August 20, 2017

The Very Tired Butterfly

Published on Madras Courier


i saw you lying face up
when i went to the terrace this morning
you were in a corner
with your feet up
in a position of surrender
a position that showed no fear
a position that you, maybe, took when you finally went to rest

i kneeled down and peered closer
your face looked peaceful
and i could almost see a smile
that's how one looks in death, i suppose

i turned you over
you were so beautiful
like a tiger
orange, black and a bit of white

what did you eat for that orange to glow?
clementines aren't so bright.
what made the black look blacker than pitch?
blueberries aren't so dark.
and that pure white, where did it come from?
did you eat fresh snowflakes when you last played?

what all did it take for you to become a tiger, oh butterfly
and was it too much that you couldn't hold on for just one more day?

August 17, 2017

reflection

one bright sunny morning
a sudden gust of wind
blew hard upon a tree
and forced it to bend down
and look into the lake

instantly, it sprang back!

it was horrified by what it saw
its leaves had withered
its branches had dried up
its bark had changed colour
it looked beaten
but why?

it had basked in the warm, summer sun
but gotten burnt when it had stayed too long
it had shed its layers in the cool autumn wind
but shivered when it had shown too much
it had been coated in winter's pretty snowflakes
but been blanketed during a storm
it had been at spring’s colourful best
but allergies had made it blue

while it pondered all this
it was struck by another thought
was it beaten, or had it just been weathered?

wasn't it still standing?

yes, it had changed
it didn't have a choice
it had been frightened
of what it had become
so it hadn’t looked
until the push from the gust
had forced it to see

and once it had seen
there was no going back
to another time or an earlier self

so it embraced the gust
the second time around
and let itself be gently swayed
to look into the lake

and it held still
and looked long and hard
at its reflection

August 8, 2017