A.J.Rao's Poetry Volume 3


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Poems written between 25th,July 2011and 5th,October,2011

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A.J.Rao's Poetry Volume 3

  1. 1. A.J.Raos Poetry Volume 2 A.J.Rao
  2. 2. A.J.Raos Poetry Volume 2Poems written between 25July,2011 and 5th October,2011 A.J.Rao
  3. 3. This file was generated by an automated blog to book conversionsystem. Its use is governed by the licensing terms of the original content hosted at poetryindailylife.wordpress.com. Powered by Pothi.com http://pothi.com
  4. 4. ContentsThe street with the wall at the end 1Pensioner’s notebook 2Death for dishonour 3The list 4The list 5Spaces 6A petromax lamp 8Bed 9State of affairs 10Birds 12Register 14Poetry of ghosts 16Decline and fall 17Forgetting 18The bush shirt 19River steps 21
  5. 5. Granite 22Moonlight 23Another mother 25Bus dust 26The broken moon 27The whistle 28Rash 29The door 30Walks 31Rain 32Fragments 33The wooden pillar 34The window-sill 35It is Krishna who did it 36The earth-pot 37Body 38Who started the wind? 39
  6. 6. Mirrors in mirrors 40The immersion of Ganesh idol in the lake 41Literature 42The men in the photograph 43Temple 44Gravel 45Tyranny of time 46Echoes 48The sock 49We stymie you 50Shape 51Dancing beauty 52Putting the cart before the horse 54Wife 56Larvae 57Otherness of room 58The mobile 60
  7. 7. The hurricane 62Flowers, leaves and fruit 63The chair as object poem 64The chair 65Grandmothers 66Sufficient 67The cold wind 69The world has already begun 71The table lamp 72Family 73Laugh 75Children 77Fractals 79Seminar 80Sorority 81Brakes 82Posthumous poetry 83
  8. 8. The brick wall 84Story 85Meaning 86The lake that was sea 88Looking for a word 89Particles 91Seeing is dead 92Sleep comes 93Stone maidens of Ramappa temple 94Naming the child 95Prices 96Flowers that make my window glad 97Work 98A child’s birthday 99Soliloquies 100Dark circles 102Dust mites 103
  9. 9. Wall 104Miracle 105The first flower 106Words for trees 107Light 108Figures of our speech 109The sea of images 110Authenticity 111Climate change 112Metaphors 113Phony vision 114Scream 116Holes 117Children in the rain 118Bridge 120The temple of shadows 121
  10. 10. The street with the wall at the endIn the morning the feet shuffle through streetsListening to God’s song in the ears, the splatterOf water before houses, brooms before housesWomen making gurgling noises in night’s throatOf water- cleaning of sleep, on tongues stretched.The men have tooth-paste foam at their mouths.Some days we reach the history of an old womanWalking the feet of yesterday’s marriages, picklesMade, worship of deities, hospitals of childbirthsBabies crying in lungs, dark nights spent on bodiesSilk sarees in steel trunks, fragrant brides of sonsSweetmeats brought from gods, fears of violence.An unease occurs of slowly dawning futility of it allAnd the feet somehow end up at the wall at the endAnd have to trace the morning back to a side streetLosing sight of the woman and her enacted history. 1
  11. 11. Pensioner’s notebookWhen the word comes, the idea’s genesis occursIn the deep night, when idea happens in our eyesOpen from sleep, having been quiet on sleep’s bedOr in ghostly rapid eye moments of broken dreams.Body is thought, on a wrinkled face, deep in poems,Or on a furrowed brow, bearing daughters like SitaWho are destined to suffer as wives for bigger glory.Daughter has to prove her life and innocence by fireAll because she is someone’s wife in the deep jungle.A pensioner’s notebook has to record his existenceHe has to prove his aliveness to the birds in the tree.The birds have to prove their aliveness on the wire.They have to hold a daily parliament on T.V. cable.So nobody will deny their existence in color plumes.A pensioner has to prove his existence to the worldThe world needs a viable proof of earthly existence.A body or a signed paper is proof of yearly aliveness.September poems are not recognized for the purpose. 2
  12. 12. Death for dishonourA crusty old boss causes death to girl’s dadAnd his dishonor weaving a swindling story.The father’s death is daughters beginningThe glory of womanhood, a sweet revengeWhen sold body is defiled for a sweet cause.A body has no purity when dead, in father.The gun is boss’ own phallus, waiting to dieAnd wipe the dishonor on daughter’s father.(Reading a short story titled Emma Zunj By J.L.Borges) 3
  13. 13. The listThe list is formidable, frayed in the cornerYellowed, crawly writing, corner to cornerLike little ants in line that have lost the wayTo the edge of the wall, shouts lost in legsWe have got to do these things, before dying.Our dying list is a bucket list, a corners listWhere all is swept up to the angular edgesAnd we make our ant-lines, lost in our waysOur little white stuff, on our backs all the time.So many legs, we have lost count, so many. 4
  14. 14. The listThe list is formidable, frayed in the cornerYellowed, crawly writing, corner to cornerLike little ants in line that have lost the wayTo the walls edge , their shouts lost in legs.We have got to do these things, before dying.Our dying list is a bucket list, a corners listWhere all is swept up to the angular edgesAnd we make our ant-lines, lost in our waysOur little white stuff, on backs all the time.So many legs, we have lost count, so many. 5
  15. 15. SpacesI think of spaces, holes made by space in a sky of spaceHoles in under-shirts like tiny stars on a stand-still nightPockets that had the air and sea of laughing childhoods,Villages visited, fairs that sold hair-bands, plastic flowersSweets of white sugar, that took the forms of noisy parrotsOf dark men who had gobbled space behind those hillsAnd harvesters of green fields, their feet of sinking spaceIn muddy rice plantings, their female throats crying songsOf rain that sliced through space, in marriage with the sunSpaces contained in humongous mountains, like bubblesThat issue slowly from a kid brother’s running half-mouth.I think of space in this room that continues to the horizonBeyond curtains, houses, trees, vehicles, rivers, hills, seasOver heads of people, their thoughts, their sleeping dreamsThe blabber of children, the wails of old women, refusals toSpeak by dead men on the bamboo stretchers, the fires thatFollowed them in pitchers and rice-flakes strewn aroundAnd yellow marigolds that celebrated their joy of dying.I think of spaces eaten by the buffalos in their slow mouthsTheir thoughts in their udders of flowing milk, in their eyesThat flickered in the blinding headlights of oncoming trucksWith the spaces that stretched from them on endless nights. 6
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  17. 17. A petromax lampA lamp burned in white light, inside a soft rib cageFeeling like an exhausted star from the Milky Way.Its light curdled like white milk on the mud walls.The shadows of the rain moths swarming around itWere a massive mess of unreal figures on the wall,As the dots together became squares and polygonsIn the way they whirred around the petromax light. As the wind stirred in the leaves, the lamp dancedGently on the door frame, where it is hung by a nailIts shadow quickly responded on the wall in danceWith the entire halo of rain-moths around its head. 8
  18. 18. BedBetween this ceiling and the earth is my sleepLying sprawled on a four-poster bed like a lizardWarm-blooded on roof, upside down, augmentingKnowledge and beauty, for its tiny insects waitingFor death to liberate them and it from the needTo hang upside down, to go about their business.Stealthy spiders trap them in their silk strandsGlistening in corners among the falling shadowsTheir meaning found in insects wanting to die.My sleep hangs between the earth and the ceiling.My four posters are the four corners of the worldThat brought me to the world from the earth up.Now I am three feet away from the earth and soonThere shall be no roof between sleep and the sky. 9
  19. 19. State of affairs In regard to the present state of affairsIt is the objects here that make it, not me.The philosopher sees light on the wallA Wittgenstein (pp 120), in convolutions.Our own state of affairs is a mere state.A state exists in words but passes over.Objects are not unhappy, only subjectsOnly they have affairs, drawn from objectsAnd not vice versa, or even virtue versaIf I do not speak them, they are not there.In a vast glass wall a young woman opensThe door inward, that should open out,A blonde, her thoughts open out, in a state.The color of hair is not her state of affairs.But no, she is not a blonde, nor do blondesOpen their outward opening doors inside.A glass wall that shuts out most of her lightA door that has no doorman in mustachesOpening a door to a cold night of reason.A body is embroiled in a state of affairs.A body that will one day be behind the glassSaying nothing in its pantomimic gestures. 10
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  21. 21. Birds When I was a child birds gave me ideas,In their flights of rows, towards the lakeWhen they looked white and glisteningAgainst the autumn sky, my fingernailsClawing the air rhythmically and my lipsCalling them to infuse whites in my nails.Those days birds could drop their whitesDirectly in the behind of our fingernails.Actually they were bringing these whitesFrom the marshes of Siberia in the seas.A little drop of whites in children’s nailsWould not diminish their white too muchWhen they returned from our nesting trees.Birds gave me their ideas, from their wingsAnd bones full of hollow air, silky feathersThat would some times drop in our street 12
  22. 22. Dancing down many layers of air playfully.We would catch and curate them in pagesOf books, afraid to use them for homework. 13
  23. 23. RegisterLife goes on as frogs croak in the rain puddlesAnd pretty little brown birds continue to makeMothering noises over the balcony A.C. outlet.My register is filled with the smallest of details.In the evening the car stops at the intersectionWith some human hands inserted in our eye-holes.The car has gaping holes inside, behind the glass.The music fills the register; our ears are full of it.The register fills, from time to time, with details.The buffaloes rise against buildings in the grassTheir emotions in control, but their bowels open.Their milk overflows, grass in abundant supply.Their milk is white, like the whites of our eyesThe register is full from time to time with details.We heard about a boy who stared in the hospitalTrying not to cry, when they were shaving his head.It is the uncertainty of what lies inside his skull 14
  24. 24. That is what makes him cry, not just an egg-head.An egg-head is a joke, a laughing matter in mirror.But we are all egg-heads and we are in this together.Our register gets filled with details from time to time. 15
  25. 25. Poetry of ghostsThe poet brings up poetry from random wordsPowder-dried to make a street mosquito killer fogEnveloping ghosts of persons that never existed.Poetry is thus made from blurbs of apparitionsThose have vaguely tapering tails in place of legsLike you draw them roundly in kids’ magazinesVanishing in trees, if you answer a ghost’s riddleAnd if you dont answer, head will break in pieces.Somewhere in the head you have a thing growingThat makes your head break, even if you answerAs the ghost does not accept it as the right oneBecause there are no right answers to its riddles. 16
  26. 26. Decline and fallIt is September and you mark the decline of the sunBehind the long rows of buildings and listless trees.From the train its decline is noticeable in arid wastesThat have straggling shepherds and their grazing sheep.The sun does not envelop their bodies in silhouettes.The orange of light shall wait at the mountains mouthBeyond the spartan colors of the lake, less its shimmerAs clouds pass without event, giving rain a sabbatical.The decline will of course be followed by an exciting fall. 17
  27. 27. Forgetting Forgetting is sound disappearing, body’s spasmIn folds of death, mind’s entrails in a stomachAs everything of you freezes in life’s green liquidAn ice block of death, whose water of life meltsThe night when it happens in a death that staresAnd you collect life’s water in rags of wet clothesAs body is a waiting rag torn off from your fabric.Forgetting is fire and wood, in a crackling sound. 18
  28. 28. The bush shirtThat was a bush-shirt with big, big flowersA soft windy silken shirt we wore to schoolTo others’ envy, with pockets on both sidesThat had bulged with flowery spaces and air.We were hurling fingers in air as if clawing itNot for any complaint, but just in boy-show.(We had not picked it up in the wayside bushWe were not bush-men of arrows and bow)We had left our long shirt with horn buttons.We looked like fierce Afghan men in turbansWith moustaches that struck terror in shirts.Our buttons were two at the top, to our neck.When the bush shirt came our money changedOur annas went of four to a rupee, to easy paisaWe now ate rice in shining stainless steel platesAnd we played in streets seven stones and ball.Our moustaches are silver over frayed collars.We now have pounding hearts under our shirtsWeak of memory, but still love the big flowers. 19
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  30. 30. River stepsRiver steps are wet with village women’s baths.A golden sunlight floods their mornings in boatsLeaving early for mountains on wrinkled rivers.Giant banyans greet them from the other bankSpreading their shadows of hair on the blue sky.Mornings are for sun, palms cupped with waterLooking the sun in the eye, lips softly tremblingWith prayers, as white wet clothes clung to body.On the river bed, the buffaloes bath in shallows,Unperturbed by the sun flashing in vacant eyes,Like little rocks in the bed laid smooth and bareBy a dried up river, after last year’s flash floods. 21
  31. 31. GraniteGranite is our stone, blue – black like Krishna,That provokes strong feelings, hard on fingersBut soft and silky in its core, in hues like rain.It is like Krishna’s belly, filled with flute musicBy a river of gentle ripples flowing from trees.There is rain and wind in it, as in moonless sky.Feel it , play on it and sing its mountain tunes.The more you work on it the silkier it becomes. 22
  32. 32. MoonlightYesterday’s moon had slid behind the schoolTo surface today at midnight, behind the shed.It is a struggle for the cow to reflect on eventsOf the day, near the haystack, with tacky fliesNeedlessly bothering its tail, while the moonIs reflecting temptingly on its water trough.The straw is all around its feet, stewed with urineAnd Bengal grams tastefully added to porridge.There at mountains all was peace and heaven.The grass was just fine, the flies less of a bother.A red bull came with dishonorable intentionsBut was promptly ignored, as if he did not exist.The moon is now directly above the asbestos roof.The night is quiet with the street dogs gone to sleepAnd the moonlight has become brighter and cooler.Somehow the cow seems less angry with the bull. 23
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  34. 34. Another motherJust as my own had gone out of the mindAnother mother came to night in light wordsSpoken at the moon that hid still in clouds.The night generally prevailed on the road.A machine then kept whirring at the backThe machine that churned out hard wordsIn the night’s vast wastes across a dark sea,A sea of words that surged in old thoughtsLike the sea behind humming casuarinasIn old custom houses sitting pretty moroseAs a white spit hurled at them in contempt.The night swallowed her too in its memories. 25
  35. 35. Bus dustThe bus shelter stands against a silhouette of bus dust.A newspaper half-read lies on a lap in its cement bench.A towel is spread on the seat, with an open-ended smileHidden in beard growth, meant to forget hunger pangs.The face inside has no travel on mind, just a killer of time.Layers of fine bus dust have settled on it burying its years. 26
  36. 36. The broken moonThere is a broken moon on the housetop thereCold and soggy, snuggling to the breezy coconut.The elephant god is not looking for it for laughterAfter a heavy meal of sweets in his child-stomach.Our dear elephant-god lies now broken himselfAt the bottom of the lake, snuggling to the algae.Time for a many-armed mother, who shall bestowOur victory for this season, wealth for our devout.The mother maternal, eyes wet with love for sonsAnd terror in tongue, trounces demons under foot.After the victory she too will go down to the lakeTo the drum beating of music and camphor flames.Our gods are like us, of soft clay and kitschy colors.They disappear from lives after the season is over. 27
  37. 37. The whistleThe whistle blares it is the inky night of 2’O clockMarked by feet in old boots, in a Himalayan walk,With their stick tapping the earth to warn thieves.Another whistle, man and boy blew this morningWhose shrillness of blowing sounded quite hollowAcross the bare earth and houses to friends downAll in mirth, the boy in a snigger after the whistle.Their whistle is mere surrogate for night’s cricketSince the latter has taken short leave from bushes.When our rice is ready for meal in pressure cookerThe whistle sounds blowing the lid off afternoon nap.The pressure rises in vapor, pressing down the valve,A short whistle-blower on hunger pangs in our belly. 28
  38. 38. RashWife bursts into rash, as pink- hued as pollenFrom the plotted hibiscus flower on balcony,Petite, not liking birds, honey not dripping.Mother birds causing rashes are pure baloney.Birds do not bring allergy from A.C. outletsBeing brown and stupid with little chick-letsOpen-mouthed with wonder at mama’s feats.Nor does the political grass from a green lakeThat smells of so many dirty fluids and deeds.The lab says unpronounceable issues for rash.Little dots on wife’s moonless sky are its cash.The rashes are body’s too much of a good thingAnti-bodies wiggling in the blood ready to sting.You must know which rascals they are fighting.Otherwise you are doing shadow-boxing thing. 29
  39. 39. The doorPlastic doors are much like ear membranesThey last while you last, water not touching.The shower is effervescent in the bathroomBut the door remains calm and wet to gills.A handle that does not go down to fingers?Use it to upside, when the urge in you is quickAnd the bathroom is getting ready for a song.You will need it, man, in the thick of the nightAs your bloody system comes to blinding stopAnd doors open together to let in cold draught. 30
  40. 40. WalksLong are our walks, morning and evening,Some mental walks, hearty walks, city walks.There are walks, talk walks, like talk going onIn waking limbs, body thinking under the skull.Body merely thinks as its mind which walksLike a hundred-footed worm, a goods trainOf a hundred steel boxes on unending trackThe mountains walk unendingly to the horizonAnd the horizon walks unendingly to the sky.Words walk, spirit walks, our hands go upIn the night air in vertical sky breaking walk.Chilly fields walk and up down with the trainAs also the blue bush birds on phone wiresThe bridge noisily walks away from the train. 31
  41. 41. RainRain in the afternoon makes less noiseOn a napping mind, more on a dulled skinThe way it tickles it by the wind from treesAnd comes in instalments like crow-cawsAnd rice poundings in neighbour houses.Half -awake eyes are shut in old thoughtsAs certain rain of day and sun on the side,Rain and sun married like dogs and foxes.It is at leaf-ends that rain-magic happens.The sun trains a flashing mirror into roomWay past gaps in curtains, on to the wall. 32
  42. 42. FragmentsIt seems we cannot but be mere fragmentsIf it would mean many parts coming togetherIn re-assembly just like in a natural systemOr in a page of a novel, leaving action to guessIn the snows of Kilimanjaro, a rich womanContent to watch gangrene dying in a snarlA Hemingway hero who forgot to put iodineOn thorn wounds under a September sky.Here within walls, there is no further actionExcept dead silence, beyond a dying gangreneFestering on foot in proud wails, in nasty snarls.We cannot be making up things all the timeThe way nature makes assembling parts easyIn programmable sequence of parts to wholes.Now what ,asks itself against the wall up northWhen it comes to re-assembly of broken parts,Memories that had long since trailed off in dustTheir drag marks collecting rain in their holes. 33
  43. 43. The wooden pillarThe pillar is smoothly rounded by the girlAs she swirled with hands holding it tight.Her eyes looked dizzily at the hot tin roof,Her face in slant, at forty degrees to pillar.She whirled around it holding it steadfast. The pillar is her friend, its shape smoothWith her fingers wrapped around it in love.It is worn smooth with her love for years. 34
  44. 44. The window-sillThe window is lack of matter in matter,A hole that is wall against being aloneAn open invitation to city’s darkness.The sill is there to break abruptnessTo make landing softer and smoother.It is there as a transit point before fall.It is there to host rain-moths that dieOn the pane ,trying to embrace light. 35
  45. 45. It is Krishna who did itI have not made the war or these enemies,Nor the clang of metal, nor the fall of duskNor blind men, love of sons, blindfold eyesNor ivory dice with dots of five, four, threeNor caves nor foreheads bleeding with truth.I look at the fish-eyes, fight for fair maidensDivide women into brothers, cry as they loseClothes for honor, never ending as Krishna.My forehead is still bleeding for useless truthIn fluorescent letters, on the flanks of hillsTheir trees precariously perched, from whereWomen warriors jump on horses with babies.A bearded man fought for his useless truthIn blazing skyscrapers with vaporous bodiesIn a fall of truth struck by planes of beardsWhen in direct contact with a burning godAnd fair maidens dancing in fire and water.I have not made the war or burning enemies.It is our Krishna who did it, blue as our sky. 36
  46. 46. The earth-potThis earth is a pot, full of light in its holesIf not holding water for crows with pebbles.A mere wheel turns to give birth to it softly.In summer its earth smells nicely of water.Its shadows at bottom betray our emotionsOf deep passion, thirst for hills, dark fearsIn deep down of belly, butterflies for future.It is like our mom, silk-soft in belly for us. 37
  47. 47. BodyBody is the essence of night, a falling of flowersA few particles of the night, on the way to dawn.The red of their stems is the feet up, faces downQuietly buried in the earth of the dust, leaf-sweptBy women of organic garbage, to greater dusk.Bodies are spoken of well in heaven, their seatsReserved where beauty is condemned to danceIn tasseled silk blouses that are not quite there.The bodies exist till our minds permit, not thereWhen our eyes become shut, on not intact skulls. 38
  48. 48. Who started the wind?In the river, you look up from the waters,And see the wind walking down calmlyFrom the hills that have holes at the top.On your feet, if joined in a lotus postureAt the river’s bottom, the wind will pushThrough currents smelling of the far hills.Your face can smell the wind in the riverWhere it touches your cheeks, in caress.Surely the trees have not started the wind.The trees just shake as though they did it.It is not even a sea of giant rolling waves.Those just pretend they brought it about.It seems the wind comes from upstreamRiding down to the sea on the river’s back.The sea hosts the wind from all the hills.Who originated the wind is now answeredFinally and without equivocation, after all. 39
  49. 49. Mirrors in mirrorsIt came to you before night, before sleepThe fact that watchmen dream of sleepWhile still drunk and dreaming, dreamsWithin dreams, like mirrors into mirrorsEndlessly entering, never to turn back.You drink cool milk and chocolate to calmYour nerves before sleep, as there is a fireIn the belly, not the one they use to driveUp the north, in the mountains and pineNeedles on floor, to collect a few in pockets.You are concerned with foam mattressesLeft to dry in the sun by a drunk watchmanWho has smelly dreams of own to dream.There is sunshine in his dreams, in his eyesBetrayed by a nose-smell of alcohol in air.Your mattresses are ready for your dreams.You have poems that begin afresh each day.Your dreams are in poems, poems in dreamsIn eyes deeply red with forgetful liquids. 40
  50. 50. The immersion of Ganesh idol in the lakeThe lake flaunts plastics and floating godsWith their eyes and feet in clay fragmentsStaring at the clouds, their dark acrylic huesLighting dusk fires on its smiling ripples.Their leaves and dead flowers lie in a heap.Dark men meditate on colored gods of clayTheir wobbling feet made of it, bottom up.Children’s gods fade into red, blue balloonsAnd their stomachs ache for evening snacks,A few warm golden teeth, with hair on topAs a golden ball, tossed in the lake, floats,At the shore, near the holes where men live.Men in the tall machines lift their clay gods,Their women red in faces, their hair in knots.The flowers turn the lake into a yellow sea.They first hoist their gods into the blue skyAnd hurl them into the waters, all in a ripple. 41
  51. 51. LiteratureYou are quite a thing, as a black crow cawsA big man vertically split by mind-thoughtIn sky rings of white smoke, falling deeplyIn love, at times, with just being beautiful.Your everyman touches on your raw nerves,Street men that are not yet your real people.These are the phantoms that walk the edgeTrying not to fall off with the hems of lungisIn their hands, in walking in slippered feet.Their walking sleep evokes big time yawns.You have soft dreams of mirrors that showBig time visions of you, in the grand walkIt is the lungis held by the hand in the streetThat makes the world, in the street cornersAnd the mongrel that follows you by the lake.It is they who make your literature for you. 42
  52. 52. The men in the photographThese men are in shadows, all the timeTrying to speak, to open their mouthsIn the temple, at the lake, on the roadTheir common destiny looks unfoldingBounded by their collective lip-sealingThe ineptitude of their lives and bodies.If only they opened, shouted and forgotTheir gaffes, their shame, common guiltThe primeval guilt flowing from bodiesThe guilt of colors, the inevitable doomForeclosing of future options, the wallsBuilt on their words, the burden of a past.They are there at the temple in squares,Palms cupped to water, their heads hungTo obeisance, their songs sung in unisonTheir hopes jumping from thing to thing.The camera would bring them out of lightTheir bodies dumped in squares of shadeIn limpid pools of thought, under the trees.Their water flows in thin shiny streamletsTheir words frozen at lips, still tremblingAt their imagination, in a foregone reality. 43
  53. 53. TempleDrowned in the temple’s noon shadowsMan and tree turn phantoms, whose lipsHardly seem to move, except in the windBearing the fragrance of the smiling godsIn incense, flowers and camphor flames.The priest‘s pot-belly quivers as god-wordsIssue forth from his large lips, licking wordsAs if they were sweets, delectable to tongue.The trees begin to speak their sibilant wordsAs shadows flow on the mosaic of the floorFilling the camera’s eyes with a mist of love. 44
  54. 54. GravelWe try to sleep off our daydreams.It is when dreams come and we tryTo sleep over dreams as in the night.We doze off on train seat, eyes shut.The train sleeps its eyes wide open.Its sleep sounds come from its undersideWith tiny gravel stones hitting the night.They are its shattered dreams about hills. 45
  55. 55. Tyranny of timeA new morning is opening in my window.A September wind is speaking in its treesBefore customary rain of the elephant-godWho will drown in the pond later in shouts.The poet asks to please, please let go of himOf the stranglehold of time on his innardsA rumble at four is hardly a photo-captionWhile some of our pictures do need a caption.Of course pictures are not made for captions.I live in the deep bowels where time rulesMy bearded rebellion gets calmly put downWhile body refuses to succumb to the windAs the tree there does in its body in the sky. 46
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  57. 57. EchoesWell into music, you sound your noteA jarring note, just an echo of harshnessAn electric fan that has lost its bearingA cane juice crusher that is splutteringShortfall of sweetness in a mouth of echo,A gearbox dripping in thick black grease. Where echoes abound, the tree is bareOf spring leaves, roots bony in the earthIts birds de-feathered of love, of its chicksThe eagle is on roof in echoes of tragedy.Unhappiness echoes in its wings of flight.Well into music the goat shouts in its skin.Its shouts are echoes from an alive skin.Its drum beat is a mere illusion of sound,An echo from the old sounds of mountains. 48
  58. 58. The sockA single cotton sock caresses the foot.Its other seems missing in the closet.It seems your leg pairs do not match,Except in their holes, similar-shapedAt the toe, in its curve and asymptoteWhere the toe tends to a shoe’s curveBut will meet it only at its dark infinity.But the wind in their holes is the sameIn the way it tickles the toe in the hole. 49
  59. 59. We stymie youBefore holes, we shall stymie youIn a global challenge of the earthWiping deep red tears of currencyOverflowing holes, deep as night.The holes are bottomless of money.We mine ferrous sorrows of the earthAnd of trees suspended from the sky.Our holes are full of rain of the seasTrapped in a hot sun, in smaller seas.They mirror the darkness of our walls.(About the illegal mining of the iron ore in the Obulapuram belt thathas caused large scale ecological damage) 50
  60. 60. ShapeThe shape is in the night hidden from our view.You take to night to drown in delightful confusionBrewing in a freedom to take shape from a wordWhen word is poem, a woman that comes to youWith the freedom of shape, from your innerness.Then a crow caws in the dawn of a poem walkA walk postponed for a poem, a thought womanWho comes to you with your own shape of body,The mind shaping a body you love in all shapesA shapelessness of freedom, a release of mindAn amoeba of no shapes, with false feet all sidesAlways flexible, moving only to stay immobileWith the possibility of disappearing as a shapeTo be a cloud of all shapes in the space of time.A patch of discoloration on a wall, a rain-mossBlack of the summer sun, a soft morning soundOf wood against metal, a smell burning in milk,A death into the sky, a dark fear, a loss of shape. 51
  61. 61. Dancing beautyWe have to think of beauty in our dance.Our camels look funny and quite riskyFor a fall from their humps, in climbing.But their colours make them soft in skyWhen they look up from their tall necksThey really touch high-end palm trees.In the desert we have to move our feetQuickly, to not get scalded in hot sand.We have to dance our feet in blue sareesHolding their hems in both hands at backAs indulgent camels watch in their mirth.In desert we are not our women but men.But we dance their dance rememberingTheir steps on the hot sand, as they wouldBack home, in kitchens and earth-stovesWhere fire dances its tongues on breads.Our women’s eyes are of smoke and fire.When they dance there is fire in their eyesMelting their kohl in streams of black tears 52
  62. 62. Flowing on soft cheeks like rivers at night. 53
  63. 63. Putting the cart before the horseHorse- cart is women in laughter,A happiness image, a moving awayFrom house, water tap, bitter treeA broken wall of never to return,A space lost on other side of wallOf women’s heads peeping, withEyes of laughter, wanting to knowWhite dragons of surprised eyesEyes crinkled in round disbelief.A guava tree of ripe fruit not theirs.Smells lost of flowers on the roofBy smells that overwhelm sensesOf horse-turds on rhythmic hoofs. Loss of film songs is felt in the airIn loudspeakers over mango trees.The annual dragonflies do not comeThis season of monsoon, from grassTo lose their silly wings on the wall.Everything is in a blind daze of rainIts flies conspire to hide the worldBeyond a tuft of tail, in busy swish.Horse cannot see green on other side,Nor the world beginning with tailBut all the while, laughter goes on. 54
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  65. 65. WifeAnne Bradstreet was the wife of a husband.If ever two were one, then surely we,said she. It is all in the things of the night utteredIn an utter seventeenth century bleaknessOf a New England straight from the ship.An earldom left in general vagueness of seaFor a tableless living among fierce Indians. Wife’s importance lies in the other of lifeNot merely of the fire, seven times, roundAs every year you think of the seven rounds,In gold, in textiles, in dim-wit restaurants.Wife-love is in the early day of a long nightA pillow night of fears, ghosts and the deadAs you turn to the left of belly fear in sleepYou hear her sleeping, re-asserting your life. 56
  66. 66. LarvaeFrom trees, on a gentle wind from the hillsA new light shall fall on the fluff of marigoldIts petals scattered for bees to tempt smellsOn antenna of viscous honey, pollen of love. The larvae are growing as luminescent dustIn beams of light that travel down from the roofIn chinks of old tiles, awaiting their changeAfter the moss turns on them black in sunWhen new tiles will replace them, by workersSitting on the roof as if they are sky-birds.The larvae are growing in white water- cloudsHoarding river and sea for tomorrow’s festivalWhen they will be beating tin-roofs like drumsPushing dried flowers down their corrugationsAnd send down snakes of water to our ground.Of light dust and snowflakes the larvae will growTill evening when they will vanish in our pages. 57
  67. 67. Otherness of roomThe wind blows in a light rain on the roadIn gentle leaves waving the dawn to break.Here I shall pass in the otherness of roomWhen the sea howls child fears in pocketsFilled with flowers plucked early morningFor worship, leaf by leaf, of gods in framesOn words uttered on trembling lips of other.Rooms are demolished like they of the seaLying in string cots as they stare at the roofWith sea memories of shells on the beachIts snails walking slowly in crooked lines.The tea vendors of beach laugh like snailsOffering paper cups for your life’s worries.Their footprints are demolished by wavesAs soon as they are made, their paper cupsSwallowed by the sea in otherness of sea.A loving parijat tree drops shy love-flowersOn its utter defeat, right outside my room.Their death-smells enter holes of my roomRe-defining my room, its walls reinstated. 58
  68. 68. 59
  69. 69. The mobileThe mobile is now on the moving taxi seat.Speak into it, you eyes, its Latin ring is seenIn the mauve of the taxi seat, quite agitatedOf much pants comfort, less heart- warmthOf yesterday, in more cold of today’s words.It is in the hot words of wax in a cold syntaxOf a mobile talk between shoulder and headAs the former comes close to a sneezing head. Its words are filthy, steeped in religious tunesIn the kitschy filmy tradition of the back alley.Its tunes rhyme with the body’s foot tapping. The head is now leaning tower on motorcycle.Such heads, leaning on shoulders, warm copsIn their pockets, their hearts, burning stoves. Its talk now walks on its feet on road like birdA non-flying bird of the wingless, its feet tiedTogether in the coop, in a joy ride to market.It will speak in hush from someone’s stomach. 60
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  71. 71. The hurricaneThe earth had only slightly stirred thereLeaving denizens remarkably disposedTo funny jokes and light banter, betweenWisecrack twitters of blue birds perchedOn the windowsills of frivolous jokesters. The visitor hurricane is a delicate thingA softer sister of earlier, who turned toughIn her underpants, blowing it really hardOn their lives in smug suburban houses.This one is soft-spoken, unlike prior sister,Only gently touching their lives and roofsAnd ever so soft on weekend getaway cars.Nature is not twitter stuff over fat pizzasBy sedentary geeks behind smog screens.Mocking nature may be a happy pastimeBut remember there could be worse sistersThat may not blow as softly in our faces. 62
  72. 72. Flowers, leaves and fruitOur flowers and leaves and fruit are hereIn silver-white plates of morning fragranceFrom burning incenses, flames of camphor.Our waters stream between lips and palms.Our flowers shall be flung at framed pictures.Come face to face with the elephant headThat laughs on a rounded stomach of sweetsThe head of a trunk from a severed northOn a torso standing guard on mother’s bath.A father is egotistical of a divine drum danceHe that dances in snow hills of blue poisonThat cannot wait to see wife bathing in cave,He that smears his body with our death-wish.His prankster son has to eat in his stomach.Pock-marked moon laughs at his bloated stuff.We all love him the way he pats his stomachWhen he will pace up and down on our roofAfter a heavy meal of rice cakes and jaggery.(Tomorrow is the worship day of Ganesha, the elephant-godwho visits us every year this day) 63
  73. 73. The chair as object poemI dislike the word chair just before dawnWhen I have to hit upon it when the windOutside the window falls on nearby treesIn a rhythm of rain, expected in daybreak. As a false positive I have to like the chair.Its contours are deeply etched in my mindAs if they were from my very ancient man.Here I am talking about the chair as objectWhile sitting in it as subject doing poems. The chair suddenly ceases to be the object,An object poem in my subjective thought.It becomes me in its pearl-white plasticityNot deigning to melt into my light lettersOf poems materializing from air as objects.My words turn objects, ahead of the chair.They are now object poems like the chair. 64
  74. 74. The chairThe chair’s memories go back to a sylvan pastOf animals, trees and foliage, in caves of darkMen, women and kids in leaves of loin cover,Fire in twigs and bird calls and bees of honey. The ancestors might have sat on its woodHopping from tree to tree, looking for chairs,When there were no chairs, only branches.You still see the ancestors’ seats delineatedIn the chair, as if they had once sat on them.(Think of the chair as Idea of chair, in a platonic sense of an objectbeing copy of the Idea. Reflect on the slight depression built in thechair anticipating how the sitter’s body will fill the chair) 65
  75. 75. GrandmothersOur grandmother we remember vividlyIn the moon and sitting on a sagging cotWoven with old stories and waving treesCirculating the moon wind and princes.Coconuts join in stories of green lands lostOn daughters’ weddings, gold shining less,Vegetables brought and cut, from groves.Men come in rain bearing wedding stuffsBetween slippery field boundaries of rice,Paddies with water snakes swimming earlyWomen ankle deep in mud, their shouldersOn level with the mountains of the horizon.Grandmothers cry from no salt in the eye.They cry softly from waters in the headOf memories of husbands lost in opiumOf sons and grand-nieces lost to a moon.They laugh toothless laughter in ripplesOver vegan jokes made specially for kids,Not on fart jokes in high demand by them.As they make hot evening snacks for kidsThey rub their eye-whites, of blue smoke. 66
  76. 76. SufficientWe have never felt it sufficient in all thisIn blocks of time we had made quite earlyOne after other, the latest one sticking outEarlier ones fading away in a dust of time.We have never felt it sufficient to work outThe grand logic of it all, in a clear ontologyA hierarchy of speed, a journey in the wild.A mere outcry, a walk in the wind aloneOver dry leaves that hid a lizard, nothing.There emerged no poetry in this blind pathMerely a fear of fears, of death and night. A piano solo concert, from a friend’s sonA solar energy that flowed from another’sWere benchmarks, a few lines in the sky,Ephemeral as eccentric son of other friendIn a clink of bangles, of a gene gone awry.All is in a mind’s dark, in a together-guiltA son’s failure in father’s life and thoughts.One does not feel sufficient, father of son. 67
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  78. 78. The cold windThe window has let in a benignly cold airBetween a promised rain and a buried rainOf yesterday’s clouds dripping from trees.I close windows to formally remove a clothOf needless wool warmth over old shoulders. A mountain arrived by a kind monkey godWho promptly consumed garlands of eatsIn his ample rolls of neck, a laughing matterIn the foolishness of our pre-facto desires.The monkey who burnt an island with a tailWill surely bring us mountains of smugness,Our desires realized in solid gold and power.The cold wind shall cease only on our gravesWhen our desires no more burn in templesAnd our gods turn silent in their sanctumsAnd look away quickly from our burning eyesEntirely embarrassed, of promises not met. 69
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  80. 80. The world has already begun Look, I already hear the morning noisesOf the bird parents to their new chicksAbove the dripping A.C. unit in balcony.White flowers have already broken outOn the wire mesh as though they wereMy bath-wet clothes hanging in the sun.I look out the parapet for parijat droppingIts flowers, their heads down and feet up.Looks like the world has already begun. 71
  81. 81. The table lampA clipped lamp poured its light on lightTwice it went to sleep and on waking upIts sleep-weary eyes blinked in disbelief.A poem before dawn from knots of wordsOn what rhymes with a green table light! Nothing rhymes with a table lamp right.Poetry of things comes from inner light.Its music is in the very nature of things,The way it trains its light on trite things. 72
  82. 82. FamilyJust a few bodies live together in a hole,A burrow in a space of cement concrete.Pigeons that return on beaks of worms.Gophers in their holes of common spaceExploring life, sharing its outer darkness,As the sky hangs in balance, tautly held.Our children eat porridge off our hands.We are their white walls, with nail-holes.Their clothes are hung in our blankness.Old men stare at ceilings, under the stairs.Sagging cots bring them closer to the earthAway from the overhanging sky of the roof.Just a few bodies that return to the earth,One by one, noting each other’s presence. 73
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  84. 84. LaughLaugh if you must, in your body shudders,Especially if it would hurt, in you of night.Pain or pleasure would vibrate in eardrumLately suspected to hear less of own wordsThat ring as though addressed to audience.You needlessly increase volume of speechBeyond the hearing distance in your roomOr above the market din and bees buzzing.Otoliths may cause balance distortion in old.Nice word this, please remember to look upWhen the vibration comes in the dictionary.You want to sense meaning, you shall vibrate.The Buddha laughs on enormous stomachNot the one under our ancient wisdom treeBut the yellow one, of a figurine in curio shop.Wisdom is when one laughs at rolls of painNot of too much eating in moon of rice balls.He laughs because he cannot cry in the view.Under the circumstances, he vibrates of pain. 75
  85. 85. You want to celebrate years in wax flamesTo vibrate to sounds of breaking birth walls.But take care of the all-around green fluid,And a cord that has to be cut off from mamma.That is when you vibrate in lungful of laugh.When you cry, you laugh at the darkness leftAnd the pain of light on new rolls of stomach. 76
  86. 86. ChildrenYou children from our knees downLook upon the world as blue hillsIn a fuzzy grove of far, far trees.You play games in wood pillarsOf eye’s dreams, also-have-beens.You hide and we seek very eyes.Shout if you must, when the stoneDoes not tumble on the sixth one.You play cheat, ball a mere flower.A marigold tossed from cardboard.Your rules change like life’s rulesWith no notice, now this, now that. From knees up don’t grow to sky.Make clay god out of a wet earthA funny god of an elephant-childEating big balls of rice and sugarInto a stomach, rounded of eating. When you finish making clay godPlease make us too, in river loamSo just like him we can easily breakIn the swirling waters of monsoon. 77
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  88. 88. FractalsSix ’O clock and it is time to repeatOn scale, joint walks, up and yonder.The overcast sky says much nothing.We understand life beside the tree. Repeat the tree and the old dusty carWith the same old names washed offIn yesterday’s rain, waiting in new dustFor the same names, heart and arrow. You looking for repeat arches in art?I have them plenty in my digital boxIn old tombs where angry sultans lieIn endless repetitive arches of beautyWhere men vanish in trees at the end.Our walks are repeat feet under shoesOccupying space, little by little, in sky.The feet shuffle slowly, one behind one.Eight ’O clock is time to repeat on scaleA bus of people on rods, lunch boxesTouching sweaty bodies tantalizingly. 79
  89. 89. SeminarWhen a midnight dog had barked at the darkThere came up a word seminar from the nightIn a hall of poets chasing truths widely knownAn electric fan stirring its hot air of repetitions.Supposing the seminar is shifted to a sit-stoneUnder the tree, with ant-holes brimming with viewsA passing fantasy from inside a sleeping mind.Here we have a seminar of e-poets with lulu booksBehind the window curtains, to bypass brown antsWho vent strong acidic views on our under-legs.We will not miss hot air of higher reaches of hall.A man sits in the back row with a head in handsDreaming of golden brown lunch with lentil soup .He has no rabid views about making verse blankIn the forenoon sessions, after a biscuit break.Just when the speaker comes up with a rare gemThe loo at the back beckons the high and the lowThe lulu poets stand in rows before filling pots.It is in these mini-seminars that inspiration flows. 80
  90. 90. SororityThe soap sisters drop their doe-eyesToo soon and pretty on the noses,The way they sniff at their sistersAll in the race for big house powerHigh-ceilinged and chandeliered.Creepy music is suited to villainy.As they pull female legs, in music,Around mustachioed landlordism. They are sisters up against sisters.They are now in plush boardroomsIn their fight against their sororityAll for sons, fathers and husbandsNot against male tyranny, but for it.They would even check for stomachsBig with sorority, to finish it all offMuch before it will scream in the air.(About woman stereotypes in Indian T.V. soaps) 81
  91. 91. BrakesSilent rain and rainbows of greaseTrace on the road polygonal maps.The grease maps drop from squealsOf rained brakes in car undersides.Their brakes rebel against tyrant feetAnd trace line-maps of free countriesAs their throats shout hoarse slogans. 82
  92. 92. Posthumous poetryWe are mostly writing posthumous poemsIn the corners of our souls, in the outer reachesOf our bodies, from the despair of ripe nights.A shrill midnight whistle causes such poems. Some poems come from lonely street cornersWhere heavy boots will arrive, on HimalayanFeet with large sized memories of kids and wifeIn a firelight of warm coals in deep snow hills.The street dog’s howls aggravate such poems. A bloody uprising in us triggers some poemsIn the unreal company of a Kafka in beardWhen humongous creatures fill front roomsOf overflowings from pockets, book shelvesOur windows closed from the inside of rain.Our literary agent has just died of our poems.He will sure publish our poems posthumously. 83
  93. 93. The brick wallWhat came to the mind was a brick wallIn several squares of thought, a soft windBuffeting the creepers flying on its holesAnd moss of history faded into black night.The busy brown ants were not left behind.If it was words of bricks we might build itIn its brown brokenness,on music of thought.A bird visitor would come in brown stripesIts fickle screw-head moving in sky for worms.The creeper strutted in the sun its proud stuffOf flowers of paper hanging in leaves in pink.It was not a mere brick wall, but a broken wallOf holes that hid childhood, my lost years. 84
  94. 94. StoryIt is raining lightly through the nightOn muddy streets and rain-puddlesOn cars under heavy veil, squattingAs if dying to make story under trees.The trees sat there without brown birds.The brown birds will come later to usFrom a golden sun behind our houseTo make nest of straw in our A.C. outlet. In a room of silence I make my storyOf a friend with heart that just rebelledAgainst too much edible oil and work,In a calm of death that had no foretasteOn our tongues in the fragrant harbor.The brown birds have to make a storyBehind the A.C. outlet in green strawAnd twigs that will not stay on clamps.The rain has made story of reluctanceOn muddy roads refusing reverse-flowUnder trees that yawned in boredomAs stories spread lazily around them. 85
  95. 95. MeaningWater has meaning when it overflowsLike god-sounds, pictures of lost colorWith white faced women in old clothesAs they flow from sounds of old space.Meaning shall continue without break.The objects quickly lose a revised sense.Their sounds combine with their eyes,The seeing eyes of all objects in poems.Their meaning shall accrue as they seeBehind senselessness, in fail interiority.Sounds have no meaning, when heard.Images are all meaning, when in letters.They weave meaning around our things,A mosquito in dark waters of steel glass,Light pouring from steel dome in a pool.Fan sounds feeling thoughts in its whir.A cloth bag had dark worries at bottom.A bird flew from our nest in a window.A person disappeared from glass-pane.The watchman belched from his hand.His pockets were full of night sounds.Our meaning jumps from thing to thing.Under a silken veil of soft fluorescence.A rain that hides mud-houses in moths. 86
  96. 96. Some twigs that bird-fall from branchesA night with no sounds of song in windA scooter that kicked its innards to life. 87
  97. 97. The lake that was seaThe lake went unnecessarily emotionalIn the shadows of the banyan and menSitting on the rails of its embankmentWho looked like birds flying on the sea.Its ripples pretended to be ocean-waves.The trees waved knowingly on the rimTheir green hairs eating up the blue sky.We fished for hidden grandma stories.An auntie lent her gold in a cloth bundle.You need jewels, you jewels of women?Come to the lake and ask the lake auntieWho will lend hers to you for wedding.Remember to return them when done.You, betrayer, have not returned them?She is no more a jewel lending auntie.You can hear her sad silence in ripples .(The myth relates to the Ramappa lake , a 800-year old lake nearWarrangal in Andhra Pradesh that has remained a part of thecollective conscious of the people through such interesting mythsand folk lore in circulation in the area) 88
  98. 98. Looking for a wordAt this time, I am looking for a wordAnd that is when I have found themWhen they come in as blood- cousinsTwice removed, I mean, not literally.They turn sad all the time, all the time;Their sadness is for unknown people.At times they assume grinning faces.They turn sad as they come to a close.Actually they are not that important,Meaning those the words are sad for.It is the language that is sad in its words,The sad language we had made our ownComing from far, in sounds of bagpipesThe bagpipes are sad, celebrating defeat.But their windy sounds are fine music.(About Indian writing in English) 89
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  100. 100. ParticlesThe night advanced in floating particlesOf tiny flowers that would fall at sun rise.Her memories floated as light particlesOf sun dust on the earth’s fallen flowers.We offer rice particles to keep her aliveIn our bellies, our throats, dusty minds.(On the fourth death anniversary of my mother) 91
  101. 101. Seeing is deadThe master sculptor had made tonalitiesStone upon stone, of women in danceMen in beards, servants removing thornsFrom the swollen feet of soft princesses.Their cloth caps towered over dainty feet.Nubile girls danced on slender midriffsOf black tonalities, ankles high in the air.A child god’s flute was heard in soft stone.Gods lived in fading nights of a memory.The vandal’s seeing is death of immortalityThe death of artifice, the death of beauty.(Several sculpted figures can be seen in deliberate disfigurement byhistory’s vandals on the exquisite temple walls of the Ramappatemple near Warrangal in Andhra Pradesh) 92
  102. 102. Sleep comesSleep comes when things seem to be fizzling down,Like late night line drawings, just over a soft pillowIn a fuzz of thoughts, their outlines vaguely formed,As the air slowly turns heavy with cavernous yawns.Sleep is when a red of white forms in our glassy eyesInto a mess of capillaries supplying blood to seeing,To dreaming in a sleep of time, in a sleep of thought.Sleeping is body in a merger in the blue of the skyInto a sky of nothing that rises above the apartment,On the roof , by the water tank, listening to its water. 93
  103. 103. Stone maidens of Ramappa templeThese stone maidens turn you to stoneIf you stare at them too long, in the sun.Their bodies are badly stuck in the wall,They lean forward in the sky of the daySeen by creatures that are still not dust.At night they come out of the moonlightFor hopscotch in the chalk-lines of the sky.Then they come out in groups and danceTo nobody’s pleasure except god-husbandsWho became stardust in the sky long ago.Their sculptor-father is a chisel’s dust,From the father sculptor of all-time sky.His dust is not seen by men, not yet dust.(About the exquisite sculptures of idealized female beauty on thetemple walls of Ramappa Gudi ,near Warrangal in Andhra Pradesh) 94
  104. 104. Naming the childName filling is after our pleasure takingAnd body giving, from a rubber umbilicusStrapped to a golden lotus, from whereThe Creator would spring with his wifeHighly educated, feminist in approach.The lotus-seated god is duly hen-peckedBy a goddess of learning, his own alphabetOn our brows in disarray, in strange scriptUndecipherable in far too many words. The navel springing the lotus shall maintainThe creation products with brilliant learning,Including femininity of luscious apple eatingAnd why not, in a world of devious serpents.The lotus-springing god shall have his feetPressed gently, for walking fatigue, by wife,Without his ever walking in the sky-clouds.He keeps the world going by wife’s wealthAnd his own health on a serpent mattressWith an arching serpent hood for umbrella. 95
  105. 105. PricesThe fish are mostly in the lakeSometimes, found by the lakeLumped with random friendsThey do not set their own prices.Stomachs decide how much.They are later buried in them.Stomachs do not set own prices.They are later buried. 96
  106. 106. Flowers that make my window gladThree or four white flowers in a window skyDemolishing curtains will surely gladden glassWith a tiny button rose to button up experienceOf a heaving chest, full of old age, death fears. Fears growl in the malfeasance of flesh organsIt is their dirty smell of decomposition in bonesIn the phenyl smell of a dying hospital, flowersSmelling like formaldehyde, of sickening tubesThose carry dirty water to be emptied for money. But the white flowers shall gladden my window yet.My clothes shall smell of wilted flowers in pocket.I shall keep fears on hold, this side of the windowUnder a table light that reads nice smelling wordsRemembering parijat flowers waiting on the earth,Their faces down , feet up, at the crack of dawn. 97
  107. 107. WorkI have always work to do when I sit aloneWith the passions of neurons in high fever.Sometimes the blood runs up bloody tubesSending waves that rise at midnight moons.There is serendipity, a fortuitous discoveryA mere possibility of a chance stumble-uponBy a machine perpetually in fear of stopping.I work on words for serendipity, discoveriesIn the random and derive existence from them.That is the way I keep the machine running. 98
  108. 108. A child’s birthdayThe old poet looks from his thoughtful eyesAt the blue and white baby birthday balloonsStuck like hearts to the roof, helpless on roofAs they had gone up from children’s mouths.Then the children remember future birthdaysOf white cream on knowingly smiling faces. Their parents are high on hot lentil soup amongRags of unprovoked conversations of no ends,Only tassels, shreds of silk, golden embroidered.They will, back at home, cull the gold from themIn their sleep and melt them to increase riches. 99
  109. 109. SoliloquiesEvenings are good time for free frank talkWhen our mind is full and our tired bodyEchoes with incidents, day’s happeningsWith a belly down there, loudly cheering. Our soliloquies occur then, breaking silencesIn loud exclamations, puzzled question marks,Wild hand gestures, vague finger- pointingsIn vivid figures of speech, in pure blank verse. My own soliloquies clash with the sparrow’sAnd at times with the nodding wall lizard’sWhen it crouches in pure love for its insectAnd quickly darts back to safety of roof-lightWith the love-act smack on its happy lips.”kitta, kitta”, it soliloquizes, quite solemnly. That is when the sparrow too soliloquizes.Actually it is talking with its own alter egoIn the mirror, alleging brazen plagiarizingOf its poise and beauty, its melody of song.There seems no reply from the mirror’s sideSo its verbal outpourings remain soliloquies. 100
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  111. 111. Dark circlesDark circles do not mean refusal to beauty-sleepOr long years of skin, into eternity of same place.The circles are ever expanding, from outer ring.The centre is holding contrarian views from eyesNot seeing eye to eye, they have circular runs to do.There are holes behind eyes, their circles hiding them.Fathers do not see them, when they first sketch themAnd as the lines proceed apace,the circles take shape.When they are noticed it is always late, always late.The holes behind them are bottomless quarry-holesWhere darkness rules like the night cricket in bush;A stone’s drop in it will not even be acknowledged. 102
  112. 112. Dust mitesThey had come before us, in our heads of hair,Our flat backs with or without bony vertebraeDust they are and our future dust they embraceUnder flowers of our pillows, in sleep-softnessWhen we turn at night they turn in dusty waysAt us, in our bloodstream, in the fever of nightsOur inside fights, not knowing enemy within.Let us get them inside out, in bedroom antics,Carry on relentless pillow-fight, on way to dust. 103
  113. 113. WallA little white wall stood between usOf indifference, from our both sides.Only the tree knew our day, our lives,Comparing them meticulously above.We could finally break its whitenessOnly to confront an indifferent wind. 104
  114. 114. MiracleThe sky is still gray, over the mountains,Trees still in their leaves, not a whistle.Our child shall be born anew, our miracle,The birth from a deep night, night’s child.The folds of the hills held it in their wind,In haunting fragrance of thorny flowersOn the side of the mud-track, in furrowsOf rice fields, with wet feet of our women.The hills waited expectantly and the cowsIn their return, in the dust of their hoofs.Let us get a peacock feather for his headA little blue of the sky for his over-wear.But the sky is still gray with shades of rainAnd the peacock is dizzy in its rain-danceWaiting for its own miracle on a gray sky. 105
  115. 115. The first flowerThe first flower is fixed in my sky, waving in wind.Its white fragrance is mine alone in its blue space,The wind I do not own, but here this balcony I ownIn bricks and cement, in sand from river’s holes.The flower is mine for claim to neighborsAnd the squirrel that passes by, whoever.When it dies and falls, I alone shall mourn. 106
  116. 116. Words for treesI do not have any words for trees, in my throatI know them in throat, by astringency of fruit,By disgust on tongue of caterpillars on themIn ironic glow as creatures of beauty of futureTheir projected butterfly stature in the next sky,By leaves falling one by one in October windLike snow in December of higher Himalayas.I call them trees, even if they stand there aloneIt is in their plurality they turn colored butterfliesWhen they are up and about, alone, in bunches,Their lady-like cackle heard from jungle peacocksAs they raise blue heads from bushes under them. 107
  117. 117. LightMorning is pure light, on coffee and paperA song in light raises head softly in the eastOn the high place where god sits with treesIn his loin cloth and a fixed stare at the wall.The rain flies shall begin life’s journey nowAs light first reddens trees, makes them blushOf god on their leaves, in their golden splendorTheir green then mixing in gold from the east. Light fills our chests, our sleeves, our hair,In loose strands of a girl’s hair on the roadWhere electricity flowed at their fiery tips,A song on her lips lacking, but felt in breeze.The girl’s hands flowed as water from hills.Their music filled trees with leaves of blush. 108
  118. 118. Figures of our speechAll the world’s layers are in our throats,Hoarse with words, spoken way too oftenWith proper emphasis, some letters saidWith our teeth pressed and eyes closed.Our fingers are clenched for good effect.Our body is distorted with much emotion.Let us, for a change, feel the damn thing,Before words, without flourishes of writing.We say the cap on our head sports a knotThat looks like a ruined temple on the hill,Specially when in silhouette against sunset.As if our saying makes it larger than seeing.The knot on cap is a mess of wool that bearsNot even a flimsy likeness to ruined temples. 109
  119. 119. The sea of images This crowd of images will not leave us in blood.Its voices fill our minds like morning squatters,As one din, rising to the sky ,when on the beachAmong tall trees waving good bye across the seas. These trees crowd all our spaces near our feetAnd in the folds of our minds, musically flowingWhen tall ships blow their steam-horns at them.It is one vast sea of images, in waters and brine.The boat goes up and down on the morning sky.A plastic rope holds it in place, its green strandsTying lives, in strange places, in shadow and lightOf fish in men, fire in women, smoke in old men.Black bodies rise high in froth at the sea’s mouth.Tiny tentacles burrow holes in its brown wet sand.They tickle your feet and question your foot space.The sea swallows us all, including our old shadows. 110
  120. 120. AuthenticityI am often confronted by a feelingOf lack of authenticity, in this river,Of not feeling like a subject, spuriousAgainst mountains that sit in the farWith river waters beating on my ears.I am words from vaporous thoughts,A prose-poem thought in dark nooksOf the mind, mining word after word. The mountains belong to the earth.I, waving in breeze, am a mere babyA cry-baby in quick mountain wind,Flying words against its rock solidityIn its flowing wind and night silence.The mountains are authentic in spaceWith river about me, in daily ripples.They had come here much before meWith the waters from skies, daily sun.I exist here in the river, as a thoughtA passing thought of a real mountain,A thought in river, a temporary rock. 111
  121. 121. Climate changeWe spoke all our recent dialogues nicelyVoicing apprehension of the big change.Our struggle had continued underneath.It was a monotone speech in a gray skyWhen the line of trees came to a freezeIn their hostility, where they stood tall.The gentle summer breeze did not matter.The trees sniffed autumn and looked away.Emaciated street dogs barked incessantly,At hooded strangers coming at us from hillsFrom the edge of the sky, in clouds of dust.Our dialogues went on in our dark robesAs our culture bristled riskily in our back,The culture of reality, in our failed heartsWhere several realities came up togetherNot as a single earth-reality in silk threadBut a failed reality of a fluid mind-stateA sky of treeless vapour, sea of flake-salt. 112
  122. 122. MetaphorsWe are nowadays happy with our new doorA membrane bathroom door that now shedsA certain mauve hue on baths, while in song,With the shower flowering on our cool backsStreaming as if from a rock skirted by treesIts vapors swirling like their winter breaths.Our song is under breath, in some mutters.Our vapors are on glass that hides in smokeOur rather banal faces, their jejune laughter.We are, in fact, searching for our metaphors,Being upbeat about our recent turns of phrase. 113
  123. 123. Phony visionI do not know if the thing is phonyGlass-like, with glistening dew-dropsOf a morning vision on windshield,Pearl-glass that breaks in little coinsOn endless highways, on mild impactOf metallic bodies with drunk men.Some cars have steam on bonnetsLike bees, in spring, on the stone.Our vision is partly crowded, you seeWith birds hiding dust in the eastThat has turned orange at sunriseA phony vision, it is partly clouded.On the highway there are no housesOnly string cots for our dream sleepOn glasses of buttermilk, hot breads.We have whites on our mustachesOf too much buttermilk in throats.You crinkle eyes enough and you will seeWet buffaloes calmly chewing their cudIn tin sheds that jump out of green fieldsTheir milk sloshing in their pink udders. 114
  124. 124. Luckily their tail-flies and smells fly awayInto tree-tops, waking the morning birds,A phony vision indeed, partly clouded.The sunflower beds have darker kidsThat smile nicely of a little alphabet,Like flowers that turned deep inwardWhen the sun went behind the hills.Their little bees have nowhere to go,Wait; let the sun come from the hills. The village school is closed for todayIn honor of the guests on the string cotThe sunflowers will open with the windAnd the shadows will creep up slowlyBehind the buffaloes, with eyes closedTheir mandibles moving up and down.The vision is clouded, a phony visionCaused by much emotion in the eyes. 115
  125. 125. ScreamIn the bone house it would appearThe lower mandibles were stretchingAnd stretching to produce a screamThat would fail to reach down to ears.Actually they were trying to bite sarcasm,Surely a futile endeavor, especiallyThey do not have tongues in cheeks. 116
  126. 126. HolesWe are talking of holes, mere lack of matterSubsisting in matter and surrounded by itOf words that exist in crevices of thoughts,Words making the world’s holes in whole.My dead are matter in lack of it, globe-earthsThose spin in lack of space, in crisp night air.They spin in the space of time, holes in space,Phosphorus glow-worms roaming thin nights.They are holes in space, where they had lived.They are now words that will live in thoughts,Those remain in my mind, as images of realityTill I become a hole in space, a picture, a word. 117
  127. 127. Children in the rainWe wanted clearly laid out pathsBetween thin strands of July rain.Our faces were drowned in hoodsAs the rain fell softly on our heads.Its sounds came as from the ocean. Our puny judgments took a beatingIn such a steady patter on our earsWhere they seem to be beating usLike angry fathers, back from office.As we walked we made tiny circlesIn rain water, under our umbrellasThat saved us from an angry sky.The houses were a blur in white.Our paths ended in green of trees.Rain-mud spattered on black coatsSurprised by blurs of passing cars,Their wipers saying no to the rain.We had left our school in the street.Our home of angry smoking fathersAnd soft grannies in loving egg-headsSeemed to vanish in the fuzzy rain. 118
  128. 128. A scruffy dog shook its body of rain. Back at home, we bath our wet bodiesIn eucalyptus steam, as its vapors riseQuickly to drown the rain in its smell. 119
  129. 129. BridgeWe had passed the bridge spanning a river of sandAt dawn, when our noisy train spoke to its emptiness.Once out of it, the train was bending like a centipedeAnd we took a long backward glance to see the bridgeNow smarting under noise injury on its deaf,deaf ears. The buffalos on its sand-bed looked up, unmindfulOf the bridge, of the noisy train that passed, and of usIn the train that saw them as mere globs on the sand.Their black bodies longed for green puddles of water.Their eyes seemed vacant, as their tails swished flies.We saw they had not even once met us in our eyes. 120
  130. 130. The temple of shadowsMen and women live here with stonesTheir shadows live with them in daylight.The shadow phalluses of shadowy godsLive in the musty smells of kings in silksTheir soldiers in attendance on swords.Women have their foreheads on red dots.Priests move throats up, down like birds.Their prayers fly like shadows to the sky,Their hungry stomachs touch their backsWhere they produce shrill incantations.Here god is crying inside, in the shadow.Beauty is hunger in distended stomachsDrunk with soft palm wine from the sky. 121