i wait at a lost November’s altar…

i wait at a lost November’s altar
i’ve stood long by your remembered altar.

the mist has enveloped your revered limbs
o, my burnt god, at your embers’ altar.

i’ve sought grace from you, my offender, — kiss
and bless my blood on the weather’s altar.

the snow-peaked red of my surrender made —
o, my hemlock-love, at gender’s altar.

i am not a man, nor nature’s rendered spring,
unworthy of your sight’s treasured altar.

the sweet incense hangs in a slender hope,
o, my sinned friend, at forever’s altar.

accept my sacrifice, my splendor’s death,
i, Priceless, will wait at winter’s altar.


© Anmol Arora 2018

For “All in November’s soaking mist” at With Real Toads — a try at an English Ghazal, with seven couplets and ten-syllable lines, and radeef, kafiya, matla, maktaa, et al. No constant metrical foot though. For the takhallus, I used the English meaning of my name. To be edited further.
Also linking it up with OLN #232 at dVerse
Image source (Sacrifice of the Rose by Keith Carrington)

For a treat, enjoy Begum Akhtar’s magical rendition of Faiz’s “Aaye Kuchh Abr Kuchh Sharaab Aaye”

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first meeting

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of an igniting kind,
your eyes held an allure,
the iridescent gaze never touching me,
but keeping stable the carefully-crafted
space between us,
between restraint and desire,
demarcating our manner of speaking,

i wonder if you knew of my need to forego any
responsibility, why i did not take the first step
towards breaking the hazard of a first meeting,

i had held my words close to my chest,
tasted eucalyptus at the back of my tongue,
crafting the sounds of my voice in a way
that they shall not dissect this set order,

i was scared, i am scared, still, that i can
not be trusted to peer through a pair of eyes
to know or begin to know, all that i seek
and all that i may want,

your resting pose only perplexed me,
i seemed to be lost in my sapling-like
mind, a single thought rising in warmth
(this is where it begins to fade)
drinking the sunlight off your face, and
the silence of my dusk-enamored smiles.

your leave-taking compounded my interest
in that yearning, and not your absence —
i keep it near and vanquish the details
of the loneliness, of that solitary evening,
which is not mine to hold on to.

it is also yours. i accept,
pulling back my heartstrings.

.

© Anmol Arora

Image source (Man with a heart-IV by Stanislav Bojankov)
Linking it up with the Tuesday Platform at With Real Toads

water

let-a-smile

his music trickled down my spine,

like water, it registered my thirst
for something new, for something

i forgot i could feel — in a circular
exhale of his smile, i smiled too, and
resting my feet, i waited for more.

.

© Anmol Arora 2018

Another one for Fussy Little Forms at With Real Toads. Cherita is a three-stanza poem, of one, two, and three lines respectively; it generally tells a story and was created by the UK poet and artist, ai li.
Image source (Let A Smile be Your Umbrella by davisbrotherlylove.com)

fever

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his voice has a slight tremble

i can feel in my throat, like
a hot melting tar, burning away —

a fever i could catch, a freedom
i could match, and light away
another smoke to its waste.

.

© Anmol Arora 2018

For With Real Toads Fussy Little Forms: Cherita

on loneliness

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can i believe my own empty sighs
when they appear too far and too little
between my symptomatic need for
despair and disrepair?

“be strong,” they say, “exercise your
agency over your adust remains,”

i wonder if wisdom lies in being aware
or being a practitioner of that awareness —

i, for one, seek redemption in verifying and living
the knowledge of destruction, holding it like
a cosseted corolla of memory,
that is becoming of me — a spoiled sepia-
sequestered detail in the possibility of
existence — a fierce idea without a fulcrum
to safeguard harmony.

“you are not lonely,” i say to myself,
but i do not know where it becomes me
and when i become an evidence to
breaking, and a splintered sensation
of nothing.

i am the last inhalation of smoke,
a testament to the fallacy
of my name.

after all,
where did loneliness surge & stage its act
if not at the juncture where my words trigger
an acid reflux, and transmogrify into aphanitic ash?

.

© Anmol Arora 2018

Image source (Falling by Clara Lieu)
For “How Does the Story End?” at With Real Toads.

 

a dawn song

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as dawn breaks and starts spreading its blush through the dark eyes of a distant cloud-riddled sky, i pick at my skin and hair, trying to be at ease with the chill penetrating me, in more ways than one. the music of early morning routine starts flourishing — the shrill of the water motor, the flush of the sink, the naivety of the kitchen song, the singular bark of the street mutt — gradually the night becomes one with the day, the day becoming one with my insomniac breaths. the bristly winds carry the taste and touch and sound of an impending cold, a sulfur-infused smog, a trilling bird’s sorrow. it is unlike any other wind, any other gust of air that passes through the seasons, through the reverberations of living. i am still pinching myself conscious, the wind is still playing its solemn instrument.

picking at my grief —
the early winds of raw cold
raise the sky in red

~

dawn arrives singing
notes of a known winter’s song —
lights seen through the haze

.

© Anmol Arora

For Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille at MLM Menagerie
Image source (City at dawn Painting by Barbara Pastorino)

all our riches

a-trompe-loeil-of-paper-money-coins-french-school
i spend the exact change (i have left) of simple words,
gentle words, neurotic words, hunchbacked words,

to have the evening speak and last for some more time —
every second of the same quality and ruse as the lingering

fragrance of raat ki rani, dreaming dreadful thoughts
and foregoing them in a simple parable – “it is only a phase” –
i laugh at my own conjecture that it will perchance still
get better — normalcy lies ahead in a neo-noir paradise,
waiting around the corner.

“life is like a dubious pile of ash” — but Gulzar has already said
that the ashtray is full — no more space (maybe money) left
to fulfill the urge for another puff.

perhaps it is not, perhaps it is another currency,
unfamiliar in shape/size, when the exchange rate
is not known and sapphires already spent —
the parched mouths do not ask for another name
of the word — the spendthrift work over moments

to make sense of a cloud-befuddled mood, depicting natures
of the orange moon (lost in the haze of untarnished selves).

“there is a worm within us that turns everything into a threadbare
experience, a frayed impression of our yearnings,” you said.

it is good that i have another penny left in the pocket within the
pocket, where words do not reach, budgets do not measure
our wealth.

you can have it.

.

*raat ki rani (lit. the queen of the night; Night Blooming Jasmine; scientific name: cestrum nocturnum) — the fragrance abounds anywhere and everywhere these evenings
**Gulzar’s poem, Ashtray puri bhar gyi hai; trans. The Ashtray is Overflowing

© Anmol Arora 2018

For Midweek Motif at PU
Also linking it up with dVerse OLN
Image source (A Trompe Loeil Of Paper Money Coins by French School)