Monday, 16 July 2007

Spaced Out

close as close could be,
with no room for privacy
I have lived here
as long, I remember.
go on living
as long as I breathe.
shanties are what is home
shame has no meaning
space is but a word-
what use is it for me?

why do you smirk,
why the surprise-
this is after all my life.
born here,
watched my siblings
while they watched
my children being born.
that somehow balances
the untold guilt.

I cannot see the sky
however, I am near the earth.
lived since my birth
would stay until my demise.

would death give me liberty?!

This post was inspired by Carmi Levy@written Inc from his post Density, squared. Do check out his blog. You won't be disappointed by any of his posts.

I have put up pictures of slums from Delhi and Mumbai. Well, I cannot compare with Carmi!

PS: I think I need to polish my free verse! It has rusted over the slack weeks!


  1. everyone values their life no matter what...every life is precious no matter how they live/where they live/what they do etc etc.

    My life no longer has meaning tho...


  2. a powerful and moving piece
    thank you

  3. Those of us trapped on the bottom rung fear change as much as those at the top. In terms of living conditions, it is astounding what humans can adapt to. Our extreme Northern climate forbids any notions of shanty living.

    "watched my siblings
    Up until very recently children and parents in the Occident shared tight living quarters and the idea of personal privacy was relatively unknown and unexpected.

    I was taken in by your matter of factness..I think that is what struck me about your piece...I realise how proud we have become and the sense of entitlement that North Americans have is now as utterly revolting as it is unsustainable. The disparity between this world and mine is very troubling and cannot be ignored.

    Someday both of these worlds will be reclaimed by Mother Nature.

  4. A powerful piece and very well written.

  5. I came here from Michele's today :)

  6. You are an amazing writer Gautami!


  7. We live as we die, and we die as we live...

  8. I like the poem as it is. It's desperate and harsh. Needs no polishing my friend.

    Tomorrow is our 20th wedding anniversary.

  9. there's no problem with your free verse, Gautami. :)

    i can relate to this because i lived in one such shanty town when i was a kid.

  10. Your blog is wonderful, and what a beautiful way of expressing yourself you have. Thank you so much for commenting on my poem...I'm grateful you did because now I have found your lovely blog. I will come back and read often. :~)

  11. I am touched beyond words. This is beautiful in a tragic way. Your free verse is just fine as it is: you write so beautifully, so evocatively.

    I am now forced to look inwards, to question my own assumptions about what I have in life, and how I choose to lead it.

  12. Gautami you are hilarious! I just came from the pug's place.

    I'm a bit scared of poetry (and clowns) but I'll stick around for you girl!

  13. Very nice. Love the word choice and images here.

  14. this seems fine work for me.
    powerful write!

  15. home is home ... shanty living ... thought evoking ... for those that live in neat little surburbian homes.
    thank you for sharing and reminding us of how lucky we are.
    We do forget all the time.
    hugs for you.

  16. I don't think that you need to polish at all! This is so powerful. The photos are horrifying.

  17. The images your words create are too powerful to tamper with, Gautami. You have not gone stale or stagnant, but written the poem as it was meant to be written, I think.

  18. Gosh I cna't imagine living like that. Thanks for the link to Carmi's post.

  19. Thanks for reminding us that not everyone is as fortunate as we happen to be. The image adds even more impact to your words.

  20. the rhythm you chose is just right for the subject matter - and judging by the comments, you've struck an emotional cord as well.

  21. this is truly moving as the subject matter and the photo are both things I see everyday and also aspire to write obout. you have created a truly potent piece. your free verse skills are in no way dull, and really needs no sharpening. :)

  22. Reading this poem and thinking about the situation which inspired it reminds me of how very very lucky and blessed we are.

  23. A great piece. I often forget that there are people living in such conditions.

  24. It's nice to see you write in free verse -- the result is very powerful!

  25. very very powerful. i watched something on nova the other night about children who struggle so hard to get an education. i can't imagine living in some of the places these kids called home.

  26. A raw and powerful reminder. Very fine.

  27. Wow, I really like this. It really shows me another side of things, a side I never thought about before. Thank you.

  28. Powerful. The subject is born into resignation of what life has given him/her and accepting that there is no way out.

  29. Both power and desperation are evident in this wonderful piece! Makes me even more grateful than already am....if that’s even possible! Profound writing my dear! Just amazing!

    Peace Giggles

  30. Wow! Your poem talks to me in an important way. Bravo.