In absentia

I try to return
To the empty page
As it stares back at me

The freeze
Seeps into my bones
The stillness
Offers no comfort

I type and erase
Type and erase
The words falter
Fall and fail.

So awkward they are
Like old lovers
Who meet after
Years apart

Stepping on toes
Embarrassed, “So sorry”
As they initiate
A new dance

For I have not
Paid my dues
Or extended an
Invitation to the Muse

Though I have suffered
The pain of unwarranted,
extended separation
Burying myself in everything else

In absence the heart
may grow fonder.
But art begs to differ.
As it slowly falls apart.

—Shaku Selvakumar January 2014

Diary of Discoveries
Diary of Discoveries

Hide and Seek

There are days when words walk away
Like wallflowers they hide
Turning their face to floor
Unwilling to come out and play
The hand is eager
But the mind stays still
The heart too busy
I write and delete
White space unbroken
Unfulfilled by black ink
I sit here waiting
Begging for a visit from Calliope
I know you are there
I can hear your footsteps
As you slide
Behind doors, leaving no clues
Just a trace of something
A whimsy that could become
So much more
A flicker that goes out
Before the spark starts a fire
Like butterflies in a hurry
To find the next flower
—Shaku Selvakumar April 2013



SXSW was in full swing last week in Austin.  The streets soaked in the art and talent from hundreds of performers, small and big who rocked our town.
This is a tribute to all the artists who turned up.
To your courage to create.


Ask anyone
Serious about their craft
Nothing happens overnight
A price has to be paid
There is no lottery
Spiraling you to fame

Ask anyone
Who taps the muse
A fleeting touch
A spark
A forgotten note

Ask anyone
Who showed up for years
Playing till dawn
Ignoring the whispers
Questioning their talent

Ask anyone
Who worries about mediocrity
Wearing heart on sleeve
About being left to wallow
Like a weed, untended, ignored

Ask anyone
Fearing the day
That nothing will follow
A blank page
With naught to offer
Or a canvas
Of empty
Of feet that fail
Voice that falters
Hands that fumble
Memory that lapses
Leaving fragments of fear

Ask anyone
Who has had one glimpse
Of Creation
Who has experienced
Singular connection
Manna from heaven
Leaving doubt by the wayside
And logic at the wake

Ask anyone
Who knows all of the above
They will tell you
If they had to choose once more
At the road that forked
Between highway and hell
They would still choose the pain
All over again

—Shaku Selvakumar March 2013