Growing older

When I can’t comprehend
the reasons you give for slashing our skins,
dividing it into squares
and allocating each piece to a pigeonhole,
the artist here,
the funnyman there,
the sportsman here,
away from the box housing the intellectual,
we are told,
“you can’t be all that you want to be.”

It sounds like a lie when you are younger.
As you grow older though,
the mountain of lethargy piles up
adding its weight to what they said
and we concur,
“you can’t be all that you want to be.”
Then in a calm silence,
“You can be a part of all that you want to be.”

NaPoWriMo 2017, poem 22


Dear motorist

Dear motorist who
drove past me, almost scraping my skin.
Do you see the road as a plain sheet
devoid of traffic?

Does a cyclist seem to you a
dot you can shrink further into nothing?
Do you think you cause no
damage when you force me off the road or
drown me with your honking?

Drugged on impatience, you
drive like a maniac, forcing us to
dodge around you.

Deaf, I am not, but soon may be, if you
don’t stop blaring that horn.

The purpose of goodness

You must be good,
say your prayers daily,
ensure your bowl leaks just enough to nourish those in need,
follow the tenets,
and brand them into your skin,
ensure the beads keep moving through your fingers.

If you do this,
an appetizing afterlife awaits.
Saint Peter will usher you in through the gate of Paradise
and lead you to your throne in the midst of the gods,
between the fathers and the sons.
Or if you were told differently on earth,
seventy-two virgins will ravage you.
You will get to choose who goes first.
Of course, if you’re a woman,
they won’t know how you will be rewarded.

Be diligent,
ensure you follow the script.
If you aren’t up to the mark with your virtues,
the afterlife could be cloudy.
You might oscillate forever in limbo
or keep sinking in a bottomless hell,
or just get reborn and get dumped back on earth.

Or if you are fifty-fifty on vice and virtue,
they’ll send you to purgatory,
the no man’s land between heaven and hell.
Maybe, heaven has too many people,
so purgatory’s the waiting room.

And if in this life,
you see the virtuous suffer,
and the evil prosper,
make no mistake,
it is because they had some good karma
in a previous life.
It all adds up to the next afterlife.

So be good,
keep your shoes spotless,
be the best saint you can be.

All this for that coveted afterlife.

Hang on,
what if I told you they – the gods
lied about the afterlife?
What if the gods were a lie?

NaPoWriMo 2017, poem 20

The man who shrank the earth

Prompt: Write from the point of view of a person who changed the course of history.

You might know me
and my friend Larry.
If you don’t,
you can just google, haha.
Who knew a research project would take us this far?
We connect bits of information scattered over the earth,
Melt it in one large crucible,
And fuse it, make it accessible
to everyone at a click or a touch.

Don’t be evil, that’s our motto,
the Chinese though, treat us with a mountain of caution.
We don’t need your checkin.
We’ll still track your location
when you are at places you don’t want to be seen.
Your neighbour might not catch you,
but we will, trust me.

We know what you’re looking up the internet for,
yesterday it was ‘How to get over my ex’,
today you keyed in ‘How should I sext?’
Easy man, I was only kidding,
that’s not what you looked for, I know.
We don’t mess with your privacy, bro.
If you still have doubts, use incognito.

My vision goes beyond Search.
Soon we’ll produce energy that won’t drain the earth
and self driven cars and tourists in space, we’ll foresee what you’ll need in the next decade.
Our bots will learn from your data,
The AI will train you late-ah.

Again, your history’s safe, you can be certain,
Wait, you want to know what goes on behind the curtain?

Okay bye.

Written all in jest from the pov of Sergey Brin. Of course, you guessed that, didn’t you? 😉

NaPoWriMo 2017, poem 19

How to be an internet intellectual

Embrace an ism.
Any ism.
Okay that last one’s almost dead. All the more likely you will stand out.
Stick to this ism
like it’s an extension of your skin,
like you would not exist had this newly discovered creed of yours hadn’t existed.

Voice your opinion.
Proclaim it,
our country gives you the freedom of speech.
It is what gives you a forked tongue
so do not put a leash on it.
If however,
someone questions your line of thought
or produces a pile of contradicting data,
hurl buckets of titles at them.
If it’s a woman who questions patriarchy,
call her randi, bitch, whore.
If it’s a man who questions feminism,
call him an asshole or a chauvinist.
Say you are ashamed of him because he does not agree with you.
If he rejects your model of nationalism,
send him to Pakistan.
If it’s technically possible send him to Mars.
Knock them off their train with your vitriol.
Again, it’s freedom of speech.

Voice your opinions frequently.
Does not have to be something different.
You can repeat the same argument for weeks or months.
If you don’t, you might run the risk of being forgotten.

Use words that will have people reaching for the dictionary.
Deliberately bamboozle befuddled souls with obfuscated words.
Simplicity and clarity is for the naïve.
Sophistication will paint a halo around your head.
If you’re a writer, write because you want to change the world.
Anything less will not cut it;
If you’re funny, don’t let it seep through.
Limit that to the coffee table with your friends.

Note. You may not enjoy all this.
Who said being an intellectual was easy?

NaPoWriMo 2017, Poem 18


How many things can you call dirty?

Is dirty
the quivering of bodies when they make love
without the consent
of the hundreds whose homes
are as warm as a bucket of ice cubes?

Is dirty
the act of seeking love on your own terms?
Is dirty
the act of avoiding a four-legged prison
with a social signature on it?

Is dirty
the skin whose shade you can’t find in your palette?
Is dirty
a tongue that can’t stich together words in your language,
a tongue whose sounds seem to bounce like stones in your ears?

Am I dirty
Because of my blasphemy?
Does my indifference to your gods,
both at your altar and in your elected chair,
trigger a storm in your lungs?

When did we devise this way of sorting people?
Hanging them to dry on tightropes between our extreme binaries:
Clean, dirty.
Right, wrong.
Pure, corrupt.

NaPoWriMo 2017, Poem 16