You Would Know This

the afternoon asleep

like a log

the sun pouring and pouring

its light

the streets in silence

the lone man or two out

walking slowly

as though in a dream

the cars parked

deep in slumber

with always one rusted long dead

and here sometimes

when that rare breeze blows

a stray dry leaf

dragging along the road

is loud enough

to keep echoing in your head

50 paces or more.

 

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

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Things Are Not Like That

not the way they seem

it is not about an old street

late in the evening

there is more

that we don’t know

there is the moon

bright and high up shining

and there is the

beautiful dark blue bed

of the sky in which we sleep

we are shooting stars

passing through

and our lives are short and sad.

It Was A Mellow Scene

when afternoon light faded

and evening set in

over the green grass of the gardens

the white and yellow buildings

I would look up

at a second-storey window

bathed in light and shadow

at the blue or cream paint inside

with a picture probably hanging on a wall

the afternoon lovers leaving

the pink stone benches for others

who would soon arrive

a lone car in the distance

in the last rays of the sun

turning a corner

I would find the empty footpaths

blissfully asleep in the shade of the trees

and peace moved my heart

when the first hawker

arrived pushing his cart.

 

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

You Will Have To Look

far and wide

and deep within

yourself

until the glazed bottom

turns into a green ocean

you will churn

and burn

and learn

everything you

need to know

and think

that is enough

you are wrong

to think of yourself

as King Kong

when you are being played

like a game of ping pong

ding dong

it rings a bell

and you say well

I’ve been here before

life show me

show me more

that’s the spirit I say

and if you think like this

get on your way

it’s a long time

a long time

before the day.

The Children Have Gone For A Ride

in the horse-carriage along the sea

we stand in a circle

passing a bottle of toddy

when we play football

I realise I’m so heavy I can barely run

I have zero coordination

with the ball

I fall and fall

shouting things

the wind brings back

with the sky that comes so close swaying

like a child eager to join our game.

 

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

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.

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.