Fall

You see the gold flake leaves and Auburn blankets,
the cherry cream bloom covers trees like jackets,
the sunlight glinting through the glade like rosy
prophetic oracle: exquisite, cozy,
but Autumn is corrupt, a reject’s Prozac,
commotion simulating tranquil soundtrack,
don’t you see all things are abortive dry rot?
The very color of a dying man shot,
the picture-perfect social vodka glass smile,
that transient jubilation that lasts a while.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

We

I

Gaia once ruled here, using her aesthetic hand to paint mesmerizing forests into existence, inhabited by wood nymphs, fierce creatures, and ethereal songbirds who ushered in the morning with their sweet songs, but Industry usurped Gaia; slaughtering her using his strongmen, and brought in the age of nihilism, making his seers say, ‘God is dead, and meaning lies in a casket, six feet under.’

Then nihilism evolved into dadaistic postmodernism, and now, everything seems absurd like a man holding his decapitated head on a platter and somehow still breathing, like a marionette making the puppeteer dance, like a bald Samson crushing Philistines without a jaw-bone, like the scrolls of Revelation opened, only to bring humanity peace and prosperity, like Van Gogh stitching his ear back together under a starry night, like Sartre accepting the Nobel Prize, like atonal, avant-garde jazz giving you a soothing melody, like cigarette ash floating up, defying the laws of gravity.

II

I see you Industry, and I hate what you’ve done,
the gnarled oak lies broken facing the askew brownstone,
the smog wounds eyes with flick-knives of causticity,
the roads gleam with rage under the Sun,
bones break, and men lie with chopped off cocks
because of your bedfellow Banality and his brother Brutality.

III

cyanide & Chernobyl, sexting & piss stained matted grass, whoredom & boredom & Sodom, Netflix & chill in apartments with frill, gaudy facades & showy plastic roses, grimy sidewalks & spittle, skyscrapers & suicide, iPads & non-existent attention spans, guns & children robbed of innocence, stony hills & supermarkets, nightlife & decaying fruit, violence & no prayers, iron & rust, bark & ash, physical, emotional & spiritual death.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

For Real Toads’ 

When even nature fails to invigorate

When even nature fails to invigorate,
When forests seem bleak and mountains heave a sigh,
When things just fall apart like a reprobate

Whose worn existence and stale cigarette
Makes me – a twisted catcher in the rye
Whose broken nature fails to invigorate.

When gnarly trees do threaten, castigate
With haunting browns, dead leaves – a sore to the eye,
When things just fall apart like a reprobate,

I look at you and set apart all hate
And embracing love with its low and soaring high
I look past, ‘Nature fails to invigorate,’

And such sayings that just sear, eviscerate
The little strength I cherish and hold nigh
When things just fall apart like a reprobate.

I cannot deny the existence of fate
Because it brought me you, beyond the ‘Why?’
When even nature fails to invigorate,
When things just fall apart like a reprobate.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

Spin-drift

I’d like to think we had some
beautiful moments, rippling through
those trying times when a miasma of despair
coated the flooring, the beds and ourselves
with agony’s dust and though we shook,
washed and clung to hope,
the metal remained rusty,
the windows opaque,
barring any trace of light,
and our spirits ebbed
and the horizon wasn’t an incandescent
force looming over the swashbuckling waves
as they dashed against the rocks, giving them
their momentum and beckoning us to leave
our throes behind and join them,
but a pale, nebulous cadaver unable
to control his children while they rode blue
horses of fury and swept away shore and debris alike,
I’d like to think that despite my inner battles
and your weaknesses, despite finding myself
locked in a white room with a high ceiling and
nurses in pristine white gowns forcing me to
ingest white pills and despite your ambivalence
gnawing at you, making you wonder if you should
leave me or not, we found some peace in the chaos
as clichéd as that sounds,
now, older and without you, aimless, those days
spent weeping, thrashing and threshing for solace
seem like a reverie with wine flowing freely and
drum beats and gala,
I lit my cigarette this morning, and I know
I looked like an archetypal, sorrowed man,
to the passerby with his dog, swimming
against the currents of a middle-life crisis,
the pull threatening to push me over a cliff face,
one I’ll never recover from, but what’s left really,
when the woman who stood by me through
the darkest periods and the piercing nights
of my life, when friends who once seemed seraphic
suddenly turned into demonic bullies, when my popularity
didn’t just wane but disappeared altogether,
when I stood by the street lamp watching everyone
I know, pass me by after looking right through me
can’t be found anymore though I petition and pray,
so, tell me? What’s left to live and die for when
hurt screams through my blood, and I’m just
spin-drift coursing past, looked at once and then
forgotten.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

I’d like to believe

I don’t know if I see woolly greenish-yellow pastures
like a parakeet’s breast, and peaks like broad, inverted
icicles, or red, bloody flick-knives of grass that have
martyred cowherds for their faith, leading up to
enormous arrowheads dripping with white venom like
froth, embodying hate speeches and propaganda.

I don’t know if I walk on beige, velvet sands –
nature’s cushion, while ringlets of blue peace
gently wash my feet, or on hard ground like
tourmaline made stubborn by callous hearts,
while poisonous blue little pythons seek to
drag me away into the abyss.

I don’t know if I watch the glassy purple chested
Hummingbird seeking a pink cotton candy flower,
flying neither too high or too low, but finding its
equilibrium, or if I watch a small weapon with a small
bloody scythe we call a beak, and razor-like wings
sucking the blood out of a flower and making it
anaemic, like viciousness masked by a
golden Bauta of tenderness, or getting
one’s way no matter what, even if it meant trampling
someone masquerading as white-prophet selflessness.

Does beauty still exist? Does hope triumph?
Or does depravity engulf? Or does hate have no bounds?

Do I see a pyramid of self-actualization, starting at bare
survival and ending at transcendence? Or do I see an inverted one of
self-indulgence, starting at pure corruption and
ending at bare survival?

Questions go unanswered, and the voices, they haunt.
Things are better unsaid, only because expression kills.

Meet me at the crossroads, where the asphalt glints,
urging me to make my choice, and the spiteful sun
pours his wrath on me. Know me at the ramshackle barn
with battered stalls, dead pigs, dying cows with their
ribs showing, and hay scattered. Draw me to an old, brown
cottage with its rustic charm, nestled in breezy reverie, where
the cold, crisp air kisses and faith isn’t something that only holds
the stars together, but something incandescent, burning within
and fueling hope. Love me until I believe and see again.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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This Road

In this little hill town, where the eight o’ clock night sky, snakes like ash, encircling, circumscribing and circumventing the dying, azure twilight, I stand on the front lawn of this hotel: a natural green carpet, strewn with cigarette buds, and pull on my Marlboro, the orange glow a miniature replica of the houses glowing like fallen stars or shops with broken neon halos. I’d like to think that here in the fog, and where the wind doesn’t splutter, splatter, cough and brave the tough dust, mortar and industry, or carry with it the stench of ditchwater, like a weak labourer, knock-kneed and begging silent providence for redemption from toil, drink and pain, where trees aren’t gnarled and anemic like geriatric men having no glory except yesteryear’s nostalgia, except battles won and wars lost, watching loved ones fade like flickering planes, the roar before the silence, the joy before the crushing loneliness, where life still thrives and throttles the patchwork boogeyman, slaying him with mystical daggers and making him the petty doggerel he is, where poets are the sonnets they write, and villanelles aren’t political slogans but songs sung or shouted with passion, where the nebulous sparkle of this place in which fathers still tuck in their children who play football on small patches of ground unsoiled by walls and construction signs…yes, I’d like to think that each thought of mine will find you and make you smile, and walk on though we once were and will never be.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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From Age to Age

As I grow older, with the passing of each age, as nature’s light beckons me, and I see the most vivid green hue, as time meets another phase, and being to becoming is inevitable, I seek a deep solitude, a colder mist, and a bluer sky. I long for the rolling hills, layered and layered, and yet existing, without the need for language or interpretation. I seek to receive more than give, to listen more than talk, to know more than interpret, and my books will take me on my course for a season, before a deeper thirst forms within: One fulfilled only by the beauty of natural things – seen, felt, smelt or tasted. I long for a disconnection from society and its restrictions, but not for a reckless abandon, but a purer loss of inhibition, and this isn’t fatigue or jadedness; it’s an innate need: one that always existed but now has finally met my consciousness. I long for the company of one or two only – like-minded, compassionate and loving, and seek to not emulate them, but become like them; separate and yet the same. I seek beauty, love, joy and peace: emotion I’ve known and am slowly knowing again. I also seek the bliss of non-being or not-existing though I exist. I look for one woman, who’ll give me true love, and not just physical satisfaction. I aim for transcendence, and don’t want to look back on my contradictions or how far I’ve come. I aim to live in the present and delight and embrace her. And some say, it’s plausible; other’s idyllic, I’ll say it’s happening.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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