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Under the Rain

We heard the wind chime, and the bells chimed along.

We found shapes in clouds, found oddities,
And a million possibilities.

He walked beside me, yet he was all around,
Overwhelmed, I could not stay rooted to the ground;
He knew it, I knew it too: to each other were we already bound.

I once called him my sun
‘Cause he brightened the planets –
When he once walked with me under the rain,
Just before the showers gathered all that I had gained.

We met again, under the rain;
To us, it seemed like a drizzle
So much our hearts would burn and sizzle,
Hidden from sight, hidden from pain,
These hidden meanings were anything but plain.

He looked over, figuring out the mystery,
Eyes narrowed, wondering why everything was glittery.
It’s the rain, I assured him, it smacks of a conspiracy.
Don’t reason it out, we’re framed to a greater degree.
Walk, let the rain fall over me:
I’d rather hide you, let the rain confound me.

He pried open my secrets, reminded me of how we met.
Suddenly the torrent sounded like a litany,
The storm, the raindrops, unravelled in a flurry.
He spoke, softly amidst the mist and dew,
The rain sprinkled upon us, delectably,
No longer am I lost, said he, now that I have found you,
And now we are one, and now my world is you.




I’ve decided today to share an excerpt from a play I am writing. This feels like poetry to me, although it’s not; it’s stark reality, somewhat harsh, somewhat judgmental.

It is a conversation between two sisters, on a rainy night. One is a dreamer while the other readily gives in to cynicism. As they talk, the living room gradually grows dark, until the girls (women, if you must) seem to be enveloped in a yellow glow, as if their words come from a distant memory.

Their names, at this stage, are not important, but for practical purposes, we’ll call them Liz and Emma. 

Emma: I would like to travel far away one day.
Liz: Where to?
Emma: Indonesia sounds dreamy.
Liz: So, you’d go there to daydream?
Emma (as if already in a distant land): Or Tanzania.
Liz: One doesn’t need to travel to go far, you know.
Emma (whimsical): “One need not be a chamber to be haunted.” Yes, I realise that more and more. But sometimes I feel that I get lost in my head. Like there is no space for more thoughts. Travelling would help me ease up.
Liz (matter-of-factly): Or bottle everything up.
Emma: If only our sorrows could be like messages rolled up and hidden away in bottles… and we would let them sail away at sea.
Liz (with a sigh): I have heard you utter weirder sentences in a day…
Emma (dramatic): Aren’t we allowed to feel the poetry of our days? (Pause. Then, inquisitive) What do you dream of, then?
Liz (playfully): Certainly not Indonesia.
Emma: Don’t you ever feel like sharing?
Liz (in a serious undertone): I dream I’m getting pushed off a cliff.
Emma: What?
Liz: I need to charge my phone.
Emma (puzzled): I heard you about the cliff!
Liz: My phone is not charging.
Emma: That’s what happens when lights go out, love. (She smiles) No electricity.
Liz (frustrated): What on earth am I supposed to do now?
Emma (back to her usual self): Breathe. We could pretend we are in another era. One where we cannot hear the buzz of computers and phones.
Liz: I’m listening.
Emma: There is just too much noise here. I wish sometimes it could be quiet. No horns blaring, no loudspeakers, no music…
Liz: Not even music?

Jazz can be heard faintly in the background, and the following scene is enacted to the music, almost like a coordinated dance. The girls seem more tangible than ever, although they retain a doll-like fragility. The music grows more distinct, yet is not part of the decor. The girls are the only ones who matter.

Emma: Not even. Let’s play ‘Questions’.
Liz: Wait, you don’t even want music…
Emma (interrupting her sister): 1-0.
Liz (indignant): Hey, we haven’t started playing yet!
Emma (now mischievous): 2-0.
Liz (impatient): Fine… (Thinking) What’s 4 * 2?
Emma (raising an eyebrow): Is that your idea of a great start?
Liz: Rhetoric! What is your idea of the universe?
Emma: How many ideas do we have in a day?
Liz: Are there more possibilities to who we can be?
Emma: Will you go on a world tour with me?
Liz (chuckling): When did you last explore our garden?
Emma: Can you say the alphabet backwards?
Liz: Why did you choose Indonesia?
Emma: Why aren’t you asking about Tanzania?
Liz: When will you stop being so childish?
Emma (suddenly vindictive): When will you stop chasing your shadow?
Liz: When…
Emma (interrupting her): When will you stop crying every night? (Pause. Guilty.) Too personal.
Liz (giving up): We will never find the error in our ways.
Emma: We will, when you stop treating me like a child.
Liz (tired of the frivolity): Game over.
Emma: Nobody wins. (Pause) Nobody ever does.



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