Prompt 20 – Hour 20 – ekphrastic poem – “The Mission”

Olivia sat with her friend Ollie the bear,
as she waited for her two friends, Oxie the
fox and Ellie the elephant calf

Today was a bright, sunny day — perfect
for their planned picnic. Olivia had worn
her favourite red and green dress

Oxie came running as fast as his legs could
carry him. “Ellie has fallen into a pit, and
is in pain”, he told them

They discussed on how to get Ellie out, the role
each would play. Olivia grabbed a nearby rope,
they followed as Oxie led the way

Oxie would lead them to the location and then
set off to find Ellie’s mother, Ella. His fox
friends were already searching for her

Ollie would get down into the pit and try to
push Ellie up. Olivia would tie the rope on
Ellie’s legs and slowly pull him up

By then, Oxie would bring Ella, who would
check Ellie and ensure she is fine. They
would all rest after their effort

Three determined friends, walked briskly,
to rescue Ellie, so that they could enjoy
the picnic on this perfect, sunny day

Hour 19 – Prompt 19 – Common phrases – “Secret friends”

When you have secrets to share, that no soul must know
You must have secret friends, whom no one can guess

The moon whispers at night, “Welcome home”
She is the closest messenger to where my parent stays
She never asks me, “How are you?”
As my angel lets her know how was my day

On the fifteen days, when she is off to take her rest
She sends her friend, the clouds, to help me find my way
They silence me with a smile, when my eyes say “Thank you”
They poke each other to clear my path, before I say “Excuse me”

When my worrying mind is at its nagging best
The stars bump into me, shine their light and say “Pardon me”
When my heart aches with tears unshed, at the new dawn
They hug me tight, kiss me to say “Have a nice day”

When you have secrets to share, that no soul must know
You must have secret friends, whom you can completely trust

Hour 18 – Prompt 18 – Animal – A guessing game

I am a reptile and exist in varied colours and size
I have long tongue, a swaying gait and crests on my snout
If I am large, I also have a beautiful, prehensile tail
I thrive in warm habitats from rain forests to deserts

My feet help me grip tightly to narrow or rough branches
My distinctive eyes help me observe two objects together
Being special, I can see in both visible and ultraviolet light
I can sense my prey from a five to ten meter distance

My tongue is twice my size and has an elastic recoil mechanism
I love insects and my long tongue helps me grab my victim
I lock my prize on my tongue with wet adhesion and suction
I survive in both heat and cold with my thermoregulation

You may be unfamiliar with the above facts about me
What I will share now, will help you recognize me this instant
I protect myself by changing my colour as per my surroundings
My top skin crystals reflect the longer wavelengths of light

When I am relaxed, I reflect the colours blue and green
When I am excited, I appear as yellow, orange, green, and red
By now, you must have guessed my identity, yes, you are right
I am a chameleon, I swiftly adapt and escape from your sight

Hour 17 – Prompt 17 – Broken glass

Every moment in school, we were together
It had been six years now, as fast friends
We had a bond, one that was possessive
She was my anchor and I was her bestie

Our eyes always sought each other
Even in silence, we knew the other’s thoughts
From the moment we stepped into the school bus
Till the moment we bid goodbye, we were together

I was out of action, ill, in seventh grade
For nearly three months, pain was a constant companion
I missed my friend, like never before
I pushed myself to get well soon, so that I could see her

Finally, I walked, one day to school
One foot ahead of the other, with a plaster on my left thigh
My eyes sought her, I went to sit with her
But she had found a new friend, in my time away

The hurt was sharp, my tears flowed in private
My confused mind, laden with medicines, refused to accept
We did not have phones then, to check on each other
I did not expect her to get my address, to visit me home

Yet, I thought, she would be the counting days too
She would wait for me to recover, and embrace me
Her warmth would wipe away my pain, I would be whole again
The shattered pieces of my heart left me bleeding, silently

Hour 16 – Prompt 16 – “Chasm”

A banquet spread out in lavish settings, awaits

It is the wedding of a famous personality
With thousands of guests expected to attend
The traffic is diverted on roads leading to the venue
The police personnel guard to avoid trespassers

The guests flow in, one by one, till wee hours of dawn
The sparkle of lights enhance the decorations
The aroma of fresh food wafts in the air
Soft music keeps the dance floor alive

In an area, not far behind, darkness envelops
With not a street light is on for miles
Cries of helpless, hungry children echo
Torn clothes, domestic violence depicts penury

A banquet spread out in lavish settings, wasted

Hour 15 – Prompt 15 – Heart, through a child’s eyes

“Mama”, her son laid his small head on her chest
He heard ‘thump thump’, as her chest rose and fell
“Mama, what is this sound from here?”, he asked
perplexed, pointing at the left side of her chest

His mother smiled and said, “That is our heart
beating, the sign that we are alive and well”
It is just like the clock on the wall, with
its hand moving at every second, depicting time

“What does our heart do?”, he asked, curious
Our heart pumps blood to all parts of our body
Just like we eat food when we are hungry
Our heart sends good blood to all our organs

The heart sends the impure blood to our lungs,
which purifies the blood and sends it to the heart
“Do I have a heart too?”, he asked, fascinated
“Yes”, his mother gently placed his hand over it

“Can the heart go on forever?”, he asked, innocently
“Yes, it can. We can donate our heart to others
When we breathe our last, our heart can be preserved
and fit into another body, to nurture another life”

Hour 14 – Prompt 14 – nature with concrete – “A bouquet of flowers”

From an array of scattered flowers,
one by one, the fresh ones are chosen

The petals are gently caressed,
before placing them in a bouquet

With care, the bunch is arranged
attractively, ready for display

The combined fragrance of the floral
selection entices strangers to buy

Those without a square meal admire
from afar, their imagination at play

A few regret the absence of an occasion
to celebrate and hold them close

Some bouquets get a chance to grace
a celebration, others await their turn

Flowers remain nature’s messenger
on how to uphold self-worth, till last breath

Hour 13 – Prompt 13 – Missing

A happy family filled with joy and humour
Every day included tales of some missing things
Some found after a long search, some never to be found

Till one day, their young daughter went missing
Everyone was stunned and refused to accept
“How could a child not return from school?”

The police swarmed each house and passerby with questions
Everyone who knew the child was out on the streets with her photo
They retraced the path she took to return from school, endlessly

Gloom descended, every heart who knew the child was filled with pain
The memories of her smile, her innocence were the topic of discussion
The family tried to hold the thread of hope, despite the strain

The air was filled with prayers to return her home safely
Friends, relatives, neighbours were ready to chip in for her ransom
Every search turned futile, time brought only despair as she remained missing

Hour 12 – Prompt 12 – An adventure in nature’s arms

With the moon as our extended torch,
we proceeded with our plan to visit
the Pangong Tso lake

We hoped to view the glory of sunrise,
enjoy the beauty of friendship between
the lake and the rays

Our Jeep ate up the miles from our tent
to the designated place, the tires and rocks
creating a music in motion

We heard a sudden screechy sound of tire burst,
and came to a stop at an odd angle, having
missed to see a deep hole

We got down with great difficulty, thanked that
we had a spare — pulled the jeep out after thirty
minutes of sweat and effort

We made quick work to fix the tire, set off — looking
at the road as we drove, rather than the stars and
hoping we don’t miss the sunrise

The sun listened to our plea and delayed its rise,
waited for us to reach and settle under the canopy
of stars and clouds

The panic and rapid heartbeat of the near miss we
had was replaced with the anticipation to capture
the handshake of nature

Hour 11 – Prompt 11 – My identity, my roots

“Where is your home? Where are you from?”
I can tell my current address, but is it home?
I can tell where I lived, names of numerous cities

With my father serving in the army
Our location changed every 6 months

We lived in thirty-eight cities in my nineteen years
The only common link was the army parade and practice

I also enrolled in the army and got selected
I was taught how to move stealthily, within a second
I was ingrained with love for my nation and sacrifice

The training did not include settling in and forming roots
It taught survival and the art to keep quiet, if captured

Today, I met a girl of my dreams and hoped for a future
Her eyes held a thousand questions, seeking security

She asked “Where is your home? Where are you from?”
The only answer that echoes in my mind and I hope it resonates
“My home is my country, every grain of soil holds my roots”

Note: I am taking the liberty to extend the topic of homelessness a bit further