First Rain

of 2014

June 4

I have cleaned

my house

and sit on my bed

that has freshly changed

bedsheet

and myself

bathed

in my T-shirt

looking at the world outside

in the rain

how the light has changed

so early in the morning

to something so different

I sit here searching

what is it

I wonder in my heart

and it is so beautiful

this deep valley opens up

that goes on and on

and a cock crows

and I listen to the ensuing silence

I look at the houses

yellow green blue white

but it’s mostly the smell

and the coolness

and again the cock crows

and there I go

through the streets

through the swishing vehicles

their lights blazing

reds oranges golds

and all those fluorescent streetlights

like dreams

passing by the buildings

the gardens

of forgotten days

when I would walk in my windcheater

amidst the fallen branches

on the footpath

the crushed yellow laburnum floating

in puddles

I would look up as always

at the balconies

and sometimes find someone

picking clothes from a line

how sweet that used to be

but often it was the trees

and the dripping raindrops

dazed in green

that quickly carried me away

to those spots of skylight

where I wandered on

and walked till I reached the moon.

 

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

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Dreams, Diaries of Loss

That is what they are

always the remembering

the thinking in space

but here you probably have something

I mean the day’s done dead and all that

still, the moon comes to weep on your shoulder

you know this gives comfort

this remembering

picking up your umbrella ready to leave in the rain

you know these tears you cannot weep are not yours

drink a glass of water

pick up your umbrella and go into the rain

the road the ride everything you take with you in the backseat of the autorickshaw

going into the night that melts like ink in these streets

in your mind

is the way things work

this giving away that you know you live for

the gathering the going.

 

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

Right Now

I would like to be

in that huge airy market.

I want to be there

under its high roof;

the fisherwomen cackling

with their customers

and big fish hung from iron hooks.

I want to hear the sound

of knife chops on

worn wood,

the floor wet and slippery,

and rivulets of blood flowing down the drains.

I want to see black plastic bags

exchanged for cash.

I want to be there,

I want to be back there right now

in Wadala market

and watch the cat walk towards me

with a fish-head in its jaws.