The Illusion of Freedom

My fingers don’t shake
Yet my pen hesitates
And the paper is black and blue.
I tighten my hold –
Had I been so lax
As to let the pen grow bold?
It is but a paper anyway;
And papers come and papers go –
The convenient martyrs
Of our self-effacing ways,
Covering our rot within theirs,
Letting our thoughts stay
Strangled within our throats –
Little birds
That now whisper
In our ears
Words
That make words cower,
And ideas, that yearn
To run free,
Find themselves
Short of words
Suddenly,
Apparently,
Justifiably.

– Akanksha Gupta

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A Wound In Time

In the darkness of the night
There are secrets that we hide

In the brightness of the day
Faces give naught away

There is blood and there is grief
There is pain no words can ease

They are shadows fires cast
Burning the future past

Gone
Is it my wake?
I hear the dirge
Am I awake?

In the dying of the light
We don’t go without a fight

In the crook of in-between
Dreams are true, truth’s a dream

There is death and there is life
There’re no truths, there’re no lies

They are shadows that time casts
Blurring all th’ futures past

Gone
Yet I’m awake
Or is it all
In my head?

(I composed these lyrics to accompany the haunting melody of Javier Navarette’s Lullaby from Pan’s Labyrinth)

– Akanksha Gupta

Size Zero and the Girth of Sensitivity

I sat in a pizzeria
Munching on a pizza
An Italian thin crust
Lips olive oiled
Throat margarita’ed

A lady came in sobbing
And sat by my side
I took one look
At her stricken face
And barked “Who Died”

My bark was courteous
Without a hint of snark
But as she swivelled to me
In her bare-faced incredulity
I basked

Her tear-laden face
Turned many a shade of red
Mutiny, shock and anger
Were amongst a few
That ran rampant

“Wha-What” she uttered
“How clichéd” I muttered
And raised my brows
As she indignantly
Stuttered and spluttered

She called me many a names
I’ll spare your innocent ears
And all the while
That she spoke
She forgot to pinch out tears

When I remarked
Upon this remarkable phenomenon
Her frustrated eyes
Seemed to spit fire, screaming
‘Run, you bully, run’

But I’m not a son of a gun
And therefore munched on amused
As the mental conversation
Played on unfettered, yet
Ears infernally abused

For the lady sat sobbing still
Unspoken words, wet cheeks
It is times such as these
That I wish to let
My inner Sherlock skulk free

– Akanksha Gupta

Phantasmagoria

A soft breeze wafted through
As his eyes danced
In a million hues
All the while
Intently staring
At the daintily crafted
Candelabra,
Yet at times
Furtively flickering
Between me
And the candlelight
Which, like our silence,
Broke through
Through the canopy
Of the night

I returned his gaze
With equal fascination,
Our eyes glistened tentatively,
Whilst our ears, long parched,
Feasted upon
An accompaniment of crickets
Cavorting
Through the green grass
Scandalously

Gradually
The din grew dimmer
My senses came alive
Before my sight
The grass sparkled black and blue
As the clouds unveiled
A starry night

I sat awhile
In contemplation
Aroused by the splendour
Of this quietude
Whose tendrils plucked
Gently,
At the heart strings
Of a sombre mood
As though romanticizing
With me
My dinner date with solitude

~ By Akanksha Gupta (poem) ~