Friday, October 30, 2015

Untitled Poetry

It is a strange place we inhabit, my love.

Mystery and familiarity
drink from the same watering hole.

Fear and courage indomitable
seek the same shelter against the
quiet rains that sometimes make
waterfalls flow from the mountain peaks
of our eyes.

Trust and timidity, those two sisters,
sit under the same tree of my heart
which you made bloom by watering it with your smile.

Love, as tender as dewdrops on a blade of grass
and ache, as red as a fiery setting sun
both free eagles, fly together in the sky that is my heart.

And like a chained Prometheus, I watch as
these eagles come and devour me
completely, every day, day after day, only for me to
be reborn in the lifegiving fire of your embrace every night.

But am I truly chained? I disagree, for
in complete submission to your love,
I found my release. My chains broken
by the gentle caresses of your fingers.

And as I feel the glaciers in my heart
melt and flow through my eyes, my
ears are filled with the chirping
of birds. But when I look up,
it is you who is chirping. My violet.
The harbinger of my spring.

Monday, October 12, 2015

A response

I have seen Angkor, and its temples of old
I have seen the spires of Cologne's cathedral - a sight to behold.
I have seen the River Kwai, and the bridge on it too
But nothing, nothing ever comes close to you.

I have seen the Taj Mahal, its minarets piercing the sky
I have seen Nanda Devi, oh so majestic, oh so high
I have seen the Swiss Alps, with their snow-covered peaks
But what I remember most clearly is the curve of your cheeks.

I have seen Singapore, in all its glories
The mer-lion snarling; and Victorian British stories.
I have seen the tomb of Akbar the Great, the Wise.
But what I want to keep seeing forever is the spark in your eyes.

Words are not enough, I know, to describe your being
You are like the first bud of violet, that harbinger of spring
I may falter, and err - yes this is true.
But of one thing I'm certain - my heart belongs to you. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Appointment in Samarra

This is a tale whose origins are lost in the mists of time. You'll find it on the internet and in the preface of several books:

There was a merchant in Bagdad who sent his servant to market to buy provisions and in a little while the servant came back, white and trembling, and said, Master, just now when I was in the marketplace I was jostled by a woman in the crowd and when I turned I saw it was Death that jostled me.  She looked at me and made a threatening gesture,  now, lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city and avoid my fate.  I will go to Samarra and there Death will not find me.  The merchant lent him his horse, and the servant mounted it, and he dug his spurs in its flanks and as fast as the horse could gallop he went.  Then the merchant went down to the marketplace and he saw me standing in the crowd and he came to me and said, Why did you make a threating getsture to my servant when you saw him this morning?  That was not a threatening gesture, I said, it was only a start of surprise.  I was astonished to see him in Bagdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

My name is Major Kawasaki

(This is a short horror story I wrote on Reddit under some other name. I've slightly modified it.)

A row of moving ants is a fascinating thing to watch, if you are into such things. They never break the line, never overtake each other, never walk any faster or slower than is necessary, and make it virtually impossible for the untrained eye to identify the weakest link in the chain.

He observed them, in the darkness that his eyes had by now gotten used to. It had taken some effort for that to happen, but he was a patient man, and he had time.

In that dark dungeon, loneliness was not a problem. His entire professional life, his entire training and his singular focus had prepared him for long bouts of lonely missions.

Neither was the darkness an irritant for him. Darkness has a way of creeping up and engulfing your very being in a matter of minutes. As time passes, you feel yourself one with the blackness, your body just a corporeal extension of the eternal truth surrounding you. Your eyes adjust, your heart rate becomes normal, and you regain your sense of navigation. You become darkness, and darkness becomes you.

However, what you do lose is your sense of time. It is impossible to calculate the number of seconds passed. After a few hours, the lack of any form of light starts working its magic. Without sunlight to reset it everyday, the biological clock goes haywire, and you are unable to tell whether it is night, or day, or twilight, or July.

This loss of sense of time brings with it claustrophobia. You want to shout. You want to feel wind in your hair. You want to smell the gutters of your city. The fish market. The scent of your wife as she comes out of shower, towelling her wet hair.  The putrid smell of gunpowder on the shooting range. The smell of disinfectant in the room where you had that fateful meeting with those two mysterious men . “Classified, sir. Not even your wife is allowed to know.” But if you are as motivated as he was, you let these thoughts assail you, but you never, ever succumb to claustrophobia.

He had been there for longer than he could judge. He had used this time well to perfect techniques of fighting back the now-regular assaults of claustrophobia. He had found that speaking out loudly helped. The regular clang of metal as they pushed his food tray was also a very welcome distraction.

He was unsure when the next welcome clang of metal would meet his ears, so he decided to talk. Talking also helped quell fears about losing his voice, or letting it go hoarse. He decided to introduce himself to the ants.

“My name is Major Kawasaki. I am a soldier of the Fifth Division of the Imperial Japanese Army, stationed in Hiroshima. I have volunteered for a top-secret project to determine a man’s ability to survive in extreme claustrophobic conditions, in complete darkness and without any human contact. As part of this experiment, I was locked in this soundproof, airtight, underground dungeon at 6:45 AM on the 4th of August, 1945. The air that you, my dear ants, and I breathe, is supplied via special vents. I think at least two or three days must have passed since I was locked here. I am waiting for food, but it seems to have taken an unusually large delay for it to arrive this time.”