What Makes the World Tick

I like to think
I am like a pendulum;
I am wont to seesaw
Between
A very high opinion
Of myself
And a critically flawed
One

Yet unlike the pendulum
This wont is an artist’s science –
Abstract rhythm
Immeasurable rhyme
It ebbs and flows
Like a musician’s score,
Its intensity oft rendering
Thinking a chore,
And in this state my Subconscious
Still battles with indecision;
A furious yet subliminal exercise
Both, a virtue and a vice
That’s crept up in my sinews
Contracting, expanding,
In sweet delirium
(Quite unlike alcohol)
Therefore,
And Apparently,
This makes it good for the soul,
Like,
Chicken soup!
Drinking in incredible stories –
An oblivious escape
A deliberate distraction
A tragic twist
An inspiring action –

Each oscillation thusly stokes
The storyteller’s
Imagination
And, don’t we have them all?
Stories to tell
Stories to live
Even as we’re grasping
At the straws
We push through
And pull rabbits
Out of our ordinary tales –
Veritable magicians we are
With bewilderingly bewitching brains
That delude themselves
To swing
Between
Self love
And loathing

– Akanksha Gupta

The Fault in the Alteration

The day
Like embroidery
Is fine

It scrapes across the fingertips
And digs ‘neath the roughshod nails
Before it eases into night
And the hardships gently wane
And ebb and flow with tendresse
Of each, now habitual, caress
That kneads the creases and furrows away

The day
Like embroidery
Is fine

It scrapes across the fingertips
It digs ‘neath the roughshod nails
Benign, as a child’s gaze,
It draws blood –
It plucks each drop
And hurls into the design
Of Drowning suns
And Ruby skies

The drops pool
The wounds cool
The day rests into night
The rains glaze over the reds
That macabrely coalesce
Along the hardened lines

But if the fault
Were upturned
The rains would gently graze the reds
And ebb and flow with tendresse
Of each, now habitual, caress
That kneads the creases and furrows away

Then the day
Unbeguiled
Like embroidery
Would also smile

– Akanksha Gupta

Teacher’s Day

To all my teachers: Happy Teacher’s Day!

It’s been years since graduation
I measure that time and distance
In values
That paved our way
In beliefs
That kept us walking
In attitude
That set the rhythm to our gait
And in fortitude
That carried us across

Because
The knowledge we then
Naively gauged us in
When faded away,
The wisdom
Wisely remained –
In the wordplay
During interactions
And the unintended wit
In the reactions –
Their impressions
Gained
In girth and momentum

So while it’s been years since graduation
I measure that space in memories
Too priceless to put a tag to –
Even words are not enough
To express my gratitude

Love,
Akanksha

The Hollow

Browning leaves lay strewn on the forest floor in a fair imitation of a kaleidoscope. The barren trees with spindly trunks were mourning their loss. Their silence was deafening; occasionally broken by flocks of birds chirping through the dawn, a cacophony of insects serenading through the night and the gently flowing waters of the creek.

I remember this day like yesterday. She must have been thirty-five when I clicked this picture. We were on the outskirts of the forest a few blocks away from our house. It was the first picture I deemed acceptable for entering into a photography contest. She had insisted on calling it “The Hollow”. At that time, I never understood why.

Since yesterday, I’ve been going through a lifetime of memories she left me with in her scabby old trunk. Of all the pictures in it, my eyes can’t seem to part with this one. It looks hazy now, and feels wet. I wipe it with shaky hands. It hurts; it shouldn’t, but it does. It is not so much that she is dead but the fact that she died without recalling me. It’s been five years since she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s.

– Akanksha Gupta

The Tissue Chronicles

There is something to be said for the transience of tissues,

From Kleenex to Gossamer;

Of Kleenex

I wish all paper

Could wither away

Like this one;

Burdened with thoughts,

Unburdening another,

And the thoughts going no further.

Of Gossamer

Some times I wonder

The others I wander

About different people

About different places

Knowing, all that there is to glean

Lies in wait in between.

– Akanksha Gupta

Schizophrenia

Says the spider to the fly,
“Always, always I snugly lie
In my web of truths
And now I’ve caught you too”

The fly, in kind, replies,
“I’ll find an escape route”

But on the sly, the spider laughs
“Oh you’re well and truly caught
No reason to deny
None of your elaborate plots
That run afoot
Can help you seek the way to lie”

The fly, however, self-assured
Wills the spider to watch
As it tells the truths from lies

Neither of them aware that
The spider is the fly

– Akanksha Gupta

Encapsulation

The ink of prose,

Sophisticated and staid,

Prosily stains the sheets;

Spilling words upon words

With reckless abandon –

In expectation

Of a lengthy greatness

And in want

Of unnerving honesty; 

The sort that can be

Effortlessly eclipsed

In the guise

Of poetry

– Akanksha Gupta