Friday, January 06, 2006

Whisperings in a Whirlpool

This is another poem I wrote in Dec 97 following my father's death. I missed his voice, his touch and I felt so completely lost and when this poem came out of me, I knew that I was going to recover only through my writing (Dec 19 1997)

Picture in a frame
Ashes in a bottle
Boundless energy
Confined in a bottle
Forcing me
to deal with reality
Forcing me
to face being grown-up
Being thrown in a whirlpool
with no warning, no sign
but only with
the knowledge that
your protective arms
will always be there
Extending just so far
to help me swim on my own
and be near enough
to scoop me up
to whisper in my year
the words that I treasure
"My darling baby girl!!"
I thrash, I swim
On a wave I float
But sometimes
I sink
only to come back up
knowing that
I will make it
on my own
and make you proud

But at this moment
A sense of terror
seizes me
As my feet kick
in this whirlpool
to catch on to something
for a grasp of fresh air
for a firm footing
on the mother earth
As I search for you
And only you
I hear you laugh and say

"Look at the arms
that are already holding you
take them ... take them darling!
Time for you to be
not just my baby
but more.
A lot more.
Find within yourself
what I gave you
all these years.

I hear you daddy! but
right now
I am being sucked down
surrounded and suffocated
by raging emotional waters
craving to cleance my soul
to emerge of a firm footing
one more time
To keep on
fighting and flourishing
just as you taught me.

Your encouraging whispers
in my whirlpool of despair
holding me and
heaving me
to shores of sanity
to live again
to love again.

A Father by Any Name

Every pulse of pain
a paragraph on a page.
Teasing and tormenting
testimonials of his existence
being extracted
from layers of memories

Heart beats a little faster
as my hand moves
with a marathoner's pace
helping the fingers to trace
the life of a legend
my friend, my creator
the light of my life
the pulse in my heart
the sculpture of my nature
the maker of my being
My Nanna
My Appa
My Baba
My Daddy
My Padre
My Papa
My Pater
My Vater
My father by any and every name
being reborn
on the pages of my diary

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Ashes to Ashes .. Dust to Dust

I wrote this poem after my father passed away. After I watched his funeral, I could not stop writing for days. - Dec 22 1997

We watched the ashes
remaining on the pyre.
With a few bones shattered
here and there
years of love and affection
embraces and ideologies
reduced to ashes and bones.

"There's the skull bone"
someone says
Flat pieces of staring skull saying
"My Baby! I miss you
When will you be back again?"

"And here is the hand bone"
Another voice chimes in
Hand that wrote volumes
of books, letters and articles
Hand that rocked my cradle
and shook hands of
princes and paupers
reduced to a small piece of bone

"Looks like a leg bone"
another voice ponders
Early morning walks
through the neighborhood
Walking through the
streets of Hyderabad
to buy me some pearls
Walking out of a flight
to visit me U.S
Walking in Portland
to give me company
Walking in San Jose
buying books and pens
Walking out of a coma
determined to live again
after being in the hospital
for four months
Walking to my wedding
to give me away
to my partner in life
Walking in the airport
to leave for India
Walking to the
departure gate in India
to bid me farewell
after a trip to India
Walking to the ambulance
refusing the wheel chair
to be taken to the hospital
where you decided to
Walk no more
Miles of walks
Using this piece of bone!!

"This is where the
heart should be"
he says pointing to a space
A heart that carried
unquenching zest for life
and love for all of us
Where has it gone?

May be back to my mother
where it belongs
She let us have him
for all these years
only to claim him back
heart and soul

Remaining bones bagged
Ashes ushered in an earthen pot
The hands that brought me
to this earth
Arms that encircled me
Hands that cajoled me
to sleep every night saying
"Close your eyes
Take a deep breath"
Every part disappeared
up in a black smoke

All that remains is a
bed of smoldering ashes
being cooled by
spraying of cold water
The soul being fed
by spraying of milk
A small fire made
to make the last offering
to Agni, the lord of fire

Black smoke
surrounds me
only to be felt
by stinging eyes
not to be held
in my hands
or stuff in my bag
but only to be seen
bringing tears to my eyes

Black smoke
Reaching the sky
to touch his feet
and warm his soul

Sunday, November 13, 2005

With Love, To Bobby Annayya

(Poem I wrote for my brother on his surprise birthday party;Jul 17 ’99)
When I arrived into this world
You were the Pied Piper who brought
All the Praturys to pour their love on me;
When I was growing up
You were the debonair pioneer
Who broke the mold of convention
To fly the skies with bold conviction;
When I was surfing
the streets of swinging single life
You were the source of sanity
That helped me transform to a wife;
Your cheerful presence shadowed me
Through every step of my life;
To celebrate the day you were born
I have a thought that I carried
Through my long sojourn;
When I am at the brink of those moments
When tensions tend to mount on
I sure am glad that I have a
Shrink like you to count on.

A Poem for Alma & Jim Boges

(Owners of B&B “The Pillars” 6606 Soundview dr, Gig Harbor; .Jul 8 1999)
Bed and Breakfast at the Boges’
With a view so gorgeous
Sights so sumptuous
It’s a feast for the eye
And a solace to the soul

All the hidden treasures of the home
When looked at carefully
Come alive with perky personalities

The red, white & blue American flag
The red and white rock fella
The white rock lions flanking the entrance
Greet the visitor with a royal salute:

The charmingly worn out alcove
Perched up proudly in the
Curvaceous corner of the backyard
Offers a place to sit
And sink in the sunrise:

The circular driveway in the back
Surrounded by thick ivy
Along the path and
Embarking upon tree barks
Provides a view
Wild yet well managed:

More than anything
The ever organized Alma and
The ever cheerful Jim
Wish you good morning
With basket goodies
From a master baker
And wish you Good night
With a glass of sherry
For a night cap:

Here’s to Alma and Jim
Icons of a charming era
Founded on
Hope, Heart & Hard work

A Pointless Point

(wrote this poem after I returned home from seeing my father's dead body at the mortuary in India, Dec 19 1997)

There is a point in life
When the pain becomes painless
When the person becomes pointless
No more the words on the page
No more the laughs that he creates
No more the tears that he sheds
And worse of all
No more the embrace that he gives

A page of unwritten words
Not to be seen
But always present.
A kiss, a touch
Not through a physical body
But a spiritual soul.
A presence to be felt
Not by touch
But by untouchable grace.
I know .. I know
That you are everywhere.
In me, with me and
Around me.
You never left me
When I left you.
Nor will you ever leave me
Even in your death.
But ..
Somewhere deep inside me
A silent moan
Is brewing
Waiting to come out screaming
Yearning and yelling
For one last touch
One last embrace
One last movement of your lips
To call me “Kannipandu”
Kannula pandu,
That which brings happiness to my eyes
Kanna pandu
The fruit that was born to me
All the love rolled into one word

There is a part of me
That’s yearning
To be your little girl again
To lay in your lap
And discuss me, you, us

But it’s time to let you go
Time to stop being selfish
Time to stop wanting you
Whenever I want
It’s time to give you
Whatever you want
And let you go.

You gave me everything you can
Now it’s time
I give you
Myself as a woman
Not as a child,
Craving your pampering
But as a woman
Who could pamper you
And as a woman
Who can let you go.

I thank you
For everything
That you have given me
My strength, my courage
My ability to love and feel
Every small moment in life
And most of all ..
For giving me my partner
Whose embrace
Surrogates for yours
Whose presence
Surrounds me unconditionally
My darling! My soul!
From you to me
A gift of un proportional dimensions
A life of unsurpassed wealth

A point that is pointless
A blank page
No full stops, commas or sentences
Filled with words
Only to be seen
With the love in my eyes
With the gratitude in my heart
A feeling beyond words
And words beyond being written
I do crave for that
One last hug
One last kiss
And I’ll keep finding it
In every pair of arms
That ever embraces me
And in every moment
That life ever gives me.

Farewell my friend, my philosopher
And my guide!
Farewell my father!
Farewell my mother!
Farewell to everything
That you have ever been
Farewell but no good byes
‘cause as long as I breathe
the air on this earth
I welcome you into my lungs
To keep pumping my life
With your wisdom
Your vitality,
Your strength
And most importantly
With your “optimistic” spirit.

A dull ache in my heart
A bodyless spirit
A pointless point
An ever present
Source of life!