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).

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 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.

Sometimes

in the darkness at night there’s a movie in the sky

it’s always too good it’ll make you cry

as your life in trains and rooms go by.

 

Sometimes you’re in a train in the afternoon passing by

and the sea is so beautiful it’ll make you cry

and at night the stars come out to dance

and the moon climbs high.

 

Sometimes you’re at home all high and dry

and you’re doing some work by and by

and you see the birds fly slowly in the sky

and you look and look and quietly sigh.

 

Sometimes you’re at home sleeping at five

and you go sliding down your bed into the sea

and you wake up with the sound of your own cry.

 

Sometimes you’re on the street walking when you almost fly

and sometimes you’re bewildered that everything is a lie

hold your breath for a while that it might pass by.

 

Sometimes it’s best not to pry

and let things quietly lie

Sometimes it’s too much my oh my!

 

 

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

The Focus Is On A Point

Donkey Kong

Octopus

the day is longer than the verandah

summer is hot

and I know

what it is to be sad

life I cannot fathom yet

but I see the buildings and the trees

I see the roads and the cars

and the faces of the people and I am happy

only now this summer I remember all this

sitting in my room

the laburnum outside is a yellow carpet on the trees

there is so much shit in the world

chemical warfare in Syria Kashmir is burning

an iron griddle falls on a little girl’s head in Bombay

a piece of her skull gets lodged in her brain

what horror I think lying down in bed

as the afternoon sun breathes like a dragon outside my window

and then the doors of my mind close

the words I read and write become water

I hold on to my life

I can barely recognise

to claim

this is not the person I am

this is not the world I know

I think

and this is what life is

I realise

as it slowly begins to get darker

and the birds start playfully wheeling around in the sky

while I sit alone at my window watching.

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).

The Wild Mind

keeps rolling

through the world

of white buildings

and all that variety

which the moon

now will soon shine on

how beautiful

how calm

and how sad

all this is

and last night the flat above mine

got flooded

I was collecting water

in three buckets

and swabbing the floor

from the leakage

and then there is all this delight

and anxiety in the afternoon sun

the colour of burnished gold

the colour of memory

the colour of poetry

the colour of song

the colour of sadness

the colour of death

while the sky paints itself

into such a stillness

I awaken into such quiet bliss

I have never felt before

here you go partner

for all that

the train seems to say

awakening me aloud

with its horn

once again

and the small brown sparrows chirp

sweet whistles of melody

a black crow cancels out

cawing in an arc

I sigh and sigh

until a recurring image of the sea

comes by

and somehow tempts me

to try

a breakfast of eggs and bread

to clear the confusion in my head

go on go on

the waves seem to say

it’s a nice way

to begin your day.

 

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