Fire within and without!
My natural state is leadership
not for me
to be a follower
my natural state is leadership

When existence is in flames
inside and out
not for me 
to panic
to trample over others
for me
to stay calm in mind
with cool waters
douse the fire
my fellow mates
put in the same place
by a temporal accident
the same time, the same space
the same air -
lead them away
away from danger
to live and fight
another day.

My natural state is leadership
even when I am 
of a clouded mind
a dull, tired body
pushed back by fear
and trepidation
fear I drink 
in my daily coffee
fear paid to me
by my mortgage
fear attached to me
by my possessions
fear my gains
have given me
fear of consequences
of actions
fear of not knowing
the right label
the right politics
fear of not knowing
if left is right
or right is right
fear that not knowing
is the fear
fear that there is
not enough time
to evaluate
to ponder
to know
till I know
there is not enough time
of inaction
of pussillanimity.

My natural state is leadership
I cannot but act
with blind eyes
and sharp vision
I must act
for being a leader
has consequences
and so does not being
everything has consequences
it is a maze of cause 
and effect
a complex maze
of butterfly effects
but I must act
in the hope
that a butterfly
has my name
vanity perhaps
but I must act
as a leader needs
to face the view
the open vista
the hissing caldera
the open battlefield
to lead troops into
a clear horizon
to promise.

Not for the leader
to be another number
to be forgotten easily
in that everlasting
brief moment of history
For the leader
to face the first bullet
or seem to do so
and if not dead
to be known 
as the one
the one
not to fight
what cannot be fought
to accept
in wisdom
or in foolishness
accidents of random
arrangement of genes
of space time and fellow beings
the natural state
of leadership
Fire within and without!
Fire within and without! ©Amitabh Trehan

Life as rhombus and triangles and as Enchanted Lens(es)!

Following on from my previous post – Life is a rhombus; Maybe your shapes are more complex with interesting patterns! This abstraction by the way of introduction to the following photograph of mine and as a nostalgic ode to my days of photography competition!

I spent many wonderful years being part of the Enchanted Lens Camera Club during my PhD days in Albuquerque, New Mexico (Any Breaking Bad fans here?). There was a monthly competition where you could submit upto 3 photographs judged by an expert (often a distinguished visiting photographer). Each photograph was judged out of 15 – the learning was immense as photographs rolled across the big screen one by one over a riveting two or so hours with insightful comments on each one of them!! Three photographs with the best scores in the general and some thematic categories won prizes i.e. pride,  honour and a ribbon.

Here is one of my photographs which won one of the prizes with the submission title being B-Assigned-Jagged triangles (i.e a submission in category B (amateur), Assigned (a themed competition) with the photgraph titled `Jagged Triangles’).

B-Assigned-Jagged triangles

Comments? Any guesses how the photograph happened? Hint: this is not a computer generated graphic nor is it digital!!

Life is a Rhombus

Life is a Rhombus

Your eyes are a rhombus 
your nose is a rhombus 
your circular eyeballs 
wheels on the pathways 
of the rhombus 
your lips have sharp edges; 
you chin is a wedge 
your face a rhombus

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On persistent demand from a friend, I revive this old classic. The story goes that during my student days when I used to have this poem up on my university web page at University of New Mexico, the person bacame so spooked that he almost reconsidered his move to UNM at the prospect of there being such deadly poets there!!

Once a poem is revieled to the world, it becomes the reader’s property and a canvas with some structure for the reader or listener to peg their own emotions and thoughts upon – like pegs that mountaineers nail onto a mountainside to secure ropes and feet upon to make a journey – to a summit or somewhere high. A good poet hopefully allows a free exploration across many paths guided by each individual’s thought. Thus, I would like to say much about what I was trying to convey from this rhombus shaped poem – save that is was inspired by reading about what makes a face pleasant. Over to you – please share your thoughts in the comments section below, if the poem inspires you to some!




Poetry Chaikhana on a Cold Winter Night

Buddhist temple front, Albuquerque

A short tribute to this lovely poetry blog an email from whom lands almost daily in my mailbox with a poem and commentary. I remember my cousin introducing me to this many years ago – occasionally I would read the mail but even if not, the fact that a piece of loved creativity walks into my mailbox often gives a warm feeling inside. Thanks go to Ivan M. Granger who has been running this initiative.

Here is the  beauitiful Haiku he shared:

This cold winter night
by Buson

English version by Sam Hamill

This cold winter night,
that old wooden-head Buddha
would make a nice fire

So, would you burn your beliefs for survival?

As a thanks:

Lovely Haiku, Ivan
Weather is chilly here too
Warm thoughts though I share

Have you written a Haiku? Care to share it in the comments section? Have you managed to follow the structure (5-7-5) and talk about nature in every one of them (as traditionally done apparently)?

A Single Eye

Loneliness is a strange companion.
She comes to visit me
when I am alone
or among a hundred.

She's my best friend
when I think of my brothers
out there
in some other Universe
or the whole span
of my physical existence
as the blink of someone's eye
and of their existence
as the blink
of someone else's eye
and of their existence further ---

Loneliness, my friend, my companion,
I blink my eye.

Another resurrected poem (originally published in the quarterly New Quest, a journal of participative inquiry, edited by the legendary Dilip Chitre).

Are we by ourselves in the whole wide universe? As lonely (7 billion lonely ones), we have thought a lot about this. Maybe we are not, as we discover more and more water on the moon and even that asteriods can replenish their own water!!

Poems resurrected on National Poetry Day

Today happens to be national poetry day,  I suddenly realized

and out of the tattered green book

below are a couple I have revived:

Formula Poetry

Poetry is spewn

from the exhaust pipe

of a revving car


at an unending red light

on a vast open road,

fed into mad frenzy by an imginary accelerator

held back

by real brakes, strong chains.

Poetry is a revolt

asking for the freedom of flight

poetry is a revolt against the red light;

the question is —–

does poetry turn the light green

does the revolt turn into a revolution?

Since I couldn’t stop at one, here’s another:

Day after God

What’s the good

if today

they remember me as a great poet,

if tomorrow

as a great leader

and maybe day after

as a God —-

What’s the good

if day after

they still search for Gods.


Every day is women’s day.

And they gave her a day
to raise her on a pulpit
and smile ….
to drink red wine
in their cosy homes
wash some guilt down
and smile ….
And she toils away as ever
a second person in a corner
and smiles ….

My Biased Two Cents.

Women’s day  it was yesterday I am told and now it is over. Congratulations were extended, selfies were taken, collages were made and posted on Instagram, cakes were cut and parties were thrown, it was a day for the florists and wine shops to make moolah until the next big day for the trade on the 11th of March, the mother’s day (in the United Kingdom).

Now that all the excitement around the international women’s day has died down and the men and women of this world have gone back to business as usual and the interim special status granted to women has been taken away, let me extend my heartiest congratulations to all my homies for successfully claiming one full day to ourselves after centuries of struggle for equal rights for men and women. Please don’t misconstrue me, I am not ridiculing the significance of the day, I completely…

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