The Void In Us All

This poem is based on a blog-post writ­ten by a friend named Aashna Iyer. Let’s just say, at the time of writ­ing, I was suf­fer­ing from chron­ic depres­sion.


 

This is ded­i­cat­ed to the void in us all.

When you think about it, some of us are like trees.
We can dance at the mer­est chance of breeze!
Our leaves ogle at the sun; we rus­tle and flirt,
Though our feet are ground­ed in dirt.
We home the birds to lay their eggs and lounge,
And the squir­rels for all the nuts they can scrounge.

And every moment, a part of us chips away,
Like flow­ers plucked for lover, now for­got­ten and stray,
Or all the heart-felt procla­ma­tions that dag­gers write,
Or the leaves that have always been vis­i­ble in broad-day­light,
Just fall and crum­ble under foot­steps, unno­ticed.
You think the tree says noth­ing, so you just walk along.
But you wouldn’t notice if it broke into a har­rowed song.

This tree can’t trust. This tree can’t sing.
Through the void, you can hear the ring
Of silence, where no one will every miss
The idea that some­one, some­where is…

(Pause)

That some­one, some­where just IS.
Merely exist­ing, raw and unre­fined.
“They’re smil­ing! They’re hap­py!”
No, they’re just being kind.
Because they are lost in the abyss of their mind.
Stitching bro­ken dreams have made them blind.
They are lost! And no one dares to find
Them from under all the crum­pled mem­o­ries
And old-times that were once part of us,
But what we now call “Dust”.

And in here,
We frol­ic in pho­tographs of days in mirth,
But the Compass doesn’t point North,
And we’re going back and forth, back and forth,
Like a bro­ken record, or a con­fused clock,
While star­ing at the cra­dle that refus­es to rock.

Back to the new-born kit­ten,
Whose eyes closed long before they could open.
Back to the sound of vio­lin, play­ing from the neigh­bour­hood win­dow.
Back to the the hawk­er sell­ing ice-cream near the school,
Back to the thrill of break­ing every damn rule.
Back to laugh­ter that nev­er stopped, that made you choke on a glass of milk.
Back to those din­ner-times, no mat­ter how bad the meals them­selves were.
Back to those lips which took your breath away and the breath that slow­ly kept time with yours.
Back to wind in your hair and every­thing else tak­ing a back seat.
Back to the arms wrapped around yours, keep­ing you warm and calm.
Back to the stuffed ani­mals that wore out from the stress of being your night­ly pro­tec­tor, no mat­ter what kept you awake at night.

You’ll find me glu­ing them togeth­er in the scrap­book of my song,
A mem­o­ra­bil­ia, to show me where I once belonged,
To keep us close to friends, who have moved on
To oth­er pas­tures in stride.
And the grass ALWAYS looks green­er on the oth­er side.
But not here.

Because here, it’s all crum­bling, bit by bit,
Pieces of our lives chip­ping away, before we can knit,
Leaving scars in our souls as an eter­nal reminder
Of all that is now gone.

What’s left is a grow­ing nos­tal­gic ache.
A bit­ter­sweet reminder, no mat­ter the smiles we fake,
We’re still human. We thun­der and we run.
One pas­sion­ate storm of tears…
And we are done.

But we… are a freak­ing trees.
We nour­ish our­selves in every storm and breeze.
We can bloom any­where, any­how, with­out a word.
So let this silence say more than all that can be heard.
Let the rus­tle in the winds become your poem.
Let the poem seep into the pores of your being.
Let it purge all that leaves you feel­ing rud­der­less and adrift.
Let it fill your emp­ty cav­erns with enough con­cern for anoth­er,
Constantly remind­ing you to
Shake the dust.

Because in the void, there’s only your­self to face.
It calls to nur­ture you in its end­less space
With a chance to out­grow the scars in your soul,
And you think you’re get­ting stronger and stronger,
Until the silence cracks with the weight
Of three famil­iar words you hoped to nev­er hear:

How are you?”
I’m fine… I’m just… fine.

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