Monday, March 20, 2017

Eve

The line blurs
Between the virtual
And the real
You can see her
Greeting the news reader,
When the ad comes on
With the jewellery owner
Asking her to come buy
At her store, at her prices
She admonishes him
"Why do you pester me like this?
"Haven't you got other clients?
"I can't afford even a peach now!"
She looks around, makes sure
That no one is around
Then confides to the seller
"I take what is given
"As what I ask is not given!"
Even after the flat screen is switched off
The sound bytes are heard
Though the speaker and listener
Are the same
Eve keeps saying she will not bite

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

When it's time

It's only when you have to leave
That you most want to stay
Stay back to grieve
Over that which never can stay ---
Never was sundown so serene
The gathering darkness more marine
The hills and the hollows may never have been
With the whispering mist coming between ---
This cold as welcome as rain down there
Seeps through sheepskin, skin, even deeper
The spooky wind shakes the window
Keeps at it through the night, cannot let go
Till I let go of the night and find a new day --
When you have to leave, what's there to say

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Bull-taming

In January we wet our feet
In a new sea on the beach
Found what it was
No more to be lost
In a faceless city,
To reach back to the past
To reclaim whatever remained
We remembered how ancient we were
What timeless words we have spoken
As we spoke, our love poured out
For the dead, for the dying, for the unborn
We knew too what was coming
That good often draws hate
That the fire next door would spread
As the arsonist was the same
Knew too who would be blamed ---
After the dream was broken with blood
We learnt that before bulls can be tamed
We must know which ones have to be tamed


Monday, December 19, 2016

Cat

A year on, it seems
Father is only away
On another impulsive journey
And might return anytime
But the priest's chant
Before the sacred flame
He has raised in the hall
And the garlanded photo
Tell us it cannot be
A black cat has arrived
From somewhere
Since he left;
My brother I can see
Has grown fond of him
Puts up with his tantrums
Keeps talking to him
Like to a child
His face lights up
When he recalls his antics
"There are shades of appa
In this little fellow," he marvels
"Just as obstinate," he says,
Now, without a trace of anger

Friday, December 16, 2016

Cyclone

The trees cannot flee
Like the birds
When the monster
With the misnomer rose
Falls upon them ---
It has been long
Since we've heard the wind
Howl like this
Like a demented being
Calling for sacrifice, of any kind ---
The trees whirl their tops
Like women their heads
When the spirit is upon them ---
It's not long before some of the rooted
Are routed by the rootless one 
Neither of the sea nor land
Yet wanting both
It can have neither ---
And must run out of breath and disappear
The green warriors have stood and fought
Many have fallen, some have lost their limbs
And as they count their losses
They worry for the birds
Hope they will all be back

Friday, November 18, 2016

Chinar

In autumn, the chinar can turn
Death away for a while
With its spring colours
Where there can be no blossoms
It turns its leaves into shades
That flowers would die for ---
To watch the chinar in fall
Is to catch a tree dreaming
Of a season that has fled too soon
A setting sun remembering its rise
Of what was and what could be ---
In this promised land
Now bleeding, burning and mourning
The chinar stands crying
Shedding tears of blood ---
For what was and what could never be




Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Destination

The one who slept
Was not the one
Who woke up
With a dream
That did not
Look like one
Fabricated like the others
In the fever of the night
This was a destination
Yet to get its name
A place, a hill rather
That had to be found
Climbed and conquered
A vision that signaled
A turnaround in the journey
Frenetic, restless, ritualistic, so far
On the beaten path
Under a merciless sun
This would be made all alone
But for the one, beside one
Scattering the darkness, before one
Till there was none, or just one