Monday, January 30, 2017

The Limitations of My Senses

My eyes can see only so far;
they look so ahead
that they can't follow
the earth's curvature
to its very end.

My ears can hear only so much;
they listen so little
that they can't comprehend
the laughter of playful dolphins
and the cries of cut trees.

My hands can touch only phantom mirages;
they never turn towards
the gnarled roots of ancient forests
or the callused palms of a caring mother.

My nose can smell only fragrant privilege;
perfumes often mask
the stench of sweat and blood
that stops my world from falling,
like Atlas' mighty shoulders.

My tongue can twist only in some ways;
a muscle so atrophied
can't stretch
to include the voices
of the plundered and oppressed.

My mind can hold only so much wisdom;
the eyes of my eyes
the nose of my nose
and the ears of my ears
often lose their way
in the bewildering maze
of meaningless facts and figures.


  1. Lovely lines Madhumakhi...specially like the 'eyes of my eyes' stanza...

  2. The senses are so strong... how can we ever believe in anything else.

    1. I can't agree more. We can see the world only through the lenses of our senses- and they distort reality. So to what extent can we, or do we, perceive the world as it is?

    2. Facts always facts... look at videos for Hans Rosling. He died earlier this week... but his talks are really inspirational in the sense that it challenges us to think beyond emotions...

  3. Really love the way you have drawn the reader into your poem through your use of lovely imagery, using each of the senses!

  4. P.S. Glad to see you once again, Madhumakhi!

  5. It's all about perception as our senses guide us through the maze of reality vs illusion.

  6. This really speaks to how boxed in we are by the limitations of our own biases.

  7. Wonderful analogy. So easy to lose our way in the bewildering facts (or misfacts) and figures. Applause from my corner of the world!

  8. This is so thoughtful! Second para is my favourite - so true!

  9. I like the thoughtful self-awareness of this piece. It understands there is both beauty and baseness beyond their limitations. There is both sadness in their understanding, but I feel a sense of hope, in that it may also be a beginning to understanding what they can do within their own limitations.

  10. This is a very unique and thought provoking articulation on the foibles of the senses in a sense-driven world. It is very well written and you managed to give me pause and THINK.

  11. Luv how the soul of the poet shines through in the final verse. For yes, we do see hear taste and smell far beyond our natural senses

    This is an intriguing poem

    Thank you also for dropping by my Sunday Standard this week

    Much love...