A walk in the mountains



The roads I have walked on; 24th December 2017

I believe nature has a grand door like death. You have to knock at it to start a conversation. So when you see men and women standing at dangerous edges, looking into the vast space with a thoughtfulness in their eyes, I reckon they are invited for supper by the all-seeing nature.

It must be an honor. But as a matter of fact, you don’t need to stand at “dangerous edges” to start a conversation. You might as well be walking past a garbage bin and may happen to see a tree with a color that seems rare and special and all sorts of magical and then, right then you are having what I have already called a ‘conversation’.

But it is not a conversation. It is foolish to see it merely so. It is a semiotic system rather obscure I would say. The more you are involved, the more you understand it.

On December 24 2017, I had a profound talk and I did not even need to open Tolkein or Keats–people who were much more benevolent in this discourse than I ever will be (Yes I was carrying the big mammoth Lord of the Rings on trekking!). Well, the profound talk began with a lot of cheerful cursing (in my third person monologue). You see, I am not really athletic and although I enjoy trekking, I’ve barely have had much past experience with it. But to walk alone was something brave I was doing. The ground fell miles and miles below beyond my right foot and silence was no longer a phantom as he is in the town.

It was a cloudy day and the outer anatomy of the mountain began to trace like a map in my mind. What clothes it had on? Winter. The cold brown dust and gnarling trees shooting out of the mountain like its nails, and still ever so glorious? It was strange to me. I pondered the meaning of beauty and what was my ideal for it. But it did not matter. Thoughts evaporated from my head, up beyond my woolen cap and were eaten by the sky that looked unreal. I guess, nature serves mind in its invitation. It also occurred to me that the mountains–over which I walked on and the ones in front or adjacent to it–were wrapped in ribbons, as if knitted in a sweater. On plains, the only way you reach the 4th floor of the building is by the mechanism of stairs installed inside the building itself. But isn’t it absolutely ridiculous that you may climb the sand hill beside a the mountain house and all of a sudden you are above someone’s terrace. And I kept thinking about ribbons. How the mountain lets you in. Upon it are fossils and scars of battles unknown. How long will it stand after I will die?

These are the questions, I’m sure, that you can easily pick up from a geography book but the walk, I think (in the spirit of David Thoreau) it is also about the science of interiority. What valleys run past your lungs and what river sings in your heart. So I think that the mountain is a ritual. To me it is a wall that you put your ear to, a wall thick as a world, and deep inside there is nothing but the beating heart that is life.  When you put your ear to it, your life begins to mimic it.

When I walked, I walked past the lumps in the dusty ribbon, the dangerous launch of a tongue that rolled out in a sheer power of the will of the landscape. Good small passersby who were small in an ironic comparison to the vast civilization of nature. And everything was so far but close. A man who clipped at trees for firewood, three roads below mine, was like a neighbor with a common wall. The waterfall near the dam roared at me from miles away, its icy blue like a pebble in the sand. Apart from occasional odor of watery caves and moss, there was no smell in the air at all. The cold bit the tip of my nose whenever I tried to look for it. I wanted to sit but was excited about what I may find next. Did I ever wanted to turn back?

As a matter of fact I did. The mountain behind was very primordial and my mind’s home for no man but Yetis. It was all buttered up in snow and glowed mysteriously in cloudy sunlight (sorry for unnecessary metaphorical suspense in the beginning there but that’s how I blog). It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. But sad to me (not in the poetic rumor that all beautiful things must be sad)  was the idea that I kept thinking this scene is like a drawing room scenery or an instagram picture,that I cannot translate  right there and then. Like my walk near the summer river and mild flower beds in June 2017, I  suddenly remembered having the exact same thoughts then too. A friend also echoed them without my participation. What weird urge to find something so magnificent and to somehow locate it in trivial matter of life? Yet I made peace with the urge. I tell you, you should too. You should forgive your friends who take too many pictures as you must forgive a friend who must decide to paint the land carried away by a similar urge. Thanks to my Visual Arts paper last semester, I can understand this urge better. Velasquez’s Las Meninas, for one, gave me the cleverest of all examples. Las Meninas had been a mystery to scholars for a long time. It is a painting interrupted. The painting captures the exact moment when animation of the maids, the clowns, the princess and a painting painter is brought to a sudden halt when the royal couple walks into the room. There is a mechanism to see them in this act too. Behind the subjects is a mirror which faintly captures King and Queen in this act of interruption. But wait a second, does it now? Most scholars disagree. The reflection in the mirror is the reflection of painter’s ongoing painting and NOT the royal couple. So my point is? My point (which I am borrowing from people who do long studies of paintings) is that truth is stranger than fiction. The royal couple are much more brilliant than a painter can ever paint (a painting is a mirror you see, so Velasquez is literally indicating to that) as is seen through the effect on the faces of the subjects interrupted.

Painting by Diego Velázquez, 1656

My point being? When I walk the mountains and take them away as a memory, I wish, I wish, It remained as glorious as it was when I saw it. It is a Shakespearean effort to capture the now-time.

This urge is the basis of ‘conversation’. The idea that you want to carry it in your hearts in its true form. But I think we remain what we are, foreigners. However, some people are less foreigners than us. Those who live and breathe the mountains and call it their home. Where villages have their own problems and celebrations and mountains merely happen to drop in the beverage they call life. The same is true for where you live. No wonder I love my city (in a landscape and people way) even when people escape to mountains and the problems never disappear.

My 24th December walk was profound. I encountered dangerous edges, a phantom mountain goat, hotel-running smart lady with  apple red cheeks, nice people from my own city, crunch of my own foot and the voice in my own heart. I think it is very important to hear this voice as it happens to melt into other voices and then you can’t tell which one is yours. Right now it is in the act of writing for me, but at other times it is in humming, cooking, jogging and even simply walking (not-that-simple-actually) upon the never-ending ribbons of the mountains.




Walk the talk

July 2, 2016

Dear reader,

I do not mean to be anachronistic in this stylistic nostalgia of ‘dear reader’, but that is how I feel today. It just might be a conversation with one of my scattered selves that I’ve decided to share with you. Yet dear passer-by, I have now defined you. If you will choose to stay here like myself, I will sit by your knee and tell you all my, most ordinary stories. Of Thoureu’s art of sauntering. Where poetry falls into prose and where people who say, ‘oh, you are trying to write prose today?’ are stared at with silly-unkind mischievous eyes. Arts are nothing if not play, as I propose that this letter shall dive down from heaven to be stirred in your often-impatient mind like sugar in warm milk. Like touching several textures at once.

I have a lot of qualms and illogical desires flooding past me like sneaking foxes. But when I write, they sit by you and me and we pet these wild prodigies like dogs. Such is the summary of the whole mind.

The other day I was walking and I saw that the sky was favorably dressed in clouds as if a giant man with a swollen belly, smoking out beautiful cotton-candy smoke. I walked and if you live where I live, you’ll feel injured by the weight of  faded-jeans blue sky too. But not that fine Friday sundown, I didn’t.

The whole day I had my desires fleeting about. I almost felt that I had left my door open in the noon and that the perverse sun had come uninvited, to sit close upon my heart like some nightmarish incubus. But that can be mortally-worded as dehydration. And I decided to sing aimlessly, as if to let out all the water that I’ve swallowed in this reverse-drowning. It helped. The silence afterwards was of a mystical séance. A bad-throated séance-leader was my old fan. The silence where you could hear the gurgling stream of your own mind. That which is only audible around wishful walking and in-depth dreaming. Dreams where someone is throwing handful of cool mud at you, burying you and preventing you from waking up, especially after you’ve slept more than nine hours of your share. I wonder if that is what death feels like?

When the heat came back again in my heart, I switched on the T.V. and wondered why this even need to be put in a future letter or why can’t I forget about this ordinary twitch and nervousness like most people all around. But I couldn’t, thus the T.V.

Anthony Hopkins came on in Surviving Picasso and took the centre stage of my life. Like most divine interventions, I didn’t enjoy it much, or so I thought

When I stepped outside my house to run an errand. I plugged on my earphones like you take antacids to digest complex food that your stomach may feel clumsy with. Funny, I thought. Only yesterday I had to submit a poem on the theme ‘colour’ and the amount of fight I put up with simple themes, is amazing. If you will tell me to write about the flower-pattern lining inside your professor’s shoulder bag that I’ve never even seen, I’ll invite it for a dinner. Yet I found the muse when I had already fulfilled the prompt. An androgynous muse, who changed its gender every time I took a playful step. I was blinded with all the colours, even though my first thought was, maybe Picasso is not my type. The sky was like a mustard colored duck swimming in her own feathers. The road smelled good. The leaves…the trees that had looked rather miserable as if down with a viral fever yesterday, now looked as if they were dressed for an evening ball where all taboo-sparkles and confetti are allowed. I walked so tall that my shoulders ached with the strong grin they made in my silhouette. A stranger came by and noticed my air, asked me my ‘good name’, I flew away like a skittish bird, still entranced. The joy of being lost in every fiber of the world. It sat in my heart and the road I walked, I engraved in me. That night I dreamt of most beautiful colours in the most playful way. I realized, in me lived something that liked and hated things on its own accord. Something so natural and independent of a conscious me, it would corrupt the moment I’ll write it.

Liberated in a small ladder-house, I write till my blood colours my veins red and I blush with happiness.

Such was my walk. And I hope, such will be this awfully ordinary letter to you. To breathe in false glories is something we do every day.




After Chase

Selene by Mela Muller, 1910

What about the wishes that have a body of their own

Till they run under your sea-bed

Like wild hounds shooed away with the force of the hand,

Yet with the tread of fiction,

Sparks flying, what a relentless metaphor

For me to love you and name it in pitiful words

Of need

As if a nurse,

putting out dead men with the scent of her hair,

Called out for murder.


I put a face on you/ I fill you with my words

Lo, a mutt.

Of him, I made the sky/ of him, I made the earth.


A river I float,

I let him touch my eyes/ I let him droop to my waist.


And they made me the nun supreme of a dark little purgatory

With an uncertain hill-slope

‘Down I fell’, Alice murmured

Till I was both above and below

Lo, a mutt.


In the groves, Diana smiles at a shooting star

And traces it with her fingers.


For the days, I can’t write

There lives a man inside my neck.


I chew out my words and feed you,

Till then he wraps himself in set of bones

And grumbles till I stop speaking.

Those days he sleeps.


You sleep.

He pens his eyes open

And saunters across my mouth,

Like a dog in an open field.

Those days I face my neck

And speak to him

If speaking is a time-pool of sighs and sobs

A closing tongue, a path to the highway.


I chide him

I long for you


But other days, I want to dilute myself in my own mouth

Till I could say nothing

Of what you can’t anyway, conceive.



Universally Speechless by msdawe

Image credit: msdawe


My words dry up

To speak becomes a Lochness monster

And the horizon closes its throat,

I feel I’ve grown old since the day I first parted

From the many of you,

Under your many heads, one face piqued.

I eat.

The sorrow that comes my way

And I think about a man left alone in a cave for 55 years

Till his tongue tired without practice,

He forgot language.


How easy it is to belong to one flesh

Only to be shorn off with a simple letter-knife.


A mad bird sits upon my lips,

Carving in my gums,

The troops of words that march past me

Whenever I see your face;

In my head, an avalanche.


Image source:



Image result

There isn’t a letter on my keyboard

That will have you

Smarten up your collars, sleep with a chord of food

And set you off to your

Island of mercy.


I know

There glasses full of chuckling ice,

A home-made monster,

To whom your blankets

Reproach and yet still shiver

With all the cold,


They said, build up some walls

But what of those

Towering inside,

Lying frigid

Against the storm that is your kin

You fall, all of all

Your scratching nails will

One day give in.


Stand on one leg from now on,

Islands are no places for hot-blooded men

We flux, We cry

But, just have a spirit to begin.


Photo credits:


The becoming

As wilted as you are,

It splatters

On the walls and look–


there is so much gore

and still

there is so much more.


I had to order a drilling machine

Or else the music will fall in the pits

of my seismic mind,

Is this what a stroke feels like?

The applause of losing sense

When you break

You break,

The blunt ends of reality

As the horizon folds and assemble around your forehead

There is finally a permanence in the clouds; says:

there she treads unfed


Into the oblivion.


I hear the never-saying so much

I became them.


The trees, the ice sitting in my refrigerator and a sullen end of my toe,

I throb

But I say no more.


The Shedding season


I told you to lay bare
With all your skin down your shins
And you told me
I am hollow
And you told me
I have no past,
Just tomorrow.

But I kept on filling you up with dark lakes
With fishes made of pointed wings
And you told me
That is just too deep
And you told me
That you never even held people
Let alone a single breath.

Then I became an insurgent storm
Your skin flew away like lunar waves.

And I told you
You sit on a deserted throne
And I told you
You are so cold for a sun to hide
In somebody’s bones.