Friday, October 13, 2017

Life after death

Strange things happened
When the departed
Left for the final stop
The wall clock
In the hall stopped
The other one inside
Started ticking
It can't be a coincidence
Someone said
It must be
What else can it be
The realist said
Time must have a stop
Another quoted the Bard
Hearing all this
The bereaved son said
My conversation with her
Will never stop

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Unforgiving

It's so hot the trees
Are still sweating leaves
Showing up the sun
For what it is
As unforgiving in June
As it was in May
Not giving way to rain
Still making its way
Like a reluctant temple car
Pulled by hands, not given to giving
In this covetous city, coveted by the sea
There are rumours of showers
Here and there, with lightning and thunder
Bringing children to the streets
To dance and wonder
If everything has been forgiven 



Sunday, May 7, 2017

Timeless

With this song
I keep playing
I often think
I can stop time
For a while
Keep him in my arms
Though like some toddler
Who has learnt to walk
He cannot be held back for long
Soon he is on his feet again
Soon outgrows the nest
But somewhere on his way
The son meets the father again
Knows what all he has been through
Hears the same melancholic song
With his ears
This was my father's favourite song too
I rediscovered it for myself
Long after he was gone
When looking for something
That had not been cast aside
By the swirl of seasons
These words have weathered for me
Fiery summers, storms and sleeplessness
As they must have for millions
Lightened their cross
When they had thought
They had been forsaken

Friday, April 21, 2017

Shades that hide

The pallor of the greenery
Showed it hadn't rained well
If at all, and there was an air of despair
The next spell was still far off
It was too early to be here
In March, to catch the spread of roses
Or the fruits or the surge of crowds
Heady with the undulating views and
Finding their eyes too few for the feast
Let the camera gather as much as it can
Though what would be seen
Would not be the same as what was seen
The garden was still in slumber
The shrubs had been planted and manured
Looking at them it was hard to believe
They would be dancing with flowers
Of such hues that no pallette could dream of
In just a month from now;
When it was time to turn back
The setting sun bloomed like a blossom
Telling us where all the shades come from
And where they all hide, in the off season


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

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