When We Meet

in the streets

where hollow buildings

aflame ask

what do we do now

what do we say

 

outside the city

where land meets sea

birds are tearing the sky

to pieces

and all the alphabets

have fallen on the ground

 

lines lead to squares and circles here

in the deep division

of the multiplying mad world

 

round and round

the clusters of burning lights

flowing into the darkness.

 

 

The above poem is from my first book Reeling (2012).

How The Heart Cries

for human suffering

it is so bad

the misfortunes

I feel eyes

watching me

all the time

my mind

is disturbed

but there is

only myself and my pain

and the suffering

is such I feel

I wish I could be a bird

but the horrors

become a mountain

they flay me

as I stand fighting

I will die

when I will

I shout

and then

I hear the birds tweet wildly

and Bombay explodes in rain

the dark city dances like a ghost

I go quiet and watch

the unhappiness begin to wash away

until my body and mind are silent as a tomb

and I feel the cosy comfort of the womb

O cradle of civilization rock me now rock me now in this rain

and thank you thank you so much for stealing away my pain.

Words

I imagine

what they

look like

in my mind

are they red black

is my mind

is it wet

is it like a mouth

words are all

I have

I tell myself

in my cave

I pave

my way out

with words

in the morning

I sing with the birds

so musical

in the sky

and with the clouds

I fly

to this

quiet place

where there

is no sound

and the world

looks so round

so beautiful

so delightful

so full

of enchantment

words make me forget

this life on rent.

 

The above poem is from my third book The Branches (2015).

First Rain

of 2014

June 4

I have cleaned

my house

and sit on my bed

that has freshly changed

bedsheet

and myself

bathed

in my T-shirt

looking at the world outside

in the rain

how the light has changed

so early in the morning

to something so different

I sit here searching

what is it

I wonder in my heart

and it is so beautiful

this deep valley opens up

that goes on and on

and a cock crows

and I listen to the ensuing silence

I look at the houses

yellow green blue white

but it’s mostly the smell

and the coolness

and again the cock crows

and there I go

through the streets

through the swishing vehicles

their lights blazing

reds oranges golds

and all those fluorescent streetlights

like dreams

passing by the buildings

the gardens

of forgotten days

when I would walk in my windcheater

amidst the fallen branches

on the footpath

the crushed yellow laburnum floating

in puddles

I would look up as always

at the balconies

and sometimes find someone

picking clothes from a line

how sweet that used to be

but often it was the trees

and the dripping raindrops

dazed in green

that quickly carried me away

to those spots of skylight

where I wandered on

and walked till I reached the moon.

 

The above poem is from my third book The Branches (2015).

In The High Green Hills Of Kasol

the sheep are led

down the wet street

my mind is a spring

by the Parvati river

how it gushes and rushes

down the rocks

as I am

whooshed

into a thousand bleating

mountain goats

led by this little shepherdess

in medieval red

how sweet

her beautiful girl face

under her cap

and I go down the grey road

leading high up

where the mountain peaks in May are still capped in snow

and as the sun comes out you see them glow

and O I am this high Himachali wooden house

looking out my dark eye windows

my roofhead of beautiful black slate sleeping in rectangles

until that black dog in Tosh takes me

down to the waterfall

and I fall down the earth path that is steep

and I sit on a rock and I weep

and as the water forces me open

I become all sound crying

Guruji I shout tears streaming down my face

and the high Himalayan snow-capped mountaintops smile

Shakespeare I cry aloud

and the white peaks dazzle like diamonds

then a bird begins to sing its sweet long note

teeee tee teeee teeeee tee tee

tee tee too too tooooo

tee tee

just like jazz

when I find

the dog asleep

behind me

and as I turn

the sparkling hills are starting to fly

Jimmy Jimmy

I say

thank you for your help

as we shout

Jai Bholenath.

In The Morning

there is birdcall

in the sky

they are celebrating

with chirp and song

and whistle

the paradise of summer

in the mist

beautiful white buildings stand

like they were eternal

in the trees gulmohur bloom

bright red

and yellow laburnum flowers

adorn the streets

and now the sun

slowly rises through the blue

in swathes of gold

but only I know

how it feels

sitting here

at my window

only I know

my burning life

turning to ash

on my tongue.

Sometimes

in the darkness at night there’s a movie in the sky

it’s always too good it’ll make you cry

as your life in trains and rooms go by.

 

Sometimes you’re in a train in the afternoon passing by

and the sea is so beautiful it’ll make you cry

and at night the stars come out to dance

and the moon climbs high.

 

Sometimes you’re at home all high and dry

and you’re doing some work by and by

and you see the birds fly slowly in the sky

and you look and look and quietly sigh.

 

Sometimes you’re at home sleeping at five

and you go sliding down your bed into the sea

and you wake up with the sound of your own cry.

 

Sometimes you’re on the street walking when you almost fly

and sometimes you’re bewildered that everything is a lie

hold your breath for a while that it might pass by.

 

Sometimes it’s best not to pry

and let things quietly lie

Sometimes it’s too much my oh my!

 

 

The above poem is from my third book The Branches (2015).

The Focus Is On A Point

Donkey Kong

Octopus

the day is longer than the verandah

summer is hot

and I know

what it is to be sad

life I cannot fathom yet

but I see the buildings and the trees

I see the roads and the cars

and the faces of the people and I am happy

only now this summer I remember all this

sitting in my room

the laburnum outside is a yellow carpet on the trees

there is so much shit in the world

chemical warfare in Syria Kashmir is burning

an iron griddle falls on a little girl’s head in Bombay

a piece of her skull gets lodged in her brain

what horror I think lying down in bed

as the afternoon sun breathes like a dragon outside my window

and then the doors of my mind close

the words I read and write become water

I hold on to my life

I can barely recognise

to claim

this is not the person I am

this is not the world I know

I think

and this is what life is

I realise

as it slowly begins to get darker

and the birds start playfully wheeling around in the sky

while I sit alone at my window watching.