Now This Emptiness

is an old greying building

in the rain

and I climb up

its old wooden staircase

only when I reach the top

the terrace

will I be able to fly away

then I will be a bird in the sky

a kite a star a moon

orbiting the earth

I will be a cow an alligator an elephant

I will be vast silences of snow

of places and things I don’t know

but I will fly

into the darkness

and into the light

till I am free

from being me.

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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).

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).

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).

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).