How do you find thoughts that go missing?

Another one from what’s turning out to be a series. I guess I’ll call it the ‘unshruggable silence series’ : 

I’m often asked these days

In equal parts

By myself and others

About the wandering of my thoughts

And about their colour.

Well, I don’t know much 

But I know where I’d like to look for them – 

I’d like to slip into the little slit

That I imagine a sharp knife would make on my thin wrists

I’d like to ride the hardness of a warm gun

All the way to my spleen, my gut, my very heart and look for them there

I’d like to look for them in the eyes of frosty mountain peaks

And in the depths of dark oceans

I’d like to look for my thoughts in these places

And these places specifically.

And I don’t know their colour

But I know I’d recognise them in an instant

I’d know their lonely silhouette 

Huddled up in their favourite crouching posture

The baby, in the womb, they always seemed to need.

Or the vagrant wasting away on an old park bench

Or a commuter stranded on a platform, waiting, endlessly

In seeking them out these would be my usual suspects. 

I don’t know my thoughts

Or their whereabouts

I’m clueless and empty

And I receive and stare and take in

Everything and anything that stands in front of me

A computer screen with squiggles and things

A friend I’ve known long enough

A book with its words all loud and open

A street with its cars and people and its peddlers and hawkers

I take in everything

And offer in return

In equal parts and without discrimination –

Blank stares and a vacant expression.


Choosing storms over silence

If you’ve ever been engulfed by a silence that refuses to budge, you’ll probably relate :

‚ÄčI’m trying to stir within myself a storm

Because something akin to the silence that precedes it

Has been brewing inside me for long

And as it has gone on its rounds 

It’s turned every shade of colour into a balanced greyscale.

Not a dab of black or sparkle of white

Tips its needle on either side.

It does not let me plunge into complete darkness

Or allow me to emerge in bright light

It leaves me to breathe in the viscous penumbra of shadows in twilight

Blurred, undefined, barely a silhouette against a grainy background

I struggle to move out of this two dimensionality

And move, really move, get some displacement. 

Put a physical distance between myself and this shadow

Do something that causes it to diminish in size

Or trick it to lengthen itself into a ridiculous height

But I manage none of this. 

I manage nought.

Nothing of my thoughts get sold, nothing gets bought. 

Only the silence proves to be successful

It advances, it moves beyond sound and conquers space

And by absorbing all movement, it graduates into stillness

A stillness that wishes to convince

That nothing existed before it

And nothing can come after

And so I’m trying to summon a storm

That will take this all engulfing stillness by surprise

Creep up on it when it least expects it and

Reduce its thick glassiness into immutable dust. 

And so I call onto the winds that sustain me

And the gravity that holds me back from reaching out for help

And I shake up the skies in the hopes that I can favourably align

The stars that are sewn on them

In a pattern that will unlock

The doors through which storms can walk

Into this world of stillness and tear it down

So that I can begin the work of building it up from scratch

For I’m good at that, I’m better at it than shrugging off this spell

That has me all caught.