Of a simpler time – a poem

By Akhilesh; https://akhileshmagal.in/

Don’t you remember those days?
When you knew where you lived,
from the neighbours around you.
When you knew who you were,
from those loved ones who reminded you of yourself in dark times.
When houses were built to house people,
and not empty things and objects that no-one really wants.

Do you remember those days,
when the summer rains would blow from the west precisely at four in the evening?
And the kind Ajji next door will remind you that your clothes are out.
When everybody knew everybody and their everybody.
You hated the fact that you couldn’t be invisible.
Be careful what you wish for.
Today all of us are invisible in the maddening crowd,
Invisible and insignificant.

I remember those days,
when we didn’t know where we would be eating tonight.
Not for any lack, but a surplus of loving kitchens.
When, cricket was played on the streets,
until the street lamps glowed orange, or until the ball was lost.
Those unfettered days of freedom, have we tasted,
and nothing seems sweeter than that first love.

My friend, let us remember those days,
When life was far simpler.
The continuity of the past brought a comfort in a fast changing world.
Our desires were simple, our possession simpler.
Our minds in search for the truest expression of the self.
Our bodies clothed by simple expressions of the tailor,
Our hearts unmasked from the insatiable greed of being a consumer.

I remember those days,
When the streets would go quiet by seven,
And the night would cast her shadows deep into
the ancient trees that dotted the square.
When the morning would indeed be our morning,
rising with dawn to welcome the sun’s blessing into our homes.

Alas, todays illumination is without,
from cell phones that cast eerie shadows on your dim faces well into the night.
And today’s connection is to be found in an etherial realm.
We are closer and yet father than we ever could be.

I yearn for those bygone days,
where simplicity was a virtue.
And a human was still a human.

Akhilesh, India

Creative Writing Course – Poems

(Credit: Rebecca Siegel)

Describe your journey to the class:-

Rain-studded pavement
night flung open
broken thoughts.

Nibbled door, class underway,
his coat hanging on the wall
room of last week
re-arranged, missing.

This week
starts to read.


Write about someone who thinks that they are something that they are not:-

A river’s word,
we are gathered here,
ring of fates, dashed on rocks,
we try again, make it real,
homeless on the steps outside,
take her cup, fill it up,
hold it for the class,
for drunken moment, rise,
cast into the gutter in the night.

The wind howls,
there is singing.


Write about someone interacting with that person:-

The people who didn’t come back,
lost in the gaps,
gone to the Amazon, to Islington, to life,
riding the waves, talking to friends,
they who do not see the racket
walk by the ocean
have nothing to hide.



Our age of science and freedom
and depression; counselling
stopped by silence and not existing
showing must be telling,
the past an ebbing and flowing
imprisoned in the head.

Questions unlock selves
where no strength is left.
An invitation to collect your thought
from scattering heights.

(c) Samuel Ali, 2016