The Chronicles of Miss Shola

The blog's epitaph: Miss Shola came and went as she pleased

Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Life should be a Sunday

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#1 Some days just turn around, look you straight in the eye, and with a dead pan expression say to you “who told you it’s going to be easy”. I met six such last week, and tried to run away from them as fast as I could. I didn’t get too far and can still hear the collective echoes of their wicked laughter.

And no, the poem below doesn’t offer hope. It doesn’t tell you that you will be able to escape from that laughter and that it’s all going to be fine just-watch. It tells you that this is how it is and will be, so be happy when that rare day comes along that smiles at you because her brothers and sisters may not be as well-mannered.

The poem also took me to Stephen Fry and I am looking forward to reading more of him, especially his collection of poems The Ode Less Travelled (such a cool title!) that this is a part of.

Kitchen Villanelle

How rare it is when things go right
When days go by without a slip
And don’t go wrong, as well they might

The smallest triumphs cause delight –
The kitchen’s clean, the taps don’t drip,
How rare it is when things go right.

Your ice cream freezes overnight,
Your jellies set, your pancakes flip
And don’t go wrong, as well they might

When life’s against you, and you fight
To keep a stiffer upper lip.
How rare it is when things go right,

The oven works, the gas rings light,
Gravies thicken, potatoes chip
And don’t go wrong, as well they might.

Such pleasures don’t endure, so bite
The grape of fortune to the pip.
How rare it is when things go right
And don’t go wrong, as well they might

*By the way, a villanelle is a lyrical poem of nineteen lines, with only two rhymes throughout, and some lines repeated. I don’t know if the poem preceded this definition or vice-versa verse.

# 2 Talking of getting to know people better, I am discovering so many acclaimed writers that I should have got my hands on so far but was too shy, through the fiction archives of The New Yorker. It’s such a pleasure to read short stories by the ilk of Paul Theroux and Nina Gardiner and see a flash of their brilliance. Best thing to happen after speed dating.

I just completed Apple Cake by Allegra Goodman (another celebrated American author I didn’t know about) who shows that dialogue can be the hero of the story. But the clincher of a line was: She died because she couldn’t breathe. Which seems silly when you read it just as is, but is characterisation at its briefest best.

# 3 The only good thing I have done while I was away from this page was to bring Sunday Loaves to life. I am admittedly not the best baker in town or even in the suburb I live in, or east of it, but it’s brought me the joy of creation. So here’s in celebration of those “smallest triumphs that cause delight”.

glass-empty

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Written by Miss Shola

August 10, 2014 at 8:11 pm

Posted in Poetry, Ramblings, Shots

Rumi spotting in ‘Rockstar’

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Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I will meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about
language, ideas, even the phrase each other
doesn’t make any sense.

Written by Miss Shola

November 14, 2011 at 1:34 am

Posted in Poetry

Dreams

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Its head is perched on the window,
Waiting for me to let down guard,
Soon it will open the bolted door and run amok,
It will climb mountains, it will swim seas,
It will chase tigers, it will breathe under trees,
Doing all that it has learnt and felt,
But when the time is up, it will flutter back again
Like Cinderella, only barefoot,
Unseen, unfelt, unreal,
Into its cage for another day –
My soul trapped inside my body
That lives my dreams.

Written by Miss Shola

November 3, 2011 at 7:49 pm

Posted in Poetry

The all day cafe

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Friday is the sensuous woman playing footsie under the table,
And Monday is her grouchy boyfriend unwilling to relent.
Tuesday is the anxious mother sipping her soup quietly,
But Wednesday, her impish child, is spewing it all over the table.
Thursday is just the forlorn old man eyeing Friday’s playful leg listlessly,
While the jolly old sisters, Saturday and Sunday, are stirring their coffee and playing ‘I Spy’.

Written by Miss Shola

October 18, 2011 at 1:06 pm

Posted in Poetry

Jottings of a July

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July is a pretty significant month that way. It’s that part of the pie when my world gets its share of the sky, quite literally. Clouds go in for a scheduled breakdown and pour their hearts out on a crore of a city, with really no care for whether they are huddled in shanties holding buckets or lounging in high-rise apartments with a glass of bubbly. It’s an operasque performance and everyone has to tune in.

The seventh incongruous month has also been ill-fated in the recent past. Not only has it been soaked with water but the blood and tears of many that have been targets of terror. But eventually life takes over and trudges ahead in a million different instances until another chaotic evening of July brings people together in death.

Then again, under a heavy bough of July is when my parents got married and the appearance of a little Miss Shola became just a matter of time; albeit a good eight years later.

This July was busy in an ordinary sort of way; busy enough to keep me away from this space and ordinary enough to not inspire me to write. Nevertheless it had its moments that left behind a thought, a memory, a jotting for posterity.

—————–

For the moments that tested and went away sulking:

Again and Again

Again and again, however we know the landscape of love
and the little churchyard there, with its sorrowing names
and the frighteningly silent abyss into which the others
fall: again and again the two of us walk out together
under the ancient trees, lie down again and again
among the flowers, face to face with the sky.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) was a Bohemian-Austrian poet

—————–

For the moment I fell in love with yellow!

—————–

For the moments when my inner eyes blinked open momentarily and then shut just as quickly:

Muqaddar Mera

Har Ghadi Khud Se Ulajhna Hai Muqaddar Mera
Main Hi Kashti Hoon Mujhi Mein Hai Samander Mera

Kis Se Puchun Ki Kahan Gum Hoon Kai Barson Se
Har Jagah Dhoondhta Firta Hai Mujhe Ghar Mera

Ek Se Ho Gaye Mausamo Ke Chehre Saare
Meri Aankhon Se Kahi Kho Gaya Manzar Mera

Muddatein Beet Gayi Khwab Suhana Dekhe
Jaagta Rehta Hai Har Neend Mein Bistar Mera

Aaina Dekh Ke Nikla Tha Main Ghar Ke Baahar
Aaj Tak Haath Mein Mehfooz Hai Pathar Mera

~ Nida Fazli is an Indian Urdu poet

—————–

For the many moments spent in the kitchen:

Palak Paneer

Wash one bundle of palak thoroughly. Transfer into cooker and sprinkle a pinch of baking soda (so that it retains its green-ness). Pressure cook until whistle and then remove from flame. Puree one tomato and leave it in the mixer. To it add cooked palak, one green chilly and a pod of garlic and mix again for just 10 seconds (enough to make the entire thing smooth). Heat 1 tsp of oil and put 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder. Put the palak mixture in it along with 1 tsp wheat flour (again for smooth-ness), and salt to taste. Keep mixing for 2-3 mins. Heat 5 tsps of oil/ghee and put 1-2 tsps of red chilly powder in it. Put this tadka in the palak and mix again until the oil/ghee is fully incorporated. Lastly, cut up about 150 g of paneer and add to the palak (can shallow fry paneer before adding).

Potato cheese croquettes

Grate 3 cubes of cheddar/mozzarella cheese and keep aside. Boil 3 large potatoes, peel, and mash along with 3-4 slices of softened bread. Add 1 tbsp of coriander leaves, 2 tsps of pepper, salt and 1 cube of grated cheese in the potatoes and mix again until homogenous (can also beat up and add one egg). Next roll the potato mixture into balls (about 10-12), flatten, put 1 tsp of cheese in the center and fold up again into a log like structure. Roll up the balls in semolina (rawa) or bread crumbs and fry. The cheese should ooze out when you bite into them.

—————–

For the moment I heard this and thanked God for everything:

Written by Miss Shola

July 31, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Posted in Chow, Poetry, Ramblings, Shots

The many faces of Rain

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Stormy and windy
Sitting by the window
Reading a book
And the whole day ahead:
Happy rain

Pitter patter pitter
For days on end
Stuck at home
With an empty mind and a full heart:
Melancholy rain

Green and fresh
Trees swaying
A long drive followed by
A quiet holiday in the hills:
Lovely rain

Thunder and lightning
Stuck in office
With no umbrella
And a rickshaw to find:
Anxious rain

Bright and cloudy
Walking through the bazaar
A light drizzle
And sudden scamper of feet:
Surprise rain

Dark and threatening
Banging doors
Raised voices
And imminent ravage:
Angry rain

Like a famous artist,
Like a moody woman,
Like a newly married couple,
Like a mischievous child,
Like a grumpy old man,
Many faces, one rain.

Written by Miss Shola

June 28, 2011 at 5:51 pm

Posted in Poetry

So far so good?

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I get up and make
as little noise as possible
as not to wake the lioness
and her cubs …
they are still on holiday
Nobody wakes up
Coast is clear
So far, so good…

I scrape the ice off my car
At minus 15 C
Then drive to work
Where I learn that
My business lunch is cancelled
and that I’ve done something last time
to the system
That made all backups impossible
But I do manage
to finish what I started today
And even get a check for it
So far, so good…

I’m back home early
And have an impromptu visit
From the plumber
The pipes need fixing, badly
Before the building becomes
a three-story shower
Then I call out for lunch
To be delivered
while I wait for him
to get the replacements
for fifteen years of neglect
So far, so good…

All of this reminds me
Of the nightmare I had last night
of eating half-cooked lizards,
That were still moving,
At someone’s insane idea of a party.
But then I woke up
And was back, for once,
to a more pleasant reality
So far, so good…

So I type this in a hurry
On the living room computer
My laptop is now an island
With all ports closed
Holding hostage my 16 unfinished novels
Not to worry,
I burned all my stuff on a CD
A while back
Dell will offer a new solution for a price
And this time I have the money to buy
So far, so good…

I wonder briefly,
Thinking of you,
If I will remember any of this
When I’m fifty, sixty, seventy?
How will my perception change
Or will it ever?
Will I still be me?
If so
Will I have the means
to shrug it off,
looking at gain
more than loss,
Saying of my life,
As I always do…
So far, so good?

~ Ronberge, Canada

Written by Miss Shola

June 8, 2011 at 12:39 am

Posted in Poetry