Combining the image prompt as well as the text prompt:

“I am begging: Let me be lonely but not invisible.” – Natalie Diaz

 

even the well-provided lines of street lights

failed to seep through the darkness

but it suited them

they had a bridge to cross

they were lonely

but not invisible

the darkness kept them

inconspicuous, away from prying mouths

the darkness kept them

moving, every step forward in gratitude

there would be light

on the other side of the bridge

but now, they embraced the comfort

darkness gave them

 

 

No, I Heed Not

what if I had said yes

will I have been here

with credits

for not heeding to the no’s?

no, you are too poor

no, you are too fat

no, you are too old

no, you are…

 

 

To My Babies

that odd sound

again

a cry, a child’s cry

no, not one, but in the plural

children’s cries

am I the only one to hear it?

panic-stricken, shaken

I listened keenly

nothing at all for a while

I breathed again

wiped the perspiration

from my forehead

went back to doing what I was doing

when

I heard the mournful cries again

I sealed my ears

but the piteous lamenting was from within me

I closed my eyes and followed my breath

a few inhalations later

I found myself at the doorway of my womb —

the ghosts

of eggs that would have become foetuses

of sperms that couldn’t inseminate

“weep not, dear souls, linger no more

in your ghostly form!”

there was hope of life yet

I became pregnant

with spirits of poetry

 

 

 

Empathy

they say you have icy fingers

but I didn’t find you cold and aloof

Death, you are a warm person, after all

appreciate how you soothed Appa

eased him of his fear

made him trust you

to go with you

 

Death, friendless as I am

maybe I should befriend you!

Geraniums

put on some music

dance your way

make great art

dilute that yellow

and splash, splash, splash

hold the paper up

and dance some more

see the paint dribbling?

 

dance a dab into the green

no, not the dark

follow your brush

as it runs strokes around the yellow

a stalk, some leaves

twirl around

 

you can create flowers now

god?

 

 

The Blue Unreality

a streak of blue-black

a bubble, transient and deceptive

he is gone again

my heart flutters

my alert eyes dart into corners

but he hides still

 

he wants me to seek him

I pretend to be unflustered

there, the blue-black streak again

did I just hear

the jingle of anklet bells?

I turn, this way and that

entreating him to come to me

he doesn’t

I slump

 

the blue-black streak again

not out there

but within me

wearing my skin

not a delusion

but tangible

 

the illusory bubble

was that me?

 

 

 

All the World’s a Stage

how are you?

been a long while

all’s well?

I smile at her

and nod with heartfelt concern

at her replies

as she does with mine

you’ve put on weight

you haven’t changed much

how’s your husband?

your child?

keep in touch

we’ve had good times before

I know

call when possible

drop by for old times’ sake

smile

smile

see you, getting late

yes, I need to hurry too

bye

bye

smile

smile

and we go our ways

glad the interlude of civility

is over

 

 

 

 

stark

the expanses of barren, brown soil

stark

the silver grey depths of sky

the emptiness

above and below

stared at the starkly contrasting colours

of an air balloon

belonging to neither here nor there

When God Smiled

the first of the drops fell

one man upon whom the blessing graced

cried, overcome with passion:

that’s my prayer brought down this drop

then fell a second drop, a third

twenty drops, and a hundred

a second man, ecstatic his tone:

my prayer answered!

a third, his hands raised up to the heavens

in gratitude

twenty men kissed the crackling earth

hundred men danced in joy

the drops fell

the drizzle turned to rain

all the men rejoiced

for a day

and a half

for, the grace had now become

overwhelming

three days, five days later

a deluge

the first man pointed his finger at the second

the second at the third

the third at the twenty

the twenty at the hundred

each accusing the other

of praying too hard

of praying inconsistently

of praying devotion-lessly

up in the heavens

god smiled and went about his work

the reverberating accusations

were normal human behaviour!

 

Marriage

how ludicrously inconvenient would it be

for only one foot to keep moving forward

the other subjugated!

a synchrony of movement

a balance of support

egoless compatibility

intruding not into the other’s space

yet moving in unison

one foot forward

then the other

one foot forward

then the other