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Poetry written between June 2012 and October 2012

A.J.Rao

Poetry written between June 2012 and October 2012

A.J.Rao

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Contents
Books The liminal moment Habit Conversation Bundling time away God Becoming The sun betrayed us Ash Strangers Fear of landslide Hermit The dial The bridge A portrait Negation 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

The minds eyes False memory The coal stories Borders Strain Strain The toy train Playing with solitude Vague mountains Word chain Twig upon twig Clarity The gs Pipe Sleep is a dream The years The poet and the albatross

17 18 19 21 22 23 24 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35

Empty feet Bird drama Drizzle Flowers and T.V. A hole in the asbestos Claps Virtual crows Blue shirt The oil lamp The sentences Ripe Morning train Table fan Light love The black dog and the pink rose Meme Monsoon raga

36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52

Kasim the corpenter Keep Bridges of existing Variations Always The sister Nose Simulacrum The marriage Salt Incomplete dream Detritus Beacon Boy Gossip A major marital matter Coffee stain

53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69

Blind Curves Shout Exclusions Hollow Sounds The little girl on the temple steps Names Blur bird June Places The anti- poem Poetry of the broad daylight Pace-maker Rain at night Not to write Loneliness Impermanence Lullaby

70 71 72 73 74 75 76 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87

Loss The abstract moon The rain stopped in the morning Hibiscus Random Book Pitchers The garbage snake Body beautiful Alive and smoking Quiver Distances Distances Transgression Mind and body The lost house

88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103

Books
Nice things to feel in their spines, I run my finger through their minds. Their smell feels like inside caves Of dead people, their bodies in pots Their thoughts embalmed in silks. They better be there in the wall. There they feel secure and warm Not in the electric words crawling In mens boxy minds across oceans. Oceans have waves that submerge Their delicate papers recycling them Back to atavistic states, old dreams. Our books are seams of old dreams. Their worms are the rarest of species Of a biological universe, fish worms That are silver and eat whole words. But they play the meanest of tricks On blind poets right up to their sky.

The liminal moment


The boy is a sweet from a foggy space. The girl always yawns herself to death. His moment is her threshold, her train To get into and get off from, a sweet. He has his own flimsy yawns to sleep by To push sleep aside for permanent death. His liminal moments are mountain trains To get off from, to get into, idiot girls With their own pushing yawns of death. His birth was a radio moment of a girl When a radio ad is on and a mom is off. The ad girl has her finger on her lips Her liminal moment, a frozen sugar-sweet. (Watching a Hindi movie entitled Barfi)

Habit
I shall now wait for not being there To become a habit, a ship for the land Standing in the sea to hold my secret When I will turn just other to others An epitome of my secret life in death A ship for a land, a haven for a ship. My not being there shall turn a habit As death will turn a habit, a red sun On the broad plains of eternity, a night That has fled time, a habit of my death To the world, to stars that will flicker Softly in not being there, to the moon. (Echoing Rilke in "You are the future the great sunrise red" from the Book of Hours)

Conversation
A morning moon has opened the door To endless conversation in the room. A friend there never went to a beach Laid up with lumbar pain and slip disc In an old city's backstreets, the beach Conjured up by a cruel face book error. The conversation went on without words With listeners, who only looked at lips. Moving lips seemed to say a thing or two And the lip readers promptly looked away From pain presumed by friendly concern. It is the silence of this conversation With a great lip reading that has stirred The morning moon, preparatory to crows, But just a transient thing in the balcony Before the crows start a day with the sun.

Bundling time away


On the balcony ,now seeing into rain We will like to bundle our time away As some street dogs of multiplication Cry in their vowels, the upward snouts Long addressed to a time's awakening And we gather it up in a piece cloth. A rag we may call it ,such as we use In those times common to our women In a few maps, of blood clots, tissue Of a gender curse, of children unborn Of tireless efforts to make them born. We now put our time away to forget it On the wall peg, in a needless honour Of a timeless body, a claypot hanging With holes of light pouring like rain. (Bundling time away is W.B.Yeats in his poem "That the night come")

God
One poet's God exists because it is just inconceivable A bird number 'tween one and nine, not one and nine As he closed his blind eyes to an imagined bird number. Another's because death exists to neatly round a life With a pennant , a kettledrum and a boom of cannon. But for me he exists because I have to make a choice Between a slurp of holy water or of watery milk in palm Before a God that existed as a bull, a bird and a stone And at times, a monkey or air flaming from a crevice. More because he is a word that creeps into my morning A reason for a night to fall gently away from my eyes.

Becoming
The morning rain grows on wet crows In white bodies under their nights Their feathers a thing of the night. Becoming is a larval thing between. By noon they will surely outgrow it. Then they will be a thick dark foliage And shadows, part of a big picture. The noon turns them to black crows. In the noon they wave their heads In the branch,on their screwy necks. They walk into our several siestas, Their wings flapping on our eyelids. At times they pick up our soap cakes And our princesses' jewels in bathing. They drop thirsty stones in water pots. They peck goddess's breasts for fruit. By evening they are ancestors on walls Come to peck our rice balls,one by one.

The sun betrayed us


In the hills we could take no pictures Of snow , women rising halfway to grass With sun not showing up behind clouds. We waited for the sun behind red flags Politely ,not dissuaded by rain and fog. Silver peaks teased us behind the pines. On the dotted line is a silver mountain That could be mistaken for a cloud line . Our tragedy was the attitude of our sun Who must be shining beyond those hills Among strangers,red-cheeked and smiling. He who shone to us brightly in our homes Refuses to shine the peaks for us there Making us feel betrayed and embittered.

Ash
The memory of ash in bag is gray and water-borne Like the Wise One's memory for twenty four years Against a disciple's memory of twenty four hours. Hours are but years, with days like shadows of hills That come and go , each morning and each evening. We only flick the ash of our days into the ash tray Full of smoked cigarette stubs to mom's annoyance. We have elephants of ashes , ash-like in thick hides. All our elephants are ashes,fire smoldering beneath. Duly caparisoned,they pass in magnificent doorways With queenly eminences on mounts, haughty in the air. Easier for them to pass through as so much gray ashes.

Strangers
They were not really strangers except of the visage When they slipped into my questioning afternoons Intercepting my brief circle, touching tangentially Like a soft mountain wind, now arrived , now gone. They were ghosts of their existences in my space. They sauntered in and out of room , pallid ghosts From the mountains, the plains, deep dark forests The atavistic memories in their eyes tallied notes With my own, their eye contacts brief butterflies Resting on me,scraping poetry off minor collisions. We asked questions of the ghosts, they raised them. Together we raised questions,existential questions That we had always asked,in our chance encounters For the poetry of their asking, open-ended questions That raised endless spiral of unanswered questions.

10

Fear of landslide
On this Sunday ,we fear the rain may happen And loosen the earth under the tree's feet. The hills may tumble as the rain will loosen The tree's feet from the mother's floorboard. As she will be sleeping on the crook of her arm Brooding on the blue sky deprived of its sun. Our snake of a road may not fork out tongue And the rain wipers may say their decisive no's To our proposed journey to the world's edge. The windows may not open to the dark nights And our blinds may be put up to rain-moths For fear of their dying by our flickering lamps. But now it looks the hills may not lose bearings . And they may still hold the trees in their lap And wipers may yet whisper yes to a windshield. A toy train may still puff in small bursts of smoke Along a snake of our road forking tongue calmly Towards a piece of blue sky glued to the earth.

11

Hermit
This hermit spoke at last in his closed lips From a few soft silences crushed under breath. He is a certain middle path wayfarer catching A flight making sorties over airport failing To land for lack of visibility in rain and fog. He waves fleshy arms about him swathed in ocher In the hotel restaurant ordering soup and dinner. He will go up tomorrow morning after the rain When the confusion of rain and fog is cleared. Does a hermit who meets you in your eye contact Wear a day-old trimmed mustache on a white face? You can see I wear the same butterfly on my face Thinking through rain and fog, in the general din Of a hotel restaurant, my eyes failing to stay wet My tears tucked away in a corner of another city?

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The dial
From what I see the dial seems inevitable word, An outpouring based on a morning impression As two sand vehicles mark morning on the river In a flash of dazzling luminosity of a sunlight And their sand is making in holes of river bed While a second stream overhangs on its sky. The dial has a sweet face, a right angled feature The softness of a morning sun, a slant in its eyes So shining in men's faces, their eyes crinkling In their Buddhism of a middle path of compassion. The dial never stops, mornings always turn days To endless nights of bellyaches or pillow-turns A plain reminder of time inexorably closing space.

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The bridge
Before dark the bridge may be asked to span The distances, unaided by support systems Only by a sun going ,going and gone below. A slightly ocher and yellow thing hangs there To somewhat of disappointment,but the curve There is surely a womans curve ,of the river At eyes end view with another bridge taking The horizons place, in many words and now There is a click in your throat and sun gone. Where is the bridge light of your old waters In the shimmer of a suns smooth dalliances With trees shadows tingling breezed ripples? Come another day, another dusk,with pure light In your cameras eyes and a heart closely held In throat and love gathered in wondering eyes . ( On a visit to the Coronation bridge in Siliguri for sunset)

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A portrait
A smooth ball of a face has deep furroughs Of hair-like memories and looks at the wall Proving it all wrong, the way the world behind Seems to be moving on its rotor, as if there is Another way, as if stars are born differently When there is no moon, only a sun after rain And a train relentlessly flows on its tracks The smoothness of moons face slips away A smile vanishing all the time behind the hill. A sketch would only be a concept ,an outline With no deathlike finality of the figure filling it A hollow will fill it eminently,we hollow men Like a pot-head stuffed stick man in the crop Shooing away his birds shitting on pot-head His over-sized shirt balloons with much wind.

15

Negation
We went on calmly with sleeping nights. A train sound closes in on our tranquility. Three red arches of imperial construction Sat there morosely with their nay sayings. Where are they that had said we would do it And disappeared with no to their resolves Ghosts that they are, not even whimpers. The train comes in ,iterating our existence Mine and of the red railway bridge that sat Under the train ,under the weight of history. Down there there is this coal under our feet A black coal of negation, a fear in the belly In our existence, gathered in hollow pits That a river fails to fulfill with its lazy sand.

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The minds eyes


At once I see this tiny woman big with A potential being, eyes set in her mind Searching the night stars , her potential Rounded and bursting,while calm and ripe. My eyes underneath will tell me the way In a noise, a wagon passing, a new train Negotiating a red railroad bridge in rain On a factory road, with its cycles stopped. Woman is but a girl, her woman a thing, A crow caw, a breeze, a child in making. An old man's egotistical dream laid out A death hid in life, a thought for searching.

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False memory
The closing line would seem the same In a paramnesia of I have seen it all As memory plays ducks and drakes With good sense , for beauty of diction As girls playing softly in the moonlight As if they were parijat flowers dropped To the fragrant earth in the night's dew Their faces down, their feet up in prayer. Do we plant parijats in the earth's skin So we have fragrant houses risen on it Balconies where we feel their fragrance We confabulate always,where they are The mountain-eyed girls with sal trees Gently waving in the mirrors of their eyes. The closing line would seem the same. We have seen it all, in the imagined Sadness of thought behind closed eyes The closing line has happened as always.

18

The coal stories

JHARIA, INDIA FEBRUARY 08: 7 year old Soni has a basket of coal lifted onto her head by her mother, 28 year old Savita, after having scavenged coal illegally from an open-cast coal mine in the village of Bokapahari on February 08, 2012 near to Jharia, India. Villagers in Indias Eastern State of Jharkhand scavenge coal illegally from open-cast coal mines to earn a few dollars a day. Claiming that decades old underground burning coal seams threatened the homes of villagers, the government has recently relocated over 2300 families to towns like Belgaria. Villagers claim they were promised schools, hospitals and free utilities for two years, which they have not received. As the worlds power needs have increased, so has the total global production of coal, nearly doubling over the last 20 years according to the World Coal Association. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife) In the afternoon of a vehicle,our talk would run About a coal belt ,a small talk about its mafia Of black diamonds glistening in a morning fog.

The talk runs alongside a scrapped axle yard

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Of dismembered army vehicles on loose sale Many axles, many gearboxes and dead parts That could be transplanted to alive vehicles As parts of wholes or as holes of their parts.

A hot coal wall at times caves in to swallow People ,like giant lizards in the primordium Because the empty coal holes resound with air And a hot sand refuses to come from the river To fill their holes emptied by a greedy coal.

A little girl named smile gathers black diamonds From the pithead, pitted against a big government In its khakhi authority , for two flattened breads For a familys stomach, engulfed by big coal fires. Local coal stories are black and greedy narratives That leave you sick in the coal pit of a stomach.

20

Borders
The mystery is how all this fecund matter is contained In closed wood-cut faces, in their free-wheeling shells With free views from inside, fiercely bent upon removal Of borders,their faint outlines firmly to be destroyed As the faces blithely join spaces of their feral nothings In fatal dances attacking filled spaces and their verses. Men have their borders , their loves violating free space Other spaces , as in their foolish wars that would kill, The wars that would breed literature, music and religion Science and society and all other transnational endeavors, Their intemperate loves for women, their children pointing Stubby primal fingers at their grown up love and nonsense. They draw borders like hanging balconies for street views With clutched bellies,their insides itching to break space And remove borders and destroy their ugly wood-cut faces.

21

Strain
The strain is of living green in a gray beard Through a dark tunnel of staring at end dead And making a strain from it, to light music As money lives on in mobile phones, in a joke Of wife carrying, if you can ,humorously said. In a strain you live to die ,to cease to exist. Crows are born but essentially cease to exist. Their caws cease to exist even as they are born. Crows caw in trees of praying temples to remind People dead , their strains dead to their wind. In strain , chicks are born to cease to exist Their bird cries cease to exist as light music In an air-conditioner's silence in their homes. Mother birds mournful cries drop dead on chicks. They duly cease to exist even as they are born.

22

Strain
The strain is of living green in a gray beard Through a dark tunnel of staring at end dead And making a strain from it, to light music As money lives on in mobile phones, in a joke Of wife carrying, if you can ,humorously said. In a strain you live to die ,to cease to exist. Crows are born but essentially cease to exist. Their caws cease to exist even as they are born. Crows caw in trees of praying temples to remind People dead , their strains dead to their wind. In strain , chicks are born to cease to exist Their bird cries cease to exist as light music In an air-conditioners silence in their homes. Mother birds mournful cries drop dead on chicks. They duly cease to exist even as they are born.

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The toy train


Toy Train, Darjeeling, India (Photo credit: Wikipedia) The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, India, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I dream of a blue train bending at the curve The coal-eater train, through the green hills As if it were a Gir lion one would see walk in At the bend where a brown hill fell in the sky And is distorted by an overbearing blue dome.

The train chugs in with men hanging from it As if they are fleas hanging on the lions eyes Its eyes closing in on a patient understanding. I like its leisurely pipe smokes in a winter sky And roars of annoyance as men come its way.

It is not a train to take me to the worlds end Where mountains lose their peaks to the sky. With only a tiny fire in its belly it is just a toy.

(The train is the Darjeeling- Himalayan railway between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling, nick named toy train)

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Related articles

Exploring Indias mountain towns

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Playing with solitude


In your early hours you would dally playfully With your solitude, speaking in second person As fluorescent words crawled in mind's depths That meant nothing to your body or your ghost Words that are your solitude,the very shadow That followed your little boy in a trail of doubts Of whether it was this or that, shadow or dust. There is no shadow of dust, only a shadow in dust Afternoon rising shadow that rises to a horizon To disappear into the hills as a picture in frame In mind that will be dust, steeped in mere words That will soon be dust in the shadows of words.

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Vague mountains

The majestic Himalayas (Photo credit: nisheedhi) In the evening there was this vague talk About mountains shrouded in August ice Mixed with pearly ice and vague poplars That lose their clear outlines to a vague sky. Vaguely we would have our ginger and tea In earth of cups, handed by Himalayan men In overcoats as their mouths steamed words As if they were the peaks that spewed vapor Vaguely in the higher reaches of Himalayas. We would vaguely dream the mountains In our pillows and patience came to an end As the dark reinstated behind shifting eyes. And later, as we opened our eyes we saw us In deeply held holes made of real concrete. There was nothing vague about a clothesline And a balcony that defined our real borders.

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Word chain
Sleeps word chain is manifestation Of stored change ,a transmutation A self motion, a radio talking to night Scrap of song that starts in its sleep A rapid moment in sleeps eye- face. In the stillness of a night the objects Cry out, dance mature nature to life Singing human songs mostly of flesh . A flesh sets the word chain to music A milky way of endless light sounds. Like a breeze blowing in tree clusters Flesh is object in a cluster of sounds A song without its literature, a sound Of a subject that is at once the object A song that sings itself to object-hood. Related articles

A Nightmarish Wormhole: Edvard Munch

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Twig upon twig


Wind is upon wind, twig upon twig Twig upon wind and leaves in wind. A star roosts on building's roof-slab. A broken dog barks, a mind breaks To a clearing in a jungle of morass. Time to clear eyes of light for a min. Forget kitsch, forget the need to die To acquiesce, to surrender, to sing To stretch throat not coming of poet A poet's mediumistic art , no matter. Poet's existence is a mere whimper A howl of protest just before his dawn About a moon-face and a dead man Who walked there in his strong arms. (Neil Armstrong the first moon-walker passed away in today's news)

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Clarity
In diluting dark of the night like this There is Kierkegaard type of clarity Of either/or, before and/or after death When clarity shines like clear water And words do not obfuscate sound And/ or sight, but are mere smells From a night, like its dew on grass. It is night's dreams that wake you up Their words do not smell like a night. They choke you in your deep throat Colorless like water , neutral to nose. Up there they will ask what about clarity They ask Kierkegaard-like and you say Except for dreams that have no smells.

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The gs
Remembering mom dead years ago We tried to picture great grandmother. We did not know who our g.g.m. was But would dream her in a holy thread On a shirtless chest, a lump in throat. Our sacred thread runs left to right , And is reversed on chest right to left And we have placed three rice balls On a banana leaf with sesame seeds For g.g.m,, g.m. and m. in that order. As lineage grows , gs go from them.

31

Pipe
Yesterday's sleep was but a dream In and around a pipe, just nothing Not a smoke in curls, only nothing, Nothing that is not content, a form With nothing as content in the pipe. A shout from a milkman is nothing In the dark of a basement in sleep. A dog's bark is nothing in its sleep And away from a dog's tail wagging To milkman's pants in morning call. The poem is vacuum living in a pipe Sucking in vacuum ,from air of space. A star's nothing touches a roof-slab Like the tree in vacuum, its leaves Touching its nothing from the past. The poem is a pipe with nothing in it A vacuum sucked in from air of space.

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Sleep is a dream
Many times, sleep is a heavy thing Lying flat at the bottom of our night A muddy brown thing crawling with Several sleazy sleeping creatures. Other times it floats away like clouds Around an airplane, scraps of songs Set to melodies of eternal memories.

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The years
The years cascade like the ninety feet dip From Gondwana plateau around sixty A steep fall with a few rainbows and froth. See the moon hung in a branch on a tree That is a sad moon-face, pie-face in cloud That used to jump each time a new wave came. You are reading from years, with their big holes Eaten in by silver worms, that eat them So nice and in such a round perfection. It is they that have eaten bits off your moon.

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The poet and the albatross


The sea bird of Baudelaire is truly vast In the bird ,not in the sea , the sea-bird's Elongated sea vowel fueling imagination Aided by a mere hyphen in proper place. It is albatross not around a poet's neck But in it , with total lack of walking grace Like a squawking woman , loquacious And spacious, with a tinge of the tragic In a ship's comedy of wingless walking. The poet has his comedies in the boudoir. Here he walks privately ,his restless arms Flung in the air, beating the air comically As if swatting many mosquitoes of words. He better stay there ,not come to the aft Where the sailors are waiting to prod him With their pipe-stems or stage a mimicry As laughter explodes after him on the deck.. (Reference is to the French poet Charles Baudelaire's poem "The Albatross")

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Empty feet
The feet, now empty, crawl in ants With blood pressure in systolic low Here is red-blue heart in a rib cage. A rubber snake now crawls on its bars Hearing its dancing with its no- ears. As snakes have no ears but silence Of the earth trembling softly to feet. The snake raises its hissing hood . The ants' crawl is but a night dream An early dream prematurely arrived In a noon pillow, after a heavy meal. At night is a dream of a mind in mind Of a mind that lost cells to emptiness A fear for father in son, a fearful night A fear of empty feet, of shuffling feet Of empty eyes, of loss to empty space.

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Bird drama
The chick is a ball of flesh ,from a proud mama's love, In the wind of the wire , a home away from some trees. The birds are mama and lover ,accountable to the chick On the A.C. unit where they had brought it into being. Chick waits throbbing in a plastic shovel ,dropped there Into a new space of gravity, but a shovel is not a home Home is up there where bird chick is franchised citizen. A dropped chick is a throbbing mass of no flying wings. A sweeping maid has her duty toward homeless chicks. No wings , no fly but to die ? Maid drops the chick high. O conscience beating in my bird, guilt at not doing thing. A heart beating like a wingless chick in a cage of bones. Why no cooing ,only high and flighty shrieks ,wing-fights Above the A.C. unit , why this drama of feather-flapping Finally why this silky silence in balcony's higher reaches. Here fingers fly on keyboard but soon doubts take wings If the fucking mom has taken it in or has chick left its bird. But I am not thy birds' keeper, fingers say, keeper of own.

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Drizzle
Drizzle happened when we were away In rain, catching it in our palms and hair. We would go through its falling snakes We went inside , much afraid of snakes. They would slip though our eye-lashes And fall right into our pockets and stain Our surf-washed clothes with round coins. The coins would fall plop into our shirts In our undershirts ,in their star-like holes And tickle our cold bodies to the marrow. Drizzle happened raising hair Medusa-like And its hair- snakes went all over our faces. In the end , eyes had little pearls clinging. When in rain they did not shine to the sun.

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Flowers and T.V.


At night I opened the door to tiny flowers Dropping from a fragrant piece of the sky Amid my television trials and tribulations. They were my birds, chicks their fragrance. In the morning they would granulate my air. They were moons broken from a housetop. With the sun up they are gone with the wind. It is eye-care time and open the window Says a computer near a window of flowers. The fallen flowers lie scattered on the floor. An arching creeper is waiting for the night For a repeat act in my tonight's T.V. woes.

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A hole in the asbestos


I am circumscribed by rocks and flowers In a bowl where I saw a surprised hare And now a peacock on top, its blue head Outside eyes, my glass eye fails to touch. The rocks are not yet warm with a days sun Squatted in a wilderness like brown figures Smelling grass flowers with upturned noses. I look farther to see the lake rising to the sky And endless asbestos fence beyond the lake That has a chink for people to snake through.

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Claps
You may please decide whether you want Loud claps or standing ovations or merely Silent admiration for a sterling performance. Personally I prefer claps because of the air. The air makes a funny noise in the palms. The eyes seem to be on you ,so many pairs With admiration shining in their tears flowing In the room, flooding the crevices of furniture. Their balls make such a fine splashing sound Like the silent fruits of a banyan on the pond. The music is great and the plastic chairs pretty. These claps are meant for you as you half-squat With your behind in the air to precarious music.

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Virtual crows
The crow's caw defines my dawn I got this thing again this morning An itch to scratch into light words From many incoming bird sounds As if they all had started from here. There are no crows in the internet Only crow-words they lustily caw . The breeze blows on them virtually, I mean, semantically linking birds. But a crow defining dawn is for real And for a change I hear a real crow That sits primly on an internet cable With light leanings towards the road Suggesting a hiatus from light words. The crows are not for virtual people Sitting in dense foliage like cuckoos That lazily call down rain, waiting for Crows to make nests for their chicks. They are ancestors from our vintage When internet was palm leaf scrolls They come down yearly for rice balls.

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Blue shirt
His blue shirt harks back to ordinary days Of walks in field borders to triangular hills Fragrant rivers and mystery flower bushes, An ordinary shirt our men wore in the times When an ordinary life had still existed and The bush shirt had not yet come into being. The gardener wears the shirt of the sixties When shirts flowed with detachable buttons. His blue shirt is a tell-tale tatter of the times Ordinarily found on stick-and-pot scarecrows With birds painting the stupid potheads white.

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The oil lamp


The oil lamp is not a light thing but an oil Just a body that is not life but a stillness Seeking its intermittent glory up and down. The oil is our darkness eating itself to light A whiff of breath that imbues a darkling night A climbing of wall to lose oneself in the sky. The lamp is a dying flower smelling of God. The lamp is death dying to make a little life.

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The sentences
Let us not be too sententious As behind a prince's curtains. There it stops in no comma. The curtains have shadows Death and murder,treachery Mother's love, father's ghost. We borrow all our sentences For a common man's stories We duly make up the curtains. Let us husband our sentences. We need them when in sofas In our morning tea meetings, The comedies of our daily life.

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Ripe
We really combine things when ripe Like a mango smelling to be eaten. A soft fragrance fills the air like flies Tickling a nose to make it come alive. The room is now open for ripeness With another old man fresh to poetry, A conspiratorial silence by the world, As he will turn a golden fruit in the air Tantalizingly hung on a windy night. Open the door , will you, and close it For Gods sake, feel a rooms ripening As a fruit gathers ripeness in the box. The room will ripen to a golden silence Filled with fruitful discovery and joy.

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Morning train
The city would swell in the morning sounds of a train As it reaches from an outer waiting to the inner yard With station birds scaring the train away by shrieks. The auto-rickshaws splutter with suitcases dragging On their castors, their owners' female shoes clicking On asphalt ,a sleep hunger yawning in their mouths. Here there are no buzz-bee bags hanging on the side Or kaleidoscopic glass on the wall in a morning light And dark buffaloes on calm rounds of cud chewing. The milk is not of kindness and has a rich fat content. The trees will sleep in the day drugged with gasses. By evening their throats are lined with diesel fumes. Bleary eyes open the door to sleeping milk packets And a roll of newspaper flung expertly by a paper boy. The paper roll says on top that the train did not arrive Even in the outer yard and rickshaws did not splutter. Female shoes did not click on the asphalt or in yawns.

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Table fan
We shall now go out to collect our stories From a night filled with hollow dog barks Against wind chimes from standing trees. A table fan comes our way in the carousel On top of the dark stories of our making. Stories are from inside as we confer value On vacant things, a few holes in memory. Like this woman who had kicked a table fan In diffused russet hues of a tiny beauty-dot As if it is a bucket women routinely kicked, In stories of kickety table fans and women. We do not blame the table fan for officiating The role of a bucket an old woman kicked. The table fan has views on sundry subjects. It cannot be blamed for other people's views. Our own table fan shakes off its wind as if It makes all the wind trees are shivering with.

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Light love
No matter what poetry word I look for in light In its rich aural sounds or a cuckoo rain-song While morning is night , a light breeze blows In green trees ringing in light love, from a poet To whom it came down fluting by summer sea. Our poet-friend is long gone and is lying dead And lightly ,I suppose, after all that light love. By the sea there is lightness of all and our being. Let us lie lightly like love by the summer sea. In love death sits lightly on our lightness of being. (Remembering the poem Beside The Idle Summer Sea by William Earnest Henley)

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The black dog and the pink rose


You see a beautiful rose shying away from the wall, A black dog barks at other dogs in their white light Stray dogs multiply in light,in a one-to-four equation. The rose expands laterally in its pink folds of beauty. Here we are,straight from a meal, from a white light, A rice grain and sounds of purity uttered gutturally. We have come from white light, in rice and sounds. The rose hid under the leaves bobbing head up shyly For us to look its pink face ,discover beauty and life. It barks at other nonexistent roses just like our bodies Barking at the bodiless ones, as sounds in a vacuum . Bodies are just sounds , a few grass leaves and water. They are roses near the wall, dogs growing by a light.

50

Meme
It is a bit of cold , five years and a little less So many years, translated as so many hours And days ,this riding back the arrow of time. Mum is a meme, turned green as a mango The day a throat went parched singing from A laughter that trailed off in a no-sense sky.

I shall open the door and let the dark come in With the wind in the trees, like a cold of death. Death is meme , its cold now a warm memory This day in balls of rice, a feeding of memory.

(Remembering mom on her fifth death anniversary)

51

Monsoon raga
There at the bottom of the India-map A sneeze had begun and a handkerchief Came up to our noses through the hills As rain began pouring on slippery mud Of tire treads, sins spread and stinking Refuse home for the seasons new flies. The clouds multiplied like flies in clinics Of doctors heavy with tails in their necks. Their tails went like animal tales of shit. Your heads swelled with loss of dignity And your nose quickly forgot the flowers. You looked funny under a monkey cap. The rivers flowed fervently in side-gutters Bringing our shit back to the very noses That had just sent it away to other noses. You missed your slum pigs that explored All piles of filth, bringing their insides out. We shall now bring out our sitar to play A fine rain raga if the fucking flies let us.

52

Kasim the corpenter


Walking on the lakeside and much later, Reading of an old ship of seasoned timber Made from the ancient Russian pinewood The matter of a carpenter in the computer Turns out corepenter, not a printer's devil. Kasim has got to be a terrible carpenter On lakeside not fit enough for a door job. His hurried sign declares a corepenter In large white letters on a gray steel box. He can't be a good carpenter ,the blighter. He cannot even be a proud door-painter.

53

Keep
She has now come to keep the night In a state of rumble, a peace unkept A remember of a day that stretched Like days in no hurry of denouement When nothing would finally happen. The old lady went away of malignancy Leaving a high and hiccuping husband With a dancing throat in the kitchen In male egotism and paternal rights. The lady has since embraced her fire Leaving her man entirely unembraced. She whose eyes have long gone wild In her son's sleep, is looking for stars In the night at their last count by him. She has forgot the count in the melee Of she who went away to embrace fire Leaving husband highly unembraced.

54

Bridges of existing
I remember my bridge- sitting in the evening Hair blown, smells indistinct, kids playing On the sand below, buffaloes on way home. There was another bridge but I was not there Above the water and the speedy cars passing Like nobody's business but it was like that. Bridges existed and one had better be there. The beautiful bridge did exist and so did she. A beautiful woman, her hair blown, her body Turned nonexistent, but the mind continued In sheaves of random prose , tattered verse . There are bridges of existing, hers and mine.

55

Variations
I have now moved on from my remnants To a night of variations, of subtle textures. The variations are a poem in the making With exquisite textures of a soft language Like the inscrutable night, silky and smooth And lined with sleeping trees in a dark sky. The remnants are a poet in fever that likes To see his own remnants on the ground Ticking away in an aliveness of art form Some sort of a soul divine, a shred of light, A body moving from itself, an aesthetic.

56

Always
There is powdered always in the mind Slightly granulated, dispersed in blood A thought made, a word said , a de ja vu. A cliche this thing is , always, nauseating Repeat, a television serial of time music Everything happens always , as always.

57

The sister
This day we welcome the wealth goddess Asking her favors, new clothes and gold Husbands' love, life and joy, job and kids. We do not need brooms and bath room Slippers with a bit of darkness skewered On a golden day of wealth and happiness. A dark sister of the wealth goddess waits On the staircase , with a bare neck devoid Of the golden hues of wealth, her loose hair In full disarray, on a bareback of poverty. Behind ,she stands sadly on a door frame Gaily decked with painted flowers, brooding On her heavy deprivation, a sibling rivalry. The marigolds sing in their heavenly beauty. Their dust flies in our face in soft fragrance. The stories told make us rich, our husbands Long living, loving and liveraging their wallets. Let us slam the door shut in the sister's face. (Lakshmi the goddess of wealth is welcome in the homes but her sister Jyesta who comes riding on an owl, represents ugliness and squalor and is turned away at the door)

58

Nose
At the start of the walk the fly Danced around a pugilist nose In clear geography of a gray sky With no rain, only a promise. It seems raining in the other sky. Will the clouds turn rain like flies? In the sky is a swarm of doubts That will soon turn flies, only flies Buzzing around a walking nose. But now the sky is the other sky. And as I reach the end of the walk The nose fights silver rain like flies.

59

Simulacrum
In a rhythm, please speak up now with us As rain- moths are pulling out their music From puffed up cheeks and painted hearts The cuckoo sings a rain song from a gnarl. Its rhythm will go on till morning and sun. Crack a burst sound from the almond shell Of morning hid in kernel on night's branches The tip of a tongue testifying its early rising. The adrenaline had wildly gone up the night. Girls, hold your skirts and swirl like earth-ball Kick the blue of the airy balloon to a yellow sun The sun has tied his horses to swirl around it It will now be your fate to move in simulacrum. The sun has tied Earth and other planets through attraction and moves them around itself as if a trainer moves newly trained horses around itself holding their reins. Rigveda 10.149.1

60

The marriage
The child is still sleeping in a flood of light. Words,spoken out, poke darkness in eyes As it grays to birds climbing a reddening sky The voices fizzle down in a vanishing night. A car door is slammed, only to be opened. The lists are still in the making, the silks still In the wearing, their fragrances still sleeping . The steel chairs are dragging on a dusty floor. But the flowers are ready in a fragrant thread. You can smell their fragrance and much later As girl is woman, feel them, a touch for touch A curve , a lowering of eyes, a fragrant dream.

61

Salt
Instead of a man we now have a little salt In the pans of the lagoon there somewhere Remembering the dunes they had made For scooping spoonfuls of salt into hearts. In the darkest wastes of the night the salt Took this man unaware, blinking at the stars. They were salt grains on the sea of the sky.

62

Incomplete dream
From the window the rain fell on the road Devoid of a dog's barks, a tree's brooding. A night's rain fell in a dark well of no frogs. A dream remains incomplete,a mere scrap Of memory. a stuffed creature, a grotesque Parody of a poet's dream, of a stuffed tiger. Tigers do not exist being words from the far. Dreams of tigers exist in blind poets living As stuffed poets of our dreams, our words. (Thinking of Borges' Dreamtigers)

63

Detritus
A lot has come out of the detritus A morning wet with the night's rain Birds pecking at sky for more rain. Like on the next day of lights festival The kids look for unlighted crackers And it is such fun to set them off Near many windows ,to scare ghosts Sleeping under their winter blankets. Birds are kids looking for some fun. They forget the loss of the loved ones That went last year not to come back, The detritus of last year's warm nest Feathers strewn around on a cat's visit Screaming ghosts from a warm stomach. They forgive the cat and the detritus. They forgive the unyielding July sky. Their beaks peck at the sky for more rain.

64

Beacon
I cannot escape the tyranny of the word A false beacon or at times a mere image When I see none on the sea I look for it A word that is a beacon, false it may be Then I drop my anchor and land myself On unfathomable boredom , a decrepit sky Of nothing, in a sea of purposeless faces, A noise that takes me to nowhere's beyond Being others' beacons, others' beckoning. But then I have to go somewhere from here.

65

Boy
We came away as we found a boy missing From a motor cycle on a hill road racing With a train ,chug- chugging to his song. A saffron shirt was all we know of the boy Who brought eyes down for love in snows Setting hearts aflutter in many a blouse. (On the passing of Rajesh Khanna ,yesteryear's superstar today)

66

Gossip
A word makes our story like music. We are looking for big story-words Flung at us in windows of eagerness Our ears prick for more, our phones Stopping to ring expectantly, in hush Of bigger , higher volumes,undertones Eating each other's ears under hair. Give us our word, line of progression. Our story is made, so he comes alive. We want underdog , just a protagonist Not proved , hauled on coals of words Words touch him like a buzz of flies. We are desperate for words to take off.

67

A major marital matter


He took the cell phone to his sleep To the left of sleep the phone rang Head leaned to shoulder to listen To its silence and hushed whispers As the conversation flowed its way. Head belonged to man whose wife Wrote on other men's army wives Who are not just Swiss army knives. She is the one head says,in whispers, The saint had ordered it to marry. The head whispers in all its silences. Its dreams lie scattered in army wives Prim and proper, in their clipped English. Her own dreams are black and white Against the army khakhi of barracks. She a poet, like a werewolf is married To a khakhi gentleman, a major moon Not a minor marital matter,the latter.

68

Coffee stain
Somebody's brother's coffee dregs Made me think of my coffee stain That would disappear with a look And wipe with own industriousness And no mused maths on the table. That is how their stories are made Now mine, including my coffee stain On a table that would go with water. Our stories are made not by stains Left by coffees that hold memories But by brothers now gone for good.

69

Blind Curves
A flat self you are, of springing cactus and sand The sky meets the sand of earth in the distance. You see a curve of a sand dune and a gray camel Its hump delicately poised on the earth-sky line. That is where the parched water is stored for you In journey to carry your flatness through curves. A curve dangerously close to heart, springs from A body ,soft in contours of midsummer madness And turns a pain in knuckles, a lump in the throat. These are dunes with no eyelashes that save you From a sandstorm, from their sandy distortions. They feel like contortions of a body racked in pain Rooted as you are in the physicality of existence.

70

Shout
This morning a cuckoo shouts Instead of the customary cock. Dawn's voice rises from a tree Not a throat on a broken wall. Its shout goes, silence after silence, To an imaginary rain in the hills. The sun rises quietly against birds. The birds shout to a reddening sky. A temple shouts a dead voice to sky. We wonder why in such a silence They all have to shout to be heard.

71

Exclusions
There in the night we think of exclusions In our joint fates , our common destinies As odd sounds issued from creaky souls On top of a workaday, as strange dreams Of our ancestors looking past their bodies. It is not they but the rising tide of decay. Bodies are not theirs but of time and night. Our own bodies lay sprawled under trees Beside temples of red and mesh in a day. Their eyes look through trees and beyond Solving the mystery of our bodies in stones Turning to stones , water, wind and dust. Their sadness is their exclusion, their joy Contained in the hollowness of their gods.

72

Hollow Sounds
In the ripe night one began just to write Merely because one had to just prevent Others from writing, with the night still Remaining undone and its stars flickering In final counting. before we close bags. That is when it turns just write and Moses Of Saul Below writes his unread letters. Here we read his unread letters to write Poems that disappear before the last line. We then go into the night to sniff it deeply. Our minds are full and stuffed with words. Our yellow paper in the computer bristles With capital first lines crawling all the way. We keep writing our letters for not reading. Our poems are not novellas for train reading. Our poems are unread letters to a hollow god In whom we are contained, like Herzog Moses. We manage to make hollow sounds in him. (Reference is to Saul Bellow's novel Herzog)

73

The little girl on the temple steps


On the stone steps towards God A girl strains her eyes to look up Through fuzzy shadows ,as the steps Are hazily floating away from her. The temple is miles up and away. Will they return to her from her sky In a fragrant presence on the hills?

74

Names
At the crook of the mountain The shadows stretch of water Trickling to the road from names Of gone people with memories In white left on the mountain And their names keep dropping While the mountains breathe And the owners are gone for ever.

75

Blur bird
Blur bird came out of a blue blur An imagined blue kurunji flower Of twelve years in the western hills That was when we went looking For chained elephants in the forest That went mad in mountain heads With love for female of the species That had smelt from far off eucaliptii But the blue bird was not a bird But a flower of rare appearance But in the blur it became a bird This elephant trumpets its glory Just opposite the temple blessing Your head for a ten rupee bribe You see our elephants no more Love sugar cane in the outcrop Or go mad in passions in fat heads They bless bald heads for ten rupees. Near the windmill is a young sun Playing hide and seek with clouds But their windmill is carrying on With its reluctant rotors stirring The wind is just a blur in the hill Just like the sun and the blue bird And elephants that see females As a mere blur to elephant noses

76

In the end this whole thing is a blur Beautiful minds are in a state of blur. Our blue birds are flowers in their blurs As our clothes are caught in the burr The sun slowly turns a blur in the hills.

77

June
My June is here because it was her October Immediately preceding,with wind in the trees. It was one madam Gluck who did the talking. I hear her voice in the trees as night dilutes To a wind without water from the seas below, Avernus to a king's empire of a humbled head A dwarf God had trampled down into the earth. My letters are soft by the hour like her sounds As the wind in the trees slowly rises to a death To a not being there that does not matter to life And the living as the wind rises against the bird. It always happens when a wind rises to death, A vapor that is a wind in the trees, a dead poet. (Remembering Averno by Louise Gluck)

78

Places
We had these places, their topography Ideal for dying, for disappearing quickly Mainly as images between impressions Like disappearing among streaks of rain. Rain will disappear to remain a memory. The memory will disappear ,only a sound A picture frame at the top of a glass shelf. The place will translate as a music record And as smell of disinfectant and two feet Shuffling in the soft layers of the earth-air Levitating as ghost without feet,only a tail . The ghost is a mere illustration for children. Their magazines smell of kings and ghosts As deep forest animals are talking morals. We then turn ghosts with ghost memories Our places turn ghosts in nightly quiescence. Our places are ghosts that have turned dust.

79

The anti- poem


A sleeping poem comes late and bleary-eyed. A bird repeatedly pecks at our thought space Its staccato call mistaken for a loud rain call Anti- call, the thesis of which is in the making. You cannot have anti- without its first being. Luckily there are large gaps in understanding . More rain- puddle jumping is done in thought When the vehicle passes hurling its first mud. There are some rainbows that vanish in a trice So we hold our skirts and practice our jumping Our anti- is formed even before thought is made.

80

Poetry of the broad daylight


The night we had hung our boots And wanted to be asked to explain Nobody asked poetry with mind. Now is poetry less mind, a mind Of mere bird calls, a lonely cuckoo Calling to rain from a leafless twig Unusually enlarged to our vision Consequently dissipated in a sky. Cuckoo went hoarse with no rain . Freshly wet with poetry less mind, We went hoarse with construction. Our poems go down their throats.

81

Pace-maker
In the rhythm of a heart's beat A fear is holding belly together In the green womb of an I.C.U. A rib cage is all we think about, A pain licking ,a flesh in flowing A jaded plastic , a gutter stuff A mesh of words that turn ash A smoke in eyes curling to sky.

82

Rain at night
Rain at night grew out of the day's dust heaps Of poems ,hiding, incubating and lying tangled In clouds of dust not settled on sleeping heads. Pillows search imagery in major street corners Of the mind, when you cease to exist in sound, Your quietness mistaken for eyes closed to life. Rain is dancing in drain pipe in a steady pouring From the roof , its snakes slithering in streams On the metal road, towards the rain water pits Where they enter the burrows to sleep in rocks. Not sleeping, they join the other snakes there. Rain has surprised the moths still buried in holes Their wings still in the making, their bodies itching To die on the cream of light on our window glass. They will come out slowly to embrace their deaths And tomorrow there will be a rich raking of wings.

83

Not to write
Not to write was a broken dream Cut off from eye sockets, two stars On the low, a budding of hibiscus. The birds had come from the dark Their cries parodies of rain falling In Vishnu hills, in forest trekking. We look down from a black granite On watchman's life, a liquid in veins And on our life, when it would burn Among stacks of plastic garbage When water turned smoke in hills. Not to write was a poem of smoke Curling in the low hills of two stars.

84

Loneliness
I had taken mobile phone to my sleep. My head went talking to the shoulder On a motor cycle, my feet screeching A halt to a speed-breaker at school A kid in schoolbag on the road-sign. My loneliness sang ditties of my space As it rode a motorbike to another space Eating up crumbs of married loneliness In a storied meal-box hanging to side. I turned to the wall, to the left of sleep And the phone rang and the head leaned To my shoulder to listen to its whispers.

85

Impermanence
Before morning the dogs would raise snouts To our sleep, in dreams whenever we turn dark And philosophically conscious of a short tether And we cant go very far, beyond the immediate. To the mountains is a stretching of song and god From a sea that raged alternately in wind of trees. September or October will be a snow mountain Because we want to do something then to fill Our vast spaces between now and a mountain. A whistle in the night brings mountains nearer. A dog's snout of cry to the wind, a stick tapping The earth for stories, between now and mountains Fills our impermanence with vast windy stretches. We wouldn't know where night ends, space begins.

86

Lullaby
A little flower lay dead here From night, yet to be sung to Its fragrance is history, body A map on my computer table. Children are to be sung to In their innocence of sleep For their lapse of memories About their womb-homes. Green arms fly away in dance To a burning roof for dying. They crawl to a sky for dream Their rain-wet white fragrance A memory of a song, a lullaby In the night's throat, a scent That remained there unsmelt.

87

Loss
There is no need to drag bodies in sand To count stars that flickered for counting. We feel exempted from the star- counting Like the soldiers-to -be with lesser chests . Chests heaved with unnecessary pride As night climbed over heads under trees Full of stars above them ,in danger of falling. We have lost count of their broken pieces That have turned fireflies in earlier counting. We lie under a dark cloth of promontory Thinking of the many stars lost to the night There is nobody to count them this night.

88

The abstract moon


At midnight the moon failed to illumine the lake. A girl and two boys entered the lake's darkness . They paddled the boat to find an abstract moon. They feared their moon had fallen to the bottom . Girl could not swim but one of the boys could. The other went to the lake's bottom to learn. And he is still learning the perfect way to swim Remembering the way he had learnt to swim As when his life had begun in murky waters. Girl forgot how to wake up from the paddle boat. She was lost in a reverie about an abstract moon. Then real waters sneakily entered her warm lap. But she hardly felt their cold against her stomach. The story only he can tell who knows swimming.

89

The rain stopped in the morning


The morning begins with rain bird Cuckoo trying to sing for more rain Wet rain on morning roads bringing A few fallen leaves, mirrors of puddles A dead night's moths lying sprawled On the window sills remembering Brief lives of fewer regrets, forgotten Death events, a sun looking away. Birds are up and about, competing In their throaty songs with crickets The last vestiges of a just closed night. They go into a huddle, their music Touching the hem of the sky softly In silks treasured in blushing clouds. Now there is silence in white clouds The sun gently peeping out making Clouds blush more, for alleged failure. There is no rain, a sun goes crimson Much promise but little performance . Thunder went quickly dead, lightning All a swagger, nothing much to show Only a few chalk lines behind the hills.

90

Hibiscus
A little bird came and froze Into a hibiscus, deep into its Folds, soft towards outer sky. A sky raged beyond its petals Its wings flapping like fever Hibiscus stayed eyes closed Bird came to and the flower, Its eyes open, the bird gone.

91

Random
Random is a word of averageness With a gluey comfort sticking out On a poet's firmament, on a night Of dark mystery as his words shine Against a sky of beauty, a fine flower That would flutter like a bird about it Uninvited tiny beak poking mystery Inside of a sweetness,a flower dust Like rice flour of star dust sprinkled On the marbled floor of a night sky In all this is color of magenta, soft rich Folds of cottony clutter,not belonging. When we have single petals of rebellion We do not have layers of settled being A thought exploring beauty of unbeing Absence of a never presence, a death Of presence, a hologram of thing else Taking place elsewhere, to another sky A breath with a mouth of uttered song A soft death in a sky of happenstance A window that will open to an infinity Of a night that will never flip to a dawn.

92

Book
About my dark nights, gray afternoons And my crows not yet arrived on the fringe, The book is indeed fat , redolent with sound And creaks at seams, like a rusty door hinge. Its pages are doors sidestepping to a backyard Filled with trees that look down into the well For their shadows eaten up at its bottom. Shadows fell there by accident, not design. The water is neutral, in its mossy brick steps Shadowy , moss-green and gray towards dusk But generally unresponsive to frogs jumping From crevices where lay entire frog colonies Deeply brooding in their own crevice shadows. It looks like the book is not about dark nights Nor about crows not yet arrived nor shadows Recumbent at the bottom where the pail fails To reach, touch and shiver waters in ripples. It is not even about frogs libidinously waiting To be written about, stroked on slimy backs. As the book is written it is mostly about itself.

93

Pitchers
This is our wealth, these plastic pitchers Colored and vain, on our heads of hair With jasmines smelling from our backs. The way waters pour in them is beauty. Our bodies are full of water, as it sloshes In them just like in the green coconut That fell from a monkey man up there. Our water dilutes our husbands mostly Filled with viscous liquids and gray smoke. Our jasmine smells are drowned in them And they make mostly diluted love to us. Our pitchers are our wealth, red and blue. Ere the cock crows we are up and about With red and blue pitchers on our heads.

94

The garbage snake


In the beginning there was darkness, just nothing, Only a cry from depths , from a despair of tiny lungs. A snake coiled around me at the core of my being. Cut off the snake, let it slither away to street garbage Someone said, who was dealing with such snakes. They let it slink away from me , on way to garbage, The very snake that comes to me even now in sleep.

95

Body beautiful
You see your body with a body's eyes That do not go far outside of your self. The beauty of shadows a sun knows. The corners are lit up only in the noon When the spiders take to a quiet nap. These eyes do not come out to look From the edge of touch, like my fingers That are tiny ants crawling up nowhere But into the dip of the hills, their craters Let down by a primeval god of thunder A noise, a cracker from a night of love.

96

Alive and smoking


Now he is dead and not smoking His wife is alive and not smoking And his daughter and the stars He had pointed to her that night. Mom had spawned all the stars When he had come out from her. The stars are alive and smoking. Venus was brightest the other day Across the blazing sun of the sky A tiny black dot on its fiery redness Alive and smoking across the sun. It is better you are dead and fine too So you turn a star alive and smoking Among many mother had spawned When you had just come out of her.

97

Quiver
The teacher omits to instruct pupil In the way of sending a final arrow. His own teacher hadn't told him As he had forgot to ask his teacher. The teacher's pigtail quivers sadly In guilt and shame,as the arrow Does not leave the quiver in time And death does not forget to leave The king of death's quiver in time. The teacher's teacher's pigtail Quivers sadly, in compound guilt. Teacher's pigtail quivers simply. But death's pigtail does not quiver.

98

Distances
The camera spans the lake and the hillock And a tiny figure hunched amid the boulders With black-brown creatures gently floating As black silence of presence hung over him. Their woolly silence had come from the hills Its wings flapping, noises feeling like night. The camera shies away from their shadows Feeling their overwhelming presence in him.

99

Distances

The camera spans the lake and the hillock And a tiny figure hunched amid the boulders With black-brown creatures gently floating As black silence of presence hung over him. Their woolly silence had come from the hills Its wings flapping, noises feeling like night. The camera shies away from their shadows Feeling their overwhelming presence in him.

100

Transgression
The cashew temptation is casual and sandy. Under the cashew you lie down on the hot river sand and let the sand singe your skin .Grains of sand that enter your holes where you dislodge by a blow of your breath. Blowing does not bring babies. But the sands are everywhere, They cannot be dislodged in some nooks. Babies are afraid of your breath when you blow into their eyes. They shrink away from you ,from your talcum in the rolls of their baby fat, like the sand that had singed your bare naked skin and entered your nine holes. . The cashews are yellow, fragrant and succulent. But when you eat them they catch your throat. The sand burns sin off your skin. The sun rains his heat on your love. You burn from its purity. But the ripe cashews catch at your throat later. And you cannot dislodge sand from the nooks.

101

Mind and body


A sticky head remained firmly glued To a body that thought like another And acted as one, in peals of laughter. Suppose it were born a few secs later When breeze was softer and purpler As midwife played truant drinking tea It might have been a quantum physicist With a quivering beard in Royal society. The eyes would have no stretch lines About them, only swift brush strokes. There would be nobody running after With murder on mind, no unborn kid To the wet eyes of mother's pure love. The stars might have shone on a mom Or on a real bearded quantum physicist Not one the sticky head thought it was.

102

The lost house


A lost house talks quietly to the lake In a tender morning light of its birds Birds that are in no hurry for shadows Of a camera not opening quite to trees But its shadows tail buildings fallen Headlong into a morning lake of gold The lake laps up against a parapet wall Of nobody leaning against it for view. Absences are ghosts with no prior bodies Absences that could have turned men If the house had stood erect to the lake The lake for company on moonlit nights With a moon falling across the parapet To the ripples of a soft wind in the lake The lake's trees make a luminous frame To the shadows of birds, the buildings Fallen into its shimmer, a moonlight Of the previous night still cherished By the lost house as a tender memory Of leaves fallen to the moon of the lake, Not its absences near the parapet wall.

103