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what do you want to be?

a poem

By Mesh ToraskarPublished 7 months ago Updated 7 months ago 1 min read
Top Story - August 2023
36
Sunset (06/08/2023)

Sunday sunset behind me as

I walked away from the pub

where my father was young

till my footsteps became

decades, until my hands became

his hands, these hands.

‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎

& the rain washed off the stickiness clean

from the pub floors I scrubbed, because

I spilled a pint

of daylight and it glowed through the night.

‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎

& the rain washed off the stickiness clean

from his hands, warm

from money on fire,

& his breath, somehow

spring. Go tell my story, he yelled

my back turned towards him, as always

adding a please at the end of his sentence.

‎ ‎ ‎ ‎

Please, he tells me destroys

nothing it can’t rebuild.

‎ ‎

His mouth, still the world’s weakest arsenal

but it’s too late now to rebuild, instead

watch me rot hung upside down

from the Westminster Bridge as the blood from my lungs

empties into the Thames.

‎ ‎ ‎ ‎

Go tell my story, he whispered

put a pen to the paper and yell

whatever he did with his life

he did hungover

on fear and freedom.

Because he was told

freedom is the slow steps we take unbothered

towards the hunter.

‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎

“life is the past tense of lived”

I heard him muttering to his old man

“don’t worry it’s not the memory disease,

it’s just time travelling”

‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎

Baba”, I heard him whispering to his old man

stood by the permanent cliff edge of the world,

six feet, freshly dug

as they lowered him in a body bag,

“climb out of there, please

you never flew

in the plane your grandson will build”

‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎

Ha. Life is fucking funny.

‎ ‎ ‎

I saw a man in a navy suit crying

in a Land Rover and decided

I will never be rich. In the rain,

I saw the dry outline of my grandfather

and decided I will learn how to swim

to come here

floating on a driftwood, hungover

on survival.

‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎

Here. I swear.

Here is always all I will want to be.

vintagesurreal poetrysad poetry
36

About the Creator

Mesh Toraskar

A wannabe storyteller from London. Sometimes words spill out of me and the only way to mop the spillage is to write them down.

"If you arrive here, remember, it wasn't you - it was me, in my longing, who found you."

Reader insights

Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  2. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  3. Expert insights and opinions

    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

  3. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

  4. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

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Comments (24)

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  • Manisha Dhalani6 months ago

    Mesh, I absolutely loved reading this. Tugged on my heart's strings.

  • DreamWeaver Tales7 months ago

    Beautiful lines 💐

  • Rob Angeli7 months ago

    Well wrought piece, very impactful. Congratulations on Top Story!

  • Kelly Khoo7 months ago

    motional journey, poignant and vivid; a powerful portrayal of life. ♥️♥️💕

  • Missclicked7 months ago

    loved reading this piece, congratulations on top story!

  • Poppy 7 months ago

    Wow this was incredible. The metaphors were so clever. 'till my footsteps became decades, until my hands became his hands, these hands.' 'I spilled a pint of daylight and it glowed through the night.' 'whatever he did with his life he did hungover on fear and freedom' Those were all astounding lines. I loved reading this.

  • Whoaaa. This was so emotional and profound! Gosh this was so fantastic! Congratulations on your Top Story!

  • Caroline Craven7 months ago

    Gosh. I thought this was outstanding. Great stuff.

  • Brenton F7 months ago

    A true and brilliant piece - and my favourite part: "freedom is the slow steps we take unbothered towards the hunter." Well done and congrats on TS!

  • Bryan Buffkin7 months ago

    This was delightful to read. I wish I had something powerful to connect me back to my family. Very well done.

  • Cathy holmes7 months ago

    Wow. Another excellent piece. Well done and congrats on the TS.

  • Matthew Fromm7 months ago

    This might be the best poem I've read on here. Congrats!

  • ARC7 months ago

    Yes! So glad this got TS. Mesh - this is a beautiful, moving piece. Thank you for sharing this with us. Your real-ness and authenticity in this piece is profound and magnetic. 💙

  • Babs Iverson7 months ago

    Awesome!!! Wonderfully written!!! Congratulations on Top Story!!!♥️♥️💕

  • KJ Aartila7 months ago

    Gorgeous and vivid words - beautiful piece!

  • Ashley Lima7 months ago

    Yay! Congrats on Top Story :D

  • Dean F. Hardy7 months ago

    The interweaving of that Father Son dynamic is well done, Mesh. And it's a complicated beast that I experience in the deep down dungeon of my own thoughts about writing and my relationship with my aul fella. Congrats on a lovely piece of work.

  • Gerald Holmes7 months ago

    The power in your words always seem to reach out and grab the reader by the throat. This is truly spectacular writing. Well done.

  • Mackenzie Davis7 months ago

    So, how does Top Story feel for this one? Oh, if it hasn’t happened already, it’s coming… 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 You are doing a good job writing during a block, I must say! If this is what you produce when the words in your heart are struggling against muteness, I think I’ll keel over when they finally find their voice. My dear friend, this is wrenched from your soul, out of generations. It rests in my hand as delicate as a feather, yet carries a weight of rivers that I cannot keep, nor contain, and so I know many gallons will escape my grasp. But I will try to find them. Begin: (Okay, I’m sorry for how long this is going to be…) I hate pulling quotes from your work because they demand the entirety. So just know that the quotes I do pull are taken with full acknowledgement of their displacement. "Please, he tells me destroys nothing it can’t rebuild. ‎ "His mouth, still the world’s weakest arsenal but it’s too late now to rebuild, instead watch me rot hung upside down from the Westminster Bridge as the blood from my lungs empties into the Thames." How did you construct this?? My jaw was on the floor the first time I read it. And each subsequent time, my stomach drops just as far. It’s now the third time and I can’t fathom the depth, the love, the sorrow, the beauty, the utter genius here. You pack so much into each line, that each stanza is about a world, not just a single feeling or image. You are constructing your autobiography, your family’s history, with everything you write. Just this: "His mouth, still the world’s weakest arsenal, but it’s too late now to rebuild" — contains so much about your father, his voice, and carries a contrast to the following stanzas of whispering, of undoing his prior yell with a "please" and characterizing him with such care and depth that I cannot fully acknowledge the full glory of this man. It is simultaneously breaking my heart and filling it, reading the words of your love for him. "Watch me rot hung upside down from the Westminster Bridge as the blood from my lungs empties into the Thames." My GOD. Your love shatters you, doesn’t it? I see it spilling through the cracks of your being. Please please please continue to write about freedom. I cannot take it, these teases in each of your poems, yet I feel they are building into an atom bomb that will destroy me. Please. (And see us discuss the rubble at length.) "Life is the past tense of lived." Mind fuck. A riddle for days. Let me ponder this, yet watch me completely understand it now. I have pondered the memory disease in my grandmother, and have concluded similarly. ("Semelparous" for details.) If it were me, yes, it would be time traveling, and lived would be my present tense. I think it was for her and your grandfather. I feel your family sees the world as so beautiful. The stanza starting with "Baba…" broke me. "Stood by the permanent cliff edge of the world" -- You absolute genius. I don’t think this line will resonate with everyone. Because it’s perfect. "'Climb out of there, please…'" (Please.) I am crying. this theme of being unable to rebuild is too too beautiful and heartbreaking to bear. Will you build a plane? "Hungover on fear and freedom" "Hungover on survival." —-What a turn around. I’m seeing determination to outmaneuver the hunter. Survival is not lazy, is not lax in its op sec, is not hung up on fear, for fear breeds paralysis. Survival is driftwood at the permanent cliff edge of the world. And you leave me with an escaping gallon. "Here. I swear. Here is always all I will want to be." Yet I see your blood in the Thames. "Here" must be more. But it’s escaping. Finally. Wow. (I also don’t think you can get full appreciation of this poem without reading the essay about your father. But that could just be my bias. Yes, I did go back and reread it in the course of writing this comment/[essay].)

  • Cendrine Marrouat7 months ago

    Mesh, it's my first time reading you. You have a way with words, you paint beautiful and emotional pictures. Thank you for sharing your memories with us.

  • Roots, family, home, memories, legacy, both draining & compelling, captivating.

  • Suze Kay7 months ago

    This is such a beautiful poem. The imagery and the unique descriptions you've peppered in here work so well. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Ashley Lima7 months ago

    Mesh, this is marvelous. I love the way you've weaved everything together. It flows so rhythmically

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