“Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?”
(Frida Kahlo)

Balance… Balance is not symmetry. For everything in this journey of life we are on, there is a right wing and a left wing: for the wing of love, there is anger; for the wing of destiny, there is fear; for the wing of pain, there is healing; for the wing of hurt, there is forgiveness; for the wing of pride, there is humility; for the wing of giving, there is taking; for the wing of tears, there is joy; for the wing of rejection, there is acceptance; for the wing of judgment, there is grace; for the wing of honour, there is shame; for the wing of letting go, there is the wing of keeping. We can only fly with two wings, and two wings can only stay in the air if there is a balance.

Having two desired wings is perfection. And perfection is not balance. Nature seeks balance. You cannot have two coveted wings at the same time, nor can you equilibrate with just one wing. A bird with one wing is imperfect; an angel with one wing is unblessed; a butterfly with one wing is dead. Life is a balanced system of learning and evolution. Whether pleasure or pain, every situation in your life serves a purpose. So there could be no joy on this planet without an equal weight of pain to balance it out on some unknown scale.

In each of us lie good and bad, light and dark, art and pain, choice and regret, cruelty and sacrifice. We’re each of us our own chiaroscuro, our own bit of illusion fighting to emerge into something solid, something real. This verse is one such moment of discovery of the self from a shackled state of inactivity to a long-desired flight.

Crippled by memories

          and a chaos undefined,
the wings failed her
like a caged bluebird,
fluttering to no avail,
in hope of finding a nest, tried her best –
grounded, no sky to fly;

like the forlorn bird,
          her wounded soul, silent with a sigh.

Life’s bruises cleansed by time;
longing for the elixir of regeneration
she didn’t even dare,
she didn’t even try.

Hearing a birdsong
utterly sincere with every daylight’s cheer,
a calm copulated with her awakening,
transcending, ascending,

         enabling her to fly
                  yet once more
                            up, up high.


This poem is loosely inspired by the French film,
“Portrait of a Poet”, directed, filmed and edited by Kendy Ty. The short film features French poet Mai Vallee narrating one of her own poems. The movie will be screened at the Las Vegas Film Festival 2013.

Watch the movie below (Please pause the background music to stop interference with the video playing. You can do so from the “♪ Roll your Soul ♫” section on the right. Sincerest apologies for the inconvenience caused.):

In case your flash player is giving problems, you can also view it here.

Copyright © 2012-2013 Tanumoy Biswas and The Nomadic Soliloquist. All Rights Reserved.

49 comments on “Ascent

  1. Again… I do not have the words to express how lovely your musings are to my wandering thoughts… but I do thank you for sharing. This very concept has been on my mind for most of this past week… and you have shed some much needed light on my path. Best wishes ~lenise~

    • Thank you, Lenise. To be able to be a beacon to your wandering thoughts is a great treat indeed! I saw this video a few days back… and the message it propagated kept ringing inside my head, repeatedly. So thought of cooling it a bit. Glad to know that our paths crossed somehow in another realm of thoughts. 🙂

      Best wishes

  2. Beautifully expressed.. I marvel at the choice of your words.. Again all your poems have a figure of their own.. keep this going.

    • Ah, Kaushani! To have you here again is a sweet treat indeed!
      Onek dhonnobaad! It’s encouraging to know that I’m starting to develop a style of writing. Really happy, keep visiting. 🙂

  3. Reminds me of something I read many years ago (and I know I am going to butcher it, but at least I know you’ll understand). Joy and sorrow are ours, both together. While one sips tea with us, the other sleeps in our bed. The wise man has lived long enough to know that both are blessings. My love to you, Tanumoy. ~ Always, Bobbie

  4. So lyrical… and the last stanza in the shape of a bird as well!
    utterly sincere with every daylight’s cheer,
    a calm copulated with her awakening,
    transcending, ascending,

    enabling her to fly
    yet once more
    up, up high”


    • I know sir, the comments do not allow any kind of space formatting. 🙂

      Well, when I finished writing this piece, the ending was straight formatted… then I looked at it and thought, why not make it a bit artistic. So changed the spacing alignment. And must applaud your supreme perceptive powers that you could grasp it among many… because I thought it’ll just stay unnoticed! *bow to you, sir* 🙂

      • thank you :-)…..i guess i owe so much to my painting professor from my early days who taught me, among so many painting and life lessons, to always, always,…’see’.

        to these eyes it was at once serene and a powerful image, one could see it as another bird from above, or as us here, from below…..a brilliant end to your poem.

  5. This resonated too close to the “tissues of the red chambers” leaving trembles trembling. Ah, Huzoor, I suppose that balance in “caged bluebirds” are such that they not only carry wings, but in some secret parts within them, they also carry their own wind too. Bas, woh ek parvaaz ki intezaar mein hai saaraa falak shayad….

    Have I told you lately how much I love reading your profound thoughts here — on this beacon of a blog!

    *looks into your left eye… and smiles gently*

    • “…that they not only carry wings, but in some secret parts within them, they also carry their own wind…” – Wow! You never cease to amaze me with your thoughts. Like the cool breeze by the river, you simply regenerate the written piece with your musical words. Shukraan! 🙂

      And I cannot explain how humbled I’m feeling right now to know that I could stir such a lovely soul like yours. *bliss* 🙂

  6. My dearest sweet friend, I have nominated you for the Super Sweet Award! Congratulations, please visit this link:

  7. Like pic above I held out my finger and a butterfly did come to rest. It was black with yellow dots. It was a memorable moment and I felt very connected with all life for a moment.

  8. “So there could be no joy on this planet without an equal weight of pain to balance it out on some unknown scale.”

    So wise and true, Tanumoy! Most of us, including myself, have not truly grasped this wisdom. The lack of learning this lesson leads to a lot of unhappiness and despair. Once we understand it truly, we can accept the blows of fate with more balance and contentment realizing that whatever happens to us is for a reason, and we wouldn’t have the good times without the bad.

    • Ah, your words act as a soothing balm. A relief that yes, goodness is in everyone. You remind me of the goodness in me, stored or hidden somewhere inside me. Thank you for the stirring up and thank you for the lovely words. May our souls attain that supreme state of balance and spread happiness and peace all around. 🙂

  9. We are a paradox of parallel. Frida is on my heart’s list of things to blog. But where your words flow in abundance, mine often dance with delight at the tip of my tongue only to scatter off, out of reach. I am just thankful you choose to share your words and not hold them miserly to your soul. You are a gift to the world.

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