LifeonStreets#9: Keeping the Balance

It’s a delicate balance
These pots on a pole
Just a wee little tilt
And they’ll be all askance.
I’ll get it right, of course I must
Coz’ if I lose poise,
Them pots on the pole
Will no longer be whole.
And ‘tis not a pot to imagine me
Squatting on this very road
With a tinny begging bowl!
I’d lose my soul.

pic: Sanjay Sunart

LifeonStreets#8: Race for Grace

Race for Grace – Sateesh
When you look at me look at you
I know you see a dramatic face
Wonder, longing and genuine despair
All mixed as one, with no repair.
We are just women, both the same
Nothing old, nothing new
Warming our kids in our arms apace
Like winter leaves do the dew.
What’s the difference?  Is there a trace?
Hardly any, yet it’s seen
In many ways and more than one
For the world is but a race for grace

LifeonStreets#7: Scratch the Thought

Scratch the Thought – Wilson
I wonder how, I wonder why
I scratch my head, before I lie
It keeps it warm for work overtime
Removes the cobwebs and the grime
And helps me think on the fly.
I thought it does, until one fateful day
I came across the chance to pray,
I looked around and wondered
What to say…
I scratched my head, said out loud
Lord, I struggle to live, I no not why,
I’d like to die, but that’s a lie, and then I cried.

LifeonStreets#6: Love in Service

Love in Service – M. Ishrath
Hello Mother, Mother Superior,
Here I am on Maidan street
Feeling inferior as so many sleep
On the road, with no one, but no one
To give them food or help them eat;
Or wipe their tears as they weep.
Help me out, send someone here
To take them home and quell their fear.
To the Lord I pray, their wounds to heal
No more to roam, as love abounds
Warms their hearts and renews their minds,
Till their life again, regains its zeal.

LifeonStreets#5: The Mystery

The Mystery – Virnda Karanth
Listen pals, just see what I found
A pair of specs I hereby impound
Tell no one I warn you lest you lose
Your friends and me….
Whose it is, is our mystery to solve
We have time so let’s all resolve -
To catch this guy we seek.
Let’s find him and find out why
He abandoned his specs, was he high?
He must be here, very near the creek.
He might have stumbled and fallen,
he might be unsighted, he might be weak.

LifeonStreets#4: A Heavenly Perch

A heavenly Perch: Pic by Vrijesh
I am ensconced in heaven,
At vantage point for free
It was so much fun, up through the tree
It was designed for us, my friends and me!
We keenly watch the games people play
The sights and sounds, the clothes on display
As the master of the willow, Virat Kohli
Hits a massive six and it soars over me!
I hear the cheer and ruminate,
Over missing school, and our future fate
Will I reach the heights he’s scaled?
Or will this perch be my checkmate?

LifeonStreet#3: Destroy to Create

Destroy to Create: Pic by Vivek Gowda
When the flame flutters high, and a spark burns my eye,
I know the heat is on and it’s ready to fry.
So it’s time for you, you lump of metal,
You rusted away, now I’ll change your fettle
I’ll burn you and turn you into blades of steel
To fan us and cool us, when the heat makes us squeal.
I’ll scorch you and mend you from what you are,
Useless and harmful, into a heavenly deal.
I don’t feel bad, I’ve no regret
This is the way I earn my bread
I seek to destroy and then to create
What for all is a valuable asset….

LifeonStreets#2: The Road Ahead

The Road Ahead – Pic: Aparna
The Road ahead seems easy and clear,
But the mirror tells me it could cost me dear.
My age shows, and the trees bow
As the wind blows.
What I see reflects my life -
My basket is full, but in my mind
Speculation’s rife. Will I sell and then earn a rest
Or fail to gel, and trade my nest?
That I believe is my test.
I look ahead with a tinge of fear
And say to myself
All the best.

LifeonStreets#1: Heels on Wheels

Pic: Prabhakar Kulal

I’d love to use my useless heels
Over these frayed and rusted wheels;
I know I can’t, so your extended hand,
Tells me only you can understand.
You pull me ahead when I’m low on steam,
And ready for dead. You save me energy,
And roughed up palms, but when done with love,
It’s a basket of alms. And though you help,
You also hurt, the remains of what I feel.
But I’ll never look back or lament my fate,
You taught me that, my little mate.
My only question – Will time heal my heel?

A Preface to Poetry of a different kind – Visual Poetry

Pic by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

This is the Author’s preface to poetry that will follow in 50 separate posts – With each poem of 12 lines telling a story of life on the streets as seen through the lens of an ace photographer – Keep watching this blog for more

‘LIFE ON STREETS’ a photo contest open to all who have / had  a creative streak in them was organized by, the popular online news portal brand of Spearhead Media Pvt. Ltd, my employers, from 4th of July to the 15th of August 2016.

The contest received over 300 entries. The contest was expected to capture vignettes of street life – those emotions and expressions that people experience while on the road – and it did just that from the streets of the country.  Neither the organizers nor the eminent jury consisting of three members – Yajna Acharya, Dr Akhter Husain, and Kishan Rao, all accomplished photographers in their own right, were disappointed with the outcome.

Indeed neither was I. The moment I saw the first rushes, I was thrilled, as the photographs tickled my poetic imagination and by the end of the contest, I decided that I must try to convey to you, the reader my poetic interpretation of a selection of photographs; this book is the result.

I selected at random, 50 photographs including the seven winning ones and interpreted the thoughts of the photograph’s main protagonists’ in verse. Naturally, there can be many interpretations, and this is mine.

The poems themselves are restricted to twelve lines each which I thought enough for the lead character in the photograph, be it animate or inanimate, to express himself / herself / itself.  The language is simple, easy on the mind and easy indeed on the ear as I have tried to retain the melodious character of poetry.

The poems themselves are a mixture of the poignant, profound, and simple which aids variety and keeps the reader interested till the end. The visuals support the reader’s efforts to understand the author’s interpretations. The poems are not listed in any particular order and that in itself serves to up the sense of anticipation as you turn the page.

It is your sense of joy on reading this compilation and your critical feedback at that will give me the greatest satisfaction and motivate me to compile another one, time permitting.

Warm Regards

Brian Fernandes