I do not know whether it is
the miraculous ways of the universe
or whether you have prophetic abilities
but these daily prompts have begun
to determine my day for me
as I recall seeing patterns
for several days since I wrote about them
and think of how often I’ve spotted
the word fragrant in the last few days
and I think of how
since the moment I woke up today
my day has been utterly restless
save for the few moments of respite
that reading poetry has offered to me -
even the word restless
and, worse, restlessness,
feel as if something very screechy
is scratching at the spine
but I am grateful for good friends
and for poetry and the solace
that words can offer in these
deeply distressing days
and I must find newer
and newer ways to dilute
this restlessness into something
that I can slowly and very
-Shivangi Adani (head to her Instagram to hear her recite this)
All my life a feeling that have
prosecuted me everywhere,
from since I was a child, is restlessness.
I am restless when I am in love
because I can’t trust my own feelings.
I am restless when someone loves me
because my heart makes me believe
I am not lovable.
I am restless when I achieve something new
because my mind coerces me to think
I don’t deserve it.
I am restless when my mother calls me beta
because I feel I am not enough capable
to carry the weight of this term.
When I write poetry
I pour out all my feelings,
but then I ask myself
what will remain to me
if I free all my feelings
and I feel restless, again.
Sometimes I want to write a letter
to my soul and tell it to be less restless
and trust myself, a bit more,
at least for a little time so I can feel
how it feels not to be restless.
I don't know what it is
about misplaced objects
that makes me so restless.
I'm sorry i got mad at you
when you threw your clothes
on the bed, and I'm sorry i
made you feel unwelcome
when you spilled your heart
on my palm, where I thought
it didn't belong. I was wrong.
Listen, I know all the ways
my body trembles and
I am aware of how mess
can trigger something in me
I don't quite understand.
But I'm learning how to be
still with you, for you,
even on days when the earth
rebels and spins out of orbit.
I shut the sun behind these blinds,
and bury me in a blanket
on a thick summer afternoon;
Today, I woke up after
counting the rotations of the blades
of my fan all night,
And my heart has resolved
to put up a fight.
I put a song on repeat-
Every creek in this house,
Every rustle of the leaves
of these house-plants,
Every noise from the streets,
Every tick-tick from the hands
of the clock,
Slits through my ears-
I'm tired of listening to everything,
all at once.
My leg shakes in the same rhythm
as the rotations of the fan;
I have counted every 1080000 rounds
of these blades go round,
at the pace of my heart.
I told auntie to not bother with coffee and yet as uncle prattles on a story of how his blue car was towed at MG Road I see her pull out more than 2 cups placing the milk on the stove walking away from the kitchen to join uncle’s laughter which is at least 10 footsteps away and auntie’s feet are small but all I can think of is how his bike’s rear view mirror was broken after it had been towed when she snaps her fingers to ask me if I would like to play cards with them today and I nod with a vacant expression for how did she not have sweaty palms so uncle gets up to find a deck in a room whose door steadily closes behind him and my pounding brain cannot remember if I did lock my house’s door because the keys are not in my pocket but probably in my bag which is sitting across from me but uncle is back with the cards which he begins to distribute and continues his story where the car was found undented but green in colour, while my trembling feet worry whether my door’s bolted as I hear the milk revolting, but auntie is chattering and walking back to the kitchen, her head turned to face not the stove but us and just as the milk is about to tip over from the vessel she moves it and sieves in into three cups, two with coffee and places it on a stand just as uncle opens the door to Mari, our watchman who had come with both of our electricity bills and auntie joins the game nudging me to play next while all I can think about is paying my electricity bill and did I switch off my geyser?
The collective restlessness
Of a people under lockdown
Tells a story
That the greatest failure
Of our society
Has been to cultivate
A collective flaw
An addiction to black gold
Blackening our rivers
Even while blackening our lungs
We learned not to care
We became the sickness
A persistent cough
We were also the cure
Political engagement for a structural shift
It took a virus to name our fear
The fear of not being productive
The fear of slowing down
The fear of being still
Its earth day today
Even the earth was getting restless
COVID-19 has put us on notice
To us the patients
But just wait until
Until the climate crisis really kicks in