Poetry

is an elusive ghost

it is a lost child

a grey morning

slowly beginning

to glow

and when it’s

finally light

the birds in the sky

whistle so sweetly

that is poetry’s flower

and the buildings and streets

although they don’t speak

how brightly they shine

that is poetry’s power

and then the air

now dancing so cool

and so tenderly caressing you

that is poetry’s lover.

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Years Ago

it had settled in my head

like a scene from a picture-book

the boat-ride to the other side of the shore

a former class-teacher and her family

the derelict church and its graveyard of skeletons strewn

the long walk along the island of red earth with swaying palm trees

the sea rising like some furious living creature

frightening the child who fell into it

and rose with no support from the sky abandoned floating like a kite

farther and farther away

the man with his long bamboo pole picking a singing slipper

nothing was amiss after that nothing at all

all the pretty cottages in rows quiet in paradise peace

welcoming the stars so loud in their laughter

I cannot contain this joy rising inside me

breaking into lines of light dancing so rhythmically I remember.

 

The above poem is from my second book Circling the Sky (2013).

The Building Was In Black

and white

like a dream

so diminutive

its two storeys

its wings

its arches

its red tile roof

flashing

in light

and silence

the heart

is still there

in its place

you have straightened

your hair

you have shaved

your head

you I did not recognise

you look so different

you are in a foreign country

you are smiling

you are holding your child

and I am there too

how many of us had a clue

as the winds blew

and the birds flew

I am saying I love you.

They Were

stuck to the world

I mean to shops

banks

homes

they had gone beyond

feeling aghast

and were hanging

in the haze

that had collected

in their minds now asleep

they knew

this was a kind of death

they did not really know

and the knowing

was what they were

after

forever hanging

we can be interchanged

they said

we are anything

in the long run

down anywhere

they said

and listened to the silence.

 

The above poem is from my second book Circling the Sky (2013).

At This Time

as the morning unfolds

the white skies

and cool air

the cock crows

and Diwali firecrackers

burst in the background

the sun yesterday

burned me

blazing into my body

my head

I am still hot

and I await luck like a dog

the buildings are bones

that belong to others

I pee in the gardens

while the stars up above laugh

the moon howls through

its white and silver circle

a perfect expression

chilling my heart

you’ve got to live Dominic

I tell myself

you’ve got to fight

you’ve got to earn your life

on your four limbs

and breathe fresh air

I wag my tail

I trot

I run through

the streets of Bombay

like a wild hound

barking.

Be Calm

like the waves

that is the essence of life

that is what we are

then we become air

we become bird building bus

bee book and bartender

be at peace

as the boys bay

bury your bollocks

and bring boss

be big balloon

baboon boa and bear

be bright with the bully

brave with the bastard

benevolent with the boor

brim and bubble

berate and bray

but bop like a beetle

bing like a banshee

and bong like a bell.

The Firewall

is on fire

hearing-aid tractors

blow to nothing

in the stillness

which is still nothing in your mind

hello you say to your shadow

forgotten lost in dust

where the gas cylinder used to be

the redness with its view

charging at you

in the afternoon

this sullen day steamy sunk

so seemlessly in your blues your blacks

walking through

the old ghost

of the world

its scaffoldings its distances

and the sky so sorry

so tired

only wants to sleep

in your eyes.

 

The above poem is from my second book Circling the Sky (2013).

Now The Falling Day

how it dives

like a dove

how it is sacrificed

at the mad altar of the scorching sun

how hot the poor people burning

is this life

I ask myself

and I burst into a billion fragments

this is what life does to you

I hear the stars sing

and the oceans echo the endless waves

lashing the earth our poor mother

onto which we now fall like dust.