I went up one night

To the rooftop, a desire to languish a-while

In the coolness of the wafting breeze outside,

Knowing, yet accepting that it was but 

A temporary escape from the stifled air

Of a peak summer’s room.

Up there I saw the vastness 

Of the deep blue galaxy dotted with diamonds;

I reached out for one, the twinkle

Enchanting my longing for just a feel of belonging,

But just short, I paused, not wanting 

To hurt the midnight satin above.

The gems saw this, and shooed me away,

A mere mortal I was after all, how could I 

Presume to want to be among them?

Grieved, I moved away, an outcast

Unworthy of a diamond,

Dying my mind instead.

The heavens saw this and as I made 

To resign to the mundane, it sent for me 

A verse written with a peacock quill.

’Twere my eyes that twinkled now

As I read the invitation to join the stars.

Before I knew it, I was swept off my feet

As sweet music from a bamboo reed

Carried me aloft, beyond the skies, 

Towards a cerulean heaven. 

Among the stars I was placed, welcomed warmly

As one of kin, a crown of glorious gems

Set to adorn my head!

Trust me, I am still the same, except that I am

Up there

And if you wish to find me, just pull yourself 

Out of the stifling and seek me with love—

You’ll see me for sure, smiling and waving at you,

A star radiating through the transparency

A light of pure poetry.

Vidya Shankar profile

Vidya Shankar, poet, writer, blogger, motivational speaker, budding mandala artist, and yoga enthusiast, is an English language teacher with experience in instructional designing and content development. An active member of India Poetry Circle (IPC), her works have appeared in national and international literary magazines, literary platforms and anthologies. She is the recipient of literary awards such as “Star Poet” by Storizen Magazine, and Asia Literary Society’s “Prasanna Jena Memorial Award 2019” and “Gitesh-Biva Memorial Award 2019”.

Her first book of poems The Flautist of Brindaranyam, a collaborative effort with her photographer husband, Shankar Ramakrishnan, was published in 2017. Her second book of poems The Rise of Yogamaya which was released in November 2019 is an effort to create awareness about mental health. She has also been on the editorial of three anthologies.

Vidya Shankar is a “book” with the Human Library, Chennai Chapter, and she also gives motivational talks at open mics. Today she lives a life of purpose by using the power of her words, both written and spoken, to create awareness about environmental issues, mental health, and the need to break the shackles of an outdated society.

Her social media handles are:

Blogger: The Quintessential Word ( http://shanvidwinsalways.blogspot.com )

Facebook: Vidya Shankar – The Quintessential Word ( https://www.facebook.com/shanvidwinsalways )

Instagram: @vidya.shankar.author

This poem was first published in Storizen Magazine December 2019

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