The painter

About the migrant labourer who paints the apartments

photograph by Shreya Susan Zacharia


The view, real from top did not scare him

The wind strong shook only his dry brown hair

When a vacant seat beckoned, he doubted his destiny

Everything was fine, hanging by the rope to paint.

A job, an income, which made beautiful all walls

A smile, a hope in a small house distant to reach

Doors assured to open, trains set to hoot, time runs.

A virus cannot turn upside his dreams, he is sure

He worked in the sun and in rain, set to serve his Co.

A decision to hang on to the thick rope from heaven

Kindness and care all around, he kept his word to be safe

When his brothers marched towards their ends tragic

He held on and painted his life’s colours, in increasing faith

Cyclone Amphen was spiralling homewards, killer winds rise

His folks may soon need money, trouble seems to double

He held tight to the long brush as he painted

Stolen Things

poems written for the Napowrimo event held online by the group                                 The significant league aka rejected stuff

Stolen Things

A chocolate   ball Ferrero Rocher                                                                                          But that’s because she tried to be smarter                                                                        My grandma had given me a Five Star                                                                        Now  I know she  has eaten that bar                                                                     Somedays back my small white Bounty was lost                                                           I planned revenge and ate all Lindt to the last                                                                 Sure I have stolen  many  a sweet chocolate                                                                     Did so to stop my sister from getting very fat                                                              Guylian is always her favorite I know                                                                                  I was ready to trade it for a  Toblerone or  so                                                                    But our love for  each other is  the sweetest                                                          Always we try to   give each other our very  best


Tears erupt from my eyes                                                                                               when not able to find myself                                                                                              as I search in the mirror                                                                                                        hanging on the wall.                                                                                                                    This is not at all my image in front of me.                                                                         Many hours i stare without a wink                                                                                 Mist covers my reflection with an umbrella                                                                     No! It is not me, where is the real me?                                                                          This is not the self that really I am.                                                                                       How do I dig deep into my mind and                                                                       discover my true inner self?                                                                                                   Wiping off the dust, dirt and grime                                                                                        Brushing away the cobwebs of sad thoughts,                                                       l          lost confidence and crumbled self esteem                                                                   Then my true self will be revealed                                                                                          my glowing visage and golden heart will be reflected.


Windows of my room let in the soft rays of the rising Sun                             Waking me up with the noise of the bicycle bells                                                 Busy men on scooters                                                                                                                 some speeding away on cars

My window reminds me of my worthless thoughts,                                                     wingless travelling into the sky.                                                                                             The cat sneaks out through the window                                                                             Her tail up like a free digit one                                                                                             Hot air blows in, it has asked not my permission                                                           Clouds want to fight, shout and flash lights                                                                      My window throws on me drops of joy                                                                              Tree tops high, close to heaven swing my prayers up                                             Winged friends flying south,                                                                                                   my dreams I wish could fly with them                                                                                 The moon peeks in from behind the coconut trees                                                        The yellow light illuminates the street outside                                                             My windows shut goodnight.







The incomplete cat


By midnight the roads will be empty
All the people will be asleep, nearly
The dimly lit streets soon become lively
Comes out the cats rats and dogs that bark
I climbed atop the fence, in the moonlight
I wish no one finds me, an incomplete cat
When she saw some thing new, about me
the artist forgot
I was given no colours but left as an
incomplete cat.

Drawing by Shreya Susan Zacharia

Nobody sees me, nobody knows me
Who can hear me purr?
I will not be cuddled by anyone
No one will throw for me a ball, far.

What inside my heart will be known
Roads I cross will remember me their own
Meows me gently, heads turn to find me gone
There can be no incomplete cat ever born.

I am complete, my heart, my identity strong
I will write my life’s story, don’t get   me wrong
I am a golden cat with boots white
I know it and the colours of my mind are bright




Lockdown has changed
the way we look
the way we live
the way we eat
and of course find a seat
Saturday evenings were fun
a drive with all from home
music in the car
night throwing colours on the streets
Lovely attires we would wear
Me and my sister.
The gourmet smells Chinese sometimes Arabic
Aroma of crispy dosa, North Indian rotis and kebabs
I miss the Falooda, Subway’s
salads and dips

The masks make us look strange but safe.

How long will it be before the waiter smiles polite
and places a menu on the table?
Can I sit on the chair facing the sea, soon?
Will I hear the sizzle of roasted chicken again?
How do I know the chef is ready with the barbeque?

I miss the good times of the week.
I wish all of you health and safety.


My world has slowed down

the globe rotates gently,  to keep on

clouds float in the sky  aimless

Sun never forgets to rise, sleepless

every news warns to stay inside and wash

each nation fights ,towns shrouded in anguish

people flee helpless  to be in their own place

covid19  has left roads deserted with no  trace

doctors and nurses work day and night

summaries flash as ministers take steps tight

police on the streets , march in long lines

for violators in town there are  the fines

there was a man who sold  hot peanuts

now not seen  his cart in front of  youth hangouts

I look out through my window

on the tree I see parrots and a sparrow

the birds are happy , the air is fresh

some people gone jobless , some no longer rush

these days no weekend wanderings

much joy with grandma’s online recipes simmering

when will the world free itself from the pandemic

may the day come soon with good work of many a medic.


Chains Unbroken

Act sensibly with all the responsibility

our life is neither ours nor theirs.

we are forming the links in a chain

percentiles flicker graphs vary

the numbers change randomly

embraced tight pulled together

engaged in things good and bad

there remain some surprises some accidents

but the chain is never broken

for your right actions you found friends

who told right stories, fought evils together

found homes for the homeless

made followers to feed the hungry

giving only goodness to the next

but greed fixed another link

hatred made longer  chains

carless are the covid chains

that shake hands and wash them not

with every link broken does life thrive?

chains are needed to support to care

stronger ones, to pull up our fallen fellow beings

the war is never fought alone

but with each warrior ready

How long..

How many hours more for the Sun to go down

under the expanse of the  roaring sea

pulling over it the thickness of night?

How many hours left as the moonlight polishes

everything clear and  bright

to tell the world  it is perfect?

How many hours remain

before this day passes off into history?

It takes with it memories hard and

opens  slowly the blossoms  scented.

How much time will it take

by which the morning rays befall on earth

turning warm the moist blades of grass?

How long to wait

To hear the bell ring and

my name being called

for the act that is  to begin on the wide stage

set under the white clouds.

The scene I do not know

estranged from the plot as the curtain rises

cannot morph myself into the role.

My red gown missing

gleaning my costumes from the wall

they cover not my inner self

dare not hide the real me

unable to slip into the character of  another human

far away from my rituals.

How many more moments to spend

searching the strings that have tied me here

and  cut them off.

Let the lights glow!

To my wish , set me free.


Words without meanings

Doors  restrict only those  that move

locks  imagine your thoughts will not flee.

A fine  dress  waits  silently  to  enter the banquet hall

from the days it stayed in a cold corner of the cloth rack.

Were sentences hiding in the pages

as words refused the escape to pen  from the soul.

Fingers  round the tool that create the mind’s reflection

paused  never

wanting to throttle each letter birthed anew.

Smearing a feeling  on paper is incomplete

like a photograph of a rose

that cannot give  the sweet smell.

Words  struggle to  be true to the heart

which feels  and each emotion sets out on a journey long

all  the way straight down to the pen

held captive by the fingers.

Sedated by the  rocking movement of the wrist

words forget their way to  the paper

where they are to  get imprinted

and sleep off  in the pen like  a baby.

Let words sleep

as only sleep can  bring dreams

without them  more meaning is impossible

to be given to words that no longer remember

what they had meant.




Art is Life

Why a song does not die with the singer

Nor does a poem perish with the poet ?

Art outlives the artist.

These have been there always

Even before man was created.


Songs turn our  hearts  softer

Poems may just set ablaze our thoughts

A  painting on the wall stirs the soul

The  ivory figure reflects self

With  these  we  keep living on.


Turning tens and thousands of faces to realize ;

Every   mind  to think

Right  here  is what   touches our senses

Wakes us up from slumber

And   fuels our  selves.


Art is   food   for  conscience

To keep  the spirit ticking.

Wishes not granted

Searching   amidst my  wishes  that belong  to a lost realm

engaging in tactics  futile to  recover  at least the  precious ones

seen  only in resting dew  drops hanging  on leaf tips swinging

sometimes to fall down  and diffuse in the soil and  be forgotten.

sun shines through some , glowing them  golden till  they  disappear

sweat  turns wasted as wishes escape off   to dark depths of the sea.

faith in   a radiant  new  moment  makes me try, try  once more

to pursue my  dreams and search for my wishes buried and   lost.






Bird’s eye view


Only birds have  seen the complete picture                                                                       as they see everything  from above.                                                                                     Ignoring  dry  wind  roaring   loud,  much   coarse                                                      higher  they  fly  for a bird’s    eye view.

No bird  has ever turned its eyes away   helpless                                                             doubting its  vision ,perplexed   about  the   images                                                     As the sun  blazes hot   the reality gets   transformed                                                  it assumes   to   be  a non existing  mirage.

Drunk   thoughts blur the wind  borne sights                                                            blinding only people . birds see them   clear                                                                     Time  never  stands still ,wings flap every minute                                                          but  the  birds see it all along  the line of human  plight.

Doubles the speed  of the wind  as wings  go motionless                                         reaching  places revealing views   unknown , unexpected .                                       Lost in   thoughts a  bird never finds its flight surreal                                           gust holds trees  down  denying  refuge in   louring   heights.

Nowhere   a man  returns  to broken  hearts                                                                      events are  designed to  live short  in minds.                                                                     Birds  hover over places same;  undaunted                                                               trace the path of flight pinned   in memory.

The birds fly ,many patterns form , sky colors them                                                     life is flashy ,the birds watch us change the hues.                                                Every time we  turn ourselves into  mystery                                                                  the eyes  of   birds above,  shut tight.

drawing by ShreyaSusan Zacharia