Hour 10 – Prompt 10 – Praise – “Faith”

A vision that propels the ship
into the ocean, against the tides;
aware lightning can strike anytime

The strategy that steers the mast
in the correct direction, to counter
the fierce waves or float along

The lonely call of an occasional seagull,
the silence as water surrounds all sides,
with message that survival depends on self

The support of hazy reflection of sunshine,
the warmth of darkness that provokes soul,
intensity of nature in absence of distraction

Like the pearls submerged deep in
the beds of the sea, the conviction
that keeps the shore in sight is…


Hour 9 – Prompt 9 – Picture 1 – “Enjoy the present”

You’ve left me free in this picturesque scene
Free to explore and go, wherever I wish

Should I walk on the board walk, enjoy the creaks?
Should I climb and balance to walk on the wooden fence?
Should I walk on the moist, yellow grass, near the stream?
Should I walk on the dry, yellow grass, soft beneath my heels?
Should I climb on the fragile branches, and flit like a butterfly?
Should I jump from one branch to the next, like a monkey, all agile?
Should I explore deeper into the rugged terrain, on a mountain trek?
Should I touch the snow with bare hands, and the sky above my head?
Should I row on handmade boat, and check where the stream goes?
Should I just put my feet in the water and feel the water’s flow?

With so many choices to make, will I forget to breathe in the essence?
Will I forget to enjoy the present moment in nature’s presence?

Hour 8 – Prompt 8 – Pantoum – “The tussle”

A mother’s voice calls out “Where are you?”
The child pretends, he cannot hear her
She comes out, worried, searching for him
She says, “There you are, why don’t you answer?”

The child pretends, he cannot hear her
She asks him “Did you finish your homework?”
She says, “There you are, why don’t you answer?”
He thinks, “I came to play, to escape these questions?”

She asks him “Did you finish your lunch?”
She asks him “What did they teach in school?”
He thinks, “I came to play, to escape these questions?”
He dusts his pants, shakes his head, and readies to answer

She asks him “Did they give any notice in school?”
She asks him “When did they say, exams will start?”
He wipes his palms, raises his head, and readies to rebel
He wishes to say “Don’t smother”; but knows her answer “I am your mother”

She asks him “What is the syllabus, for the exams?”
A mother’s voice calls out “Why are you quiet?”
He wishes to say “Don’t smother”; but knows her answer “I am your mother”
She comes out, worried, concerned for him

Hour 7 – Prompt 7 – Angst – The “worry” sphere

“Worry worm”, that was her nickname
All who knew her well, felt her angst

First, it was the fear of crossing the road
Then, what if she forgot all answers in the exam?

She refrained from exploring new places
What if she got lost and never returned home?

She feared criticism and wore invisible chains
What would the society say, if she followed her mind?

She surrounded herself with people, books, and food
How would she handle loneliness, ill-health, and yearning?

No meditation, positive thinking, inspiring quotes worked
What would she think about, if her mind mastered calmness?

The tides of an ocean, continue endless, in their rhythm
The rocking chair, is now still, free of a lifetime of angst

Hour 6 – Prompt 6 – Haibun – “Different reactions”

The teasing of the innocent children felt like barbs that left invisible wounds on the child at the centre. Dark, they called him. He stood stunned and shunned. “Mummy, I need to ask you something” he said to his mother. His mother replied “Yes, tell me”. “Why am I dark when all other children in my school are fair?”, he asked. His mother thought for a moment and said, “It is God’s gift to us. To Him, we are all one, His children. Whatever the world says, you need to find your inner strength and take the right path. Make choices that make you a better person and the world a better place. Just like day and night co-exist, all colours, seasons, and elements of nature have their value.” The next day, when the children teased, the child just laughed along and joined them in their game.

let thunder rumble
strength of roots hold tree upright
cuckoo calls echo

Hour 5 – Prompt 5 – Technology – “Bridge”

Fifty students in each section
and three such sections in the class

With tears in their eyes, shake
each other’s hands and hug tight

As standard ten comes to a close
and high school opens its door

They know they will separate,
unsure when they will meet next

For nearly fifteen years they were together,
where will life take, each of them, in future?

That was the question foremost in their minds,
they walked into the mist that life had in store

Fifteen years later…

They have come together with the help
of Facebook, Whatsapp, LinkedIn, Instagram

They look different, they have stories to share
Yet, they bond with each other, as if never apart

Their dream to stay in contact has come true
Technology, man’s progression, bridges the miles

Hour 4 – Prompt 4 – Narrative – “I am”

I am the water flowing from the mountains
Dressed as a waterfall, I enjoy my speed
[2] Accepting the challenge of the steep slope
Off I jump, over the rugged rocks and ridges
[2] Is that the valley tempting me to come?
[2] So green it looks, with icing of orange roofs
[2] My adventurous spirit propels me to explore
[2] I seek to understand the culture of the land

Then I traverse across the plains and giggle
I see everything from fields to distant buildings
At every bend, I enjoy the texture of unique pebbles
No one can predict my future course and direction
[2] The strong sunshine can take away my essence
[2] I can become a dryland with no trace of water
[2] When the clouds shower their blessings
[2] I can give life the fresh lease it yearns
[2] Or I can overflow and express my desire to destroy
After the long journey, I embrace my destiny
The warm welcome from the ocean I receive
I meet my friends and listen to their adventures

Hour 3 – Prompt 3 – Before darkness

Before darkness, it was dawn’s tune
The sun waved with its bright rays
The gentle breeze whispered in ears
The birds chirped and exulted in joy

Before darkness, the clock struck nine
The streets were bustle with life’s rhythm
The sound of honks spread urgency of time
Summer, rainfall or winter — seasons had a ball

Before darkness, the afternoon rolled in
The hunger pangs reflected life’s basic needs
Every living being portrayed essence of effort
This is what distinguished Earth from other planets

Before darkness, the tinge of evening crept in
Signs of the impending night as sun lost its shine
The birds circled together before they said goodbye
In preparation to embrace the black after the light

Before darkness, life rejoiced and showed the way
Of how life would resume, once darkness bid farewell

Hour 2 – I forget where we were

In the moments when promises bound us
At the time, when my hand touched yours
Yours to hold, to walk together, to cherish
Strangers once, now one for next seven births

Years have passed, oh is it years?
Time has flown with wings widespread

Today’s rhythm has two strangers — once again
Busy in their own schedule, in the same house
Moments when common interests give rise to words
Otherwise walls comfort and listen to our voice

Years have passed, oh is it years?
Time has flown with wings widespread

I forget where we were when we selected each other
I forget where we were when we pledged to be together
I forget where we were when our love created a bond
I forget where we were when our lives drifted apart

Years have passed, oh is it years?
Time has flown with wings widespread….

Hour 1 – Signals

The red light is at its stubborn best
The nagging pain demands a rest
The tired mind feels under duress
The night urges to let go of stress

The road breaker warns to go slow
The broken road affects smooth flow
Every diversion propels a new choice
A chance to listen to the inner voice

The palette of emotions is same for all
Unique pictures decorate each life’s wall