The act of standing
On shifting ground
Takes two legs planted
Stomach held in
Chest held out
In your wisdom
For the young
For the mute
For the small
For the old
For the weak
~Shaku Selvakumar, July 2016
Where would your heart end and mine begin?
Is it in the valley of long lost friends
Or at the peak of treasured moments
How does the thought of loss figure in?
When each day grinds into the next
Shredding the minutes into an inevitable past
When I look up and say “remember when”
And you look at me, eyes far away, slightly damp
Thinking of the day before yesterday
A younger time
When you wore courage like a worthy cape
And I held hope like an impenetrable shield
When our worlds first collided
When we believed that heaven could be summoned
And time could be held forever in a bottle
With three little words.
–Shaku Selvakumar Feb 2016
Most times the mysteries within are difficult to fathom till much later.
When you sit in your cozy armchair staring into the distance,
Nostalgia enveloping you in its foggy embrace,
You nod in some sort of revelation.
You were in the middle of transformation.
While you thought everything around was changing,
It was you who felt the tremors while the world continued to turn.
It was you who was learning a new language.
And your words that came tumbling out effortlessly once
Now stand stilted and hidden
As they too find their way
Through your own foreignness.
As you were shifting shapes.
–Shaku Selvakumar, August 2015
One of my favorite poets, Mark Nepo describes it so well in this passage.
“Often as we are being transformed we cannot tell what is happening. For while we are in the midst of staying afloat, it is next to impossible to see the ocean we are being carried into. While struggling with the pain of change, it is often impossible to see the new self we are becoming. While feeling our hand pried loose by experience, we seldom can imagine what will fill it once it is opened. As the days rinse our heart, we can feel something unseeable scour us through, though we can’t yet imagine how much fresher milk and sky and laughter will taste once we are returned to the feel of being new.”