Wednesday, 16 December 2009

The curse

It was a soundless night
Leaves rustled, werewolves howled
The sun masked and moon guffawing
Four shadows quietly prowled

Gargantuan and sinister
The shadows stealthily moved up and down
A massive prison they guarded each minute
On the fringes of Bracketia town

It was a curse that lay on them
A curse that meant they knew not their names or purpose
“You will be shadows of no form or use”, cried the witch
“Until the day you find your crux”

Inside the prison lay a little girl
Captured for stealing a stale piece of bread
Her brother was dying and needed her right then
His life now dangled by a thread

She had to escape, and escape now!
So risking all, she called out to the four
“Why are you shadows and not like one of us?
And guarding us, is that your only chore?”

The shadows had never been spoken to
And each silent day made them grow more fierce
But the little angelic voice lured their souls, and how
the shadows dropped their guard and spears

“We do not know who we were or are
But we guard the prisons with all our might
Our memories have been wiped out, and our bodies stolen
we’re now just shadows in the moonlight”

“hihihi, but I love talking”
whispered the giggly fat first shadow in a hush
“I love explanations, and giving all possible details
It gives my shadowed soul a bloodless rush”

“For eg, he’d say “You’re a thief””
“But that’s just not the whole bad story is it?
But “you’re a thief (and in the future a likely murderer)”
Now this sounds worthy of a writ!”

“Ha!” Said the second shadow
“unnecessary exclamations and unnecessary additions
Have you little girl, heard of such atrocious language?
And he believe he was a writer with a mission!”

“Atrocious language he tells me!
It ought to be ‘he believe[s]’ and not ‘he believe’
But I’m open, loquacious and not reticent at all
Unlike this cold ‘Closed Mr. Steve’ ”

The little girl smiled, and laughed
at the shadows’ childish bickerings and verbal battles
“the shadows seem friendly and nice to me
Absolutely nothing like their dark exteriors that rattle”

The third shadow rose from the others
A giant squibbly form, reminiscent of a child’s curls
Bellowing out loud he said “Shut up!”
“We should be wary of over-friendly little girls”

“I have the height of a pixie,
What harm can I do to you or your brothers?
My trial’s two days after tonight's full moon,
Sigh…the thought makes my soul shudder”

The shadow which lay quiet till now
Came up to the front, joining the two verbose ones
“he’s angry with what we are, that’s all he is
From all that is pleasing, he runs”

“But I know he has immense wisdom & tolerance.
For when the judges ask his choice of sentences
A series of options, all equal in comparison
{100 years, life imprisonment, death}, he says”

“He also has a penchant for music
For he often joins staves and simultaneously played lines of music
So although he’s loud, and scariest amongst us shadows
I am the Nastiest, as most prisoners pick”

“I reveal what’s thought, and the unspoken
What’s lost, what’s hidden and what’s not
I judge what’s more, what’s less, what’s big or small
I am the leader of us shadows lot”

“My grandpa once told me a story”, said the girl
About how Bracketia lost it’s writing flair
Of four brothers who served to fill in and accentuate
lines written out of zero care”

“It’s a story that passed down in our family
And to speak it out to anybody, we’re forbidden
But since you’re shadows and do not have a body
I’m sure the rule would not apply then”

“So these four brothers had a magical gift
The Bracket family as they were called
Round, Square, Curly and Angle Bracket
All writing problems they easily solved”

“But alas, the town of Bracketia once
participated in a “Writing” battle of the towns
The Bracket family represented us and won, of course
But left on others a displeased frown”

“The witch of Hyphenia was angry
And she caught the four brothers by deceit and sham
And turned them into forms still unknown…

Wait, maybe you’re those brothers; Damn!”

The shadows stepped back startled
A jolt went right through where their hearts had once been
And the memories came flooding into their shadow minds
Their purpose of life they had now seen

Something happened, the mist lifted
The guffawing moon seemed to now smile in a mime
The girl was the crux, the revelations the ones
which freed the shadows of their no-crime

Four handsome brothers stood in their places
Watching the prison walls dissolve and disappear
Bracketia would return to the normalcy it once had
Its people would write once again without fear

So each brother has a specific purpose
They still correct and beautify what we write and speak too
So next time you use a round, square, curly or angle bracket
Just call out to the brothers, I’m sure they’ll help you



Sharmila Dasgupta said...

what a poem!!!I am inspired...

mAdMan said...

Great idea, well constructed. I like very much yaaa. :)

moi said...

Brilliant!! :)

blank_confusion said...

@ mommy: thankoooo
@ madman & moi: thanks! :)

sesh said...

inspired thinking.. very engaging execution :) i love it :)

blank_confusion said...

Thanks Seshmita :)

garam masala said...

Shreya!!I am floored!!Impeccable is what comes to my mind!!Continue writing, continue inspiring!

raghu said...

8th stanza, 1st line.. can't help but giggle along. Comes as a shock, although a pleasant one! ;-)

The poem led me to the wiki article on brackets, where I learned the specific usage of the 4 different brackets. (Although I must confess, the poem was more interesting than the article!)