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).

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The Flowers Left

in the sun

stretching

beyond

and beyond

 

the everyday

that comes

keeps coming

like ghosts

 

fail, fade

in these slow

thoughts

 

that come

and go

 

here where

the fragrance

is gone

 

six storeys

above the ground.

 

 

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

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).

The Sun

arrives again

empty of light

full of talk

so much talk

it becomes real and loud conversations

and the entire L-shaped house

its furniture

its décor

its yellow walls

just there

all these years

dull and dark…

and all day

I see myself

all the time…

but there are

some moments…

like a tiny opening…

and then pure sky

the escape

at last

flying forgetting…

and refreshed

with birds in my hair

I return

to my father’s chair

by the window

and the wind blows

and blows

making my head roll

over and over

until I am blown over

to my father’s bed

and the night then

arrives beautiful

with all its lights

full of desire

and gathers me up

in her arms

taking me entranced

through all the beds

I’ve slept in

down to my mother’s womb

and beyond that

O I am blown

till I am no more

and the lights

slowly go out

in my eyes

and I sleep.

 

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

And Now The Mind

is here

just behind the ashtray

good morning day

for long I have wanted

to kiss you

feel your dew

on my lips

no more I think

the body has failed

the mind dissolved

now it’s just this endless wandering

like I’m doing now

right now

through this white desert

trying to find all these words

for company

for direction

like lamp-posts

or all day I will just be talking

to myself

not reaching anywhere

like this I can wander to a bus-stop

and even get into a bus

for a ride

and see where it takes me

now when the day just folds

itself over me like a blanket

becomes night

my body clock broken

my mind such a mix

of memory and time

my life bursts open

burns

becomes bare ashes

and then just

skeleton images I have in my mind

caricatures of myself mirrors

repetition

rhyme

a connection

ignition in time

and I feel liberated

only when I write

like riding my bicycle

as a child

through new lanes

those moments

of discovery

in the morning

finding those new buildings

lime-washed in the sun

those trees

what fun

and now it’s nice

once again

and it smells so refreshing

this early morning warmth

the coolness of this coconut water

and the silence

and the silence

so beautifully broken

by these pigeons

their bush of fluttering wings

rising in one sudden moment

my mind gets completely blown away

and then I ride through sky

the wind rushing

down the roads

the buildings speeding

the vehicles

in their silent seas

the palm trees

and their swaying leaves

whispering

come

come Dominic come.

 

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