Writing an ‘aftermath’ poem


It stood there simply
with its arching back and sinewy arms,
resting its four legs on
wrinkled and splattered sheets of newspaper
bearing what were now blotched accounts
of the ordinary lives of regular folks.

A container of black paint lay askew–
faint rivulets of color stains on it
where the pigment had bubbled over
reaching for a levelled ground.
Caked bristles of a paintbrush
rested on the rim–stiffening and drying out.

A new paint smell lingered in the air
faintly registered by a nose
now acclimated to its sombre presence,
leaching slowly
into the beads of sweat
rolling off my brow.

A curious silence pervaded
where for an hour
papers had rustled beneath my shifting weight
as I reached into the hidden crevasses of the chair,
the steady brushstroke sound wiping out
the grating blemishes smoothened out by gritty sandpaper.

I stood admiring my diligence in
staying out of bounds of the
intricate latticework of strings
that formed the back and seat of the chair–
this vestibule that had once borne the weight
of a Grandfather I had never known.

My hands still felt the tremors
of hypnotic repetition–
dip, squeeze, stroke
dip, squeeze, stroke–
the trance of steady movement
of being lost in the service of painting.

It was but yesterday
or many years back into childhood
that I am reminded of this moment–
the day I met afresh and
not just in my thoughts
the chair that Grandfather once sat upon.

*This is a poem I wrote recently in response to a writing prompt in a class that I am currently taking.



The chime
of the clock
at a quarter to five
the first thoughts
the walk down the stairs
and onto the desk
the words that must come out
onto the journal
or else the angst that
seeps into the work
much like the ink
leaking onto the page
and then
the work onto the notebook
until the longing
for the evidence
of a social existence-
of life posited beguilingly
the news gathering
the information plucked
and finally
the rustling up of
the family’s first meal
of the day
the announcement
of the arrival
of a fresh morning
to rousing little ones-
it’s here, it’s here
daybreak is here
as is
a transformed existence
beyond all personal parameters.







Warbling words like a
brook of water,
the absurdity of the steep ascent
of the climb,
necks careening to gauge
the depth of the canyon,
feet planted
with perilous intent,
a rock slips by
from beneath the feet
lands with an
echoless thud at the bottom.
“Where is my anchor?”
the heart cries out,
to keep from sinking.

If only
you had kept me
from awakening.



Lined up
crisp, at attention
row upon row
stack upon stack
eager to be perused.

boxes of minutiae
neatly arranged
records of a life
a story asking to be told.

displayed on the mantle-
glimpses of the yesteryears
and yet the today
being lived
attempting to be encapsulated.

a shrine
a symbol
a lamp lit each day
a brief glimmer
of belief.

a whimsical chair
fashioned out of
a desk
a reading light.

what of it all?

be the medium.

*Image courtesy of  342/365:Books  by  Magic Madzik  ( CC BY 2.0 )