When We Meet

in the streets

where hollow buildings

aflame ask

what do we do now

what do we say

 

outside the city

where land meets sea

birds are tearing the sky

to pieces

and all the alphabets

have fallen on the ground

 

lines lead to squares and circles here

in the deep division

of the multiplying mad world

 

round and round

the clusters of burning lights

flowing into the darkness.

 

 

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

How The Heart Cries

for human suffering

it is so bad

the misfortunes

I feel eyes

watching me

all the time

my mind

is disturbed

but there is

only myself and my pain

and the suffering

is such I feel

I wish I could be a bird

but the horrors

become a mountain

they flay me

as I stand fighting

I will die

when I will

I shout

and then

I hear the birds tweet wildly

and Bombay explodes in rain

the dark city dances like a ghost

I go quiet and watch

the unhappiness begin to wash away

until my body and mind are silent as a tomb

and I feel the cosy comfort of the womb

O cradle of civilization rock me now rock me now in this rain

and thank you thank you so much for stealing away my pain.

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).

In The Morning

there is birdcall

in the sky

they are celebrating

with chirp and song

and whistle

the paradise of summer

in the mist

beautiful white buildings stand

like they were eternal

in the trees gulmohur bloom

bright red

and yellow laburnum flowers

adorn the streets

and now the sun

slowly rises through the blue

in swathes of gold

but only I know

how it feels

sitting here

at my window

only I know

my burning life

turning to ash

on my tongue.

The Focus Is On A Point

Donkey Kong

Octopus

the day is longer than the verandah

summer is hot

and I know

what it is to be sad

life I cannot fathom yet

but I see the buildings and the trees

I see the roads and the cars

and the faces of the people and I am happy

only now this summer I remember all this

sitting in my room

the laburnum outside is a yellow carpet on the trees

there is so much shit in the world

chemical warfare in Syria Kashmir is burning

an iron griddle falls on a little girl’s head in Bombay

a piece of her skull gets lodged in her brain

what horror I think lying down in bed

as the afternoon sun breathes like a dragon outside my window

and then the doors of my mind close

the words I read and write become water

I hold on to my life

I can barely recognise

to claim

this is not the person I am

this is not the world I know

I think

and this is what life is

I realise

as it slowly begins to get darker

and the birds start playfully wheeling around in the sky

while I sit alone at my window watching.

The Mad Woman

with her dark black face

in the night

her ragged hair

and her bags

was deep in conversation

with herself

in the stench and the grime

of the platform

at VT station

when she caught me

looking at her

her face contorted

she shouted out an unearthly sound

and my heart froze

until she went back to her argument

slap slap she started beating the walls

with her slipper

slap slap slap slap

the platform echoed

till my train arrived

and hurtled me home.

 

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

The Wild Mind

keeps rolling

through the world

of white buildings

and all that variety

which the moon

now will soon shine on

how beautiful

how calm

and how sad

all this is

and last night the flat above mine

got flooded

I was collecting water

in three buckets

and swabbing the floor

from the leakage

and then there is all this delight

and anxiety in the afternoon sun

the colour of burnished gold

the colour of memory

the colour of poetry

the colour of song

the colour of sadness

the colour of death

while the sky paints itself

into such a stillness

I awaken into such quiet bliss

I have never felt before

here you go partner

for all that

the train seems to say

awakening me aloud

with its horn

once again

and the small brown sparrows chirp

sweet whistles of melody

a black crow cancels out

cawing in an arc

I sigh and sigh

until a recurring image of the sea

comes by

and somehow tempts me

to try

a breakfast of eggs and bread

to clear the confusion in my head

go on go on

the waves seem to say

it’s a nice way

to begin your day.

 

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

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).

If You Are So Buoyant

you’re not going to write a good poem

I tell myself

let’s see

I answer

typing with two fingers

you always do that

I tell myself

and I see the sun

above the ocean

in my mind

the orange brightness burning

like no other colour

the water so beautiful

in small sweet curves of transparency

my heart grows joyous

like the moon shining

in the dark

and I feel so happy

are you not like the deer then

I ask myself

silently watching

the world

and I wait and listen

while the sparrows chirp

outside my window

and a train goes gliding by

so silently

like a ghost skating

in the morning air

and I type with two fingers.

 

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

Lovely

time I was having

when my neighbour called

to complain about the other neighbour

and messed up my mind

now here I sit staring

unaligned

and I feel like some skin-covered flying saucer

at a tilt

and there is darkness all around me

and one lonesome blue planet

that is all.

 

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