The Seven Vows

First Vow
My mind was an area of conflict
In an entire decade of marriage
All he offered me was a land –
Mud-cracked, parched;
Full of wild weeds with life-splitting thorns
Everything I did was a question
With open ended arguments
Conclusion-less thesis

It broke me a bit

Second Vow
The noise grew in silence
And the silence settled comfortably
In my chest
Like a withered flower
He never raised his hand
But his pitch hit the threshold of my ears
My heart raced like a new lover
And the tears flowed like unlocked rivers

It broke me a bit more

Third Vow
I cried too much for everything
Mom said I always inclined towards sadness
Like a mango tree in April
With a womb full of fruits
Almost bent to kiss the earth
But how can sadness be a longing?
I too dreamt of starry nights, candle-lit dinners
And a I-can’t- live-without- utexts
Once in a while

It broke me as always

Fourth Vow
Then when I gave up on talking
Packed my expectations and threw them from the fifth floor
Burnt the smiles while the chimney
Sucked away the leftover energy

You named it an ailment

Fifth Vow
People said I was incapable of loving my daughter anymore
That I always sought solitude
But who knew of my howling heart
While you hurled at me your screams, yells
That was thrown as easy as a dart
But settled like greasy dust
Who knew of the ridicule that you gifted me
At every anniversary
Of the reminders of my incapability
To please you that you posted so frequently
As telegrams of distress

Sixth Vow
You chuckled while I struggled to find myself
You failed to see the minutes, the hours and the days
When I tried to fight back the lurking shadows
In my living room
Fight them hard until they wounded me enough
To surrender

Seventh Vow
Now I am too broken to be fixed
The demons have me by my head
They slay me in bits, nerve by nerve
I spot them in colours, in skies, in eyes, in butterflies
I guess this weariness isn’t a guest anymore
Or is it another act of permanence
Of beloved hallucination

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Poornima Laxmeshwar

Poornima is a Freelance content writer, Academic and Research writer and Proofreader based in Bangalore.

She has written this poem to speak of the verbal abuse, so common in many marriages, that can often lead to mental health issues.


What I Look For? by Kabir Deb

I claim what should not be claimed,
I claim darkness to see the fireflies and the stars,
I claim the serpents to love them more than the hatred they get from others,
I claim a mortal to live with sacrifice and hope,
I claim the winter to see the dead tries rising up with more strength,
I claim a wound to realise the weakness I have got,
I claim death of man/womankind to make the earth live in peace,
I claim sadness to measure the depth of the grief,
I claim fantasies to be in a fiction with a woman wearing a chiffon gown,
With soft steps and two drowsy eyes filled with the syrup of fairies,
I claim the curse of love more than the potion of power,
I claim the woman from the fiction to be in your serene beauty,
When you arrive I see you inside the seductive literary woman,
The watch keeps rolling over to unite at a place where I feel,
You must be wondering what, right?
It is the feeling which I usually trespass, even when I lie deep in the unconscious mind,
The feeling of loving you more than the woman,
The feeling of loving the negativity of the fiction,
To gather the courage of diving inside her lust,
And seek you with all the peace and fight loving each other.

©Kabir Deb

Continue reading “What I Look For? by Kabir Deb”

Button — A poem by Jhilmil Breckenridge

Persuaded to try medication,

“very few side effects, no problem,”

the smiling Dr Atul says to my husband.

You are just another possession, a car

to be serviced, a house to maintain.

He proudly leads you home, 10 mg

of this and that, and a brand new wife,

whose buttons can be pressed and chosen

like a favourite television show. Your voice

does not matter, the thickening tongue,

the diminishing libido is minor to him.

Your body is not your own any more,

it’s limbs feel like you are swimming

in treacle, your mind anaesthetised,

your smile pasted. The new, improved

Wife, Model 101 — will last without

complaining. You just have to press the



Poetry can heal the psychic wounds

Breathing is poetry of the body and poetry is breathing.

An article on Spirituality & Health explains how breathing is close to poetry, which in turn is the sign of wellbeing.

As we sit for pranayama ( breathing exercise), we develop a rhythm known as Kumbaka. It is those subtle moments between inhale and exhale and vice-versa. Closing our eyes, we will feel these natural pauses between the cycles.

Now, as you inhale and exhale, read this poem –

As you read poetry aloud

do it so that you are breathing


Let the sense of the poetry emerge

             from your response to the rhythms

                          and tonal variations of the sound

                                     as well as the meaning of the words.

Robert Carroll, a therapist and psychologist, connects poetry with breathing. Poetry is a form of punctuation and line breaks. When we speak out loud, we pause for a breath.

Poetry is a world of metaphors. A canvas of memories and repressed emotions. Many therapists agree that poetry has healing properties and poetry therapy can help various disorders such as schizophrenia, acute psychosis, depression, prisoners, sexually abused children, terminally ill children, suicide survivors and more.

Continue reading “Poetry can heal the psychic wounds”


Aves, not mammals

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Art: Puberty by Edvard Munch, 1894



that was treatment
those hands crawling on your body
the poison injected
as you are stripped
dragged along the corridor,
the faint smell of formaldehyde
and phenyl


that was treatment
the laughing of nurses
the condescension of doctors
the asking of the same questions
until you utter the words they want to hear


that was treatment
that was treatment
that was treatment


in a hospital with walled windows
in a hospital with more guards
than doctors
that was treatment


the waking up
to odours of stale food
the laughter of guards
the ringing of their cellphones
in your cell
that was treatment


befriending of rajan, tour guide from ajmer
who spoke of love, loss and longing,
drooling, his feet in shackles,
his eyes telling me a hundred stories
that was treatment


taking a mother from her sons,
that was treatment


and when they strip every last bit of human dignity
along with your clothes, the skin on your bones,
the laughter in your eyes, and the sun upon your tongue
they walk with their heads held high
they are doctors, you see
treatment is the name of the game
and that was treatment


–© Jhilmil Breckenridge, October 10, 2016

Jhilmil is a poet, writer and activist who was incarcerated twice in India, in 2007 and 2012.


I don’t hate Love

You don’t matter
because deep to my core
I understand that you may have to leave,
book a train to nowhere
to find your soul that may long for something
more than me.

You should not matter
nor your presence
because inside our bubble
you are both hydrophilic and hydrophobic
scared and happy at the same time
I understand that you may take off
and fly when the chemistry won’t be enough
to stay with me.

You can never matter
as we were never build of the same substance
and our minds are linked with these crazy frequencies
colliding to create a jazz form
making music we both love.
I understand that you may get crazy
and walk out of the room
when your soothing heavy metal song
gets too noisy for me.

What matters is Love and Only Love
as one day I may not matter to you
like nobody matters to anybody these days
And why should love care about bodies floating in time and space?

So, why should I stop loving when you leave?


We Are Whatever Generation

I find whatever I write
is eluded with what I see
around me, deep linked
sieved on the fibres of the souls
of this generation.

We are whatever generation, rolling cannabis
or else dreaming about rolling them.
Our aim is to make triangles out of the smoke,
circles are meant to be broken
because we are generation whatever.

Ideas make sense out of this smoke,
life is generated out of this smoke
because otherwise we are living dead
among tall building, fast cars and heaps of metal
and electronics scraps piled like a cage around us

I, probably am been laughed at for writing
one word of truth as it just means whatever …
as long as you, me, he and she are rolling our joints
and life is an ecstasy with hollow eyes and hollow hearts.

They have their pills and you have responsibilities
and when you move around like a crazy piece of sh*t
acting like a junkie trashing your house
looking for any bad thing to give you high
because of one bad thing happened to you in life.

But nobody really cares about the future
as long as the triangles are being made out of weed smoke
and the concentric circles of puff goes up and up.
They flash cigarettes like middle finger
welcoming you to join their club
which you probably should if you want to learn to let go
So, just let go.

Why let that sad father hold on to you
or let the sick mother be a heavy deadweight to your freedom
You are born in whatever generation!
As the adults remain adults forever domineering and finical,
these pals you have gathered while following the rules of ‘Mari’
are like you also chasing freedom.

It seems everybody is just breaking bad for freedom
and I wonder if perhaps tradition is breaking free too.
You have a swamp at the left and black hole on your right,
either you care too much or you just de-humanize every aspect of the world,
even yourself.

What about Love?
Well, as long as you let the lovers go they will love you
as long as you watch them suffer in self-pity
they like that sh*t.

They like watching you get hurt to pity themselves as you pity them,
that’s dark — you’d tell them. They cringe or laugh at your face for being too emotional.
You either watch them listen to trending pop or slayers heavy metal.
Seems like everyone just have an opinion to act upon,
seems like everyone wants to do the right thing by themselves
as long as their freedom is intact.

‘Love thyself’!
Lose the dead weight, and if you can’t lose feelings, they are the heaviest thing on this planet!
I already feel super light as a hollow log easy to be dealt with
and why, now none of your actions gets my reaction!
Easy , I’m easy.
Feelings? Me ! No Sir, my ex-lover kissed me under the sycamore and left me naked in the morning,
with a Goodbye Forever Note.
All was left were his joint’s ashes and memories of the signed-out eyes of a hollow man
with dark bags under his eyes and black lips.

No, I’m not describing a monster, but a tragic lover who loved his freedom and his ways a bit too much.


As long as the lilies blossom

As long as the lilies blossom
alive out of the murky mouth of earth
growing up beside slimy earthworms
eating dirt gulping raindrops
on green-yellow leaves
sisters to white lilies.

As long as I can see
the colour yellow
in my world each morning
for a new and fresh start,
I would sell my smiles
for an open show
and leave tears behind bars
for intervals on the curtained stage
not meant for the audience to carry
on their heavy hearts
those who seek beauty and art
my stage will only present
radiant performances
edited version without backstage heartbreaks
as long as the lilies blossom
with each new day

I’ll heal.


Labouring A Baby Heart

These days are hard
I’m pregnant with too many feelings.
Anyway, it was bound to happen one day right?
The impending process of labour
was supposed to visit me one day
and Hah! Joke’s on my sex
as they always have known
very well acquainted
from the day they are born
till the fateful menopause
Yet they always let it happen
absolutely passive to the budding emotions!

Why do I keep getting pregnant?
It shouldn’t be only my job 
to labour feelings out of love!
Look now, my daily activities
have become laborious chores
and it’s hard to carry a baby heart
inside my system
that pulls my veins
shocks me with pins and needles
while I brush my teeth or look myself in the mirror
watching my face drowning in tears!

All it does is cry
and trust me it’s hard
to make a report and listen to your boss
with a sad heart breeding inside you!

Keep it happy?
Oh, been there done that!
Playing with other hearts gave it scratches,
indulging and bringing in sweet things
made it too spoiled and too trusting.

I scold it from the outside
and it hates me now!
Guess, I’ll be delivering a cold baby heart
and it will grow up without a daddy
Only if boys could get pregnant,
but oh no! It’s a woman’s job to feel
to accept, to be faithful and carry
all empathy and give, only give
till she reaches her menopause
and her baby making faculties have gone cold and old
and she turns into a sphinx
-the rejects of the society!

Only if boys were taught to feel and cry in the open
in the presence of many souls
with no shame to breed hearts
no sex bar, if only they were warned
that one day they can also get pregnant with feelings
and instead of running away and hide
worse, KILLING it
they can share and donate their baby heart
to someone who craves their Love and want to raise it with them.

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