Dusky Moon

Moon of the Dawn

As the skies turn light
The half moon says its last goodbye
But my moon’s here with me

The Little One

Prompt 23 (Half Marathon 2 Hour 11) 

Chhoti never left the room with the toys

As a child, I was jealous of her

For if I had my way, I would be there all day too

Yet I was bound by rules and school, and she was not

When I told my parents, they were dismissive

They apologized for not giving me real siblings

But Chhoti was real

It was our little secret

Ten years later

A girl is now a woman

Toys are forgotten in favor of clothes and makeup

The home  is no longer the most fun place to be

So the room with the toys lies gathering

And with it lies Chhoti


Prompt 22 (Half Marathon 2 Hour 10)

The water is freezing but there is nowhere else she feels more at home
Definitely not back at the villa
There, she is a daughter, soon to be wife
An aristocrat, a woman, one of age
Here, she is nothing but pure flesh
A tiny body in the vast sea

She swims under the arched rock
The sea cave, her sister and she used to call it
When the tide was low, they would race around in it for hours
Fearless in the water, in a way they could not be on land

It was perhaps with this fearlessness
That her sister entered the water that fateful day
Knowing she would never return
Even now, occasionally, when she swims, she senses subtle changes in the current
Reminiscent of her sister’s spirit, perhaps lurking in the cave
Their one safe haven

Should she join her sister? Is it worth going back?
To a life she does not wish to lead
She stops moving her arms for a moment, a fleeting moment
The water rapidly begins to dissolve her in its darkness
But wait, the light changed
Instinctively, she rises
She is now on the other side of the sea cave
Staring into the vast sea beyond

The metaphor hits her as hard as the waves
With new found strength, she fights
Pushing herself back to the shore
She steps on land, dries herself, and puts on her corset
This. Is not home.
But someday it could be

The time before timelessness

Prompt 21 (Half Marathon 2 Hour 9)

I cannot remember what day it is anymore.
In this timeless existence we have led of late
Days blend into months and years, and maybe more
Work and home, home and work, I can no longer differentiate

Wake up. Lemon water. Yoga. Exercise. Shower. Walk
In this new state, my morning routine does not exist
With my office at my fingertips, there is no stop
The late night emails I cannot resist

Home. What was once a source of respite
Now seems like a benign prison
As my worlds disturbingly collide
In this existence, beyond time, beyond reason

Light of my Life

Prompt 20 (Half Marathon 2 Hour 8) 

I look outside and I see pitch black
But inside, my office is on a metaphorical fire
Keys clicking, screen shining bright
Not just mine, but his too
“Side!” I say
We peer over our monitors
Eye contact and a smile
Back to our clicking keyboards
And screens shining bright
Frantically working
Expressing our individuality, but in sync

I look outside and I see pitch black
Inside, electricity makes sure I can see
But there’s something else filling me with light


Prompt 19 (Half Marathon 2 Hour 7)

I stare up at the night sky, dotted with stars
And I am no longer in my body
I float upward till I see what they are
Balls of fire, orange and gaudy

I see Earth in all its blue and green
A contrast to its unfriendly looking neighbors
Then I speed through the entirety of the galaxy
Past planets, moons with massive craters

Now I’m in a galaxy far far away
I see a new planet from afar
With sentient beings going about their day
A planet not too different from ours

But as I move closer, lo and behold
There exists nothing but dust
What I saw was a snapshot that was as old
As the light from it that I now touch

And then I am back in my backyard
Staring up at the night sky
When I departed, I felt tall, strong, and sharp
I return, but a humble fly

Same Same but Different

Prompt 18 (Half Marathon 2 Hour 6)

Eighteen months later, I was back
I walked through the deceptively thick forest
A smile on my face for what was to come
As we emerged onto the stunning blue coast
I turned to him
And his face mimicked what I had first felt
Eighteen months ago

Eighteen months ago, I came on my own
Not alone, but on my own
Now, I tug at his sleeve to go faster
As I try to catch up with my memories
Everything is the same
The sky. The sea. The trees. The cliffs.
The horizontal branch extending into the sky that I had posed on
Eighteen months ago

Eighteen months later, we reach the coastal rocks
A pair of seals frolicking in the distance
Not unlike their human counterparts
As we dip our feet in the lagoon
I realize we have reached the end of the trail
I had ended eighteen months ago
Little did I know I would be back
I look up at the coast, and then, down, at our hands, intertwined
Same same but different

The History of Thought

Prompt 17 (Half Marathon 2 Hour 5) 

As I write this poem in a Google Doc

My thoughts turn to Mesopotamia

To scribes meticulously carving each letter on stone

Laying the foundation of centuries of literature

So far, I have used backspace at least five times

But for them, there was no scope for error

I move forward in time to ten years before now

A young girl opening a diary on New Year’s eve

Penning her thoughts on the page dated 1 Jan

Scratching out words that no longer fit

Reading through those diaries is like

Reading a history of thought itself

Regrets, impulses, afterthoughts, all frozen for posterity to see

Words on stone, papyrus, paper

The pressure of a moving pen

Sensations that will soon be forgotten…


One and a half years later, we have moved from
Frocks and button downs
…to PJs and messy hair
Not sleeping all night
…to falling asleep in each other’s arms
Hiding our flaws
…to embracing them, together
Thinking all the time
…to never having to think
Hearts that flutter
…to hearts that glow
From what is loud
…to what is soft, subtle, but stronger
And I would not have it any other way

What is Home

Prompt 15 (Half Marathon 2 Hour 3)

Fourteen hours every six months, I braced myself for a journey
To go back home and rest after a semester of learning
Nothing made me happier than leaving New York snow
And arriving in the warm environs of my home
I would put up with the leg cramps and the cries of young ones
For I knew I awaited three weeks of immense fun
Six years on, I am no longer at school
The journey back and forth, I still do not find cool
But even as planes remain unchanged
I do not think of New Delhi the same way
Now, the direction of home has reversed
It will always be San Francisco, first

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