Brevity

This is an image of a train approaching; making its way through the mist. I've chosen it because it represents the brevity of all things, and the struggle that is life to me.

“This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.”

― T.S. Eliot, The Hollow Men

I pass a graveyard on my way to work each morning,
a desolate place filled with scraps of putrid litter,
devoid of any being but a mangy mongrel
with chipped-off statued cherubs and unclean engravings.
The place is an anathema, infected with jinn,
a place where bones still rattle in decaying coffins.
I think of souls that never leave to paradise; damned
to haunt and own us; souls forever wandering; lost
with no respite each time I see the place, but then a
dissimilar thought takes control and I think – looking
at starless skies – if we indeed have souls or if it’s fable
concocted by robed priests to keep the masses senseless,
I wonder if the past and future have no meaning,
if an opaque void circumscribes existence, birth, death,
if only brevity is the hand we fiercely claw at,
if time meets no continuance, and even the present
is just a ball suspended in vitality that
fades, lessens till millennia and cycles are lost
forever, and all you and I have known disperses,
and worlds end with soft whimpers and never thunderous bangs.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2019)

On the nature of time

Is time a creature or a waltz that lasts?
A truth that makes men purposefully fret?
A painful snare or tightened ropes that net
Or are those stepped on toes forgotten pasts?

We dance, we laugh, we sing and fly our masts
But spiteful noon makes even sluggards sweat
And fearsome rain unwanted will be met
But this is not about time or those vasts

Say they arrive and give us choice that sways:
A plethora of roads we’ve always sought
Uncertainty lost and no narrow state
We’ll still make a resolve that always stays
We’ll only know the price of freedom bought
We’ll say with Louise that there’s only fate.

(Inspired by the movie Arrival)

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

Time

You wake up, thinking the world is yours, and then the finitude of what you can do, suppresses you, but you still press against the grain, and that’s the paradox, the riddle. Seconds spent in misery seem like hours, the painful throes of angst and delusion never leaving you, and hours spent in elation seem like mere seconds, the movie’s over, you’ve had your laugh and go home, but then love transcends seconds, minutes, hours or even days. You just let go, and find in her a solace, and even if it’s a moment, it lasts, but heartbreak only seems to transcend, but once you snap, and hear the clock ticking, see the hands moving, you get up again and brave this paradox, this amazing centrifugal movement, which is also centered, this thing that restricts, but also frees, the mystery of life itself: Time.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

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