No more words…

Words, spoken, whispered, written, everywhere

You listen, you read, language does not care

Whether your soul can process it all

The words, like a thunderous waterfall…

Fall on the deaf ears of your troubled soul

Silence, not noise, shall make it whole

Stop the flow of words, be silent and witness

Your luminous soul come alive in the process

Let silence speak louder, let silence heal

Those deep wounds you have been reluctant to feel

Celebrate this silence in a world with words saturated

In silence is the seed from the chaff separated

Whose voice, whose story?

“Until the lion learns how to write, every story will glorify the hunter.”

– African Proverb

I speak for the silent, or the silenced

I represent them with a desire intense

I speak on behalf of those who have been

Made to stay in the shadows, unseen

To work behind the scenes, toil without a sound

Create abundance from scarcity around

Abundance for others, while they stay

From all manner of opulence, far away

I speak for all those faceless women and men

Who build the material world, but lie forgotten..

*

I am the voice of the oppressed

That reverberates with anger suppressed

I am the story that begs to be shared

Urgently, fervently, acutely aware

Of its morbid nature, unvarnished

But I resist any form of garnish

Let the story be rewritten and retold

In language unapologetic and bold

Erase the victor’s dominant narrative

Telling the victim’s story is imperative..

Political, Personal, Professional

You are a doctor and you should be

Of being apolitical, an epitome

Politics is divisive but you have to be

Impartial in your treatment obviously…

*

This is what I had always heard

That is why I had always preferred

To pay minimal attention to polarized news

I did not want to develop biased views

That could hamper my practice of medicine-

It was the dictum I sincerely believed in..

*

Of course such naïveté can not be maintained

When health care issues are with politics stained

Healthcare access, medications, freedom reproductive

Are all intertwined with politics, one cannot live

In oblivion of prevailing political will

Doing your job can become a task uphill

Fraught with danger if you happen to be

Practicing in the wrong state apparently…

*

Oh I long to be able to say

I am apolitical in every way

How I do my job is never going to be

Dictated by a non-healthcare professional to me

But that ideal world does not exist anymore

What is political is personal, and professional, for sure

Trying to be Mindful

I know what mindfulness is, in theory

I must experience every moment in all its glory

So I would love to savor my morning cup of coffee

Inhale the aroma, feel warmth coursing through me

As I sip on my hot beverage at a luxurious pace

How I would love to do that, but reality I must face

The clock is ticking, and time is unforgiving

Punctuality is paramount in the life I am living

Therefore I multitask, swallow my coffee mindlessly

Hoping by the time I begin work I’m caffeinated adequately..

Needless to say, mindfulness at breakfast is a pipe dream

There isn’t enough time to eat a meal, it does seem

*

Next comes work, where I think I can be

Focused on my tasks, tackle them mindfully

I try to immerse myself fully but cannot do so

As distractions (e-mails, texts and calls) interrupt my flow

There are rare days that without interruptions proceed

Making me feel like at mindful practice I can succeed

Lunch hour again rushes by too fast

The illusion of mindfulness through this time does not last

*

Finally home at the end of the day

I slow down, hoping I would make my way

To practicing mindfulness- as I reflect

On the day gone by, and introspect

Many different thoughts start competing for my attention

I can no longer be mindful despite my intentions..

*

As I come to the end of this verse

I realize I have found in the universe

A slice of mindfulness, because in writing my thoughts

My mind has been focused, not wandered a lot…

So maybe my share of mindfulness I can find

In writing, as I engage my body, soul and mind

The wandering soul..

Where do you wish to go, weary soul?

Where is the fabled river that would make you whole?

Where are you looking for succor, for solace?

Where in the universe is that mythical place?

*

Are you following a mirage, or are you

Creating an evanescent path through

Lands that may or may not exist

The lure of this imaginary place, why can’t you resist?

*

Do you know you belong here, right now

Feel your breath, your body, you may discover how

The answers to your conundrums lie within you

Don’t go off somewhere else, just search through and through

Your own self, identify each spot that gives you pain

And each spot that gives you joy, rejoice once again

Within you lies the beginning and the end

Of your journey, don’t look elsewhere my friend…

Sweat the Small Stuff…

I am reminded, time and again

The little things are the ones that cause pain

In medicine- and in life, things that seem inconsequential

End up having effects monumental

Those annoying issues that seem to be

Distracting you from the important stuff merely

Promptly get forgotten only to rear their ugly heads

In a crisis, when you realize ignoring those issues has led

To the conundrum that you are now forced to face

Those peaky issues now occupy a prominent place

Among the list of things that need most attention

(When ironically that was not your intention)

*

I try to learn from my mistakes

Often quite high are the stakes

In medicine and in life, therefore

I need to pay attention some more

To every detail, no matter how small

After all, a nail can make a kingdom fall

The one thing that I ignore because time I lack

Is the one that would bite me, set me back..

Escape..

I look all around me for a doorway, an exit

To escape the walls that my expression constrict

My anger has me trapped in a maze

Dissatisfaction clouds my vision in a haze

I need to escape my tunneled emotions

I want to just breathe, free from the commotion,

That noise within my restless soul

The angst that threatens to swallow me whole

I need to free myself from the choke-hold

Of my negative emotions, take a step bold

Be outside, and positive energy inhale

Breathe it in, then my anger exhale..

I told you so…

At the risk of sounding obnoxious

Let me blow my bugle in a way pompous…

In a life that rarely does any plan follow

The ability to say “I told you so”

Gives me a smug satisfaction, I confess

I want to celebrate my brief success

Each time my prediction comes true

I stand straighter, feel more confident too

In a chaotic world where time for reflection I struggle to find

Being proved right assures me that my mind

Still functions despite all the distractions around

It gives me positive reinforcement profound!

Words that I do not understand..

Why is it that I’m left wondering often these days

What exactly is it that people are trying to say..

I believe I have over English language a grasp quite good

There is no reason that most writing in contemporary English should

Be inscrutable to me, yet often I find

Words that leave me scratching my mind

To their exact meaning, many of them seem to be new

They seem to have risen in the last decade, out of the blue

Seen everywhere on instagram, often by hashtags preceded

They make me feel like my gray cells have receded..

Then there are words that seem to have jumped out

From the pages of a dictionary, no doubt

I have to exercise my mind to translate

Exotic words that carry excessive weight

Perhaps reading difficult words is a taste acquired

That has evaded me, or maybe I am not wired

To comprehend language when straightforward it is not

Or, maybe, here is the final (and likely true) thought:

I am growing old, my mental faculties have declined

Such that new words (and concepts) are not grasped by mind..

Break from Myself!

To rejuvenate and reset I need a break

Ironically, from myself, I need it for my sake

A break from the obsessive, anxious me

Who goes through life with a running commentary

Of imaginary disasters in her mind

I need to separate myself from that person to find

The fun-loving, laissez-faire version of me

That has been lost in the bustle of life completely

From the current me, on the edge always

I must try my best to part ways

I visualize the snapping of a string to signal detachment

I let go of what I perceive as a pathological attachment

I mentally lock the anxious version of me

In a closed room, metaphorically setting myself free…

*

Let me feel a new lightness

Let my calmer self express

Itself, at least while the illusion lasts

A new leaf I’ve turned, an old skin I’ve cast

Write a story…

The Truth… that painful, shameful, unpleasant entity

Kept in secret closets, hidden, its ugly identity

Staying under wraps, shielded from prying eyes

Those patched wraps of half-truths, almost-lies..

With passage of time, getting heavier as well

As it soaks up the burden of every lie you tell..

*

Telling the truth is something that you

For the sake of your sanity, have to do

But how would the truth suddenly unfold

Unravel all previous fables you have told

If you try to embellish it, again you would

Go down the spiral of lies that you never should…

*

So how do you tell the truth after hiding it for years?

You weave a story around it, acknowledge your fears

Write it down for the world to see

Fiction may set the hidden truth free..

Your soul would experience relief profound

Telling your story is how catharsis can be found…

Negative to Positive

What do you do to feel like you’re doing something worthwhile

Making a positive difference, perhaps making someone smile

*

Your unprocessed baggage weighs heavily on you

In your negativity you make others miserable too

And sink deeper into a spiral of guilt and shame

You spend hours assigning yourself the blame

Somehow hoping you would guilt yourself enough

To throw away your negative stance, but that’s a proposition tough

*

So how do you turn around 180 degrees?

Discard your pessimism, get a new lease

Of life in an attitude with positivity imbued

Replace each negative thought when it intrudes

On your mind with a positive one each day

Bit by bit you find negativity chipping away

Until positive thoughts fill your heart and soul..

You can contribute to the world, now that you feel whole..

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