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© Siddharth Nishar


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I wish I could change the architecture,

Of these broken dreams now scattered,

Metal eggshells that explode into my soles,

With the discipline of good intentions,

Even as I try to avoid them.


I am wise enough to acknowledge,

That these are experiments in perfection,

Civilizations grow on recycled petitions,

Cities dreamt upon sated battlefields,

As if the promised land is strung on a wire,

Arriving in bucketfuls of fevered energies,

To create new doctors for old surgeries,

The corpses awaiting new hearts.


The travails travel without an Atlas,

Any nation breathes the same diseased air,

Its whimsical constellation of symptoms

Dragging its honest children into colorful tragedies,

The drama beautiful only in gray recollections.


I have fished for powers that can untie,

Men from the limits of what is acceptable,

And what merits outrage,

To return with empty buckets.


The walk from my provisioned house,

To this precipice against the tempestuous sea,

Was soul-numbing and fruitless.

It was easy to forget my trips on cold mornings,

The full hearth to crackle and cackle,

As I tugged my blanket closer,

And dreamt of books that needed reading,

Pages swum by the calloused fingers

Of children whose pilloried families

Might as well be the to-do list I deserted.


I no longer frequent those paths,

Convinced that the ocean is where my smiles will die,

Convinced that others will net the charm,

Knitting patterns borrowed from our skies,

That will become tomorrow's oppression,

Waiting for another crop of soldiers.


I am spent.


The trophies of my apathy haunt me,

Not with the dogged spirit of a lover's kiss,

That melts into the marble of the soul,

To send faint tremors and tunes.


I am chaperoned by a moody imp,

Whose gaunt frame guards my conscience,

With the lassitude of a sleepwalker --

Every once in a while,

He floods me with goosebumps,

That should have never settled,

And broadcasts fiery inspiration,

In broken bandwidths,

Messages that vanish before I spread them.


Even as I stroll through the bazaar,

I ignore the blood staining my sleeves,

My shirt painted by the furtive masses,

Wounds of someone swallowed by anonymity,

Phantom footsteps and hiccupping ambitions,

Anonymity the cloak each unique thread weaves,

That averages all despair into a wisp,

And that is an excuse enough,

To keep walking forward.

#poem #soul #heart #architecture #reading

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