Remember the time

For the dVerse Poets challenge – Gender Bender. Kelly Letky set us the challenge to write a poem from the point of view of the opposite sex. Very difficult, I just found 🙂


There is grass growing
on your grave, little one.

Remember the time
when you had walked
on the grass and found
a wriggling worm. You
had run to me afraid and
I had lifted you in the air
and you had declared
you could touch the stars.
I don’t notice the stars anymore.

The tree beside your grave
is shedding leaves, little one.

Remember the times
when you had lain on
my chest, quiet and gently
breathing, and said it felt
like a tree. My arms
the branches. I suppose
you meant strong
and stable and rooted.
You had never seen an uprooted tree.

There are daisies
on your headstone, little one.

Remember the time
your mother and you
had made daisy chains
in the meadow not noticing
the birds that had snacked
on our picnic lunch.
How the two of you had
giggled until my belly
was full of your laughter.
She has not smiled in a long time.


In my family, my father was the gentle one, pouring his gentle affection on me unconditionally. Of course, the scenario described above didn’t happen in my case, but I can imagine my father would have been devastated, I being the only daughter and the apple of his eye. For any parent to lose their child while they are still alive would be devastating. In an Indian language, there is a word for it ‘teera dukham’ – unending sorrow.

Death poems

On dVerse Poets Pub Gayle sets the challenge :  To write in haiku or tanka style, to the theme of Jisei (Japanese death poems).

Gayle also says, “In ancient Japanese, Chinese and Korean cultures, a practice was used at the time of death to capture the last words spoken. This practice was called jisei (in Japan) or death poem and is the “farewell poem to life.” Jisei was written by monks, samurai, the literate and poets of these cultures. One of the earliest recorded jisei dates to 686 C.E. (Common Era) or in Christian terms, B.C. (before Christ) with the death of Prince Otsu who was the son of Emperor Temmu of Japan.”




I hear the sea sing

in my veins, of homecoming.

Save your salty tears


for life and its sorry tales,

not me. I am going home.




This vain, heavy shell

I no longer need, fading

softly like daylight


surrenders to night, sighing

soft promises of return.




This shell will return

to its womb. My sinews will

turn into roots, limbs


into tree-trunks. And my song

will trill out from the tree tops.




Soon, I will be rain,

falling on seeds, springing them

into life. Lusty,


fecund, virile, alive. Death

is a mere wisp of a veil.




(100 word flash fiction)

Family gone, career over, there was nothing to live for.

And so, she stood at the bridge, the portal between this life and the next. Above her, dark clouds rolled. The sky was already in mourning.

The office farewell gift, a brooch the colour of sunrise, felt heavy in her hand. As though pinning her down, inexorably, to the fabric of life.

She felt a tug on her sleeve. A teenage girl in tatters. A baby on her hip. Begging.

Inside her heart, gears shifted and moved. A sunbeam shot through the clouds.

“Would you like a meal? A home?”


P.S. not entirely happy with this one, but the muse is cranky today 😦


Even though it’s not Friday yet, it’s that time of the week to be writing for Friday Fictioneers, the flash fiction group, led by the most able Rochelle, where we gather and write to a photo prompt, which this week is –

PHOTO PROMPT © The Reclining Gentleman

PHOTO PROMPT © The Reclining Gentleman

The thief

(100 word flash fiction)

He pushed open the rusty gate and walked calmly to the crumbling house.

He planned to overpower her when she opened the door, force her to open the safe and decamp with the loot.

But, the door was open. She was lying on the floor. Her breaths long and laboured. Each one like it was the last.

Should he run, or call for help?  

‘Who are you?” asked the emergency call operator.

The woman in an old photo on the wall looked just like the one in a photo he had carried in his wallet for 20 years.

“Her son.”


The fiction high I get with Friday Fictioneers hosted by the lovely Rochelle, for the photo prompt below-

PHOTO PROMPT © David Stewart

PHOTO PROMPT © David Stewart

The froggy button will take you to the links of the Fictioneering peeps 🙂


Glenn Colquhoun, GP and poet on ‘How do writing and medicine fit together?’

“Mainly they complement each other. Sometimes a poem is about trying to touch your hand as lightly as possible on the fabric of the universe. Medicine is the same.”

Amen to that!

An Old Woman

by Arun Kolatkar

An old woman grabs
hold of your sleeve
and tags along.

She wants a fifty paise coin.
She says she will take you
to the horseshoe shrine.

You’ve seen it already.
She hobbles along anyway
and tightens her grip on your shirt.

She won’t let you go.
You know how old women are.
They stick to you like a burr.

You turn around and face her
with an air of finality.
You want to end the farce.

When you hear her say,
‘What else can an old woman do
on hills as wretched as these?’

You look right at the sky.
Clear through the bullet holes
she has for her eyes.

And as you look on
the cracks that begin around her eyes
spread beyond her skin.

And the hills crack.
And the temples crack.
And the sky falls

with a plateglass clatter
around the shatter proof crone
who stands alone.

And you are reduced
to so much small change
in her hand.