Shoeshine Timmy

This is an image of a man pushing a boulder while he's climbing a steep slope. I chose this image to parody optimism and herald realism. My poem does the same.

Shoeshine Timmy lived in a brownstone
near vacant parking lots, and a street lamp
that sputtered measly light on potholes
riddled with garbage and acid rain.

He lived beneath black starless skies;
prayed to a god who’d jilted him
and thought of Carla who’d married his brother
in the summer of ninety-eight.

‘Be thankful for each blessing,’ a thought said
‘Wake up, seize the day!’ Another yelled
‘Fight! It’s a new day!’ A third whooped
And Shoeshine Timmy muffled his cries
And listened to the same encouraging lies
And I doubt he’ll stop until he’s dead.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

A call for peace

The sky’s a dying shade of August
And mist envelops our home with chill,
The mountains stretch in faint, comely way
And while white shade to shade wraps my feet,
I think of you, my father and
I’m thankful for the peace we’ve forged
In fires of brutal hate and contempt;
We’ll never be ideal and
The weather outside will reflect
The turmoil and acetous angst,
But today, let our passage be soft
And let’s sleep gently thinking of
Those harsher winters we have braved.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

Let me be

When friends forsake, and foes say they’re sweet friends,
I walk the same old dusty corridors,
And having jettisoned grace, there’s no place
Except the same decrepit walls – this cell;
This place of hopelessness and dying grit
And age to age fades into scraps of worth,
So let me be and don’t come near with feigns
And forgeries of trust and love because
This poor defeated place is worn, but still
A window shows you beneath your frontage –
A plague ruined by deceit and icy hate
And I no longer look at great facades
When all they do is hide deceased rubble.
One day I hope the mountains welcome me
And fate to fate flicks burdens, yielding hope
And then the joys of being alone (not lonely)
Rests hurting pasts and fallen presents with
The freedom to breathe, live and simply be.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)