The World Is A Deep Green River

only last evening

I saw it

while listening

to Stan Getz

there’s nothing

so big and beautiful

and green

so freely flowing

and translucent

coming from

a place

so nice

it feels so good

this soulful music

this lonely life

and the jungles

of Brazil

are full of leopards

and trees

and the oceans

and the sky

begin to sing

the sadness

and the lovely

green river

flows by

and then

it is night

and the stars

come out

and shine

the moon

blows by

so high

and I have

never seen

the world

so big and

so beautiful

I have never

seen a river

so green

flow by

and before

I know it

the booze

is out

the palm trees

are swaying

and couples dance

in crazy ecstasy

along the

green river bank

birds of red green

blue purple

and yellow

take flight

into the night

drunk on this music

deer come to watch

peacocks strut excitedly

Stan Getz

your beautiful music

I will never forget

the world outside

my window

the buildings stand

their windows sparkling

fluorescent Stan

and they are beginning

to move

O Stan

we are now

a ship

sailing on

your green river

and here we

come towards you

Stan

over the moon.

 

  • For Stan Getz, jazz saxophonist (1921 – 1991)

 

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

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Tall Stories

walking down the street

at 4 pm

buildings windows grills

are a must here

these are paintings that

the children have made

see where this one leads us to

a boat another set of children

see the stillness of the water

its involvement its curiosity

and the long darkening road

at evening its quietness

humming songs for all the light there is

that the children can see

the green iron railings ringing out

its mad drumming of joy

rising right into the arms of the stars

spread out in the sky

where mother moon sails through clouds

to make it to your home.

 

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

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).

I Went

down into the streets

to get a haircut

everywhere people

rushed by

motorbikes cars rickshaws

they went by the salon

behind glass I saw

pretty women

on their way to work

and when I had had

my haircut

my very short haircut

the wind ran round my head

I lifted up

into the blue skies

from my high chair

I breathed white clouds

people fled from my head

some shying to look at me

some happily amused

while one or two were clearly

angry and threatening

I went home and took

a bath

I shampooed my hair

till it stood like a forest cool calm

silent

and then the world settled

in my head

and the day curled up to me

as I read

a book in bed.

 

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

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).

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.

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).