Treasure Island

Vartika Pandey

(2/7/1997)

Phantoms


I be in dark when my eyes close
I be in dark when my eyes open
I be feeble, scratching over my scars

A disgraced attempt to repose
Phantoms were all my insomnia bore.

You can’t be shadows
For there are no shadows in dark
Neither angels for they lie afar
Thou are phantoms of my day
Sculpturing the memories engraved.

Resurfacing my solitude here
Whispering, “Thou cannot live in fear”
“How can be it? ”, I ask ye
Cowards! Then thou all disappear.


Mere illusions cannot scare me
I am afraid of what exists for real.

I’m freezing in my own fire
Phantoms! Thou now turn me tired
Take from me what is already yours
O tell me! What is thy desire?

One never begs on the door of a thief
I am one for I have stolen souls
Of men of destined fates,
I have left their hearts with holes.

Who asked ye to haunt me?
Every time the light fades
Who has this flame of revolt?
Buried me within layers of hate

Take from me what is already yours
And let me attempt to presume
The reason thou provide misery
To a miserable.

To pick up broken pieces of my heart,
And break them again, how are thou able?


Shattered hopes and shattered dreams
Guilt, misery, isolation and pain
Hatred, wrath, abhorrence,
Please come back to give me again

A reason for giving up
To impart my last breath
Life cannot be fueled by phantoms
In midst of hell, I ask death.

Take from me what is already yours.
Peace is so vulnerable
Among this ye come to me
Haunt me, and taunt me
Kill me, revive me
Then murder me again
Distort me.

Take from me what is already yours
Just quit intruding in my reverie
I’m enclosed within four walls
And I won’t ask to live free.


I can no more compose, so let me go
My phantoms! I discover in this woe
We are not distinct, I am thou.


How could I have known
A monologue I tell
I’m a ghost in myself
I’m a ghost in myself.

Submitted: Sunday, May 26, 2013
Edited: Friday, September 06, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

“Phantoms” was one of the earliest poems I composed during my insomniac phase. It accommodates the feelings of intense pain, torment and suffering, which are root causes of the ailment. The phantoms are apparitions that our mind creates from its experiences with feelings. They are generated from insomnia as well as induce it. Instead of being terrifying they act as reminders of the suffering underwent by the poet which is supposed to be forgotten during sleep.

‘Take from me what is already yours’ refers to the little joy in poet’s life which is already consumed up by the phantoms. Ironically, the poet requests them to take up whatever is left of it, as if they were the true owners of it. In the line ‘Life cannot be fueled by phantoms’, there is realization that only phantoms remain in poet’s life, which are not adequate for surviving. The effect of phantoms even acts during the day whenever the poet is struck by a daydream.

Constant encounters with these phantoms make me apathetic. I end up discovering a ghost in my own self. The apparitions came from within me, so they are a part of me. All the accusations then boomerang back upon myself. I am responsible for the loss of my own happiness.

This tells us that there is a phantom in everyone, which comes alive when it is nourished by extreme emotions, whether of hatred, jealousy, anger, sorrow or pain.

Comments about this poem (Phantoms by Vartika Pandey )

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  • Pradip Chattopadhyay (6/3/2013 3:49:00 AM)

    Soon from the child, the angel flew away / A phantom arrived and it's going to stay

    that's my response to this lovely work from you Vartika. Keep dreaming in and out of sleep. (Report) Reply

  • Gajanan Mishra (5/26/2013 1:01:00 AM)

    take what is yours, very good saying, true.
    I invite you to read my poems and comment and vote. (Report) Reply

Read all 2 comments »

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