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).

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My Mind Is A Monologue

of memory

dialogue

imagery

right now

and when I cough

from smoking

it totally disappears

and then starts

all over again

pretty soon

and then there is sky

that comes from nowhere

random combinations

of vague images

that haunt

that get stuck

that float in and out

slowly creating silence

slowing creating colour

red and blue

earth and sea and sky

and in this complete silence

a boat rows in black shadow

how beautiful the earth is now

these hills in the darkness

the pine trees and their branches

rising like smoke into the sky

how the stars hang shining

and black langurs climb the mountains

enchanted with everything

and I soon feel

I am at the bottom of the sea

and there is no greater feeling

than this beautiful blue

caressing me

I see the stars come searching

for this warmth

how they undress

and go to sleep

on the seabed

and then I find

myself turning into a whale

I take to the ocean and I swim

in the magic sleep of darkness

my mind is water

and then I stop and look

and find my belts hanging from their hooks

and I look at my grey cupboard full of books

and I open my window

and take to the sky

and I fly and fly

disappearing from view

only to find myself again

lying in bed

looking at my hairy legs

at my stomach breathing

under my orange T-shirt

and I find I am unusually calm

very relaxed

my feet warm

making funny faces

at me

and I smile to myself

thinking this is definitely different

and I feel very good

and there are these wonderful sounds outside

an aeroplane in the sky

soft

soft snatches of vehicle beeps

and then a hawker

blows his horn

and I am gone

and the sparrows are chirping

the crow is cawing

and then the pigeons coo

I love you

and sunlight climbs the sky

like a wave

and now the whole world

is shining bright golden

this is what I seek

I feel the need to speak

though I also think I should give it a break

it’s only the beginning of the week

so thank you so much

it has been simply sublime

I’ll catch up with you some other time.

 

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

I Went

down into the streets

to get a haircut

everywhere people

rushed by

motorbikes cars rickshaws

they went by the salon

behind glass I saw

pretty women

on their way to work

and when I had had

my haircut

my very short haircut

the wind ran round my head

I lifted up

into the blue skies

from my high chair

I breathed white clouds

people fled from my head

some shying to look at me

some happily amused

while one or two were clearly

angry and threatening

I went home and took

a bath

I shampooed my hair

till it stood like a forest cool calm

silent

and then the world settled

in my head

and the day curled up to me

as I read

a book in bed.

 

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

Hurriedly,

the poem

went out

into the street

even before it began.

 

The poem stretched its legs

and walked.

 

Soon, it had to

stop for breath.

 

Tired now, it wanted

to go back home,

but had forgotten

the way.

 

So the poem dragged itself

to a nearby tea seller

and sipping from

a tiny glass,

started singing:

 

Golden tea I really like. 

Steaming, golden tea.

 

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