STONE AGE

I did not speak

Tongue was motherless

Words were not in use

They were not given nor taken

Feelings were not classified

Nor advertised .

Sparks were meant to cook

To scare the wild on their prowl

They did not glare like the radium

Numbers of a new alarm clock

Skin of the dead tame beasts

Camels , deer or sheep for warmth

Nudity was neither a shame

Nor an invitation

Just an attitude

Paper was not money

Nor a love letter

It did not exist

Charcoals were not burning

The cave would not open

Memory was not lost , I was…..

It was all a fog

Stones did not speak at that age…….

 

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Highway Hypnosis

I thought it was highway hypnosis , the way he answered every song that I hummed with another  in the car drive . He converted a musical monologue in to a dialogue. I was humming songs to forget death . He was reminding me to live , they were love songs. Why did I start singing lullabies ? Did I know he had not slept in years ? Or was I missing my mother , who got jealous when father listened to me ? He stopped the car at a motel , drank as his family felt disrepute and innocently small. He looked at all the wrong places and it was enlightening to know he did not judge lust . But he judged virtue to be a sham , he did not understand it…..we passed a temple of Lion man . I felt a flash of a struggle. He fought fathers. All his life , the reasonable , the unreasonable fathers in general  ….And all of a sudden I wanted my father like a little girl. I wanted to go home and  not to the green room.

CONFUSED BODY PARTS

What are hands ?

They are legs that stopped running

They are feet forgetting to kick or climb

They are feet sometimes

Tapping the cot in rhythm

They are hands with live skin

And absent  Achilles

They are clubs who grew flat

And arches curling inwards

Feet shrinking to the size

Of a heart

What are fingers ?

They are tongues with spine

And no saliva, but

They don’t speak in common

Dialect , they don’t use nails

They cling…..

Their rings stop tickles

They have become toes

Rigid , responding to gravity

To hold on , carry the burden

Of reluctance

What is mouth ?

A hole making noise

A well drowning prayers

To forbidden Gods

A flower with colored

petals , sucked again

By one male tongue.

A nose is a projection

of the face

Crushed to smell

Your scent

Neck is a hollow of a tree

Where some little bird

Nuzzles , softness of small

delicate feathers

Linger after the flight

Eyes are ponds with

pebbles

Don’t look up or down

Only with in they

are not shy

always serious

They are’nt oasis

They don’t spill

or waste saline

water or pearls

Stagnant waters

Have the soot of kajal

A remnant of the darkness

behind…….

To define a shape to

the wandering gaze

For you to know that

contours can be altered

They can write a butterfly

Script on your drumming chest

Head is just a chin

Swollen with injured pride

With tired wings called cheeks

They rarely fly

in to a smile

Below the neck all else

is more silent ,

They resist verbal translations

Not accessible to my tongue

Just soft warm ordinary body

parts of a woman

Nothing may surprise

Oh ….I can not comment on the response

Astrologers don’t predict

Transcendence nor selfishness

In such depth

Taking ?

Or giving ?

Eternal confusion of fusion

Imaginary confusion ……

 

 

Poetic Justice

I hurt you because

I did not heal

And I had the gall to see…..

I could not have  pressed  the

Benjamin button nor

go to the Year of the cat

turn back the time

And erase the Random Accessible Memory…

I could hug you over phone

you made that viral !

I  wrote a poem to let you recover

You used it as evidence  !

Sigh …or song none were spared……

All my strengths became vulnerabilities

I  felt no  lust for a man

For whom love was dispensable.

I frankly want to forget an affair

that never happened

Except in your head and

on my

white dry paper…..

I have served the sentence

For writing poetry.

PREY

Tonight I will sleep. I am tired of being asked “Did he do this?” Then, the same is done to me. He wants to undo the past. I want to disown my lips, hands, legs, thighs and all the body parts of a woman and get new untouched ones.  He came in; I heard the toilet flush… I heard him breathe next to me. He called my name, my eyes were shut. He tapped the cot with his toes. He sighed. He tossed. Finally I heard him sleep, regular breathing. This is probably how a prey holds her breath hiding in dishonest sleep.

IMPRESSIONS

you enter a room

I face the fact of your existence

Outside my head

All these years………..

In  pressed,

Clothes of your choice

Tied shoe laces

And in a space with

No reminders of me ………..

I protected my eyes

Deep inside their lids

Behind the crowd

Wind was free

Opening all those doors…….

You were so happy to be

Questioned…..

Though you had no answers

Except for one poem

That was  never yours

Tested Pearls

They were not born in a shell ‘

Water did not caress them to grow

Just the memory  of chastity in a drop

Translated mechanically by human hands

Mother of pearl would not adopt

Wet moon did not kiss the natural elements

With concentration

They did not go through public holy fires

Earth did not break up to hold their suspected

Innocence in her cleavage

Their sheen was a pretense

It could not weather the testing years

They could not balance the dreams

Pushing them to be heavily lower…

They were returned

Considered cheap …

Like the plucked fragrant

Unchaste basil leaves

Out of holy waters……..

Notes: Cultured pearls were first made in China in the 12th century BC by placing a bead in the mantle of an oyster baby mollusk aged 3 or 4 years then nacre is laid by the oyster for 3 years. The only difference is that the mother of pearl is secreted by artificial stimulation and laid in parallel layers and not concentric rings….Tested pearls usually carry less market value.

Basil or tulsi in Hinduism is a chaste wife who is cheated by the God Vishnu . Hence loses her chastity to him since he assumes the avtar of her husband. To atone his sin , Vishnu declares Tulsi to be his dearest flower though she is merely a leaf ….

Both these notes explain the imagery used in this poem that is highly culture specific.

 

 

Sleep On Needles

She was three years when they diagnosed her with acute leukemia. She did not understand all the words, she feared the pricks given countless times and drawing blood to see if cells stopped multiplying. Her eyes, black holes of dead stars, her head did not sense the absence of black curls  needed to pet …She slept  as though she fought death every night between piercing needles and cries…Then it all stopped. She was in remission! Finally  she could sleep I thought , till she brought me a needle and begged me to prick her …the pain made her sleep……or so she believed…..

Non Suicidal Self Harm

Those children who were abused either emotionally or physically or sexually in childhood , even once ( Being bullied , poked fun at ) have a strong sense of self hatred. They internalize anger and struggle to cope with hyper arousal or hypo arousal both in a social context and when alone . So, many of them either sleep through the day or stay awake for days. The numbness which follows abuse often leads to cutting self as a means of self affirmation . Such children , adolescents or young adults are highly shame prone…..

Typical belief of shame prone person is that they are viewed as inadequate in some way by the world. They try very hard to please the world and build a social image , yet they feel they have had so little impact on others that they “do not exist” or they are “invisible”

It closed up

When people touched it

It shuddered and shut up

Even for a rain drop.

It was by the road

Lest it crumple

I did not touch

I spoke

But it closed up….

I suffer since I understand

The flower of the touch -me not plant……..

When they do make an impact that can not be refuted , they think it was a mask that won and not their true self. Sometimes they think they have an undesired quality that caused abuse. Some believe they were abused because they were arrogant and become self negating. Others believe they were abused because they were ugly or fat and no one would believe that an abuser found them worthy of being a target , hence work at acquiring beauty. Many believe that their attractiveness caused it and work at becoming ugly. Rarely an intelligent victim is unable to reconcile to the stupidity of decisions that put them in a vulnerable spot or unable to forgive self for not seeing a trap and disown their intelligence and memory , the spine of intelligence. Many blame the freedom to choose that lead to foolish decision making , hence willingly cage them selves….or give up their freedom….or even surrender to a jailer , another abuser.

14% of childhood victims of abuse are vulnerable to re abuse due to these factors.

Whenever I tried to hide

I was lost

Since no one found me.

I thought no one could find me

So only learnt to hide

Behind walls …….

I saw another wall

May be you were also

hiding

Fearing lest you lose me

In finding me in ways that I disrespect

Like others before….

by traps or games

I tried to seek you….

Honestly breaking my walls

Losing my self

Crashing against your wall

I now,  know you are a wall.

Behind me , ruins of a wall

Against me another wall

I am lost

I am trapped…

I am lost hiding , I am equally lost seeking……

No wall is a door not even you……..

Body image disturbances have a tendency to recur when the person is under social scrutiny or criticism . It is a challenge to balance between the urge to disappear and the wish to make an impact. And also to realize that abuse is abusive irrespective of how it occured or by whoever and the only quality that attracts abuse is vulnerability . There fore the universal impact of abuse is numbness . An abused person may recognize that they are not guilty at all but still feel damaged or spoiled. 

Some of them play at being an anti hero , since they think they can never be heroes ever again. They enjoy being called an abuser , since it takes away the label of victim . This phenomenon is more common in men who were victims. They do externalize anger and often target vulnerable persons or fellow victims . They dissociate in to an abuser when they encounter a victim and this is portrayed in popular films to depict multiple personality disorder. Many victims dissociate in to victims when they are cornered by an abuser , though other wise they know to keep their boundaries and fight back. Mindfulness is a useful technique to prevent dissociation and also gathering social support against an abuser.