TWI Poetry: On Ageing

LOVERS’ ATLAS

You ask more of me my friend 

Almost lover

More of my body but a lot

Less of my weary heart

Beaten heart

Heart sucked dry of hope

What do I have to give you

Save a map of shrivelled scars

Sprawled haywire across

The breadth of my ageing body

Not beautiful and young

Like yours

Some of these marked rivers

Inked on me 

Were deliberate

Almost clinical 

And some inflicted by madness

Yet others by the bearing 

And losing of children and men

There is no tightened youthful

 Flesh here for you to savour

And feed on 

To bury your passion in

There is only a faint echo

Of what was and

What could have been

Reema Ahmad 


NOT A SMOOTH SAILING

No smooth transition from blooming youth

led her to the path mature

Lessons of life guilelessly learnt

taught her not to quietly endure.

Nocuous, noxious, horrendous acts

By people known and unknown

Tore and ripped her of herself

Tracking in time her lost soul.

Keepin on the taken path

She sighed on turning gracefully old!

All life spent in adjusting the sails

and tides kept hitting the docks cold.

Where in the world would she had gone

To put her life in a better mould?

Dr. Amna Shamim 


AGEING AND MEMORIES

Memories are songs kept in jukebox,

Drop a coin and one by one they turn up

Walking down that road lined by trees,

‘ you are so romantic!’ 

Once gushed my best friend,

It had been another day,

Another year of our lives,

We wore skirts with floral prints,

On our shoulders with carried grains of hope

And our hands had not then imprints of age,

Soft was our skin, lustre had our eyes,

Then came the separation 

As walls we built, strong walls,


The writings were there too, 

Strangely enough,

Writings on the wall,

Slogans and cartoons,

Many years later

Found we both wanted trees to be planted

On our each side of hearts,

Leaning to each.

Moinak Dutta 


SETTING SUN

Waves marched back and forth

Awaiting a signal from the sun 

As the setting sun blew a tranquil conch, 

The waves raged a war against the shore.

Bloodshed spread across the sky, 

The horizon bled crimson first, 

Then a range of orange, 

A pinky-purple of aging wounds, 

Finally faded away with a dull of grey-blue pale.


As she witnessed this battle, 

Her thoughts too drew courage

And raged a war against silence.


As the setting sun blew a tranquil conch, 

Her body raged a war against her life.

Weakness spread across her veins,

She bled no more as before. 

The first flush of crimson, 

Made her a woman from a girl. 

She was sent to her husband’s home.


Not a little girl anymore, 

She began to venture out upon the tides, 

She got high and low at the ebb and flow,

She dance to the rhythm of the waves. 

Her husband and she lived mostly at the sea, 

Fishing-tribes of Daman had barely another option. 

Water took away food, friends and family, 

Sometimes, even home, hurt and heaven

But, water is life, afterall. 

Water even took away her husband, untimely. 

Sea fish at the sea, 

Solicited the catch at street markets, 

Ate lonely and slept without cuddling. She was a strong woman 

And always wanted to be.

When her husband told her to stay at shore 

And not venture upon the waves 

during THOSE days, 

She rebelled and yelled,

” I am more of a woman now 

And I’d better be at the sea 

Then to let dark clouds gather me at the shore 

And make me sore. 

I’ll come along then sit here worrying about your safety, you, and me.”

Now, 

THOSE days have disappeared, 

But the sea is rough without any peers

And all by herself, 

She dare not venture upon the waves anymore.

As the setting sun blew a tranquil conch, 

Her body raged a war against her life.

Weakness spread across her veins,

She bled no more as before.

She was a strong woman 

And always wanted to be

And she had been one

Lest, the setting sun.

Wisdom Whisperer 

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