Slip

Slip
©July 24th, 2016
By Vijaya Sundaram

I’ve said it before,
I’ll say it again:
I hate clocks!
I hate Time!
Treacherous old King!
Stupid we are, so willing,
Enslaved to that tyrant!

Tick-tock, tick-tock,
Drip, drip, drip, drip!
Always dribbling through
The hourglass of our days,
He  drags us (that traitor!)
Feet-first into the ocean.

Every minute hastens us
Closer to the end.
And we go willingly.
Why don’t we fight?

(Mind you, I’m not afraid!
I just don’t like surprises.)

I want to be everywhere
And everywhen, all at once.
Engulfing the void that opens,
That stretches before us all,
But Old Father Time, grinning,
Toothlessly cackles, “No, no, no!”

We could suspend Time,
Draw him up by his ankles,
Leave him dangling,
Screaming over the cliff,
While we have a leisurely picnic,
And watch the waves with
Indifferent admiration.

I watch the Old Clock-Man
That old, shuffling Watch-Man,
Grinning, grinning like a mask
Walking around us, avoiding
Direct contact, whispering
Bad thoughts in our ears.

And I think wicked thoughts.
Evil beast!  May he perish
Without a whimper, a whisper.
May he be swept away like dust!

For he grinds away the hours
He turns the crank on the minutes
He grins in his hideous mask,
His face empty behind it.

And when he’s done, he sits
And counts the hours, like a miser
Sitting among piled hills of gold.
He counts the beating of my heart
The pulse of my temples,
He numbers my days.
He likes that – gives him a thrill.
How can we wear his avatar,
Grinning like an empty thing
On our wrists?  See how he 
Lurks inside our phones
Our cars, our computers?

Are we MAD?

This is proof of our slavery:
We shackle ourselves
Time and time again,
And even decorate our chains.

Fie!

I shall paint strange patterns
On that grinning mask,
And while he sputters and gasps,
I shall turn my back, and march
Straight into the sunshine
Beyond his gilded prison.

He cannot catch me,
For I shall give him the slip.

______________________________________________________________

Clock

I, Prometheus

I, Prometheus
©July 23RD, 2016

By Vijaya Sundaram

There is an eagle.
By day, deathly agony
Every night, rebirth.

Come, Heracles, come!
Free me from my binding chains
Golden apples wait.

The gods are jealous,
Incensed, for I helped mortals.
Gods know no mercy.

I brought them fire
Moved by pity for mortals –
So puny, so small!

I regret nothing
Not the gift I stole from Zeus,
Not my transgressions.

We are what we are
The gods themselves cannot change.
I shall be renewed.

I shall wander on,
Seeking to help humankind –
Here lies my reward.

This is what I’ll do:
Find a thing that needs doing,
Bend the arc of life.
_________________________________________________________

 

Punishment

Slowly Flooding, Slowly Ebbing

Slowly Flooding, Slowly Ebbing
©July 22nd, 2016
By Vijaya Sundaram

It spreads slowly
This relaxing of a stiffening.
The body gives way to
Strange griefs of its own,
Unknown to the mind.

Toes and fingers,
And spine and elbows,
And neck and knees
And hips and hands
And feet beneath
All succumb.

A mysterious call
From within, from without
– Heavy, leaden, attractive –
Casts a spell on them.

There’s an ache that
Defies knowing, but Hypnos
Winds his arms around them,
Around me, forgiving all,
Making me prone, supine,
Swooning with slumber.

Take me away, O God of Sleep!
Waft me slowly, slowly away
On your bier so your brother
May see me, and nod and say,
“It’s not time, yet.”

I won’t mind his rejection,
For I seek only you,
O Beautiful Hypnos,
To dally with you,
And speak with your children,
The Oneiroi, with winged
Morpheus in his cave
Strewn with poppy seeds
And quiet Lethe flowing close by,
Flooding my senses and my soul.

Only, allow me to return
At a time of my choosing.
For, alluring though you are,
One has to fight the spell,
Any spell; it’s the only way.

So, let not Thanatos take me,
Though he, too, allures.

And slowly, slowly, bear me back
To the land of the Awake,
Bear me back to my bed,
Slowly, quietly, on tiptoe,
Then leave without farewell.

And though it’ll hurt my heart,
It’s the only way, as I
Come slowly back to life,
To the world of those
Who wake, and ache with the
Joy and the grief of those
Who live and love, in spite
Of life slowly ebbing away.

_______________________________________________________

Slowly

The Eternal Seduction of the Unfettered Mind

The Eternal Seduction of the Unfettered Mind
©
July 21st, 2016

By Vijaya Sundaram

Birds sail the air like fast boats.
Ferns wave, dreamy and ancient.
Quietly, a mushroom grows
At the foot of a fir tree.
The Now seduces me.
I watch with half-closed eyes
At the post-noon languor
Of my backyard.

I know there are chores
Piling up, and a garden
Awaiting my ministrations
And a life that needs sorting
Papers and plans, and plants.
I know I should be an adult,
And engage in busy-ness.
But I cannot, not now.

A cup of water like a benediction
A book before me, interrupted by this poem,
This computer blinking cursorily at me,
That backyard sodden with sunlight,
All of these drive thoughts of tomorrow
Into the dustpan of blankness.

I lose myself in the Seeing
The Hearing, the Being
Of this world around me.

Could this mean
I am carefree,
At least, for now?

___________________________________________________________

Carefree

(With apologies for echoing the title, “The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” one of the best titles I’ve ever come across in film.)

Perfugium

PHOTO PROMPT- Copyright - Jan Wayne Fields

Word Count:  100 words of text, exactly
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction

Perfugium
©July 21st, 2016
By Vijaya Sundaram

“What is that thing, Sire?” clicked Secondus.

Primus, squinting through the periscope at the watery world around them, clicked out a reply.

They’d been stranded in the trenches of the ocean world. Air supplies had diminished, as the plants in their craft died.  They’d risen to the surface just in time.  

Their craft bobbed nearer.  The water fell away; the drowned land rose into view.  There was no sign of life.


Primus quailed when he saw the figure holding its torch.

“They must have been giants,” he rasped.

They discerned some writing below, but no matter. 

They’d finally found refuge.

________________________________________________________________
With many thanks to our Super-Muse and Fairy Blog-Mother, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, for hosting Friday Fictioneers week after week.  Thanks, also, to Jan Wayne Fields for the beautiful photograph.

What is This Thing?

What is This Thing?
©July 20th, 2016
By Vijaya Sundaram

This is a mystery
So still, so stormy,
So full of shadows and shapes,
So many fishes, small and large,
So many beasts beyond our ken,
So full of canyons and peaks,
So riotous in colors and life,
So saturated with longing
With the past, present, future
Colliding in mid-stream, swirls
Of echoes from everywhere,
A chaotic clash of currents
From every-when,
Where does it begin,
Where does it end?
How sombre are its deeps?
How playful are its shallows?
How many sunrises and sunsets
And moonrises and moonsets,
And star-flows and haunting calls
From faraway constellations
Fill its hungering belly?
_________________________________________________________

Depth

Feast and Famine

Feast and Famine
©July 19th, 2016
By Vijaya Sundaram

So much to eat,
And such little control.
So many riches,
And such little taste.

So many sensations,
Such little feeling.
So much beauty,
Such little appreciation.

So much knowledge,
Such little wisdom.
So many choices,
So many chains!

_______________________________________________

 

Feast

Frail, Holy Grail

Frail, Holy Grail
©July 18th, 2016
By Vijaya Sundaram

Hold the Earth holy
Hold her in your hands.

Keep her safe. 

Blue oceans circle her.
Giant peaks touch hushed skies.
Canyons yawn below.
Trees grow tall and strong,
Grasses wave gaily in prairies,
Animals leap and stalk, and dive,
Flowers grow unashamed and lush,
And here and there, the earth moves,
Rocks jut out, bones show.

Earth is strong
But she’s lived a long time
Been poked and prodded,
Strip-mined, mountain-top-mined,
Tunneled, cultivated, deforested
Plundered and molested by men.

And now, she’s grown
Frail as glass,
Life-broken in places,
Trying to stay intact.

Give her room, give her time.
Let her waters flow,
Let her birds fly,
Let the forests grow tall
Let her animals live.
Let all life flourish
Try and do no harm.

Let our Earth recover,
And we may live, yet.
Seek her strength.
This is our Holy Grail.

__________________________________________________

 

Frail

Driving on Parallel Lines

Driving on Parallel Lines
©July19th, 2016
By Vijaya Sundaram

Tree after tree after tree
Flashes by, green streaks against blue.
Endless scenery can get old.

But oh, the lure of the car!
The getting in it, the onward trip.
A metal box of death
With music to beguile us
Pouring out of an i-pod,
Promises liberation,
The dog drowsing in my arms
Or staring out the back seat,
While my husband takes the wheel.

(Or, when I drive alone, and the dog
Sits in the passenger seat
And looks at me, and at the road,
Tongue hanging out in joy, a
Grin of anticipation on her face.)

And the car flies on the road,
Humming in pleasure, for she knows
She’s heading for a place that’s new,
And what car can resist that?
Onward, she goes, and skims
The heat-shimmering surface
Of a road that leads her on,
Promising eternity where the sky
Bends over a nonplussed road,
Which defies geometry,
When two parallel lines
Get closer and closer,
And finally meet.

And we drive right over that point,
Into another world
Just over the horizon,
Chasing the sun.

\_________________________________________________________/

Drive