How Strangely We Are Built

our bodies our minds

and that strange

is the world too

beautiful and bad

nature and therefore we

are like that

our greatnesses

our stupidities

mercy mercy

peace happiness

joy I want

I wail and wail

like a child

calm I want

calm I want

to be

and that jazzbird

has arrived

and finally it is nearing dawn

and that wonderful

bird is playing

its horn

twee twee

tweuhuhuihhhu

it goes on for long

there is so much

and so beautiful

it knows it’s playing

and the music it is making

it raises its volume now

it is welcoming the sun

in its own language

it is blowing out the meaning

of its life

complicated

the gaps the turns

the stops

and now it goes back to its first note

wow what a musician

how it blows

and the trees and everyone is listening

to the jazzbird

playing another variation

now

I too should just stop writing

and listen

and now a whistler bird

is blowing its sweet long whistle louder

and the jazzbird is in the background

nature is showing its sonic parade

it is celebrating in the morning

the birds are at least

because they are the happiest

only they can fly.

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And Now Dominic You’ve Got To Get

into the rhythm of life here in Kumily

I tell myself

it’s a nice town

a nice neighbourhood

less people

the electricity yesterday

went for a few hours

but the weather

is cool and pleasant always

and there are such a lot of beautiful birds

and trees and hills and mist

this is even more beautiful

than your childhood

I tell myself

and with my scooter

I’ll ride through the streets here

the sloping roads

and I’ll travel through town

yesterday Ludger was sick

he had vomiting and a bad stomach

Claus too was ill with a sore throat and a bad cough

we relaxed in his balcony

he is a good man

and Ludger showed me birds

he brought a book from the house

where we identified some of the birds around

lots of bulbuls yellow green brown

they are beautiful

and Claus has a pool where they come to bathe

and drink water

later lots of brown bulbuls were fighting

in a tree behind us

Ludger pointed that out

and he also showed me other birds

and Claus and Omana have

a big beautiful white cat

whom they love very much

Ruby

and we locked it by mistake in the terrace

and it cried

and Omana heard it

and I opened the door

and we were joyous

especially the cat

from the terrace

you see

huge flocks of black birds fly over the mountains

and they change direction

it is all so wonderful

and then Omana

pointed out a lone white egret

that flew right above us

so sleek and swift

that was the best

and the clouds here

are the whitest

I’ve seen anywhere.

Now This Hot October Day

is bad

it will not let me think

it leaves me here

sitting stupid

and sad

I will not have this

I think of trees

and remember the time

I first encountered

a squirrel

and my wonder

at it

in the cool morning

behind my house

where I stood on

ground covered in golden laburnum

and the squirrel

grey fluffy cute

with black stripes

climbing up the tree

pointing into the blue sky

I look at the birds flying

small black ones

in flocks

and I know

I am one of them

I feel what they feel

I feel the wind on my body

and I know I am home

in this vast dome

and now as I write

the squirrel runs out of sight.

Mid-April Evening Heat

Sullen, I walk from room to room,

window to window,

bored after reading a book

I couldn’t get into all day.

 

My mind is scattered.

The maid is swabbing the floor

of the corridor,

the steamy staleness of my father’s room.

 

From the dining room window

I see the red roof tiles of the chawls in Mograpada;

they are hardly red anymore.

 

A flock of white pigeons have settled

on a roof near the mosque…

a man with a big stick appears out of nowhere

and they scatter away.

 

In the hall, the floor is wet.

It has been wiped clean.

Outside in the patch of lush green trees,

two beautiful white pigeons sit comfortably.

 

A small black bird flies across

a cable between two buildings.

A little farther away

seven or eight white pigeons have gathered

in a circle in the air.

 

Like the petals of a flower opening…

Like waves in the sky full of light…

And as I watch,

they are not there anymore.

 

 

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

How The Heart Cries

for human suffering

it is so bad

the misfortunes

I feel eyes

watching me

all the time

my mind

is disturbed

but there is

only myself and my pain

and the suffering

is such I feel

I wish I could be a bird

but the horrors

become a mountain

they flay me

as I stand fighting

I will die

when I will

I shout

and then

I hear the birds tweet wildly

and Bombay explodes in rain

the dark city dances like a ghost

I go quiet and watch

the unhappiness begin to wash away

until my body and mind are silent as a tomb

and I feel the cosy comfort of the womb

O cradle of civilization rock me now rock me now in this rain

and thank you thank you so much for stealing away my pain.

Words

I imagine

what they

look like

in my mind

are they red black

is my mind

is it wet

is it like a mouth

words are all

I have

I tell myself

in my cave

I pave

my way out

with words

in the morning

I sing with the birds

so musical

in the sky

and with the clouds

I fly

to this

quiet place

where there

is no sound

and the world

looks so round

so beautiful

so delightful

so full

of enchantment

words make me forget

this life on rent.

 

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

I Feel Stuffed

inside all this grey

and can’t get out

all the way from the sky

to this bed where I’m sitting

small unthinking

staring at the buildings

insignificant

empty

and you know how it is

when nothing matters

so there the sky stays

in all its greys

and here I am

still trying to

figure out

the whole thing

writing all this down

in my house

while outside

two vehicle horns

go off musically at

short intervals

and then I begin

to feel a little better

and shortly after that

there is this crow

in the distance

its hazy caw caw

caw caw caw

five times before fading

makes me happy

and while silence

now returns

and the world

comes back to itself

once again

the train horn blows

and writing about this

is really making me

feel good

and as I now look

at the sky

I notice it has

completely changed colour

it is this beautiful blue

in so many shades

spread out till my view

would allow

and through this

there is now

light shining.

 

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