The Ostrich and the Giraffe

I could bury my head in the warm embrace
of Mother Earth’s sandy breast.
My body exposed, but my head is safe.
To fate I leave the rest.

I could stretch my head up into the sky,
above the clouds, where the eagles fly.
My heart stands below, my mind soars above.
One tear for wonder, one tear for love.

Death approaches swiftly,
I must choose either down or up.
I’ll die either way, but I still may
have a say in how I end up.

To look inside and discover oneself
is a gift to the lucky few.
To look outside and be amazed at life
is something I don’t often do.

Here in this moment, when my time seems up,
I still have a quick moment or two
to exercise my power, my right, my choice,
to act on the world anew.

I leave my mark, a head-shaped hole,
in the lowest cloud in the sky.
I die standing tall and proud on my feet,
wind in my hair, the sun in my eye.

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Inadequacy

How does one deal with one’s own inadequacy?
With true lack of merit, of talent, of acuity?

What do you do when it is shown plainly to you
that you’re not worth anything of real value?

How do you feel when even after enough chances
you’ve consistently failed at making advances?

It’s clear that life is not being unfair here:
you genuinely suck in every possible sphere.

So just shut up and accept that you’ll never win,
never feel soaring success or happiness within.

What you’re best at is being a loser by far.
You live in a studio, can’t even drive a car.

You yell at friends and wallow in self-pity.
You reek of sadness, and you’re not even pretty.

It’s not the universe, destiny, karma or fate
that stops you from finishing even one poem straight.

It’s all you, my friend, it always has been.
The awkwardness, stupidity, amentia and cringe.

So just stop trying to find an answer or excuse
for why you’re being treated like repulsive refuse.

It’s because you deserve it, you really do.
And that’s all there is to it, so now we’re through.

Accidental Saint

After years of wandering in the woods
I came up with this brilliant plan.
A foolproof logic that consistently would
stand up to the most inquisitive man.

The true nature of things is unknowable
and my life had indeed been wasted.
So I devised something showable
with lies within it nested.

A slight untruth that would protect
a saintly, wise recluse.
As long as one doesn’t deeply inspect
it’s certainly not abuse.

I lie for myself, to justify
a miserable, failed persistence.
I lie knowing it doesn’t signify
anything beyond my own existence.

My words won’t stand the test of time:
before long their faults discovered.
Then someone new may begin to mine
the depths of Truth left uncovered.

The most tragic outcome I can think
is of my words enduring long.
Of people trusting an old dry ink
and a convoluted, meaningless song.

But the chances of that are slim and low
for the future’s always smarter.
The coming generations of tomorrow
must go far, and even farther.

So I think I’m safe with my little lie
though my profession it will taint.
The world won’t devolve and have to survive
on the tales of an accidental saint.

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Paper Rainbow Birds

Living their lives in ignorant bliss,
their vision straight and narrow.
Woken by touch of destiny’s kiss
and tip of Cupid’s arrow.

Him a dreamer of type and code
from a land strange and far.
Her a dancer of a tribal mode,
and an artist of highest par.

Cautiously they probed for intellect
revealing a matching mind,
finding upon delving deeper that
their interests intertwined.

They spoke of life, love, art and beauty.
Of train rides in the winter.
Of movement, privilege, dance and duty.
Of travel Interstellar.

As they shared their regrets and joys,
commonality was found
amidst space cowboys and robot toys
and adventures outward bound.

Coffee shop, a dance, a concerto —
they met a bunch of times.
But their temperaments did not go
together as did their minds.

Yet through their letters and their writing
unique friendship had been wrought.
For its promise and traits redeeming
they gave it another shot.

What then followed was a blossoming
the like they had never seen:
from Haverford to Northern Liberties
and everything in between.

At the peak of their conversation,
when everything seemed just fine,
came disbalancing their equation
tragedy of closest kind.

Between changing jobs and homes anew
their rhythm was disrupted.
The delicate thread that bound these two
was severed and corrupted.

He tried pulling her back, have some fun
with musical comedy.
It only made her angry, someone
that she didn’t want to be.

Fixated on the idea of
making her happy again,
he pushed too hard, so she pulled out
and that was the very end.

Having hurt one whom he loved so much
he recused himself in shame.
Waiting weeks for cooling down and such,
he appealed to her in vain.

After losing sleep and forty pounds
and forgetting how to eat,
for two thousand miles he flew around,
climbed more than a thousand feet.

On top of Mt. Sanitas he sat
with a paper rainbow bird,
and wrote to her in a letter that
which need be said but not heard.

A mistake which she could not forgive
and he could not forget.
By penning this final missive
he broke the cycle of regret.

Now they live their separate lives
in staging and production.
His yogic mind wouldn’t ever drive
her hips of mass destruction.

Cruel fate gave them a taste of
that which could never be.
It would indeed have been a waste of
a Virginian Wonanee.

Though the fabric frayed and colors ran
the mixing of these two dyes
left a kind of after-taste that can
linger without goodbyes.

Shall the twain ever meet again,
that we may never discover.
Tragic, since she once loved him plain
in ways he’d never loved her.

As Fall nights melt into chilly dawns
and cold December sunrise,
the other’s misty moon sets upon
their own personal night skies.

~ Terence Tuhinanshu, November 2015.


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An Idea of You

You who I have heard spoken so highly of,
You who mean so much to so many that I love,

You who left ripples so clear and far
Like the shining twinkle of a long dead star,

You whose presence is felt even in absence
Like the after-note of a Veena-string hanging in resonance,

You whose legacy of both body and mind
Has crossed barriers and bridges, space and time,

You who I never met, so cannot mourn, miss or grieve
Are one who was never here, and thus can never leave.

Your choices and moods impress themselves upon my life
Through the veil, reaching across the darkness into light

And I know there is nothing that I can’t make through
Because although I have no memory, I have an idea of you.

~ Terence Tuhinanshu, May 6 2015


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Want

This is what I want today.
Of course, I could have something else,
But this is what I want today.

The whims of fancy rule my world,
Randomness dictates my way.
Wishes come and desires leave,
And this is what I want today.

You’d think a man of thought and taste
Would have the will to stay
Focused, alert and disciplined –
Alas, this is what I want today.

To fall in love. To be left alone.
To fashion sorrow on her gravestone.
To feel such pain! But who is to say
That my mind won’t wander and sing with joy
If that is what I want today.

Master of will, slave to whim,
I answer to no one! But within,
I have tortured my soul to please my mind.
And now I’ll try it the other way,
For that is what I want today.

Did I wander from the holy path?
Did I lose my light and go astray?
I could turn around, try to find my way…
But this is what I want today.

There is no past, there is no future.
There is no cause, there is no consequence,
There is nothing that exists outside of me,
Not night, not day.
The world is a thought, slipping away.
Should I remember, or should I forget?
This is what I want today.

~ Terence Tuhinanshu
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