THEORY OF A UNIVERSE I KNOW

Here comes an infant
who depends to grow up and be fed.
Here comes a bird
who depends on the weather, to emigrate.

Here comes the weather;
Like that of the rain
depending on the season of winds to move in a certain direction, for them to change.

Like that of the sun who depends for the moon to fall asleep.
Like that of fauna
depending on trees for shelter to survive, make home and canvass for it’s prey.

You see,
it is in the very nature of things
indebtedness comes along.
Tired, tethered are we
to people, places and surroundings around.

It is no wonder,
that even,
as we take life and part alone in our sojourn.
We chose to lead a life
owing to the nature of our debt,
acting in consonance with
relations made and found.

We come to partake roles,
divulge in remnants
of those who birth or part
before even, coming to treasure life as it remains.

– Shweta Kher

POETRY NEVER LIES

I break into writing
scribbling on pieces of paper
in the dawn of this mad hour
with an ache, carrying in my heart
to plague itself with feelings,
I thought I’d never consider.

Scribbling into this parchment recklessly
my ink is soaked with words,
that are heavy in loss of many letters;
they seem to be travelling
beyond thoughts, once,
taped, sealed and measured.

Trapped inside,
plunging myself
into feelings now discovered.
I’ve come in terms of my devotion;
in terms of sentiments that belong to me,
but were unaccounted for, impenetrable, from eons afore.

Drawn into a string of words
with a tinge of musical sound
mellow and raw in its truthful-ness;
exposing me to emotions tamed,
infused with amass of poetry
in love,in anger, in hurt—
they lash, bearing a cacophony of words
that are silent, rested within,
as, I begin to end my sentences—
in a period; they close,
with a pause retired,
resuming to break into
words never uttered.

– Shweta Kher

THE SUMMER LOVED

The trees are moving,
as, the winds sway,
they flitter with a raspy voice in season,
in shades of a jade green—naked to an eye,
baked in roasted colors of yellow-brown,
bronze by the end of a Spring, forlorn.

Whispers of exultation,
spreading solace, are found
in frozen ice cubes immersed
in a cold water glass,
to quench lips parched,
as dry and frail—like the summertime warm sky above; waiting for a drizzle all along.

The sultry afternoon is warmer than bright,
waltzing in different shades of bluish-white with the blinding sun, causing,
drapes of curtained windows down;
secured with shaded trees
to call shelter from the blaze,
inducing sleep; a lackadaisical noon.

The flowers flutter in the light winds caused,
the rays of sunshine, on them fall,
in petals that rise, in colors known differently
balmy as though, sprightly in veneer
with coconut trees, still standing upright;
that sprout the tastiest coconut water
with its meat all-over, dripping on fingers,
to be relished in a scorching heat of a summer.

The cooked rice, is eaten with curd,
cool for the stomach, for heat to curb
and, the cold watermelon
being sliced to halves,
is heard crisp on the edge of a knife;
to formelt the beads of sweat that roll,
which soak in the finest cotton linen worn.

The mangoes freshly skinned are diced,
arranged decoratively,
on vanilla ice cream slabs
in more than two scoops
of a spoonful—
with crystals of ice that form beneath
they, too, are being wolfed down hurriedly;
in little joys of a summer known.

The grapes half eaten, kept on a tea table,
with, tea now little consumed,
filing them with glasses of freshly flavoured juice; they are being chugged in tall mugs,
squeezed from the sourest fruits
prepared with cold milk, sugar and love;
they are little joys of a summer known.

– Shweta Kher

THE SAD DEMISE OF LETTERS

Which were once found,
to be tucked in a breast pocket
or deftly folded underneath
the pages of a book unread
or secured under a flower vase
placed by the corner of a table;
are now being saved in
a drafts folder to be sent.

Which were once preserved,
in a special place for them
to be served, often,
in remembrance of a person held dear;
in regrets, in love—they were sodden
in declarations, in apologies, affirmed;
stacked,
in the event of being left unopened,
after receipt from a mailbox or the person who hand-delivered.

With alphabets formed,
in cursive loops neatly trimmed;
wherein the finality to determine
the intention of the writer stays,
in pages folded in squares
with lines left by the
reader absent-mindedly,
after being opened,
read and further unread.

Where transmission is quicker
than a handwritten note or a letter,
has caused the wait,
anticipation to no longer suffer;
even, the excitement of receiving
a letter no longer occurs;
it has abated,
in the age of
messages and e-mails.

Where with a click,
a message now sent
is instantly delivered,
and, so, is the desire to
wait, write or reply;
has left us to part,
leading to their sad demise
that once came in a box
or a pile of treasured notes and letters,
which evinced longing, hope or a desire.

– Shweta Kher

THE LIVING

Sometimes my heart feels so heavy,
like the steel weighing upon me
I feel wearied to live such days
Sometimes my heart feels so alive,
with the beauty I’m surrounded by
I feel happy to live such days
Sometimes my heart feels banal
to the purpose of existence
I feel fultile to live such days

To all such times—
I feel happy, anxious about living
I’ve realised life is coming of moments,
we wish to encounter and have encountered with
making us the center of everything that happens in a universe so large enough
in little parts that we play;
We habour, reside midst emotions,
emotions we confront, delude and chase.

– Shweta Kher

BY MANY TOLD WOMEN

I wait in search of you
I wait to fall in folds
of this idea named “love”

They say,
I’d feel the nature rising
where I’d find it beyond ravishing
which would take me in an embrace
of a kind hearted man with traits of an “ideal one”

They say,
he’d woo me against all odds
in japes of a humor of my taste
And, so,
I’d snigger and fall in peels of laughter;
one which, I would hardly be able to contain

Witty, o’ wise,
thus, my search begins
Now that I hear so much about love
I wait in places that look promising,
where you find to comfort me
making them toes and fingers curl

My heart sounding silly and beyond reason
And, with your warm smile;
in depts of despair,
you recover me—coming tither
in the most unasked graceful way

Ah,
What do I say!
You play in every figment of my mind
in tales I find to create,
passing off the loveliest remarks;
in search of validation
I please to participate

How lovely are you I think?
Like the red roses,
appealing to my eye, you are
carrying a redolence
I wish for you to stay in a frolic “forever”
summoning you in my arms wrapped tightly,
around days that behold to be my best

You come like a box of assortments I wonder,
in every surprise to mine,
shaped in all its “delightfulness”
And, let’s not forget the euphoric moment
I have on our first encounter;
We have,
the loveliest conversation of minds
where you and I are drawn in a heart shaped fantasy,
making a silhouette by the dusk that falls on an eventide

My thoughts are midway interjected
just when you have escaped
into the sunset sky,
in horizons of an imagery I’ve touched
I am sadly interrupted, by a query on my mind
to resume to the start of this very tale,
one I’d missed to say, that is,
the tale of a man I’ve never met.

– Shweta Kher

ASLEEP, THE WORLD & ITS PEOPLE

(Pictures taken in the start of this lockdown, which also made me pen down lines on this pandemic. Stay well and we’ll, y’all)

The streets are vacant,
in sheer silence; they are still
captured by people in their homes—
playing, resting, reading
baking, cooking or cleaning,
making art and reliving
all things; they rarely did before.

The streets are secluded,
longer and wider,
brushed with trees,
painted with flowers
that are blooming,
with life in the
city coming to a stand-still,
in the mid summer of March
and the beginning of April’s heat.

With pin-drop silence,
to an infant who is put to sleep
nestling in the arms of a mother,
feeling the wrap of her newborn—
the nature is being nursed,
over a lullaby sung,
breathing the fresh air into its lungs,
of trees that are shaded
in different colors of green.

The streets are in bed,
the nature is awoke,
with sounds of the birds,
with the branches of trees
having leaves fuller than ever,
with gust of the wind never failing to blow,
reminding of the air we need to breathe;
the sound of the waves
crashing towards its shores
in oceans, rivers that are flowing in abundance,
reminding us, how scarcely we need,
for them to consumed in bare minimum.

With the mud brewing
it’s freshly ground smell,
are the people making tea,
filtered coffee in their homes,
to sit in the middle of a table with a family of four; a routine they could never follow before.
With the markets silenced in the evening that are usually abuzz
with people bargaining,
are people, now preparing home-cooked meals,
to talk at a dinner table that was left unoccupied, not long ago.

While, some are finding solace in this peace,
there are others who are driven to feel locked away; quarantined,
While, some are peeling off the skins of the fruits and vegetables they can rapaciously eat,
there are others, who are finding ways to meet ends; to consume basic needs,

While, some are resting in their homes,
there are others, who are working incessantly towards its recovery and to sustain needs of the society;
Yet, amongst all other things—
the world is presumed to be on a hiatus

The outbreak continues, waiting wordlessly,
dwelling and being swept in earth’s glory
while the world, its people are asleep,
wresting with thoughts alone—in a future that is now unknown and bleak; it has shaken every mankind to reflect on this desolation
while, it continues to struggle
to break in fragments of
a prayed uncertain full recovery.

– Shweta Kher

DEAR YOU

Dear you,
even though you left
I am writing this to let you know
that I’m no longer in anguish and pain
as I, have forgiven you
as I, have withheld myself
from fighting back the grief,
I once held.

Remember love?
of the time, we walked
hand-in-hand by a fully grown tree
with no apprehension of a future
we were to succumb;
as, our innocence played coy
with no grave understanding
of what is yet to come;
until the day you left permanently
to make me learn of an absence,
I’ve always known and felt.

That day you left,
your fragrance remained
in the scent of belongings
we held together,
which occurred to me;
I’ve lived in someone else
longer than I ever understood;
I’ve grown painfully,
into the limbs of someone else
longer than I could
ever detach away from.

On the day you left,
I, unknowingly sung a song,
the one you often sang,
in a tune; later did I realise
as it dawned on me,
that I was singing in a falsetto;
when it had no high note
all along; which occurred to me,
how attuned I was—
in sync with your voice,
your bodily movements,
the motions of your slow steady breath,
failing to ever recognise,
we were two distinct bodies in one.

In case you ever wonder,
if I miss you;
I’d tell you,
your memory does unfurl
in the grey areas of my brain,
when my mind rummages
through the pictures I keep of you,
hidden in an old wallet you gifted once;
I refuse to look for this wallet—
just like the edges of your pictures
that have yellowed in corners and
are refusing to uncurl.

In case you’re still wondering,
if I cry thinking about you,
then you’d remember of the time
I told you how it was easier
to write about heartbreak than love;
but I’d rather tell you otherwise,
how long I waited to forge this memory
into a bitter-sweet one
where, it no longer remained
sour, acrid on the taste of my tongue.

At the end of this note,
I want to remind you
that I’m no longer angry
fear not,
I do not remember you bitterly;
instead,
I choose to remember in you this way—
as the fragrance, that remained
on the last day you left
as the song, I sang in a falsetto,
the tune in which
it wasn’t supposed to be sung,
as the bokeh, distant and beautiful,
unreachable, within my grasp,
as the arms, I swirled in lovingly,
in the drive last had;
because of what you taught me,
how much one could limitlessly,
grow, change and evolve.

– Shweta Kher

WOMAN OF MANY WORDS AND DREAMS

Putting on her yellow-est sari,

black round cut sleeves of her blouse

matching the wide shaped color of her bindi,

that centers her forehead

to align thoughts of world less known to women

she tries to fit in;

in pursuits of a world less achieved

“To empower and enlighten”

roughly tidying the brown lipstick shade,

over the outline of her lips that voice out the strongest condemnation

crinkling her nose at the saltiest remarks made,

she, is,

a woman of many words and dreams.

– Shweta Kher