Jaipur (In Brief)



Cold inside, I foolishly drink
two cups of strong hot tea.
Now I will sit awake all night
thinking of you.


Here is an older short poem about Jaipur, called the “Pink City”, in Rajasthan, India.  The picture above is not the pink stone typical of Jaipur, but then again, the poem takes place at night.  (The pic is also from Agra, sorry! It is not dissimilar.)  I am posting the poem for Fred Rutherford’s Poetics Prompt at dVerse Poets Pub, asking poets to keep things short. 

A version of this poem is in my book, “Going on Somewhere.”  Also if you like elephants (of which Jaipur has many), check out my book 1 Mississippi (which is chock full of elephants!)  

All rights reserved in photo, poem. 

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42 Comments on “Jaipur (In Brief)”

  1. I know that feeling of sitting and just living in a memory for a time, to avoid feeling alone

  2. Ursa Bowers Says:

    I loved the gentle romanticism of this piece, the double meaning of ‘cold inside,’ and the line breaks between “drink / two” and “night / thinking.” You packed a lot of emotional weight into this tiny poem 🙂

  3. janehewey Says:

    I am reveling in the succinct brilliance of this piece.
    I can feel it.
    sheeesh, karin, you have the short form down, too.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Ha! Hardly. I should try to focus more on cutting though. I always think bloggers get in a bit of a bind – there’s a quote, I think, from Madame de Sevigne about her letters — if I had more time, I would have made it shorter. Of course, that’s a bit of an excuse. k.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Ha – Jane – you know I thought I answered this comment, but I was on some mobile device I guess and I don’t know where the comment has gone. Succinctness is something I very much admire, and I thank you for your extremely kind words – but I really don’t have it down! It is absolutely something I should try to work on more, and I certainly will. It is a reason I do like forms – they tend to enforce a length limit! But really, I guess the most important element is discipline and a bit of decisiveness – deciding what you are writing about in the end, and that you are doing so much, and sticking to it. These are all things almost impossible for me. But thanks. k.

      • janehewey Says:

        I hear what you’re saying, karin. maybe you don’t feel masterful at the short form, but you have to at least consider this one’s brilliance. It is complete with texture through temperature, color through absence of color, and succinct brevity. It appeals to my abstract mind.

  4. Jamie Dedes Says:

    Lovely! And I do love your elephants.
    Off to check out your links.

    • Jamie Dedes Says:

      Any plans to put them up in Kindle? I know that’s not easy. Love the elephant book and the elephants you put up here. Completely charming. Well … next payday…

      • ManicDdaily Says:

        I don’t think the elephant book can be translated in its current format – last time I checked – although I still have the drawings and would probably be easy to re-run. I feel like it’s such a children’s book that the better move, if I could, would be to make it as a board book, or something like that.

        The poetry I should put on a Kindle. It is so hard to sell that I feel like it would be kind of an empty expense, but maybe more people would get it. I have been thinking of doing some new kindle books, but doing that one would obviously be easiest. Just write a check! Thanks, Jamie. k.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thankks so much, Jamie. I love your poem re Muir and trees, call to prayer of all kinds. Beautiful. (And I hope all is well with hospital one.) k.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks, Jamie – my comment to you also seems to have disappeared – just wanted to say how much I liked your John Muir poem, and the hospital one – hope that is okay – those feelings very understandable. Wonderful poems all of them, thanks. k.

  5. brian miller Says:

    yep tea wont take away that cold…
    just keep the lights on
    so the ghists can play….

  6. I liked this, although brief it is filled with thought. Funny how that tea works, sneaks up when you least expect it to (as here I am after sipping some!) Nicely penned.

  7. Poet Laundry Says:

    Hope the thoughts are good…and the tea too! Nicely done.

  8. Kelvin S.M. Says:

    …Karin this has a Japanese feel when read… especially the last two lines which defines the mood clearly… excellent one… smiles…

  9. nice Karin. You know, my mother can’t drink any caffeine after three o’clock she says, or she’ll be up all night, while I can have two espressos at midnight and be asleep a half hour later. Interesting how that works differently for each person. I really like how you use the awake time by thinking, shifting the direction of the poem. Very nicely done.

  10. claudia Says:

    now i wonder what’s better…the cold inside or being awake all night and the yearning…still i think…yeah…pour me a tea or two..i’d rather take the risk…

  11. Sabio Lantz Says:

    Nicely painted, though it could be anywhere: Albany, Hong Kong, Johannesburg or Pittsburgh.

    Traveling light makes traveling so much more fun. It is interesting what we carry with us.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Yes, agreed. I was at first thinking that you were right – it could have been written anywhere, but actually, I think aspects are particularly Indian. As I explained in another comment, and hadn’t focused on so much, when I was last in Jaipur, it was a while ago, and really the only safe drink easily had at that point – particularly by a young woman traveling alone and on the cheap — was hot tea. They didn’t have bottled water then–just that Thumbs Up Cola that you probably remember, and it wasn’t even always safe. (Plus I don’t drink soda.) It seems to me that you could get some legal beer in Bengal at that time, but not in Rajasthan. At least, I wouldn’t have gotten it. So in that sense, the poem is pretty much based in Jaipur (or India.) Also, Jaipur is kind of romantic – was anyway – I haven’t been there in a long time – but the pink and the stories of it –

      All that said, traveling alone always brings out great feelings of both freedom and loneliness, for me anyway. Although you do certainly meet people. k.

  12. David King Says:

    This one’s for me! (Well, not personally, of course, not the sentiment, but the delight of the read!)

  13. The poem is short but is not short of feelings. Many thanks. I enjoyed it.

    Greetings from London.

  14. I like the emotions you packed here K – Two cups of tea will surely keep me awake at night ~

  15. hedgewitch Says:

    Short has a lot to recommend it here–somehow the whole long night is crystal clear in those few lines. Short poetry is the hardest of all for me(to write, not read) but when done well, as here, is very concentrated in terms of reward.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks. Short is super difficult for me too. (I think you manage well!) It is actually one reason I sort of like sonnets – at least they will be limited to fourteen lines. k.

  16. cloudfactor5 Says:

    I agree with hedgewitch how the whole long night is crystal clear in those few lines.This reminds me of serious bouts I’ve had with insomnia which is why I never drink coffee past mid-afternoon, but you point out this knowledge with “foolishly”. penalties always waiting to be paid for being foolish!

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Ha. You know, the poem is older and was written about traveling in India by myself some years ago – in the 80s. Now, you can get bottled water and all sorts of beverages in India, but at that time, the only thing truly safe and universally available was tea (hot). so, I ended up drinking a great deal of it. Thanks for your kind comment. k.

  17. Mohana Says:

    thinking of you…*sigh*

  18. Ruth Says:

    sighing… those few words, that long sleepless night

  19. Ah, never alone when memory is invoked …

  20. Mary Says:

    Oh those sleepless nights! I’ve been there with coffee. And replaying memories doesn’t help.

  21. Tony Says:

    The tea wouldn’t keep me awake, but the traffic in Indian cities is something else. They only let trucks through the city during the night – or that was my experience in Kolkata. That coupled with the morning call to prayer from the mosques meant sleep was hard to come by… Your poem brought back some happy memories for me 🙂

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Hi Tony – I stayed about a month in Kolkota then Calcutta years ago. It was such an interesting hard place! And more recently I was in Kashmir where of course, the call to prayer was a big deal (but very beautiful.) I am glad that you enjoyed the poem! k.

  22. barbara_y Says:

    Tea. Coffee. a nibble of chocolate. Wakeful to the nth.

    I love your poem.

  23. Beautiful pleasurable words. Thank you.

    Anna :o]

  24. aka_andrea Says:

    tryg to fill the ache with something else usually leaves you more full of that ache than you were before. great job!

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