Stagheads and Castles…

Fires, when left burning, can bring the greenest forests down. Tangerines hanging in the air, wringing the fiery crimson out of lives, devouring upon the beauty, leaving behind corpses; what a shame?

Fires that can warm hearts, feed hunger, chase the dark away, can also cause an apocalypse when lit by the hands that are either too weak to control them or simply don’t want to. 

Each night, you travel down the forbidden paths of your mind, pick up stagheads on your way back home, and decorate walls with the rewards of your morbid hunts. You always knew there was something wrong about the way you saw the world, but when did things go so bad?

Roofs, when too dense, trap your light away from dawning onto the world. Worst… they make you feel comfortable with not having to shine as bright as you deserve to.

—–

You were once an epitome of peace; a serene brook making its way through a dense forest, flowing alongside the scants of poorly watered flower shrubs, nurturing them into beautiful gardens. 

Now, your tranquility has given into swamps; you don’t nurture, you swallow… you swallow the tiniest bit of sunshine that manages to make its way through the thick canopy standing overhead.

—–

The roof that once made you feel safe has, now, been holding you captive in a dark corner of your room, making you question all things beautiful. 

There are days you get up, walk up to the door you entered through, but immediately back away. Why? Do you feel guilty about abandoning something that once kept you safe? Do you fear being called ungrateful? Who taught you that choosing yourself was a crime? 

—–

Build castles! Back in the days, when kingdoms felt the need to put their power on display, they built mighty castles- mighty, magnificent castles that stood on top of the highest peaks- castles that spoke of nothing but strength and glory- castles that were not meant to scare the enemies away but to tell that this kingdom can fight and survive any attack thrown its way.

—-

Build castles! Tell them… tell them!

I see faces…

People leave homes behind. They move away. I wonder if their stories ever do.

I wonder if, as much as we believe, have we ever been powerful enough to rip memories off the walls that boast them.

Or, is it just an illusion, yet another desperate attempt at gaining power over time?

Will we ever know? Do we even care?

I believe when homes are abandoned, they aren’t really left alone. They are left behind with tales, hiding underneath the faces that dwell in the random patterns of their marble floors.

They are left behind with faces, with eyes full of questions, and mouths too numb to answer.

And, each time you feel like someone’s following you, it’s often just an old memory, trapped in a plain white wall somewhere, waiting to be lived again.

Should You?

Have you ever paused just for the sake of it? You know, standing still on an old path, in the midst of a swarm… rushing through life just like you.
You find yourself greeting a strange kind of silence in that one moment. A silence, almost too magnetic for you to ever wish for a breakthrough. 


There are voices all around you.


Behind you, is a woman in her mid-twenties, shouting at someone on her phone. On one side, there’s a young man, with a baby in his arms. The baby chuckles as he speaks to it; his eyes though, are too worn to smile a full smile.
On the other side, there is an old woman, with a tired hunched back, passing glances to her frail hand hanging in the air. Is she trying to recollect how her lover’s arm used to feel around it?


In front of you, is a bright white light; around you, are people, as good as moths, rushing towards it. Yet you are not… should you?

– Gauri Walecha

You will heal…

Glass boxes don’t sing lore to the warriors of freedom when the skies fall and the watersPSX_20200424_213616 rise. But, skies don’t fall and waters don’t rise in vain; they sob in vile.

There are a number of things that may conjure disdain into this world, but no other blade yearns to be struck with thunder as much as the one sitting on the hilt of heartbreaks.

Sword hilts, I believe, are haunted; rather cursed.

They hold power, enough to crown a head; they hold sin, enough to behead a crown. The hands which happen to hold these swords may either bring freedom or threaten it; regardless, blood is shed and scars are left to taint hearts for ages to come.

Ages; since ages, men have been driven to worship their own strength in the name of blind pride;
and pride, though may seem like a forbidden ally to the sung masters, is nothing but a thirst;

A deep unquenchable thirst sitting at the edge of our tongues, making us blurt rage and breathe revenge.
Pride is nothing but a cry for help; a veil hiding our scars ever so elegantly.

But veils fall and masks rot in due time; what is hidden can’t be hidden forever.

One day, you will see, you will see for yourself.
When the skin on your bones will feel too plastic to be alive and the heart in your chest will feel too alive to have gone dead.
When what’s whole will seem broken and what’s broken will feel safe.

Then.. you will hear, you will hear for yourself.

You will hear how beautifully you may have chanted the prayers of freedom if you wouldn’t have dug graves for your own tongue.
You will smile at your flaws and you will kiss your own scars.
You will sing in the chorus of joy and pray for peace in the choir of blatant hatred.

And when that day arrives… You will heal!

– Gauri Walecha

Hiraeth

Water flows through creeks and crevices of withered mountains when it rains over their pride ridden heads.
Heads, as they say, are meant to be held high; necks, as we have seen, break under the curse of ego sometimes.

In the end, if you don’t step over this grandeur and pay courtesy to love, a weak neck will make you fall into it someday.

Such are the tales of love gone rogue.
Such are the tales of life.


In life, we wander; we walk through the fields, we smile through the hearts, we fly through the skies and we swim through the waters; regardless, we wander.

Our skin hides behind rags; we sleep on dirt, under the dirt. We wash faces with the stream of our own tears, we feed on abandoned hearts and we gather memories; hand-picking charms and feathers on our way to nowhere.


Nowhere… is a place. An empty void, hanging somewhere in the middle of the air. It has walls, they are dark; so dark that they surpass the physical possibilities of darkness; so dark that they are mere shadows.

Nowhere… is a halt. A refuge away from the dank fluidity into the deserted narrow lanes of random oil strokes; the strokes are sharp; they stab sometimes and you may fall, but you will fall into nothing but comfort.


Journeys are like stories, and your footprints are like splattered ink, left behind by a broken nib. The writer, though, is fate; and it’s no less of a clown who knows magic.

You are the reader, more of a dazed one. You follow the plot, and by each passing metaphor, you age.
But… it is not before the evening that you begin to see your clown’s folly.

It is not before the evening that you have read these metaphors well enough to spot when they repeat.

By the night, though, all of it makes sense to you-
You were going around in circles.

You were running around like a lost child, looking for her mother.
Alas, you would only find yourself at the same place at the end of each hour.

Why?
Because… that place, in the middle of this huge endless crowd, was the last place where this world felt safe to you.

That was the last time when you held your mother’s hand, and each time you get closer to this tiny piece of land, the feeling of ‘being home’ washes all your exhaustion away.

But… Do you ever reach home?
No!

Hiraeth brings along a sense of unquenchable insanity, and you have no choice but to drown!

“Hiraeth- a homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home which maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the lost places of your past”

– Gauri Walecha

clichés.

It is a fresh sunny day. You are strolling on this narrow street beside a park, listening to children giggling, riding high on their summer spirits.
The grass is tender. It is like a newborn baby that just made its way out of its mother’s womb; too scared to face the world, but too pure to feel the fear.
It is the peak of June. You are at the noon of your life, and if you were to paint this scene on a vacant white canvas, you would call your painting nothing but ‘Nostalgia’.

I am a poet, and I have been writing for as long as I can remember. Through my rendezvous with the tunes of Mozart and the legends of Shakespeare, I have found art, but not so much so as I have found ‘homes’.

Homes of all kinds and virtues. Some were simple; naked bricks on the outside and stained whites in their hearts. Others, though, were grand; they poured charm with their stature only to lure people into the shenanigans of their discomfort.

Regardless of what I say, these were ‘homes’. More so, these were the voids that were ‘once homes’. They were the clichés which we often find scattered like loose glitter; metaphors that decorate our poems.
Their residents left them to mother sentiments in the due course of history; what happened was just that!

Humans, of all things, have always been fascinated by clichés.
Why?
Because clichés make us feel safe. They take us back to a world that was once our concrete paradise a few heartaches ago.

People often denounce poetry to sing lore for the clichés; they call out poets to be lazy and frugal.
But there’s a lot that the world fails to understand about poetry.
There is no poem half as beautiful as the one woven by our memories. There is no metaphor half as endearing as nostalgia.
Clichés don’t need a poet’s pen to flow through a poem; they are exquisite poems all by themselves.

– Gauri Walecha

Cages…

Our history has known cages;
Of all kinds and characters.
The one with bars of gold
And the others with floors of dirt.
The ones which held the innocent
And the others which freed the ghouls.

But not very often,
When you walk through the pages
Of your own history,
You land up
Imprisoned.

Imprisoned behind the walls of
Some doomed silvered glasses.
Imprisoned to a cage of mirrors.
Imprisoned to yourself.

Up until this moment,
The clock hands never echoed louder.
Up until this moment,
The questions never sent shivers down your spine.

The clock now,
Is running on a timeless retreat.
The questions now,
Come for YOU,
From yourself.

Who are you?
Why are you?
Where are you?

You run to the mirrors,
Banging at each one of them,
Hoping to
Either knock the glass out
Or make your hand bleed the answers.

None happens.
Nothing shatters.
Nothing bleeds.
All fall silent.

Then,
You begin
To hear
Clearer than ever.

You begin to hear your soul hum,
As faint as a whisper,
But as clear as a woman weeping
On a dark moonless night.

Your soul hums to you,
How
You
Are a handful of Earth;
Fertile, magical,
Yet forgotten.

You
Are a waterfall;
You fall down
The damp rotten roof
Of an old cave
Standing right in the middle of an enchanted forest.

You
Are a gentle breeze,
Flowing through an Orphan’s hair
On nights when he misses having a Mother.

You
Are a ball of fire
Burning inside an old lantern
Lighting up someone’s dark world.

You
Are the limit of the skies;
Unknown!

You are a poem
With all the five elements
Entwined in your heart.

So,
When next time
The world asks you
To introduce yourself
Tell them;
“I am life”

– Gauri Walecha

i have felt alone.

Often, in life, you spend your lazy Sunday afternoons staring at the ceiling and missing… Someone. Something. Everything.
These are the times when you can’t help but fall down an abyss of old and dusted picture albums. The pages turn so fast that this show seems like an unending retro movie titled, “All the times you failed to live a smile”.
Scenes are hazy, you can’t remember those faces anymore, and the dialogues sound like a violin instrumental being played on a grotesque gramophone.
What’s not strange though, is the fact that you get to waltz down an alley of broken photo frames every time the violin begins to play.
And, why is that not strange?
Because that’s your home.
Because, out of every and any name given to a home, ‘strange’ has never been one.
That alley, oh dear… that’s your home. You moved out of your dreamy castle a few years ago.
There, the linens used to rub against your skin; they used to peel it off like a coarse sandpaper, and you have never liked to keep your bones naked.
There, you felt alone.
As alone as a smiling corpse lying in its coffin, deep under the Earth, waiting for death gods to take it away.
You felt alone, and anxious… without the gloom.
So, you ran down the stairs and moved into this alley.
Here, the ceilings weep,
and you wander around in a drenched silk gown;
But, you are at peace,
and never alone.
But… Is that the way to be?

– Gauri Walecha

pause.

Your song

is a
choir of
rushed strokes
of black
hollow
paint
on a
white
anxious
canvas
dangling free.
Free.
From a
lone nail
on a
brick wall
standing old
behind
the house
of your
dreams.

You bury
the dead
behind it.
They rise
up
as
demons
on starry nights
and
throw
an embrace
around your
weary
tense
bruised
neck.

You love them.
They love you.
They love you
for giving them
a paradise
to stay at.

Your heart
was once
heaven
to the lost.
Now,
it’s home to them.
‘Cause
the lost
never knew
a comfort
half as dark
as your
darkness.

Your darkness
is
their refuge.
Away.
Away from
the light and luster.

‘Cause
the lost
got lost
in their quest
away
from the light.
And,
that light
chased them back
every morning
until
they found
your heart.

Now,
they won’t
leave.

And you,
you will
have to
make peace
with these
new demons of yours.

Will you?
If you,
then
you too,
go lost.

Would you
like that?
If not…
then,

pause.

– Gauri Walecha

Broken Cursives…

Have you ever lost your heart in the hems of broken cursives?
It’s a mystic realm that draws you in… like a black hole is known to snatch the world away.

To the people of stones and metal, it may seem like forbidden magic when a poet holds your hand and walks you through the dark.

They chant to the silent tunes of truths and wonders; and scream at the sight of lies and vows.

Vows… let’s talk about them! They belong to the grey world of lack and lustre. You may have vowed your world to the orphan, or… You may have betrothed your misery to power.

Either way… it’s a town of beauty! The finesse lures you in a blink… and you fall!

After all, who would not fall for ‘slavery’ over ‘self’? Humans do!

So, when a poet spins metaphors around a dead log of wood, and her avowal calls it ‘Ivory’… you buy it!
Why? Because we buy into words.

Our eyes have grown too tired, now that we have chased the light for ages… ‘Lack’ sounds like peace!

– Gauri Walecha