Monday, April 30, 2012

The deep

The hands are tired
From clappping
For those
Who leave little for others,
The throat is hoarse
From singing praises
To someone whose miracles
Include taking away
The little there is left,
The feet are weary
Of the mountain path
Leading to an empty shrine,
The eyes keep looking at the skies
Hoping for signs of cracks
The ears want to hear
The rumble of volcanoes in the deep
Which wants to give up the dead.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


The brick-lined
Homam site
In the hall
Is still warm
The fire still alive
Under the ash,
Children offer paper petals
Imitate the 'swaha' chant
Of the priests
Who have all gone ---
Smoke begins to rise
Forcing the grown-ups
To cry halt to their game,
The little flames
Dance away on lithe feet
To where they conjure
Another fire, other sacrifices.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


What is seen
Is not scene by scene
The defender
Looks like the aggressor
The first blow
Is off-screen
What is spoken
Is not heard
What is heard
Is not understood
It is not my own
Who are dying
It is someone else's houses
That are being flattened
It is not my sea
That is being poisoned
Not my livelihood being stolen
I nod my approval
When my leader
Stresses the need
For people to sacrifice
For the nation to progress.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Someone who wears
Flowers in her hair
Counts the seasons
By the arrival of the blossoms
She makes do with marigold
Before the jasmine reappears
With its heady scent
The single rose is enough
For the morning rush hour
Those blooming at home
On the creeper-turned climber
And in the pot, smell the best
Because they have been strung
By mother's loving hands
I've often wondered
How it must be
To sport the crescent
On the crest
Keep a river
Coiled in the tuft
Drape a serpent
Around the neck
For inside my head
There is an ever-glowing moon
That never lets me sleep
A river that chatters forever
And a serpent that refuses to die.