How Do You

go about

these rails of thought

so fast

you can only slip off

into the blue

where the birds are flowing

in flocks

over mountainrocks

so black and beautiful

there the trees are stock still

green

creatures of another time

and the ground brown

arid

surely they know us

listening so silently

to our thoughts.

 

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

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This Fall Into The Gutter

This endless swaying of the green treetops

The beginning of the world

The tie and the bridge and the tongue burning

The hare and tortoise race

Madness

Howling men and screeching spitting women

Children hanging from trees upside down grunting like stray dogs

I swallow the oceans with all its creatures and life

I switch on all the streetlights and then I switch them off

I hound all the bars all the shops selling skulls and bones and flesh

I eat 200 cats and 400 rats and 600 bats

I eat every strand of my hair running wild

Through the shops closing shutter

And now you can imagine my fall into the gutter.

Spark

was the word

the man said

imagine the picture

the vest

the god

the fluorescent tubelight

the green walls

the grey grey Wednesday

he said the spark

had caught

it had scored the music

he could see the other houses

sailing in the moon

their windows open burning with light

the red BEST buses

creating a roar

and the lines and lines of washing

singing in the wind

he said he could now hear the music

setting the stars on fire

making them jump and dance

in the municipal gardens

where the children made new friends

and cheered and played

he said it was the spark.

 

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

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.

My Mind Has Bitten

on a big thought

with that in its mouth

it has slumped

heavy

in a corner

the thought talks its own talk

words grow out of it

building

collapsing

my mind desperately tries to reach someplace

divided in itself

disappearing

under its own weight.

 

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

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.

Everyone Loves The Sea

I had two old beds;

their headboards

of blue sun mica

were the most beautiful

things in the world.

 

There’s World War II

over the lime-washed buildings;

you can see the fighter planes,

the pilots in their

helmets and goggles at night…

 

Broken, shabby houses…

run-down bars

animal people talk…

 

Naked men and women,

emaciated, speaking

some strange language

join us in the streets…

 

In the morning when I wake

I notice the sky has backed

deeper and deeper

into silence…

 

 

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

Three Dancers

in brightly coloured shoes

scratch their scruffy hair

till they shake off a train.

In the dark at Oval Maidan

Rajabai Tower’s clock

rings its half-hour chimes at 9.30.

Beautiful red BEST buses

their interiors lit fluorescent green

go skating round the ground.

Like fallen beads from a chain

sparse groups of men in twos and threes

sit under the stars hanging hard.

And the trees so free

swaying so mightily

turn into rockets

ready to fly.

 

The above poem is from my second book Reeling (2013).

There Is A Block Of Sun

on one wing of my building

a long rectangle of light

from the bed in my mother’s room

where I lie reading

I see another block of sun

on the building opposite mine

and in the evening

across the choc-a-block

stretch of buildings

in Jogeshwari

all the way into the far distance

the light plays and plays

with the faded colours

of whites, orange-pinks, blue-greys

right till the very end

where nothing more can be seen

but the sky

hanging like a sleepy eye.

 

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