Did you promise to work on your dream
but found many ways to let the day slip away

Did you schedule a meeting
and turn up fifteen minutes late

Did you run two miles
and gorge your face with cake

Did you look in the mirror
Peer at imperfections and make a silly face

Did you let your so called friends
Make you feel insignificant

Did you give your heart away
without first speaking to your head

Did you bite your tongue so hard
Swallowing the words that had to be said

Did you let every other
Become priority number one

Did you say nothing as your boss
Took credit for your work today

Did you want to say no
But predictably said yes instead

And when you lie in bed tonight
Will you tell yourself it was alright
Will you procrastinate, putting it off for tomorrow
Will you promise to compromise
Will you continue to expect less
Will you keep working on your so called halo

You may think you are a martyr
Complain that everything under the bridge is just water
You may think how does it matter

Oh dear friend
You are nothing but your own saboteur

— Shaku Selvakumar April 2013

Full Steam Ahead
Full Steam Ahead

Dream a little

Rose Awaiting Picture courtesy
Rose Awaiting
Picture courtesy

I have traveled to
Far flung places, exotic spaces
In the terrain of my mind
Seeking reason and validation

I have visited the heart
Seeking comfort and compassion
Where the sun shone brightly
On lingering traces of soft dark bruises

I have tried to hold the friction of opposites
To understand calm and confusion
Running with shadows
Running with the light, deep into the night

I have often asked Her
Up above the world so high
I have also asked Him
How do you decide?

How do colors merge
When the palette bleeds
Where black is pain
And white is insane

Dream a little for your own good
But stay not there asleep forever

— Shaku Selvakumar 2013

On the heart of February

Picture by Trey Ratcliff

I have been pondering over this month’s theme. Just to set the record straight, I don’t have themes but lightbulbs that typically pop when I am busy cooking, working, dreaming. Lightbulbs don’t ask for permission. They barge right in and if you are not home, they fuse ever so gently.

So I digress as the theme is not lightbulbs, it is all about HEART. You might argue that heart should not be a theme for one month, it is forever. And you would be absolutely right. Let’s just say, I am making a concentrated effort to truly gather some incredible sayings about the path with heart.

Why now, why this month. Apart from the obvious that Cupid has a dedicated day which retail stores are exploiting, it was prompted by some incredible musings by some gifted writers.

I believe that each one of us knows about this path with heart. Some of us have followed it and some of us have stood on the sidelines wringing our hands choosing the dictates of the head instead. There are no right or wrong answers as to each a journey as unique as a fingerprint.

But and this is a big BUT…

When you look in the mirror with eyes listless, unwilling, dragging your feet.
When you are tired by the thought of Monday.
When you can’t remember as you seem to forget too often.
When you feel anxiety creeping, clutching at you with clammy fingers reminding you of possible failure.
When you look back to find a whole bunch of coulda, shoulda, woulda and only ifs
When every conversation you have starts with a sigh and not a high
When you can’t wait to sleep because your dreams are possibilities that the day seems to drain

All these whens and there are more warning whens.

Then if you don’t stop to have that talk about the path with heart with the man in the mirror. Then you have betrayed yourself.

Now the path with heart is not about chucking your paycheck, getting on that bike and riding the wind. It could be that for some. It could also be about finding that nugget in our treasure chest that brightens those eyes, that lifts the chin, that squares the shoulder. Once you find it, once you have the courage to pursue it, once you understand that no outside voice can quell it, you are set free.

“Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure. You’ve got to find the treasure, so that everything you have learned along the way can make sense.” The Alchemist


Photo courtesy:

I had recently put up a status update on my FB wall that went something like this ” What did you want to be when you were 7? Pray tell…”.  I got comments from friends and family ranging from gatekeeper at a movie hall, to firefighter, to railway guard, to steam engine driver, singer and a couple of my girlfriends surprised me by saying a cop, a race car driver.  My lovely friend Mary, had obviously given this more thought.  She said and I quote “Princess of the Entire World! then architect, then movie star. Now, world renown, but reclusive, mystery novelist.”

My point being, that when we were younger before those dastardly hormones hit…you know pre puberty, we saw the world differently.  When girls and boys played in the sandbox without worrying about pink and blue.  Dreams were dreams.  They were straight from the heart.  Not grey, pragmatic, confined.  They were bold and they were always recited with great intensity.  My youngest daughter wants to be an ahhdventurer or when I don’t buy her the latest Lego set, she wants to be an “ahntrapranoor”.  She says it like this…AHHnthrapranoor.  She knows there is a  big Ahhha in that word.

But somewhere along the way, many of us fell asleep and locked the inner child out.   Sometimes you really need to take that trip to meet your “7 year old” and have that conversation.  And your art will spring directly from your heart when you take the filters of your mind off. 


In the land of make believe
There is no hurt, there is no one to deceive
Air brushed kisses, static smiles
Hits and misses, paid by plastic

Echo has no voice, 
A reflection for Narcissus
Entwined in a dance
Undone by Nemesis

Would that the heart so deeply
Buried under layers of dirt
Like Beauty asleep in soul less slumber
Refusing to weep, unable to remember
Slowly the child
After years of knocking
Stays silent
Never to speak

—Shaku Selvakumar © 2009