Gazing at falling leaves

Short Stories & Poems

Untitled (page 1)

She walked to the window and looked.

She wasn’t really looking for anything or at anything but she was disappointed. She looked up at the sky and was dismayed that it wasn’t a bright, sky-blue spotted with fluffy clouds like that in her childhood. It was cloudy and hazy.

When she bought this apartment she could see the sea and as the waters stretched far ahead, it would eventually meet the sky. But right then, she was simply disillusioned, perhaps even depressed at the view before her. Another apartment block stood between her and the sea.

Sometimes things like that made her unhappy. It’s not as if the other apartment block rose up suddenly before her. Yesterday, she accidentally added too much washing powder into her laundry and had to run the wash cycle three times. That riled her to death.

In a bid to dispel her misery, she wished really hard that the winds would change then so that it would blow the haze and pollution away. But deep down, she knew that she had to wait a few more weeks for the dry spell to pass.


What we share

How do you
Put into words
What we share
And don’t?

Every time
May be
Ever more

I love the written word
But it’s not enough
To describe
What we have

And the lives we share
Our separate lives
Do you really know me?

Our songs
I listen to them to death
Reliving our moments

Every moment is I
Who are you?
You are who
I made you out to be


What might have happened
If she’d met you earlier?
Would you (she) be happier?
Or is it just her wishful thinking?

She clings to you
Do you want her too?
It’s exhausting!

What does she know?
The memories are
Only hers
Every moment is her

She’s infatuated
With her own image

It’s in the mirror
Looking right back at her
How can she not see it?!
All she ever wanted is you

Place time

In the middle of a second
Between the moments
In the transience

I don’t have to
Be certain
Just be

The rest place
Of ennui
Don’t bother to commiserate

That’s the place
See it
With a blink of the eye
Such perfection and joy!

When time (never) stands still

Over and over again
They unfold
The things we held
The words we spoke
When time
Stands still

Over and over again
They twitch and morph
The recollecting, the reminiscing
The memories and thoughts
When time
Stands still

Over and over again
I run away with you
Into nothingness
Why do I continue
When you keep on
Flying away?

Over and over again
It’s not you
It’s time
To let memories be
When time
Never stands still

When I’m alone

When I’m alone
There is company
With the trees around
And the clouds above

Gazing at falling leaves
Looking at passing clouds
It’s comforting
Like a blanket enveloping

When I’m alone
I think of you
Far from the maddening crowd
The blanket closes in

Sometimes it returns
Like it never left
But being alone helps
Me be with it

You are near
I know it’s not real
They are just what they are
In my head and in my heart

Fleeting thoughts

Fleeting, floating
Uncertain, disconcerting
Imperfection and uncertainty
How do you ground it?

Don’t waver, people are looking
Don’t look around, they are judging
Don’t be yourself
You are not allowed

Who is to say
You are not allowed?
Make your own way
You must, you say

The work, the lists and the games
The commitments and the people
All consuming and distracting
Plans neglected, now hovering

Something lost
What is gained?
Fleeting and floating
All in vain

Let go

It was the end a long time back
Time to leave and time to let go
Physical goodbyes are hard
Mental ones are harder

It was oh so long ago
Was it all in the mind?
Was in all in vain?
To begin with

I’m not sure if I’d wanted
Anything to do with it
Good memories, you say
But not all of it

So maybe I can let go
And maybe I will forget
Reluctant goodbyes, memories
Shadows and dreams

Obviously hidden (page 11)

“So you said that you were going for pedicure? That’s painting the toe nails right?” Greg asked, not sure if he should have broken the tranquil silence between them.

“Yeah, it is!” LL laughed. “Maybe you should go for a pedicure with Alison. You know they have these couple packages. So, have you settled into your new place? You know I can bring Alison around if she needs to do any shopping or yeah, maybe a pedicure session”.

“We’ve set up the house and everything and I’ve been working and she’s been working. So well, things are kinda back to normal, things have settled, I guess. But you know, I think this place is new for her and maybe the unfamiliarity is getting to her. I don’t know. She…,” Greg paused not sure how much about his relationship he should share with LL. Of course, he wanted to tell her everything. But would it be too obvious? “I mean, she’s busy with work. Well, everything is okay. We’re going out for dinner tonight at this place a few blocks from her clinic. Tapas Tei. They serve Japanese and Spanish fusion food. Keith recommended it, he said it was good.

“Yeah, I’ve heard rave reviews about it. Mikey and I have also wanted to try but he’s busy, travelling so often. Hmmm, maybe I should just bring the kids, they would enjoy it too”. LL wanted to comment on how Alison was feeling after relocating. After all, she has counselled many students who were adjusting to a new place. But she has already forgotten the first part of what Greg said.

As LL turned her head to dust off a fallen leaf on her right shoulder, Greg looked closely at her and averted his gaze the moment she turned back. “Do you want to join us at Tapas Tei?”

“Oh of course not! Please enjoy your date night! I really appreciate your offer. I was just saying that we’re meaning to try it, as if I was thinking out loud. Greg, you’re always so nice and considerate to EVERYONE”.

Obviously hidden (page 10)

“How do find the coffee? Pretty smooth and crisp tasting, right? I’ve always wanted to ask what beans and machine they used but yeah, never got down to it,” LL said after she took a sip of the coffee and a bite of the donut. “Mmmm, the donut goes really well with the coffee. The coffee brings out the burnt taste in the caramel, well, in a nice way”.

“You should be a food critic,” Greg teased. He liked the way that she enjoyed her food. What would life have been like if he never left Verbena.

They just sat on the ledge, drinking their coffee and watching a few people form a short queue at the food truck. A comfortable, almost comforting silence settled between them amidst the shady spot in the afternoon sun.

LL was really enjoying this moment, sipping hot coffee in the cool shade and munching her salted caramel donut. It’s been a long time and she had forgotten about this sensation. When was the last time, she wasn’t busy running around or thinking and planning furiously?

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