Daily Prompts

So-Do-Me

8fb64897641b37f1edc56698829584bc--sirens-underwater

That day in school, he learnt a new idiom. It didn’t strike him as particularly remarkable.

He also learnt that at high altitudes, the atmospheric pressure drops making it hard to breathe. You can turn blue.

But nearly every day at school, he revisits some old lessons. Lessons that began years ago.

Like how in times of urgency, a belt is a nuisance. And how when machines are well-oiled, they do not squeak when used. Three Augusts ago until today, he goes home with a greasy zipper.

His mother never notices.

As a child, he used to spend a lot of time staring at the water swirling when he flushed the toilet. God forbid someone anger the dirty-water deities. A whirlpool would suck the whole of humanity in.

That’s how they found him one day, peering at the receding ripples in the school urinal. They said they’d show him the science of waterworks.

He was doused in milky spray. They convinced him he’d just encountered the first of many leaky faucets.

Before the lesson concluded, the teacher mentioned in passing that the pressure underwater can be tremendous too, weighing you down. He could relate more to this. He was pushed into the deep side without being given the chance to test the waters first. He wondered in those moments whether his face turned blue, or white.

At what atmospheric pressure does the colour of fear become apparent?

“Did you learn anything new today in class?” his mother asked, as she walked home with him from school. “An idiom. ‘Never wash your dirty linen in public.’ It means one should not talk publicly talk about one’s personal problems that are best left private.” he muttered. “Incredible!” his mother rejoined.

He wondered why despite the fact that his linen was washed at home, the stains refused to fade.

 

Via Daily Prompt: Atmospheric

Advertisements
Daily Prompts

The Dubois Traveling Circus

hqdefault

Coming to your city
The Dubois Traveling Circus

 

A sword sharpened,
Burnished.
Inside the tent, a man,
Famished.
He knows that
Tonight, and every night
Not all that is swallowed
Is digested.

Singed.
Not scorched-
Not yet.
Once gold
Then bronze
Now dull.
The lion will take
Another leap of faith through
Fiery hoops.
Tonight.

They walk on tightropes.
Stretched. Taut.
Birds on
Live wires.
Fraught with*
Rope-snapping
Hand-flapping
Spectators-clapping
*Danger

The Dubois Traveling Circus
Is at your doorstep:
Be a part of the spectacle
Don’t be dubious.

 

Via Daily Prompt: Dubious

 

Daily Prompts

Black Strat Blues

“I got into a riff,” he said, sounding nasal over the phone.

She dismissed it, thinking it was the usual music lingo he resorted to when he got excited about a new composition, or when he wanted to draw a wall around him. She was too tired to scale it then.

She shrieked in alarm when she went over to meet him a few days later. He’d gotten into another bar fight. She didn’t want to ask what started it. Perhaps his drunken strumming. Or some such jazz.

It tugged at her heart strings to realise that what he really meant was, he had gotten into a tiff. 

 

Daily Prompt: Riff

 

Daily Prompts

Birth of Nations

Hello Amma,

I caught you standing in front of the mirror, with your shirt lifted up. I watched you watch yourself, and I felt many things. Most of all, I felt wonder.

Your stomach looked like a globe. Round. Spotted. Uneven, like the map-man had run out of ink in some places, or pressed down too hard at others. Amma, you contain nations.

A thin coat of melanin covers that sphere. But when I look closely, I see the green of trees, the blue of oceans and the red of love.

Somewhere in that ball, you are home to the sun, moon and stars-the celestial circle of life.

You are glorious.

Do not worry when you pull your shirt down, and see it stretch over the bulge. I walked out of there once but-instead of leaving you empty, I left you full.

Amma, in your girth

Lies the birth

Of nations.

Via Daily Prompt: Glorious

Daily Prompts

Don’t Need a Seatbelt

bus.jpg

This is what you say when you see me: That my smile tells you stories of a lifetime, stories you would read and reread everyday. That words don’t pour out of me just when I speak, but when I try to smooth my hair that inevitably stands up in oblique lines like the Japanese alphabet, or when I grow silent in those moments I’m creating poetry in my head. 

You fell in love with me, quite ‘literary’.

This is what I tell you every time I see you: My organs shift like gears inside me. My heart revs up, and my lungs become warm enough to start a fire within me. My joy resounds like a foghorn and my feet turn to wheels. I never have to worry about the traffic light turning red, because our love is always green.

I always preferred to go places on foot. But I fell in love with a bus driver who lets me ride without a ticket because I’m his favourite passenger.

Via Daily Prompt: Passenger