grass
confused, until the very last
when she realizes, 
her light is complete.

© Utsa Seth, 2020

Smudged Ink

The story begins 
with a cold draft
interwoven, in the 
soft whispers of a hand
that stutters out its 
first words.

As the blue fingers 
tighten their grip,
utterances solidify.

They harden and sharpen
as the prose is chiseled
to an effigy of thought.

Words rise from the depths
where glistening thought bubbles 
fallen between cracks ambled, aloof
until the pinpricks of reality
burst their taught surfaces.

They form sullen puddles
deepened by missed cuddles
and endless struggles
but smudged ink is not weakness,
it is to be treasured.

© Utsa Seth, 2020

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Groundbreaking

He is a thief
of unparalleled skill
stole the ground beneath my feet
and hasn't returned it still.


© Utsa Seth, 2019

In... Out...

I'm NOT angry,
I'm only lost
both in my laughter
and in my silence,
removed from this place inside me
where frequencies matched,
removed from my tears
and floods and surges
removed, 
from myself.

So, I meander,
I follow breadcrumbs
only to be eaten
by the crows.
I saunter,
with my chin up,
into the mouth of the beast
and wail
when it shuts it's teeth.

My compass magnetised
my reasoning traumatised
and through my days
I wander,
I ponder,
and then I wonder
what's gotten under my feet
what's gotten into me
that's chewing,
it's digging, it's clawing
and I'm caving, in.

Bargaining peace,
with the
click click of pens,
tick tock of clocks,
the 'are you okays',
'why can't you says',
and 'things aren't the sames'.

But I sustain
I move, I push, I shove
and it never seems enough
but I do, and it's tough
but I do...

© Utsa Seth, 2019

The Sailor

It's those small spaces
between our feet and our fingers
that are filled with oceans
the waves,
always take you away.


© Utsa Seth, 2019

Only Enlightenment

My problem is like
a lightning struck sky
filled with heavy rain clouds.
Illuminated
but unsolved.


© Utsa Seth, 2019

Friday, October 18, 2019

Perfect Pace

My lethargy starts off transparent,
hidden and invisible,
but with every poke,
every persistent peek
it begins to possess a prominence
that is impossible to ignore.
Over time it portrays 

its true colors
staining my personality
with a stubborn permanence.
With every push
it only pulls me in deeper
until it peaks, prevails,
it triumphs the periphery
and penetrates the core.
No matter is pressing enough
to pursue,
so I place myself
in a comfortable position
and press play
because sometimes
that's okay.


© Utsa Seth, 2019

Knock Knock

Do you hear it?
a soft pounding
a dubious belabouring
at your door?
It was expected to be
and behind the door
is what you want to see
so obviously,
you won't lie to me
but you are lying
to yourself.

Fear doesn't knock at doors
it knocks at the brain
but brains can be treated.

It is history
which knocks today
and the fragile heart
is only broken
by the hammering
of its own expectations.

Pandora's box
doesn't open
and it keeps the hope in,
but I have nothing
to keep the suffering out
and hearts, cheated
can not be treated,
so don't open that door.


© Utsa Seth, 2019

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Bubble Wrap

It's a ravenous hunger,
an all-consuming claw
in the tight trap 
I writhe and groan
a hunted animal,
a prey captured, ensnared
without a chase, without a chance,
I had NO CHOICE.
My voice sat on,
by the magic of 99
now 9999999999,
is small and whispers travel
but ears are shut.

Agony roars and misery engulfs
but money 
is found in the bubble
where vibrant reflections 
catch eyes
and civilization floats
on thin ice.
Brink, seemingly horizon
is advancing light speed
and it will split 
to show 
what it is made of.

© Utsa Seth, 2019

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Customers, to eat

The shopkeepers sit,
in an unending line
as fine dust gathers
on the affectation of wares.
A harsh drone of sunlight
makes eyes squint,
in pursuit of customers.

Lethargy seeps 
into the skin
but hunger battles,
persistent,
for lives depend 
on flower garlands.

© Utsa Seth, 2019

Prisoners of Beauty

The colors, 
they warmed to red,
now they cool to blue.
Painted skies,
and shining, meandering trails
of passing time,
create
a skillful labyrinth,
a safe haven,
to host 
the prisoners of beauty.

© Utsa Seth, 2019

You

You are indescribable,
an emotion wave
a soft blue hue
that dissipates on touch,
a color, sui generis.
The silhouette
reveals a sly shimmer, 
subtle, smooth.
On entry,
it gravitates towards 
a matte, dense core
and hardens, 
it structures
as it turns into a you.

© Utsa Seth, 2019

A Singular Multitude

She looks up, gazing
her eyes travel, they move
over the specks 
of a white spray.
A whisper of multitudes
singular multitudes, 
echoes family,
in her small ears.
She drifts 
in sleep-filled lanes,
in dreamt creation.
When she looks,
she is ignorant of the distances
the enduring empty miles
between the star clusters.
She is yet to understand,
that all stars brave 
their own abyss,
illuminate their own darkness
to shine.

© Utsa Seth, 2019

Saturday, April 6, 2019

The First Customer

My mind moves
the muscles opening out
like shop shutters
the clanking
of barreling, churning mystery
ricocheting off my conscience
they float, and fast, at intervals
my awareness dips in a doze
awakening only to meet
the first customer.

© Utsa Seth, 2019

The Knowing Quiet

Minds threaded together
they form a circle
where anger flies
pure and raw,
where shouting echoes off
the arena walls
a crescendo builds.
I war with her
brandishing profanities and hurt
she retaliates and blocks
her walls up and strong
its brick on brick
in here,
but in the stands 
there sits a lone figure
shrouded in tranquility
its an unnerving stillness
from the intellect,
the eye of the storm.

© Utsa Seth, 2019

Symphony ft.Love

I know those features
they define the symphony
I hear in the pandemonium
of accusations and salt water
when deposits 
barricade my sleep.
As the melody solidifies
into a shoulder
I rest, letting it all drain out,
drop by drop
the pillow, damp with sadness
warms to the strains 
of the mellow lullaby
that creates a cocoon
where I now lay
the flames radiating 
heartfelt love.

© Utsa Seth, 2019

Warm Nights

We sit, silent
enveloped in the arms of Nyx.
She's warm today
and her stars shine
illuminating the finer lines 
of life.
There are no words
to fill up the space
but we
comprehend the quiet.
So when a tear 
meekly rolls down her cheek
I don't speak 
but I smile.
Thoughts move along 
conveyor belts in my head
and the lamp post, bright
causes the tear to glisten
as I listen
to its tiny reflections
on her face.