Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep By Mary Elizabeth Frye

Do not stand at my grave and weep,

I am not there; I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow,

I am the diamond glints on snow,

I am the sun on ripened grain,

I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush

I am the swift uplifting rush

Of quiet birds in circling flight.

I am the soft starlight at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,

I am not there; I did not die.


I don’t remember the first time I came across this poem. But it made me sit up and take notice. Then, that first time around, I remember saving it as drafts in my mailbox (an ancient and anti-tech savvy thing to do, I know!). I even remember sending it to friends or at least putting it down as a to-do. Interesting as this is, I am 200% sure, I googled it and lapped up it’s wiki. There was an interesting story, badly retold by me here: the poetess wrote it to console someone who had lost their someone. She wrote it randomly on some brown paper bag and that was it. She was never a poet and was “discovered” by one of those perky little people going around looking for origins. You should just google this for a more accurate version.

Anyway, since then, this poem has come back to me so many times, through so many different media that I am beginning to find it creepy. I need someone to know that I’ve seen this and that it keeps coming back to me, repeatedly. There, it’s out of my system!

That’s all, really.

Train Travel

Empty seats welcome an uncertain traveller
Finicky and nitpicky-anticipating discomfort.

When the seats begin their journey
Monsooned scenery smiles a clean green
And clouds lean against mountains, spent.
The cool breeze charms the now comfy traveller
Blowing wet suggestive kisses, urging
Movement to mould those dreams of possibilities.

Dirty houses with their dirty smells
Lines are crossed and tempers flare.
A sudden hotness throws a blow; sticky,
The dreamer is pushed out of the dream
Making the green lose its sheen.
Pokey pines and bald mountains in fatigues
Stand around in attention obeying orders.

Huffing and puffing the journey continues
Sweat pools, frustration ebbs and sleep flows
Outside, the evening smiles on the horizon
Making nature smile back, subdued.

When the destination stops the traveller
The breeze, the greenery, the mountains-
They go away with the train;
Props for another travel.

Traveller collects around the luggage
This punch of reality smarting
Backing into life stupified
Hailing an auto and haggling.

In Paradise, By Her Side

As her lips form my name, calling out to me through the thick darkness of my sleep, I sense her doting tenor.

I would, even if I were dead.

As she comes close and wedges herself perfectly into the nick of my curled up self, I babble random nothings that she alone can decipher. I snuggle closer, wrapping my warmth around her in search of hers. Smiling that compassionate smile, she breaths in my scent, gently kissing me back to silence. There I stay in that supremely pleasurable lull between wakefulness and sleep, listening to her call me ridiculous endearments. She opens out my left palm and kisses it awake narrating for the millionth time how my soft palm was what she loved the most about me when she saw me first.

Even as I realise that I am smiling a peaceful, sleepy smile at being admired I can feel myself shift to accommodate her. As she settles down, gently gliding her right arm under my neck, her body evolving effortlessly to match my posture, I burrow into her bosom searching feverishly for the safety of a long-lost innocence. As we lay there in the clinging wraps of the early morning, all I know is her illimitable love.

As I savour in the knowledge of being truly loved, I wish to be framed for eternity in this moment, a moment of true happiness, a daily moment of being woken up by Amma.

The Life And Death Of A Dream

There has always been a peaceful turquoise dream. A permanent dream of having a person of one’s own.
A person for whom one is most special. Of being someone’s that special person.

Elaborate details of being someone’s reason for living had been sketched and re-sketched a thousand times over. Right through all this idle imagining there was an understanding that this was a dream, just a dream; an impossible indigo dream.

Implausible: stacked like audience in a theatre; having wilfully suspended disbelief; enjoying the performance. Though the longing for such a person was palpable, never once was it imagined that this royal blue dream would come into acquaintance with reality.

The dream turned a questioning shade of blue this May. Summer was blamed for the strange colour change. It took a while to reckon that the darling dream was being eaten.

Eaten whole by a nerd.

On stage the blue dream was losing colour like a 2x rewind of liquid blue in water. The spotlight switched automatically to the weirdo who stood up from his seat. Simple and regular like any other, this psycho stood.

The dream, now faintly blue, was lost for clues as to why this was happening to it. The blue dream was supposed to be eternal. Audience sleepwalked towards the exit as if the titles had scrolled. They seemed to know better. They seemed to have known all along.

On that fateful day, the dream had met Neirdpsy, the slayer of blue dreams. This blue dream grew pale, for having met the prototype of reality. He had no use for this happy blue dream because it wasn’t his to live.

As the dream lay on stage being progressively de-blued, ‘All dreams die’, waltzed the music notes. Though the spirited dreamer who gave it life would dearly be missed, this was like the limitless blue sky for the dream; Neirdpsy was here with a possibility of a real life for the dreamer.

Devoid of all hints of its blueness, the dream knew it had to die, the time had come for this blue dream to give way to a differently coloured reality.