#SpecificForm #Poetry #Challenge

This week, the challenge is “specific form” selected by Yvette Calleiro. This form is a stanza of eleven lines, four syllables each line. (called 4 – 11) The beginning line repeats as the last line. This form has been created by Gwen Plano, I wish it had a better name!

Detachment

Unseen robber,
detachment fiend
cold and ruthless
insensitive
doesn’t know love 
or emotions   
pulls away chords!
with bleeding hearts
and misty eyes
we look at the
unseen robber

***

Grief

All pervading,
agonizing
gnaws at our nerves,
percolates deep
into the bones
embers smolder,
negate logic
shadows lengthen
to envelop
deep depression
all pervading
© Balroop Singh

Thanks to Colleen for the inspiration to craft syllabic poetry.

Thank you.

For more poetry: click here to hear Magical Whispers

Here is my latest release  Hues Of Hope 

Shackled…

Image from: Pixaby

Precious possessions
Remnants of your love
The only solace now
I know it, yet my heart skips a beat

Unknown shackles fetter me
Pull me into a deep dungeon
The wait seems eternal
Memories mingle in woeful moments.

The night may be dark
But a million stars are shining
The breeze may be stuck in the trees
But it’s reaching me.

You may be miles away
I can feel your soft touch,
Wafting around me
Wrapped in the honeyed hope.

Don’t fret, I’ll be there soon.
© Balroop Singh, August 2021.

Inspired from the loss of a friend.

If the choice is given to the poet, my words flow faster and Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge becomes a cake walk! Thanks Colleen.

For more poetry: click here to hear Magical Whispers

Have you checked my latest release? – Slivers: Chiseled Poetry

A Single Mother

Sad woman by seashore
Image from Pinterest

I sat by the shore
Watching a woman
Swathed by the waves
Sometimes completely inundated
She sat there frigid.

I knew she was crestfallen
Her grief seemed to be raw
A lump rose in my throat
As I walked towards her
She sat there unaware.

I spoke some words of solace
To assuage her emotional deluge
Her fiery eyes bore through me
A scary stony expression of glare
Didn’t deter my positivity

I pressed further…share it
Say it…feel the words that heal
The arrows that sat on her tongue
Pierced my heart into smithereens
I clutched her hand when she spoke…

Do you know a shooting pain
That rises every moment?
Do you know how it feels
To be asphyxiated every second?
Do you know what is loss?

Loss of an only child
My only hope, my only star
Who went to school to study
Bubbling with life cut short by a bullet
Is this the price we pay for learning?

Can your words restore my faith?
Can your hope bring my son back?
Can you assure me no more would be killed?
Can your words mitigate the woes
Of a single mother?

Can you oust the demons
That excoriate me night and day?
Can you replace the walls
That torment me all night?
Can you douse the fire within?
Teary eyed I looked at her, dumb-founded.
© Balroop Singh

This poem was written after the deadliest school massacre occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Broward County, Florida on February 14, 2018.

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You can click here for more poetry.

Grief, Struggle And Fame Are Interlinked #NationalPoetryMonth

Grief_Poem

Many of our favorite poets who inspire us, had to battle with life and its miseries. I have compiled some interesting and amazing facts from their lives to reiterate the facts that success doesn’t come on a platter; grief transcends all boundaries and the icy finger of death may squeeze all your dreams.

 Robert Frost sold his first poem “My Butterfly, An Elegy, to the New York Independent for $15. He was an extremely successful poet but his life was full of sorrow and suffering. His father died of tuberculosis when he was just 11 years old, leaving the family with just eight dollars. Frost’s mother died of cancer in 1900. His younger sister Jeanie died in a mental hospital, where she struggled with her mental illness for nine years. Mental illness apparently ran in Frost’s family, as both he and his mother suffered from depression and his daughter too was committed to a mental hospital in 1947.

John Keats, an English Romantic poet who is known for his brilliant poetry, vivid imagery and sensuous appeal died from tuberculosis at the age of 25. He received fame only after his death. His poems were not received well by critics during his lifetime; his reputation grew after his death.

S.T. Coleridge had bipolar disorder, which had not been defined during his lifetime. Throughout his adult life Coleridge had crippling bouts of anxiety and depression was treated for these conditions with laudanum, which fostered a lifelong opium addiction.

He is best known for his long poems, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Christabel and Kubla Khan, some of which were written under the influence of opium. He has given the English language the famous metaphor of “an albatross around one’s neck”, the quotation of “water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink” and the phrase “a sadder and a wiser man.”

Walt Whitman, one of the most influential poets in the American canon, often called “the father of free verse” was very controversial in his time, particularly for his poetry collection ‘Leaves Of Grass,’ which was described as obscene for its overt sexuality.

Maya Angelou, best known for ‘I know Why the Caged Bird Sings’ became a poet and writer after a series of occupations as a young adult, including fry cook, sex worker, nightclub dancer and performer, cast member of the opera ‘Porgy and Bess’ and journalist in Egypt and Ghana during the decolonization of Africa.

When Angelou was three and her brother four, their parents’ “calamitous marriage” ended, and their father sent them to Stamps, Arkansas, alone by train, to live with their paternal grandmother. She was sexually assaulted by her mother’s boy friend when she was eight. It was her tumultuous life that molded her into a multi-faceted personality.

Mirza Ghalib, the last great poet of the Mughal Era, is considered to be one of the most famous and influential poets of the Urdu language but fame came to him posthumously. He started composing poetry at the age of 11. His verses eloquently expressed philosophy, the travails and mysteries of life.

Kahlil Gibran, a Lebanese American writer, a poet and a visual artist is the third best-selling poet of all time, behind Shakespeare and Laozi. Due to his family’s poverty, Gibran received no formal schooling during his youth in Lebanon. Gibran’s father was imprisoned for embezzlement and his family’s property was confiscated by the authorities. It was only when his mother took him to New York that he could attend school.

Emily Dickinson, a prolific poet lived much of her life in reclusive isolation. Considered to be an eccentric by locals, she developed a noted penchant for white clothing and became known for her reluctance to greet guests or, later in life, to even leave her bedroom. Dickinson’s poems are unique for the era in which she wrote; they contain short lines, typically lack titles, and often use slant rhyme as well as unconventional capitalization and punctuation.

For a poet of his stature, T.S.Eliot produced a relatively small number of poems. He was aware of this even early in his career. He wrote to J.H. Woods, one of his former Harvard professors, “My reputation in London is built upon one small volume of verse, and is kept up by printing two or three more poems in a year.”

Rudyard Kipling was born in Mumbai. (India) His parents had been so much moved by the beauty of the Rudyard Lake in Rudyard Staffordshire, (England) that when their first child was born they named him after it. In a 1995 BBC opinion poll, his poem ‘If’ was voted the UK’s favorite poem.

A 13th-century Persian poet, Rumi’s influence transcends national borders and ethnic divisions. Rumi has been described as the “most popular poet”and the “best selling poet” in the United States.

Source: Wikipedia

Compiled by Balroop Singh

Thank you for extending your support during the National Poetry Month by sharing your poems and reflections. Next post will announce the two winners of the gift that I had promised in the beginning of this month.

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When Grief Transports You Back…

friendsLast week I received shocking news, which transported me back into time…those pleasant days of sitting for hours in the company of friends, those carefree moments that seemed to suggest life is blissful. We basked in its glory, oblivious of the fact that we would go our own way, get busy with the nuances of life only to meet occasionally and that too if we made special efforts to synchronize our visits to our home city.

Time is ephemeral, but we keep drifting back into it whenever it exhibits its tyranny!

This tyrant snatched away those insouciant moments we still treasure. Ironically… it brings back those whiffs of friendly fragrance more at such times of bereavement.

Happier times pass by complacently, with the thoughts that all is well and we have all the time in the world to meet.

Could we ever imagine that a day will come when we would be far away from each other, yearning to be together in the grief of one of us?

Could we ever reflect that we would be placed thousands of miles away and the word ‘friendship’ would stand before us in a questioning mode?

Could we ever think that one of our most effervescent and vivacious friends would be the first one to face the biggest setback of life…losing her husband and that too at such a stage when life starts afresh?

I always thought that I have become impervious to setbacks, having the experience of facing them since childhood but each one brings new emotions and memories. This one jolted me out of my illusionary world of thinking ‘everyone has to go and so must I.’

I often say I am ready to go, unmindful of the sentiments of my dear ones. I preach selflessness but in the process forget certain emotions that are vital to heart despite detachment. Today these emotions are hitting me hard from a new angle. They remind me that detachment is a mere word…a delusion to keep us occupied to deal with the struggles and realities of this world.

friends

Real detachment is painful and the laceration never heals as it is eternal…it is like amputating one part of the body.

Recently I came across an interesting perspective about time – “Time does not heal, it just teaches us how to live with the pain.” This outlook appealed to me and as I look back, I nod to myself how true it is as time has blurred my agony and hurts and I have learnt to live with them.

I know my wishful thinking can never put us in the same boat of blissful friendship we shared but we can provide solace with our words. We cannot bridge the distances but we can be with each other in spirit.

As I grieve over the loss and loneliness of my dear friend, the words of a famous poet come to my mind: “If moments were birds, I could have caged them, nurtured them with care, fed them with pearls and kept them close to my heart…”

Moments do get entrapped in our hearts and we can revisit them through our “inward eye.”

“A friend is what the heart needs all the time.” Henry Van Dyke

‘The greatest gift of life is friendship’…Have you received it?

Thank you for reading this amalgamation of emotions. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

If you have liked this real story, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.