Monday, September 27, 2010

The Shoulder Shrug

Part I - News

The hands didn't twitch

The legs didn't itch
for a maniac stride,
tearing the stitch

His eyes didn't jump
The heart didn't thump
He said nothing, but not
that his throat was a lump

Life had dealt again
cards with burns and stain
He looked on at them
with a quiet refrain

He was facing the walls
where breaking nails crawled
It was tempting to imagine
himself on the floor, sprawled

Part II - Future

The bars might explode
into pencils flying slowed
Their black streaks will fill
the eyes, he forebode

There would be a noose
And a limited range of hues
And a cracking floor on the feet
that'll set the colors loose

A uniform will shout
A hangman will out
the shimmering ghost of death
that doesn't fool about

He thought of the sound
that the plank was bound
to make when it cracked
and was no more the ground

He thought of the stretch
that would sure make a wretch
of his neck and his breath
But it looked like a sketch

Maybe the tongue will out
and gasp or flutter about
No, it would just hang
and leer at them no doubt

This prison set him free
Its lock gave him the key
The endless time told him
life was just a moment to be

Part III - Friends 

He had come to have friends
in not people but elements,
friends he need not talk to,
or talk, it all depends

Like Air. The first of them
Comforting, stable and a gem
Never changed or turned on him
No habits or evil to stem

Sometimes she was grim
when she came to him
with the loss of someone loved
whose stench it held to brim

Other times, however rare,
she would buzz with a fresh affair
Someone must've been let in or out
and she'd smile from my ear to ear

Another friend I soon fell for
was Water, though it was much more
elusive and rare to come but when
it did, it made it up damn sure

The stretches that went by
without it made me shy
of the pleasures we'd had
that left me spent and dry

I wish I could bathe more often
But I never asked the one
who came and unlocked the doors
Maybe 'twas the right amount of fun

I could talk about it no end
about the shivers it sends
through me to touch and be touched
by water, its streams and bends

But lets move on to the third
companion of mine, the earth
The solid, still and steady
The friend with no mirth

This friend, I always wondered,
was it a friend of just under
a debt, guilt, an oath?
to hold my weight and blunder

For it never talked, or told stories
Never had a mood, teary eyed memories
to share with me, to let me in
on them, oh no, hard from the quarries

But I give it for a quality rare
It cares for me when I'd care
And slaps me hard when I slap hard
The Ground, my friend, is ruthless and fair

Part IV - Enemy

Life's good, yes, with friends like these
But what is life without enemies
An enemy I'd always had
It was the Bars, the Bars that tease

They stand with backs all straight
In never a mood for debate
Stern, alert, too proud in power
But it's how they're serious I hate

And look how they stand
all formal and grand
in equi-spaced files
Not one freak errand

It used to be a distraction
Their stillness waiting for action
Their steely observing gaze
and their judgments showing no fraction

Sometimes their spaces between
would tease me and demean
Surely the escape wasn't through them
And escape I wouldn't, but why act mean!

Part V - Life

My crime in that other world
where Light existed and swirled
had been unforgivable
Some nights I shook all curled

But the new friends had been sweet
Acceptance had turned down the heat
They released me, stood there, let me
They folded my conscience neat

Life was good.. no wait,
it was just life, zero and sate
No clue how long it had been
without real urge or hate

Couldn't tell when I slid
to peace that respects the lid
on top off my head, now settled snug
that used to blow off when it did

Couldn't tell when I started
to love the caress good-hearted
of the truest mirror, the floor
that still couldn't answer being farted

Couldn't tell when I missed
the third person tone, to insist
on my plight and took on to 'I's
Oh maybe you noticed and were pissed

Part VI - Dream 

Couldn't tell when another
friend of mine, or rather
this secret acquaintance wild,
turned up in metal and leather

I'd met this friend a few times
in moments unguarded, sublime
who left me on the rope when it cracked
invariably, every single time

So you see, this rude friend, Dream
would barely shake hands and beam
trying to introduce me to Death
but me, such a brute, I scream!

They scamper away, hiding out of sight
Dream, the matchmaker; and Death's cold bite
and I'm left panting, blinking, being stupid
caught by the mighty Ground's might

And as I said, I couldn't tell
when this Dream fellow swell
came back one day
with a sin-dark smell

It's like it had purpose, oh sad
It barged in, like always it had
But no, it was different this time
Darker and calmer, not half as mad

The first time ever did I hear the Bars shout
Not all of them but the closest ones i doubt,
the closest ones to metal, and uniform and leather
The three of them came in, calm throughout

The uniform spoke, clearly, slowly
The leather shuffled, the Ground made lowly
sounds of disapproval, impotent screeching
And the uniform said, the same words holy

That this was the day, that I was to die
But it didn't seem as evil, can't say why
And drawled on, didn't run to me
Didn't push me down, didn't beat me or tie

Didn't do anything, except stand and talk
And told me honestly, didn't leer didn't mock
Just stood there, calm, let a bit of silence pass
then turned and left, like breeze would walk

The metal rod, the leather shoes,
the uniform, the Dream whose
previous meetings were awkwardly violent
left this time without tying the noose!

Part VII - Apex

I stood for long and spoke to Air,
had a chat with the Ground bare,
they told me it wasn't Dream at all!
And all I managed was an empty stare

Death was coming, surely, sure,
but not like a bull running through the door
Rather like a calm, honest kinda chum
And somehow, this gore, it didn't feel sore

So my hands didn't twitch
My heart didn't tug
And my legs didn't itch
but my shoulders did shrug


  1. that was really something.
    im going to be dropping by more often if thats ok.

  2. This comes in the collection of one of the best poems I have heard, till date. :)
    Oh you inspire me soo much!
    soo pach!