My Own Monster

Do you remember?

When we were kids,

We had such ideas in our head,

That in the night there used to be,

Monsters in our closet,

While evil lurked under our bed.

And we would cry,

And scream,

And shiver,

Scared half to death,

Till our parents ran in,

To switch on the lights,

And lo, there was nothing there.

For even as kids, we could see,

That there are no monsters in the light.

But we grew up,

And had to keep up,

A myriad appearances.

Our fears became a thing of the past,

As we got caught up in pretences.

We learnt to shove aside all doubt,

And let no one see past out cover.

No matter how afraid we were,

We’d never indulge in a cower.

But I say,

Fear, my dear,

And be afraid.

Remind yourself of what it was like,

To feel a child-like fear,

And when you feel the time is ripe,

Do not hesitate,

To switch on the light,

And in the brightness that ensues,

Take a breath with your head held high,

And ready yourself for every fight,

‘Cause even children know, my dear,

There are no monsters in the light.

Happiness can be found, in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light. – Albus Dumbledore

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#FlashbackFriday Edition #3

Hello, and welcome to today’s edition of Flashback Friday. This is where I showcase a poem, every week, that should never get lost in the sands of time. They’re hand picked, especially curated pieces by some very illustrious poets. (Regular readers – see, I’m keeping up my promise of finally posting one a week. yay, me! Aren’t you proud? *wink wink*) To read previous poem posted in this edition, please click here.

Today’s poem is one that was introduced to me by my father when I was a kid. It is poignant and profound. It can very well be made a motto to live life by. I know I try my best to emulate it. I even wrote it down and pinned it above my bed for daily inspiration. So, for you today, here’s Rudyard Kipling’s If – 

If

– Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

I hope you enjoyed today’s pick as much as I have over the years. I would love to hear your views on it in the comments section down below. You know I’m always open to healthy discussion, so don’t be shy.

Thank you for reading.
Love,
Varnika.

The Journey

I followed my heart once,

and it broke me.

I followed my mind next,

and it woke me.

Now I sit,

Caught in the middle,

Contemplating my steps ahead.

And on either end, with arms bare,

Stands waiting for me, the mighty despair.

Would someone, please, be so kind? Continue reading “The Journey”

A Portrait in Contrasts

Imagine a blood red sky,

Adorned with the golden specks of a setting sun’s ray.

Imagine clumps of wet sand

Dripping the blackest of inks.

An overripe peach,

Dipped in a faded, white cream.

An expanse of deep blue waters,

Overshadowed by rusty, clay cliffs.

The earthy, green tones of old, rotting woods,

Continue reading “A Portrait in Contrasts”

Poem Featured on Go Dog Go Cafe : Guest Barista Varnika Jain/Reminiscence

Hello, my lovelies! It gives me great pleasure to inform you that another one of my poems got featured. The platform, which bestowed this honour on me today, is called Go Dog Go Cafe. It’s a place where writers gather without boundaries and I was yesterday’s Guest Barista. It’s a perfect mix of funny, quirky, thoughtful, poetry beans, roasted and blended and topped with a healthy dollop of the cream of literature. A lot of you must have already read the featured poem earlier on my blog but it would mean the world to me if you could please take out some time to visit the collective by reading on below and clicking on the link. You will surely end up finding poets with a wavelength matching yours or poems that open up new avenues in your mind. Go visit for a coffee date with words and writers!
Thank you.

Go Dog Go Café

It’s a distant memory,

That comes and goes.

Never lingering long enough,

For me to remember it in full.

It’s a kaleidoscopic reel

Of vibrant images,

Flashing in and out,

Changing in split seconds.

It brings with it

A vivid feeling

Of happiness and well-being.

Leaving me oft

With a smiling face

And a definite spring in steps.

I may never be able

To piece together

It’s different forms and hues,

But I can always rely

On its happy tenor

To be a harbinger of good news.


Varnika Jain is prone to having verbal epiphanies in the midst of all the cacophony surrounding her life.  She is a voracious reader, vociferous eater and a vehemently passionate writer. You can read more of her writing at Moonlighting Scrivener where you can find her changing the world, one word at a time.

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Death Comes as the End

Blank walls

And blank pages.

Nothing to account for

A life that was lived.

The still warm body

Looked peacefully at rest

Endowed with an eternal sleep.

Yet, still floating behind those closed eyes,

Lingering as if to prolong their goodbyes,

Were a myriad fluttering dreams.

Continue reading “Death Comes as the End”

A Psalm of Life – #FridayFlashback #2

It’s been a minute since I announced the Friday Flashback Edition of my blog. In case you’re new to this space, you can read more about it here.

In short, on Fridays, as I put up my feet and sip on a well deserved glass of wine, I’d be curating some of my favourite poems for you. These will all be brilliant creations that have stuck with me over the years and I can, more often than not, recite them verbatim. For the sake of brevity of the posts, I’d be sharing one such poem a week. Every Friday (I plead guilty to the charge of not having followed this earlier but time has been a flighty mistress. I’m back on track now). They shall be shared in no particular order. I have always been bad at picking just one favourite. That might quite possibly be the reason why I love making lists!

Today’s poem is titled ‘A Psalm of Life’ by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. It is a poignant narration of how life is meant to be lived to the fullest and not as a mere counting of days till the day we lie in our graves. I am absolutely certain that almost all of you must have come across this poem at some point in your life. It’s very famous and highly celebrated. So much so that first time readers would be able to identify a lot of verses as commonly cited inspirational quotes that they’ve heard more than once in their lives. Without further ado, here’s the timeless masterpiece –

A Psalm

of Life

What The Heart Of The Young Man Said To The Psalmist.

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,

Life is but an empty dream!

For the soul is dead that slumbers,

And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!

And the grave is not its goal;

Dust thou art, to dust returnest,

Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,

Is our destined end or way;

But to act, that each to-morrow

Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,

And our hearts, though stout and brave,

Still, like muffled drums, are beating

Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world’s broad field of battle,

In the bivouac of Life,

Be not like dumb, driven cattle!

Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!

Let the dead Past bury its dead!

Act,— act in the living Present!

Heart within, and God o’erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us

We can make our lives sublime,

And, departing, leave behind us

Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,

Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,

A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,

Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,

With a heart for any fate;

Still achieving, still pursuing,

Learn to labor and to wait.”

I hope this poem inspires you in the way it has done for me all my life. I cannot possibly pick my favourite lines from this one because every single one of them is resplendent and overflowing with meaning. I hope each one of us is able to leave behind their footprints etched in the sands of time no matter how fleeting our lives might be. Here’s to not going gentle into that good night! (But I guess that’s for another post 😉)

I would like to thank you for your overwhelming response to the previous post in this edition featuring ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’. In case you haven’t read it yet, you can do so by clicking here. I’d be delighted to know your thoughts on this poem and would love to hear your recommendations for further posts.

Thank you for reading.

Love,

Varnika.