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

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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

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

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

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

Transience

I watch
A miasma of brush strokes
Trailing over
The canvas of life –
Dull, bright, warm, sharp
Their watermarks
Evade the sight
But those that loiter
I notice
The crinkly lines
That embellish their every stroke –
Bold, rugged, shy, sleek
Impressions that time erodes
But those that linger
I remember
The dots and crosses
That stagger each line
Big, small, subtle, sublime,
An expression that holds
The redolence of time –
A taste of vintage memories
That swarm
With an ageless, decadent grace
Yet ultimately
When everything fades
Period and pause
Everything fades
They say
Life is funny that way

– Akanksha Gupta