When You See

the heaviness

the dullness

dropping dead

in you

the silence of the mind

is a kind of thought

a feeling

a poem whose

words are

looking for you

and finding

you somewhere else

closed in some

unhappy form

sinks further in blue

calling this quietness

your music

and finding how

this broken emptiness

can give shelter

calls it home.

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The World Is A Deep Green River

only last evening

I saw it

while listening

to Stan Getz

there’s nothing

so big and beautiful

and green

so freely flowing

and translucent

coming from

a place

so nice

it feels so good

this soulful music

this lonely life

and the jungles

of Brazil

are full of leopards

and trees

and the oceans

and the sky

begin to sing

the sadness

and the lovely

green river

flows by

and then

it is night

and the stars

come out

and shine

the moon

blows by

so high

and I have

never seen

the world

so big and

so beautiful

I have never

seen a river

so green

flow by

and before

I know it

the booze

is out

the palm trees

are swaying

and couples dance

in crazy ecstasy

along the

green river bank

birds of red green

blue purple

and yellow

take flight

into the night

drunk on this music

deer come to watch

peacocks strut excitedly

Stan Getz

your beautiful music

I will never forget

the world outside

my window

the buildings stand

their windows sparkling

fluorescent Stan

and they are beginning

to move

O Stan

we are now

a ship

sailing on

your green river

and here we

come towards you

Stan

over the moon.

 

  • For Stan Getz, jazz saxophonist (1921 – 1991)

 

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

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.

Trying To Take

the greyness

out of the water

till it is colourless

at the end of land

where it merges with the sky that is grey

 

trying to take the greyness out of the sky

I travel in

a city of grey

waiting

like a photograph

that is probably not there.

 

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

The Piercing Arrow Of Unhappiness

My mind is a lost mountain

I have no clue of its colour

my body I don’t know

am I a crocodile

what is my language

what do I croak

and why are

the crows cawing

did this green morning

take my life

why are the buildings

so gloomy so grey

they must be sad

like me

they must be mad

like me

O what a sight

such an unhappy light

there is no more sky

it is dead it went to sleep

long ago the children

sat in the old

and crumbling staircase quiet

how the heart stings

in the silence

I search for myself

hello lost I cry O world no more.

The Focus Is On A Point

Donkey Kong

Octopus

the day is longer than the verandah

summer is hot

and I know

what it is to be sad

life I cannot fathom yet

but I see the buildings and the trees

I see the roads and the cars

and the faces of the people and I am happy

only now this summer I remember all this

sitting in my room

the laburnum outside is a yellow carpet on the trees

there is so much shit in the world

chemical warfare in Syria Kashmir is burning

an iron griddle falls on a little girl’s head in Bombay

a piece of her skull gets lodged in her brain

what horror I think lying down in bed

as the afternoon sun breathes like a dragon outside my window

and then the doors of my mind close

the words I read and write become water

I hold on to my life

I can barely recognise

to claim

this is not the person I am

this is not the world I know

I think

and this is what life is

I realise

as it slowly begins to get darker

and the birds start playfully wheeling around in the sky

while I sit alone at my window watching.

Now It’s Like This

I look at my face

in the mirror

and it’s a waste

what is the world like

just sunlight and green

and grey and blue

and white

and me

how I feel

so many buildings

I tell you

just so many

what a knot

O by the way

when they fall backwards

what a tumble

they make

how you go

through air

straight outside

and then once again

inside this jumble

see my hands

my fingers

how the index

and middle one

tremble

see this rain

in the morning

this silence this day

my ashtray

my shoes and my socks

inside them

my black shorts

hanging from a hook

so lifeless

the chugging train outside

blows the sky apart

I see the light blue struck with silver

shimmering like water flowing

and then I find myself in this boat

beginning to float

travelling to new places

that play

with the barriers of my mind

untying anything

in a bind

of those things

I now sing

ding a ling a ling.

In The Morning

I lie down in bed

and look out at the sky

a crow caws

I find it so musical

it opens up the universe

for me

turning my heart to memory

to water

to waves

and the world throbs

to this beat

and it is so relaxing

and delightful

I write with glee

like a skater

like a fisherman

and see how all this

all this slowly disappears

and memory returns with trees

in the evening

in the rain

and now I know there is no rest

I have to be

a bird cooing

and I am stuck

so I wait

and railway platforms

bus stops

and several other places

come to mind

and I look at the crowd

I look at myself

and find it has all become

a bit too much

and I have nothing

really to say

and stare

in this air

of free confusion

blowing

and just then the rocking trains

and their loud horns

echoing down the sky

bring me back to my room

and I find myself

still writing

and there are more crows

in the sky

now cawing

and then a cock crows

from the chawls here in Mograpada

a slow long call

in the clear cool air outside

it is like an avian symphony

in the sky

I listen

to the quietness

it makes

inside my heart

I decide to put aside my art

I stop writing

and go out into the day.

 

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

Cloud And Sky

and below that blue

and then the pale yellow sunlight

then red like fire

like a furnace

and finally the world

this is my morning

how the day is so silent

like someone sleeping

and I look and wait

for it to wake

some giant creature

of air

is it desire

that burns and cools

is it all in my mind

I wonder

and then

I think of death

closest of companions

and then the world slowly wakes

the windows open

and I smile.