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Poetry Month: DISTANCE

long distance relationships - a haiku

i just want to say

i love yo- wait what now

your voice is breaking"


I've folded


a quiet


where time

ceases play

when isolation

doesn't exist

a moment

just a moment

a room

just a room

no wishing

for lost time

no wanting

loved roads

not that

not this

just a

full IS


Yes, we are distant you and me.

Yet think the sky flourishing above you is one

gigantic lacrosse field that flourishes above me too

and when you see the sun this morning,

think it is a rubber-ball I squeezed tight in my palm

before rolling it across our unending pasture of blue

so it could reach you by the time you wake up-

the wind is the force of my arm swing

and the clouds you see in this cloudless weather

are undying puffs of smoke from the cigar I burned last night.

And because I deliver the world to you,

from across the oceans, it is only understandable

for me to dream that every morning before you wake up

your eyelids are heavy wooden chairs,

the kinds you must drag from an empty class

into yours when out of seats -

heavy, because I’m not there

and your spine, a floppy doorknob: drooping unhinged -

again, because I’m not there.

Every noon, I’ll hang my pearly white underwear on the balcony,

folded into what looks like two crescents,

so that you must think of nothing else when you gaze at the moon.

I’ll keep dreaming about your soul -

gormless, if not for my daily dispatches.

And my love, we did promise that we would

do our best to fulfil each other’s dreams, didn’t we?


I am looking at you

with quarantined eyes

from the space between

window blinds

breathing through an N-95.

I am looking at you

holding grocery bags

in supermarket lines

sitting alone in abandoned


I am looking at you

standing on your toes

stocking your medicine cabinet

dreaming of all

the oceans you'll sail across.

I am looking at you

sitting at my desk

writing with your moist breath;

playing with my dog.

I am looking at you


empty streets

round corners

silent cinema halls.







Last night I found myself sitting in the kitchen, ⁣⁣

Staring into the sink, talking to a spoon. ⁣⁣


I have a weird habit of asking questions,⁣⁣

So I said to the spoon, ⁣⁣

“How does it feel like to be washed over and over again and get rehashed?”⁣⁣

“Haha, must be helpless”, I exclaimed.⁣⁣


“Forget it”, I said.⁣⁣

“Let's talk about the family you live with, give me feedbacks.”⁣⁣

“Okay”, the spoon said. ⁣⁣


“Your little brother, he holds me too tight, and I think there's a slight wound between the fingers of his right hand. I think he's getting bullied in school.”⁣⁣


“You wouldn't know that, you're not a therapist, so shut up.”⁣⁣

The spoon just shrugged and continued. ⁣⁣


“Your sister, I melt like butter in your sister's mouth, she has so much kindness hidden beneath her tongue.”⁣⁣


“Ah, she's like that”, I said. ⁣⁣

“What about my father though?”⁣⁣


“Oftentimes he puts too much weight on me, and clatters me with his teeth. I have explored all the dark corners of his mouth but it seems that he has turned off the light for anyone to see what he feels and God knows where has he hidden the switch to turn the light back on.”⁣⁣


”Hmm I guess, maybe you're right”, I said softly. ⁣⁣

“And my mother?”⁣⁣


“Um, she throws me onto the floor many times. It hurts but it feels like she is releasing her anger. All these years of trying to find that switch to turn the light back on has made her short-tempered.”⁣⁣


That made me tear up a bit. ⁣⁣

I gathered myself back and asked,⁣⁣

”What about me? How do you feel about me?”⁣⁣


“Well, for starters, talking to a spoon at midnight isn't going to fix your heart”, the spoon replied. ⁣⁣

Prashant Pundir, Conversation with a spoon⁣⁣


Sunday mornings started with

My father playing Manna Dey's

Zindagi Kaisi Yeh Paheli,

Blaring out of the age old gramophone

That he inherited

At a volume, loud enough

To serve as an alarm

To the entire sleeping neighborhood

My sister and I

Would jump out of the bed we shared

And complain and laugh over Papa's

Extremely melancholic taste in music.

Sunday mornings were about

My 7 year old tantrums

To let me eat my cereal 

While watching Oswald and his adventures

Instead of eating at the dining table.

Sunday was a division of chores

Dusting the bookshelves

Sweeping the floors

Cleaning photo frames

Only to stop and look at our parents' albums

Telling us a story

Like a silent movie from the 70s

In black and white.

Sunday was an escape

From the rest of the week

A game of ludo

And sunsets from the balcony.

Sundays were a ritual 

Until it wasn't

Until our family scattered

In different time zones

My sister, five hours ahead

My brother, seven hours behind

And even though, I exist

In the present

I'm living in the past

In the veranda of my ancestral house

Crying to Manna Dey

When he sings

Zindagi Kaisi Yeh Paheli, Haaye

Kabhi Toh Hasaaye, Kabhi Yeh Rulaaye.


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