of ants, words, and passages

the-ants.jpglarge

my room is infested with ants. their dark, mellow bodies struggle against surfaces, solid or not, to find a passage to somewhere. some of them climb on me, walk up to my calves, to my thighs, before i realise they are there with stinging pain and shed them away. some die in the process, the rest wriggle free of this temporary shortcoming and find their way again.

they are like my words, that are often incompetent and even inchoate because i see life as a long series of misguided and misunderstood syllables. they are like wor(l)ds that speak from the downfall and seek approval to be present.

last year that i spent in a far off city, i would often jump a wall, go out in search of a cup of chai and smoke, with words bursting like tiny crackers in my mind that got transferred to all those who sought (something) on the streets. and sometimes, i would want to be that tall woman in a magenta saree to have that purposeful gait, that man who seemed like a fleeting answer to all my shattered believes, or that dead butterfly.

(i encountered some ten of them this time last year, followed by dead dogs and dead birds till the end of the year, which i took as a marker of my own death but it hasn’t worked out too well)

i have a lot to say but words seem futile and rudimentary for something wordless, even soundless. like the moon seemingly in the wrong direction on that beach evening (i cannot begin to forget it) or those crabs carrying my weight in the dark as i ventured alone with only moonlight as my guide to a bridge i knew was there, but not reaching anywhere. when i had opened the maps application on my phone, it showed that i was in the middle of the sea, the unstable ground left far away. but i was not drowning. so, i retraced my steps, lonely as wind, frazzled like an ant.

now i am in my home, spent more than three months here already, which is at least twice the total time i spent here (before this) in the last seven years. words are simple here. they come and go, climb up and down, rise high and low, sometimes without consequence, sometimes requiring me to kill them because of the pain that they cause — a moment’s pain but measured in the depths of a lifetime.

and i carry that alone through the day to the next, through the month to the next. waiting. believing that the words would set it right, that i will learn to walk out and get somewhere again.

.
© Anmol Arora

This blog completed nine years a couple of weeks back. Marking the anniversary pretty late but here’s something.

Image source (The Ants by Salvador Dali)

the narrative of a wall-hung terracotta mask

the plaster falls gradually at the bewitching hour
when the lifelines are ebbing in their flow of talks
and resurgent activities, with the rising night —

i see dust motes, i feel them and i eat them for
sustaining my displeasure to be an object (seemingly)
of permanence, in this temporal space of existence,

the shadow falls gradually at the wandering wall
where i hang my colours (gold, blood, darkness)
to dry & resemble the sorrows of this room — its
temperature fast, its time-waves going cold,

i see dreams with (always) open eyes, of the forests
deep&rich&lost, of the s(p)oils of my ancestors,
as i realize this curse of seeing and feeling (with-
out telling), despite this anguish and reproach
at my solitary (op)position, in the fabric
of the universe (four-walled, with a ceiling).

.
© Anmol Arora

2 April 2019
(Inter)National Poetry Month

Linking it up with The Tuesday Platform at WRT, where I am hosting this week and I have given an optional challenge (in the spirit of the poetry month) to write from the perspective of an inanimate object.

 

her flippant dance

the farsighted ocean calls me,
I shift my glance to take a whiff, of
new visions on the landscape
soaked with blood, of dreariness.

I am an effigy made of sand, touched
by the fingers of her sweet melodies.

her lips open up into the cavern
of the sky, dotted with planetary
orbits of my heart.

I can not see the ocean, it is away
in the gloom of the void, but I watch
her flippant dance as she clutches
her dress buttoned up for modesty
unlocking charms of my dead eye.

Image source

Inspired from Bjorn Rudberg’s poem, Nipping at the hard place. I loved the play of metaphors in his verse. It is a very artistic write.
Though, I couldn’t keep up with Bjorn’s natural flow, I still tried my hand at Catachresis, the literary device Bjorn used in his poem. I had to check what it meant and I read in detail about it here(shame on me for not knowing about it :D). And as soon as I read about it, I went on to write this piece.

A scarlet painting on the sky…

A scarlet painting on the sky

dotted with the white wisps of cloud

like the blood that taints the shroud

of the corpse with a smile so wry

 

one could hear the sound of the cry

emanating somewhere from the crowd

dotted with the white wisps of cloud

a scarlet painting on the sky

 

the corpse’s skin would wither by

but what about the promise he vowed

the seed, in the womb of his love, he sowed

towards the sky, gaze upon, her eye

a scarlet painting on the sky.