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Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
Everything is ruined.
The plan, the plans.
Every ******* thing is torn
Shredded. The hand is poison,
The mouth is a gate that never shuts.
The body, the mind,
A mismatched pair. Utterly senseless.

I’m a hypocrite when I do this.
But then again I might just be fickle.
They call it changing minds,
With the hypocrisy riding on it
Like a wave, up to a froth-filled
Bang on the sandy shore.

The smell of salt annihilates.
I do not wish to live for this.

There, I’ve said it. I’ve sent the
Package to you like I told my head
I would not.

Crumble, crumble oh Pliny.
Vesuvius’s wrath spews here again.
Choking us with its mountain of black ash,
Rushing towards us like a news in hurry.
Salvaging our bones among the ruins of Herculaneum.
We, the organic, getting eaten for centuries.

Shalini Nayar
© 2004
Shalini Nayar Nov 2014
The Godly air consumes me as I tiptoe across the marble floor,
Icy, tightening their grasps with every step I take.
Stories around me come alive in magical paintings, snaking their way in every corner,
And in sculptures that speak an unspeakable history, ancient truths that we all try to seek.
Their stony eyes follow me wherever I go, priestly and judgy.
As I glide, my heart flutters with rains of fear and thunders of uncertainty,
But as soon as I catch you sitting at the edge in your calm, patient demeanour,
A mere turn accompanied with that smile melts away all stormy qualms like nothing else.
You are my truth and I have sought it.

Shalini Nayar
(c) 2014
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
I am so drowsy,
The air envelopes me now.
There’s no escaping.

Shalini Nayar
© 2005
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
My skin goes up in flames
Incinerating the fine fibers

That hold too much history.
Too much pain!

The water rushes down like a modest waterfall
By the rocks, cleansing the shiny soapy edges.

The rocks hold their breath
Until bubbles germinate.

Those dews of contradicting virtues
Flow off my burning skin, gently crossing each other out.

Like warships in full reign,
They torpedo ragingly, missing their marks,

Bombing themselves. The ash suffocates the sea.
The fishes gossip and their ryes burn, burn, burn.

Oh, the agony of a misfire: incineration, gossip, untimely death.
Too much pain!

Shalini Nayar
© 2002
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
Who the **** are you
To control the destinies
Between me and her?

Shalini Nayar
© 2005
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
look up, look up
pretty bride
look how the seats are arranged
just like your marriage
promising a plethora
with three knots of the saffron string

look down, look down
blushing bride
look how your hands are laden
with orange mehndhi
matching your silk orange sari
with your sparkling diamond and gold jewels
blinding the third eye on your forehead
that blinks uncertainly

look around, look around
naïve bride
look how the sun rushes through the hall
waking up sleeping jasmines on your hair
fading away the wretched past
ending your stormy dormancy

look right, look right
****** bride
look how your husband-to-be is next to you
cupping his hands in yours
receiving the priests' blessed blessings
and sharing the confetti of thrown rice

and you close your eyes
tired bride
praying to live
happily ever after

Shalini Nayar
© 2001
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
The star breaks into
A million false hopes, dashed dreams.
Awake my blind child.

Shalini Nayar
© 2005
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
I miss your white glow.
The ethereal being that was you
Before He took you away, so soon.
The crash, the shriek.
Formulas stained with blood
And a crushed future lying there, lifeless.

I hold you crumpled in my palm
Seeing you walking with me,
And surrounding us is just bright white light,
Nothing else guiding our step.
You’re mute, but interested in me. I smile.

The trick in the calculator, the laughter
Afterwards. The letter you showed me proudly,
The kindness that was you, you, you.
No one can replace you,
Not even if you had come back alive.

Shalini Nayar
© 2004
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
Love, relationships,
Men, boys, ******* tingles.
All those things bore me.

Shalini Nayar
© 2004
Update 10 years on: They don't. :)
Shalini Nayar Nov 2014
They call this a form of madness because you stepped into my void right out of my dreams where you reigned free in my subconscious waving like the good naval officer that you were returning home after a long mission wearing all-white linen none out of place crisp clean-cut shoulders padded with shiny metals head balancing the white hat that sat tall there like a good boy behaving in the church pew and all I feel is your radiant smile glowing out of you like a million little sunbursts swallowing me whole by the pier leaving behind nothing to prove I even existed.

Now, isn't that madness?

Shalini Nayar
(c) 2014
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
A chance for these pills
To swim, to coat, to worship
My battered system.

Shalini Nayar
© 2005
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
I am no longer interested in your fallacies.

No matter how hard you debate

Y­ou’re just a child.

Shalini Nayar
© 2005
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
The colours seep in my throat
Coating it crimson. Staining the wells.
I fear it is a sign of things to come.

I want to feel them all, let the mixture
Taint my senses, each giving birth to a
New hope, a new promise. I long for this.

When I look inside myself, it is black and hollow.
How unpalatable. The newborn feelings orbit the pit lanes
Wanting to burst out in a flurry of colourful butterflies.

But, I hold them in. The fizz of anticipation dies out,
Bubble by bubble slowly retarding, as I tell them
“It is not time yet.”

Shalini Nayar
© 2005
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
My head shivers from all the thoughts
Swimming without clear destinations
Clashing their tentacles to produce
An inky, brutal conclusion:

My ex-aunt is pure evil.

Shalini Nayar
© 2005
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
Stopped here just thinking
Of you, the power of you.
Consume me wildly.

Shalini Nayar
© 2004
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
Whatever may come,
I know I can survive it.
I can cook **** well.

Shalini Nayar
© 2005
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
Save those drowsy looks
For after. You look so good
Dancing by yourself.

Shalini Nayar
© 2004
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
Faraway dreaming
Of another life, wishing
To be held by you.

Shalini Nayar
© 2005
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
I must have a stupid face.
The smiles, the cold hooks
Tugging at my heart like a lunging fish,
Narrowly breathing to keep itself
Alive, only for the moment.
Then gone.

I love this, this resurgence of things
That may come. All true, you believe,
Till they prove you wrong.
The murmurs, do you hear it?
Through the steel, the pages,
Shakespeares I and II.

Cold, but loud. They buzz all around
The years, old and new,
Stillborn and cursed.

Don’t stop, they want you too much now.
I turn and turn, I do not hear anything.
No one comes up to me,
I don’t want to hear anything else.

The cold surfaces, the white acetylene tables.
Burp burp, who goes there?
Who’s arranging all these?
Yours, yours?

I mock you,
I mock your noise,
The silent shudder of you deciding
To leave me.

The hurt, the stinging pain.
The loud crash of it.

This is the sinew of my curse.

Shalini Nayar
© 2004
Shalini Nayar Oct 2014
Whenever I am alone with you,
You make me feel like I am whole again,
Deskinned bare for my bear, only my truest self left to see,
And I can't bear to lose him in any circumstance.

He loves me for all the imperfections that make the perfect me,
Never flinching when tears are brimming my eyes,
His unwavering strength carries me through this perfect rain storm of sorts.

I know the Universe didn't conjure this up for naught,
So to the powers that be I plead, commiserate,
That the truth shall prevail and always reign.

Shalini Nayar
(c) 2014
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
When you read my lines,
Above, under, in between,
Don’t ask their meanings.

Shalini Nayar
© 2005
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
There are nights where I’d
Feel your tongue slither with mine.
Dreams remain as dreams.

Shalini Nayar
© 2004
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
My heart aches a thousand times more
Each time my mind wanders.
It is the voices that rage me.
I hold my chair tight till it tattoos marks on my palm.

Because of you, because of your *****,
Your *******, *******, worshipping the ******* blue ******,
You have made me so jaded.

The naivete that I carried on my sleeve,
The sweet innocence looking forward to wonderful,
The trust I invested in total strangers,
The belief that there was good in every mankind,
All lies. I am now blinded by brutality and deceit.
I lost trust and I lost God. Both never existed.

How manipulative, calculative you were.
Not to mention your sister-*****, who later became your own concubine,
How she'd tricked me, lured me into believing every move.
I nodded, smiled and laughed along with the deceit.
All along a big *** knife was ****** into my back.

Who knew backstabbing was your favourite sport.

Shalini Nayar
© 2005
Shalini Nayar Oct 2014
In the darkest hour the sliver of light pierces through,
Illuminating the bones of our truth,
Rearranged and remoulded by the sands of time,
Revealing its raw crevices for the world to see

They say it's darkest before dawn,
In the still of the night, they danced in unison,
Intertwining individuals intercepting fate,
Setting forth a fiery flame for all the pawns in this game

Carnal desire madly racing through their veins,
Pulsing the minutes as if life depended on it,
Passion enveloping the world only they could bear witness to,
As the crack of the moon dragged her blacks across the Jungian skies

They fight for the other like no other,
They will wait out stormy seas and torrents of trouble,
Where does faith lie but if not in their hearts that had been glued back?
For the bonds of love can weather through any matter.

~Vijaya Balan and Shalini Nayar
(c) 2014
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
The moment he knew,
A flower dropped on his head.
Love began to bloom.

Shalini Nayar
© 2005
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
I’d rather be blind
Than witness you breaking down.
It’d break me instead.

Shalini Nayar
© 2004
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
It’s always about the games we play, isn’t it?
Always about who comes out on top,
Who rakes in the most attention.

The eyes have it. They always have, windows to our souls,
How deceptively they can let a friend down,
How egotistically they can take advantage of a loved one.

In the end, how can you determine the winner?
Who keeps track of all the points you’ve raked in?
And most importantly, how can you tell a heart’s broken from the outside?

Shalini Nayar
© 2005
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
Her song swims in waves into the river,
The swift current cradling it by.
Her melody stumbles across the rocks,
The quavers settle offshore till the wave-bubble
Licks them back.

The scattered ashes come to life.

Shalini Nayar
© 2005
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
My hands, my knees.
Look at it jolting out of me,
Cavemen clubs with nowhere to go.

The passageway now hurts, pushing out
Whatever that went in.
Liquid, solid, knives,
Lies, lies, lies, grievances.

The forcing, the cough, the blow
Right here, into the middle of my stomach.
The stupid things I do sometimes
Just to feed the pressure.

The oil greases over me,
It’s hard enough to breathe in here.
Hear hear, I speak. It is you I want.
Mr. Grape’s hair I gently stroke away in that trailer,
His lips I gently kiss to an ******.

Right there, in my neck,
Between the pulsating veins,
The urge hissing on my tongue.
That’s where you must belong always.

Mamma, won’t you get off
Your fat back and your fat haunch,
Off that sweaty couch, off that shaky little house
And get me out of this god-forsaken land?

Shalini Nayar
© 2004
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
“What do you do for living?” I asked, examining the bronzed boy.
“I love,” he said, with a smirk and a slight touch on my fingers.

Shalini Nayar
© 2002
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
remember the chilly night
when we floated across the bright pimpled moon
penetrated the stardust-fog,
and sighed at the sadness happening down below?
remember the rainy day
when we stole morning glory dews
spat out seeds that grew into gallant shelters
and sighed at the sparrow that had no place to go?

Shalini Nayar
© 2002
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
The parsimony chokes like a
Heart-shaped balloon tied at your throat.
The guilt, the grief.
If I could meet you just once
I wouldn’t say a word.
I’ll grab what’s mine
And leave you hollow and empty.

Shalini Nayar
© 2004
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
My distant aunt is
Getting hitched. Isn’t that sweet?
I don’t know her.

Shalini Nayar
© 2004
Shalini Nayar Nov 2014
These walls have witnessed too much:
Fallacies hang on chipped paints,
Too weighty for their own self-murders,
Forming a plastic smile, remaining incumbent.
Air conditioned with rife medicinal regrets,
Coldly wafting in its nonchalance,
Armoring itself for another wave.
This time, the finality catches its last breath
Dyeing the molecules with dying grace
Like an ouroboros forking its venomous tongue on its own end,
Tasting not death, but imminent immortality.
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
I have always known.
But you know me, impatient.
I try wrong ones first.

Shalini Nayar
© 2004
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
she was like an inviting lotus
seducing into her roots
of sensuality and infinite pleasures

her love was of a collage
of blue and purple pigments
tainting its withered petals
enticing the skeptic

she was an Immortal
like a beautiful mystical goddess
inducing intrigue
inviting the uninvited

Shalini Nayar
© 2001
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
Is this love then, this red material
Issuing from the steele needle that flies so blindingly?
It will make little dresses and coats,
It will cover a dynasty.
-Sylvia Plath, “An Appearance”*

Is this love
The crashing waves of scattered memories
That laughs and giggles along with my schoolgirl silliness
Only to be choked by reality?

Is this love
When every minute smells of you
Even as I try to immobilize my senses
My heart flutters helplessly like a caged butterfly,
That is wingless and beautiful?

Is this love
The aftertaste of bitterness
That lives on the edges of unpleasant dreams
When I couldn’t feel the way I used to feel?

So is this love then
A tapestry of escapism only our feelings can weave?

Shalini Nayar
© 2002
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
I was right about myself.
Even though a year ago I had it all figured out,
I'd still hurt myself.
It's the longing for a soulmate.
Desperation for a penal man.
Knife-wounds still stripe my bare back.

Shalini Nayar
© 2005
Shalini Nayar Apr 2015
The whole drive I could not stop the stream,
Hot and urgent they let themselves go,
Gleaming like shiny babies in the artificial white lights.

The bald heads vacantly size me up as I arrive;
These ghosts have seen their share of streams
Till they have none left to reminisce.
They nod knowingly.

I hurry to the mirror to destroy any evidence and......I smile.

These tears have created the perfect smokey eyes.

(C) 2015 Shalini Nayar
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
No matter how much you deny it,
You’re just like your mother.
And so am I.

Shalini Nayar
© 2005
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
Love has made me foolish.
The joke, har har har, and they go.
Carrying you, and you, and you
Has taken a toll on me, my heart.
It is the emotions I miss, the rush of it.

Whenever I think of you, I think of lies.
This was supposed to be our year, you remember?
The art galleries, the plays, the orchestras,
The million meaningless things we said to each other,
We promised each other. Laugh! All lies.

Whenever I think of you, I think of foolishness.
For you’re still a young boy at heart, so naïve.
When you find love, you let it go, and settling for less
Every single time. How stupid of you.
Your smile melts me, but I’m undaunted. I laugh everything off.

Whenever I think of you, I think of bravery.
Bravery that got me through the mess, the rude ordeals,
To finally say it to your face what I really thought of you.
I hated you as a person, every atom of your stinking presence,
So much so it choked me at times. Now I laugh, thinking back.

I would fall into it just to feel the surge of everything alive,
Just because I really missed it pulsing in my veins,
And not because I pride myself on finding my soul mate.
I’m too cynical for that.

Shalini Nayar
© 2004
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
Light lands like a wreath,
Illuminating my thoughts.
Calling for you, you.

Shalini Nayar
© 2005
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
How can I ever hate you?
Crashing waves, over and over,
Like a group of cymbals clapping each other
Never reaching me.
You blend in with the wave, the sun
Lighting on all that is clear and sweet.

Down there, a heart blooms.
Stinging red and beating,
Roadkill that never quite died.
They’re stomping all over it,
Can’t you see, the damage,
The spill of black oozing from it.

Find a drum beat for me there,
A chord of bass flowing through the music,
The flawless voice singing “Are you in?”
And us, sitting there, in our own spaces,
(The sand with crab-holes, you fill them in one by one)
Bodies in the same proximity, head somewhere else.
Listening, listening.

This is the way it’s supposed to be.
Meant to be. The pitfalls eating us alive.
The morning glory saying hello again.

Shalini Nayar
© 2004
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
You exist in my fabric of imagination.
My every cell throbs for your presence.
My fingers long for partners to intertwine with.
My mouth opens up till the poison air drinks it dry.

Shalini Nayar
© 2005
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
Leave me here basking
In this sweet garden of lust
Longing for your scent.

Shalini Nayar
© 2004
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
It whispers to me everyday, wide and deathly.
The heartbeat of it never fades.
The garland grows rounder and vague.

It’s like a warning, only you cannot avoid.
Where it will descend: on the dandruffed hair
Moping the pimpled cheeks? or on the

Origin of the thumps itself, losing the will to beat?
They do not speak, but their act volumes like nothing else.
The black magnolias bloom and bleed

Odours of life. Do not believe their
Scented breath. It is almost beautiful
Like ten minutes of peace.

I’m no longer afraid, my flowery enemy.
The buds sleep while monoecious parents
Mother a silent death.

Shalini Nayar
© 2002
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
I tell her it is
Rage that fuels all my poetry.
I might be wrong now.

Shalini Nayar
© 2004
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
The candy-cane stripes mingle freely among the
Saffron-clothed C moon and fourteen-handed star.
They swim navy-like in the blue.

The reds and whites alternate
Till the states are properly represented.
They ask of nothing more, nothing more.

What does it hold? What does it teach us?
The wild history of it roars and thunders
Like a hurricane that never stops.

But it did. How did we overthrow
Something so mighty, so white
As an unstoppable hurricane?

And the purpose of it all? Freedom.
Freedom and independence. Two righteous
Morals so hard to obtain.

At what cost did we attain them?
Bloodshed, shrieks, lies, torment and tears.
It was all worth it, love, all of it.

When Jack finally crawled down the beanstalk,
We never flew higher, braver or breezier
With such dignity and unfaltering spirit.

We have come so far to this place, this place
Where hatred shreds to little warm hearts and people
Are just people no matter how colourful they are.

We’re a rare hybrid of ethics: the sarong-laden man milking the rubber tree
Is no different than the blackened faces down in the tin mines
And the ones that hand-built the train tracks, woody and sturdy.

Seven chants of it that fateful afternoon
And we cried knowing, knowing we have made it.
Toiled sweat never tasted sweeter. Merdeka!

Most of us laughed and rejoiced.
Some were heard wailing and flying off to where
They rightfully belong. We don’t want you here. We never did.

The dove’s free now,
Free of thick metal bars
That caged it for centuries and

It flies now, wings spread into
A feathery horizon, windily flapping back and forth
Into a new world, a new promise called Malaysia.

Shalini Nayar
© 2002
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
The right frame of mind doesn’t discern
Right from wrong.
Only truth from lies.

I’ve learned a handful but the true mastery
Lies in unlearning the learned.
And learning again.

I constantly worry myself with
Unnecessary notions because I do not want
History to repeat itself.

You are there, and you will come to me one day.
And I will say to myself,
“There, it wasn’t so bad, after all.”

Shalini Nayar
© 2005
Shalini Nayar Nov 2014
Velvety smooth like cocoa butter voice,
In strength and poise you honour and bask,
Just to hear you laugh being silly is my task,
In your arms I'd want to be forever if I had a choice.
Beautiful inside and out, you've brought being a gentleman back in fashion,
Everyday is a joy with you that keeps getting better,
Always reassuring and sweet with your words and actions,
Reigniting fiery flames whenever we're together.

Shalini Nayar
(C) 2014
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