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) ~

The Clothes We Wear

Capture

We enter

Wearing nothing

But flesh, blood and bones

We are then adorned

With a myriad garments

That they tell us are clothes

Later we learn the fabric

Was made with a swarm of threads

Of them, some were so fine

That even subtlety would’ve reddened

Gradually we observe and learn

The clothes everyone wears

Most follow the fashion

Some never catch up with it

But there are some who sweeten

The fabric and reinvent its ilk

We call them the leaders

And strive to be copy-artists

We too attempt to stitch

For, by and to ourselves

Only to realize it’s easier

To choose ready-mades from the shelves

We are happy to follow for a while

Good sheep who may never stitch

But every now and then to get by

We give the lone threads a twist

Where we had learned to wear

Smiles, frowns and courage

We have now also learnt the art

Of weaving and wearing politics

Oh this as an important life lesson

In case a thread comes loose

Or there’s a wardrobe malfunction

Because smiles, frowns and courage

Can sail you through

But only politics alleviates dysfunction

And with every political mutation

That makes the fabric twitch

The clock hands turn and tick

To wipe off an irascible itch

The fabric thus grows fainter

And starts losing its sheen

The threads come loose

It’s time to come clean

For some, that time never comes

Until they must exit

And their dirty laundry

If dirty enough

Is washed in full view of the public

But some stitch their garments

So cleverly embroiled with each other

That even after their exit

Their clothes either are buried with them

Or bury an unfortunate other

– Akanksha Gupta

Welcome To Society

For all its pretense and propriety

Society is an overgrown child

Swimming in its immaturity

Blindsided and pruned from

Truth and rationality

Weaving and wearing

A layer of masks

Masking layers more

A tangled web I see

If see at all

When I gaze upon

A blank gaze

Lying innocently

Upon every face

A mirage within mirage

An indiscernible complexity

Where vulnerability

Hides behind a blank slate

And truth behind jaded eyes

Where nurture is missing in action

And nature is killed in due time

Yet I am not sure of anything

Everything is shrouded

In ambiguity

I look at you

As you look at me

We wonder what we see

Though I am fairly certain

Whatever we do

Is never even partially true

And in a crowd

Of instinctive dishonesty

I’d like to be thusly ambiguous too

For when wisdom is scarce

Casting labels, while common,

Is dangerous in itself

And I’d like to escape

These labels and libels

These society concocted lapels

I’d like to escape behind masks

I’d like to escape from the masks

Now I feel I’m being torn apart

Standing before a Frostian fork

Left and right are deviations both

A choice, and I can never turn back

I’m afraid

These are the only choices left

For even if I turn my back on society

And forge me another path

In this labyrinth of life

At every dead-end and crevice

Society, again, is what I’ll find

– Akanksha Gupta