And Now

after all the madness

of the night

of red blood

seeping down the sky

down my walls

I sit here blank

and unhappy

my heart is a

ship on fire

sinking

and the roaring waves

of my days

engulf me

like demons

Dominic

Dominic

they call out

and I know

I tell them

I know the gardens

I know the dew on the grass

how it feels

I know I tell them

the kiss of the moon

on my eyes

Dominic Dominic

they call out

as the water

darkens my hours

I know I tell them

the warm morning sun

on my skin

I know the air

I tell them

I am a white butterfly

how wonderful it is to fly

but

Dominic Dominic

they call

as the roaring now

threatens to drown everything

around

I know the ant’s journey

I tell them

I know how they live

I was their friend once

how sweet they are

how much of the world

is theirs

how good a family

they are

I say I know

their lives

take it easy

I say

yet Dominic Dominic

they call out

my name.

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The Old Merry-Go-Round

in my school

how it rusted

broke down

and became

dangerous

once it was green, blue, yellow, red and orange

it slowly crumpled

the small garden

it was in

became a mess

too many weddings

too much cooking

it became a wasteland

dry yellow stalks

grew in the iron

and wood

of the carousel

the mangled metal

hanging jaws

arms

angry

tilting like an old woman the sun burned away from our minds.

 

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

All Over The Grey Buildings,

the yellow-orange ones,

all over gloom dreaming.

In the evening,

in the square,

pigeons are picking on feed

in the buzz of the market.

The lanes of descending darkness

are broken by the whir of cars

and people walking past the shops

with the lights coming on;

the merchandise, the customers,

the tailoring shop, the bookshop,

the grocery stores, the saree shops,

the restaurants, the tea-sellers,

the vegetable sellers, the fruit sellers and

the flower-sellers outside the temple

calling out their wares

have now brought the moon down to Matunga.

 

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

Now This Is How It Is

inside I’m full of sadness

my mind is weaker

than a blank page

the sky mocks me from up high

so many years

I rose before it

and now

here once again

I sit

on my bed

writing this

the rains

are blowing

the emptiness

about in my life

the world lush and green

waits like a shy bride

and I see nothing

but the endless

haunted road

its beauty

its terror

and sigh

and in my mind

I see lorries go by

and think

will I go like this

into the night

full of stars

will I roar free

into the dark

will I tell the moon

horn ok please.

There Is A Block Of Sun

on one wing of my building

a long rectangle of light

from the bed in my mother’s room

where I lie reading

I see another block of sun

on the building opposite mine

and in the evening

across the choc-a-block

stretch of buildings

in Jogeshwari

all the way into the far distance

the light plays and plays

with the faded colours

of whites, orange-pinks, blue-greys

right till the very end

where nothing more can be seen

but the sky

hanging like a sleepy eye.

 

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

The Mist Takes Away

the palm trees’ worries.

They stand there dreaming.

 

You think of yourself

coming to an end,

slowly.

 

Then, the wet red roof tiles

of the houses below

breathe awake

stirring the bluewhite

in the sky

like water.

 

You see all this.

The cream buildings

bathed by the sun

smiling in glee

and the grey gloomy ones,

 

the old,

standing impassively,

and that leaves you

looking on quietly

with nothing

nothing at all

to say

to the day

waking outside

your window today.

 

 

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

And Now To Defreeze

the mind

under the melting sun

why it smells so strongly of leaves

earth has taken residence

in your mouth

your eyes see endless green rivers

and the sun

how it beats down on your head

carrying lines of poetry

between the continents

how we drink of it

and come alive

and then the world is no more

it leaves us and goes away

we breathe we just breathe

because we need to

and now when the stars come out

in the sky

you realise you can’t move

you are neither awake nor asleep

you can really do nothing

except stare at the moon

an old homeless lady haunted

how she appears slowly

by your window

peering in.

Belapur To Bandra

In the darkness of the bus depot

the bus arrives

its interiors lit fluorescent

beautiful green

I am travelling in a bus

after ages

and we turn and turn

road after road…

the neon-lit streetlights

and buildings go past…

while the bus makes a sound

like a wave…

my fellow passengers

are such quiet men

such sweet women

in this late night ride

reminding me of so many others…

O what is that guy up to

in his life…

what is she doing…

and the dead whom the sea

remembers so clearly

so eloquently

so well…

and there we already are

turning one last time

down this narrow near-midnight street

parked with cars asleep

the driver blares his loud horn

a rickshaw gets out of the way

and we race into Bandra bus depot

burning brighter than a festival.

 

The above poem is from my second book Reeling (2013).

Riding The Grey Crest,

the grey acres of the city,

the mind’s misses…

 

Who can tell you

what is what dear

returning home

at night.

 

With this grey road ahead

in the oncoming traffic

in the weariness that dies

in this noise…

 

We become ghosts

to ourselves…

Strangers passing by

in the dark.

 

 

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

Now The Dimness

has become a black stone

this is dawn

this mountain

behind which the sun rises

come steam in the desert city

of skulls and ships

see how the heat

scorches life

to rust

in this harbour

these white pigeons

how they sit at the parapets

and coo

what do they say

the barking dogs

the noise of the vehicles

have burnt my mind

to cinders

and the crows the sparrows

what are they saying

I hear the storm

rising in the red earth

and watch how the dust whirls

and at night now

the cacophony rises

the demons come out

dancing with wild abandon

their red tongues out

thirsting for rain.