Life is Boredom

making many of us

wander aimlessly

in the world

but the black monkey

in the tree

climbing

to the highest branch

and sitting there

for hours without moving

is something

that makes you think

how does it do it

so still

meditating on the blue skies

and you know

that in a way

they are superior creatures

capable of contemplation

and the cat

you find

is also a superior creature

not a wasted move

how it lies lolling

on the warm floor

of the terrace

relaxing

how it can

immediately go to sleep

as you lie awake

at night

you think these things

aware of your mortality

and the cat’s and the monkey’s

and finally the world’s own death

as you stare into the darkness.

See The Dream

won’t go

see the sparrow

sitting on the grass

hopping onto the railings

and then over the grey road

to someone’s kitchen window.

What I’m trying to say is that

it is better to know this

when the heavy evening

having lost her happiness

comes to you

there quiet in your bed

it lays down in

the dark with you

then you know the meaning

of sorrow

the day changing its clothes

bored

and the stars racing in the sky

having outrun your sleep

see how this world drifts

unmoored

and when you wake in the

morning

the sparrow comes and

tells you this

then how easily

the whole thing

becomes a song

just like that

how the planes of joy

crisscross the sky

how the mind once again

comes home

and dances

delighted.

 

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

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).

I Was Walking

down the streets

bored with myself

the shops the buildings

in the evening light

looked even more bored

with themselves

my hands were chilled

with loneliness

my mind was lost

in isolation

then I saw the moon

tailing me

I turned down a road

and there it was

a few paces behind

and when I finally

entered a bar

and went up the stairs

it rolled over my shoulder

and died in my drink.

Now This Emptiness

is an old greying building

in the rain

and I climb up

its old wooden staircase

only when I reach the top

the terrace

will I be able to fly away

then I will be a bird in the sky

a kite a star a moon

orbiting the earth

I will be a cow an alligator an elephant

I will be vast silences of snow

of places and things I don’t know

but I will fly

into the darkness

and into the light

till I am free

from being me.

Last Evening

I had dinner early

and hit the bed

I couldn’t sleep

I was feeling too bored

so I got up and

went to Juhu Beach

it was wonderful

the sun was still burning yellow

in the sky

the waves were silver

the sand was golden

and it wasn’t crowded

I walked along

and spotting

some stairs

leading to a building

went and sat

down there

it was beautiful

soon I was joined

by two northeastern children

a tiny sister and brother pair

the sister older

threatened to beat me first

then quickly became my friend

and chanting nonsense rhyme

jumped down the stairs

one by one

I leaned my back

against the wall

the poet in me delighted

the loneliness in me unlocked

and looked at the sea

my heart beginning to warm

and then I found myself laughing

when I was shortly joined by

a shaggy brown stray dog

who came looking

rather purposefully

for something

all in a pant

and finding me instead

quickly slithered away.

 

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).