Mere duty

Being an impulsive emotionalist, 

I believed a sense of longing  

or the warmth felt seeing  

someone meant I was deeply  

in love with them. I refused 

to buy the adage that 

insisted that love is a verb.  

After all, I felt so strongly  

and passionately, and rivers 

of emotion expressed themselves  

through lines of poetry. Duty means  

nothing, I said. After all, didn’t it 

translate into a cold love that 

founded itself on work,  

drudgery and self-sacrifice? 

Wasn’t something so pure  

and special only  

meant to be felt  

by the soul? Hopelessly 

deluded, and quixotic, I  

didn’t realise that I’d based  

all my convictions on lies, 

self-serving delusions that made 

me complacent and never work  

on myself. The poet might have  

improved, but the person deteriorated,  

slipping slowly into an abyss where 

words and rhymes became  

everything, replacing the aubade  

and the evensong. Now stripped  

of feeling and forced to confront  

reality, I aim to work for love,  

to render it something substantial 

and not a whisper that speaks 

of the sweetest things, but  

fades as soon as it arrives.  

9 responses to “Mere duty”

  1. Thank you for inviting me to read your words, Nitin. I’m honoured. But please, please, could you change the name of your blog? If you were my child I would say, I’m going to make supper now, and when I come back, I want to see that done.
    Well, I am going to make supper now, but I’ll be back. I’ve been reading your poems and they are good. Talk you later this evening.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for accepting my invite Jane. It’s good to see you here! Yes, I’ve changed the name of the blog to ordinary person. Not very creative lol. I chose the earlier name because I found it synonymous with anonymity, but yeah you’re right, it could be perceived as something very negative. Will talk to you after you’re done with supper. And thank you for your kind words about my poems. I have a lot of catching up to do on WP. I’ve missed out on so many posts. Recovering from all manner of health issues and anxiety. But I’m glad I’m writing again.


  2. This is a poem a lot of us could empathise with. It doesn’t mean we’d be right though. I remember thinking along similar lines, that it was possible to define love and follow it as there was a manual attached. If it didn’t work, it was because of something I was doing wrong, or that he was doing wrong. I’ve also gone back to the same person I thought I knew, being the same person I thought I knew, and realising, not so much that I’d been wrong in my judgement, but that my reasoning didn’t have much to do with love. It has to be a two-way thing, each putting the other first, each thinking what would he/she want. Too often it’s one-sided, the one with the smaller ego completely subsuming their own desires because the other makes it so obvious what he/she wants. When both are giving at the same time, there is balance, acknowledgement of the giving, acceptance and gratitude. It’s not something outside reality, or something that falls or stands on the actions of one party, it’s a monument built by two people together. So don’t blame yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s such a wonderful, thought-provoking response Jane. Yes, love is a two-way street. I’ve often written about it solely from one person’s perspective thereby minimalizing the other. Those poems I think are my most self-indulgent ones that masquerade as beautiful love poems. Like you said, I don’t think defining love is possible. It is something that involves giving and taking without losing sight of yourself or the other. Like you said, it’s a monument built by two people. That’s such a simple truth and though I’ve grasped it before, I think, I’ve never let it echo within me. It’s time I do, and it’s time to find balance in relationships. I think a lot of it is instinct. If I sat and analysed everything, it might ruin the beauty of a relationship. But having said that, it’s wonderful instinct that gives and takes, not a selfish, consuming one. Thank you very much for your comment.


      1. There’s no recipe for success, just as there’s no obvious wrong path to take. You can get it wrong through immaturity, in which case, trying again later with the same person can work, or you can get it wrong because it would never work in a million years. There’s such a lot of luck involved, but there’s also hard work required, honing our own personalities to fit into the shape of the other. Like joinery. Too many people can’t be bothered to make the effort, or are simply ‘waiting’ for a Disney/Hollywood love that is mostly vacuous.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. So many different love languages….if two speak different ones they may never recognize what the other is saying unless they put the work into learning to translate. Well written, Nitin! 💞💞💞
    (so glad you changed the name of your blog, it made my heart hurt to read the old name. There is great beauty in the everyday ‘ordinary’ for those that have eyes to see 💞 )


    1. Thank you so much Dawn ❤️ I agree that we all approach love differently. Some are very romantic about it, others pragmatic, still others mature. I’m glad I changed the name of the blog too. I like being someone ordinary lol. I doubt I can handle any sort of fame or power. I prefer living in my little bubble lol

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve always said I live in a box, and I’m ok with that! I prefer it as well…of course a bubble can bounce, and that could be fun…..hmmmmm

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ha ha 😂 Yeah I’m okay with bouncing now and then. Not too much though lol

        Liked by 1 person

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About Me

Ordinary Person is a guy who likes to write. He writes fiction, essays, poems and other stuff.


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