Outside the World Stands

the same way we do here

our lives are haunted

we are entwined

like mad mirrors

that tear us

to shreds eventually

this is not a good life

this life of insanity

our bodies broken

our insides soured out

our minds shattered

links of thought

we cannot connect

we are lost and tiny

under the vast white sky

and we are gloomy

and then we walk

through the world

on our feet and

we take all that heat

we can’t take anymore

so we burn we burst

into flames

screaming in horror

and pain

and no amount of rain

can bring us back to life

we are now just air

who used to be someone somewhere.

The Cicadas Make Such A Beautiful Sound

all day

it is like a wave in the air

a musical cyclone

that delights you

and the sky is so blue

and everywhere around

are lovely trees

and forests and mountains

and big white clouds

sail in the sky

and the birds chirp

and fly in all their

multi-coloured beauty

and the clove

has been harvested

and it smells so nice

and the heat now dazes you

and tells you

what you always suspected

that you are not yourself

that at times you are missing

you are lost

and you wonder

where you go

in those moments

you must be somewhere

you tell yourself

but you don’t where

and what you are doing

you have simply no information

about it

you are forgetting yourself

all along the way

you are being

abandoned

in some nowhere land

waiting for the next moment

to catch up

and as you leap on to it

the cicadas begin

their haunting call

once again

rising like some

kind of wild fire

making your heart beat

and then you are simply happy

to be alive.

The Heat Is On

in Kumily

and on the

terrace

it is hot

strangely

my steel

water bottle

started leaking

and I couldn’t

see the hole

my neighbour

stands in her balcony

on the first floor

looking into a window

gazing dazed

like a zombie

the world has

turned upside down

coronavirus has set fire

to the blue skies

which are burning

and along with it

we are opened

like books

and cast away

like trash

till we soon

burn to ash

O these days are

so rash!

At This Time

as the morning unfolds

the white skies

and cool air

the cock crows

and Diwali firecrackers

burst in the background

the sun yesterday

burned me

blazing into my body

my head

I am still hot

and I await luck like a dog

the buildings are bones

that belong to others

I pee in the gardens

while the stars up above laugh

the moon howls through

its white and silver circle

a perfect expression

chilling my heart

you’ve got to live Dominic

I tell myself

you’ve got to fight

you’ve got to earn your life

on your four limbs

and breathe fresh air

I wag my tail

I trot

I run through

the streets of Bombay

like a wild hound

barking.

The Firewall

is on fire

hearing-aid tractors

blow to nothing

in the stillness

which is still nothing in your mind

hello you say to your shadow

forgotten lost in dust

where the gas cylinder used to be

the redness with its view

charging at you

in the afternoon

this sullen day steamy sunk

so seemlessly in your blues your blacks

walking through

the old ghost

of the world

its scaffoldings its distances

and the sky so sorry

so tired

only wants to sleep

in your eyes.

 

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

Now The Falling Day

how it dives

like a dove

how it is sacrificed

at the mad altar of the scorching sun

how hot the poor people burning

is this life

I ask myself

and I burst into a billion fragments

this is what life does to you

I hear the stars sing

and the oceans echo the endless waves

lashing the earth our poor mother

onto which we now fall like dust.

How The World Sulks

in the heat

like an animal

it’s too much

these dull periods

too heavy

makes me think

of life as garbage

rotten fruit peel

waste excreta

mud dirty napkins

and soiled paper

all this and then the noise

see how the vehicles go screeching

down the sky

and the birds how they fly scared

hurrying home

and the faces of the people

O it is just too much

the way the windows look

any moment now

a shard of glass

could turn you

to a piece of blobbing

blood and bone

you will go down

like everyone else

you will feel like a lame blind dog

you will smell

and you will

lose yourself

in the ensuing chaos

there you are

I see you

your bloodied body

almost gone

no arms

no legs

no torso

your face

fading away

your eyes

beginning

to close.

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.

Now The Dimness

has become a black stone

this is dawn

this mountain

behind which the sun rises

come steam in the desert city

of skulls and ships

see how the heat

scorches life

to rust

in this harbour

these white pigeons

how they sit at the parapets

and coo

what do they say

the barking dogs

the noise of the vehicles

have burnt my mind

to cinders

and the crows the sparrows

what are they saying

I hear the storm

rising in the red earth

and watch how the dust whirls

and at night now

the cacophony rises

the demons come out

dancing with wild abandon

their red tongues out

thirsting for rain.

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).