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.

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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).

There Is The Smell

of freshness in the morning

of moisture in the air…

the empty roads

the cars still in slumber

and the buildings with

no signs of life yet

I am reminded of laburnum flowers

on the ground

the smell I can taste on my tongue

and gardens fill up my mind

with dew

just then on the snaking stretch of grey road

from my window

a man appears

walking slowly

easy step by easy step

and the curled up street

slowly begins to wake.

 

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).

This Is The Heart

that is a house

and there is grass around it

and an endless green wood

full of trees

in those trees

there are birds

that are chirping

and the blue sky

high up above that

has light glowing

here when a car passes

on the grey road

a whole new world opens up

and everywhere I see

all across the universe

there are children

skating from tree to tree

from the terrace of a white building

across pink domes floating

in the skies

pigeons enraptured cooing

cool winds blow

now lights are beginning

to come on in the houses

that look like mouses

and I live

on this road

it is evening

under these streetlights

and elsewhere in the city

the traffic is moving

these birds here

flying in the sky

it’s them

I think it’s just too much to bear

this beauty this sorrow

how do you feel about tomorrow

and then it happens

my mind goes

now there’s all kinds of shows

the whole sky can collapse

with its stars

and the darkness

without a shadow of doubt

is some creature with life

I become

and when I now

lift my eyes up

there is the moon

and Spiderman racing along the roofs

in all the windows

are dancing forms of light

it is quite a sight

it turns me into a kite

but soon these winds start blowing

there’s lightning and there’s thunder

and no more time to stop and wonder

the sky now has really opened up

and the rain is pouring all around

there is such a sound

I’m stuck at the edge of this ledge

I cannot sleep

there is no place to leap

so finally my mind

with nowhere to go

closes like a curtain

knowing at last that nothing’s certain

and into itself folds like a flower

unlike a falling lover

I’ll die when I die

bye bye.

The Elephant Men

outside the bar

do not see the buildings

falling from the dark sky

in a row they stand whispering

while we walk

everywhere the darkness appears

and stands still

till it is drunk by our eyes

and the rickshaws speeding

slowing in pools of their own light

drive through these empty streets

back into the sky

where the night today

has no stars no moon

no light to show.

 

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

I Was Walking

down the streets

bored with myself

the shops the buildings

in the evening light

looked even more bored

with themselves

my hands were chilled

with loneliness

my mind was lost

in isolation

then I saw the moon

tailing me

I turned down a road

and there it was

a few paces behind

and when I finally

entered a bar

and went up the stairs

it rolled over my shoulder

and died in my drink.

This Fire State

these melons of blood

burnt

are constantly

growing

bleeding

and when they burst

they catch fire

what will quench the thirst

here even water burns

all around

the melon people crawl

big headed

full of smoke

all over there is fire.

 

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