Telling a Lie?

My moral compass wakes up pretty quickly

Whenever I tell a lie, to remind me

That lying for any reason is wrong

And while I may have an aversion strong

To outright lies, in a different light I see

A half-truth, a stretched truth, hyperbole

Sometimes the truth unvarnished and plain

Is boring, difficult, or causes pain

Sometimes people pester me for a reply

And with a truthful answer I cannot satisfy

Their curiosity, or make them leave me alone

In such case an innocuous lie my conscience would condone

I try to lie only about things that pertain to me

Without causing anyone else harm hopefully

*

The trouble with all kinds of lying is but one

To remember your lie is easier said than done

So once you have embellished the truth or lied

You need more lies and exaggerations to hide

Your original untruth, or you could lose permanently

What is really important for you- your credibility

*

I am a human being as flawed as they come

Here’s what I’ve realized after making blunders some

Silence is golden is the mantra to go by

When the truth is difficult, but so is a lie

If you must say something, try to tell

A lie that is close to the truth as well

Thus you avoid the chain reaction

That starts with a lie in an interaction

*

On lies and lying here’s my parting thought

Just don’t lie to yourself, no matter what

That predictable life..

Ah the oppressiveness of a predictable life

Monday through Friday work, nine to five

Socializing on weekends, trips twice a year

Goals in life inflexible, unflinching and clear..

To own a house, save for college and retirement

To live life ensconced in stability being the intent

Finding fulfillment in family, work and community

Never exploring outside those confines for an opportunity..

*

If such a life you lead, you are thought to be fortunate

You have everything to aspire for on your plate

But something is missing in the unwavering cadence

Of your life, you often have a longing intense

To take a risk, start something new, follow a hunch

You might succeed wildly, or get a gut punch

Either way, the monotony of your life would break

And valuable lessons from your experiment you would take..

*

You are finally making up your mind

To go down a precarious path when you find

Life has thrown a curveball at you indeed

And to solve this problem you need

Your resources carefully collected for a rainy day

Your boring life has helped you pay

The bills during an unexpected event

And that puts a rest to your simmering discontent

When the sky falls…

When catastrophic thinking gets in the way

Of your life, your functioning from day to day

When the worst possible outcomes come to your mind

With every piece of negative news you find

Your pulse quickening, your breath getting shallow

As you play in your head the most horrific scenario

How do you lower yourself from the stratosphere

Of irrational thinking, into a more rational atmosphere?

*

From the sinkhole of your thoughts, you have to ascend

And direct your unwavering, laser-sharp focus on the present

Because you need to react to circumstances as they are

Follow your line of sight, not delve into a tunnel far

Focus on the present, and try to take

The next best step, think of the move you need to make

To solve a problem in the moment before you

When you are present in the moment, it is easier to

Forget about hypothetical horrors that in the future lie

You cannot predict tomorrow, no matter how hard you try..

*

If this seems too preachy, let me clarify

This advice is for myself when I

Get carried away in catastrophic thinking

To pull myself up from the hole in which I’m sinking

Can’t rise and shine

“Winners wake up early”- when such headlines I read

I have a sinking feeling- there’s no way I can succeed

If that is indeed true, because the thought

Of waking up early makes me distraught

If I woke up early, I would wither away

I am certain, before I hit mid-day

Spend my afternoon in a foggy state

And not be able to stay up late

Thus losing my most productive time of the day

When I can work in solitude, in my quirky

way

The hours between nine p.m. and midnight

Are when I get all my ideas bright

To wake up early I would have to sleep earlier too

And that is something I am just not willing to do..

*

If I am forced out of my bed early

I try to charge myself on strong coffee

That gives me a boost of nervous energy

But affects my concentration negatively

Thus I doubt my performance would be up to the mark

If I (reluctantly) woke up with the lark..

*

I don’t wake up early and a winner I may not be

But I’m convinced I wouldn’t win by waking up early

So let me clock in enough hours of sleep

And my schedule of late nights and late mornings keep

My silver lining

I am searching desperately

All I want is to see

A silver lining to the cloud grey

That has hovered over me all day

I want a little something to redeem

This day which particularly trying does seem

I simply need one positive sign

To bring some peace to my overcharged mind

*

I am home after a grueling work day

My young child has already been swept away

To the land of dreams, he is fast asleep

He waited, but his eyes open he could not keep

I tiptoe near his bed, and in the night-light I see

His peaceful countenance, then he smiles dreamily..

*

I smile too, my heart fills with love

I have received a sign from above

He is my silver lining to every cloud grey

He brings succor to my soul every day..

When opportunity knocks..

What I did accomplish versus what I could have done

Keeps raising its unpleasant head, this question

If only I could have in my abilities believed

I could have taken more risks, much more achieved

Or even if I did not end up achieving much at all

I would have had a more storied life, more experiences to recall

But each step I took was measured and cautious

It became a habit permanent, and thus

I never ventured outside my zone of comfort

I did not want to fail, did not want to get hurt..

*

As I grow older, I wistfully contemplate

How I missed out in my over-cautious state

All the opportunities that I should have seized

Oh, my current self is so displeased….

I cannot go back in time, but I can try

To grab opportunities, though they are harder to come by

Given my “play it safe” reputation

But I am determined to make the best of my situation

*

I see myself regretting my past years

That I would carry regrets to my grave, I fear

So let me open my wings and embrace

Life as it comes, difficult situations let me face

A dose of inspiration

I look for inspiration everywhere around me

I thrive on short bursts of creativity

That intercept the mundane work that I do

Things of beauty let me get through

Dull days, with unwavering routines

The mere sight of a sunset pristine

On my drive back home is often enough

To offset the rigors of a work-day tough

And inspire the aspiring poet in me

To arrange words in the form of poetry

Sometimes bright wildflowers bring a splash

Of color to my grey day, and I retrieve my stash

Of painting materials to create floral art

Which soothes my mind and warms my heart

If I hear foot-tapping music somewhere

I break into dance, without a care

I dance to the beats in my memory

Until reality breaks my reverie..

*

This in small aliquots I find

Inspiration for creativity to flourish in my mind

Order is not my cup of tea..

I seem to run, sprint or roll down hills

In frenzied attempts to fulfill

All the responsibilities that are mine

I make half-hearted attempts to streamline

All the tasks that I have to complete

I try to be organized, but cannot defeat

My inherent proclivity to be disorganized

After many years, I’ve finally realized

That through chaos I can find my way

While perfect organization, to my dismay

Makes me stumble, blunder, and fall

Leaves me incapable of doing much at all

When things are in order, I get stressed

That I would disrupt that order, I obsess

Over every step I take, unreasonably so

But when things are disorderly I go with the flow..

*

I like to explain things scientifically

According to the second law of thermodynamics, you see

The entropy of a system increases as time goes by

I shouldn’t question a law of nature, should I?

The unforgiving minute

“If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run”

I read this poem long ago, and took these lines

To heart, to find my place under the sun

I needed to be industrious, fill each minute available to me

With 60 seconds’ worth of work performed diligently

Thus began my journey on the hamster wheel

Of never-ending “work”, I would always feel

Disappointed with myself if I did procrastinate

If I did not fill each minute, I felt inadequate

The message was reinforced by everyone around

You should use your time wisely- this advice seemed quite sound

*

I filled minute after minute with work but could not

Fill my cup with the wins I had thought

Would be mine if I worked industriously

I was stretched too thin, I could not see

That I was tiring myself out inexorably..

*

As I spiraled downwards each day

I knew I had to find a way-

To loosen up a little, waste minutes few

Spend some sixty seconds on leisure too

*

Kipling had for his readers sage advice

I tried to follow it, but it was unwise

To treat time as a pit that needed to be filled

With work, as if my life’s worth could be distilled

In what I did, minute after minute every day

My value did not lie in my industriousness anyway..

*

I can still accomplish quite a bit in a minute

When I do decide to put my mind to it

But I no longer try to fill each minute, it’s true

I take time to pause, let my mind wander too

Let me open the window in the center of my chest..

“Stop the words now. Open the window in the center of your chest and let the spirits fly in and out.”  -Rumi

Let me stop listening to the buzz in my ears

Repetitively playing sounds from past years

Let me not over bygone moments ruminate

Let me clear past thoughts, start from a blank slate

Let me stop visualizing scenes from past days

Or replaying “what-if” scenarios in every possible way

Let me not keep tasting frustrations, bitter and old

Let past disappointments no longer unfold…

*

The old window in my heart is closed now

A new window in my chest I open to allow

Novel sounds, original thoughts, fresh tastes and visions new

To immerse my senses in the present is what I shall do

My senses were saturated with stimuli that were stagnant

Now that they are free, to explore the present…

In favor of the 9 to 5 job..

Sometimes I wonder if the concept

Of not having a 9-to-5 job has been overstretched

Social media is full of true stories (or hyperbole)

Of people who were sinking deeper into rabbit holes

Of demanding jobs; facing burnout-

But from rooftops (literally) they shout

How they followed their passions and now

Their social media influencer lives allow

Them to earn six-figure incomes and maintain

Lifestyles that are glamorous without the pain

Of being stuck in a 9 to 5 corporate job that is boring

They are living the dream, their dreams are soaring

*

Is being confined to a traditional 9 to 5 job that bad?

Or is flexibility of work hours a passing fad?

While burnout is a real issue indeed

Not everyone in the corporate world feels the need

To give up a position that provides

A steady income, a sense of identity, besides

It create a structure to every day

You work certain hours, then you can play

A nomadic work-life has hours variable

The remuneration is high, but also unpredictable

The stability that a conventional work structure provides

Is a privilege coveted by millions worldwide..

Work can be also be fulfilling without

Being your passion or being fun throughout

*

Different strokes for different folks in the workplace

Some work 9-5 in an office, others in their own time and space!

Esoteric Art

Why is art so esoteric?

*

Occupying a pedestal high

Inscrutable to the untrained eye

Understood by an erudite minority

Expounded by self-appointed authorities

*

If any form of artistic expression

Is not beyond the comprehension

Of a lay person, if it can be appreciated

By anyone, its value is tremendously depreciated

After all, great art is too nuanced

To be understood at a glance..

*

I beg to differ, I think that great art

Is anything that touches the heart

If specialized training you require

So that a work of art you can admire

Then I would consider it less valuable

What is the purpose of art if it is mot relatable?

*

All artwork that is arcane and cryptic

Let it be left for discourse by critics

Let me appreciate the beauty

That in a work of art I see

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