The Evening’s

come to rest

in this room

my glass in its

pool of water

under dim red light

has golden whisky

silent like the walls

the pictures come alive

the side-table

and the speakers

high in the corners

cough through static

some dead singer will croon

of love

of loss

and then the bar will bristle

the conversations start to flow

forks and spoons

clatter on plates

when a glass would

fall to the floor

from someone’s hand

who couldn’t hold it anymore

and soon we’ll find the swimming ceiling

the spinning sky of misery chasing happiness

past the pale white moon

and the stone cold stars

that will finally claim us all.

 

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

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Uncertainty

in my mind

hangs like a silent cry

in my heart

in my stomach

the universe is dark

there are no stars in my eyes

no moon in my sky

only emptiness

only absence

and here I sit hunched

over my computer

thinking of the sky’s whiteness

in which black birds fly

and it turns to blue in my mind

and I see sunsets and palm trees

and slowly drift into sleep

and then I suddenly dream

I am a river

a green river

under those trees

and when the moon sings

at night

I dance and sway

rippling in cool waves of thrill

and in the afternoon

under the sun

I shimmer like an emerald

playful warm

flowing calm.

 

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

Trying To Take

the greyness

out of the water

till it is colourless

at the end of land

where it merges with the sky that is grey

 

trying to take the greyness out of the sky

I travel in

a city of grey

waiting

like a photograph

that is probably not there.

 

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

The Piercing Arrow Of Unhappiness

My mind is a lost mountain

I have no clue of its colour

my body I don’t know

am I a crocodile

what is my language

what do I croak

and why are

the crows cawing

did this green morning

take my life

why are the buildings

so gloomy so grey

they must be sad

like me

they must be mad

like me

O what a sight

such an unhappy light

there is no more sky

it is dead it went to sleep

long ago the children

sat in the old

and crumbling staircase quiet

how the heart stings

in the silence

I search for myself

hello lost I cry O world no more.

Trees

are so beautiful to watch

anytime of day

anywhere

especially from

a local train in Bombay

they look like grand carefree beings

benign beautiful godlike

in the afternoon their leaves shimmer

in the golden sun

and when they sway in the breeze

all those different leaves

various greens

browns

in all shapes and sizes begin to swim

and you forget yourself

and are refreshed

and at night

in the darkness

they hang against

the deep blue sky

sleeping

and when the wind blows

they wake and shimmer again

like the stars

go home go home traveller

they sing with the moon

go home and sleep

sweet dreams.

 

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

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).

Words

I imagine

what they

look like

in my mind

are they red black

is my mind

is it wet

is it like a mouth

words are all

I have

I tell myself

in my cave

I pave

my way out

with words

in the morning

I sing with the birds

so musical

in the sky

and with the clouds

I fly

to this

quiet place

where there

is no sound

and the world

looks so round

so beautiful

so delightful

so full

of enchantment

words make me forget

this life on rent.

 

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

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 High Green Hills Of Kasol

the sheep are led

down the wet street

my mind is a spring

by the Parvati river

how it gushes and rushes

down the rocks

as I am

whooshed

into a thousand bleating

mountain goats

led by this little shepherdess

in medieval red

how sweet

her beautiful girl face

under her cap

and I go down the grey road

leading high up

where the mountain peaks in May are still capped in snow

and as the sun comes out you see them glow

and O I am this high Himachali wooden house

looking out my dark eye windows

my roofhead of beautiful black slate sleeping in rectangles

until that black dog in Tosh takes me

down to the waterfall

and I fall down the earth path that is steep

and I sit on a rock and I weep

and as the water forces me open

I become all sound crying

Guruji I shout tears streaming down my face

and the high Himalayan snow-capped mountaintops smile

Shakespeare I cry aloud

and the white peaks dazzle like diamonds

then a bird begins to sing its sweet long note

teeee tee teeee teeeee tee tee

tee tee too too tooooo

tee tee

just like jazz

when I find

the dog asleep

behind me

and as I turn

the sparkling hills are starting to fly

Jimmy Jimmy

I say

thank you for your help

as we shout

Jai Bholenath.

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.