a beautiful wordless reflection of a long gone memory

Mirror a wordless reflection one morning in winter. Wordless beauty.
wordless-reflectionLooking at this today brings back long gone memory of a time when he first had a glimpse of her in the mirror. She was getting ready to go to work. He watched her at the door. He could only see her back. But then he saw her smiling in the mirrored reflection. She has her way of smiling which captures heart. Many years ago. Sparkling eyes smiling. He never forgets that smile. Wordless and yet beautiful. He cannot forget.

how to say goodbye to her: a haiku (and a prose)

a silver mountain
a distant snow-covered mountain on the last day of January

How to say goodbye
when he has not even left
many tears and sighs ~~~~~~~~~No, he cannot say goodbye. He has left too many of himself behind. On this particular day he climbs many thousand feet and sees this distant white mountain, so beautiful and enchanting part hidden by the cloud. The scene is most unusual as it is the last day of January and they are supposed to have snow. But the ground is dry and brown and bare. The river T. is still like a dusty long forgotten discarded old mirror. The distant mountain is gleaming white, covered in snow. But the mountain saves the day by its view from a distance. It is too late to go the other side and he has to satisfy himself by viewing from afar, imagining what it is like on the other side. He remembers once he went to her house, not exactly there, a distance away from her house, separated by a park and a lake. He parked his car at the lakeside, under the cool shed of a lone tree. It was an off day from office and he had nowhere to go but to be near her somehow somewhere. So he went there, knowing she was on her off day too after her 48 hours of duty as an assistant anesthetist in the operation theatre. She would be sleeping off the effect of the gases. So he merely stayed under the tree and thought of her. They had newly met and she hardly had time for him. But he was happy and in love. Even though he had to love her from a distance then. It was a wonderful day after all. She woke later and they went for a meal, just the two of them. How can he say goodbye now? He has left his jogging shoes behind. Or perhaps he has left his baseball cap? Or maybe he has left his many half-read books on her shelf? Or his unfinished manuscripts which she has been editing? Yes, he definitely cannot say goodbye. He has left his heart behind.

forgetting is so long: a haiku (and a prose)

never let me gomillions memories

locked in time and space stories

this shore and that shore

~~~~(Concerning your recent thoughts of our past.) I HAVE BEEN THINKING LATELY TOO. Our past. Because there are too many memories. After all we have accumulated 23 years (8395 days, 201480 hours, 12,088,800 minutes, 725,328,000,000 seconds) of being together. I think of the time that had passed. I think of our marriage life together. I would consider our life a good life. We were very close, like the best of friends and much much closer. When I think of the sands running out in the hour-glass of time, I wonder why I never managed to grab them and refuse to let go. I admit I am a mortal. There are things I cannot change. When I was very young, in school, I read a novel titled, “The Foolish Immortals”.  I was drawn to the title. Only fools try to become immortal. I know there are impossibilities in human lives. We cannot change certain natural pre-arrangements. We trust science but we know whatever changes we perform down here are not changed in the spiritual realm. There is a fixed registry there for each mortal. Even marriage. Even love between two individuals. The span, the length, the breadth, the depth, the height. 725.3million seconds is not a short time. But it is too short for me. Far too short. I cannot retract each second much as I want to. Instead of going back to the future I would want to have a vehicle that will bring me back to the past, yes, way past, to before I was even born. I want to ask the Creator to give me a different registry. I would beg for a change in my life history. I would not let go until He says yes. If only I have that miraculous vehicle to go back. I would live differently, still with you, my love, but much much differently. I would not need to let go. Never. Like Pablo Neruda’s poem, “Love is so short, forgetting is so long.”

Excerpts from a poem by Pablo Neruda: Tonight I can write the saddest lines. 

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
…She loved me sometimes, and I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes

…Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her….
My sight searches for her as though to go to her.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.
…Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

the height and depth of love: a haiku (and prose)

green trees and snowI cannot accept

years that last mere ten thousand

trillion still not close

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Time fascinates me. Love can come so fast and gone too soon. Like the fresh snow on the trees. By the time I capture this scene the trees have become green again. The snow has not left a trace on the leaves. I only know that it has snowed because of the white ground. Someone says there is at least six inches of snow. I think of the time we have had together. When I return now to the place where we have been I cannot find anything of yours left behind. Yet I know you have been here with me once and the love we have had has been far deeper and more than the mere six inches of snow. Yet how can anyone ever try to measure the height and depth of love? Someone tries to and composes a song for his loved one in which he claims that he has decided to love her ten thousand years. It is a catchy song and many have sung it to their loved ones. I don’t remember whether I have done the same. I like that song. But I know it is not true. Because no mortal can live that long on earth. I cannot even hold tomorrow in my hand at this moment, how can I talk about ten thousand years? Even if you and I can live ten thousand years, to me it is still too short for my love for you. Trillion? Maybe. But still not close enough.

I could have loved you better: a haiku (and a prose)

sunset traveling
only when love leaves

silently sunset arrives

heart is filled with tears

~~~~~~~~~the word today starts with “R”. Regret. Remorse. Repent. Repressed. Reversed. In matters of human relationship sometimes the harm done is irrevocable. You just cannot reverse the car and pretend that nothing had happened if you have already run over something. On the other hand, the word today can start afresh in more positive expressions: Refreshed, Restored, Reconciled, Rejoice, Regenerated, Rejuvenated, Re-engineered, Revalued (upward), Renovated and many more. There are neutral words too. Revealed. What is revealed is good or bad depends on the content revealed. But it also depends on the interpretor. Like this picture I took with a shaky hand from a vehicle behind a glass barrier. It turned out poorly. But the actual content (the sunset view on a flat land with still water and weeds) is quite nice to behold. I missed the opportunity of capturing the moment of beauty and grace. But did I really miss it? No, there is a sharp and accurate picture stored in my memory (far more superior than a chip). In relationship too, we may think of the past with some regrets. But when we really recall, we can find more moments of joy and love truly shared and treasured. It is the positive contents of a relationship that matter. Yet, on some lonesome moments when we look at old photos, we still would wish we could have loved the others better. Resolution? Take all the positive Rs and start working on relationships that matter to me.

Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:8a)

cross another ocean of loss: a haiku (and prose)


Pacific ocean sunset
an ocean of loss

one day he arrives

another ocean’s sunset

might as well cross it

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~today he knows the extent of his grief. He now knows the length and width and depth of his sense of loss. The ocean of loss.
He is just testing a new mop to see if it functions as claimed like a prized possession. After cleaning a corner of the tiled floor he thinks he might as well clean the whole kitchen. After cleaning the kitchen he thinks he might as well clean the whole sitting room. After that he thinks he might as well clean the guest room and the store at the back. After that he looks at the staircase and thinks he might as well clean it too. when he reaches the top of the stairs he cleans the first floor hall, the master room, another guest room and so on. He ends up cleaning the whole house except one guest room because it is locked. He has spent about eleven hours mopping, breaking all time record. What is a writer doing wielding a mop (brand new it may be)? Nothing can be more incongruous. He should have been wielding a pen. Then he remembers a scene of Forrest Gump running from ocean to ocean for no particular reason. But unlike Forrest, in his case, he cannot turn back. Since he has run this far, at this land end, he might as well cross it.

Here is the quote from the movie: The context is when Forrest Gump found out that Jenny (his lifelong love) did not want to marry him and had chosen to leave him. He woke up one morning and found that she had left him.

Forrest Gump:
That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. So I ran to the end of the road. And when I got there, I thought maybe I’d run to the end of town. And when I got there, I thought maybe I’d just run across Greenbow County. And I figured, since I run this far, maybe I’d just run across the great state of Alabama. And that’s what I did. I ran clear across Alabama. For no particular reason I just kept on going. I ran clear to the ocean. And when I got there, I figured, since I’d gone this far, I might as well turn around, just keep on going. When I got to another ocean, I figured, since I’d gone this far, I might as well just turn back, keep right on going.

how to write love haiku: two haiku (and a prose)

how to write haikuFirst haiku ~~~~~~how i write you love

many nights and countless tears

thousands sleepless dreams

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Writing about love is tough because love is tough. Writing a haiku as a love letter is tougher. How to speak love in three lines, each in a limited number of sound syllabus, totaling seventeen syllabus in all? If you can, please tell me. Sometimes he feels like trying to describe this marshland. Not far from the ocean and yet it is not a seashore. It does not have the clean and pure snow white sands that tumble all the way down the emerald green water and thence hidden under the jeweled green moist and soft carpet, joyously twirling, reaching for the end of the horizon to touch the dreamy purple mountain on another shore, or perhaps further rising, stretching and touching the blue painted sky, becoming part of the great picture in the celestial realm deckled and crested with the most precious translucent stars at night. No. This marshland is brownish and does not sparkle even when under the sun. That is how a love haiku appears at times when sad water churns within a man’s heart bringing up muddy sands while struggling to decide to love or not to love. Yes, the sadness is due to him being far and yet far enough from the one he loves. Like the brown sands away from the ocean. He can hear the ocean tenderly singing its songs at night but he cannot reach it.

Second haiku ~~~~~~~~~so true is my love

it can only be whisper

for your ears betrothed 

a long goodbye: a haiku (and a prose)

trees and cloudlike a movie scene

they pose and say long goodbye

captured time and space

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Their relationship is at an impasse. Neither gives way. At some points they have to say goodbye but no one will say it first. Like a movie scene, the moment of freeze is captured on screen. Yet movies often promise good endings. Some of the famous ones are as follows:

Casablanca had its world premiere on November 26, 1942 at the Hollywood Theatre in New York. The final line of this brilliant film was spoken by nightclub owner Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) to collaborationist police boss Captain Louis Renault (Claude Rains) as they leave vanquished Morocco to join the Free French army in West Africa.

“Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship,” said Bogart.

In the first Back to the Future, a 1985 film directed by Robert Zemeckis and produced by Steven Spielberg, Dr. Emmet Brown (Christopher Lloyd) says to Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox):

“Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need roads.”

Unashamedly tear-jerking – the final lines to Frank Capra’s 1946 film ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ are spoken by Zuzu and then George Bailey (James Stewart).

“Look, Daddy. Teacher says, every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.”
“That’s right, that’s right. Attaboy, Clarence.”

In the final scene of the Oscar-winning 1939 weepie Gone With the Wind, southern belle Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh) is left standing in the hall of her mansion after Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) walks out on her with the parting shot: “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn”. The words O’Hara utters – almost the same as in Margaret Mitchell’s 1936 book – are optimistic:
“I’ll go home and I’ll think of some way to get him back. After all, tomorrow is another day!”

His dream must have seemed so close: a haiku (and a prose)

another shore day

No green light tonight*

she and hers have gone too far

leaving him behind ~~~~~~~~~

“His dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby. A dream is a dangerous thing, the traveler knows. Real and yet not really real. Close and yet not that close. Like the distance between two shores. An unedited picture brings out the perspectives. The minuscule dots happen to be the humans. However real an ideal (or a dream) may be it is still not real and like the distance of vastness the sands get in between. Sands do not go with the tides. They are merely hidden under the water. Where can sands go anyway? They drift on the surface of the crust of the earth globe. Shifting from spot to spot. The traveler knows this. And Gatsby didn’t. On the other hand, a good constant man/woman is hard to find not just in Gatsby’s days. Like the rare species going extinct on earth. How the vast sandy shore has revealed. Where have all the creatures gone?

A wonderful nostalgic song from yesteryears (Note: stars do not keep burning constantly. They die too.)

Cliff Richard – Constantly Lyrics

All day I’m walking in a dream
I think about you constantly
Just like an ever flowing stream
Your memory haunts me constantlyShadows fall and I try to drive you from my mind
So you’re no longer near to me
But my heart sees you there with me
Every sunset you share with me

The rain that patters through the trees reminds
Me of you constantly
Your name is whispered by the breeze and love birds
Bring your song to me

Just as sure as the stars keep burning
In the sky your love will stay a flame in me
A flame that burns so bright
Not only through the night
But constantly

Just as sure as each star keeps burning
In the sky your love will stay a flame in me
A flame that burns so bright
Not only through the night
But constantly

Though we may be far apart
You’re constantly deep in my heart

*“If it wasn’t for the mist we could see your home across the bay,” said Gatsby. “You always have a green light that burns at the end of your dock.” (― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby)

through glass I view love: a haiku and a prose

view from train windowher heart laced a glimpse

of mirror both sides reflect

vaguely I detect

~~~~~~~~~~~~I take this from a window on a fast train preparing to climb a mountain in winter. It is not clear. Perhaps my hand shakes a bit as I try to avoid knocking down the coffee and cake of another traveler over whom I lean to capture this view which to me is beauty in contrast in her own way: bare brown earth pebbled with stones like abandoned flock asleep (forgotten to wake for home) or are they real sheep? long lost friends close enough to knock on my window -a bleakness of trees without leaves- and all these graced with a backdrop of gold and my favorite water-colored washed light blue sky. In someway this picture reminds me of the love that I haven’t forgotten in a momentary snap-shot of my heart.

she knows love: a haiku (and prose)

green hopeHis heart with hope glows

her new song from ocean’s end

never ebbing flow

~~~~~~~~~~~~~“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby. Having come to his thirtieth haiku on the theme of LOVE, he discovers this twist, a turn to the positive. She calls. She says, “Never give up hope.” She knows love.

This is the song she sings:

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”

(From the Holy Bible NLT 1 Corinthians 13)


If I sell you love: a haiku (and a prose)

If I sell you my love
on a fast car looking at the side mirror

Will you buy from me

if I sell you my heart ache

bleeding all in blue

~~~~~~~~~~~~~He tries the last resort. He decides to start a healing school -treating cases of heart aches. There is no lack of supplies and demands. He has a theatre full. But he specializes on only one kind of heart ache, a rare kind, the kind called LOVE. Last night he heard love sing this song: “If I sell you love, will you buy from me?” He heard himself crying out loud, “I will. I will.” He is willing to pay any price. Even the full worth of his life. She just has to say, “Sold.” To him. But no, love cannot be sold. Unless love is this little poem.

Song of Solomon 8:6-7 New Living Translation (NLT)

Place me like a seal over your heart,
    like a seal on your arm.
For love is as strong as death,
    its jealousy[a] as enduring as the grave.[b]
Love flashes like fire,
    the brightest kind of flame.
Many waters cannot quench love,
    nor can rivers drown it.
If a man tried to buy love
    with all his wealth,
    his offer would be utterly scorned.

she sings unending love: a haiku (and a prose)

unending love2I cannot tell you

depth of sea and height of sky

my love has no end

~~~~~~~~~~One day he cannot breathe. He lies there on a couch panting for his life. She is there. She looks into his eyes and sings a love song. She is a medical doctor but she is off duty. And she sings to him, holding his hands and telling him not to die. He wants to tell her how much he still loves her and how much he appreciates her love and care: all the tender moments, days and nights, weeks, months, and years they have had together. He opens his mouth and no sound comes forth because he cannot find his breath. She continues singing the sound of hope. The sound of love. The sound of eternity. His eyes well up in tears. She too. Tears roll down her beautiful pale cheeks and she continues to sing to him. She only sings for him. It is the most beautiful song he has ever heard. Her hands are soft and warm. She has small hands for a doctor. She is not there as a professional. She is there because they love each other. Twenty years have passed and their time is up. He is leaving their home. She too. Separately. It is a song of departure and goodbye. Like the closing of a chapter in their book. The story has been written. The end has ended. Like a movie screen that spells “THE END.” When he falls asleep she is still singing. When he wakes, she is gone. The song lives on between them.

his best not strong enough for love: a haiku (and a prose)

train climbing up

Not strong enough love

he tries his best honestly

giving in dying

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~He tries very hard to love her. Like climbing uphill on an old freight train. Sitting in the last coach car he looks out. The front coaches have wheeled ahead and turned to another direction round the bend. He can see the front coaches moving like they are leaving his coach behind. Like they are totally unrelated. Sometimes he feels that way with his love for her. She is so far ahead. Turning to a new direction somewhat beyond his reach. He tries to catch up. He works hard. He misses many turns. He looks backward. He recalls the many nights they watch the stars until morn. He drinks coffee at his pace alone, one sip at a time. He listens to the wind rustling the fallen leaves. He writes short love poems for her. He writes her one letter a day. Sometimes she receives a whole stack of them when the postman rings only once a week. When he goes to work in a distant country he calls daily. He remembers the public phone in the basement of a Japanese departmental store in an Asian city. He goes there for dinner daily and makes long distance phone calls to her. One day he sees a classic movie. About a strong and futile love between two classmates (a young man and a young woman who disguises herself so she can attend college) that had a sad ending. Both become butterflies. The whole movie theatre seems to be filled with audience who sob, young and old, man and woman. Tears roll down his cheeks. He doesn’t bother to wipe them off as he cannot keep fresh tears from flowing down again. Their love is strong but not strong enough to help them to run away from home (and their society) and start a new life together. Strong enough to die together but not strong enough to live together. Sad story. He is not even strong enough to die. He lives on. Like now on this train that goes uphill. She lives on, in another city. He now knows, strong love means living on regardless. Living is stronger than giving up and dying. Because living means hope.

the day they cross the channel: a haiku (and a prose)

crossingThat day she speaks love

her hair caressing the wind

in place never been

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~He remembers that day. They cross the English channel together. They have flown many hours just to get there so they can cross the channel together. It is a sight of brilliant whiteness. The white waves. The white seagulls. The white clouds in the sky. He remembers her standing on the deck with her long hair blown all over her face. She is smiling at him. She is happy. He is happy too. They are very young. Very in love. They are newly married. Everybody knows. Not because they wear their rings of wedding vows on their fingers. Not because they are so young and fresh like new graduates from the collage of marital bliss. Not because they hang out together come what may. The look in their locked eyes betray their status. Remarks a fellow passenger. A seasoned married man with his wife. “How do you know we are married and not just living together?” He asks. The older couple laugh, “We know the difference.” They never tell how they know. Perhaps because the older man loves his wife too in the tender way a married couple do for each other. They have never crossed the same channel again. For that matter he cannot remember another boat ride except on lakes and rivers. Not the ocean. He misses the ocean. Because it’s wide and deep. It speaks of his love for her. He cannot remember the words she has spoken to him that day. Perhaps she has spoken with her eyes. Words without sound. Received and set deep in his heart like the vow he has hand-carved on her white-gold wedding ring. She likes white. On the day of the crossing she wears her white cotton dress with a light blue coat. This he remembers. White clouds with a backdrop of blue sky.  White waves  with a backdrop of blue ocean. How he misses that day of crossing.

sometimes he doesn’t know love: a haiku (and a prose)

solitary dawn

Now he doesn’t know

Sometimes he thinks he knows love

in moments alone

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~He doesn’t know her anymore. They have parted for too long and the distance is too far. He still remembers this often at dawn. How he has driven for hours in the early hours on a treacherous winding  country lane up the foggy hill to visit her, usually arriving at dawn. The look on her face when she opened her door and shook her head. Her large dark eyes said, “No. Don’t come anymore.” But her heart softened when she saw the helplessness of the condition he was in then. They stood at the doorway. Eyes locking. Then she stepped backward a bit and let him into her apartment in that lonely outpost. She took his overnight bag into the sitting room, “You are too tired to drive all the way back. Stay a night and then you are off.” She showed him to the  sitting room and cleared a couch for him to rest. “I’ll make you a hot chicken soup. Look at how skinny and worn you have become!” Then she started cooking. Then they had coffee on the verandah, watching the fading stars. He usually stayed two nights, sleeping on the couch. She might be on duty and had to rush to perform surgery from time to time. She cooked for him and then left in a hurry and returned many hours later. In the evening they sat at the verandah and drank coffee and watched the stars rising. The workmanship of the starry night sky at the outpost was rare and perfect. They both liked Kenny G. He liked the love songs sung by Michael Bolton too, such as, How Am I Supposed To Live Without You. How is he supposed to live without her, having been loving her for so long? How is he supposed to carry on? They both knew his question. They both knew the answer too. He just has to carry on without her. Over the many years they have parted, he has lived on. It’s just that dawn comes every morning. And he always remembers. The way they were. 


a taller tree of love: a haiku (and a prose)

taller treeHe now knows this truth

love means taller straighter route

tree beyond compare ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Standing still and guarding a precious tender love is a very hard thing. Often impossible. First he needs to be true. Then he needs to see from a perspective higher than the rest. He needs divine strength inside out. “Love with all his heart, with all his soul, with all his mind, and with all his strength.” A tall call. If not tall, it will not be worth the love. So he stretches himself until he stands taller than the rest. He lifts up all his branches skyward. To the blue beyond.

a wall of love: a haiku (and a prose)

a veil of treesSeeing you from far

glancing through a wall of trees

distance I can’t cross ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Loving someone without the reality of getting close to her anymore is like being left outside an impenetrable wall. He cannot climb up the wall. It is not proper to do so. He cannot pull it down. It is not allowed by law. He can only go there every windy night, whispering her name, softly and tenderly, wishing that the south wind may carry his voice through the wall somehow and brush (like his fingers) across her beautiful long hair, touching her fresh and flushed cheek, gently holding her rather small smooth hands, which memories are so vivid in his mind, no matter the fact that many years have lapsed and he has not heard even one word from her lips. (If you happen to walk past this way you will see his straight back, standing tall in the shadow of the tall forbidding walls. Actually he has become a tree. Tree at her window.)

walking in the green park: a haiku (and a prose)

20160227_094527 copyI think I’m alone

I hear my friend calling me

walking far beyond ~~~~~~~~~~~~coming home means I can walk anytime of the day as the green park is just nearby, about ten minutes’ drive. My occasional (like once in a blue moon) passing sadness is that I am walking alone again, unlike the clouds which tend to gather together in pairs. Old memories refuse to obliterate themselves. The clouds are plus points here as they are clean white clouds filled with water inside. You can see the water sometimes. The sky too is not bone dry blue. The sky here is soft and watery mild blue which speaks of gentleness and tenderness like a love long gone but never really forgotten.