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 last drive 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

LOVE IS LOVE

By reason of our innate person,

but, not for us to blame;

We come to love in this unique unconventional way

And, so, we love

without selfish reasons,

uncooked motives and good intentions

What carries in a name?

to be fairly merry and gay

over obsolete norms and confessions

unbound by hypocrisy,

we, love in fullest possible way

so take me as I am for what I preach to be

Unmasked I come,

in what is the real me.

– Shweta Kher

DESPAIR

In a forest that I’ve wandered long enough
to know the paths I’ve strayed in,
mapping lines of this drawn reality,
shedding them in remains
that flare up in flames of a fire
that wishes to be quelled
Do I find myself to (un)cover,
the truths we deny
the one we know,
but refuse to (un) hide

Insecurities,
some even, bigger
which we let them loose hanging by in threads of fear,
we spiral in a web of denial
falling in the circuitous essence of—
the places we emphatically try to fit in,
the people we choose to obsess over,
in an envy that places itself convincingly,
betwixt the pages
stitched with our fears, consternation
looming over ambitions
we make, we dream

Dwelling on the inside,
it becomes our homestead—
to breed issues that are
so deeply rooted, self involved,
making us the residents of
a dense forest we’ve been wandering
without knowing for so long

Glued to our (un)healthy attachments,
the sentiments we try to deflect from;
they seep in as long as we can remember;
they stain our paths,
where we become the refugees,
seeking for shelter in our very own skin
until our bones deteriorate,
until they give up to function at all—
of a seemingly ageless body
the one we believe to breathe in,
in attachments of a dotage we have been caged in;
lastly finding them in our bygones,
the past we’ve caved in
while wandering in this forest, the one we’ve been strangled along for far too long

Perhaps,
nobody can recognise themselves anymore;
only to find they were never this broken,
trapped in their chests and bodies,
are they, weighed heavy by the fibs once told
in sizes of their hands,
which are unable to sense belief they once laid in,
finding themselves lost in a night of a dense forest that sleeps deeply,
they are unhinged—
in wake of the places they try to fit in,
in wake of the people they choose to love,
in clutches of despair,
they’ve named and known almost forever,
in search of—trying to (un)leash something,
once known to be forgotten.

– Shweta Kher

SOMEONE ELSE (05-09-2019)

We clothe in appearances
while wearing the skin of someone
dressing, draping the best of what can be seen,
assembling to arrange a semblance
of an outward best and free

Parading over remonstrations,
for this heart is shallow, vain
it tunes to fiddle over naysayers
to complain over reasons
not carved in our niche
We cry over pain caused by someone,
choosing to wallow over wounds engraved—for expectations that hail,
reside and crawl in someone else

Take a minute, will you?
Stop and take a deep clear breath.
Inhale the goodness around you,
feel the naked air touch the pores of your flawed imperfect self,
draw away the disapproval of others,
While, most of us are occupied,
trying to connect and pry
While, most of us bury, hide
in chests and drawers—that we prefer to shut ourselves in,
only to preserve and save shedding
a little of ourself to someone other than our own.

– Shweta Kher

STRINGS OF A GROWN HEART

I met a man
who I poured all my heart to
with no desire to be loved back
And, in my all selfless-ness did I love
only to be scarred in broken ends
those ends which would never mend
Time healed, of course
only to make me learn
never to loose yourself,
when you love someone else.

I met a man
who I loved a little less
with every desire to be loved
in all my selfish-ness, did I love
only to loose him in regrets
regrets which I would never forget
Time healed, of course
only to make me learn
Never to be afraid while loving someone
for each time love happens,
You, bend, break and mend.

I met a man,
who I never loved at all
but which, felt a lot closer to love
with no desire to love or be loved this time
And, so did I,
stumble upon certain feelings,
feelings made up of various affections
that confounded this poor heart
Only to make me learn,
to love someone, isn’t the same as loving the idea of having to love and be loved.

Every time,
I’ve met a man
who I’ve loved or not loved
I’ve come in touch with a great deal of feelings,
feelings which, I am unaware of,
only to learn that,
love is made up of incoherent ideas,
ideas which are:
maddening, heart wrenching, beautiful, which fill one’s heart in all warmness—
like that of a light breeze
filtering in
through a door slightly ajar,
sunshine which flutters
from the gloomiest piece of a broken cloud,
And, which sweeps over
a wave of agony, hope
while, uncertainty grips fate,
Only to make one learn,
each time, love happens,
A broken heart, is part of the lovely affair to its end.

– Shweta Kher

FINDING SELF

We find ourselves
hidden in traces of poetry
In the sentences that break into
rhyme schemes—
alphabets, letters, similes, antonyms, and the like
assembling an array of emotions
which we often conceal otherwise

We find ourselves
in storybooks, songs, letters
which we secretly write to a lover
dreaming of an astral paradise;
As we float beyond space and terrain
claiming affections we boldy accept beyond reasons

We find ourselves
amidst changing seasons
As we warm ourselves from the winters of a severe unforgiving cold;
In blankets that are wrapped and rolled
To cushion our bones,
for them not to crumble or fall

We find ourselves
in accepting discomforts that lie
letting go of fetters which are shackled in chains;
lamenting over suffers that exist in reality and pain
That slide, pour, slither
As we recuperate from the delgue of even the harshest monsoon rain

We find ourselves enclosed in covers;
hiding appearances of who we really are,
to save us from the prickling heat of a summer
As we change to acclimate,
to every surrounding that is made
We blend in most seasons
To camouflage in nature’s weather
Be it sumner, winter or rain

We find ourselves in pictures;
that we draw, paint , rummage
through shades found in squares of a colored palette;
To assembling vivid memories in frames
for us to remember, reside by
We stroke, spew and brush paints
on a bare white canvas;
Resembling those of our inhibitions that weave our vulnerable soul
In this man-made madly world,
We find ourselves,
wanting to feel anything,
something which, we can barely explain.

– Shwetak Kher

HAPPY HOUR

Walk me through
a boulevard of unbroken dreams,
cradle me in thoughts of hope
Unravel me to unencumber,
courage that I must unfold

But
Let me now;
live through this happy moment
that my mind converges to fixate upon;

The salty water gushes at my feet
and, so, I peer to see
reflections of happy moments that gather—
in depths, hollows
they come to meet

Heading towards the mountains
that echo my wraith,
I hear my name being called,
to beckon me and fondly embrace dreams I’ve dared;
in nature’s whispers they halt,

My eyes fall upon on a marigold flower
it awakens an optimism that never tears;
in yellowish-golden streams
threadlike bare,
to rejuvenate my mind
I collapse into this happy hour

In grasslands, meadows
uncovered with trials
Do I find myself
loitering, lingering over hours that stray

In stillness,
they engulf my mind
to encounter with this momentarily headed happy hour
an hour, I’ve willfully embraced

A clipped happy moment this is:
I now feel the grass stubble tickle my back,
In serenity, I lay,
playing to the rhythmic beat of the winds,
my mind tapes to plug its singing ears
over a mixed record of joyful feelings

I sweetly savour
my body, my skin
Consuming me as a whole
I negate from afflictions
and ablution my vulnerabilities; surrending to this happy hour

Reeling in—
to make this be
a happy moment of mine
I cling onto the minutes I’ve encountered,
Bottled in this happy hour
I churn in a whirlwind of days I treasure

And, so I stay,
Just for a little longer
as I slowly, unwillingly depart
with every minute
from this finite happy moment of mine.

– Shweta Kher

PAPER TRAILS

We find words
to embark upon love, affinity,
to familiarize ourselves over grief, empathy
A pair of eyes see and a heart that resounds
feelings felt;emotions abound

Must you use them words to sing songs
To listen; whilst we wail our hearts’ to cries
tearing us from infatuation, indignation
Must you use them words to take pleasures, the delightful things you wish to see
To hark; whilst our joys emanate
laughs and chuckles

Amusing to be, astonishingly
like the paper trails of journeys left behind
Found in our footprints,
embossed on terrain—weighed by the soles of the walks we lead

Words— spoken, soft, written, aloud
(gestures even)
Strangely making their ways to communicate Succinct in their voices, enough,
to interpret even the feeble noises made: Of a gallery or a crowd
even those remote to the indistinct chatter
Will and must you use them words?
Describing all that it takes

Hidden in their plain sight
they, connect on a given meaning;
a certain amalgamation of our prescribed feelings;
Exposing devices of our heart and mind
tied by one’s own sentiments in clear,
do they find ways oddly enough
to frown, jeer and cheer

To dance to a paramour’s serenade,
cry over a ballad of heart-broken tales
To revolt, reprimand, reverberate,
leading a cacaphony of sounds made

To contemplations of life, love, wisdom
imparting to cherish and wish them well
In verbatim; written, spoken they dwell
All expressing in words,
for them to be desired
for them to be conveyed

Jillion from varied parts of a region,
forming dialects, discourses even
No scarcity will you find!
Rather cultivated in our roots,
in cultures that we sow—
finding them in corners and pockets of our world
all in unique different ways
In phrases, syllables;
comprised of their components
Distinguishing characters,
analoguous to their intentions
Stitched, sewn, solidifying identities
In amass, do they wealth to accumulate
to contain, confine similar meanings.

– Shweta Kher

INVISIBLE INK

I drizzle in my ink to write you
words that are vying for sentences; they go awry
The rain stops and beckons me
for a splash and little play
I go outside leaving the ink behind
The felt-tipped ink becomes dry
leaving cracks to my blue blooded pen
In paper they leave a swirl of amorphous clumps;
I peer to look what’s written inside
only to find us intertwined,
appearing in pages of smeared ink.

– Shweta Kher