The World Is As Fresh

as a green leaf

the air is a kiss

the buildings are blocks

of love smiling in the morning

the train is so much fun

under the sun

my heart beats

and the Arabian Sea

flows in all its power

then the houses of the poor

and the trees

and the ghosts say hello

to you in Bombay

and you are no more

the person you were

bicycle bells taxi horns

the endless streets

and the voices of people

you become

a wraith haunted

along with the prisoners

of love the captive living

you know their pain now

you know what it is to be alive.

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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).

Ghosts

Everyone is a ghost here.

Three ghosts exit a bar

and walk across the street.

It’s also a strange morning

when children go cart-wheeling

to school.

And in these narrow lanes

where I still hear bicycle

bells…

But never mind all that.

It’s the ghosts I was speaking of.

And the ghost city on the move.

See how one rushes

to the other as he gets crushed

by a train.

When I die, they can

kick my body into

a garbage dump.

The dogs may eat me

if they care.

 

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

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?