I read some lines you had written somewhere(I shouldn’t have)
and somewhere in the misplaced lines
a continent of pain drowns in islands of sorrow
you become a boy of borrowed mishappenings
a door ajar, airborne towards a non existent light,
in between life, your self created turmoil, your will as transparent as your vice
I think of you thinking of yourself as Lyon, circumnavigating hellfire
and flashing streaks of momentary genius
in hard fried microwaved eggs
one after the other,
you hold bowls of sunny sides up, send me photographs of video games
you play, holding night in the devil’s workshop.
I sit, miles away enveloped in groping darkness
and, I wonder, how much madness is too much madness,
if my sadness oscillates between your mood swings
what is it to have freedom and to be free
in moments when I am thinking of you and perhaps, you are thinking of me.
Your ordinariness is not light
it's not the luminosity of Christ
it’s the tale of a forgotten child-
a child you wish to forget, but it does not leave you behind
You wrote the idiot made you cry (I shouldn’t have read that)
in that one line you opened almanacs of your grief
pain stained windows, filled with shades of gray and blue,
open and shut in the monsoon rain with a sound only the broken make
“And all of this, all this life abroad, and this Europe of yours is a fantasy…”
I feel the words sear through my heart
and as my fragile nerves make meaning of your heartbreaks
I find you clutching Myshkin in a tight embrace.
© Jaspreet Mann
After so many months
Today I read Nazim Hikmet,
After so many months of waiting, believing, wandering, retreating
I looked with astonishment at the
words that jumped from the Prague- Berlin train
looking at me in the eye
and making a point in their unique way
that they were here to stay.
How are you?
So, I meet strangers in the street
they look at me and I look at them
a 'how are you?' lurking in our eyes
we want to say the same things
the commonality of disaster
envelops our fragile beings
it rains, it stops, it rains again
we move behind closed doors
our hearts navigating secret stories
we live like strangers finding meaning
in the destiny of uncertainty
the cold clock looks on, unimpressed
its arms stretched forever into eternity
the longer I stand, the smaller I get
fading into oblivious indignity
and like some old song that comes to mind
I ask myself 'how are you?'
the silence is deafening
How am I? How should I be?
I am not sure if I have
ever been able to answer that question
© Jaspreet Mann, How are you? (2020)
Under the Jamun Tree
Meanwhile on Earth
Never before have I felt this kind of temporariness and uncertainty transcend my existence. This poem, that I wrote long ago came to my mind during this time.
*click on the pic to hear the poem.
While we Live
Today practice what you preach. Don't talk about the boredom of work from home. Don't talk about your difficulties. Think about people who are nudged into margins and documented in statistics. Pay your maid. Pay all those people who worked for you. Pay them now because a few rupees will save a life, a family. When you voice all those challenges about working from home, remember those people who don't have a voice!
What's your fireground?
Yes, that's how you look
you look at clouds and not see the rain
you look at life and not see the pain.