Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Fool - VI

This is a poem spread across multiple pages. Please read in order. Please click on links below to read the earlier passages from the poem.

The Fool - I.
The Fool - II.
The Fool - III.
The Fool - IV.
The Fool - V.

For Love is a journey, not unlike the quest,
It’s the in-betweens that matter, in the end you can rest
On your laurels or empty handed, it doesn’t matter a dime
Whether you win or lose- what matters is the grime
You collect while you travel, or whether you came out clean
Whether you were magnanimous in spirit, or were selfish and mean
And for winning took recourse to tricks that were vile
Or whether on your way you spread cheer and smile
For Love is not an object, it’s not a holy grail
That one has to find no matter- without slip or fail
It’s not something to hold, it’s a thing to share
It’s about where you have been and for what you care
It’s not an end in itself it’s a means to an end
the thing that grows more, the more you spend.

The fool has loved a little-and paid the price
Moved away from his past – no surprise
He hopes he will forget - the memories bad,
He doesn’t understand- it’s really sad,
That only memory of Love can guide him through
Without Love by his side, he’ll never make do
In the jungle out there that is waiting for him fast
Where beasts are many – it’s difficult to last
Even for a few days without a friend or guide
What joy are victories without love by his side
It’s a grim world of achievements –if it’s devoid of Love
It’s entirely up to him – whether he be an eagle or dove
But to act like a bird, he has to learn to fly
To be born again, he has to first die.

And rise form his ash like a phoenix does,
Rejuvenate himself – lose the warts and pus
And throw away the older persona that’s not true
For a newer life that is given but to few
A chance to reinvent his raison-de-etre
To find the right path and not to stray
From the journey that was always destined to be
His be-all and end-all – that was meant to be
His grail, and yet he forgot it and by Love got swamped
And in the previous life got eternally damned.
Doomed to fail both in Love and in his Quest
Pushed to oblivion- without life and zest
Just living a zombie life - devoid of qualia
Juts being another guy- inter alia.

That uncommon misery of being a common guy
Can be traded today with an ability to fly
To leap from a cliff and still be safe
To show extreme courage in danger grave
That bravura may suffice to redeem his soul
Even if he couldn’t fly- couldn’t reach his goal
Yet the courage to stir things as they were meant to be
A striving for meaning, a quest to be
Is a solace in itself and can alleviate the gloom
Of being a non-entity – of being still in the womb
And yearning for a birth that will set him free
Remove the chains of Love –fill him with glee
At having found the Grail and then rejoice
Giving birth to himself is his only choice.

One may forever postpone the journey or the quest
Deafen to one’s calling, let the beast within rest
Not lured by the grail or the damsels at stake
No heroic narrative- one can always make
A mediocre name and a life that stinks
That’s normal, boring and free of kinks
But in a haven safe- where one is used to be
No adventures or escapades or falling free
No need for dying, no need to be
No need for a makeover, no need to flee
From one’s past into a future that is uncertain and dark
That pitches the new and old in contrast stark
Just a humdrum existence marked by stasis and calm
Maybe a trace or two of Love-to soothe and balm.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Fool - V

This is a poem spread across multiple pages. Please read in order. Please click on links below to read the earlier passages from the poem.

The Fool - I.
The Fool - II.
The Fool - III.
The Fool - IV.

The actual Grail doesn’t matter in end
If one didn’t find one – one can always pretend
That it’s the journey that matters and not the goal
What if one had found the Grail – which then someone stole
Would that make the quest less worthy of a tale?
Or despite the lost Grail one would not fail
To praise the efforts that the fool undertook
Is it really his fault-if someone else took
The prize that was his- but which he failed to secure
Because he didn’t deceive-his heart was pure.
It’s not the prize that matters, its what one has suffered through
It’s just the story one tells- not what’s actually true-
That determines how one is perceived by others and self
One can always make up things– and that does help.

In creating a self-image that is positive and grand
That doesn’t get burdened with a world that’s bland
That needs to be confronted each day anew
Where failures are many and triumphs few.
One should frame a failure as a well-fought fight
Of a tunnel that’s dark-but at the end has light
Of having survived the failure as a triumph in itself
Of having kept one’s soul- of still being oneself-
As an achievement that is better than holding the Grail
One was true to oneself – one did not fail-
And sold to the Devil one’s soul in exchange
In the quest to be a winner – one did not change.
But remained the simpleton one had started with
Neither became a Faustian or a Mephistophelean myth.

It’s the simple nature, of the Fool that’s cute
One likes a hero like him, one wont substitute
A calculating and wicked man for him
Even if he could outsmart and easily win
Our Fool, yet we do not really care about the Grail
We want a simple, moving and honest tale
Not necessarily of victory or treasures to find
But of a hero valiant and also kind
Who loved and lost, yet loved again
Who could endure everything, who found the pain
Not as a curse to be avoided - that others gave
But as a blessing in disguise – that he would crave
To die once more from the hand that he loves
His heart only beats for the one he serves

And if she gives him pain, that is fine with him
What he remembers is Love- not the memories dim
Of the bad times together, of the mutual angst
He has left that beside; he just remembers that dance
Of their souls entwined in a passionate embrace
Of how he was fortunate enough to have the grace
Of Love in his life and how that gives him strength
To not lose faith- to go to any length
To serve the one who loved him so
To spread the love- to never hit low
Even if the love is unrequited or false
He has made a pledge- to not build walls
Around the ones he loves – he’ll set them free
He’ll suffer for himself- if there need be.

Hurt however he may be though,
The Fool wants this to everyone know
That he’ll love again, and this time too blind
He’ll love with his heart, not with his mind
Oh fool, he’ll just get duped again
For all his good – his efforts are vain
The quest for love is not an object to get
It is a journey, an artwork one needs to create
One cannot hope to find the Love outside
For true love one has to look inside
And make one worthy of the bride at large
And fill with sweetness one’s own heart
And love the other as one loves the Grail
And on thoughts of sacrifice not turn pale.

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Fool -IV

This is a poem spread across multiple pages. Please read in order. please click on links below the read the earlier passages from the poem.

The Fool - I.
The Fool - II.
The Fool - III.

If stories are, what we tell ourselves
It better be of glory - of fighting spells-
Of successfully finding the way out-
Despite heavy odds, how one could surmount
And though the peak was never reached
Yet the courage to strive left everyone pleased
And made one worthy of a tale
Even though the quest is old and stale
Yet courage shown against the odds
Suffices to seal ones fate as gods
It doesn’t matter what ones actual fate
Whether one ends up living or ends up as Late
Or ends up with a mundane life
a 9 to 5 job, a kid, a wife.

Yet a glorious journey, is its own reward
The end doesn’t matter, nor does the start
What matters is the effort and how you fought
Not whether you won, or the battle was lost.
The war is never over, it’s a daily strife
How you cope with it, how you handle life
Distinguishes a hero from a common man
One need not win, one only can
Hope that the battle was worth the cause
Into which one rushed, without a pause
That would have revealed the dilemma inside
Whether one fought for a cause or for one’s own pride
Or whether one fought to stop looking like a fool
And was pushed into something as one lost ones cool.

However one fought, does it matter a dime
The quest and the battles and the courage sublime
Is enough to make one a hero in time
And to not honor them is a horrendous crime
The mercenary who fights for his daily wage
The patriot who fights for his country’s sake
Both are honored while they serve the kingdom
And on death are bestowed with martyrdom
It’s hard to distinguish the causes of ones acts
We lie to ourselves; we put on acts;
And why we did something is a mystery to us
Both good and evils acts can leave us nonplussed
Whether we are masters of our fate or just playing a part
Whether we are in the driver’s seat or driven like a cart?

So it’s futile to pass judgments on the fool
That things would be different if he just kept his cool
And decided not to take the journey first hand-
Was he who did deciding? Or was it a gang
Of fools that made him, who made him plod
And these millions of fools who collectively told
A story to him of the glorious quest
Of what he was missing- and what is at best
A mediocre life that he has to swap with the quest
And give meaning to these teeming fools that pest
And rot within clamoring for meaning and space
Not satisfied with his current life’s humdrum pace-
But urging him to move –even if without an aim
Weaving a story of glory around a useless game.

A game like gambling that is wasteful alike
Whose future is uncertain-whose payoff high
But unlikely to happen and out of reach
Only leading to ruin and to integrity breach
The quest is a gamble that wont likely pay off
The Grail is sought by many – so the cynics scoff
And the chance of a fool to nail the catch
Are extremely small- there is a catch
The millions of fool that make the fool
Have already decided on which narrative to drool
The glory of the journey is enough to push
The thoughts of doom under the bush
The story one will tell is of a battle well fought
And push under the carpet the Grail one sought

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Fool - III

This is a poem spread across multiple pages. Please read in order.

The Fool - I.
The Fool - II.

The sweet allure of reinventing his self
Giving birth to oneself without much help
Of leaving one’s past behind for good
Not giving back what one’s withstood
But to strive for a world that is right and fair
Where one can dream and one can dare
To constantly renew oneself
And get rid of ill-got pelf
That desire burning strong and wild
Leads him to quests – modest and mild
-and make his life a living hell
Unrequited desires within that quell
And torment him for days at stretch-
Should he move on and miss the catch.

The catch that used to haunt his nights
To strive for which with all his might
He used to labor night and day
Come winter, autmn, spring or may
But now that she is within his beck
He somehow wants to turn the deck
And move ahead with a trip that’s long
Not certain, easy – like a song
But meandering, convoluted and contrived
May lead to grail, may take for ride
And leave him broken and forlorn
With an aching heart, a sticky thorn
Or may just end on a lighter note,
Neither grail, nor damsel , nor a prize of note

But only a weary and dreary end
No good or bad , but mediocre end
A journey without its moments of magic
That was neither glorious, nor eminently tragic
The one that could be easily relegated to past
No sonnets , poems or epics to last
And what’s for more- No damsel back home
One could have had the girl – if one lost the Rome
But only drudgery common and trite
The journey lasting like a rite
A ritual that one had to perform
A bad dream - soon forget its form
Only retain the sense of waste
A journey with such common taste.

Filled with humdrum, daily life
No passions, victories, war or strife
No ‘happily ever afters’ to boot,
No damsel, luring, acting cute-
Overshadowing the goal at large-
No goal at all – nothing real, just farce
A journey without an end in sight-
And yet not filled with tragic might
The normal quest for daily bread
with little glory that could spread.
No traps, or snares or whodunits
No heroic act that one commits
That for the boring quest could make
And afterwards as memories take.

Memories of what one did sacrifice
The courage shown, the battle cries
How valiant one did act on time
Though what one achieved was at best lime
No trophies of war or loots to say
Yet marks on skin that one proudly may
Show to others and which testify
That one did fight-one did not shy
From the battles – but did fight brave
Or make up stories of what one did save
If not an actual damsel in distress,
Yet ones honor and ones grace
Of courage shown and wounds and marks,
Of biting hard – and not just barks.

The Fool -II

This is a poem spread across multiple pages. Please read in order.

The Fool - I.

For his impending doom may one blame his mom,
Who kept him sheltered, made him prone,
To view the world as a friendly place,
And hid him in an ivory case.
Raised in a forest calm and quiet,
No friends, no enemies whom to fight,
Only animals that were wild and gay,
Were friendly, harmless-but to prey,
No violence senseless or contrived,
No humans ever in his sight,
He set forth in his quest to find,
Were others like his mother kind?
The walk will bring him face to face
With the best and worst of the human race.

He’ll get to see the world is round,
If he keeps in mind this advice sound
That to get somewhere he has to move
His goal is clear, he has to prove
That aimless striving can also serve
To move him along a solid curve
That loops back and will end at start
In the process make him quick and smart
And hone his skills of knowing the world
Whether its flat , angled or slightly curved
And know for sure the men that make it
Their quirks, their flaws and how they fake it
But to know the world and men in kind,
He has to first make up his mind.

Should he just sit and ponder awhile
On the nature of that damsels’ smile
And what it means for him at large
Or should he move ahead and barge
Into the valley that’s sharp and steep
That gives two hoot to thinking deep
And is eager to devour him fast
Into a nothingness that wouldn’t last
As he is torn to a piece of flesh
And schooled adequately for his action rash
Of leaping before looking ahead
And putting himself in the red
And ignoring the one who loved him so
Not holding back- but letting go.

Of memories that could have served him well
And saved him form the impending hell
Of journey aimless and futile
Bereft of virtue or of vile
A striving for ones honors sake
And forgetting love that made it safe
To think about the quest firsthand
But his feet eager to leave the land
Have deafened to the damsels’ cries
Her pleads, her silence, her tender smiles
And jump from place to place to boot
Eager to find the million dolor loot
They want to take him to the grail
Pushing down the thought- what if he fail?

Would the damsel still be waiting for him?
Or would have moved as per her whim
With love that’s lost and memories that fade
A private cocoon- one can’t invade
Her private space once she’s left for good
One has missed the trees and also the wood
For a journey that’s so strewn with chance
Would it work for him – a happenstance?
Where he could find the Holy Grail
Or at least a loved one he could nail
That prize would make the quest worthwhile
And after the event make him smile
And reminisce about for what he stood-
Of what he has lost and what’s now for good

The Fool - I

Perched aloft a dangerous cliff,
Percival relaxes, holds a stick,
One end of which is bound with stuff,
His mother sent with him, enough,
To last the arduous path he’ll tread,
That wise men in their hearts dread-
A journey without an aim or goal,
A quest that’s fuelled by restless soul,
A dream of tryst with Princess Right,
Of holding something worth to fight,
A break from haven safe and sound,
One foot in air, below no ground,
His eyes are looking straight ahead,
Another step and he’ll be dead.

His step is light, his heart is pure,
A recipe for disaster, sure,
He trusts in goodness of the world,
His face is bright, his hairs are curled,
He thinks his journey would be fun,
An easy walk, no need to run,
No devils lurking in the dark,
No falls, just dropping like a lark,
And songs while rising in the sky,
No need for ground, he’ll learn to fly.
His hopes are high, he’s such a na├»ve,
He doesn’t know the danger grave
Of having faith in what’s not true,
Of how to fly, he’s got no clue.

He doesn’t even feel the need,
To learn to fly, he doesn’t heed,
The warnings whispered by the winds,
About the cliff, the subtle hints,
The cry of a stone as it falls from high,
Of how that fate for him may lie,
His gaze transfixed by the horizon far,
He feels compelled by his guiding star,
To make a move, towards the place,
Where earth and sky come face to face,
Oh fool! He’ll know that world is round,
If only he could turn around,
He would spare himself a fall that could kill,
And choose a journey down the hill.

The horizon creeping his backside,
Is equally worthy of a ride,
The walk downhill will spare his neck,
His elusive goal within his beck,
He looks determined not to turn,
He has left his past, no heartburn,
No looking behind, no grief at all,
Just forward motion towards his call.
Just what beckons his forward march,
Madness, passion, a damsel dark,
Or lack of worldly wiles and ways,
Or is it just his numbered days.
He needs to fall, then he’ll learn,
That to fly and soar one has to earn,
The goodwill of the winds and wings,
Or the memory of some sweet nothings.

Or the skill to look before you leap,
Of knowing thyself true and deep,
Or a love that’s cherished and is dear,
That makes you put aside your fear,
Of heights and falls and falls and heights,
Of finding you are one of Arthur’s Knights.
Of getting involved in the quest for Grail,
Of not knowing what it means to fail.
But all that lies in future yet,
The fool has still to take that step
That would turn his world upside down,
Either break his muscles or his crown.
And reveal to him what’s in his fate,
An arduous journey or Heaven’s Gate.

The Fool's Quest: About this blog

This blog will serve as a counterpart to my psychology and neursocience blog The Mouse Trap.

This is supposed to be a literary blog, where I post my sonnets, poems and novellas and every thing else under the sun that can be reasonably associated with literature and can't be posted on my other blog. I have already written a book of sonnets and you can find it here and here.

I'll like to start with an epic-in-making that I am currently writing: It is called The Fool's Journey : or alternately, The Fool's Quest - so you know from where the title of the blog comes.

The Fool's quest is a poem in making and as such I would be adding pages as and when I write them. I request that you read in order and not in reverse order (as is common with blogs- you read the latest posts first) .