sanctification

holding a prayer close to my cold chest,
i have put my lips on roses that do not
open their buds, and cheeks that do not
reach to meet my sutured-smile of hope
for love, and all that yields to its touch,

it’s a liberation of a sky riddled with mist
to shine through, and carry the kernels of
a belated sun in its womb, as if a strange
specimen of breath, finding it hard to hold

on to for a sympathetic spring of acceptance,
of unhindered rising, and a welcoming sight
of truth, of places & people, i can call home.

© Anmol Arora

Image source (Torso (The Minotaur) by Michael Leonard)
For Music with Marian: Revelation at With Real Toads

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at the quarter of a life

as skin sheds for another skin
and lips curl in a rueful smile
and veins stand in a soft sight
of green and black and blue,

i understand that blood thickens with
years that pass by through the organism
of a body, beginning to feel its own death.

as winter transfuses with the cold of
big bones, the elasticity of meek muscles
beckon a certain warmth of touch for
life, in the always prevailing lack of time.

i have seen the concentric circles on
my limbs change in half a decade,
and my eyes bloom in hues of hibiscus
and rising-rose, like a lamp, left with
a slight glimmer when the light has been
dimmed with the passing act of another day.

i wonder if my aging is my decline
(the wild image of calm & turmoil),

or is it the other way round?

© Anmol Arora

Image source (Shedding Skin Painting by Newel Hunter)
Linking it up with the Tuesday Platform at With Real Toads

coming back

the odd-familiarity leaves a dull feeling
to compensate for all those years past —

coal and gravel need to stick to the soles
of my slippers, as a reminder of all that is
glued with the truths of an empty hearth.

the oil-paint peels down on my shoulders,
plaster sticks to my falling hair, reclaiming
the flesh that was shed at a time of loss,
a mark of the presence, of a pulverized hope
that everything can be whole once more.

the lights are cobwebbed in a frenzied display
of lives, lived in entanglements of an arachnid-
mesh, of raised voices, flippant arms, bruises
and burn-marks self-inflicted in the watershed
moments, to break free from the unified mold &
the intrinsic blockades of the wry social norms.

this coming is like the trace of a feline paw-mark
made, re-made on the veneer of this ménage —

the rust on the old photos, broken glass, wiped
tabletops and dust motes on the couch (that still
carry the shape of me), all fervent to clutch & grab
once more at my oft-broken, and remended heart.

.
© Anmol Arora

Image source (Homecoming by Kinga Ogiegło)
For
Wordy Thursday with Wild Woman: Homecoming at With Real Toads

on panic

i am running
from this fever, from this chase,

i am wringing cold hands that have shriveled
in the non-appearance of a lofty moon
that i have envied from the beginning,

i am lighting, lighting another difficult breath
before the mist sets in all the spaces, and take
it away, leaving me aching for sun & rain.

i think that the laugh is often the loudest,
after an early intake of poison —

the dark sky is not my friend, the passing steps
are not my enemy, the half-mast heads do not
look at me — a new stranger in a strange world
with a side-glanced smile, a fine-frosted figure,
fearing fire, blue in its soft touch on my skin.

the evening races through this course of fright
as i keep rehearsing the lines, repeating ritualistic
words and intonations to control the panic,
plural and passive in its grip on my chest,

still trying to run, from you, from all of you,
from the shadows of these days,

and saving a little of madness in my tiny fist,
and a little more of kismet where perchance
none exists.

© Anmol Arora

Image source (No more than thoughts and Pain by Oscar Orellana)
An accompaniment to on loneliness and on self-sabotaging
Linking it up with the Tuesday Platform at With Real Toads

Had a conversation with the ever-wonderful Sherry at PU, wherein I share a bit about my life, interests, inspirations, believes, et al. I guess I shared more than I intended to do. Ha! You can give it a read here. If you would like to communicate or exchange ideas with me, you can reach out to me on Gmail or Instagram.

day-breaking

delhi-smog-afp_650x400_71478106108

a blushful pride — the grey cloak lifting
gently, sweet dreams rising, treated with
sulfur and carbon all night long — PM 2.5
as the air emanates a deathly spell, ghostly-
white with specks of pink-red phlegm on
a boastful sky —

take a whiff of cold and dust, rubbing
irritable, sleep-deprived eyes, and find
the wind-passage to comforts of urban
pleasures and umbral treasures —

waiting, waiting for it to become a time-
turned reality — the morning of this hour,
the cajoling fear of the march —

a numb reckoning for another one to pass,
a chimney-reserved sigh to veil the dark.

.

© Anmol Arora

For Midweek Motif at PU
Image source (A cyclist rides along a street as smog envelops a monument — NDTV)

in death as in life

picasso-la-mort-de-casagemas

how would my carcass look?—
empty or full,

or apathetic or scornful to all those who pass
by my unwavering blank eyes, with the archaic
virtues of respect for the dead — no, i do not
need that. i would want to hear the music of
flies and maggots on my beautiful blue skin,
like an adornment to horrify, a sacrilege to
the ritual of burning and burying secrets,

like a gruesome display of life and all that
it comes to when you take a longer than expected
pause from breathing, and seeing through fairy-
light eyes,

or would my limbs point at them without reproach
with my breath holding the remnants of smoke,
my skin translucent, and eyes closed, as i keep
on looking, and looking, for something.

perhaps the strangeness of my stillness (coursing through
my lifeless body) would be becoming on me.

perhaps i would look wanted and loved, the way i could not
feel when alive.

perhaps being organic refuse, i would be eaten from within
and out, and thus would discover who i am beneath all
these unknown persons i borrow myself from every day.

what a terrible tragedy it would be if it is not so,
if death like life would abandon me?—

a broken boy with silver trinkets gleaming
at the end
of sunlight.

.

© Anmol Arora

Image source (Pablo Picasso, La mort de Casagemas, 1901, Paris, musée Picasso)
Linking it up with the Tuesday Platform at With Real Toads

on self-sabotaging

rene-milot-fall-of-icarus-illustration-painting-art-rene-milot


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