Driven, or: Relaxed

Poetry Partners #120

‘People Watcher’, a poem by Swathi Rao of ‘The Pickle Store’

I sit by the window of the bus looking at the world outside,
It is a hot summer day and the seat next to me is empty,
I find myself staring at the little children when the bus stops,
โ€˜How lovely it must be, to be a child again!โ€™
My inner child spoke to me,
Reminding me of tidbits of my childhood,
My mother braiding my hair,
While my grandmother fed me a bowl of payasam.
I look outside and I see a young woman,
She was lusting for the pair of shoes on display,
โ€˜How lovely it must be, to be so young!โ€™
My inner temptress called out to me,
Years of hoarding and people-pleasing,
An engulfing need to want what others have,
A man speaking incessantly on his phone takes his place next to me,
He jabbered on of deals gone wrong,
While the ice in his drink melted,
โ€˜How nice it must be to be so productive!โ€™
My inner entrepreneur sensed nostalgia,
I was always in a mad rush,
Trying to spread my wings far and wide,
Anxious that competition was around the corner,
I walk to the door of the bus,
The bus stops and an old woman enters,
Our eyes meet for a few seconds until I step out,
โ€˜How nice it is, to have aged!โ€™
My inner spirit was at ease,
I had a life of beauty, chaos and pain,
I envied, I hustled, I pretended, I cried.
I walked to the ice cream store,
I was in no rush, I savoured the cherry sprinkles,
I didnโ€™t need to worry about reapplying my lipstick,
I walked back to the bus stop,
It was time to get on another bus.

A ‘sijo’ by ben Alexander of โ€˜The Skepticโ€™s Kaddishโ€™

lines; stops; schedules shape life's contours; 
note familiar faces nod;
avoiding rush hour for a seat
isn't always possible;
windows proffer me diversions;
survey summer city streets

Let’s write poetry together!

When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.

Ben Harper (b. 1969)

Would you like to create poetry with me and have a completed poem of yours featured here at the Skeptic’s Kaddish? I am very excited to have launched the ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative and am looking forward to meeting and creating with you… Check it out!


List of Poetry Partners

25 thoughts on “Driven, or: Relaxed”

  1. Oh my goodness Swathi Rao, you took me on an interesting, adventurous and contemplative bus ride.
    โ€œI walked to the ice cream store,โ€
    Toddlers, children, the youth, middle &old-age, donโ€™t we all just love this little outing

    My heart ached somewhat for the next trip, is it a condition of forgetfulness ?

    Swiftly the sijo gave ys perspective of the daily commuter

    I love buses.

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