The Blog of Cafe Dissensus Magazine – we DISSENT

Two poems

Painting: Jose Parla

By Feby Joseph 

Apple Tree Musings

I was told I was like an apple tree
My duty – to produce apples;
Ne’er to hold back my branches from anyone.

Some seasons my body is bare
Raped by sunlight –
My hair shaved off completely – for what crime?
[I suppose I’m not supposed to ask.]
Some seasons run for centuries

I can’t remember when I last felt beautiful.

They come and mold me –
Into the beauty that’s fashionable

Sometimes I’m in excess
Sometimes I’m devoid.

Never me.

When was the last time I felt beautiful?

They take –
The leaves; cut my branches
[Sometimes they even set me on fire]

A kind soul comes to me every hundred years.
With water
Else I’m at the mercy of the sky – the sun conspirators.
[Sometimes the seasons forget me]

Yet somehow I stand.
Never to ask –
The only question I ever had.

I am my progenitor’s prank.
I should never question my maker.
I am allowed to laugh at myself.

I wonder –
Does the maker ever feel the burden –
That his creation feels?


City IV

How many times have I done this before?

Taken these broken stones
To rebuild this broken house.

Was this stone ever fresh?
Once, when it was whole?
That is but a distant memory.

To start afresh –
With broken things,
The debris of dust and air.
The remains of yesterday.

I always took a moment to look
At the calmness that lay afterwards.
At the poignant beauty of destruction
The charred remains of a life rewritten

Like a tree that grows from a raped stump
A few moments of naked brown flesh
Then the business of green growth
For what else is it but business?
This rebuilding of broken lives?

If emotions were involved.
A poem would be uttered at the very beginning
May be a few tears;
And then the chapter closed.
The land would be left behind.
Not this rehashing and re-birthing of lives.

So I rebuild these walls
Rebuild this door, this window.
I rebuild these using discarded yesterdays
Knowing that tomorrow or maybe the day after
All of this would be destroyed again.

I can already hear the growling winds.
It’s far – maybe I’ll get a few months, years?
I know it’s expected of me to forget
But I can never seem to not remember.

That this home, this town, this city
That I am building with my hands
Was nothing but ruins yesterday –
The broken stones in my hands – today

As I continue the tradition
This cycle of emotion-free chore
Of rebuilding from the ruins once again.

This business of living
That started many yesterdays ago.

How many times have I done this before?

Feby Joseph is a science graduate with a passion for western classical music, a computer certification, a piano certification and is currently working in the Finance department of a manufacturing.


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Read the latest issue of Cafe Dissensus Magazine on ‘Punjab: Marginal and Central’, edited by Karthik Venkatesh, author and editor, Bangalore, India.

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