Monday, September 10, 2012

In Memoriam: Two Poems for My Grandfather

A long overdue tribute to my grandfather, who passed away in February. All the stories I've heard about him claim he was a colossus, but all I can see is the frail man who was left paralyzed by a stroke and had his memories robbed by dementia.

1. MOIRAE*

Memories flutter
Like elusive butterflies
Just beyond reach

Well-defined lines
Between fact and fiction
Now blurred

Sparks
Of former brilliance
Try to reignite

Helplessness
Erodes colossal spirit
Hurts worst

Soul burns
As self fades from memory
This phoenix won’t rise.

I spent a few days with grandpa while he was at Mangalore and Parassinikadavu, undergoing treatment. The poem above is an attempt to describe his deteriorating health as I saw it, in five haiku. But I wish I had happier memories to remember him by...

2. UNNAMED

You left the
Fairy-tales untold
Lullabies unsung
Photos untouched

I left my
Questions unasked
Beliefs unchallenged
Poems unread

We left
Garden paths untrodden
Ripe mangoes uneaten
Paper boats unmade

Now all you have left is
An eternity beneath the earth
And all I have left is a wish 
To undo all that we left undone.

I'm sorry the white flags of truce were raised too late for us to know each other very well, grandad. I get the feeling we would have had loads of fun.


*Moirae are the Three Fates in Greek mythology.

4 comments:

  1. Very touching....wonderful haiku sets!

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  2. I'm so glad you sent me the link to these poems. I particularly liked the 'unnamed' one - you say so much within these few lines. The repetition of 'left' is clever and the structure is great. Smashing

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Sharon! I'm glad you liked it.

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