An exploration in stories, asides, songs and real-and-almost-real events

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Dark Questions

Is optimism a symptom of stupidity?
Is pessimism a symptom of blasé indifference?
Is either position or attitude a choice?
Are we predisposed to one or the other?
In which case, can one who is either a pessimist or an optimist judge the other?
Is a realist’s position the ony tenable one to take?
Is THAT a choice? Or the result of predisposition?
Can we be taught to NOT despair, when despair seems the only recourse left to the intelligent?
Does that mean one is arrogant or simply acknowledging facts?
Can one choose to leave behind despair, because it’s too exhausting to hold up as one goes up to the Calvary of one’s own life?
Dark questions on a strangely disconnected evening.

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Song of My Daughter


      Song of My Daughter

    ©By Vijaya Sundaram
    April 7th, 2014

    From her dark bedroom,

    Emerges a resigned sigh –

    My daughter awaits.


    She’s abuzz with songs

    Aflame with dragon-stories

    Awake in dreaming.


    My daughter awaits

    That elusive thing, sweet sleep,

    Humming to herself.


    Like parent, like child –

    We too push against darkness,

    Propping up eyelids.


    In the waking world,

    Things churn around us, eddies

    That become whirlpools.


    In the world of sleep

    We grab onto floating sticks,

    We paddle ashore.


    … Now, she sleeps.  I hear

    The regulated breath, soft

    In the gentle dark.


    Blessed be you, my girl

    So close to my blood, my bones.

    May your sleep be good


    May you rise refreshed

    Skylark of a rising day

    Throat a-brim with song.


    May sleep be your friend

    May wakefulness bring you song

    May your voice be heard.




    Exhortation (OR: Who The Hell Knows What This is About?!)



    (OR Who the Hell Knows What This Is About?!)

    ©April 7, 2014

    By Vijaya Sundaram


    Force the wo-



    ral them, he-

    rd them


    wd them, ha-

    rass them

    Cow them into sub-

    Put them on the boat

    That awaits all words.




    (Poetry thrives on this -

    The fear of silence.


    Prose does, too.

    Except that it has

    So much more space,

    So much more leeway.

    So much wind blowing

    Madly through chapters,

    Stirring our consciences,

    Making us stammer out



    And, like a silken thread

    Running palely blue and gold

    Between words and worlds,

    Silence glows,

    A Presence

    Waiting to be glimpsed,

    An Absence

    For whom we yearn.


    Death can wait.

    Death knows how.

    Death lies low

    Waiting to spring

    From the shadowy recesses,

    Near where Charon waits.


    And Life turns

    Her head, as she flees

    The Silence,

    While the words

    Become a ghost,

    Wailing for her

    Orpheus, us.

    And all around us,

    Roll her echoes,

    As we climb, sobbing

    Into the light.

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    What It Means

    What it Means

    ©April 4th, 2014

    By Vijaya Sundaram


    To be human

    Is to be

    Open to life

    Open to newness

    Open to love

    Open to beauty

    Open to building

    Open to creation

    Yet, it can sometimes be

    Often so.

    It can mean

    Being pliant

    Giving in

    Suppressing need



    Scattering of self

    Nurturing at great cost. And always, it is

    For it calls

    For tearing down,



    Till, at the end,

    All that’s left

    Is the kernel of

    The original self.

    And a whirlwind

    Waiting in the wings.

    And a field, far, far away

    Waiting to receive it.


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    ©April 4th, 2014

    By Vijaya Sundaram


    I was in a fruitish mood today.

    Brutish and fruitish.

    But now, in the still afternoon,

    I feel rootish too.

    As in, I want potatoes

    And carrots and beets

    And turnips

    And other rootish things.

    I want to eat ROOTS!

    Roots! The fundamentals,

    The basic, the beginning

    The origin, the start,

    The building blocks.

    From the roots, the shoots,

    From the shoots, the leaves

    From the leaves, the flowers,

    From the flowers, the fruits,

    From the fruits, the seeds,

    And from the seeds,

    The ROOTS!

    That’s where I wish to be.

    Buried deep in soil.

    Warm, cozy, at ease with worms

    Curled tightly against the cold

    Protected from frost and

    Protected from callous disregard.

    If I were close to the earth,

    I should not care

    I would not worry

    I would rest easy,

    Knowing my turn will come.

    But once you’re above-ground

    You’re easy prey.

    Birds, bees, moles, well,

    Actually people, seek you out.

    You put on a show of greenness

    Of flowers and grace

    You dance in the vagrant breeze

    You give of yourself.

    You bend to the will of others.

    You forfeit yourself.

    You scatter your seed

    And you sleep.


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    Banish The Strawberry!

    Banish The Strawberry!

    ©April 4th, 2014

    By Vijaya Sundaram


    My strawberry is bright red*, she said.

    Red is my strawberry, bright at night

    Strawberry is the color of things that are bright

    But redness is about blood.

    Blood is about life and death.

    Is it not?

    So, is my strawberry about life and death?

    Here, before me, sits the strawberry.

    Red as death oozing away from life.

    Twitching, lifeless, it sits,

    Pulp to pulp,

    Juices to juices.

    Crushed to dust.

    When bright red occurs,


    Life is ready to flee.

    Strawberries are harbingers



    Bringers of death.

    Beware the strawberry!

    Be not beguiled by its rich

    Juicy, pulpy, prickly,

    Spotted, green-topped self.

    Its true nature lurks,

    A serpent in the Garden

    Of Eating.

    Repeating silkily and pokily.

    I am life, life, life,

    And, all the while, plotting

    Your death, death, death.


    Banish that strawberry.

    It means no good.



    * KF!

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    Pinecone and Stick

    Pinecone and Stick
    ©April 6th, 2014
    By Vijaya Sundaram

    Walking, I gaze at the passing of things.
    Inexplicably sad.
    The sun shines.
    A hollow gong sounds.
    Heart beats
    Dully, solidly.
    Birds carol loudly.
    Children play.
    Dogs cavort.
    Springtime blooms.
    Silence reigns.
    My mind listens with
    Half an ear.
    Beside me, a tail wags.
    A smile curves the air.
    A brief “woof” startles.
    A stick becomes
    A thing of desire.
    A pine cone the apex
    Of beauty, pride in possession.
    A run home, two hearts pounding.
    Two sets of legs, one biped
    The other, quadruped
    Fly over cement sidewalks
    Race up the flight
    Of stairs, all the way
    Water lapped.
    Water sipped.
    Things settle.

    Sadness meanders away,
    Replaced by a pinecone and a stick
    In the mouth of my pup.





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