I didn’t shatter
Like you thought I would
Found a few cracks on my armor
I’ll admit you left me bruised
Sure, your dents ran deeper
Than they probably should
I didn’t matter
You had me fooled
All that mindless chatter
Was just your routine ruse
Thought I was smart, so I danced with a player
Too damn naive, so I was bound to lose
Its my own fault for painting all your red flags white
Peace was an illusion I held onto for a while
Hushing all those nagging voices inside my head
Telling myself it’ll all play out right in the end
Don’t flatter yourself, I’m cold as December ice
I may have let my guard down this time
But this fortress I‘ve built for years won’t crumble overnight
These red and blue blotches you’ve splattered
Across my kingdom will serve as a reminder
Of lessons learnt and bridges burnt
I didn’t matter
Tell me I’m wrong
Well, you didn’t either
Or so I thought
Left You Behind
I envisioned a life for the both of us
Safe from the flames of fury that hunted us down
“Together forever, we’ll never falter”
I believed you then, I still do now
My eyes drooped from the weight of elusive ambitions
I closed them for a moment and jumped too fast, too soon
Pristine pillows of freshly fallen snow broke my fall
My fingertips turned to ice, but I was in paradise
Dreams I chased for an eternity were finally reality
But I selfishly left you behind
In the blazing depths of purgatory, unarmed
To fend off our demons by yourself
Only now, they’re your demons, not ours
Break the Barriers
You belittle her at every opportunity
But speak highly of equality
You roll your eyes at her determination
But stare at her with no invitation
You dare to question her stellar intellect
But mock her bold opinions and object
She bears the weight of your insecurities
Just like those that came before
Her have done for centuries
But she shouldn't have to anymore
Who am I?
When I started out, I preferred anonymity, and used Prose as my safe space. Just my little corner of the internet to bleed onto the page, no strings attached. I was (and still am) absolutely thrilled and grateful when two of my amateurish poems were featured in the Prose Anthologies Series Vol I and II in 2015.
Fast forward to 2020 and I still write, but occasionally. It would seem I have subconsciously traded writing prose for writing code, and enjoy every minute of it. It allows me to write all day long and watch my “words” (or should I say “commands”) come to life – quite literally!
This right here is my digital time-capsule. I find myself interpreting every piece I’ve written differently whenever I re-read them out of the blue. I figured it’s time I gave my past self (hopefully future self too, quarantine has reignited a tiny creative spark) the due credit she deserves. WriterAtHeart is Shivani Mangaleswaran, and vice versa. Welcome to the inner crevices of my literary mind, you’re in for a bumpy ride.
I’m no Robert Frost, But...
Someday I'll wander off the beaten track,
Through paths forgotten forged in sand,
Chasing wisps of pink and clementine,
Leaving dreaded fears behind.
I'll watch dew drops glisten on tender wildflower petals,
As sunlight streaks through purple peaks
I'll sing with bluebirds perched on towering birches,
And breathe in the sweet scent of blissful peace
~In that moment, I'll be glad I wandered off the beaten track~
Phew, that was fun!
I came across this breathtaking view on an unplanned evening stroll, and one thing led to another, and I managed to jot this down.
It's been a while since I wrote anything like this, felt nice to be at it again!
They chase after invisible fairies, leaving behind trails of fairy-dust leading to the beginning of the end.
Or is it the end of the beginning?
Stardust never has and never will be enough.
Not for a dearth of wonder, oh no -
For they will never be able to wrap their heads around the possibility that the very atoms which bounce off the boundaries of their craniums, could have accreted into a glowing ball of radiance.
Never for a dearth of wonder, oh no -
Stardust can never hope to appease
A profound longing for exceptions,
Can never hope to satiate
A wild hunger for the unknown,
Can never hope to quench
A burning thirst for the impossible,
Because it is just so.
The mere existence of such a formidable phenomena,
Has stripped stardust of it's wonder,
Leaving it tethered to the chains of hackneyed clichés.
While they vacillate between realms of ephemeral existence,
All I see are seemingly innocuous specks of dust….
Insinuating an impending sand storm.
Where do you think that leaves me?
Bring. It. On.
So here I've circled
Back to where I once stood
A different cliff perhaps,
But the same leap of faith
Only this time,
I'll spread my wings
Not flail my dead limbs
The Rundown Shop
The blinds are always drawn,
I don't intend to let light consume darkness
You say pessimist, I say realist.
No Choice - A Sci-Fi Thriller
A strange warmth seeps through my pores, bringing with it an inexplicable sense of comfort. Its intensity grows with each passing second, until it escalates to a searing heat, threatening to arouse me from my stupor. The wet ground underneath holds onto my insensible body, nearly burning every part within its reach. The intolerable humidity pulls me back to consciousness. My eyes flutter open only to be forced back shut by a blinding light. My arms fly across my face instinctively and I stagger to my feet. The sun beats down mercilessly upon my pounding head. I sputter and spit out salty water. A sickening stickiness lurks beneath my drenched T-shirt. Beads of sweat trickle down my face, and my tongue endures a lingering saltiness. Carelessly, I wipe my fore head and wince at the subsequent shot of pain. A hideous crimson gash adorns my left arm. I feel my stomach churning at the sight of my own blood, and hastily turn away before nausea gets the better of me. Colored spots swim before my eyes as I try to make sense of my surroundings. Broken shards of glass camouflaged in puddles glisten in the sunlight. I’m surrounded by rubble. Heaps and heaps of brick red, crumbled rubble. Not a single building is left untouched by the water. Some are still submerged in watery graves. My wet hair slaps me across my face as I turn around. My mind is racing, memories of that horrible night leave my heart pounding.
Giant waves overpowering me and tossing me about, water infiltrating my nostrils and throat, my arms flailing against the force of the angry waters.
That all too familiar, impending fear of meeting a piteous end.
Memories I’d rather forget than remember. I try examining the area to calm myself down and take a step toward a rundown shop; dresses on display now soaked, lie on the slippery ground. I spot a green tunic, seemingly dry and stoop down to pick it up. A cold hand greets my grasp and a horrific scream tears out of my throat. I inch away from the body and break into a run.
I run as far away as I possibly can and sit down in sheer exhaustion, more tired from the looming fright than the cardio. Water splashes all around me. My heart skips a beat and I’m back in the waves, gasping for breath. I get back up. “It’s just a puddle”, I tell myself, but my memories are far too vivid to let me rely on my half-hearted reassurance. No matter how hard I try, I can’t remember where I am, or rather where I was when the tsunami struck. “Hello? Is anybody there?”, I shout. An eerie silence returns my call. That’s when I notice it, the silence. Not a cawing raven, not a barking dog, not even chirruping crickets.
Silence all around me.
My fear returns, I feel the air being knocked out of my lungs. I try running away again, a feeble attempt to block and negate the horrendous possibilities creeping into my head.
“PLEASE!!! IS ANYBODY OUT THERE??? ANSWER ME!!!”, my voice rises in hysterics. Not a single soul responds, and I keep running. Isolated. Am I the only one who survived this calamity? My heart pounds hard and fast at the thought, my feet drag my body forward without my conscious consent. A chilling breeze stops me in my tracks. It feels so relieving against my parched, sweaty skin. I breathe in the cool air and smell a familiar saltiness.
My relief turns to anguish. I take a step back and hear my worst nightmare rolling towards me in the distance. Fear grips me and refuses to let go.
The day turns to darkness. I hear screaming, echoes of a million feet running away from their inevitable doom, pushing each other as menacing waves overpower the horrified masses. People drowning, the air being knocked out of their frantic lungs, children wailing at the sight of their parents’ bodies being washed away like the rag dolls they cling onto, lovers staring into each others’ teary eyes, looks that signify their last goodbyes. I tap my phone hard, trying to call mom. To hear her voice one last time while I still can. No reception. I throw the useless device behind me, to the crashing waves, and run with the rest of humanity, cursing under my breadth, wishing I was more careful when I still had the chance, wondering how the whole world stayed so calm and indifferent despite years of warnings, praying that I’d be forgiven for destroying the Earth. Perhaps, I would be, seeing as I’d be paying for it with my own life.
The magnified sound of crashing waves snaps me back to reality and the sun’s rage is evident once more. I turn around and see foaming water in the distance. So this is how I’ll leave, I think. Alone, at Nature’s mercy. There was nothing left for science to do.
The repentance I felt last night, feels alien to me now, as I stand here disheveled and broken beyond repair. They knew their actions would have consequences, our ancestors were well aware. Only, each generation was sure they’d escape the wrath. This whole disaster wasn’t my own fault, so why should I be the one to pay the price? I’m not ready to die for their mistakes. I’m not eager to stay alive here either. No more running, I decide. Survival seems bleak and futile. My tired frame slumps down to the cold, hard ground with my back to the fast approaching waves. I look up at the sun. “Mother Nature, you’ve avenged yourself,” I whisper. Global warming is no longer a mere statistic in the news. Its reality, thirsty for revenge, and I, a mere scapegoat. Sharp yelps ring in the air, breaking my chain of thoughts. I look straight ahead and see a small group of people running towards me. People! I jump to my feet and wave my hands frantically, to warn them that they’re running straight into the throes of death and destruction. My arms freeze. Waves roll towards me, swallowing scurrying souls. Red hot molten waves….of lava. I hear gushing water behind me. Which way would I like to leave? Does it matter anymore? I have no choice but to die. My heartless ancestors made sure of that. Tears trickle down my face as I squeeze my eyes shut.
There was a time I lost all control
Self doubt pounded,
Crushed my fortress to dust
The sour aftertaste lingered,
A harsh, miserable reminder
Of days that left me in a daze
A sleep so deep, I was certain I would never wake
When I did, I found myself in a world so strange
One I struggled to comprehend
Grateful to have risen from the darkness,
But blinded by light that consumed flames
I knew not how I ended up here
Beating hearts, rude familiarity all around
Stark differences, no common tongue
Drowned in a sea of the unknown
I inhaled the salinity of crashing waves
Sweetness personified, pumped through my veins
For the first time, in a long time
I could breathe
I remembered that I had forgotten how to
My lungs ached in elation
For the new vitality it drew in,
No matter how wrong it may have seemed
My body turned salt to sugar
A matter of survival, inherent instincts
Sprung into play,
Weakness crafted seamlessly to strength
Strength so powerful,
I reveled in my new found plunder
I soared across the skies,
Jumped atop the highest hills
Rolled in green pastures
Comfort slowly drove away glamorous wonder
The unknown became known to my consciousness
My grip loosened, I wasn't aware
Of what was becoming of me
Was I slipping back into that dreadful slumber?
Am I , right this moment?
I pray not,
Thank heavens, the question has been raised
A chance to thwart unpleasant repetitions, granted.