Thursday, January 02, 2014

Resolution



I resolve to dream bigger this year.
Oh no, maybe I shouldn't say such things anymore.
A better poet… heck no a better writer,
Yes a better writer.
A better singer…of many a bathroom serenades
Made to the shower head while breaking the crescendo.
As that sputtering water cascades down on my face, my skin
Clearing away the blurred lines made by the fuzzy memories
of the year gone by.

A whole year went by and I am supposed to have grown
stronger, sadder, simpler because that is less complicated,
But you know what if I am complicated?

Does it matter that the water couldn’t blur away the stretch marks
the sun burn crevices, the wrinkles and the worry lines, the stray grey
that’s hidden in the black of my hair with its sullen wisdom?

The bones and muscles that are
that more likely to break and break down now than they were the year before?

Does it matter really if I laugh that less louder, or if I sometimes try to yell
welled up with emotion - but the sound just doesn’t come?
'Tis not the teenage angst, but the vocal chords doth do protest much. 

Does it matter that this body and this mind are ageing?
Is it a bad thing? But am I not a wiser this year?

They tell me I am ageing like it’s an irreparable damage.
They tell me I am not young because
I can’t stay up all night, pass out due a shot induced comma at dawn
And wake up instead with pouches under my eyes and dark circles narrating
tales of an era that’s gone by in the darkness of just one night.



They tell me I will never be as I was a year ago, because my body
is that less desirable, my hair is that less smoother and my eyes that less brighter.
You wouldn’t want to lie with me under a starry-skied night anymore
Because my inter-planetary, space travel stories don’t charm,
Don’t ooze with magic and sparkle with the burning joy of my fast expiring youth

But

I am growing older, I make better resolutions, I am not less magical
I still dream of blazing comet trails brightening up the night sky with great light and wonder
My eyes still shine and my skin still trembles with the idea of a world that is beyond the horizon.
I don’t want answers anymore to the what ifs, but instead I ask now what else?

Why don’t you see me the same way I do? 
Am I suddenly not a dreamer because my body is now becoming an eye patch
that you’d shut your one eye behind, while the left strays idly in boredom.

Age is a number and a growing sign of my mortality
Age is grace and a chance to break free from "dignified morality."

I resolve to be a bigger dreamer this year. I am a weaver and a catcher
The night sky shines bright even during the day, but you’re blinded by its sun-lit beauty.
Look beyond the blinding white light, hear beyond the shrieking white noise
I’m going to lie down and drift to another universe with eyes open wide,
do you think you could dare to dream too?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

I Remember 1984



I want milk. I want milk Ma. 
Screams ran through our rental in Chandigarh
On the morning of October 31, 1984

I was one year old and I was crying in pain, in want, in denied comfort.
All across the streets outside my tenement
Turbaned men and their women cried in pain, in want, in denied comfort.
You killed Indira Gandhi. You murderers. You Freaks. You Whores. You Sikhs


For an era those sounds will come to haunt.
Of bullets raining like fire, 
Of knife cutting through flesh, 
Of bloodcurdling yells from raped, burnt, discarded bodies, 
Of footsteps running in triumph and fear.

And smells of burning tires, of rotting flesh, of flowing streams of dirty blood.
But I slept through it all. I was simply an imp, an infant 
Crying for milk the morning they hacked people of my faith
Through curfew-imposed days when we lived like caged animals
They hacked us into fear.


But I, I slept through it for 29 years. 
Till today

Today I am awake
I hear it in the court rulings, 
the acquitals, 
in rioting thousands everytime there’s a question of religion
I hear it in the silence
of orphaned lots who not only lost their parents
but their faith

I have not forgiven Godhra
Yet I have forgotten Blue Star

I am the child born to a faith repressed by you high warring lords
Keeping your chairs and sticking by the guns of your voting banks
I am the woman whom you martyred at the pulpit of religion
You castrated my men, burnt my children, dismembered my soul
I am the man whom you forced to take a knife to my hair
Strip-searched to my naked skin, stripped of my identity

I am the forgotten blood
I am the forgotten Pain
Mine is the denied justice
Mine is the ignored hate

Like a third-rate step-cousin to the Hindu or the Muslim 
You kept me out of your prayers, your jihad, your Ramnam


You have forgotten me.
But still
I am the muse of your jokes
I am the strength of your nation
I am to die to keep your borders safe
I even do the Bhangra for your stage.


I remember 1984
I smell the gunpowder
I remember the massacre
I remember it all Ma

I am 30 years old and I still cry in pain, in want, in denied comfort.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Toss and Turn


I am a whole string section
Of heaves, horns and noise
A humdrum of vacant feelings
Color cuts through me
As melody does through verse
I lie in your embrace
Drifting mindlessly 
All thoughts at sea

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Drift

How about I just slip away
And yet stay anchored at the shore
May I ?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Lasting memories


... And then there is loss
Which doesn't explain itself.
Some kind of silly arithmetic logic,
Division that partitions lives.
But boxes don't hold bodies,
And fires don't swallow flesh.
Souls are immortal or so they say
like mummified containers filled with anti-death preservatives.
But whose to say it isn't already dearly departed.
When breaths become a mere measurement of ventilator puffs
And the mind begins to disconnect from limbs..

A picture in my mind will forever rest,
A memory box will sketch a new stick figure - -
Of flesh and skin and blood and bones and hair and fingernails.
A creature fueled by a soul.
Immortal in spirit, frozen in time.
When curls were brown, breath was regular and mind secure.
When the heart beat in rhythm to unpolluted seasons.
When Kasauli and Rauni were homes alive with shrubberies not weeds.
When cancer and bipolar were definitions only medical manuals explained.
When songs, dance and long walks was the only prescription drug for the day.

A reflection in the mirror that no breath can cloud over,
Lucky few can see the bloodline alive in them as I do.
You meant life Nana Nani, more alive than the picture on the wall.
The clouds hold your lives now, as children of the sky.

RIP
Sukh Sekhon
Sohan Singh Sekhon




Friday, July 22, 2011

One drink too many

Fuzzy and smokey, creamed and strained
Clap on, clap off, cornered and drained;
Seeing is sawing, kneeing and gnawing
Hammerhead rhythm, red herring brain.

Do you want more sentimental sleaze?
More fat kids, diseased?
Perhaps Superman will fly in and drink Gin
With you and your Uncle's mad niece.

I like my flat swept, my Vodka strong
My ghosts to stay dead, my wood to last long.

Slippery and slimy, or scaly and dry
Cankered and cancerous, bloody well wry;
Being's believing, but knowing is fleeting
Fifty steps down to the what and the why.

Would you like more sentimental drudge?
More holier-than-thou septic sludge?
Perhaps Baba Ramdev will cure your homosexuality
And leave with a wink and a nudge.

like brats to stay online, my demons in bottles
My kittens with cream and my train at full throttle
I don't want your soul, but I'll take your body.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Just

Long time coming
Fleeting moment

New job
new life
new confessions
new honesty.