In the mirror, the image that I see,
the clenched jaws and eyes that stare back at me,
(if looks could kill, I know, I would have been
at least ten years dead by now but they can’t!)
I wonder, honestly, what do they want!
What might they have given that I gave not?

It is said that each human soul
is older than the universe;
so ancient, yet so naïve about
the greed and crooked ways of the world!
Will I ever grow older than
a day or two and less curious?
Once an earth nymph came and told me,
that she was in love and her heart
was mine, so long as I might live
but Death embraced me the next day
or was I killed, cannot remember now,
dying has become so natural of late!

Those eyes, night rimmed, each set in its ravine,
what do they hold against my solitude?
Why do they keep staring back at me, whenever
I look at them, unblinking, serpentine and crude?




40 thoughts on “In The Mirror

  1. “Dying has become so natural of late”?? That’s deep. I’ve always found the question of the ‘gaze’ fascinating. The only question you have not answered in this poem is the identity of the owner of those eyes. Perhaps I am mistaken, if you have and I have not realised it. But to me it has remained ambiguous, and that itself is rather intriguing of the poem. A question that I will possibly try to continue to find an answer to.
    -Ruth P.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. well you got me there! I have not specified the owner of the eyes. the way I see it there are two possibilities, either they belong to the person looking at the mirror or someone whose reflection is on the mirror… but anyways, let me not beat around the bushes anymore, I wanted the eyes to belong to my past memories. may be I could not do it skillfully enough.

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      1. Hmm, yes, that does make sense. But, here, I think, is that part of the poetic narrative that is obvious only to the poet, and may or may not be recognized by the readers. So it really isn’t a question of skill, but of relevance of the content to the reader. Perhaps there are those out there who read this poem and understood exactly what you meant! 🙂

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        1. as long as the readers do not end up thinking that those eyes belong to the earth nymph, I am ok. and I also believe that poems are snapshots of our mental states and feelings, not all pictures are equally crisp, no? 😀

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          1. I don’t think that connection could be made at all. Poems truly are snapshots, you are absolutely correct. But then, snapshots are only of objects of personal significance. Others may not see the relevance at all, regardless of the clarity of the picture. 😉

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    2. I hope you are not offended at my attempt to make the poem less intriguing! but I must confess, I am always in this conflict with myself. a part of me wants to belong, while another wants me to remain a loner. whenever I have tried to follow the former part, the consequences have always been hazardous, at times almost fatal too. so my conscious mind has embraced solitude but the subconscious part is in perpetual rebellion! 😦

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      1. I understand perfectly, having been caught in the same net by a mixture of circumstance and choice. And rest assured, the explanation makes the poem no less intriguing that it is.
        But this is the concern with poets; we write our pain in words, and it is obvious to us. If others see it, we feel joy in being recognized; if they do not, it causes depression. It is a sad and vicious cycle. Although, I don’t know that you would agree with these views.
        But the way I see it, poems are an excellent means of catharsis, or at least a means of beginning our path down the road to catharsis. My own poem ‘On the Road to the City of Hope’ is about my personal pain. But having once written and posted it, I used it as an outlet to let go of at least a portion of that pain. I will also say that it has helped, but perhaps this manner of dealing with personal pain of only relevant for me.
        As for belonging being hazardous, I recognize what that means. But that should not prevent contact with the world. And I do not mean through this digital medium. I have learnt, after much personally detrimental isolation, that it is bad for health, both physically and mentally. Fortunately for me, I have lately found some persons who have aided my recovery and provided the means for my re-entry into regular society.
        Now, I admit that the people I spend time with, my social circle, is small and made up of eclectic people, but I am more concerned about my personal comfort that the views of a world that has no business interfering in my happiness.
        The more you rebel against yourself, the worse you will feel. There must be mental equilibrium or the mind will be fractured. Besides, being alone, without even unconditional friendship and understanding, is no way to live.
        I apologise for handing out unsolicited advice, if this is not well-received, but having experienced these troubles myself, I try to help any others in similar situations that I can.
        Please excuse my assumption.

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        1. you spoke my heart in these words, “we write our pain in words, and it is obvious to us. If others see it, we feel joy in being recognized; if they do not, it causes depression. It is a sad and vicious cycle. ” glad to know about your recent fortune. as a matter of fact, if the digital interaction is taken out of the equation then I have no contact with the outside world since December last year. that begot a strange expression in my mind, Perhaps I am living in your yesterday but hopefully, you are living in my tomorrow. 🙂 and I also agree with the fact that we need equilibrium to remain sane. I should also admit that the border where one loses it is well within view as well. I know this is no way to live…. unconditional friendship!! that would be something worth dying for. 🙂 I hope my dark ranting isn’t irksome for you and I am grateful for your kind words. I have not had the privilege of enjoying free or unconditional stuffs for months.

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          1. You know, there’s one thing my mother has always taught me. She says, “Our happiness is in our own hands. If you don’t find ways of being happy, no-one can do it for you.” I add another edict to this, from my own experiences – “Control can only be given or abused. It cannot be taken from you unless you give it away. If you let your happiness depend on someone else, you are giving away control.”
            Dealing with ranting and listening to people talk about their deepest fears is something I’ve been doing for about a decade, since school, in fact. So no, it is not irksome.
            As to ‘unconditional friendship’, it does sound like a dream, but it is not an impossible one. It just takes an incredible amount of luck and patience (with the latter helping as much as the former in this case, haha). I have had the incredible blessing of having had it since my childhood years in the form of my closest friend and I bless him for being a part of my life every day. He provides a balance to my insanity and has done so for many years.
            If you feel that the border where you lose your sanity is within view, then I must stress the need to find your equilibrium as soon as possible!! Perhaps my today is your tomorrow, and that is a good hope to hold on to. But remember that our lives are on different paths and you must find your peace in your own way. Fortunately, December was not so long ago, being only 3 months past. I pulled myself out of a deeply isolated depressive state of 6 months just this last year. The aid of my friends came after my choice to make positive changes in my life. And that is the true beginning. I am sure you know that if you are not open to change yourself, the advice of anyone is as the barking of dogs in the night. Try as they might to alert you f danger, if you do not believe that the danger is real, you will continue to disregard it.
            The change must come from you. All else will follow, if you believe in yourself.

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            1. you have a wise mother. I agree with her and your edict too. no one can hurt me but myself. I know I have to walk the path but thank you for showing me the way. even if I knew the path vaguely in my mind. your outlining it is helpful. I believe that it will come to pass…

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              1. I am glad to have been able to help.
                Truly, I have found that the best thing anyone can do for anyone else, is to listen to them. So many hundreds have spoken to me and gone away and it is only later that they have come up to me to thank me for listening to them. If being able to listen is all I can contribute to the world, then I am happy I can do it.
                I know the pain of not being heard, of being invisible. So many of us live it every day, especially in our youth. Knowing the difference it made for me, when someone did listen to me, taught me long ago the necessity of the equation of listening and being heard.
                All of my knowledge regarding this phenomenon is self-taught, but in all these years, never once have I found myself being wrong in this regard. For that I am thankful.
                And therefore I am glad I have been able to help you as well. I hope you find peace.

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  2. …dying has become so natural of late, …such deep and moving words and an amazing poem about the mirrors of the soul!…Sigh…you catch and release just the right words needed to express the mood you are writing in, and about……masterly Amit!

    Liked by 1 person

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