A sonnet to existence

this is a picture of a man looking at a display of fireworks. I've used this image because I interpret it as a man watching his dreams from afar. He doesn't know if they'll ever materialize.

I’ve spent my life exploring works of those renown
Hoping some scintilla of touch would enrich
This tumbledown estate where weeds and vines unsown
Plague, afflict and curse with harvests never rich

And sometimes words like fireflies glow in my weak mind
Sparkling with exuberance, they guide the pen
I hold. They tell the world that I’m lost and confined
Living a subdued existence in some den

But there has to be more to life than strife and pain
More than clichés like, “We live for art alone.”
There must be wealth of circumstance, bestowing gain
On our hearts as we meander to the throne

But then our dreams are misty fairy tales and lore
Making us just waste our lives, demanding more

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2019)

I cannot make promises I can’t keep

This is an image of a path in the woods. I've used a picture of nature because my poem draws heavily from nature. The image adds to the realistic feel of the poem.

I cannot be your whimsical country cottage
with its beige roof, stone walls, and chimney,
against a breathtaking backdrop of Rainbow
Eucalyptuses with their postmodern barks:
The home you can retreat to whenever you
seek solitude,
I cannot be the solitary boat on the calm sea:
The one that always points you
to a saddened, Autumn-hued horizon
thereby empathizing with your every sullen state,
I cannot be the archway of cotton wool trees
under which you walk on a carpet of white clouds:
The winter vacation you need when it’s hot, humid
and unbearable to live with yourself,
I cannot be the layered tea-plantations in the drizzle
like pyramids, only natural and alive:
The elegance you suddenly desire
after a day like watery coffee,
you must understand darling that I’m flawed and finite:
just dice thrown not knowing where it will land
or what it will show,
a mote of dust sometimes suspended in the sunbeam,
a freshwater pearl that isn’t that valuable,
and you cannot expect a love that surpasses me,
because even the most beautiful people in one’s life are tragic,
but know this:
whether we’re ramshackle huts or idyllic bungalows,
whether we listen to the cock crow or the silence of the stars,
whether we’re eating in silence or walking hand in hand,
I can be the oak you rest under,
not always comfortable to touch, aging, losing its luster
and one day gnarled and leafless.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2019)