Common Ground

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A cramped space this. I need to stretch, feel the earth under my feet. A little less talk and a little more quiet.

Thriving in closed spaces, you’ve mastered the art of contorting yourself, being stashed away.

The air is mine own. My mind lifts off- a sailboat in flight, the air my water, the water grounding me and the earth a vast expanse of ocean I float on.

You and I see the same road.

You are intent; and I never really look.

When did I begin to speak a different language?

Your eyes unseeing, uncomprehending, a thousand miles away.

Your every word, every drawn breath, every expelled curse- so easy to understand, mired in the world.

I surged ahead, wanting nothing.

And yet, here we are.

You lead, your eyes on the road.

I follow. My eyes also on the road.

The darkness is complete till dawn breaks.

The sky bursts. Clouds scud across the palette. Tints shifting settling into a golden hue.

Let us stop here and confront each other in enforced silence.

After breakfast at this lovely place, things will seem a little less intense, our bellies warm with pancakes, omelettes, buttered toast and hot coffee.

[200 words]

Priceless Joy Thank you for hosting this challenge. I’ve missed your challenges, missed writing and it feels great to be back and alive once again. Footy and Foodie, thank you for the photograph.

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Immutable

temple

The streets unfold

I’m lost

In a maze

Of my making

 

In the unfamiliar

 

Tongues make no sense

Raucous static

 

I strive

To hear myself

 

A turn

Pockets of Faith

Concentrated prayer

The aura

Unmistakable

 

This is it

I’m home

In a strange land

 

Guided by You

I do not even question

 

The world is my shrine

I close my eyes

In total surrender

 

My Faith transcends

Everything

 

I learned long ago

No question

You know best

 

l am but a flame

Burning with the intensity of your fire

 

I know You

Have always known You

Myriad lifetimes

 

An ancient shrine

Of a long forgotten mystic

 

At the little chapel

You gazed at me

With so much compassion

My heart almost burst

 

I find You in every idol I see

 

Every stone

chant

song

flower

that blooms

 

In the people I meet

 

I now stand here

Before this shrine

And look up

To You

Yet again

 

You wait for me

All I need to do

Is close my eyes

 

Tuning in

I connect

 

Once again

 

[175 words]

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Singledust. Thank you Gina! Such a beautiful photograph! ❤

Thank you Priceless Joy for the lovely opportunity provided for this week’s writing prompt at  Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers !

Finally Felled

The walls came up.

Towers shot up.

Brick by brick.

Layer by layer.

 

Witness to slaughter and mutilation,

I stood,

the sickening creak and crash

everywhere

assaulting my spirit.

 

What was worse?

Waiting or watching?

 

Meanwhile, I grew tall and proud.

I shot branches into the blue.

I dug deep with my roots,

anchoring myself firmly

in the black depths of soil.

 

They walked to me with their motor tools

and the whirr heralded my glorious fall.

My turn.

Finally.

 

First my young limbs

fell, with gentle thuds

and a soothing rustle of leaves

like the whoosh of a shroud

as it falls gently,

shielding the body

from prying eyes.

 

Limbless, I waited.

 

Chips flew about

dents carved me.

The saw,

finally,

broke the stature

I so carefully cultivated.

 

I gave up.

Not without some noise though.

 

I fell.

A mighty crash.

The dust rose and blinded the sun.

 

My roots were pulled out

with the ruthless perseverance

and incompetence

of an intern dentist.

 

I bled, a bloodless sap.

Hewn into manageable chunks, I was taken away.

I didn’t look back.

 

A vagrant stump,

a distance away,

stubborn,

resilient,

soon shot

a few green leaves

into the air.

 

Surreptitiously.

 

[200 words]

tree

Thank you PJ for hosting this awesome challenge Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers.

Thank you Shivangi Singh for the photograph!

 

Karmic Gears

crook3

 

my life

a certain cycle

karma

a sequence

i haven’t set into motion

already spinning

it pinned me down

gathering

speed and strength

with every thought

word

and action

maybe even silence

and inaction

 

i have one life

this i know

keep

the machinery oiled

iron out

the creases and folds

while i still can

before i become one

with the elements

 

this life

already

a forgone conclusion

 

atonement

for my sins

are visited on

the flesh of my flesh

the blood of my blood

the wheel in my wheel

 

and that cycle

mine own

to stop

this spinning wheel

 

[100 words]

Thank you Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers! Shalom!

Thank you, Sandra Crook , for the photo prompt.

Silent Spaces

piic

Your narrow window to the world

tightly frames your limited thought.

Boxed in, your spirit

is beaten into submission.

Cracks, fissures and fractures

immobilize you.

Rejecting your body,

your soul floats away

seeking vast expanses.

Your breathing, shallow.

No movement,

for any imperceptible tremor

significantly magnifies the pain.

Limp, spent,

reduced to a quivering mess

of bleeding pulp.

You try to get used to it.

 

This life.

 

Try this. Get up. Walk.

Take the roads

that lead you away.

Move

till you reach the open spaces.

One step at a time.

Trek your way till you find a spot,

your private domain.

The wind now whispers in your ears

and the sun blazes on high.

The rock is warm to touch.

Steady, solid rock.

Lean back

and feel the warmth seep into you.

Breathe in.

The air so pure

it hits your lungs.

Your heart explodes.

So much beauty.

Such peace.

Walk away from those confines.

Break those shackles.

Now.

For, after this,

you can never break yourself into bits

to fit that box

again.

[175 words]

 

Thank you, Grant, for the beautiful photograph.

A million thanks to you PJ  for hosting this challenge Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

Happy New Year! 😀

Lead, Kindly Light.

dark-night

The winter evening drew on, enveloping all, in a shroud of mist and darkness. The clay stove where wood fires burned with the occasional crackle and pop, was where they all huddled together, the dying embers burning orange, reflecting on their faces as they tried to get closer to the heat, tempted to touch the ash laden coal, still molten hot at the core.

Tearing at unleavened bread, dipping it into bowls of hot piping stew, the warmth of the food seeped into their bellies and there rose a silence more blessed than joyous laughter.

The orphan waited patiently for his share. Every other benevolent family in the village took turns through the week to feed him.

Wolfing down his bread, he wiped his bowl clean, sponging up every drop of stew. Muttering thanks, he walked away into the cold winter night.

While the village slumbered on under layers of quilts that barely warded off the cold, he sat hunched over his books.

The lone street lamp, his only companion, blazed on, in the darkness of the night.

[178 words]

Thank you, Maria, for the beautiful photograph!

Bless you Priceless Joy at Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers for hosting such a wonderful challenge!

 

 

Fleedom

Flee – The Daily Prompt20161212_221259.jpgI have dug my own grave and prepare to lie in it.

With these hands. These grimy hands with dirt embedded in the nails. The soil made soft and pliant with my sweat and maybe some tears as well.

The walls are lined with the memories of my own making. Sometimes I cringe when I face them, but I deserve to face my mistakes. Why should I be spared when I am low in the ground, six feet under? This life I lead, spells no escape. Why should death afford me this luxury?

No, I cannot run away. There is nothing I can run away from, nobody I can run to…

But I don’t need anybody, do I? A strong woman like me…

I bare my teeth in derision. You seem to forget, there is no running away from myself, now, is there? The abyss I’ve sunk to. The scraps of affection I’ve waited for. The smiles that I’ve bought. The comfort I had sought all come rushing in when the filters are dismantled, and my guard is down. And then I loathe myself all over again. Forgive myself? Oh, no. I don’t deserve it.

Who would give me a second chance? And if I were given one, would I even take it? I despise the world. I despise all it represents. I despise how it changes people. I have seen enough.

I sit out in the open bazaar of this world, with my veil outspread on the pavement, trying to catch a stray coin that comes my way, trying to look as if I were not there. I look at the others there and see the same vacant look in their eyes. You never get used to begging, do you? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been generous too, when I could. Now, as if that would shield me from the barbs that random passersby shoot at me. Speak all you can, there’s space on the pavement for you soon.

Cursed, I am the face of humanity, the underbelly nobody notices. Once in a while we crawl out of our little hovels and sun ourselves sharing your light and you wince, looking away. Hold on. It’s just a matter of time.

My tattered veil is still outstretched on the pavement and is now decorated with the footprints of people who have walked my way. Coins? Some are still there. Some are gathered up furtively by the enterprising ones in the passing crowd, who look at my unseeing eyes and decide I’m not really there. And maybe I’m not really there. Maybe I fled a long time ago. Maybe my body and soul are no longer united for my soul has fled its mortal prison and escaped to God knows where.

My body awaits. Every single day it carves a little dent into the living earth and the earth obliges by becoming forgiving.

The minute I was born, I knew it was one step closer to death. Every dying day brings me nearer to my living death.

No, I’m not saying this because something happened. Something always happens and it almost always amounts to nothing.

Who belongs to whom here? What is mine? What is yours? Who are we? I have no answers to these questions.

Is death the real escape? Or do we close our eyes in death to wake up to another hell? I have no answers yet, but well, all I can do is watch and wait.

People like me, sometimes we watch. Sometimes we don’t. But we’re always waiting. For a handful of rice. For a fistful of coins. For day to follow day. For night to follow day. For darkness to follow darkness.

And Death follows us faithfully. Life is a betrayer, treacherous and false. Death is real and eternal.

Love, hope, family, and self are beautiful illusions. They light up your darkness with the occasional glimmer. Like blinking fireflies, this light is elusive and does not last.

Death is the only hope you can count on. It never fails to visit. Flee if you can, and while you can. But regardless, Death always catches up.

I am prepared. I have dug my grave and now I lie in it.

Flee

Dr.M.Balamuralikrishna- A tribute

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Grew up listening to your haunting melodies.

Please click on this link to listen to Emi Sethura Linga? – my personal favourite.

For those who cannot understand the lyrics of this tattvam , my feeble attempt at translation.

A devotee of Lord Shiva regrets his inability to offer the Lord, the purest tokens of his gratitude. 
He contemplates offering the holy waters of the Ganges, but a little tadpole informs him that the river water is contaminated by the spittle of frogs and fishes living in the water.
What can be purer than milk fresh from the holy cow? Sorry, says the calf, but the calves got there first and their spittle has pervaded the milk.
Alright then, what about flowers freshly plucked from the garden? Millions of bees buzz, from their hives on the branches of trees confessing that they got there first!
What can a devotee then do? He can only lament, ‘What can I do, Oh Lord, What can I possibly do?’ ‘Emi sethura Linga?’

You will be missed, Maestro.

Rest in peace.

Head in the Clouds

sunday

Now you know. All that exists is now. The beauty of breathing. The beauty around you and love. Just plain love. You don’t expect to be loved back any more. You know nothing can hold you anymore.

It’s so simple really. Look at the clouds!

Step out of your Self.

Caught in those murky depths, you slowly began to choke.

Self-preservation.

You learnt in your mother’s womb. You waited, remember, though you knew, all you wanted was out.

When you found love it scarred you. You were branded, seared with hate, born of love.

Self-preservation reared its head.

You made a life for yourself. You learnt the art of separating soul from body. You began to free your mind.

You thought things had changed but a dusky fog penetrated your shield and fed itself on energies fostered by your errant mind. You lashed out. First at others and then at yourself.

Self-preservation kicked in, yet again.

You perfected the art of living. You gathered forces, rose above the blackness, which threatened to engulf, and found pristine clouds in gloomy mists. You rose, defying all gravity. You left it all behind. Nothing mattered. You forgave the world.

You forgave yourself.

[199 words]

This is in response to the Sunday Photo Fiction Prompt, hosted by Al Forbes. Thanks for the opportunity!

Mountain Belles

Hey there Dolkar! Long time no see!

Hello Pasang! You look great! I love what you’ve done to your hair. Left it loose, hanging down your shoulders.

Yes, Dolkar, I don’t have your patience. You take such good care of your silver tresses, combing them every morning and evening and tying them back into this adorable little knot at the back of your head.

Wow Pasang, all your teeth have gone! How beautiful! I can see your gums!

Don’t worry Dolkar, you’ll lose that lone tooth soon. And then your look will be complete!

Pasang! Thank you! This tooth is rather annoying. It is a sore spot, comes in the way of my gums when I’m chewing. Carmah says I should get new teeth. How uncomfortable! You were saying something about my hair. Yes! You know how tiresome my now thinning tresses were four decades ago. I’m so glad I lost most of my hair and I can now wash my hair at will. It dries up so quickly. No sinusitis, coughs or colds.

You look fabulous. You have at least twenty more wrinkles than you sported the last time we met.

Oh, absolutely. You see, I laugh so much these days. They are crazy, these children. They are so stupid to worry so much. Yesterday, the goat went missing. You should have heard Carmah fuss. I told her the little one would return and it sure did, in the evening. Carmah lost it though! Want more wrinkles? You could do with a few, you know. Sitting out in the sun longer, helps. Next year, I aim for more lines, around the eyes.

Ha! Ha! Any more lines around the eyes and I won’t be able to recognize you, my dear.

Don’t worry. You’ll recognize me by my beautiful jewellery. I look so good, don’t I?

Yes, you do, Love! Look at my necklace. Got a new one just last week.

You were always a great one for jewellery, Pasang. Your fingers look so beautiful with these folds and lines. Do your rings still fit?

Yes, they do. I’m rather vain about my chapped hands. Every crack is testimony to the chores I still do at home.

Yes, you always do a lot. Now, how about some Butter tea at the shop up the mountain?

OK. let’s go. But first let me take a look at the mirror.

You always look good, dear, you don’t need the mirror!

I know my darling, but I do love a little primp.

You never change!

You too!

 Primp

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Image sourced from the internet.