Tuesday, April 19, 2011

How are you?

Murnau Street with Women, Wassily Kandinsky, 1908

I have lots of things to teach you now,
in case we ever meet, concerning the message
that was transmitted to me under a pine tree
in North Carolina on a cold winter moonlit night.
It said that Nothing Ever Happened, so don’t worry.

{ Jack Keroac, in a letter written to his first wife, Edie in 1957 }

On just another day
He bumped into an
old friend at the
corner grocery store

It had been more
than fifteen years
His waist grown
by inches four

His old friend Ess
seemed to have
compressed like
an iron press

Ess said oh wow!
Has it been- what-
Ten. No fifteen years!
Oh! Holy mother of god!

To think I would
meet you here!
Remember we used to
call you a radioactive nerd!

You radioactive nerd!
To think I would
meet you here !
How come you here?!

He said I came
to buy toothpaste
Realized the last tube
was squeezed to death

Ess said wow -
can you believe?!
It has been so long
How are you?

He said - Oh
I have been fine
Life has given
me quite a ride

Top of the school
I slogged for 9 years
Nine to five and five
to Nine was my life

I was a star of
the comedy circus
Dancing to whoever
wanted me to be their walrus

One day I was sitting
by my big corner window
Preparing for the next
guaranteed promotion

I was the man you
wanted by your side
Maker of any deal
Breaker of glass ceiling

I was in a rush to prepare
Powerful point presentation
Gateway to guaranteed
next big prized promotion

And just then - by my
corner airy window
I saw a beggar singing
a corny rap folk song

His shirt was tattered
His jeans had two big holes
So big that I could spot
from my corner window

I was in the hottest seat
I was dressed in suit and tie
I was the man you wanted
by your side

I had ten thousand twenty
airline miles, five credit
cards which said no limit
Living it to win it

But life did not
seem to be very fair
I was running
Beggar was singing

I was running
Beggar was singing
Was there a memo
that I was missing?

Sitting by my big
corner window
I decided to pack
up and see the world.

I left. I left just like that
On my way out I
heard the guaranteed
promotion shout my name.

Corner window said
I feel an emptiness inside
Without you by my
airy side. Come back!

Credit cards were crying
I told them its not you
its me. It is over
between you and me.

I said its not you its me
I was leaving just like that.
Looking for credit beyond
my shining credit score.

Airline miles said :
This is very new
Not on a way to
big game with you.

I left. I left just like that
I got a round the world
ticket with all my miles
I'd be gone for a while.

What I was getting into
I had no clue. To leave.
To leave just like that
it must take a fool.

It was something.
I saw big mountains,
deep valleys and villages
with dusty brick roads

I saw a house said
to be haunted. Turned
out the old stuttering
limping lady spread the
rumor so she would
not be taunted.

I went to hidden parts
of big cities never
included on a map or
on hop on and off open
top bus tours.

I saw love. I saw
pain. I saw hope.
I saw dispair.
I saw difficult birth.
Easy life. Easy birth.
Difficult life.

I saw a revolution
cooking in a
moldy basement
in the middle of
a rainy night. The cook
was making bread omelette.

I saw a man living
with two dogs, one hen
and few torn books. He
had a guitar version
of Harley Davidson
bike and sang "In my
solitude." I was to be
his house guest.

He said : I am
seventy five. I have
fought in two world wars
but I live for peace
to look after my
4 by 4 garden piece
which I would never
ever lease.

I saw poetry. I saw
Rhyme and his lonely
brother reason. I saw
crime sleeping with
a thirteen year old
whose father left
when he was five.

I saw fear right
in her dilated eyes. I
saw angry Poseidon. I
saw cupid with
his fine arrows. I saw
the seducing
God of desires.

I saw an archaeologist
in love with his
wife of forty
years. I saw the
master of one
night stands. He bet
on horses for a living.

I saw a sadhu who
said he talks to
God. I met the
atheist who said
not believing
is my faith. I saw
a woman in white who
distributed free hugs.

I met the famous author
of murder mysteries. She
got married to a pastor
on a movie set for
her new sinful plot. But
she said she had
already confessed.

I saw a garbage
warrior. I saw
a goddess waiting
for a devotee to
bring some gifts. I saw
a devotee waiting for
goddess to give a sign.

I saw a kitchen garden.
It had tomato, chilly,
squash and faba bean.
Next to it was an
empty plot with weeds
and two old boots
begging for some attention.

I saw a wall with
graffiti which said do
nothing. It was opposite
a billboard which said just
do it! Next to it was written
Save Water.Prevent child labor.

I met the great grand son
of uncle of good friend
of aunt of Nostradamus.
He said the world is coming
to an end. If we don't
do something. There
would be nothing.

I met his neighbor whose
wife spoke in her sleep. He
took her to village doctor and
asked for a quick cure. The
doctor said try letting her
express some more.

I met birds who were
migrating south. I met
trees who had existed
since time of dinosaur.
I met a child who was
not educated but sold
fans in ten languages.

I walked, drove, hiked
and went on a boat.
And such. This and that.
and then and those.
And now here.

It was something.
I was reminded of the
beggar's rap folk song.
For the first time I
knew the meaning of
what he was singing.

How are you?

- Neha


Morning said...

you have such amazing imaginations, wow.


Happy Rally.

Anonymous said...

Captivating journey! A lot of meaning in your words to be found... It makes one think about life and its reasons... Awesome work!

K McGee said...

I could read this again and again and each time find something new to enjoy. You have taken us on quit a journey with this story bound in poetry.

Vinay said...

I can relate to the meeting randomly part! :) Has happened one too many times too :D but it is a good journey that begins with the "how are you?"!

Nice verse!

Kim Nelson said...

you wrote an epic tale in poetic form; and observation on living, success, connectedness.


Anonymous said...

wow! an epic! what a feat! here's my thursday post : http://fiveloaf.wordpress.com/2010/06/20/me-before-us/

Anonymous said...

Awesome write.

li said...

Very carefully crafted indeed. A lifetime captured, as well as the dream I suppose most of us would like to pursue...leaving the 9-5 worryhurrybuymorestuff world behind.

Neha Misra said...

Thank you all!