‘Tattoo On My Soul’

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Dear Readers, Poetry lets you convey emotions that prose sometimes limits us. Unlike prose, poetry to me is spontaneous and happens in the spur of the moment. Most of these poems did not take more than an hour to write, and mostly remain unedited. In the following selected poems I have tried to communicate some of my personal experiences about love, sacrifice, rejection, joy and grief. Hope you enjoy it reading as much as I loved writing them. In contemporary poetry, rhyming is seldom done and is usually kept open ended – allowing the lines to take their own structure and meaning rather than being forced into a predetermined form. Happy reading.


(Tajmahal was rated as one of the seven wonders of contemporary world. While we have a right to be proud of it, should we shy away from the extraordinary sacrifices of people who built it?).


Visiting the Taj
Many see
a picture book scene
of architecture hibernating
and breeding
captured in geometry


Many see
The glory of power   
echoed in the intricacy of the marble inlay
Extending the limits of 
the story of what might have been
and the wonder of unbuilt imagination


Many see
the puritan beauty
of a  make-believe permanence
of monumental love
in which is buried the sweet fragrance of sorrow


But come to think of it
How many see
the empty bowls, smeared with
sweat and blood
of souls
who toiled for their daily bread?


(It seems tattooed people are often misunderstood. I put myself in their shoes)


Tattoo on my Soul
I went to that tattoo shop again
wanting to pierce this virgin-waist
so everyone caught a glimpse in secret
when I pretend to bend over.
Maybe a conversation piece
for the cool-ones,
ones privileged to understand these patterns
and the smell of blood and sweat.
To re-live the pain of the needle
breaking into my mesoderm
and the grimace on my face
of anxiety before, and pride after.
Too long have I stood on this fence
-between being a gentleman and a punk
a coward and a risk-taker.
I declare I have come of age
from the shackles of being-good, playing-good
This is the template of my spirit
carved on my soul forever
and none have the power to erase it, except me



(This poem was inspired by the Genocide in Rwanda)


Flitter of a Machetti
Kind eyes gently wait
Flitter of a machetti
Lamb to a slaughter


Kind eyes gently graze
What is left of it
The evening has now come
and then it’s over.
The shepherd tends
The butcher kills
The hungry eat
The remains of the day
What is left of it


(People view love in different ways. What I feel about it may surprise you! This poem was inspired from an article written by pre-eminent quantum physicist, Henry Bortoft ?who advocates a phenomenological rather than a rational approach to science)


Love and pretense
Some say love is complex
Discursive acts and multiple plays,
hard to recognize
what is when is which;
pleasure and pain
within a  nebulous mix
a distant thing changing colors.


For me love is simple
of my own making
like the magician who puts the rabbits
beforehand in his hat
and presupposes the very act
he pretends to produce


(They say it’s better to be loved and lost rather than not be loved at all. Rejection is part of that occupational hazard.)


Rejection
As I waited in excitement
for a new date,
on that evening
which comes like a silent,
seducing lady
I’m aroused by a fear
bordering on truth
that I be prepared
for yet another rejection


(The great singer Sting once said ‘music is creating sounds around silence.’ I subscribe to this by making an analogy between sound and emotions).


The Power Which Happens Within
NOISE,
Confusion;
Issues, questions, conflicts
inquisitions, interrogations
brainstorming,
Soul-searching.
SOUND,
Clarifying;
Diagnosing, theorizing,
Conjecture, hypotheses, Identifying,
Sensing.
MUSIC,
Resonance:
Living, Doing, Following
Creating, enjoying,
Being.
SILENCE,
Silence;
The power which happens within


(When you are down and everything seems to close on your face, some unexpected thing happens and you are strong again. This poem is dedicated to my friend).


To Ashes
When the mighty blue ocean
empties its bosom
leaving nothing
but, the last drop.
Someone lights
a dry twig,
and then a spark
burns into wild fire
turning ashes to ashes
dust to dust
and a hope to rise again.


(Listen to what the old man has to say).


Beauty and Character
The old man said
Character is transparent and beauty opaque,
Place the opaque behind the transparent
And be the mirror – of humanity…


(This was an excerpt from my article ‘The Call of the quarry.’ Childhood can bring you memories of an image still and frozen).


Reminiscences of a Scene
A church bell tolls
and time stands still.
reverberating two sounds,
two moods of
acceptance and rejection
in hurtful synchrony.
Far away,
the rain filled in puddles
create textures of earth and water.
of irregular patches of yellow and green.
Elderly women gather nearby
to catch up with old time gossip.
And here, I free my legs
on this old mud wall,
I am the Master of this setting.
A birds-eye view at my disposal.
I chuckle
When I recollect my past attempts
to demonstrate the length of my urine-stream.
Analog to digital. Time has drifted


(A Haiku is a mode of Japanese poetry. Of course there are different interpretations of what a haiku is. A true haiku paints a tiny, swift portrait that connects the author and the reader to a single moment of a deep experience of the natural world called an ‘aha’ moment).


A Haiku
Sun rises
A total lunar eclipse.
Full-moon


(Sometimes we fight our own grief by helping others. Here is a poem that conveys this thought and you won’t know this until the end. This is the only poem I attempted to rhyme).


The Grief of Mine
Wandering, was a battered soul,
That tried to read a line;
And while reading, in between, it found,
A story more benign:


A ray of light was caught between,
The complex web of time;
Though mangled, hacked, black and burnt,
Refused to lose its shine;


The soul stood thin, stunned within,
Was it a mime, a sign?
And all the darkest hours it thought,
Now fell like pins of nine;


Though seem it be, it came from me,
The ray of light was thine;
I had it turned, just inside out,
For you, to see the shine;


And while doing this, I do confess,
A trifle sin of mine;
I clung upon its very strength,
To fight the grief of mine;

Author: Newton Dsouza- USA


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