Tick-

winds over this shallow sea
where violet evenings rise and fall
like a hypnotized tide
whisper like the last monsoon;
the taste of rain, the smell of salt,
and the soft, muted ticking
of the Clock
beneath peaceful waters.

winds over this shallow sea
where smokey sunsets rise and fall
like a hypnotized tide
whisper like lovers’ farewells;
the taste of rose, the smell of ink,
and the soft, harmless ticking
of the Clock
muffled in peaceful waters.

winds over this shallow sea
where dusty gold mornings rise and fall
like a hypnotized tide
whisper like haunted laughter;
the taste of ash, the smell of sun,
and the soft, stifled ticking
of the Clock
imprisoned in peaceful waters.

winds over this shallow sea
where ebony midnights rise and fall
like a hypnotized tide
whisper like quiet amnesia;
the taste of loss, the smell of sleep,
and the ever-present ticking
of the Clock
awake under peaceful waters.

Wait.

T. E. Pyrus

blue and white

Summer, 06:30 am

the painted parapet wall
of an empty terrace

is not subtle mauve
like twilight and whispered love,

nor the blushing gold
that only sunsets
and dusty filament lamps can hold,

but pearl white
like the icy moon at the zenith,
lofty, luminous,
under a brilliant tepid blue.

T. E. Pyrus

nostalgia

Burn these city lights 
                  into my memory:

the way they reflect in midnight waters
                 like a diamond necklace in the sun;

     the way traffic lights sometimes fall asleep 
amidst an unscripted musical -

          cars decked in red brake lights,
             joyful yellow taxicabs,
                  awkward blaring trucks
           and tourist buses in tacky pastel hues
                like cheap synthetic frocks;

          monstrous machines breaking down 
            battered sidewalks,
              strangers’ silences mirrored 
          in bright green glass bottles 
       that wait quietly in the rubble;

the way young trees, 
  leaves lined silver with fallen smoke,
    still dance with the winds
       of accidental summer thunderstorms.

    remind me of prideful skyscrapers,
air-conditioned waiting rooms,
  imitation leather, prim paper-cups
    and coffee machines - precious raindrops
                    on a high sunburnt window glass.

remind me, then, 
      of forecasted weather,
 scorching ultraviolet, partly-cloudy skies;

imagine a smudged-lipstick sunset -
    warm dust of a bare cemented terrace 
        beneath your bare feet,
            sundried wind in your hair-
   then paint me a memory,
like an ever-changing faerytale…
          and another…
                    and another...
until their world dissolves 
            into an airplane-studded sky.


When these whitewashed walls crumble - 
         when, perhaps someday, the earth 
              wakes into a new, breathing era,
    a foreign, vibrant, intoxicating warmth
           of a world that echoes with wonder;

when I fall in love with clear blue sunlight
     and mellow moons that sketch our silhouettes 
on unbound lands,
     remind me, one last time, 
          of my home.

T. E. Pyrus

they wait beneath their willow tree.

they wait beneath their willow tree.

     quiet leaves, like painted stars,
     tinkle in soft melodies
     of silver bells that never touch.

they wait beneath their barren tree.

     a familiar painted sun
     vanishes as midnight comes
     with lingering eternity.

they wait beneath their hollow tree.

     they chant their unforgotten word:
     “reminiscence”, “reminiscence”,
     like beating hearts, perilously.

they wait beneath the resting tree.

     through many thousand clockwork lives-
     their own hope-tied absurdities,
     they gaze, like lonely children, 
                                                                 at their moon.

T. E. Pyrus

symphony

flecks of pure morning light
accent her coral-red cloud feathers;

when she unfurls her wings,
embracing the leisurely warmth
of a new sky, golden
wingtips touch skylines
at sunrise and sunset.

shimmering like mist
they span horizons;
anxious winds breathe
with every rise and fall;
fledgling storms wake quiet
in spaces between bright feathers
in soft silver pools of shadow.

sprightly lightning she adorns
like ornaments of laughter,
diamond rain, she sprinkles
on this burning land,
she decorates nighttime
in a gown of mauve dreamlight,
she bears on her forehead
in a starry circlet
a new and ancient moon.

T. E. Pyrus

Patchwork

Summer meadows stain her vibrant patchwork pants green
and racing winds sting her twinkling eyes
as she scampers down the valley side.

It sounds like that tiny patch of pale blue
upon the golden hay and sunshine, more sunshine,
and grandma humming lullabies in words she will forget.

The red of her back pocket sings of rain and shadow clouds,
the bright red of her umbrella and mother’s nimble fingers,
and dark purple stitches trace its sides like burning raindrops.

The soft patch of purple looks fresh
like lavender in the backyard and loud and merry voices
that fill up the garden at midsummer tea.

The tangerine yarn lines the black patches on the left
with sparks of flames and ghosts of halloween,
jack o’ lanterns and mother’s vexed grumbles
while she patched up the singed knee.

The orange cat, she’d clumsily stitched in the middle
of the crooked navy blue triangle.

Pink like her cheeks and walking with snowmen
on winter afternoons, grandma’s cookies
and little Cinnamon purring by the fireplace.

Brown like hot chocolate and marshmallow thread
to stitch it firmly to sweet coffee patches right by the ankle
like daddy’s bedtime tales and kissing the stars goodnight.

sixty years away, she’ll run her fingers over weary thread
of overwhelming shades of nostalgic love,
and little children in brighter patchwork pants will listen
to patchworked tales of her patchworked memory…

T. E. Pyrus

Daily Prompt: Scamper

Ode to a Dinghy

Stray rays of darkness
fade beside the plain, veiled moon
that sighs over shimmering waters;
a resting dawn rubs charcoal dust off the curved horizon.
No whisper of the frantic wind
breaks the symphony of folding time
and how it melts and flows like crystal
in between the clear crickets’ tales,
overfilling holes that howling dogs bite into stifling stillness;
fluttering heartbeats of starlit egrets
who watch the offbeat silver fish
that flies for only a moment
before it splashes back to wordlessness.

When stars dissolve in melting time,
you drift into the lighter blue,
dinghy from the midnight’s side,
cutting through fine net of mist
that craves to trap the quieter moon,
the rainless, soundless, sunless dawn.
Time slips through like silverfish.
You guide them past the wired fence
half drowned, half trembling silver thorns
awaiting crows and kingfishers.

They fling the worn hand woven net,
mist and dew lace dark brown skin,
and watch it slice through shimmering mist
and morningstar-kissed rippled waves,
and speak no words in silence.
Like a sketch in charcoal
you blend in dark grey
and they live statuesque in bare black
and muslin white and shadow folds
knotted neatly at the waist, waiting,
watching grayscales break
into burnt reds, wondering,
perhaps, who watches from
behind the dusty window glass
where sleep still reigns
the passenger train that rattles,
yet whistles none, speaks lesser still
on railway tracks that rest by light
and wait by dark…

T. E. Pyrus

still life?

The water painted violets beside
the light grey rock and little stream
that worried past their faded fragrant lines
watch over silent corridors.
Sometimes footsteps shuffle by
without a word.
Only keen and careful gazes
fall for ancient things:
some by precious people,
some that watch through clear glass doors
at strangers from far future years,
modeled bones that stretch their lifeless joints
and yawn softly like thin air
when glaring, warming lights go dark
and no footsteps cross seven o’clock.
the porcelain milkmaid and her toddling son
call upon brass aunt queen of heaven and her loved tigress.
Fine china from the royalty four and fifty decades fresh
and indigo blossoms that lace prim cups of tea
and bowls of sweet punch at white weddings,
ballrooms with sky high ceilings,
painted glass windows
that burst into bloom
in midsummer sun.
Stuffed birds and labelled butterflies
flutter around to tunes of drawn and clashing foreign swords,
scimitar for the horsemen,
Bow and arrow for fort walls,
and flutes of bone, drums of skin
to light old silver candelabras
for haunting lamp-less wanderers’ nights.
Scrolls of parchment of fine hand,
crisp and inked in awe and mystery
of songs of love to moon and suns,
great skies, unseen, and timeless stars…

T. E. Pyrus

Blossom

Snapshot

Curiosity stares through tinted glasses
at railway tracks that glint darker in the sun;
the house crow that pecks on the ties in between
looks only slightly greyer than its shadow.
The diesel smoke and incense mist
lie faintly over red painted benches
that infrequently decorate the station platform.
Glass doored cabinets in miniature stalls
hold jars of hard candy, myriad pan filling
and sugared tamarind sweets to charm the mouth,
brightly coloured foil packets of biscuits and sweetened milk cake
lie sulking on the icebox, liberally filled
with ice cream and badam milk, mishti doi and lassi,
chilled soda in orange, brown, and green,
sealed bottles of water for people to please.
People and more people with stranger clothes and faces
scurry and stumble, then scramble and hurry
up the overbridge and down to platform number four
with sari and suitcase, toddler with a missing shoe.
Cartons of fresh iced fish to be sold a thousand miles away
settle comfortably on the floor of the parcel compartment,
painted blue, like all the thirty and one passenger coaches
tailing the rusty red engine that punctuates the chaos
with sleepy sighs and anxious whistles.
Footsteps and wheels run briskly here,
yet time runs ever slowly still
in rhythm with the ceaseless chant –
“cha~i coffee! co~ffee chai! cha~i coffee!…”

T. E. Pyrus