Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Song for my country

"The package" by Neha

What are you my country?
A longitude on the map,
A place on my mind,
An imprint on my heart.

You are the memory of my childhood,
You are the rebel of my youth,
You are the heartbeat of my love,
You are the many marathons I have run.

Many people with their many faces,
Spoken word and unsaid smiles,
Walking on your green summer grass,
Makeshift swing and banana tree in my backyard.

My first cycle from which I fell,
The swimming lesson I learnt
staying afloat half drowned,
Coins to play Mario bros and Pac-man
in the video game shop by the corner.

You are my mother's warm caress,
You are my father's pat on the back,
You are the endless world wars with my brother,
You are the last song my granny sang.

Ping pong ball going up and down
Ice cream vendor whose name I forgot to ask
Comic books on long train rides
Soul searching and indulging of all kind

Streetside bookshop where I picked Catch-22,
Coffee shop with hot chocolate
fudge of dreams,
Singing how much is that doggie in the window
the one with the waggely tail.

You are my love of dance,
You are my favorite beanie doll,
You are the red key chain lantern I left behind,
You are this new road I found.

Festivities and charades,
Jumping ropes and Savlon,
Mango pickle and Threptin diet,
TV advertisement with child caught
reading with small night light.

Radio gaga and street singer's rhyme,
Footsteps and heads that count,
Magic, myth and madness,
Kerosene lamp, kites and LED solar sight.

You are the paintbrush in my hand,
You are hand made paper card I once designed,
You are my favorite torn jeans,
You are my colored wall.

Mirrors and red ribbons,
Rose water lotion and blue umbrella,
Dark Glasses and water bottles catching up
with summer delight,
Smell of lavender perfume making me high.

Old bus stop and girl in big brown hat,
Spring season , white flowery dress
and cute li'l bag,
Looking from corner of those dreamy eyes,
Memory and dreams mixed in ratio one is to one.

You are rainbow colors I love,
You are bamboo curtains by the balcony wall,
You are the cool earthen pot,
You are the wooden window they call jharoka

Tailor made cup cakes,
Remixed black and white song,
Realistic fiction and sometimes unreal life,
Red,Green, Yellow bangles making that sound.

Steps, stony passage and dusty doormat,
Painting with one flower I decided to buy,
Pigeons, planes and polka dots,
Miles and miles I continue to travel.

You are my many songs,
You are the one I told
with teary eyes so long,
You are the winter fog,
You are my orange, red and pink sky.

My country - you live in me
Just as I live in you,
My many lives in you
Your many lives in me.

-Neha

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Serenade


THE western wind is blowing fair
Across the dark Ægean sea,
And at the secret marble stair
My Tyrian galley waits for thee.
Come down! the purple sail is spread,
The watchman sleeps within the town,
O leave thy lily-flowered bed,
O Lady mine come down, come down!

She will not come, I know her well,
Of lover’s vows she hath no care,
And little good a man can tell
Of one so cruel and so fair.
True love is but a woman’s toy,
They never know the lover’s pain,
And I who loved as loves a boy
Must love in vain, must love in vain.

O noble pilot tell me true
Is that the sheen of golden hair?
Or is it but the tangled dew
That binds the passion-flowers there?
Good sailor come and tell me now
Is that my Lady’s lily hand?
Or is it but the gleaming prow,
Or is it but the silver sand?

No! no! ’tis not the tangled dew,
’Tis not the silver-fretted sand,
It is my own dear Lady true
With golden hair and lily hand!
O noble pilot steer for Troy,
Good sailor ply the labouring oar,
This is the Queen of life and joy
Whom we must bear from Grecian shore!

The waning sky grows faint and blue,
It wants an hour still of day,
Aboard! aboard! my gallant crew,
O Lady mine away! away!
O noble pilot steer for Troy,
Good sailor ply the labouring oar,
O loved as only loves a boy!
O loved for ever evermore!

-Oscar Wilde (1854–1900). Poems. 1881

Listen to this beautiful serenade from the movie "Importance of being Earnest" at:
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQW_bovs40s
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRNgmM0KARI&feature=related

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Poem

" Blue song" by Neha

A poem is writing, Coloring pictures of Bratz.

A poem is a baby, A carriage, a bassinet, a nie nie, A soother, a blanket, a name.

A poem is a big sister helping a Little sister. She changes their diapers, She can feed her baby food, she can Put on her clothes.

A poem is like a Mom who helps Out. A Mom turns off the TV when We do our homework. A Mom calls You to have a milk bath.

A poem is like a Dad. A Dad yells At us, if we’re not cleaning up. When we’re doing something, he tells Us to eat.

A poem is like an Aunt. Our Aunt comes Over when our Mom tells her to come over. An Aunt helps us clean up. An Aunt plays with us. An Aunt gives us piggy backs.

A poem is like my grandmother, A grandmother gives us money For Christmas and New Years. A Grandmother teaches us Chinese. ”Gung hey fa choy,” that Means hand over the money.

A poem is like my grandfather, He gives us food to eat when we Go over our grandfather’s house. A grandfather gives us presents.

A poem is like a family and I love my family.


by Sadie McCann, Age 5

Source: New York writer's coalition , http://www.nywriterscoalition.org/2009/03/a-poem/

Monday, April 19, 2010

Neverending tale

"Birdwalk" by Neha

Little playful bird wagging its tail
listen look closer-
can you hear her beautiful tale?

-Neha

Spring!

"Flight" by Neha

Spring knocking on my window
Cherry blossom looks in-
world blushing pink with joy

-Neha

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Poet is a Painter is a Poet

"Bliss" by Neha

Painting pictures in words
Telling stories in art

Splashing colors in rhymes
Reflecting emotions in designs

Creating new worlds in letters
Merging souls in color, ink and paper

Poet is a painter
Painter is a poet

-Neha

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Last thoughts on Woody Guthrie

When yer head gets twisted and yer mind grows numb
When you think you're too old, too young, too smart or too dumb
When yer laggin' behind an' losin' yer pace
In a slow-motion crawl of life's busy race
No matter what yer doing if you start givin' up
If the wine don't come to the top of yer cup
If the wind's got you sideways with with one hand holdin' on
And the other starts slipping and the feeling is gone
And yer train engine fire needs a new spark to catch it
And the wood's easy findin' but yer lazy to fetch it
And yer sidewalk starts curlin' and the street gets too long
And you start walkin' backwards though you know its wrong
And lonesome comes up as down goes the day
And tomorrow's mornin' seems so far away
And you feel the reins from yer pony are slippin'
And yer rope is a-slidin' 'cause yer hands are a-drippin'
And yer sun-decked desert and evergreen valleys
Turn to broken down slums and trash-can alleys
And yer sky cries water and yer drain pipe's a-pourin'
And the lightnin's a-flashing and the thunder's a-crashin'
And the windows are rattlin' and breakin' and the roof tops a-shakin'
And yer whole world's a-slammin' and bangin'
And yer minutes of sun turn to hours of storm
And to yourself you sometimes say
"I never knew it was gonna be this way
Why didn't they tell me the day I was born"
And you start gettin' chills and yer jumping from sweat
And you're lookin' for somethin' you ain't quite found yet
And yer knee-deep in the dark water with yer hands in the air
And the whole world's a-watchin' with a window peek stare
And yer good gal leaves and she's long gone a-flying
And yer heart feels sick like fish when they're fryin'
And yer jackhammer falls from yer hand to yer feet
And you need it badly but it lays on the street
And yer bell's bangin' loudly but you can't hear its beat
And you think yer ears might a been hurt
Or yer eyes've turned filthy from the sight-blindin' dirt
And you figured you failed in yesterdays rush
When you were faked out an' fooled white facing a four flush
And all the time you were holdin' three queens
And it's makin you mad, it's makin' you mean
Like in the middle of Life magazine
Bouncin' around a pinball machine
And there's something on yer mind you wanna be saying
That somebody someplace oughta be hearin'
But it's trapped on yer tongue and sealed in yer head
And it bothers you badly when your layin' in bed
And no matter how you try you just can't say it
And yer scared to yer soul you just might forget it
And yer eyes get swimmy from the tears in yer head
And yer pillows of feathers turn to blankets of lead
And the lion's mouth opens and yer staring at his teeth
And his jaws start closin with you underneath
And yer flat on your belly with yer hands tied behind
And you wish you'd never taken that last detour sign
And you say to yourself just what am I doin'
On this road I'm walkin', on this trail I'm turnin'
On this curve I'm hanging
On this pathway I'm strolling, in the space I'm taking
In this air I'm inhaling
Am I mixed up too much, am I mixed up too hard
Why am I walking, where am I running
What am I saying, what am I knowing
On this guitar I'm playing, on this banjo I'm frailin'
On this mandolin I'm strummin', in the song I'm singin'
In the tune I'm hummin', in the words I'm writin'
In the words that I'm thinkin'
In this ocean of hours I'm all the time drinkin'
Who am I helping, what am I breaking
What am I giving, what am I taking
But you try with your whole soul best
Never to think these thoughts and never to let
Them kind of thoughts gain ground
Or make yer heart pound
But then again you know why they're around
Just waiting for a chance to slip and drop down
"Cause sometimes you hear'em when the night times comes creeping
And you fear that they might catch you a-sleeping
And you jump from yer bed, from yer last chapter of dreamin'
And you can't remember for the best of yer thinking
If that was you in the dream that was screaming
And you know that it's something special you're needin'
And you know that there's no drug that'll do for the healin'
And no liquor in the land to stop yer brain from bleeding
And you need something special
Yeah, you need something special all right
You need a fast flyin' train on a tornado track
To shoot you someplace and shoot you back
You need a cyclone wind on a stream engine howler
That's been banging and booming and blowing forever
That knows yer troubles a hundred times over
You need a Greyhound bus that don't bar no race
That won't laugh at yer looks
Your voice or your face
And by any number of bets in the book
Will be rollin' long after the bubblegum craze
You need something to open up a new door
To show you something you seen before
But overlooked a hundred times or more
You need something to open your eyes
You need something to make it known
That it's you and no one else that owns
That spot that yer standing, that space that you're sitting
That the world ain't got you beat
That it ain't got you licked
It can't get you crazy no matter how many
Times you might get kicked
You need something special all right
You need something special to give you hope
But hope's just a word
That maybe you said or maybe you heard
On some windy corner 'round a wide-angled curve

But that's what you need man, and you need it bad
And yer trouble is you know it too good
"Cause you look an' you start getting the chills

"Cause you can't find it on a dollar bill
And it ain't on Macy's window sill
And it ain't on no rich kid's road map
And it ain't in no fat kid's fraternity house
And it ain't made in no Hollywood wheat germ
And it ain't on that dimlit stage
With that half-wit comedian on it
Ranting and raving and taking yer money
And you thinks it's funny
No you can't find it in no night club or no yacht club
And it ain't in the seats of a supper club
And sure as hell you're bound to tell
That no matter how hard you rub
You just ain't a-gonna find it on yer ticket stub
No, and it ain't in the rumors people're tellin' you
And it ain't in the pimple-lotion people are sellin' you
And it ain't in no cardboard-box house
Or down any movie star's blouse
And you can't find it on the golf course
And Uncle Remus can't tell you and neither can Santa Claus
And it ain't in the cream puff hair-do or cotton candy clothes
And it ain't in the dime store dummies or bubblegum goons
And it ain't in the marshmallow noises of the chocolate cake voices
That come knockin' and tappin' in Christmas wrappin'
Sayin' ain't I pretty and ain't I cute and look at my skin
Look at my skin shine, look at my skin glow
Look at my skin laugh, look at my skin cry
When you can't even sense if they got any insides
These people so pretty in their ribbons and bows
No you'll not now or no other day
Find it on the doorsteps made out-a paper mache´
And inside it the people made of molasses
That every other day buy a new pair of sunglasses
And it ain't in the fifty-star generals and flipped-out phonies
Who'd turn yuh in for a tenth of a penny
Who breathe and burp and bend and crack
And before you can count from one to ten
Do it all over again but this time behind yer back
My friend
The ones that wheel and deal and whirl and twirl
And play games with each other in their sand-box world
And you can't find it either in the no-talent fools
That run around gallant
And make all rules for the ones that got talent
And it ain't in the ones that ain't got any talent but think they do
And think they're foolin' you
The ones who jump on the wagon
Just for a while 'cause they know it's in style
To get their kicks, get out of it quick
And make all kinds of money and chicks
And you yell to yourself and you throw down yer hat
Sayin', "Christ do I gotta be like that
Ain't there no one here that knows where I'm at
Ain't there no one here that knows how I feel
Good God Almighty
THAT STUFF AIN'T REAL"

No but that ain't yer game, it ain't even yer race
You can't hear yer name, you can't see yer face
You gotta look some other place
And where do you look for this hope that yer seekin'
Where do you look for this lamp that's a-burnin'
Where do you look for this oil well gushin'
Where do you look for this candle that's glowin'
Where do you look for this hope that you know is there
And out there somewhere
And your feet can only walk down two kinds of roads
Your eyes can only look through two kinds of windows
Your nose can only smell two kinds of hallways
You can touch and twist
And turn two kinds of doorknobs
You can either go to the church of your choice
Or you can go to Brooklyn State Hospital
You'll find God in the church of your choice
You'll find Woody Guthrie in Brooklyn State Hospital

And though it's only my opinion
I may be right or wrong
You'll find them both
In the Grand Canyon
At sundown
- Bob Dylan
About : This is a poem that Bob Dylan wrote as an ode to Woody Guthrie, a great American singer and folk, protest songwriter, who was a huge influence on Dylan. Woody Guthrie said:

"There's several ways of saying what's on your mind. And in states and counties where it ain't any too healthy to talk too loud, speak your mind, or even to vote like you want to, folks have found other ways of getting the word around.One of the mainest ways is by singing. Drop the word 'folk' and just call it real old honest to god American singing. No matter who makes it up, no matter who sings it and who don't, if it talks the lingo of the people, it's a cinch to catch on, and will be sung here and yonder for a long time after you've cashed in your chips.
If the fight gets hot, the songs get hotter. If the going gets tough, the songs get tougher."

This was Woody Guthrie.

Before reciting the poem, Dylan said: "There's this book coming out and they asked me to write something about Woody. Sorta like "What does Woody Guthrie Mean to You" in 25 words. And I couldn't do it, I wrote out five pages and... I have it here... I have it here by accident, actually. But I'd like to say this out loud. So, if you could sorta roll along with this thing here, this is called Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie."

Jalostus

"Jalostus" by Neha

Just when the garden
thought earth had dried
and nothing was ripe
Pop came a green leaf
with buddy flower and said-
We are born of every winter!

-Neha

Note: Jalostus is Finnish for " Transformation"

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

मेरो मन अनत कहाँ सुख पावे।

"The flight" by Neha


मेरो मन अनत कहाँ सुख पावे।
जैसे उड़ि जहाज की पंछि, फिरि जहाज पर आवै॥

- सूरदास

"मैं तुम्हारी, तुम हमारे !"

"That season" by Neha


नयन में निज नयन भर कर,

अधर पर सुमधुर अधर धर,

साध कर स्वर, साध कर उर,

एक दिन तुमने कहा था प्रेम-गंगा के किनारे !

"मैं तुम्हारी, तुम हमारे !"



था थकित उर-प्यार हारा

मौन था संसार सारा,

सुन रहा था सरित-जल चल, मुस्कराते चाँद-तारे !

"मैं तुम्हारी, तुम हमारे !"



अब कहीं तुम मैं कहीं हूँ,

अर्थ इसका मैं नहीं हूँ,

शेष हैं वे शब्द, क्षत उर-स्वप्न, दो नयानाश्रु खारे !

"मैं तुम्हारी, तुम हमारे !"


- गोपाल दास नीरज


I love this poem by Neeraj. It reminds me of "Tonight I Can Write the Saddest Lines" by Pablo Neruda which is also one of my favorite poems

अब तो मज़हब कोई ऐसा भी चलाया जाए

अब तो मज़हब कोई ऐसा भी चलाया जाए
जिसमे इंसान को इंसान बनाया जाए

आग बहती है यहाँ गंगा में भी ज़मज़म में भी
कोई बतलाये कहाँ जा के नहाया जाए
अब तो मज़हब कोई ऐसा भी चलाया जाए...

मेरा मकसद है ये महफिल रहे रौशन यूँ ही
खून चाहे मेरा दीपो में जलाया जाए
अब तो मज़हब कोई ऐसा भी चलाया जाए...

मेरे दुःख-दर्द का तुझ पर हो असर कुछ ऐसा
मैं रहूँ भूखा तो तुझसे भी ना खाया जाए
अब तो मज़हब कोई ऐसा चलाया जाए...

जिस्म दो हो के भी दिल एक हों अपने ऐसा
मेरा आंसू तेरी पलकों से उठाया जाए
अब तो मज़हब कोई ऐसा चलाया जाए...

गीत गुमसुम है, ग़ज़ल चुप है, रुबाई भी दुखी
ऐसा माहौल में 'नीरज' को बुलाया जाए
अब तो मज़हब कोई ऐसा भी चलाया जाए...

अब तो मज़हब कोई ऐसा भी चलाया जाए
जिसमे इंसान को इंसान बनाया जाए

-- गोपाल दास नीरज

Friday, April 09, 2010

Delicious Ambiguity

" Anatomy of a Moment" by Neha

I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity.

- Gilda Radner, Actress and Comedian (1946-1989)

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Garden of Love

"Many flowers in this garden" by Neha

The garden of
Love
is green without
limit
and yields many
fruits
other than sorrow
and joy.
Love is beyond either
condition:
without spring,
without autumn,
it is always fresh.

- Rumi

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Garden of Miracles

" My Garden by Neha"

Garden of miracles,
what kind of garden are you?

- Rumi ( Translation by Andrew Harvey, A Year of Rumi, Daily Om)

Friday, April 02, 2010

All are welcome

" Attraversiamo by Neha"

All are welcome in this town.
Philosopher and the cobbler
Go getters and day dreamers
Sky divers and star gazers.

All are welcome in this town.
Naysayer and the believer
Globalists and localists
Tamed and the wild.

All are welcome in this town.
Zenist and the vain dandy
Bravehearts and touch me nots
Talker and pathmaker

All are welcome in this town.
Sky kissing dome and the shanty
Sidewalks and senate halls
Chance and routine

All are welcome in this town.
Census worker and the poet
Cold winters and cherry blossoms
Question and answer

All are welcome in this town
Beauty and the beast
Fiestas and feasts
Highway and hidden muddy street

All are welcome in this town
Half full glass and the open canvas
Pebble streets and playful creeks
Untold story and urban legend

All are welcome in this town
Happy hour and the morning chime
China town and greyhounds
Tourist and traveler

All are welcome in this town
What will you bring?
What will you become?
Where will your footsteps lead this town?

-Neha