on self-sabotaging


your voice carried the weight of your histories,
like those block prints on a century-old manuscript
that you cherish,

you seem to have lived multiple lifetimes
in a span of one (not singular),
as people often do, like a bejeweled carving
on an empty palm,

you set the reel rolling from the desolation of Mongolia
to the ruins of Pompeii, in quest of an experience
of its own volition, of its own existence,

as i recovered from the resting thought
of my own creation, the progeny of woe,
the offspring of caged freedoms (self-imposed)—

ash and want strewn between the feet (four and many)
i, a moon-monstrosity, of a magician’s curse
ignorant in my limited imagination,

and all of a sudden, i wanted to see a sunrise
unfold in its innocence of birth, and hold
my own body aloft, at the cliff of longing,
and plunge into the cold-bitter sea of despair,
with another cutting-off, of ties, with Elpis —

a ritual closing off in its burning delight,

like the Icarian wing, with its abrupt necessity
to rebel against the desire of life.

© Anmol Arora

Image source (The fall of Icarus by René Milot)

Perhaps a category of confessional verses, accompanied with on loneliness.
Linking it up with the Poetry Pantry at PU

19 thoughts on “on self-sabotaging

  1. I love the opening lines, Anmol, the way you compare a voice to ‘block prints on a century-old manuscript’, and a person’s life to ‘a bejeweled carving on an empty palm’. But my favourite imagery in your wonderful Icarus poem is the ‘offspring of caged freedoms’!


  2. sanaarizvi says:

    Wow! ❤️ This is deeply poignant in its portrayal of loneliness, want and despair. I can visualize ” sunrise unfold in its innocence of birth” and the cliff from which one plunges .. almost as though torn between the desire to start over and end.. the picture accompaniment works so well! ❤️


  3. An intense loneliness requires an apt history–there is grandeur here–but a solitude goes deeper, into myth. Was all self-sabatoge bred by yearning of Icarus to touch the sun? I believe so here …


  4. magicalmysticalteacher says:

    “the cliff of longing”

    We’ve all teetered there, I think, trying to decide whether to take the plunge or not. Sometimes it’s worth it, and sometimes it turns to to be an unmitigated disaster. We just never know…


  5. There is a terrible beauty singing and wailing through these lines… something that makes the bit of us that has known suffering, think, I know! I know! and the bit of us that has recovered and grown, add, But don’t fret, my sweet, after most of the wax is melt by the sun, we shall glide with the wind.


  6. gillena cox says:

    “and all of a sudden, i wanted to see a sunrise
    unfold in its innocence of birth”

    Maturity cones at its own sweet pace , my friend. Happy Sunday



  7. When I read you poem I actually imagined another Icarus painting.. Landscape with the Fall of Icarus by Peter Bruegel…

    Where is Icarus is falling and no one sees it… which is the true sense of your poem in my view… maybe that realization is an important one.


  8. Kerry says:

    This is an outstanding poem, Anmol. Truly, a thing of beauty, with an echo of legend spoken in a post post-modern voice. An accomplishment!


  9. This is an exquisite poem. I had to read it more than once to truly appreciate not just the words, but the feeling it generated in me. One too familiar, a sort of sad resignation, that gets close to being despair. I think we all know what it’s like to want to see that sunrise.
    Really beautiful, rich writing.


  10. An inspired theme. Off the top of my head, I don’t recall reading a piece that went in this direction – and yet – self sabotage seems to be everywhere. Perhaps it is the times we find ourselves (trying to make our way through to the other side) … perched ‘at the cliff of longing’.


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