My Journey

I was just a drifter

Sifting through the latitudes

a man with an attitude

A bad apple in a forest

playing bass for the thrills

of the stage and the mosh pits

Of dissolution and apathy

and our band was called Chalk

my sister was none too happy

to see me

those days

and neither was this statue

for I’d broken all the statutes

Of healthy living

I followed a herd

Through the jungle

where I bungled

and mumbled

and puddled

until I came to a wall

Way past Lebanon

And Jordan

at the border

I was stripped off of my clothes

and asked if I carried bombs

before they let me go

I walked reverse

on the Via Dolorosa

and then met this guy

a fellow musician

and I heard

he was a poet too

I ignored the signs

stepped on some mines

that blew my mind

and took a wrong turn

where I met

a sphinx

I think

I later went fishing

on the Nile

my foodstocks diminishing

to Nil

Soon

I gave up

this trial

and watched some belly dancing

more like prancing

didn’t much enjoy it

I prayed where I could

As the strangeness

Of newness

had muddled my wits

and tired my spirits

though my uncle

did open

a duty-free bottle of vodka

I felt so small

when faced with this stone wall

when I was done rambling

and safe back home

I rode to the river (Not this one. It’s too dirty, but I don’t have a picture of the other one)

And let the small fish

nibble away at my feet

Eliminating all evidence

(My callused toes)

so that nobody else knew

of my life’s journey

For i had done nothing

to be proud of

Moussaka Propaganda

Aubergines

Yummy potatoes

Minced meat sauce

Creamy top

Moussaka is the bestest!

I love moussaka!

*

Fish and chips

They are not always

That tasty

Moussaka!

Moussaka is the greatest

I love moussaka!

*

Moussaka!

From delightful isles

Moussaka!

Tastiest

Because I shout the loudest

I love moussaka!

*

Big Brother

Eats his moussaka

With relish

And red wine

And some bread and olive oil

He loves moussaka!

(Dang! I just missed the deadline)

Bad Poetry

Old man, I still look up to you

Despite your venomous spew

No respite you show, and I’m glad

Though your rigid mind makes me sad

Why did you want to make
everyone you know:

Think like you? Walk like you? Talk like you? Rhyme like you? Dance like you? Sing like you?

Was it a clone you were looking for
or something whole?

A frail Dolly, or someone with
his own mind and soul?

I know I’m young and naive
my mind’s a new sieve

Unclogged potency…
Sure, I engage in idiocy,

petty drivel, base and low…
I just let it all flow

I’m a sinner, a dolt,
a street magician lacking flavour

You’re Houdini, grand magical shows
the masses savour

I, a parlour trickster,
look for new Magic wherever

I looked to you for guidance,
you gave me poison

But never mind…

I still look to you for guidance
not as mentor but as rival

Call me a peddler of drivel.
Call me anything you deign, don’t refrain

Because, your mind that is so unbending
I still find utterly fascinating

Abuse me all you like
I am honoured and delighted

I hoard every curse y’throw my way
like precious treasure.

(My blogging experience in 2018 was very interesting. It also ended with my mental breakdown. Blogging was definitely one of the factors. I used to take other people’s poems very personally. There was this poet I admired, who got quite rude in the comments for something trivial. I used to try and imitate him from time to time. I responded to his poems with poems of my own. He’d write about the horrors of Gettysburg, and I’d write about the creation of the Red Cross at Antietam soon after he posted it. Stuff like that… in hindsight, I do not think he read my responses. I really liked his style. Sadly, he died a few months after I wrote this. This poem was a response to one I thought he’d written about me.)

Madness from 2018

Am I psychotic for having vivid waking dreams, or are you just blind?

Am I a joker for seeking meaning, where you see none?

Am I insipid for being content with my lot, or are you just greedy?

Am I a coward for being polite, or is your bravado just crudity?

Am I a fool for admitting to ignorance and looking for answers everywhere?

Am I a recluse for enjoying my own company, or do your masquerades hold meaning?

Am I a sinner for not going to confession, for meditating on my sins in isolation?

Am I lazy for not caring about singular purpose or success, moving wherever the wind takes me?

Am I doomed to eternal fire for ruminating on but not agreeing with your opinion?

I guess the answer will always be ‘yes’ and ‘no’.

Way past ‘redemption’, I know I am, but that word doesn’t mean the same to me as it does to you.

Salvation in a can is not for me, but for lucky you. My journey is different, a rudderless boat sailing on unknown currents.

You pray for Grace and receive it with gentle thanks or slap it away like morons, while I have it shoved down my throat and taken out again and again… like an unending vasectomy!

I feel like an automaton… a puppet… But a puppet who knows he’s a puppet. Individual free will, sure, but not in the grand scheme of things.


Come pierce me with Your arrows of duality.

Come torture me with blinkers.

Light/dark Light/dark Light/dark Light/dark Light/dark

They don’t understand, so they can’t help but think I’m mad!

But that’s okay… They’re not taking this journey, I am! So let them jeer. It don’t mean a thing cos they ain’t never heard no swing.


Perhaps this is all a meaningless delusion of grandeur…

Or perhaps not… Who knows…

In any case it creates new inspiration.

So say what you will… I really don’t care

Throw salt in my wounds, I can’t feel them anyway. You’ll never get close enough to rub it in, but…

If it makes you feel better, then go ahead…

If it ends in illumination then even better

Sow and reap what you will

Not my problem any more

I’ll just keep strumming my guitar

To the only tune I can hear.

(Note from 2022: This is what a full blown episode of mania sounds like. I do not think I will ever experience this again. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. It would be nice to have that same energy… and strange visions. There’s a part 2 to this ‘poem’)

Paean to Nemesis (Apollo Bonus Issue)

Hail Nemesis, Lady of Rhamnous, come hither

On this cold and dark night I begin to tire

Of constantly dodging your sword light and your ire

Tonight, come sit with me by the cozy fire

 

Carve me open, this night I hide nothing

Measure me on your silver weighing scale

I'm tired of your relentless hunting

And too weary to blaze another trail.

 

Perhaps I am arrogant and that is why you chase me

Or perhaps it's for some past sin I’ve long forgotten

Whatever it is, let it take me to purgatory

And let all the fire there burn out everything rotten

 

If that’s not why you’re always on my back, Adrestia

Then let’s play some music, after a few drinks

You play the harpsichord, while I strum on some strings

Let’s invoke the Baroque with a fughetta

 

And then laugh about this whole misunderstanding.



(Another one from 2018.
 I modified it a little.   This isn't really a Paean.
 I don't know why,  but I have been feeling an 
itch to post entries these past two weeks,
 whether old or new. Mania again? 
I hope it goes away soon.  I also hope it doesn't.
  I love the inspiration I get during these times. 

 I wrote a more natural sounding Paean to Apollo.
 I got a little too obsessed with Greek and 
Near Eastern mythology at that point in my 
life, maybe even to the point of madness.
 That's all over now.)



-Paean to Apollo-


The priests sing, before battle:

Come here, Apollo, brilliant bull of light

Ivy tressed horns pointed at our adversary

Your roar makes our enemy weak with blight

O io Apollo, exorcise and heal our territory

 

Hail Paean, shield our city from corruption

Hail hail Phoebus, come bless our construction

Let the muses sing of our victory, as we march behind your standard

Let the drums and lyres ring your praise as you protect your herd

O io Paean, Saviour, Healer, Roarer, Choir master, Destroyer

 

In times of peace we will crown you with wreaths

Lions will draw your chariot through the streets

Lord of health, preserve this city from wicked days

Extinction

Above the crystal sky

I see you dance

And over burning fields

of blazing coal

By lakes of lapis lazuli

turned steam

Is it now all too late to change your stance?

Are you determined to feast on Man’s soul?

Do you so long to listen to him scream?

Oh Spirit of Destruction

stay your hand

Perhaps there is still time

Stop Death Bell’s toll

Return home

Go back to your sacred land

Up stream

(This is my attempt at a curtal sonnet. I am not sure about the meter. I still need a lot more practice. I don’t know if I’ll send this in for the challenge)

(Edit note: I used some enjambements to make it read better)

PPS: I will try again

Bronze Age Merchandise

“Sumerian beer for all your  pepper

Beer for pepper, sixty shekels for ten”

Merchants sell their last stocks; tough endeavor!

Sesame oil, lapis lazuli, tin

Ivory, cotton, even carnelian

in short supply these days… Hundred year drought

leaves bare northern plantations Meluhhan

Pepper keeps alive this ancient trade route

Great Meluhha, abandon your cities, flee South!

Note: shekel here refers to a measure of weight… One shekel= 9 grams
I assume he’s selling the beer in casks or barrels


There’s a popular fantasy book about Meluhha. I haven’t read it, so have no idea what it is about. This poem, the second one of a trio, was written in 2018. I surmised that Meluhha was one of the countries of the Indus Valley Civilisation. (Don’t get me started on proto-Indo Europeans. People seem to take ancient history very personally these days, and pay no heed to facts.) I read a lot of Sumerian translation works back in 2018 and came up with some linguistic proofs. I think I deleted it all, but I haven’t really looked. The first poem was pre- Bronze age collapse and the third was set during the age of discovery.

Last Lines

<For dVerse MTB: In my end is my beginning>

“Birthdays with her really spike my dials”

I, Tanmay,  declared

heart sundered by the moon

I heard her whisper

my name ‘Tommy’ that night

/


Let them go

and save their pretty Queen Helen

And make it to the screen today

/


Sworn brothers drank together

under moonlit sky

My deepest fears

Quite lethal

Now sounded

again

That night

/

Now he only eats rotis and ghee
Inside
Slipstream


<take the very last/final line from each of your most recent poems and re-write them as a poemchoose at least 12 poems (for this 12th month!)
keep each line intact, unadulterated
you may  add  preposition,  conjunction or change of tense  if it helps the flow
you may use enjambment to break a line
the lines do not have to follow date order
>

(I hope this doesn’t sound like complete gibberish. Some strong alcohol may be needed to make sense of this muddle. The last three lines are a little too disjointed I know, changing as it does from first to third person. That’s why I put them in italics, which may be breaking the rules. I learned what an enjambment was just now, and realized that a lot of my last lines may be the endings(?) of enjambments. Should I have used the entire phrase? Anyway, it’s too late now )

Goddess Demands

A Spartan squad is strolling strong down verdant hill.

Cows and goats graze undisturbed by the hoplites’ treads.

Lacedaemononian commander: cold heart, steel will,

Raises a fist to call a halt… Something he dreads,

#

A sudden fear, darkening the rays of sunlight.

Landslide! Men and animals slide down the green hill.

Panic! Commander appraises his foe to fight.

Notices that the animals are now quite still.

#

Something wrong with the cow’s legs, he realises then.

He sees a chance, a solution to their new plight.

“Brothers, turn and kneel!” instant obedience, good men!

Gaia appears, to acknowledge their obeisance.

#

Apollo then arrives to intervene on their behalf,

“Oh great mother, bows made in fear mean nothing.

Empty gestures forgotten quickly, a hollow staff

Made of burnt twigs. Empty of magic or healing.

#

Let them go and save their regal succession.

Let them go and save their pretty Queen Helen.”

###

(This is something I wrote back in 2018…a manic year for me(literally). I saw this scene play out in a dream. Helen of Troy was queen of Sparta, if I’m not mistaken, and succession was matrilineal or something like that. I have forgotten most of my Greek epics. )

Moonlight Ghazal

The wine flask waits for us under the moon
Let us drink together under the moon

Shimmering motes dance within beams of light
You drink in that distant wonder: the moon

The sky’s a pyre set alight tonight
No red wine could quench that fire: the moon

Marble figures dance upon the green lawn
Spirit brings them to life; covered by the moon

Sliver of  paradise in our cups
Our drunken prayers; she hears them: the moon

I confess my love, lost to all reason
I, Tanmay,  declare, heart sundered by the moon