Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A Neighbour's Grief

we gather like wolves at dawn,
clad and clawed;
grief rises early.
we hunt in the clouds
for lofty words,
hungry for meaning --
like starved vultures
pecking at a festering corpse,
constructing careful combinations,
rummaging our vocabularies,
pilfering phrases from books,
composing eloquent speeches,
seeking the aristocratic elegance
of that balanced sentence --
i'm so sorry ...
bad way to go ...
my condolences ...
fate --
whose polished weight would appear
neither hospital-maudlin
nor fossil-dry.

we hug, pat and

shake grave hands,
doused in a post-lunch psychedelia
of soberness and sorrow;
when tears spill,
we let them bounce
on our generous,
laundried, silk shoulders.
we speak whispers,
tracking conversations,
noting down a phrase or two
for next time,
preening when others struggle
and stutter,
gloating over the skeletal awkwardness
of their gawky emotions,
keeping score --
Oh! She was over the top;
What was she going on about?
Why was he so cold?


mourning, we walk out,
backs hunched from the exhaustion
of everyday grief,
gathering our slippers
and umbrellas -- what if it rains?
in time to catch the 6 PM bus,
pondering take-away pizza and
the office meeting tomorrow.


Echo said...

pondering take-away pizza and
"the office meeting tomorrow"

Welcome back :)

~SuCh~ said...

would like to add something (although I may not be as eloquent as you)

"Pizzas , and meetings and umbrellas
Locking out plain old prudence
that we could be them, and they could be us,
if time and fate so shall will.
But neighbor shall always be the nighbor, and I shall always be me."

Now that last line was crappy, probably to tell you what crappy really is !(now dont tell me that 'crappy' is relative :) )

musafir said...


Thanks :) ... you keep welcoming me back and I keep disappearing!


:)) ... oh well, I guess all of us are judgmental and wicked {especially when nobody's looking :P}.

Kripa Shankar said...

hey good one da... liked it.
you made the last stanza intentionally small i guess.
ya.. very symbolic way to describe tiredness and end.

musafir said...

kripa shankar

Thank you ... I didn't know how it came out, so I just put it up to see what others thought about it.

The last stanza ... yeah, wanted a swift end but at the same time didn't want to leave out anything I wanted the poem to say. Guess it worked :)

If anything, this poem shows how rusty I've become. Need to write more.