Because the ‘P’ in ‘Prude’ is Surreptitiously Silent

Dichotomizing the masses
Into Haves and Have-Nots
Misclassifies
Those who think out of the box

Bestowing polarized labels
That qualify all difference
Serves to consciously diminish
Both diversity and tolerance

Proscribing and prescribing
With sanctimony the sacrilege
Rattles no glass ceilings
But blinders the window ledge

Sermonizing and imposing
These truths on unknown polities
Translates into unintelligent
And offensive foreign policies

Pitiably unaware
In the headiness of pan-superiority
Immune to introspection
The mind languishes
Oblivious
To its own insecurities

– Akanksha Gupta

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Preception

Unbidden
The thoughts of yesterday
Threaten to drown me
And I’m reminded
There’s a fine line
Between careless and carefree

Those who
Throw caution to the winds
Yet come out smelling like roses
Know we’re accustomed
And inured
To our own play of ignorance

Those who
Mince words, measure thoughts
Yet are censured for every gesture,
Unknowingly let them out
In their voice, in their eyes
And in their posture

Justice is blind
But Judgment is deaf
And while Reason is neither
It sputters when
Truth is mute
And Instinct has taken over

– Akanksha Gupta

To Think

I really don’t know how to begin
(It’s hard to say where
the ‘how’ starts and the ‘where’ ends)
I really don’t where to begin

Despite popular opinion
Most tales have no head, no tail,
They do, of course, have a plot

But in a sea of
Bewildering circumstance
And ungainly afterthought,
The waves push it along

They too have no beginning, no end,
Just insurmountable strength,
So much so the plot oft’n mutates,
And sometimes, altogether, disintegrates

Perhaps, this is but a reflection,
Merely a victim of refraction,
But if I may, and if you will,
Just let your gaze
Glaze

And ride wave upon wave

– Akanksha Gupta

Fearless

The stars are in your eyes
The clouds under your feet
And at your fingertips
The skies seemingly breathe

Their breath tickles your face
With sprays of sand and salt
As the clouds disintegrate
And into the sea you fall

The sea’s swallowed the sun
And the tears of the night
Now the night is on the run
Here creeps in the morning light

Through the canopy of leaves
The netted sunbeams prance
They prick away the sleep
And fill awe in every glance

– Akanksha Gupta

Beautiful

The Night is mine;
Its tranquil undergrowth
Its eerie loveliness
Its wayward melody
Whose every haunting note
Hides
The silent screams
That seize my lungs,
That claw out but in vain,
Clinging onto sheer desperation
In the madness of this moment
That seems to have
Frozen
Into a brief ‘forever’ –
One of the many
That sulk and skulk
About the sidewalks of my nights
Casting their shadows smooth
Upon the dark and the deep
That glide
Into its mystery –
Like friends of old
They greet
To meet before,
Again, they part
There is a stark comfort
In this that though the Day’s
Disguise is yours,
The Night is mine,
For me, mine alone –
Its louring scaffolding
Its liberating anonymity
Its untold lore of yore
Its unabashed beauty

– Akanksha Gupta

Critical Reception

In pursuit of perfection
Our grimy sight stains
Our very own reflection
Leaving little room
To brood upon
Anything but

And even if that weren’t to be
A tiny glimpse of perfection
Would inevitably
Burn down all ambition
Only for the ash to, anew,
Tarnish the erstwhile
Flawless contours
And thusly stoke
The dying embers to life –
A critic reborn
A critic revived

– Akanksha Gupta

Conjunct

And so, and yet,
Life toasts to and with
Glasses half filled,
Half spilled, half empty,
And so, and yet,
Delicious
In their entirety,
Where taste is a mindful perception
And mind a powerful beast
The heart is an overpowering illusion
And so, and yet,
Is breaking free

– Akanksha Gupta