Sunrise In Vattakanal

It is 6.40 am

and the bright golden sun

is climbing up the sky

outside my window here

in Vattakanal

the blue Nilgiri mountains stand in mist

from the far left along a wet rockface

to the deep distance

a conical mountaintop

framing the scene

from there the Nilgiris flow in mist

beautiful misty mountain

after beautiful misty mountain

all varying shapes and sizes

to the centre where there is a hill flowing harmoniously

also in the foreground

a big green one with a few pretty houses

and there are trees on the top of this hill

and beyond this these misty Nilgiri mountains flow

now downwards towards my right

I look and look mesmerised by the beauty

and at one point begin to see those mountains

as big ocean waves

one two three four five

layer after layer

like fingers of a hand

like dreams flowing

so translucent

and closer there are tall pine trees

they are beautiful too

their leaves gently sway in the breeze

and last night there was lightning in these mountains

I have never seen anything like that in my life

this far away there was no sound of the thunder

I opened my window and strained to hear

a sound but there was none

just big balls of fire lighting up the mountains

their green peaks glimmering golden in the darkness around

but getting back again

it is quite cold here although it’s May

and whilst here at my window in the morning

my neighbour from the cottage next door

comes over with a warm cup of tea

I thank him and sip the tea

I thank my luck and enjoy the beauty.

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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.

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 Branches

flare like an open palm

lifting me into the lap of the breeze

the azan from the mosque

is the sky caressing my heart

long cool notes

become the silence of the universe’s dawn

and now the cocks crow in relay

a clear cacophony of joy

as I fall through

the leaves of the pine trees

spread out like a net of smoke

turning into a big black langur

and I feel more

than thousands of years old

falling into my armchair

and when I go back

from the balcony

into my room here at the homestay

to take a leak later

I look at my face

in the mirror

I look at my face under

the blue woolen cap

I look at it

for more than usual

first there is only my mother’s profile

then I get a glimpse

of my father’s face

my own face

I find

it takes such a long time to see.

 

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