Thursday, December 25, 2014

You Were Born For Greatness

A glowing cherub
A loving mother

A displacement

Three wise men
The lost years
The parables

A friend like Judas
A crown of thorns
A resurrection
An anticipated second coming
Need I say more?

                                                                                         ~ Sonali

Monday, December 1, 2014

The four kinds of people on the dance floor you need to know

There are just two kinds of women
On the dance floor baby
There's the queen of diamonds
And the one of hearts

Those women with the clubs and spades
Aren't really human
They will crack your skull open
And bury you before you're even dead
So stay away from them
The men might be knaves, or jokers, or kings
Take your pick
Should you already know which one you are
All you need to know is who the rest are

                                                                                               ~ Sonali

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Jenny of All Trades

The phone rings in my sparse office
An old rotary
"Ring, ring"
I answer,"Marionette Repair Inc.
How may I direct your call?"

A lady with a soft raspy voice replies,
"I am so distraught. Can you help me?"
"Yes ma'am, I can. I make a living out of it.
Tell me what I can do for you.

"You see, I have an expensive marionette
My mother procured for me
And it is broken."

"Is it the strings, or the crossbars,
Or the marionette himself?

"How did you know it is a he?"

"Elementary my dear Watson.
You regard this as a business matter
Not a matter of the heart.
Were it a she marionette
One that a mama had procured for her daughter
You would've been crying,
Not speaking in hushed tones to a stranger
Who works out of a hovel in a dark alley
Across the tracks at the edge of town"

"Hmmm... I'm dealing with a lowlife eh?"

"Nope madam. Well perhaps yes,
If you consider marionette repair a lowly profession."

"Well, how can I get the marionette to you
So you can fix him?"

"Fix him? Are we talking neutering?
Well, for that, there's Hillary down the street.
I repair marionettes."

" Hehehehe .....Funny girl, he's wooden."

"They all are. Brethren of Pinochio.
I'm just the Blue Fairy, and I have Jiminy for an assistant."

"The marionette is broken. Fix him.
My men will deliver him to you in about eight days.
I trust you."


I look out the one sliver of glass high on the wall
That serves as a window in my little room
The sun is shining
The leaves on that tree outside
Throw pretty shadows on the ceiling
A patch of the bluest sky peeks into my dark quarters

The traffic hums along as usual
A clock ticks quietly and so does my heart
All's well with the world and yours truly

"Ring, ring," says the rotary

Something tells me
The caller isn't looking for a marionette repair service
Maybe it was Jiminy or a fellow fairykin
Who whispered in my ear,"Be careful."

I instinctively use my other identity
As I answer politely,
"Faberge Interiors Inc.
How may I direct your call?"

A concerned but polite soprano replies,
"Ah, yes, my wife would like some redecorating
Around the house and pool.
Can you help?"

"Sure," I say,"Your wish is my command.
We work seven days a week
We're fairies and elves
Who do your bidding.
We take no breaks for sleep or leisure or food."

"Well," he says, embarrassed  and confused,
"All I had in mind was a little splurge for
A little more class in the living room
A little more comfort in the dining room
And better conversation in the master bedroom.
Can you arrange a makeover?"

"Geez geezer, who do you think I am?
Aladin's genie?
Only he can give you a castle and throw in a princess for free.
I work solely to decorate your space.
I love beautifying bare walls
And artfully cluttering lonely shelving systems.
That's my forte."

"Name your price."

"For that we must work on the square footage
 and styles of fabric, paint, wood, tile..."

"No wait, it's the ambience I crave.
I've seen your blog.
Give me your best.
I love the sparseness of your Lincoln collection
And the richness of your French collection
Also the grandeur of your Arthur collection
Can you give me your all?"

"We're talking major commitment here.
Let's see. I'm busy until February
Then there's the Pixie convention I go to every year
I can start in March"
"No darlin' you don't understand.
I want it now."

"Let me see.
There's a lady sending over
her broken marionette this week."

"(Gulp) ...Er, yes, that, oh,
Perhaps you didn't know.
That was my wife."

"Haaaa haaaaa haaa haaaa...
I see what is going on here.
I've dealt with crazy before
But this is the funniest crazy I've ever seen.
I will be awfully busy the next few months.
Call me when you've made some progress on your own.
Redecorating isn't rocket science.
You just have to become a real boy first.
And your masterminder is another story.
I wish you luck until we meet again."


It's time  again to take the trash out
To get the mail in
To walk the dog
To toss out the kitty litter
To boil the potatoes
To go on with life ....                   

                                                                                            ~  Sonali

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Road Maps

What land is this?
In what universe?
The poles don't align anymore
The sun goes sideways in the sky
With just enough tilt for day break
And sundown to occur

I can walk on streams
Ice feels like glass
Snow tastes like sugar
The stars are almost as big as the moon
Blue diamonds in the glittering sky

Where am I?
Sweet Ambrosia has dried on my lips
My body is numb yet the nerves are on edge
The winds fan a cold fire in my body and soul
The mind observes but does not participate

 Far away bridges move creating new paths
The jungle takes over old paved roads
A home that once stood on a busy street
Is now surrounded by fields and trees
Where am I?

Once more God has decreed
There shall be an alteration in the plans
For my life, and yours, and yours, and yours
Once more new resiliences must be built
Once again a legend is born

To a new map of the universe

                                                                              ~ Sonali

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Stained Glass Windows

love/window/dream/lipstick - this was the prompt for a weekend poetry writing exercise at "April ". This was my poem. The painting is by Huang Hsiao-Hui, titled "Yellow Roses" 2014

I looked out the window
At the rain coming down
I saw a smudge of red lipstick
From yeas ago

Was it love
Or was it just a dream
I stepped closer
To see it better

It was a shred of a rose petal
Clinging to the wet glass
Like its life depended on it

                                                    ~  Sonali

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Winter Fallow

Cold as cold can be
This winter left me free
To be my own person

What joy it is
To birth the Self
And to love your new baby

The cherubic delight
That your are
In plain sight

That you hadn't seen before
In forty years or more
But now you know

Now you see
Who you can be
When you've given up

On the self-sabotage
That once looked
A lot like living

                                                                                                                    ~  Sonali


This was written as part of a writing exercise on "April". The theme was "waiting". Shakuntala was an automatic choice for the subject of the poem.

It is always February in the land of those who wait
Spring is just beyond reach just as is joy and is speech
There is silence cold as ice for the song birds have fled
And have not returned yet to the splendor of a spring awakening

The buds on trees hold promise but no proof that promises are always kept
The winter wheat is still green in the fields
The foal and fawn haven't been birthed yet
The ants have gone missing, the peacock hasn't been seen preening

The bees are huddled in their hives
The bears in their cave, the rabbits in their burrows
The fish and the mermaid have stayed low to stay alive
As the pond froze in patches in the chill of the gloaming

The smell of winter is the smell of absence
It is the taunt of the memory of fragrant limes and jasmine sweet
It is the cruel longing for the first droplets of rain after the summer's heat
February reeks of the dark and dank and the decaying

                                                                                                                                     ~   Sonali

Friday, October 3, 2014


Dear daughters of joy,

That which glitters may or may not be gold. Use your power of discrimination to decide what is gold and what is not. Discrimination is the most important function of the intellect. Get the full story, its overview, and all the POVs, and the back story before you think you know the story

Hard boiled criminals know the story play by play. They work in perfect rhythm with one another to create smoke screen after smoke screen and, if need be, a palace of illusions, to do their evildoings.
When is Sita going to get it?
It started seemingly with that gorgeous golden deer. NOT.
Big stories have bigger backstories.
Big shade comes from big trees that have deep roots.
Lifelines go back through many dates of birth.
Even Gods go through many avatars.
Stop. Look. See.
“God give me the strength to accept the saints in my life and to do away with the sinners and the wisdom to tell them apart. Amen.”
The golden deer would never have crossed Sita’s path but for Kaikeyi, Mantara, Shoorpankha, among others, who had two to twenty ears to fill with evil nonsense.
Criminals who are good at such plots are of hermaphrodite brain. They can play the gender game both ways. That is why they are so good at deception and they can perfectly mold their victims to the crime they have in mind, wipe their own fingerprints off of the murder weapon, leave the crime scene looking like it was the victim’s fault as much as it was the perpetrators’, tiptoeing through the Freudian minefield they’ve engineered. The rest of us have to wait until we can balance the Yin and Yang through hard work to achieve a healthy androgyny in our awareness so we can see through their smoke screens and navigate those minefields. Takes years.
Grown men lose track of their egos in big ways and grow ten heads sometimes.
They’re overcompensating perhaps for loss of power and balance in some vital areas of their lives.
And if grown men knew whom to trust, hairdresser or Sita.
One cannot judge someone who has been betrayed by his own family too harshly. Trusting people does not come easily to them. His all grown up father with the golden crown and golden throne could’ve, should’ve not listened to the boy’s nasty step mother who could’ve, should’ve not listened to a maid! So the maid gets to pick the king???? Something fishy’s going on here.
Take a good look at people and see them for who they really are.


On a golden chariot did Hades abduct a screaming Persephone to the underworld. All she had wanted was a handful of flowers, and she got instead a life suspended between earth and its depths, bride of Death.
Helios in his golden chariot aided and abetted his brother. No wonder Phaeton his son paid for his father’s sins by dying so young. You cannot stand around watching rape and murder happen and not have it revisit you where it hurts the most. So what if you ride a golden chariot?


On a golden pond floats a lily pad. On it is seated a frog philosopher watching the world bathed in the golden light of a golden afternoon. He catches no flies. He saves no Thumbelina. He mints no gold coins, and multiplies no golden talents. When he croaks he will leave behind no golden words, nor an inheritance for his old wife and the children.
What use was all that gold?


Golden apples have had their day in court, like another apple Eve made infamous. 


Atalanta did alright with the apples. A few moments’ waiting could’ve kept her mane free. 


Paris could’ve said he was married already.


What’s forty pieces of silver? It’s not even gold. Plain old silver. It was good enough for Judas. Payoffs are unique in their attractiveness to people. One man’s poison is another man’s peach. Judge not a bag of silver coins. Judge the one who covets the bag of silver coins.


Gold coins you can bite into, urban legends, old wives tales, conmen, the pimp, the bootlegger, internet hoaxes, the evil step-mother of the Grimm Brothers’ tales, the neighborhood brushfire of tawdry gossip, that friend with a story for you, that man who thinks you love him so much he can get away with murder and mutilation– what do they have in common?
You - you beloved daughter of joy and luck, the one with the motley cap on your head and flowers in your hair.


Goldilocks looking for the not too sour and not too sweet existence of perfect balance in this realm of shades of gray wanders into the lair of bears and finds it there. Run for your life once you’ve eaten the porridge not too hot and not too cold. You know the rest of the story don’t you?

“Gold diggers yea all?”

“Really? Slaves of our own devices, of delusions dear to us, of picket fences we kept repainting in white when the gates have been left open on purpose against our deepest convictions, convictions so deep we didn’t see your purpose. Men have been known to pawn their wives and sell their gold to one who will serve their addictions. It doesn’t take more than a split second for Guddi to become Doosri Sita.”


Golden fleeces are won with lots of deception. And then they never heard of again, the price for that golden prize too high to merit any affection.


The Midas Touch, a gift not worth mentioning for the sadness it evokes, took the life of a child before it was understood for what it really was.


Sone ki Lanka bhi raakh hui. Jai Ramji ki.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Stupid Cupid

Stupid Cupid,
Stop hovering over people casting shadows
Put away the bow and arrows
People hate you like they hate a skunk
Go home Cupid, you're drunk

                                                                                                           ~ Sonali

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall

English Mirror Gold OR Silver Rectangle 38 x 27

Who are you?
Idiot or savant?
What have you done
With the fire in your belly?
Did you douse it with food and folly
Or did you arouse the flames into a bonfire
With the kindling of your desire for a better world?
What is this fire to you, incinerator or forge?
Has your mettle been malleable or
Have you been a dead twig to a spark?
Or did you calm the inferno down to a happy controlled burn?
You did?
Who are you?



Sunday, September 7, 2014


Desire is an impetuous bitch
She comes on strong sudden forceful cocksure
And then she leaves just as suddenly

Desire is a fickle wench butt ugly as can be
Just as he has found love with his missus
He wants his bald headed big boned employee

A two faced thief of pleasure she is
That bitch that thing that nothing that she is
That never leaves except it seems for a quick pee

Satisfaction is her enemy
Anathema if you will
Like light and darkness presumably

You could go fifteen years without seeing her face
When you’ve just about forgotten what she looks like
She shows up in two places at once, unexpectedly

You’re embarrassed and all and confused as s#!+
You say,”Where have the pair of you been all my life
Actually, lately?”

They say,”We heard on the grapevine
You said you’d do a threesome
If it were you, Brad Pitt, and George Clooney.”

You go,”Aww, you’re so sweet
But I’m busy tonight
You two go on without me.”

It pours when it rains they say
And they are right you know
When you get asked to the lesbo ball shortly

Have I been living under a rock?
No really, have I???
Or have the birds and the bees have gone crazy?

Saturday, March 22, 2014

A ♥ E

Adam and Eve cut their initials
On the green bark of a sapling tall
It remains to this day a testament to their romance
After all the first cut is the deepest of all

The world has seen much graffiti since
But it seems like nothing ever changes
We live and die having learned little more than
Our parents did of the true nature of these exchanges

Nothing remains constant as we all can plainly see
Once a snake has caught sight of your little marker
The fork tongue will get busier than a bee
You will suffer much as your story gets darker

The next time you see a couple of kids
Busy in the park with a penknife against a tree
Ask them to stop, go home, return with a bag
And some string with which to isolate the fiend

                                                                                             ~  Sonali

Many Miles Out On The Broken Road

When has a crown of thorns not led to glory?
Why do you weep when they tell your story
And you are a good for nothing lay about
Not the star you are beyond the shadow of a doubt?
They who honor neither love nor friendship
They who will sell you for an ego trip
You care what they think of you?
Seriously, you do?

                                                                                                ~  Sonali

Blessings on a Broken road.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

joie de vivre

Moonlight drunk after a long day of
Basking in the warmth of the indulgent springtime sun
The sapling green savors the soft touch of dew
On its waxy leaflets
The pristine joy of living rises through its green limbs
Joy unblemished untrammeled unbeholden yet rises
Bounding through its being writing a blueprint of Life
As it ought to be lived

                                                                                                              ~  Sonali

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Colors !! The Colors !!

one drop of sunlight
warm yellow sweet stark honest
i had caught in the hollow of my hand
as the casket closed on me
an eggshell
that stayed dark for years
it was dark but, unbeknownst to all, fertile
one fine day a crack appeared in the shell
out stepped the ingenue
into a technicolor world

                                                                                             ~  Sonali

Sunday, March 16, 2014


Barren earth
Dark night
 Soulful silence
Out of a magic seed
Unfurls a sapling
Young and green
                                                         ~  Sonali

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


What remains when the embers are spent?
Distant music reachable only by a distant chord
Ties that bind beyond grave and funeral pyre

The notes in my music books lay dying smelling like the dying do
The pall of their impending demise hung over their bodies
Long before they actually truly died

The conflagration consumed that which had died
What remained was the distilled love of life
That had once been music

It had felt so useless saying goodbye to my music
How do you say goodbye to a parent or a child
Or a sibling who is dying?

You are too close for comfort too entrenched in your ways
With relating to one another over meals banter familiar chatter
Goodbyes such as these don’t have a proper place in these relations

So when the time comes to part ways you just up and leave
Like nothing ever happened like you’ll be back for tea
You’ll talk about the weather the news the neighbor’s kid

So I left one day my music sheets my notes my instruments
And never looked back until one day
They came looking for me
                                                                                                                          ~   Sonali

Saturday, February 22, 2014


When all is said and done

Love remains unspoken

When all the pros and cons have been looked at

Love goes unnoticed

When all is analyzed and accounted for

Love remains unwritten

When love and hate lock step

Love comes out ahead

                                                                                                                                      ~   Sonali

Friday, February 21, 2014


This was a poem written as a response to a painting by Andy Warhol from his Rorschach series.

That’s Maa
You’d better take her seriously now
She’s mad right now
See those hands on hips

The glowering eyes
Yes, she’s talking to you
Look, even the tiger is looking at you
And don’t miss the carcasses of deadbeat asuras
Strewn around on the ground either

                                                                                ~ Sonali

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


I have a gut feeling
That this chocolate cake
Will quell my hunger
What’s not to love about it?
Decadent rich awe-inspiring
It will humble the enemy within -
The Fury, the Foe
That rises within
From long suspended animation
It does not know about
My new secret weapon
Sleek quick-acting potent
Chocolate cake
I smirk
Then my eyes glaze over
The fury lies immobilized
Perhaps it is dead
Perhaps it is only playing dead
What if, a little later, it rears its ugly head again?
I’m out of cake
And who cares about later?
I’m happy now
                                                                                                                             ~ Sonali

Monday, February 17, 2014

The last brick

Sharmila's house was built
Brick by boring brick
Over the period of a year and a half
They had painstakingly picked out
The eggshell taupe for the walls
The oystershell nightlights
The crackled porcelain drawerpulls
The crystal chandeliers
And upgraded from tile to white marble
When it had almost been too late
Had it not been for an indulgent foreman
Who wrote a note to the shop
Saying he was not satisfied
With the quality of the supplies
And asked for a refund
Which they honored

It stood in its grandeur
A shelter from the elements
A testament to industry
And upward mobility
But it couldn't stand the pressure
From within
As it exploded one day
From the echoes of a silent scream
Pent up so long in Sharmila's soul
It shattered every gleaming window
The stemware
Every lamp every light
Every piece of ornately carved furniture
Each beating heart in its ineffectual ribcage
And then every brick
Of the once stately manor

That last brick lies on the ground
An epitaph to what could have been
A happy home

                                                                                               ~  Sonali

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Sharmila At Home

A house on a busy street
Cold white locked large
Marble floors
A mirror in the foyer
The lady of the house sees herself
A wisp of gray in her hair
A perfect sari
The mirror shatters as she walks away
Stepping on the shards of glass
Like they might be petals
Her footprints a dark rangoli in her wake
Mock those who stop and stare and say
"Oh what a beautiful home you have."

                                                                                                    ~ Sonali

Studio portrait of a young woman in a sari leaning over a painted lotus.

Its rare for me to find a gelatin print studio photo so this was quite exciting. 
The bordered blouse matches the sari which is tied in the Parsi style of the time complete with brooch and the head drape.