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Rani Turton

Alas Alone Am I

As despair weaves a cocoon around my shadow
Alas, alone am I with my despair.
I had waited for these clouds to lift I had prayed
For these storms to cease
These deities I had tried to appease

By various diverse means; the day remained grey
The clouds did not move away.

Alas alone am I, and I tired, of constant
Conflictual battle; I do not have the necessary
Tools to open up wisdom's door;
Do not have the fierce strength to do that anymore.

There are cobwebs in my nightmares,
The night is peopled by strange shades;
Alas, alone am I, almost merging with the shadows

Dawn will come, I will walk in thy meadows.

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The Wind Doesn't Cry Mary

Tempests that howl over chimneypots
No words whispering Mary
Not a single name not a single verse in rhyme
That traffic light didn't turn blue
The wind didn't say anything at all this time.

Another time, another age, the wind
Played with us but now its through
Now there is nothing left to murmur
The wind doesn't whisper Mary

The urban lights twinkle and glow
Wet dark streets decay and buildings grow
Bombs splatter and fields decay
But that for most of us is far, far away.

The wind doesn't whisper Mary
But its true, we are still staggering along
The road is long, the wind is strong
But doesn't whisper the words of that song

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Walking Home Through the Rain

Walking home through the rain reminds me
Of those long past school days
The wet tie flying in the wind
The mud in those stiff academic shoes
Reflections and dreams of insurrection

Walking through the rain reminds me
Of trying to keep my wet shoes clean
First day at work rain drumming down
On my laborious earnest dampened head.

Walking through the rain in a foreign land reminds me
How often I longed for home: the slashing familiar rain
In alleys lined with laburnum: how even the cold betrayed me
The drops fell into eyes and then in rivulets
Leaked out treacherously again

Walking through the wet wet rain
Walking working wishing wondering
Waiting for a kind of fate

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My Father, With His Arthritic Hands

My father, with his arthritic hands
Closes his door, picks up the bow
Tucks the bit under his chin
Tunes it real low
My father can compete with the world's best bands
My father plays the violin.

His eyes are dim but the notes are clear
His hearing is faulty but we can hear
The songs that pour out from within
People outside stop to listen
When my father plays the violin.

He opens up another world
Far from stress and pain
I become a child again
As without a word
He picks up the bow, tunes it real low
My father plays the violin.

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Smoke, Mist and Nebulous Things

Tell me then your perceptions of the past
Tell me why hard facts are hard today
Facts tomorrow, then gone away
Do facts, then, rarely last?

Watching the march of time, the artefacts
The ruins they continue to dig up day by day
What remains of those wonderful beings
Who peopled our fables and myths
Smoke, mist and other nebulous things
Spirited them away

Tiptoe in history’s corridors
Crowns, coins and chariots
People, peasants, and simple folk
Just spirited clean away
Where do they lie now?
Unknowns jostling in history’s corridors.

Queens, courtesans, mothers of kings

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Dance The Slow Music, The Sandstorm Swirls

The sandstorm swirls, pebbles and sand
Hitting dour walls
Dance, dance the slow music
Elements appeasing music
Music appeasing elements

Pulse and body and sand
The music is one with the sand that whirls
Hide, hide the face that burns
Close, close the eyes that burn
Because of the storm in the city
No more passion, no more pity
There were mirages with shimmering paths
There were trodden truths and treacherous theories
And home's horizons far, far away.

Dance the slow music
Cease the howling wind, the phantoms
Of the sand that can speak with strange gifts
The old man on his rope-bed with bleary eyes

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When, In Deep Despair

When in deep despair, melancholy takes my hand
Carresses my cheek gently and for the life of me
The words don't come and I cannot speak

The words like still pools reflect dark moonless nights
Emotions that have plundered and run away
To mountain hideouts

Sensitivity and argument
Music and metronomy
Strings and wood
Voices and fingers

Leave me thus shaken by their power
Of enchantment; all that I saw and read
Felt and dreamt here and there and everywhere

When in deep despair I think of my mother's love
And my old father who always asks for me
In spite of my age; the trust and devotion

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The River That Murmurs

I will ask the river, that flows serene
I will speak to the sky
I will ask the river that murmurs

Not to ask me why
I cannot speak for myself.
That time has long since passed me by.

The river can murmur and sing
Unspent by passion: my voice
Will break like a terribly taut string.

My words will be grammatically and academically
Twisted (like that leafless tree) , unfortunately!
I want the river to speak, to speak
Alone, alone with thee.

The river can, softly and without tears
Tell you my dreams and my fears
I know you will listen:

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I Heard My Destiny Speak In An Unknown Tongue

I heard my destiny walking beside me, I heard
It speaking in an unknown tongue; I asked for ways
And where; I spoke as well as I could in
What I thought could be language it could understand.
I saw my destiny befuddled, sometimes sure
Of it’s stride, and sometimes stumbling as
I walked beside.

I heard my destiny sigh, almost as weary as I.
Then I kept the questions to myself
All my queries were as pointless and why
Should destiny explain to each and every one?
We exist, and then we go
Maybe far, far into the sky.

Tell me where to go and when
Tell me why, how and the means to get there.
I am just a bit of blood and bone
Without you my flesh is bare.

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Sixty Hours

Smoke, blasts, billowing clouds
Billowing curtains from carved windows
The railway station now also has it's widows.

The city, in a daze, unable to grasp
Daily life has stopped; now suddenly
Mumbai, in a stupor tries to awake from
This nightmare without an end.

One dawn, many down.
Second dawn, many down
Third dawn, day has come
What will this city become?

Sixty hours of tears, fears and passion
Sixty hours of waiting, hoping for compassion
The rat-tat-tat carries on, carries on
The loved ones have go on to become
Victims, heroes, or statistics
When the day is finally,

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