Posts Tagged ‘poem’

Wonderful words, by an unknown author

May 8, 2013

Six men were trapped by happenstance,
in the bleak and bitter cold.
Each one held a log of wood,
or so the story’s told.

Their dying fire in need of wood,
the first man held his back.
For of the faces round the flames,
he noticed one was black.

The second man sat back and looked,
but saw none of his church.
He could not bring himself to give
the fire his stick of birch.

The thrid man sat in tattered rags,
as he gave his coat a hitch.
He simply would not use his log,
to warm the idle rich.

The rich man sat and thought of all
the wealth he had in store.
And how to keep what he had earned
from the lazy, shiftless, poor.

The black man’s eyes bespoke revenge
as the fire died from sight.
All he saw within his wood
was a chance to spite the white.

The last man of this forlorn group,
did nothing except for gain.
Giving only to those who’d give
was the way he played the game.

The fire died, the men grew cold,
Icicles formed on their chin.
They would not die from the cold outside,
They would die from the cold within.


is where I got the poem.

A question, a poem and a song…

January 4, 2012

Our entire family (excluding us in India, of course) got together over New Year, and had a skiing holiday ( as I posted


KTB went “kating” but no diaper-wearers got on the ski slopes!) Regarding the skiing, ‘s friend Uday asked:

“I can’t understand what the attraction to skiiing is. Outside my zone completely. 1) it is *expensive* , 2) it is risky from many angles*, 3) the act is always justified. How much does convention & norm have to do with this justification? ”

In response to this, SIG penned a poem, and this reply:

“She is winter.
Whispering white.
Clear air. Silent peaks. Crispness.
A primal hug with Mother Earth
As I carve around her.
No asphalt, concrete trucks
No manufacturing lines of Japanese workers building automobiles.
Just me, the mountains, and
Extensions to my body.

“Active and passive,
Breezy melody on the way up
The ski lift sways over tree tips
The snow dances with the wind
And rhythm down the hill
Down, turn, carve, up,
down, turn carve up
A smooth music and easy flow
The soft white soil below
Responds like skin to the touch of a finger
Loving you back.

“Warm body on a cold day
Apres ski pervades the collective soul
Red noses share a glass
And the adrenalin of the slopes.
Soaking the marvel of Mother Earth
Enveloped in warm water
Bubbling upwards under sparkling stars
Fire and ice
Warm glow and rising smoke
Families cackle around games
A milky moon in the inky sky
Caresses me as I give myself up
Every reason to do it all again
The next morning.

“Convention comes from love and emotion Uday. And somehow we all are willing to pay more for more natural things right – organic tomatos, volcano vacations, and a balance of creature comforts with primitive explorations. Mother Nature challenges us with her forces, all of which present risks. Arguably, to enjoy her, you have to pick up the gauntlet that she throws.”

But meanwhile a what-could-have-been-very nasty accident happened to her, as a snowboarder rammed into her, and she was taken to the emergency room after losing her memory for a brief while. (Apart from a sore head and some neck pain, she’s OK now.)

So, my niece Monica (who, with her husband Ashwin Datt, hosted 17 of them at Minden, Nevada, where they live) said,

“In response to your lovely poem, I respond with a song…

“(To the tune of “Grandma got run over by a reindeer”)

“Anjana got run over by a snow-boarder,
Skiing at Heavenly New Years Eve,
She may not believe in helmets,
But as for the Datt family, we believe.

“She was wearing an owl hat
To protect her head from cold,
But she forgot that a helmet
will protect her head from getting rolled.

“After Anjana was all wrapped up,
All protected in her sled,
Her husband Derek did the right thing,
And lectured the boy instead of hitting him in the head.

“Anjana got run over by a snow-boarder,
Skiing at Heavenly New Years Eve,
She may not believe in helmets,
But as for the Datt family, we believe.

“After some x-rays and a CT scan
We found she has a brain,
Luckily no long-term damage affected it
So the fears of her family were in vain.

“Now that Anjana’s feeling better,
We all hope that we will hear,
That wearing a helmet is better,
Than a few days of headache and ringing in her ears.

“Anjana got run over by a snow-boarder,
Skiing at Heavenly New Years Eve,
She may not believe in helmets,
But as for the Datt family, we believe.”

Lots of talent in our family, and not only for skiing! Here’s everyone, including a cousin-technically-the-brothers’-niece, Krittika, and her family, too (the photo was taken by Krithu’s husband Paddy):

family minden 311211

Only five of us…KM’s elder brother Natarajan and his wife Bhuvana, Narayan’s wife Bhavadharini, and KM and I…are missing.

The Knife-sharpener

August 23, 2011

knife sharpener

Though the small streets and the lanes he goes,
His voice echoing around.
He calls aloud, this sharpener of knives:
They hear him, the mothers, the sisters, the wives:
Each busy housewife knows
That he’ll set the wheel on the ground:
The sparks will fly as he steps on the pedal:
Sharper and sharper gets the now-shiny metal:
He pockets the small sums that he’s paid,
Perhaps drinks a cup of tea that someone’s made…
Then he’s off again, with his clarion call,
Whoever needs his work…he goes to serve them all.

I heard his “clarion call” (in Chennai, what he calls is, “katthi shAAAAAAAANAAAAA!”) and rushed out on to the balcony to photograph his retreating form…

This post was made in LiveJournal on Dec 4, 2009:

Daughter’s daughter

April 30, 2009

She lies all wrapped up
A bundle of sleep
With cheeks softer than a bird’s down.
Her eyes open and then close;
Her face works into a limpid gaze..
And then into a red-faced frown.

Who is this girl, who has entered my heart
Though bringing her into this world
Brought my own child so much pain?
She’s not my child, but the child of my child…
But I feel motherhood all over again.

She opens her mouth and searches around;
I hand her back to her mother–
I never imagined, when I had my child,
That she would herself produce a precious Another.

Mother and father sleep in exhaustion,
Pain and worry are slowly past.
The grandchild lies in my arms;
It’s amazing that across a generation
I can still succumb to this baby’s charms.

How many …

April 30, 2009

How many steps is a walk in the park
When that walk is without a friend?
Without a friend, even a very short walk
Seems tiring and without an end.

How many tears are shed deep inside
When friends have to stay apart?
The outward smiles may be bright and wide
But the tears are in the heart.

How many days can one take the pain
Of not being able to meet?
Each day, one should think, brings one closer again
To the time of meeting…achingly sweet.

How many times must one think and long
For the distant friend’s touch?
In every word that’s heard, in every sad song…
One misses the other…so much.

This is for two friends who are forced to live on different continents. With all my love.

Protected: The Gathering of the Seats….

March 31, 2009

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Similes….wonderful ways with words

February 2, 2009

Read this beautiful poem on asakiyume‘s LJ:

I am lost in admiration of one who can create such images…


January 26, 2009

Why is it that those whom you love
Are the ones that can hurt you the most?
Because they know the chinks in your armour, below and above….
And where the darts will hit home.
You listen to the words with a face devoid of expression
Because you cannot show the world how it hurts.
To others, the words are quite ordinary
But in you, the words hurt. And hurt. And hurt.
The wounds ooze, not blood, but tears;
Tears that well up in your heart, not in your eyes.
You may smile and smile and smile at the world, and bleed tears inside.
Tiny little stabs can hurt more, then,
Than the pieces of a heart breaking apart.
It happens too often, too often…
Being together should be a joy, not a source of pain.
One should want to meet again.
Often, one’s sorrow wears
The mask of a smile;
And one hopes one is wise…
That things will be better in a while.

From the LJ of

July 17, 2008

How To Watch Your Brother Die
For Carl Morse

When the call comes, be calm.
Say to your wife, “My brother is dying. I have to fly
to California.”
try not to be shocked that he already looks like
a cadaver.
Say to the young man sitting by your brother’s side,
“I’m his brother.”
Try not to be shocked when the young man says,
“I’m his lover. Thanks for coming.”

Listen to the doctor with a steel face on.
Sign the necessary forms.
Tell the doctor you will take care of everything.
Wonder why doctors are so remote.

Watch the lover’s eyes as they stare into
your brother’s eyes as they stare into
Wonder what they see there.
Remember the time he was jealous and
opened your eyebrow with a sharp stick.
Forgive him out loud
even if he can’t
understand you.
Realize the scar will be
all that’s left of him.

Over coffee in the hospital cafeteria
say to the lover, “You’re an extremely good-looking
young man.”
Hear him say,
“I never thought I was good enough looking to
deserve your brother.”

Watch the tears well up in his eyes. Say,
“I’m sorry. I don’t know what it means to be
the lover of another man.”
Hear him say,
“Its just like a wife, only the commitment is
deeper because the odds against you are so much
Say nothing, but
take his hand like a brother’s.

Drive to Mexico for unproven drugs that might
help him live longer.
Explain what they are to the border guard.
Fill with rage when he informs you,
“You can’t bring those across.”
Begin to grow loud.
Feel the lover’s hand on your arm
restraining you. See in the guard’s eye
how much a man can hate another man.
Say to the lover, “How can you stand it?”
Hear him say, “You get used to it.”
Think of one of your children getting used to
another man’s hatred.

Call your wife on the telephone. Tell her,
“He hasn’t much time.
I’ll be home soon.” Before you hang up say,
“How could anyone’s commitment be deeper than
a husband and a wife?” Hear her say,
“Please. I don’t want to know all the details.”

When he slips into an irrevocable coma,
hold his lover in your arms while he sobs,
no longer strong. Wonder how much longer
you will be able to be strong.
Feel how it feels to hold a man in your arms
whose arms are used to holding men.
Offer God anything to bring your brother back.
Know you have nothing God could possible want.
Curse God, but do not
abandon Him.

Stare at the face of the funeral director
when he tells you he will not
embalm the body for fear of
contamination. Let him see in your eyes
how much a man can hate another man.

Stand beside a casket covered in flowers,
white flowers. Say,
“thank you for coming,” to each of seven hundred men
who file past in tears, some of them
holding hands. Know that your brother’s life
was not what you imagined. Overhear two
mourners say, “I wonder who’ll be next?” and
“I don’t care anymore,
as long as it isn’t you.”

Arrange to take an early flight home.
His lover will drive you to the airport.
When your flight is announced say,
awkwardly, “If I can do anything, please
let me know.” Do not flinch when he says,
“Forgive yourself for not wanting to know him
after he told you. He did.”
Stop and let it soak in. Say,
“He forgave me, or he knew himself?”
“Both,” the lover will say, not knowing what else
to do. Hold him like a brother while he
kisses you on the cheek. Think that
you haven’t been kissed by a man since
your father died. Think,
“This is no moment to be strong.”

Fly first class and drink Scotch. Stroke
your split eyebrow with a finger and
think of your brother alive. Smile
at the memory and think
how your children will feel in your arms
warm and friendly and without challenge.

Michael Lassell

And latelyontime‘s words below (in quotes) are my thoughts, too…

“P.S. I know it is long and it probably hurts the scroll finger like bloody ho but I am not putting it behind a cut. Something this beautiful needs to remain so that everybody can read it at first glance.”


Well…my brother died, too, a month ago…he wasn’t gay, I don’t have a wife, I *didn’t* watch him die that day, so suddenly…but the raw pain of this poem….was reflected by my pain in asking him a few days prior to his death, “Shall I come and be with you for a few days?” and then, being practical, and not going, because he had no serious health problem that I could imagine he would leave us in a short time…

There are times when grief is composed of large dollops of guilt.


April 25, 2008

I think
I am looking deep within me,
But I never see my faults.
When I think I am overlooking
Someone else’s faults,
I am actually
Looking them over carefully…
My sense of superiority vaults;
My criticisms run in a groove…)
I wish I had the ability to see
What could be better in me,
Than to keep looking for ways
That others could improve.

Buttering oneself is so much easier than bettering oneself.