The Old Merry-Go-Round

in my school

how it rusted

broke down

and became

dangerous

once it was green, blue, yellow, red and orange

it slowly crumpled

the small garden

it was in

became a mess

too many weddings

too much cooking

it became a wasteland

dry yellow stalks

grew in the iron

and wood

of the carousel

the mangled metal

hanging jaws

arms

angry

tilting like an old woman the sun burned away from our minds.

 

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

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Now This Is How It Is

inside I’m full of sadness

my mind is weaker

than a blank page

the sky mocks me from up high

so many years

I rose before it

and now

here once again

I sit

on my bed

writing this

the rains

are blowing

the emptiness

about in my life

the world lush and green

waits like a shy bride

and I see nothing

but the endless

haunted road

its beauty

its terror

and sigh

and in my mind

I see lorries go by

and think

will I go like this

into the night

full of stars

will I roar free

into the dark

will I tell the moon

horn ok please.

The Mist Takes Away

the palm trees’ worries.

They stand there dreaming.

 

You think of yourself

coming to an end,

slowly.

 

Then, the wet red roof tiles

of the houses below

breathe awake

stirring the bluewhite

in the sky

like water.

 

You see all this.

The cream buildings

bathed by the sun

smiling in glee

and the grey gloomy ones,

 

the old,

standing impassively,

and that leaves you

looking on quietly

with nothing

nothing at all

to say

to the day

waking outside

your window today.

 

 

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

Belapur To Bandra

In the darkness of the bus depot

the bus arrives

its interiors lit fluorescent

beautiful green

I am travelling in a bus

after ages

and we turn and turn

road after road…

the neon-lit streetlights

and buildings go past…

while the bus makes a sound

like a wave…

my fellow passengers

are such quiet men

such sweet women

in this late night ride

reminding me of so many others…

O what is that guy up to

in his life…

what is she doing…

and the dead whom the sea

remembers so clearly

so eloquently

so well…

and there we already are

turning one last time

down this narrow near-midnight street

parked with cars asleep

the driver blares his loud horn

a rickshaw gets out of the way

and we race into Bandra bus depot

burning brighter than a festival.

 

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

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.

I Am Having A Conversation With Myself

in the hills

across from me here in Bison Valley

there are beautiful thick trees

over the side of the wide hill

they are there on the hill top too

how pretty the tree tops there look

in the morning mist

the different leaves slowly becoming visible

in the slow golden sun

so sweet so calm so carefree

and straight across from me here

high up in the hill

the trees are widely spaced

their light grey trunks rise silently and gracefully

into the tree tops

now catching the sun’s light

below there is grass

on the floor of the hill

I am reminded of the Georgics

I think of Virgil

in his robe walking the hills

I think of paradise

and now the birds sing

they whistle and coo

they sweetly tweet

and one bird that

just flew past me

left me a line

what a sweet little verse

tee taa tee tee too

thank you I say

to  life

as the sun now

burns bright golden

through the leaves of the trees

its rays blasting through

straight into my eyes

I close and then

feel the warmth.

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.

When You See

the heaviness

the dullness

dropping dead

in you

the silence of the mind

is a kind of thought

a feeling

a poem whose

words are

looking for you

and finding

you somewhere else

closed in some

unhappy form

sinks further in blue

calling this quietness

your music

and finding how

this broken emptiness

can give shelter

calls it home.

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).