Volume 4 Issue 2, June 2020
Special Issue for Indian Poetry
Vaivaswat Tyagi “Meet”
The Room in My Head
While the other children go out to play,
In this room I’ve learnt to stay.
I’ve filled it with my favourite books,
Willed away your strangest looks.
When your tongues lashed out, I’ve hurt, I’ve bled,
Silently though, in the room in my head.
In this room I’m all alone,
And bit by bit I’ve turned to stone
In this room I’ve mastered guile
I’ve only ever shown you my smiles.
So no one sees what I’ve foolishly bred,
Alone, in the room in my head.
Now I scream but you can’t hear.
The sound won’t fall on any ear.
While the stone crumples down in heaps,
You assume that I am just asleep.
In truth, I’m imprisoned in my bed,
In this room that’s in my head.
I open my eyes but cannot see,
The Sun has risen but not for me.
One more day in darkness I live
Ask my dear ones to forgive
My confinement that they too have come to dread
In this fucking room in my head.
“Wipe them off”, my thoughts will plead,
These glistening fears that my eyes bleed.
But today these hands won’t heed my call
They’ve fallen in the dark one’s thrall.
The one who turns my legs to lead,
The one who runs the room in my head.
The one who goes by many names,
You’ve called him Sloth, you think it’s a game.
Bless your stars, you don’t know how it feels,
To have depression nipping at your heels.
I’d let you in but the damage is done,
This room in my head is a room for one.
A Mere Tenth
\All my life I have pursued
Ends that end with me getting screwed.
Through all those years within me grew
That on my fears drew.
And while this Darkness gained its strength
Of me, remained a mere tenth.
But then! Lo! Behold!
A ray of light has taken hold.
All rules and laws it bends and flouts,
Sweet Poesy, please stick about…
As they sit there staring off into the air
You know they have gone where you would not dare.
Lost deep in the canyons of their fresh, young minds,
Roams wild imagination that you cannot bind.
Throughout history, when something this world has sought,
Nothing was achieved by limiting thought.
So remember this, dear boy, dear girl
Just let go… let your thoughts unfurl.
Go slay a dragon, befriend a bear
Never hold back when you truly care
Create new wonders with words, colour, clay…
Let your songs dance, Let your dreams play.
Run my child! Through endless fields of dreams
Create peals of joy…fresh laughter to replace the screams.
I grew tired of their drab facades,
So I brought on my very best farce
And seamlessly I hid my face,
Made extra sure to leave no trace.
Once they had forgotten this grim visage
Came the moment for me to slip on my mask.
Should it be a happy one?
A smile so bright it blacks out the Sun?
Or a shy one should it be?
Hiding in shadows along with me.
Perhaps the harlequin would lend me her mask…
With grace I hope I can pull off her task.
But my masterpiece I will reveal
Once all the heralds’ bells have pealed.
For that is the time I will choose my face
And wear that to all their masquerades.
An Infernal Kinship
As the mighty shamans engaged in a tempestuous dance
High on their myriad hued mushroom clouds of what once was sanity
And cast their feral spirits against the dark desert sands
To gain dominion over the Shadow Hordes
Writhing in “their” pits below.
You and I?
We hide and we peep from behind our fears,
We look up to the rain, then we let out our tears.
Sequestered, each in our own little nests,
Our hearts knew naught but regret and unrest.
The dance, it ends and now we are free,
To mingle with birds from the regular trees.
We feared that “they” would see through our garb,
Pin infamy on our love for the macabre.
We wake up again to the wailing of distant horns.
Bewildered we wonder – Can “they” hear it at all?
Like some faraway shimmer of a dark, primal dream
Come to instant focus in a terrible storm of reality…
The Lord of Chaos beckons his kin!
You and I?
Armed to the teeth, we danced down his path,
Our objective now only to unleash his wrath.
Stoke that inferno you have built for so long.
Wait! Come here a sec, help light up my bong.
Stoke it! For we’ve tasked ourselves to smelt a New Age.
Incinerate “their” sheep with its “Unholy” rage.
To fulfil that hunger we fight nail and tooth,
No more fucks can be given, lets unleash our truths!
There sat the Dreamer, dreaming dreams by day,
Sewing dreams together while still awake,
For visions from night beyond the edge lay,
Visions of which he knew not what to make.
What then were these visions his fancies wrought?
Just to give honesty a chance to thrive,
Be capable of thinking joyful thoughts,
To live by his whims was his only drive.
As he sought comfort in imagined bliss,
Reality spoke up, took quite a stern tone –
Naïve Daydreamer now riddle me this…
How does one survive here on whim alone?
Try as he might, not a word came to mind.
Scouring dark corners where rumours were rife,
Not yet quite certain just what he might find,
If naught, though, would he keep searching for life?
Such patience he knew he did not possess.
To grasp such knowledge in his mortal hand,
How vital it was he could not express,
Thus came his decision to make a stand.
The Dreamer, up high on sanity’s edge,
Watched the fabric of Reality bent
By powerful dreams from on History’s ledge,
Thus, in this summer of his discontent,
He dreamt up a plan to put into play
Those silly notions that fuelled his dreams.
Just to keep the insanity at bay
He would unravel Reality’s seams.
He knows Loss from many places,
He’s seen Loss wear many faces.
Loss once wore his dreams on its cuff,
Tossed them over, by where the seas are rough.
Loss has, on occasion, even been his friend,
We’ve all done it, let’s not pretend.
But Loss has come and he must worry.
For today, one must the other bury.
Eye of the Storm
The storm’s a brewing, where to go?
Wonder how these winds will blow.
What new scents will it bring?
Wonder, will I do something?
Hold my hand the winds are strong,
Feels like there is something wrong.
Black it is, the wind that blows,
Rank it is, the scent that grows.
Burning embers glow and fade,
Wayward strokes that mark the slate.
Stepping out into the night
Wonder, what fires must I fight?
Standing silent by that grave,
Wonder, could I be that brave?
To have no being
Just a name.
Trying to be brave and bold,
Wonder why these feet are cold.
Why these lids are closed up tight?
Why these thoughts pertain to flight?
Step out again into the night
Bury emotion, you’re in the fight!
Whatever price there is to pay,
Live to fight another day!
A hundred paces from the dawn,
Wonder what’s this ride you’re on?
What higher power is there to blame?
Wonder, will it feel the same?
There it is, the rising Sun.
Upon the field lay all but one.
They beat me down and then again,
I fought on till they feared my name!
In this world you’ve taken form
Where billions live to die…
Stand your ground, face the storm
Stare it in the Eye!
The storm, it’s over, it sang its song…
Left me wondering where I went wrong…
About the poet
Vaivaswat Tyagi works as a freelance writer-director in Mumbai. His poetry is rooted in the subjective experience of alienation from the modalities of normative socialization which led him to create poetry as a medium of and means for catharsis. While at first it may appear that there is a thread of ennui that ties his poetry together, his aim is not a fatalistic denial of the conditions of the world but a transcendence of them at first a personal, and then inter-subjective, level with the aim to sprout wings and soar over the morass of the oppressed everywhere. This universalization of individual pathos is what lends his poetry its unique bite and appeal. His favourite pass time is playing with words and he believes Poetry presents him with the most challenging playgrounds.