you breathe dancing gardenias sleeping in the curves
of my intimacy. your voice is a full stop in eternity
nothing more. nothing less. parapets of your geometry
my 'olympian laughter'. Nietzsche whispers. altars
wedding vows of spring. I look back; you are magic
the American God paraphrasing haiku in honey
inside my free verse fishnets; consummate madness
evidently incomplete poetry. I peer into your window
your couch. my typology. fragrance of your topology
a lamp smiles. I forge your signatures on my body
I write the names of your streets. I record every syllable
of your alchemy on my skin. I listen to your breathing
the sound of lilies soaked in epiphanies. vacuum. dust
maroon chenille rubbing against my lips. our mouths
synagogues, temples, searching for human Gods
wild fires, hearts unhinged, rooms without walls
ceilings with aurora lights, hungry beneath tongues
tasting delight. the American heart; an entire universe
stirring in my sleep. a poem is not enough to touch
the theatre of your fantasy. you are a soft feather
the dance of nine clouds. unscripted. innocent
the wishbone of Greek Gods. no light needed
you see everything. I peer into your diamond heartj
the gold of everything. your unbroken spirit within
pale meadows of my longing. this world is not enough
not the other. or the other. the scent of your baptismal
water purifies my sin. I can feel you. a poet's structural
necessity. your forgiving holds rivers. your hands hold
my bridges. the weight of your goodness fights my fighting
long shadows of bodies rising. twin flames. soulmates
a politically incorrect woman takes centre stage.
you indulge my insanity. you open your steel armor
clear blue skies melt inside the streams of your brown eyes
you open your heart. the world is a better place. immortal
eternal. cosmology. you are the sky. you are the ground
the world's music begins and ends with your heart beat.
© Jaspreet Mann. American Heart. All Rights Reserved.
Dawn in Srinagar, misty apple-scented air, time rolled into the endless stretches of a grieving Dal lake and I am the 'desi' with 'phoren' Zdenka walking along the lake as lovely things start to become visible in the sensual yawn of daylight stretching its arms to cover the mournful Zabarwan hills in the distance. We are fully available to the morning's extraordinary ceremony- the enticing rustle of golden Chinar leaves as they fall from the sky, the careful warble of fearful birds and the drunken stupor of exotic flowers- and then we see her. HER. Was it the sunlight or just the chaos of her subtle smile? Was it the shadow's shade or the golden inscription of a love line on her dainty palm? Was it her light covering my eyes with the smoke of a thousand cathedrals? I felt I was entering a room of the sun where sunflowers stretched their arms like pleading prayers. She was so beautiful, almost mythic as if the moon had lifted her off the earth and placed her on that dainty boat. One look into her eyes made me wish for another poem, another poem for the woman I saw blossoming in her, another poem that would make my heart sing, another poem that would bring me alive. The poem just stuck in my throat. Words would not do justice to her. She kept looking at me. I kept looking at her. Kashmir was bleeding in my heart. Kashmir was blazing in her eyes. We were walking on burning walkways. We wanted to smile but the smile froze in our eyes. All of a sudden words seemed so overrated! All of a sudden words were not enough! I just wanted to go down on my knees and cry. I wanted to hold her close to my heart and tell her that I was sorry. I was sorry that her world was bleeding to death. I was sorry that the air between us was so deathly cold. I wanted to tell her, "anyone who truly loves, always comes back. I will always love you. I will always come back."
© Jaspreet Mann. All Rights Reserved.
They introduce me at poetry readings
They call me a 'remarkable' woman of color-
as if that could define the ink of my poetry
as if the inner fire in me depended on their analogy
as if the center of my universe was a 'colored' cosmology
as if my sentences were to be read like a warning
as if my color would determine my poem's catastrophe.
I am a woman of color, I am glad to be,
my lines breathe the glory of the Arabian Sea,
I cradle my orphaned country,
The orient begins and ends with me.
I carry in my heart the scarlet shame of my sisters,
A hundred Indian sunsets dissolve in my spring,
My words are a psychedelic offering,
Kings and queens take sanctuary in my dreams,
Rainbows steal their color from my eyelids,
I become the horizon merging into your white skin,
But you wouldn't know a thing.
I am a woman of color. I am glad to be
Your reality is not my reality, you are not me,
I am the holiness of the Ganges. I am Himalaya's destiny.
© Jaspreet Mann. Woman of Color. All Rights Reserved.
My grief is the body of a battle's debris
It is the long stretch of remembrance,
It is the soft spell of heartbreaks,
In Flanders, in marshes, in poppy fields,
on a desolate hill, in a foreign territory.
It is the sound of church bells memorizing
Wedding choirs, baptisms, Marche funèbre.
Those mornings when the last breath of air
plants the sorrow of olive trees on my skin,
there is the sound of birds caught mid flight,
the flapping of their wings stuck somewhere
inside the dilemma of anger and empathy.
Those nights when the moon dreams in solaris,
rivers construct bridges between retina and pain,
they know the mind is bipolar, the heart is rain,
the wind chimes excavate music with disdain,
My grief is unpronounceable, life is fleeting,
Somewhere in the dirge, two souls are meeting.
© Jaspreet Mann. Unpronounceable. All Rights Reserved.
“This earth is His, to Him belong those vast and boundless skies; Both seas within Him rest, and yet in that small pool He lies.”
Love, peace and harmony have become rare commodities in a world that is hell bent on paving way for its own destruction. We hear them being mentioned in the gentle sound of soul-stirring songs and in the cacophony of religious fervor. The rising power of religion has systematically slit humanity’s throat. Meaningless robotic preaching of religious texts has ensured that in the name of a prayer, only words are heard. The human heart which is larger and bigger than any God has been sacrificed at the altar of religious fundamentalism. It is sad that the wars of the middle ages have not left any impression on mankind, as it clings more and more to religion, to gain absolute power. The very notion of a Holy War is an oxymoron. If something is holy and sacred there is no need for a war. No cause can be greater than the cause of humanity. All that religious preaching has given is a superficial gaudy gift wrapped with devastation and destruction. Love is the need of the hour. It has become an existentially imperative need of every human being. Religion in the present times does not seem to have any inclination to build a beautiful unified world based on equality and harmony. If incessant reading of religious texts cannot make people better human beings striving to attain spirituality and peace in their hearts, it is absolutely pointless. Instead of becoming a panacea for the troubled world, it is a tumor killing humanity slowly and gradually. If religious texts can only increase toxicity and kill the vital organs of humanity, there is no need for them. If religion cannot save our souls with love, compassion and empathy, it is not needed. A thousand holy books can be sacrificed for humanity but humanity can never be sacrificed for the glory of religion.
© Jaspreet Mann. Love is the need of the hour. All Rights Reserved.
"And when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it."
Poets, painters, philosophers, writers, travelers and almost everybody on the face of this planet has tried to understand love in their own way. Paulo Coelho talks about mysterious encounters, about lost souls finding each other after centuries. Most people would believe that this notion only exists in the hearts of dreamers. So be it. When dreamers and music makers talk about soul mates with reverence, they know that love has the power to create. It has the power to resurrect and rebuild because one is loved just because one is loved. The beauty of believers is reflected in their eyes when they pen verses from their heart or bring to light colors of love on the canvas of their life. They relate to the ancient Greek myth that all human beings were created with four legs, four arms and a head with two faces. They are intrigued by Zeus' unparalleled fear at the thought of them becoming all pervasive and powerful. They believe that Zeus was so intimidated by their power that he split them into two distinct separate male and female beings and ever since that day human beings have searched for their soul mate all their lives. One could read this as a metaphor for the quest for true love, but the search is real. It cannot be denied that many people have recognized their soul mate instantly in a flash and have had this unique experience of knowing each other since centuries. One can expect eye rolls from the cynics but definitely love exists and so does the fact that when love has the power to transcend you to the proverbial Fifth Mountain you have found your soul mate. When love makes you want to be a better person and there is no space for judgment or review, you have found your twin flame. When a relationship touches a life in such a manner that partners become mirrors of beauty and love, it is definitely a divine union of twin flames. And as Rumi would say, 'what you seek is seeking you.' This beautiful line holds in its arms the essence of love and the search for a soul mate. May something beautiful happen to you today, soul mates.
© Jaspreet Mann. One is loved because one is loved. All Rights Reserved.
I am annoyed with Frank,
I want to push his song off the cliff,
or better still muffle his refrain,
with a monstrous pillow
the size of a gigantic Pacific tide
no place to run, no place to hide.
Frank stop playing inside my head,
You have the power to rouse the dead.
I am annoyed with Frank,
he winks way better than Pal Joey,
he tips his hat, not willing to behave,
he laughs even better when unseen,
when he rolls his eyes in his grave,
and naughtily says come fly with me,
it is understood, he knows what I mean.
© Jaspreet Mann. He knows what I mean. All Rights Reserved.
I will wear a black lace dress-
in colors of digress, distress,
for my mourning,
The world will sing songs
cauterize rights and wrongs
I will not understand a thing.
© Jaspreet Mann.All Rights Reserved.
Nice to meet you,
You are a poet too!
I don't understand the world,
The world doesn't understand me,
That makes the two of us,
What a coincidence!
© Jaspreet Mann. All Rights Reserved.
One quarter of a blue moon capsizes in the midnight
a bird whimpers in the eerie silences of darkness
fireflies search for meaning in the flames of their cold light
black roses dissolve inside the heart of melting darkness
not a single complaint in the long spell of catastrophic sighs
Elijah abandons love at the foothill of the fifth mountain
the woman has nowhere to run, nowhere to hide
the world burns olive trees in the matchbox of lies
an unfinished song lingers on the broken violin's lips
melodies lose flight in the scarlet stream of loneliness
an empty room packs itself in the vacant box of the sky
so much love, so much love, so much love, so much love
struggling to breathe in the geography of a forlorn continent
the entire Northern Hemisphere plunges in absolute darkness
lovers walk on empty streets, greeting people they never meet
the sound of a speeding taxi, the heaviness of its leaving
the inconsolable sky cries beneath its gloomy tarpaulin
ghosts memorize the heartbreak of unfulfilled kisses
her anger is a hopeless static, his forgiving silence is stoic
her words are a color of shame, his love is continuous tense
they invent diagrams of dreams in the tenebrous incense
they sleep alone, they weep alone, in the cartography of their body
the psychology of a toxic world evaporates in their binary bonding
they leave only to arrive again in the commonplace of their longing.
© Jaspreet Mann. Continuous Tense. All Rights Reserved.