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).

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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.

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).