The Nights of Wonder
by Abhinav Singh
The Literary Cell, IIFT welcomes their first guest blogger, Abhinav Singh from FMS. Here’s one of his poems, ‘The Nights of Wonder’.
I opened my eyes, the unfurling of petals. The blooming of flowers.
The causeway to light. But it was dark.
I was on the ground, damp, green, flat. Uneven flowers swaying gently in the breeze of the night, staring at me in synchronization. Surrounded by the dance of the greens, the dark
sky, the yellows, my unchartered meadows.
“Get up” whispered a voice. Was it in my head, it sounded distant. I gathered strength in my knees. The stars gleamed, the leaves rustled, I was afraid.
Labyrinth of death.
I walked around, the wind following me gently. I was not large, rather small, I was a child, a youngling.
My tiny feet masquerading as a gentle breeze seeking the mud, man-made paths, a way to my hut.
Where was I. Who was I. What was I to be.
In my eyes an uneven hill, creatures I could hear far away.
The wind followed me, the greens, the flowers, the stars, the sky. It was night.
Labyrinth of death, slowly turning. Bells that toll, I take my resounding flight.
Dreaming, I must be dreaming. “No” replied the voice. I started to pace, I was flying. No need for mud beneath my feet, I was on the verge of the sky.
A path, a road. I hawk-eye a fire. Maybe it leads to the creatures I hear in the distance. Seeking answers, quintessential desire.
I fly on the road, muddy and serpentine. The creatures call me from afar, answers I must find. Where am I, why am I here…Who am I? “Stay calm.” said the voice.
A dream, it has to be. The voice, the creatures, none of it is real. I can’t be in a place I have never seen, hearing a voice I’ve never heard. “But do you know who I am.” No! Who are you? I stopped in my tracks. No answers, keep flying.
I breathe, as deeply as I can. I haven’t blinked, something is wrong, I must close my eyes again. “That will not help, let me, let us. Come and find.”
I flap my wings but I gasp for breath. The sky drowns me, my blood black and red.
I tear the sky, my flight is sonic. Tipping point, desperation and frolic.
“Get better. The only way you get to live.” I nod in disdain, teleport my body slain.
I open my eyes, and I see, the creatures I heard. All of them, four by count, one by eyes. Those eyes. I’ve seen them.
They pierce, they blind, they are madness, creeping from behind.
A shadow lurks around, emerging from my labyrinth of death. I rouse my fire, my fists clench, shallow breath.
They belong to me. Those are my eyes. They are me, the creatures, my forms in time.
I am not dreaming, this is not a dream. This is a memory, a memory of me. Of my forgotten past. Who am I, I ask. Versions, versions of me, young, old, healthy and sick. Staring at me.
“We want to know the same, about who we are” “But we are stuck here, this place that feels like a dream we watch from afar.”
I look at me, the old embodiment, and I remember, that I don’t. An accident, a blow to the head, the labyrinth grows.
“And here we all are, trying to gain it back, rescue you from you, we want our memory set.”
The shadow hissed, waiting to strike. Finally all five, just one shadow. The labyrinth hides, clasping swords hidden under the meadows.
“This is the only memory, you distantly remember, throughout your life. Your constant and ours, the cause of our strife.”
I was stuck in my memory, for I don’t remember, the sun never rose here, just that hill with a stone repair.
“The attempts are futile. We are stuck in our memories, now and forever. There is no escape. Just the moon, to stare at, and different timelines of us to meet, to look at”.
In the mirrors I find, what I left behind; a reflection within, my haunted lake
I’ve seen this through, my once sweet escape.
And we all smiled. Right there in our cacophony. Enlightenment in the dark, euphoria in disdain, strength in defeat. We had achieved something no one else had. I had achieved something no miracle could. I had travelled, transcended, time.
The shadow is restless, we look behind. There is no shadow without the light. The madness, the sickness in my mind.
I hold my hand, our eyes meet, we all take flight, blazing our retreat. The light is gone, we dwell in the dark, the labyrinth still beckons and yet we bark, we howl, we embrace our insanity, profanity, a tyranny of sorts, we-i decimate the labyrinth, a blue horizon to North.
“Maybe we lost our memory because we changed our perception of time, maybe that was our accident, our moment of recline.”
But can I ever know? I was stuck here, in some dark constant of my mind, a dark memory, the only memory I have, my machine of time. A time of night, an absolute delight, the night of raging thunder, that night of wonder.
Author Profile: Abhinav is a writer who doesn’t write. He is half the time, sort of funny. You can find his other writings here.