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).

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).

Lines

have appeared

out of nowhere.

A lion’s cave

lies quiet

under the earth.

There are two skies

skiing with the clouds.

The mind multiplies,

breaks down,

goes to seed,

which the lion eats.

Have you heard

his latest song?

It’s about a sea green giraffe

dancing in his pond.

 

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

Last Evening

I had dinner early

and hit the bed

I couldn’t sleep

I was feeling too bored

so I got up and

went to Juhu Beach

it was wonderful

the sun was still burning yellow

in the sky

the waves were silver

the sand was golden

and it wasn’t crowded

I walked along

and spotting

some stairs

leading to a building

went and sat

down there

it was beautiful

soon I was joined

by two northeastern children

a tiny sister and brother pair

the sister older

threatened to beat me first

then quickly became my friend

and chanting nonsense rhyme

jumped down the stairs

one by one

I leaned my back

against the wall

the poet in me delighted

the loneliness in me unlocked

and looked at the sea

my heart beginning to warm

and then I found myself laughing

when I was shortly joined by

a shaggy brown stray dog

who came looking

rather purposefully

for something

all in a pant

and finding me instead

quickly slithered away.

 

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

Hurriedly,

the poem

went out

into the street

even before it began.

 

The poem stretched its legs

and walked.

 

Soon, it had to

stop for breath.

 

Tired now, it wanted

to go back home,

but had forgotten

the way.

 

So the poem dragged itself

to a nearby tea seller

and sipping from

a tiny glass,

started singing:

 

Golden tea I really like. 

Steaming, golden tea.

 

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

Again the Grey World

hangs from my mind

this morning

like a bird’s nest

I think of vines

this wooded place

I would go to

at Ismail Yusuf college

when I first moved

here to Andheri

I would go there

and read poetry

sitting on a rock

I would devour books

by James Wright

and Dylan Thomas

and Robert Creeley

while the white sky

slowed down to listen

after a while it cried

and the rain that fell

made the green world

burst into colour

the trees stood silent

like old and wise creatures

their black trunks wet

the universe was singing

I could hear it

in every spore

every sound

every breath I took

and how my heart exploded

in wonder

when this curious mongoose

came around

to look.

And Now The Mind

is here

just behind the ashtray

good morning day

for long I have wanted

to kiss you

feel your dew

on my lips

no more I think

the body has failed

the mind dissolved

now it’s just this endless wandering

like I’m doing now

right now

through this white desert

trying to find all these words

for company

for direction

like lamp-posts

or all day I will just be talking

to myself

not reaching anywhere

like this I can wander to a bus-stop

and even get into a bus

for a ride

and see where it takes me

now when the day just folds

itself over me like a blanket

becomes night

my body clock broken

my mind such a mix

of memory and time

my life bursts open

burns

becomes bare ashes

and then just

skeleton images I have in my mind

caricatures of myself mirrors

repetition

rhyme

a connection

ignition in time

and I feel liberated

only when I write

like riding my bicycle

as a child

through new lanes

those moments

of discovery

in the morning

finding those new buildings

lime-washed in the sun

those trees

what fun

and now it’s nice

once again

and it smells so refreshing

this early morning warmth

the coolness of this coconut water

and the silence

and the silence

so beautifully broken

by these pigeons

their bush of fluttering wings

rising in one sudden moment

my mind gets completely blown away

and then I ride through sky

the wind rushing

down the roads

the buildings speeding

the vehicles

in their silent seas

the palm trees

and their swaying leaves

whispering

come

come Dominic come.

 

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

My Mind

is such

it is barely there

go to the sky

I tell it

and there it stays

days

on some cloud

then back it is here today

with the rain

and the silver train

isn’t it beautiful

I ask myself

the buildings

and there

across the spread

of the city

in the morning

through the myriad maze

of windows

the colours of whites pinks and blues

all standing in a wide semi-circle

making me think of the sea

through the trees

the birds chirping

flying in flocks or singly

in the sky

the people

in the still empty streets

through my house

through the Coleridge biography

I finished

before breakfast

through the newspaper

I read after that

through all that mad horror assailing

through my bath

and finally through the words

of this poem

my mind has come back

to me.

 

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

The World Is A Picture

torn

the internal pipe in my bathroom burst

and water poured out of the walls

it cost me 5000

then my washing machine went

and I let it go

I said I will live in this broken world

amidst these walls

these buildings these people

these skies all over

these railway tracks

these houses these trains

these millions shuttling past

the mental energy

the noise and the silence

and soon the stars come alive here over my building

and start to sing

and then the moon sails in

like a dream and I am entranced

at the sheer scale of the light shining

dazzling my mind a mountain of song

and this is her voice the world’s

her millions singing choruses of wild harmony

and all those roads those planes in the sky

I think

the weapons the wars

what about all that

did they all just disappear

I ask myself

the boredom the madness

the complete loss of comprehension

what about becoming the wall

becoming stone concrete brick

or just nothing at all

emptiness in the sun

and then finding no answer

soon through the nights of my childhood

I set sail once again rowing through memories

through trees of flailing rain

pouring now once again so loud

so deafening falling from this same sky

these strips of shining water

rushing down all over

these castles these lakes these forests these roads

these motorcycles these horses these bandits

these guns these soldiers these wars

see there is no more place to go no peace

I tell myself

all is here all the sheer sad songs of mother moon

the unborn the living

the billion voices the dead the dying

the crying

I tell myself

you’re stuck here

you’re lost

you’re crazy

and when people ask you

how you’re doing

you say cool

like a fool.

 

The above poem is from my third collection The Branches (2015). You can download The Branches for free here: http://www.lulu.com/shop/dominic-alapat/the-branches/ebook/product-22413518.html

 

Now When The Mind

is so full and heavy

with chatter

it is no small matter

to sit down

and write

a poem

in fact

it is no small matter

for anything

you know it too

so here I sit

writing this poem

trying to push

all my mad shouting voices together

arguing talking laughing

cursing hooting

gathering them all in place

like children in a classroom

trying to make them quiet

and when finally

they do

they stand up

and walk out in a row

in silence

and then

those absent voices

turn into thoughts

they take wing

and today they’ve turned into trains

in the sky

flying mechanical worms

chain-links

crisscrossing the white

dividing it like farm-hedges

and all over

huge entranced clouds

softly breathe

gliding in bliss

across this city above

while the trains their silver backs

shining in the sun

blow their horns

ooooooo oooooo

through all this white white white

light spreading over all that fog

I gaze and gaze at it

like a signal pole burning

at the prettiness of it

where my mind flies

like a bird

bursting with happiness

whistling

singing and winging

over these skies of golden awakening

this other world

and then slowly

as I fly

I ask myself

isn’t it worth doing

writing a poem

everyday

anyday

more than anything else?