You Said

you were walking

with a bucket in your hand

you said God was in the bucket

you said you walked for hours

along this road in a foreign country

while cars went zzzupp zzzupp

in the afternoon

many years later I met you once

outside my house

you were drunk

you played your piano in that hall

and hit us

we sang

transported on a sea of song

we sailed to Rome

O captain at the helm

see this soldier

marching off to war

in his helmet and armour

his mother weeping

we ran like deer through the woods

chased by a burning moon

we sang and the hall rang with our voices

vive la vive la vive l’amour

your wife had died…

many years after your own death

today I think of your dark glasses

your grief.

 

– For the late Mr Fernando, Singing Master,

St Joseph’s High School, Wadala

 

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

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Sometimes You Stare

at blankness

and depend on fancy

life often does that to you

yesterday

the monkeys

stole an apple

from my living room

and left it half-eaten

on the terrace

which I found today

most of the times

we are victims

of our own nature

open to error and death

and now the birds chirp

while my illness bothers me

I don’t feel well

I want to

yet

my stomach my throat

my back my body

won’t let me

and then I hear my neighbours talk

and I know

there are other lives

billions spread out across

the globe

living with hope.

If I Was A Painter

I would paint the scene

outside my window this morning

Mograpada in mist

the small brown houses

in the distance

the railway tracks beyond

all hazy

the signal poles the buildings

and the trains slowly ambling

it’s like a scene

from some dream

a painting

in beautiful hues of whites blues and earth

I would draw

this local paradise

but it was while I was thinking this

that the best part happened

when an engine blew

its loud melodious horn

and had the final word.

 

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

Yesterday In The Evening

the sky was great

it was so dramatic

white and blue

with big light grey clouds

I haven’t seen anywhere

it was like a vast ocean full of light

with different colours and areas

at one place was a small rectangle of green

the most beautiful I’ve ever seen

and then there was the prettiest pink

and bronzed golden

as the sun was setting

the boys from the neighbourhood

had gone to the teak forest across

one lame boy stood on the road

I was on the terrace

it is really like a picture

he said

and I said yes

how true

and we stood

where we were

watching the landscape.

I Weep

from the belly of my mind.

The withered trees are silent crows.

There is not a single star

no moon in my mouth.

I am empty of myself.

I fall into water.

 

The sky emits black smoke

in great whooshes.

Birds burst into blobs of blood.

Buildings collide, collapse into rubble.

Everywhere my poor mother

distraught, dies.

 

 

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

Yesterday Mist Covered The Mountains

after the rain

you could not see them

cows are very peaceful

I like them

like their moo

life is full of change

everyday there’s something

making you different

causing you good

causing you harm

and you see the mountains today

how green they are

how carefree

the trees living their own life

and here I am slowly recovering

from my illness

like some white cloud withered like cotton

I have to live

the birds twitter all the time

so sweetly

and my life here

so different

yet so connected we are

partaking of each other everyday

I realise

and the blue sky

I thank for letting my mind fly

and gathering these words

as we pass by.

I Have Been Collecting My Thoughts

day by day

without fail

but they all

seem the same

the same old room

the same old sun

the same old buildings hum

I think I’ll be mum

rather than some dull drum

but my mind keeps pushing me

and I go from room to room

and keep forgetting myself over and over

in the morning

in the afternoon

in the grey evening light before night

when birds circle frantically in the blue

I coo

O sky fall

do not stay there so sombre

let me rise

rise and rise

unrestrained.

 

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

Cows Were Grazing

on the grass

of the teak forest floor

outside my window

it was very peaceful

last evening

now after this morning’s rain

the trees and hills shimmer green

with sunlight

yesterday a monkey came

and was looking at me

I look at myself

slowly recovering

from my illness

in the afternoon

the women

in the house opposite mine cackle

the sky is so beautiful

there are so many colours

orange blue white pink golden grey black

and yesterday

a  woodpecker

yellow body red mane

constantly pecked at my window

like it wanted to say something

now the sky

is blue

and white clouds slowly move

across it

light seeps through the leaves of the trees

I am not alone

so many birds are twittering

and they are all saying hello.

Thoughts

I am a quiet man

I have imaginary conversations with no one

All day my moods shift like waves on a beach

Speaking of the beach I love the sky and birds

I love the buildings of Bombay the sight of lit windows at night

Sometimes my mind gets charged with murderous thoughts

Making me sink like a dead animal’s skeleton in sludge

I hate crowds and noise if it’s hot I sweat a lot

When I was younger my hands and feet would get chilled in the evenings

A boring book can send me into dim despair

Amidst trees I am sad and gloomy amidst mountains and breeze serene

I love to watch sunlight on things

They become magical they take me to my childhood

If I can’t dream it’s death

I love taxi journeys bus-rides

Trains I love their sonorous horn at dawn

I love elephants

I love to watch large white clouds move slowly across the sky

When I get stuck I burn away in anger

When I see glowing streetlights snaking along the road I am lit up a 100 lifetimes over

I become a traffic policeman

I become a prostitute

I become a telephone operator

I become a waiter

I become a stray dog

I become a beggar

I become a magistrate

I become a window pane

I become a local train

I become an aeroplane

I become the falling rain.

 

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

Perspective

She stood before her gods

dazed like a zombie

the mountains are calm

outside my house

they flow in that zigzag path

and the trees are there listening

“goddess” she cried out

and that patch of houses

is glorious

in the valley below

we cannot understand

white and green

standing in the branches

so pretty

the suffering

it must be painful

let me go let me go she screamed

she thought she was 34

I look at that bald patch of brown

in the mountains

you cannot believe anything

I know

my move here

still the hills and the darkness

hold me in their arms

each night

and the birds come

and peck at my window

their red hoods

their yellow and brown bodies

and the squirrels run in the teak forest outside

we are torn and stitched together somehow

the calm in the mountains

will go with the clouds

but I will hold your hand.