Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

A sonnet

You need to be king
before you can conquer
You need to be brave
before you can fight
You need to be high
before you can fly
You need to fear
before you can be free
You need to hear
before you can listen
You need to teach
before you can learn
You need to love
before you can be born.

©️ Siva Raj, 2021


Photo by Sandy Ching on Unsplash

A sonnet

Red awnings in Chinatown
Tiles that tilted very brown
Flags made music in the wind
Empty parapets drying tamarind
Houses seem to intermingle
Past and present in space-time wrinkle
Distant worlds, differing eras
Streets unlittered with people or cars
Hustle and bustle and industry
All gone at the end of history
Suns that shine bright red at night
Golden pagodas in fading light
At the crossroads where I stand
Time suspended above this land.

©️ Siva Raj, 2021


Photo by McKayla Crump on Unsplash

A poem

When you’ve got truth in your pocket
you don’t need money.

When you’re entirely transparent
arrows sail through you.

When you love your own self
everyone loves you.

When you’ve got a thousand eyes looking
one will spot gold.

When you fight fire with love
it lights up the world.

©️ Siva Raj, 2021


Photo by Michael Olsen on Unsplash

A poem

You stand there rooted, floating
Fluttering with every breeze, unmoving
Digging deep into the earth,
Lifting high into the heavens
Ants gnaw into your bones
Birds peck onto your skin
Snakes slither ‘tween your legs
Worms crawl cross your flesh
Yet you smile at every traveler
Sheltering in rain & sunny weather
Arms tentacle into the ground
No force can push you around
No purpose other than just to be
For eternity, like a banyan tree.

©️ Siva Raj, 2021


Image by projectmgmt from Pixabay

A poem

I walked into the sanctum
Of your sanctorum
There I saw cherished
On every surface
The names of men long dead
Men who were victorious
Celebrating their gallantry
Their conquests, their plunder
Bengal, Oudh, Maratha, Rajput
Delhi, Punjab, Madras, Mysore
Where your heroes raped and pillaged my people
massacred them in their citadels,
burnt them alive when possible
And when we rose against you,
you just slaughtered more
Denied us our bread, that you collected
From our farms, while we starved to death
In our millions, at the very moment our soldiers
were shedding their blood for you
Built your cities, filled them with fabulous treasures
you picked from our shores
Your most wondrous mansions made with the
Blood, sweat, toils, and tears collected
From our farmers
These are your heroes.
What’s in a name did you say?

©️ Siva Raj, 2021


Picture by author.

A poem

Imagine a school where you’re the only student,
walking class to class through empty corridors.

Imagine a class where the only thing you see is
your teacher’s disembodied face and voice.

Imagine that you’re silenced from talking,
from asking questions, can only listen.

Imagine that every other student in class
is sleeping, you hear mice scampering.

Imagine that the only friends you make are
with the lonely voices in your head.

Imagine that you’re expected to learn entirely
new things, with no help, from anyone.

Imagine that your only job is to complete a bunch of assignments, on…


A poem

My eye sees
what it wants to see
My ear hears
what it chooses to hear
The entire world
is imagined in my mind
I give it shape, color
smell and texture
I define good and bad
right, wrong and indifferent
Your world and my world
are not always one
But where our worlds intersect
is the ground we thrive on.

©️ Siva Raj, 2021


Image by goodwindance from Pixabay

A poem

Featherlight raindrops
Any lighter and they’d be snow
Fluttering from streetlights
Flustering past my window.

Vacant storefront
Demolished in a blink
Verdant hilltops
Winding windows that wink.

Intimate knowledge
Of distant stranger’s lives
Voyeuristic binoculars
And wine loving wives.

Now the rain’s stronger
But the streetlights are tired
Of signaling safety
While winter’s still wired.

Gushing rain gust
Rushing automobile
Wishing you were here
Hushing me gentle.

©️ Siva Raj, 2021


Photo by Mia Harvey on Unsplash

A sonnet

Bustling evenings, quiet night
Twerking men, ravishing sight
Vintage buildings, pink twilight
Walking straight, hands tight
Redness flashes, atop heights
Guitar hero, strumming right
Peeking inside, windows bright
Headless laughter, pealing fright
Beautiful doggie, sexy miss white
Burnished men, verbal fight
Gymnastic mother, sweaty delight
Baked denizens, lethargic might
Fancy mansions, faithful light
Hilltop kisses, floating light.

©️ Siva Raj, 2021


Photo by Marc Kleen on Unsplash

A sonnet

The streets are shaking
The trees are quaking
Gusts pounce on unwary spaces
Wind cuts through unsavory faces
Rages fuming all the way around
Threatening to lift me right off the ground
Yet I lounge unperturbed
Rattling leaves don’t disturb
The world outside is tearing apart
Twisting twirling circling rampart
But still my mind remains calm
Eye in the midst of a violent storm
Cause through this long and windy night
You held my hand with love so tight.

©️ Siva Raj, 2021

Siva Raj

Poetry is a feeling I use words to catch before it vanishes.

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