I Am

Edit from the future, 2017: I don’t like this piece any­more. Someday I’ll rewrite this, or even roast myself for this.


I ini­tial­ly ded­i­cat­ed this to the ones who start­ed Pune Poetry Slam and Airplane Poetry Movement, but as I kept writ­ing, the poem quick­ly devel­oped a theme of courage to start some­thing won­der­ful despite all the doubts and pres­sures of con­ven­tion­al naysay­ings a per­son goes through in their lives. Of course, this is also a reminder for myself that every first step is always mean­ing­ful.


When you close your eyes and rub them gen­tly,
You can see a uni­verse inside.
Not out there, but in here.
Where part of the pow­er resides.
That part of the dark­ness in space and time,
Where the first gen­er­a­tion of stars
Took their first steps to illu­mi­nate,
And burst forth with dust, enrich­ing life upon the earth’s crust,
Becoming this being with two arms, two legs and a smile.

You’ll find me sit­ting on shoul­ders of giants,
As I pon­der, under the moon­light,
If I can ever jump, all the way, to the moon.
Or am I stuck repeat­ing the same old tune,
Where my song can­not exist beyond words carved on the cob­ble­stones,
Going one way, like a trag­ic sto­ry crum­bling into sand.
The lines of this lore become the lines of my hand,
As I pon­der,
“Who am I to dent the sky?
How could I ever, when the giants couldn’t fly?”

Me? I’m some­one with two arms, two legs and a smile,
Walking in the sta­bil­i­ty of the cob­ble­stones,
Lit by secu­ri­ty of the lamp­posts, craft­ed with such care
By some­one who is nev­er even there,
Someone, like the stars, lightyears away,
Shining upon us, long after they are gone.

These cob­ble­stones and lamp­posts were not built by ghosts;
They were built by those who cared the most,
One stone at a time, so we could walk anoth­er mile,
Building bridges, to unite you with the heart a dis­tance apart,
Building tombs for the dreams buried in with­er­ing diaries,
Building a stage for voic­es that need a moment to bleed,
Like a map on your fin­ger­tip, each unique, like a key
To that part of the pow­er that made those giants,
To that part of the pow­er made you and me.

Even if it can be done, we’d need infi­nite gold,
Infinite sup­port, and infi­nite hands to hold,
Infinite hope, and an infi­nite sense of thrill…
But it all comes down to infi­nite strength of WILL.

So I just came with open palms,
Singing psalms to myself, light­ing one lamp­post at a time,
And it didn’t take long for the dor­mant hearts to spark
With courage to face the uncer­tain dark.
When the sun aban­dons us on a road FULL of scars.
I asked for one can­dle; and I was greet­ed by the stars!

We stand on the shoul­ders of giants.
We can see the dis­tant dreams beyond the abyss.
If we walked any fur­ther, we would fall and die.
But we weren’t meant to walk, we were meant to fly!
One step at a time, hold­ing on to each oth­er, hang­ing tight,
Torches alight, our wings learn­ing to take flight,
Signing our names into the eter­nal night.

Houston, do you copy? This is Apollo 11.
We have reached the moon.”
One small leap for a human. One giant leap for human­i­ty.

Every time some­one walks down the lone­ly square,
Their path will light up by a prayer, as they look up at the stars,
Wondering who it was that was the first to care.
It was ALWAYS our turn to light the next star of dawn,
So that the light keeps shin­ing, long after we’re gone.

So, who the fuck AM I? What the hell CAN I do?
Well… Let me tell you.

I could be a mir­a­cle of stars. I could be a child of dust.
I could be the soul of the human race,
I could be just be some­one with a face, a name, and style.
Or I could be noth­ing more than some­one
With two arms, two legs and a smile.
But even if my name won’t last,
Even if you for­get my future and past,
If I nev­er was, and nev­er will be,
You can still find my song on the cob­ble­stones,
Signed by these words:

I Am”.

And there­fore, I CAN


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