The Purple Cape

of a comic book character

broke free from

the minds of the children

playing in the verandah.

In the wind

it floated through the dark passageway

of bathrooms bursting with stars

into the mango tree nearby.

There it remained stuck in the branches

mistaken for a bedcover

which I always cover myself with

before going to sleep.

Looking out at the sky today

from my window

it’s beautiful bright blue

everything seems perfect.

Part of the terrace

of the building across mine

is a child’s painting

from a sketch-book.

Two white pipes

rise beautifully quiet.

A crow flies next to it.

 

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

Advertisements

It Was A Mellow Scene

when afternoon light faded

and evening set in

over the green grass of the gardens

the white and yellow buildings

I would look up

at a second-storey window

bathed in light and shadow

at the blue or cream paint inside

with a picture probably hanging on a wall

the afternoon lovers leaving

the pink stone benches for others

who would soon arrive

a lone car in the distance

in the last rays of the sun

turning a corner

I would find the empty footpaths

blissfully asleep in the shade of the trees

and peace moved my heart

when the first hawker

arrived pushing his cart.

 

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

Years Ago

it had settled in my head

like a scene from a picture-book

the boat-ride to the other side of the shore

a former class-teacher and her family

the derelict church and its graveyard of skeletons strewn

the long walk along the island of red earth with swaying palm trees

the sea rising like some furious living creature

frightening the child who fell into it

and rose with no support from the sky abandoned floating like a kite

farther and farther away

the man with his long bamboo pole picking a singing slipper

nothing was amiss after that nothing at all

all the pretty cottages in rows quiet in paradise peace

welcoming the stars so loud in their laughter

I cannot contain this joy rising inside me

breaking into lines of light dancing so rhythmically I remember.

 

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

The Building Was In Black

and white

like a dream

so diminutive

its two storeys

its wings

its arches

its red tile roof

flashing

in light

and silence

the heart

is still there

in its place

you have straightened

your hair

you have shaved

your head

you I did not recognise

you look so different

you are in a foreign country

you are smiling

you are holding your child

and I am there too

how many of us had a clue

as the winds blew

and the birds flew

I am saying I love you.

It Is Too Silly

of these buildings

to come visiting

across the garden

when childhood

and youth

have gone

when middle age

has taken residence

in my body

giving me hypertension

now it’s that rocket

in the middle

of that garden

that knocks

on my mind

reminding me

of my boy glimpse

into the atmosphere

the world beyond

the sky

I could not see

well it’s that same world

where I’d like to be

O woe is me

I’m an old monkey

hanging from a tree.

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.

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).

The Thought-Act

I was thinking of a forest

of dry brown leaves

rustling in the wind,

when it occurred to me

how the sun had decided

that it could have a different

radiance in my head.

I kept this with me, real or no,

I did not really bother to check.

Things that way were different

I thought to myself.

I drifted with the winds,

knowing them to be kin,

hoping they would carry me along;

Someday, I dreamt, someday

I would extend my hand

and crush a leaf.

 

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

An Afternoon In Daze

It is a piece of golden comfort

floating somewhere.

The buildings, three-storied,

old and lime-washed, are surrounded by trees.

Hulking guardian angels of the locality.

On Adenwalla Road outside,

taxis are parked around bends,

the drivers asleep on the boot.

Another road shimmers ahead,

dazzling like a river in the afternoon light.

My father and I are walking…

there is a sugarcane stall here,

the smell of beedi smoke…

How brightly this scene glows and glows!

The jingling of the crusher

still ringing in my ears.

 

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

Tall Stories

walking down the street

at 4 pm

buildings windows grills

are a must here

these are paintings that

the children have made

see where this one leads us to

a boat another set of children

see the stillness of the water

its involvement its curiosity

and the long darkening road

at evening its quietness

humming songs for all the light there is

that the children can see

the green iron railings ringing out

its mad drumming of joy

rising right into the arms of the stars

spread out in the sky

where mother moon sails through clouds

to make it to your home.

 

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