The Branches

flare like an open palm

lifting me into the lap of the breeze

the azan from the mosque

is the sky caressing my heart

long cool notes

become the silence of the universe’s dawn

and now the cocks crow in relay

a clear cacophony of joy

as I fall through

the leaves of the pine trees

spread out like a net of smoke

turning into a big black langur

and I feel more

than thousands of years old

falling into my armchair

and when I go back

from the balcony

into my room here at the homestay

to take a leak later

I look at my face

in the mirror

I look at my face under

the blue woolen cap

I look at it

for more than usual

first there is only my mother’s profile

then I get a glimpse

of my father’s face

my own face

I find

it takes such a long time to see.

 

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

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The Evening’s

come to rest

in this room

my glass in its

pool of water

under dim red light

has golden whisky

silent like the walls

the pictures come alive

the side-table

and the speakers

high in the corners

cough through static

some dead singer will croon

of love

of loss

and then the bar will bristle

the conversations start to flow

forks and spoons

clatter on plates

when a glass would

fall to the floor

from someone’s hand

who couldn’t hold it anymore

and soon we’ll find the swimming ceiling

the spinning sky of misery chasing happiness

past the pale white moon

and the stone cold stars

that will finally claim us all.

 

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

The World Is As Fresh

as a green leaf

the air is a kiss

the buildings are blocks

of love smiling in the morning

the train is so much fun

under the sun

my heart beats

and the Arabian Sea

flows in all its power

then the houses of the poor

and the trees

and the ghosts say hello

to you in Bombay

and you are no more

the person you were

bicycle bells taxi horns

the endless streets

and the voices of people

you become

a wraith haunted

along with the prisoners

of love the captive living

you know their pain now

you know what it is to be alive.