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Krishna Betai

a poem for World Toilet Day

Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay

The day I forgot to flush the toilet
Is a day I’ll never forget.
The news spread like wildfire,
A song was sung by the school choir.

The bathroom grew a terrible stink,
Worse than you’d ever think.
Lunch break was an hour away,
I couldn’t keep the thought at bay.

I became known as ‘Captain P’
By everyone except three —
Peter, Pam, and Paul —
My best friends, I loved them all.

The spot was barricaded,
“For shame! For shame!” they paraded.
A thousand thoughts raced in my mind,
I wish the clock would just rewind.

I remember…


Photo by Isabella and Louisa Fischer on Unsplash

I like circles, perfectly round,
I tell them. I like it when the leaves
On the saucer and the handle
Of the cup point in the same direction.
I like Grecian architecture —
Equidistant pillars with equidistant lines
Running from top to bottom, I tell them.
I like stacking books from A to Z
On some days, and from red to violet
On other days; it makes me happy,
I tell them. Pencils, they’re fun
To line up — like a fleet of school buses.
I like how the ice cream swivels
On top of the cone — like the slide
In my backyard, the backyard of
Well-manicured bushes and lawn.
I tell them I…


with apologies to Rudyard Kipling

Photo by Benjamin Davies on Unsplash

If you can keep your head when many about you
Are losing theirs and calling it a ruse,
If you can follow social distancing when many around you
Flout it — and not give in to their flouting too;
If you can be patient and not be tired by patience,
Or being despised, and have the strength to rise,
Or being vilified, still believe in science,
And yet not care if your breath fogs up your bespectacled eyes:

If you can keep track of days — and tell them apart;
If you can regularly exercise —…


Photo by Christian Rebero Twahirwa on Unsplash

The stage was set:
It was ten in the morning,
The crowd took their seats —
Anxious, patiently waiting.

And then, it started:
A tall man dressed in black
Made the first move; in no mood
To cut the opposition slack.

Saw it all — the trash talk,
Rising tempers, and profanities,
Whispers in the sidelines,
Devising counter strategies.

The air became hotter,
The atmosphere grew tense,
Unfolding in front of the crowd,
Each move started to make sense.

A fifteen minute recess,
Time for introspection,
The crowd took a breather,
Wondering about the ramification.

Papers were passed around
After much…


Poetry Sunday

Photo by Joshua Woroniecki from Pexels

Wait a little longer, till the crescent
Becomes a ring and nothing, once again.
Wait a little longer, maybe the pine
Has to paint itself auburn and fall
As it waits for a greener rebirth.
Wait a little longer — a second, a minute,
An hour, a day, week, month, and year
More than what you’ve been told.
Wait a little longer, it’s only a matter of
Time — transient as the wind,
The wave, and the breath.
Wait a little longer, let the pages
Wrinkle and turn yellow — the sun,
Let it dip into the blue — the tapestry,
Let it lose its shine.
Wait a little longer, it might be
Unopened, unread, but…


DFPhoto by Cristian Dina from Pexels

Hey! Just saw your message.
My phone was on mute.
BTW, your puppies are cute!
Sorry, I’m bad at texting.

I read your message
But forgot to reply.
Next time, I’ll keep an eye.
Sorry, I’m bad at texting.

Sorry for the late reply,
I was on another call.
But this joke is so funny, LOL!
Sorry, I’m bad at texting.

Thanks for being so patient.
You are too kind
To not mind.
Sorry, I’m bad at texting.

It’s been a while.
How are you?
We have catching up to do!
Sorry, I’m bad at texting.

I typed the message
But…


Poetry Sunday

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Passengers sat scattered,
huddled beside the windows, avoiding eye contact.
The crew didn’t smile as I alighted.

The doors opened to a vastly empty airport —
a sombre welcome.
Now I know why they bragged about real estate.

The place was without the aroma of coffee,
mindless mumbling, and electronic beeps;
an eeriness crept through the silence.

There wasn’t much movement save the scuffle of feet
(one hundred and twenty eight, I counted)
and a forlorn conveyor belt.

I couldn’t sense the joy of homecoming —
jaded eyes darted around, as if lost in a strange land,
trying to find their…

Krishna Betai

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