books

The chores I hate

I hate sweeping floors and mise en place
and to do for people, things
I know they can do themselves.

That is why, I create lists upon lists
of the chores I hate,
knowing that I will find solace
only in a few moments
of unguarded poetry.

But then, one day
my father told me
my poems were no longer poetic
and my words, no longer enough.

So I decided that day,
I’d stop writing
if writing was to be a chore. (more…)

Poetry of the Heart

It’s ironic and almost hilarious that I once sent some poems to a literary magazine and assumed that I was rejected and not published without actually checking the magazine. I went through Thumb Print magazine just now to find that I was actually published in it. Special thanks to Dr Ananya S Guha for his kind words and for giving me a platform to showcase my creativity. It melts my heart that I am noticed, even if it is in the slightest way. It gives me hope that dreams do come through and one day, it’ll be even more than this.

POETRY EDITOR ANANYA GUHA’s NOTE:

Bethamehi Joy Syiem’s poems delight for their honest, ineffable utterances. This is poetry of the heart. Ancestry, relationship, history and love are the promontories of her poetry. There is a narrative power in her poetry, story within a story. She is not overtly didactic, the moral question is in limbo, it is left to the reader to discover it. The first poem interprets ‘blood’ variously- remarkable for a person of her age. Here is a very young poet confronted by the vastness of life. Her technique has finesse, she comprehends the craft remarkably well.

Click on the link below to check out the website for Thumb Print Magazine

Poetry of the heart- Shillong

Long have been the days

Long have been the days since he
stopped looking back to view the being
of his previous existence. He chooses to
disregard time and so-

He discovers his order only in the
midst of the anarchy of a random
life and the apathy of unresolved
conflicts. These days, he prefers
to sit in libraries, high on drugs
whose names he does not know,
a world he does not care to know.

Confined in rows of books, he sees
his soul burning in the breeze
that blows to move the pine trees
outside. He watches the doctor with
his medical research, the teenage girl
with her pink lips and heavy
encyclopedias.

He will probably return with a notebook
like the blue collared boy here. Maybe,
he would write again but then, good things
are over too fast and what is poetry if
it is painful?

He sits with his thoughts trapped in
between books that are not his own.

On the wall at the end of the library
is a picture of an old lady from some
ancient tribe that he does not recognize.
Whoever she is, she is a happy woman-
unlike the poet that cries as he looks
at her crooked smile and heavy tin
jewelery. Even her thin blackish hair
and bony arms are more beautiful than
he could ever be. (more…)

Taro

Taro

I.

Beyond that horizon lies the true purpose of your life.”, he said.

I didn’t think much of it. To me, old Mr. Roy was just old and maybe a little crazy. The things he said were usually abnormal and somewhat twisted. His rather large and thick glasses resembled the bottom of one of my grandmother’s jam bottles. In fact, they looked so old and dusty even as he was wearing them that it seemed to me like he had just dug them out of some excavation site. They were just plainly obscure. But then, old Mr. Roy was an obscure old man. He wore an over-sized gray overcoat that neither matched his brown pleated pants or black laced shoes. He was holding a black hat that he carried everywhere but never actually wore. It seemed eternally fastened to his bony fingers. (more…)

Stranger

Hey familiar strangers

Somewhat wrong and somewhat right

Treacherously beautiful and recklessly ambitious

It’s been too long

You say.

Your hearts, once mine

Thrown to the stormy winds.

I know you not,

Not anymore.

everyday_journeys_by_dorottyas-d5s97li

Picture courtesy of http://www.deviantart.com

Poetry and Life

I believe there are two kinds of poems a poet can write- the first kind being the ones with some sort of deliberate message, be it didactic or not; while the second kind being the kind we never want to be questioned about. Well at least that is how it is with me. Of late, I find myself preferring to write more poems of the latter kind. These poems bear no meaning or message for me to explain but only that which is somewhat hidden in between the lines. I guess poems as in songs are just places where a person can vent out their true feelings of anger or sorrow or pain or joy. Well, a lot of times I write poems that do just that. I lay it all out. Maybe that is why I’d rather not explain. I’d rather not show myself to the world. Poems- certain kinds of poems- make their creators vulnerable. I think a lot of times we don’t want people to ask us why or what we meant. We dont’ want to be vulnerable. (more…)

Bliss

Today I sat for what seemed like hours on end in a bookstore, leafing through Neruda, Saki, Marquez and a few other legends. The old books. The new books. The smell of the books and the wood. The feeling that comes along. Pure joy. Blissful. Passionate. I run out of words.
If you don’t know this, you don’t know life.

THE UNFORGIVING OCEAN AND THE UNRELENTING BOY

At the deck,

Between the giants,
Anchored amidst the expensive yachts
And the boisterous looking commercial vessels
Is a small little boat,
Ahmed’s boat.

He is not a seafarer
Nor is he any more experienced than his baby sister Maya
He is but a child
Still, the little boat was his own
His father but a humble fisherman
His mother a lowly washerwoman
Nevertheless Fate had different plans for Ahmed

At fourteen,
The sun was but a blob of orange paint
The horizon was all too close
And sailing all too simple.
Yet he knew he must go:
Go forth into the wide ocean
To reach foreign lands and make his fortunes.

Father questioned his motives
Mother cautioned him
Still he sailed
With unrelenting courage
And a fire that burns within his soul.

The sea was still,
The anchor pulled up
The oars taken out.

At fourteen,
He saw the world as a kaleidoscope
Each reflection in all six mirrors was poles apart
In one, he saw the calm blue waters
In another, a storm
Then the undeniable silence
That dread of what was to come
Along with the exhilaration
And the will to conquer.

Tempest came,
In deadly whirlwinds and torrential pours
The little boat overturned
With Ahmed barely holding on.
“I mustn’t die” he whispers
With a gulp of salt water
And a shrill cry
He holds on,
With unrelenting courage
And a fire that burns within his soul.

The blue waters finally settle
The little boat sails straight once more
He faces that orange blob on the horizon
Unafraid and determined
Because courage does not relent
And fire does not die.

storm

#previously published in The Shillong Times