Bio Note: I am in love with words and the mysteries they hold and much of my time is spent in trying to unravel the same. If I'm not rustling the pages of a book I'm rustling up the odd dish in the kitchen, exchanging ideas with friends or playing with the family lab "Pixie".
I Grew Up
It was an antique cupboard with glass panelled doors which we had never seen open. Beautifully crafted from burnished Burma teak, it held all kinds of wonders that to our child's eyes would speak of worlds old and new, and unlock magic portals in the blood. Exquisite dolls and handmade pottery, bottles of elusive Arabian scents, a little rocking horse forever waiting to be rocked, a flowering head of coral whispering the ocean's secret, full of promise exotic, a gilded ballerina caught in an elegant, eternal twirl, oh, if only we could touch her! Mementos from different countries gifted by friends and relatives over the years and so much more. It came as a shock years later when on a visit home, I found the charmed cabinet out in the yard, its doors hanging open, its precious hoard exposed to the elements, forlorn in its dilapidated displacement, evidently cast out to make place for newer pieces of furniture more suited to, well, newer tastes. I searched for the coral piece and other forbidden treasures of my childhood, in vain, and came to see the cupboard for what it really was, a repository of tokens and trinkets, baubles and bling, a museum of mundane memorabilia, totemic trove of trivia, also, the insignias of our innocence now consigned to the far edge of things in the way of the world, forgotten and lost. In that moment as the illusions tumbled out of my shelves in the unspectacular light of day I grew up.
3. Rapt in readiness
She stood a little to the side of the group in the photograph, aloof in a crowd not aware, perhaps, of her distance or of the split in the self, a part of her confidently in communion with her companions and the other posing consciously, affecting an attitude she wasn't sure of. It was the camera which picked out the shadowy side of the moon, as it contemplated a different existence beyond the frame of things, in some other world not just black and white but informed with a strange light, not correlated by coordinates, but rapt in readiness to merge with or emerge from the vital verge.
©2022 Ajanta Paul
Editor's Note: If this poem(s) moves you please consider writing to the author (email address above) to say what it is about the poem you like. Writing to the author is what builds the community at Verse Virtual. It is very important. -JL