A.J.Rao's Poetry Volume 2


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A.J.Rao's Poetry Volume 2

  1. 1. Creative Images A.J.Rao
  2. 2. Creative ImagesPoems written from 5th October,2001 to 31st December,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 year-end 1Green inspiration 2Light 3Colors 4The spectacle case 5Woman 6Mud-pies 8The Golconda fort 9Wall 10Buttons 11Lamp 12North 13Rhetoric 14Beauty and the beast 15The haystack 16The inventory 17
  5. 5. The moment 18Embrace 19The rope of fire 20Pets 21I.C.U 22Forgetfulness 23The hospital 24My body 25Haze 26Immortality 27A joke 28Three women and a man 29The glass casket 30Morning was star news 31Oblivion 32The morning raga 33Words 34
  6. 6. The camera stories 35Dogs in the night 36Vertigo 37The dog’s bark 38The carpenter 39Old age nonsense 40Garbage 41Hope 42Painting the windows 43Face 44Knowledge 45Water 46A doll’s house 47The reed 48Noise 49Re-occupy 50In passing 51
  7. 7. Rest 52The water bottle 53Eighty and five 54Houses 55The full moon 56Debt 57Worship 58Crowd 59Sea-stories 60Storytime 61Train 62Self-portrait 63My mom’s stool 65Facebook 66Room 67Gated community 68Word 69
  8. 8. Moon thoughts 70The death of an English teacher 71The window-pane 72The undertow 73Symbols 74Worship 75The village 76Mother’s Notes 77Risk 78Sounds 80Stories 811949 82Occupying wall street 83Screws loose 85Not writing poems 86Gossip 87Friends 88
  9. 9. Illusion 89Please give us back our wings 90Horoscope 91Colors 93Summaries 94Intervals 95The little girl 97The old stool 99October poem 101Shudder 102The temples 103Leaving a place 105Poetry of jobs 107The giant wheel 108The street with the wall at the end 109Pensioner’s notebook 110
  10. 10. The year-endOur change will happen not at the midnightOf cakes and candles,loud claps and crackersBut in doorways, each time we pass themLike ghosts, room to room, under flowersDelicately painted on their frames on yellow.The doorway is not inside nor there in spaceBut just hanging on time, as we hop and skipHolding our hems from paint sticking to them.The year-end is a doorway that will disappearin the dusty lane and in the dust we cant recallWhat ghosts we were in the room left behind. 1
  11. 11. Green inspirationYou may ask what is it that breeds poetryFrom nocturnal thought, a green inspirationFrom decay, a smell of infestation and deathAs you now turn around , excessively awareOf a role soon coming to an end on the stage,While the green room there is still gaping openWith dress-clothes, a paint drying in its tubes.Our scripted dialogues point to our roles endA green grease-paint never to be put on againA director and prompter dead in their tracks.We still have our green faces grotesquely moving.Their brows are still dancing of love and death.Can we come back to make one last show please,Before we can finally go back to our backwatersIn our snake-boats of grotesquely paddling oarsAll asynchronously moving towards somewhere. 2
  12. 12. LightThis evening light is deeply intriguingIn its speckles, on parapet walls at dusk.People seem stretched as long shadowsStuffed with emptiness, uni-dimensionalAnd asking for a little glory on the floor.The parapet walls, set in rarefied dusk air,Stand, stripped of the gone time, bit by bit,As yellow light deepens their historys hues .The rocks , duly red and dead, pay lip serviceTo mothers of ancient discovery in kitschyLetters of round frames and square thought.Several suns ago ,when men were not shadows,Women in zenana came to pray in the mosques.Their shrouds looked like veils of light on rocksAs their naked feet descended the stone steps.(An evening at the Golconda fort) 3
  13. 13. ColorsWe believed colors mainly made our lifeSuch as the soft Asian paints of RoyaleOf a silky touch, all smudges wiped off.The tea was just great color on white shirtThat could be wiped off by a daub of surf.The children played in mud, a great colorBut mother could do anything for colors.Mothers eyes can now see only a uni-colorIn the dusks shadows of dancing coconutsWaiting for her night to remove all smudges.Due to lack of color, her cheeks often burstWith colorless marbles of clattering words.The kids expertly push marbles into holesTheir index fingers aching like strung bowsBelow a window, with an overlooking uncle.Luckily no holes are missed, of color or no.Wordy marbles finally fall into their holes.Some points are missed in color confusion. 4
  14. 14. The spectacle caseA plastic with soft contours , it staresAt my eyes ,balefully from its existence,Its pride, outcome of seeing too much.Eyes are love , drooping an egos fallOn the pillar of a nose, with two extraEyes seeming duplication but not so.Custodian of seeing ,often a little proud,It encases glasses roundly, just in case,Luckily not making a spectacle of itself. 5
  15. 15. WomanIn my rhetoric I forgot the deathIn the throat, a vanishing deathIn the smallness of night hoursAs all is forgot, as not belonging,A bundle of clothes left behindA knot of a loin-string in the darkThe death of life, slowly whistlingFrom dusty trees of mountains.I forgot all the untouchable daysOf passing by a houses side-laneWith a bundle of clothes in armsTo a well of waters in the backyardUnder trees of concurrent shadowsIn a series as they went in the day.I forgot my squatting in the verandaWhile accosting everyones deathOn a passing road of sun and ash.Then my touch was death and loveIn the smallness of my girl-breasts.I quickly went woman-dead in shame.Later I forgot death in my stomachA bloody bundle of woman-shame,As a mere shriek that never came. 6
  16. 16. In rhetoric I forget my dying shriekThat has failed to rise from my throatAs a vanishing death, a footfall awayIn the smallness of my night hours. 7
  17. 17. Mud-piesAll the genuine, deep delight of life is in showing people themud-pies you have made; and life is at its best when we confidinglyrecommend our mud-pies to each other’s sympatheticconsideration. ~ J. M. ThorburnWe made our mud-pies well before dawn.Our delight is in the very numbers of eyesHalf-pie eyes turning in light from insideTheir lids not falling yet , into the abyss.We make mud-pies for each others view.Their soft roundness is delight to our eyesAnd a deep joy to feel to our gnarled fingers.Your roundness of pies is a smooth joy tooAnd is highly recommended for neighbors.After we go, please do not forget to viewOur pies slapped on the citys broken wallsAmid hurried graffiti , bits of cinema postersWell before they flake off of excessive sun. 8
  18. 18. The Golconda fortStone is to heart as sun is to cloudWarm and golden in after-momentsGently touching, mere finger- feelingSoftness of texture, hardness of sun.History is full with stones and clouds.Mens shadows in time, wives in towWith stones in hearts, soft and warmFlit about as historys ghosts at dusk.Silk dupattas fly about as white clouds.The eyes were stones in their sorrows.The eyes were Golcondas diamondsTraded in heaps in historys marketsUnder rows of stones, arches of time.The sultans made mosques for them.When there was no beauty left at nightThere was a God in the Western sky.These stones are blood flowing in hearts.Their sounds fly across in space in claps.A matchstick is not a flame but a soundA sound in time, a mere flame in thought . 9
  19. 19. WallThe wall is to the street of midnight,A bit of the night, a tiny world, a dogWith a nightly bark in its loud throat.It is to scraps of men, to birds in sleepOn the distant branches, their chicksWarm to the twigs, feathers in making.The wall is to real poetry of the night,Fears of decay, opening in a windowNothing but a hole in wall for escape.The wall exists because and for escapeBecause you cannot climb emptiness.The wall is curtain to dark from lightA hole for escape, a climb with a legA scrape of skin, escape from itself,A burst from body, its walls paintedOn the outer of inner rushing rivers .The wall contains a monsoon burst. 10
  20. 20. ButtonsI have wanted to wear the unworn shirtAlways put behind, for a missing button.It seems the time has come to take it outInspect and put it back again in the closet.The button is a mere rose, not appearingIn early dawn, in rows of reds and yellowsPulsing like some tiny hearts, baby heartsFull of love and gurgle, saliva on wet lips.The button is a busy womans lady fingersNot appearing from a coffee not yet made,Its magic not woven on a shirt of buttons.The button is babys missing tooth of laugh.It is a missing son from the dark of a room,A missing dream from a crying moms sleep,A missing button from her long train journeyA whole missing shirt of no missing buttons. 11
  21. 21. LampThe lamp spoke softly to mild nightLike an insect in a dusks soft lightA paper light ,squirting in its onionSkinned paper, gold and breaking,Crackling softly in dancing breeze.The waiters wore tiny insects of lips.They brought brass pots for wash,Yellow receptacles of a lamp light.The yellow wall had a flushed lampEmbedded like mirror in deep wood.As we clicked girl stirred like a lampA flickering lamp in the wind of river,A hand that vanished in its outlinesEyes that blinked like lamp in breezeA cloth that spilled on strands of hair.The lamp was old oil in metal black.A yellow wall took its falling shadow.The shadow smelled of a dying lampOf a decayed night, a hair in templesPartly graying of a growing wisdomTo a growing death in yellow leaves. 12
  22. 22. NorthWe would dream of the North when coldIcy and frozen around its tree and flower,The mountains aching with pure silver.Up there the men moved about in stoles.Old men in buckets on young shouldersMuttered god-god-god under icy breathes.It seemed God was made of ice in a cave.We had played with waves in childhoodAnd sea-pebbles in teens like marbles.The waves came from a bottom of SouthAnd pebbles from storied monkey-soldiersWho floated them on choppy salt waters.We ate rice topped with grated coconuts.Our gods lay in stony slumber in flowers.But we had always dreamed of the NorthOf rivers where corpses floated like stonesAnd burnt in acrid blue smoke on the banks.The waters would flow with bright marigoldsAs life unfolded each day on a new death .We made fine round rice balls for our dead. 13
  23. 23. RhetoricWe wanted our bodies to be more than stuffCertain airy things floating on fluffy cloudsWith a stringed instrument slung on shouldersChipping away at time, filling night with song.The bodies spoke rhetoric in the most retro wayAs if they were gods wearing unstitched clothesAnd marigolds on torsos, signifying something..Are we not more than stuff, we rhetorically askedAs the imaginary crowd shouted yes in their silenceAmid claps of spiritual hands, in the way of birdsFluttering in sleep in the lonely trees of midnight.How are you ,they asked and fine, we are dying.So are you, we said rhetorically to empty space.Actually we do not wear anything in such space.These marigolds signify nothing , just rhetoric. 14
  24. 24. Beauty and the beastIn that city they have tamed all their lionsAnd similar other beasts from their loins.They have here a wedding to make for son.The wedding shall be quiet and subduedA display of drape and some glitter of gold.The sons pick up resplendent Pacific bridesWith their moms of widowed sorrows in eyes.Sorrows are like our own, like floods in rivers.Their women make other womens happinessIn several other islands with their own beasts.Here in this hall is our own local happiness.Our beasts are in check, cept on some daysWhen they rise from dark lairs of quietude.The woman there has her blue beauty-raysExpertly trained on the volcano in stomach.Happiness is rounded off with apricot desert. 15
  25. 25. The haystackWe could make hay while our sun still shoneBut the needles of sun-rays are lost in the stack.Our body is not skin-deep, surely in this dermis.A syringe stuck in it will not easily find a needle.Kandinsky found his needle at Monets Giverny*But not the yellow haystack spreading about it.His rising sun shone brightly on such needles.But the stacks were lost in indistinct impressions.Our body remains a haystack of cumulated sunIts needles lost in painterly state of impressions.The body could be a haystack or even a horseThe horse is an illusion that has earlier boltedInto the savannas, into grasses that left no hay.Look, the sun seems already setting in the hills.The haystack would soon be gone like the horse.(Reference is to Wassily Kandinskys epiphany about Monetspainting Haystacks at Giverny, he saw in a Moscow exhibition of theFrench impressionists paintings) 16
  26. 26. The inventoryThis my stuff is all over my yard, in the hollows of mindUnder an expanding sky, with the dusty trees nodding.In the train it is all over my seat, under it, and above me,As an inventory of stars twinkles from the sky to the train.A singing boy , his eyes blinking in blindness, has pearlyOyster shells for announcing his eye-wildness and music.His inventory is a whole repertoire of heart rending songs.I cannot keep inventory of the contents of the night sky,Only what I can pick up from the weekly bazaar and shop,And what numbers save up for me in a far off cheese land .But the many-digit numbers are so difficult to memorizeI forget them on the foggy night , when I fuck off from here. 17
  27. 27. The momentThe moment now seems difficult to color-codeOn an undistinguished night of gray monotony,As the eyes turned quickly away in pearl- whites.The moment now seems all that had happenedAround the frothy waves of an unspoken truthA truth from nowhere,a chaos stirring in the windA frozen mind fizzling down like a tiny snow-flake .The doctor has put the time at about three a.m. 18
  28. 28. EmbraceWhenever we do not agree, we embraceLack of agreement, like we do the nightWhen we cannot agree on sleep of birds.The birds keep awake through the nightKeeping an eye on our misdemeanors.We keep awake keeping an eye on theirs.We sleep embracing pillows in folded legs.Attention! we cry in our sheets, those days.We pretend we like them on their backsBut in their embrace we make our facesUgly enough to look in mirrors, noses up.We embrace smoke from the backs of cars.That way tear gas works perfectly in ducts.We embrace our evenings of empty chatter.We embrace rain, praising our god in deathAnd bodies going up in a blue wood smoke.We embrace absence, bodies turning ideas. 19
  29. 29. The rope of fireA man sits in a tiny kiosk like a bird chickConfined to a roosting nest, reaching outOnly for worms in its triangular baby beak.A turban he wears and a red hue on his lipsWith the tongued accent of a riverside cityWhere you go to die to live for ever in heaven.A white stuff on leaves makes clients redderIn dancing mouths with a gluey paste on leaf.All they need is a white stick of fire in mouthsTo keep their business going, at constant debt.The man has a coconut rope with a fiery endTied to an electric pole, burning slowly like debt.Its fire is enough to light white sticks all night.No need to see faces by the light of a match. 20
  30. 30. PetsIt is difficult to find words for moist loveThey all stop at the underside of a throatLike a warm liquid moving like a caravanIn a desert of inside, stopping for a drink.We have these six pets for our private loveWe return from our journeys to feed themAnd resume our journeys in wind and rain.Their throats come alive with echo sounds,Like big dogs tugging at morning leashes.Our pets rise early morning without the sun,After a night of barking at a black darknessIn eerie sounds of wind and rain on the roof.We love them enough to come back to feedAnd stroke their manes in love like our kids.We sometimes wonder who will feed themWhen rain will intensify amid wind and galeAnd we will never be able to return to feed.(The six pets are the six passions- lust, anger, greed, pride,infatuation, jealousy, called arishadvargas in the Hindu theology,much like the Seven Deadly Sins of Christianity) 21
  31. 31. I.C.UIt is surely a retro thing to begin withFirst in the nether of body and laterIn the text, a withdrawal , an absenceThat flowed down from failure at top.As liquid tubes crawl freely all aroundIt is nice to feel brown and retro about it.Being here in the ICU is a warm feelingA getting back to your mothers wombA regression to the emerald ocean-bedWhere all seemed well that began well,As a tailed tadpole with no accountabilityFor the damned world that was going onBehind your back where men walkedAs if they had it on their weighty backs,A vintage feel born of ancient wisdom.(I.C.U .is the Intensive Critical Unit of a hospital where criticalpatients are kept under observation) 22
  32. 32. ForgetfulnessA little forgetfulness will go a long wayA frost-bound paradise is not far away.It is somewhere in the vast wild wastesIts tree birds buried under sheets of ice.A path opens up for cloaked strangersLooking back at the horizon for progress.Now let us forget where we are headed.Let us call a picture dirty and its womenIn fleshy cleavages that fall over drapes.Let us forget their angst, their belly fearsOf fetuses,of known genders of machines.Let us generate a wealth of wiggles, giggles,Addressed to the beast in our underarmsHid under rolls of perfumed forgetfulness.Our forgetting is a hole in our throbbing,A forgiveness ,a sandal paste on our throatIn a throwback to more forgettable timesWhen death ended up a hole in icy wastesAnd a December ice would cover its tracks. 23
  33. 33. The hospitalThe hospital is a warm space, a pearl-white placeOf healed wounds, buzzing flies and white legs.The wounds come here for a warm breeze to blowFrom loving mouths, from hanging tails in necksFrom quick beating chests of knowledge and love.The hospital has turned a warm and a fiery placeIts white light now licked by purple tongues of fire,Its efficient silence shattered by loud dying sounds.(Two days ago, in Kolkata, a massive fire started by an electricalshort circuit killed eighty five patients of the Amri hospital) 24
  34. 34. My bodyI empathized with my sleeping body in the nightWhen at midnight a pup yowled on the blacknessOf the world, from the cold of a winter basement.As my mind was my factotum for sundry workIt had the onerous job of keeping the pup away.The factotum was unable to keep the pup away .I now had the burden of a mum that was absentThat had left its pups to the dark of a midnight.But, sir, the mind is not mothers keeper nor pups.Come to think of it, it is not even my bodys keeper. 25
  35. 35. HazeHalf-awake from nap I look at a vitreous worldTaking in its sun shades and quiet fluorescence,Its shadows on the bathroom doors that sneakedThrough windows,in fours and twos, in diagonals.The world is now a mirror that reflects my sleep,A blue-white kitchen with golden outlines of cooks,A silver mirror of a dining table, reflecting clothesHanging, through tinted window glasses, in breeze,A light that reflects my deep- within sounds of earsA steady hum of in-vertigo, waves lapping on walls. 26
  36. 36. ImmortalityWe were looking for a fine movie for our worn out mindsHanging selves, drooping shoulders, head held forwardIn our hands, tired of the music of flesh and short years.Our stills were to be sweet sickly music of flowing years.This man sings because he has to sing for our happinessThe other man plays as he cannot but play a happy drumBut they are driven out by villagers due to their bad musicTogether they would sing and play drum as listener turnsA stone of flesh, a standing stone with no moving fingers.Only ghosts do not turn into stone, being eerie in music.Nor crooked magicians who can make you twenty-youngerBut cannot become immortal due to their greed for stonesIf only one turned a stone by music and remained that way.(Watching a classic Bengali movie : Goopi Bagha Fire Elo (1991) 27
  37. 37. A jokeA joke is what we have come to, a body in a jokeFull of subtle humor, engaging of mind and heartWe shake of our jokes in splutters of our bodies.On Sunday evenings, as our Monday approaches,Our carnal humor turns a hard to crack punchline.Flesh on the evening , some hanging out bodiesDo hardly provide humor to our sarcastic minds.Our stomachs are flesh bags floating with ideas.So we lie in the hall in a glass casket of mourning;Wait for a last joke to be performed on our bodies. 28
  38. 38. Three women and a manOne was his proximate cause, the otherA mere co-cause for the yet other one.He a line that pierced the three circlesFades away at the high end of the wallClimbing to stay up all night in the tree.The three circles stay drawn in spaceBut the line has already gone beyond.It was not a path through three circlesOnly a point that moved to the other side. 29
  39. 39. The glass casketHe had risen in air, to the roof and sky aboveFrom a lumpen body , a mind like crackling paperA sleeping giant of ego, a make-believer of worldMother-dependent and woman- loved by a wifeFrom a certain race whose ancestors had comeFrom the far seas, in skull-caps, worshiping fire.He lay sprawled in the hall in a glass casketLike historys old bodies ,under mummificationHe might have studied , in his younger days,Waiting to be unraveled for future mysteries.He will commune with a crackling fire under treesFollowing wifes ancient custom of fire-worshipAnd would embrace it in deference and faith.His dust may not flow with his own faiths river. 30
  40. 40. Morning was star newsAs the winter sun had woke up to a reddened eastThe crow announced an unwanted guest at home.The bird brought some bad news, the fait accompliOf a death that had taken place as an extended sleepJust a dream the dreamer never woke up to recount.It was in early morning that death came knocking,The vanishing of a father and a son into the nightA night of stars he had pointed to daughter, mother,As a bad astronomer who had got his Mars wrongIn a cluster of stars flickering on a moonless night.Pointing to stars are the loving fathers of daughters.Their dreams shall go on uninterrupted in the stars. 31
  41. 41. OblivionHaving written a note and your power vanishesIt hurts much to see it go into oblivion, much .But you have a belly-feeling of clenched teethWhen you know it is space debris condemned toRoam around for eternity in the vast wild wastesAs some ungainly stubs of unfinished word magic.English is not much for going to oblivion with.Or taking it home in the pockets like trinkets.English lets you remain suspended in time likeBrass pieces ,taken out out for family reunionsPerfectly useless for paying off long time debts.Oblivion is a nice touristy place like icy wastesWhere you go to sled in winter with laughing menBut may not return except as a chance discoveryYears later ,as cryogenically preserved matter. 32
  42. 42. The morning ragaThe todi raga enfolds a benign oval faceRecollected, with images from rice fieldsFrom where it went to the river of bearsThe bears that came nightly from hillsFor sugarcane , of a ceremony of deathA banana leaf of rice, a jack fruits curryAn oval face that laughed in black teethA barber stubble on a two day old face.The todi now cries death, descent to riverOf bears,as it quickens on a drum of skin.Quickly the face will clash with end-notesAs raga dies for the next one, for evening.(Recollections through a todi raga , a morning raga being played ) 33
  43. 43. WordsIt seems words do make up for lifeWhenever it lacks a sense of beingAs objects are lost in continuum.Words are mere thingies like bodiesThat vaporize to make other thingsThat do not matter in the cosmosWhere the other things roam freelyAs space clutter, as if they are godsOf ancestors, from culture history.Words do flow slowly sometimesTheir own under-belly seething withMeaning, in new violence of thought,Fisticuffs into the air, several fightsAll but sound-free, as if in vacuum,Only fury signifying nothing much.But words are crow-caws at dawnThat serve to define my own dawn. 34
  44. 44. The camera storiesWe flow here with finger music from the end of the hallIn the shadows of some potted plants on a window glassAs faces puff up with sound and fingers dance on drumsAnd new lives are made and bound together in a silk cloth,With yellow rice on heads and red glow on a bride of saree.The camera sleeps in the bag, in deep-rooted skepticismAbout plucking stories from a hall of men in plastic chairsOnly to weave them into a black night against a fans whir . 35
  45. 45. Dogs in the nightTry guessing the time of the nightBy the tenor and texture of a bark.Dogs do not easily sleep at night,Like stick tapping Nepali watchmenPacing up and down on the streetAlerting of thieves in burgling holes.The dogs have a duty to do for night.They are of night, when not chasingShadows of cars with silks in luxuryTurning at the street corner at dusk.You can guess the time of the nightBy the depth barks pierce the night . 36
  46. 46. VertigoIn the night your head would turn on the pillowAnd a few mountains would rumble in emptinessAs your feet are sinking in space, from the ridgeA corner is felt , an edge slips away into your sky,In the vestibule of your inner ear, in its dark cave.Suddenly you cease to feel accountable for allThat will happen in your absence, to leave takingThat will make the blood tranquil, a subterraneanStream quietly flowing under tiny polished stonesWith your feet washed away to the distant forests. 37
  47. 47. The dog’s barkThe dogs bark came late in the nightAlong with a motors whir and the humOf my computer into a nights old age.The trees crackled in the fallen leavesOn the floor with dog foot,a tail waggingIn the wind, afraid of nights lonelinessIts flies were yet to wake in smallness.Two wheels went about their businessSpurred on by a station going for train.The bark will come back later in the dayWhen the sun will go about its businessAnd men will drink morning coffee to readNewspapers about deaths and politicsRice and bullion ,while emptying pocketsOf the nights air , of a dogs lonely bark.The bark will then chase shadows of cars. 38
  48. 48. The carpenterThe carpenter wants keenly to realize beautyFrom his bearded face wearing drops of liquorOn the corners of lips, with a buddy on bench,Sunday not surely being a holiday from beauty.Wood is butter, to the knife and the hacksaw.But liquor is quicker, on the body, behold and lo.Beauty is not always dead wood imitating life.Beauty lies in a shack, a thatch and a benchFrothing in brown at the top, to flies buzzingAround eyes ,the world having lost its outline.The earth and the sky become a single mass. 39
  49. 49. Old age nonsenseWe have tried to make sense of soundsUnder the breath, the old lips tremblingWith light words , in running commentaryOn the world, reasoned out and heuristic,A verbal diarrhea they called it in laughter.We understand their force, their purport.They are time fillers, masterly previews,Words that will define their silence aheadAs they catch their breath, trying to hold it. 40
  50. 50. GarbageThree city women went missingUnder a garbage being foraged.Their dusty death is suspected.A hand juts out in the cameraPoking directly into your eyes.Death is not fragrant ashes of incenseAnd mumbled prayers on tremulous lips .Death enters your eyes as a dust particle,As a hand that accuses, cries and sleeps. 41
  51. 51. HopeAs we tried to work out hope we fumbledWith a machine and airwaves of the night.A tiny weedy yellow flower was popping out,Not a flower that turned its face to the sun,Only spelled a throttled hope,a snuffing outOf all we had thought, hoped for in breast.Hope ebbed away as the night thinned out.A fine nights sleep will surely re-generate itA dark tunnel that will obliterate all darknessA return to the womb to pick up lost threads. 42
  52. 52. Painting the windowsWe are trying to paint a white windowIn a grey space, sort of hole in matterHighly apolitical and colorless in viewsOf the road, from a room of shadows.A large shadow looms on our presentOf a brown painter in daub of off-whiteIts neutral shades flowing from a body,A body that flows in a rounded femaleOf a mind recently dead of a husband.The body is framed in a window paintedOn blue sky, its essential leaves missing.A man paints a windows fluorescence,As also a widows grey shades by night. 43
  53. 53. FaceWe pointed with index finger at the face,The face that fell silent in a room of faces.Cane chairs were all that were to be pulledBut there seemed no music of the chairsThat was playing ,only some more silence.Face is not the index of the mind, its indexBeing at the tips of eyes, where words hadFrozen at some point of time in the bathroomBefore chairs moved from place to place.We now sit and gawk in wonder at the faceIn wonder at a running face that once was,With eyes blinking behind glasses from life.We wonder at the life in eyeballs of glassits tender ego lurking in them as wet proofOf life , of animated love and responsibilityFor lifes events, under illusions of control.Our anxious chairs made no noises of faces.Their light movement betrayed no emotion,Only fear of index fingers stopping to pointAt the immobile face , bursting with the past. 44
  54. 54. KnowledgeI say beware of the Greeks bearing giftsOf knowledge,in a poetry of unspeakableHorrors that had lifted the veil of secrecyFrom our lack of humanity, bodies rottingOf cynics in churchyard, in the trees bareAnd smoky, in morning fog of early ghosts,Hellenism of word and thought, largenessof vision, mere words, pulsating with light.Beware of Greek poetry in early science.Beware of people ruling peoples minds,Of men who wear long robes of thought,Mixing religion and politics, marrying soulWith intellect, science with exquisite artAnd barbarians masquerading as nobles.And beware of the shadows that now loomOn the acropolis, of shrunk bodies of menTheir paper monies growing in their shadowsOn trees brooding on a history of betrayals.(Greece is one of the largest shadow economiesof the world.The oligarchs are becoming fatter by the daybut the country is on the brink of bankruptcy) 45
  55. 55. WaterOf water we shall speak into a dying nightAs water shall fill our cheeks, our templesAnd inflate our bodies and our fleshly faceAn aquatic thing of our beginning mother.Our mother was water , we emerald island.We owe our origin purely to her green aqua.The green water will soon be vaporous clouds,That shall move over the Western mountains.Marbles of words now clatter in puffed up cheeks.Our old memories guide talk in a predictive way,Like water sloshing in our cheeks, as if in parody. 46
  56. 56. A doll’s houseHer dolls are cute and lively but fragileThey are made of crystal glass and clay.Her house is decked with plastic flowersAnd smiles made of societys approbationAnd legal scrutiny of documents , in case.You are a twittering skylark, says husbandLovingly, in strict legal terms of husbandsTwittering skylarks find life such a larkForging signature for loves compulsionsNever looked such a bad thing for love.Twittering larks know only love, no papers.What do husbands want but glass dollsIn a house decorated for parties of honor?But wives are no dolls for safe keeping.When doors are shut their slam is heardThrough the continent, across the oceans.(Reading a play A Dolls House by Henrik Ibsen) 47
  57. 57. The reedAt rice grain dust and typha augustataBodies would quickly burst into flowers.When pin- pricked they would say that .We carry their river memories and pondAnd the slush of womens feet in JanuaryUnder a blue sky of calm faces laughingIn the water and mud, in a harvest song,And the river of typha in all its augustata,As the breeze makes its dance and floodsThe world with loves dust , in plenitude.In the meantime we go on to fight the air,As we would in the night when shadowsOverwhelmed us in sleep, in our dreams.We cannot win surely against memoriesIn blood, we have got from our old men. 48
  58. 58. NoiseWe were talking about noises in cityOf motor cars with sounds of hornsBuzzing about like halos of insectsOn a night of rain, on road to riches.Riches are high decibels ,your roadLeading to nowhere, gold and jewelsAll lying in built-in cupboards waitingFor cat burglars to make wall holes.When holes are made in egg-shapeThey do not look at prevailing moons.Men make holes like oval ears of cavesWith secret formula for their opening.So they keep wealth in foreign vaultsWhere they do not make wall holes.But at midnight you do hear noisesOn the wall street,from tents of occupy.Their noise is drowned out by batonsAnd footfalls at midnight and clacketyOf flying machines in an empty sky. 49
  59. 59. Re-occupyThe cops like to occupy their minds.Like the cold that is now occupyingMy body, my mind ,my throaty wordsIn morning under a nose of streamingIdeas and words , as in a steady humOf tall casuarinas overlooking the sea,As a sea wind passes in their needles.We think the cops are afraid of them.They flood their senses, mute sounds.Lift bodies from emptiness into vans.They have their own emptiness of sky.They have to occupy the space below.The cops are afraid in their bodies.They want to evict ideas from minds.And re-occupy park spaces and tentsThey want to occupy emptied minds. 50
  60. 60. In passingSound is of passion, as drums that beat brieflyFor musical wedding at night, not morning yet.A certain tablet waits in the wings,without light.Two pups from nowhere ,balk at dark of no mum.Morning is in the waiting ,its birds still waking.The tablet is waiting for its wings, from balconyUnder the proposed tiny flowers,now just an idea.These will appear in later seasons, only hibiscusIn the brewing in the treess minds now, on pot.All was said in parenthesis, in closed whiskers.I now say it ,in main agenda, of a life being livedIn its main focus, its music a continuation ragaA fusion of soft raga-jazz, as its strange wordsCome out in sweet music, in colors of the night. 51
  61. 61. RestIn between we rest , in our long dozing hoursDuring which we manage to watch hot bathsAnd tired steam, in stylish Jacuzzi some timesTo come back to money questions that bristleWith answers, four at a time, in knowledgeGames of old man and worshipful womenBehind keyboard ,that make screech sounds.Old man is grandfather in film stars stomachWhen not asking his four-optioned questions.We rest bodies on yellow sofas, figuring outWhat our lady will make for lovers breakfastHer doe eyes in laughter make us want more.We then rest in eyes, on televisions of laughterOur comedies growing by the hour, our music.We rest minds on businessmen heroes in suitsHorizontal in growth and story, love in brewing.Love is in the air as black Shakespearean villainsTurn up in best suits to wreck loves happiness.( A days television viewing) 52
  62. 62. The water bottleThe water bottle has an inner life of its ownOn the table, among the people of all agesOn sunny mornings and old and young lips.Its lips are wet with a luminous passion bornOf a serious relationship with morning light.The girl takes its blue mouth to maiden lipsSoft and ruby-red, of unopened mind-secretsAnd silver laughter ringing in natures alleysA love born ,a life begun,an idea taking wing.You woman, old and grey, over several sunsWill need it for your own subliminal fantasiesWhen morning sun lights up your grey curlsAnd a glass table mirrors a white glazed bottleWater dancing inside stomach to suns music.You the poet photographer will need it badlyOn your brown lips, that have gone bone dryLooking for pearly dew-drops on morning grass,Stuff of dreams gathered in an old box of glass. 53
  63. 63. Eighty and fiveEighty and five springs in leaf-ends laterShe still finds her life a song , a numberNot numeric, but mere music and matter.She can hear crickets music in lumberFrog-lets croaking in nights rain-puddle.In autumn years perhaps you imagineHer steeped in mixed aural sounds, in muddleA vague spectacle of death in a lifes din.In such music one hears yellow leaves crunchAs if they are the dress one wears for lunch.(sonnet) 54
  64. 64. HousesWe make our houses in holes in the airSo our kids are safe from wind and rainAnd we are not poorer by a large amount.Actually we make them for kids not born.We had come here as soft young bridesIn silks and fragrances, in jewels of goldIn sandalwood oil and jasmines flowing.We had done our computers ,on keyboardsWhere we had typed our dreams in silk.We have often waited outside on the benchIn institutes where dreams are hard wired.Here , as our house is ready we enter itIn mists of confusion, in semantics of lossIn broken word pictures , our mirror imagesBorn in our mind, on blue screens of death.As the music flows we find ourselves floatingTo the edge of the world, away from holes. 55
  65. 65. The full moonOn this very day of full moon , long years ago,Oil lamps of earth had flickered before a basilIn a backyard, their flames trying to reach trees,Among shadows of women with half-shut eyes .The woman who was my beginning had arrivedUnder this very moon, an oiled bundle of fleshIn a village house, among calm cows chewing cudAt the full moon, their flaccid bodies shiveringTheir leather at flies , in moony nonchalance.I am now open-ended , where I had then begun.My series now broke, backwards to the green sea.Some day I shall be open-ended at the sky end .(Remembering my departed mother on her eightieth birthday on thefull moon day of Kartik) 56
  66. 66. DebtWe all owe a debt of gratitude for this here.In our mid-nights we fly away from bondageCrying in throats, hoarse with age and love.Money binds us, men to men, in our women.Women bind us in our men and in our doing.Our debt is a trap, a night happening thingThat leaves us befuddled, in body and state.Debt makes us feel creepy in sleeping bedsLike a thousand-legged worm of leg things.It makes our women cry leaving doors ajar,As doors will shut for the last time of night.Debt is mere words of men in vacant houses.Their hollow laughter sounds creepy by night.Debt is letters that crawl like wiggly wormsFrom brittle paper, that is fast turning to dust. 57
  67. 67. WorshipHere I come face to face with my godThat comes to my mind, as a mere word.I squat in this little marble room of godsWith yellow rice in palms, a dot on brow.Outside the words I cannot think of himIn a sky of vapor, floating about wearingFlower garlands, with music on the body .God is a word ringing in a marble cornerOf fragrant smoke, of some white flamesSmiling in ancient clothes, in long armsOwning bows and arrows, ready for evil.Lotuses bloom in milk ponds with ripplesFrom folds of snake hood protecting himFrom rain and sun, from the winter cold.He is still a word from our wordy ancients.The words are images, pictures of thingsSorrow and lightness, recalled in thought.The words are ancient, as gods are woodStone and clay and paper,in some fine art.As we recall the words in the marble roomWe are filled with warm goodness in belly. 58
  68. 68. CrowdThe crowd is many bodies rising in numbersUnder a coiffure that feels like a birds nest,Hatching a cute chick in winter, a bright ideaThat takes wings and flies away to far space.An idea is born ,a discovery, a tweak in timeWhose author is not crowd but common mindA buzz in a disheveled hair, a clash of mindsNot knowing ourselves, ancestors in blood.A miracle this living, this giving up the ghostWatching television in a lonely village of birth.A crowd of voices rises over a herd of cattleTo high above trees, the high years of men.A crowd of thoughts swarms in our minds alone,A crowd of moths found dead on the window-sillAfter a rainy night , hugging light in window glass. 59
  69. 69. Sea-storiesNice to tell sea-stories , of cattle grazing in peaceOn a dipped sand beach, as a tranquil sea watches.A cluster of cactii rising in sand with a tiger’s faceSeems a plaything by prankster kids of the beachAs adults sip their Sunday beer in casuarina trees.The sea rises on both sides of sand where you stand.A ship or two looms on the horizon, with an idle boatOn the beach ,its crook dipping into a luminous sea.This dead fish on the beach a bird has yet to pick upLooks like a drop from flying beak of a passing bird.Girls of many hues enter the beach in between palmsWanting a joyous time on the Sunday beach, their earsSwelling with tales of men from plots of latest movies .Their pig-tailed shadows shake like echoing laughter.Walking the sea-beach at Kallepally, near Srikakulam (A.P.) 60
  70. 70. StorytimeLawyers are eternal as their words hoverJust above peoples heads, buzzing aboutLike creatures of the night, rudely wokenFrom their deep slumber ,in a nasty shock.They tell their stories ,raising the specterOf thin people fighting their own shadows,Shadows fighting people, in orange lightUnder the tree,as its white birds have leftFor the distant plains,in reverse migration.Lawyers some times die fighting battlesAs justice looks imminent in taut storiesTold among tiny people huddled togetherWarming their winter palms by the fires.They are peoples stories piling on time. 61
  71. 71. TrainIn the train there is love ,friendship, eatingAnd piling of bodies,in movement and windThe wind catching you off guard, with talesYou will squirm in your deep stomach about.Down below there is somewhere green lustFor passing by things, birds on phone wiresA gentle breeze, that ruffles a train kids hairAs it presses its face against the iron barsSmelling deep iron on its face, its old paint.In train new married wife touches chordsSteeped in smells of flowers, smell of faceAs eyes speak flowers, new friendship, faith.It is also live mother , eyes of love and rainA noisy train, wind, from sky of childhood.In the upper berth is overhanging lower skyA brown dome, hanging above with no starsBut eyes, in body that cannot change sides,Body that sleeps in dreams, of running trainWith no brown earth below but an empty airAnd some bodies deeply drowned in dreams. 62
  72. 72. Self-portraitOn the canvas you sit languorouslyLike woman ,waiting for the skin tonesTo appear , in a soft brown jute texture.You daub a little paint to clear spaces.You now have a nose and some eyes.One two or three or more dependingOn whether you sit on haunches or standWith your back against the white wallSo your body is two-dimensional frame.A nose defines you above ruby lipsWet with eating for navel and above,Its packed contents ,inside, sealedHermetically, under minds guidance.Mind is jelly not coming on the canvasYet you can see dirty hand everywhere.The eye-brows look on the eye-holesVigilantly so the eye-balls do not get upAnd go away when nobody is noticing .You capture them live with their wet fearSo they cannot deny their existence.You are now on the canvas ,yet outside.You do not agree with your sly smile,As you are not you but somebody elseMay be, a dog in the street or a lizard 63
  73. 73. On the wall ,with triumph over insect. 64
  74. 74. My mom’s stoolStools are like ladies, in brown, of old wood.Their spirit endures, like that of past womenWho live beyond their existence and colorIn sons black and white memories in sleep.This one keeps awake on the cold balcony,Sniffing night air spread by the fourth moon .When you open the door to the old balconyIt makes odd affectionate sounds on the floorLike postmen pushing letters through the door.We stand on its soul to reach our light-bulbs ,Our feet terribly wobbly , but our souls stableIn an earth-sky chain that connects vast spacesAnd standing on it we often reach out to mom. 65
  75. 75. FacebookThere is no need to read real books, when allComes inside of opening skull-plates wideYour brain operation done after head of hairRemoved , synapses located and offendingThoughts ,where painful removed, like fliesFrom the cold milk tea, left waiting in sugar.We now enjoy playing our farmville gamesExpensive plots, sold in unreal real estateWhere friends try to sell their kitchen gardenProduce of cabbages , lettuce and sproutsMind mushrooms waiting to be made soup.How we love losing our faces in the facebook!Our wisdom comes mostly in mashed formIn tiny nuggets of knowledge, nicely curatedBy shadows of friends,in a chronic finger itch. 66
  76. 76. RoomThe room hangs with books, lickingThe shadows from the sunlit windowTheir mouths some times wide openIn wide-eyed wonder ,at white wallsWhere the trees dance in their windAnd flies buzz about in nonchalanceTheir wings several times magnified.The corners sit pretty in light shadows.Their sounds refuse to come from hush,A splendor forgot in quietness of wall.The drawers are an old chest, heavingWith pure pride of mahogany, their lightShut in an ancient time, their shadowsLong forgot under lock and key of time.The curtains are saviors from thought.The people outside enter the windowAs ghosts that glide on their textures.They are some times puppet showsAt night, feet busy walking on asphaltTheir feet shuffling, their minds shut. 67
  77. 77. Gated communityA watchman sits at the high gate, checks pulseBefore entry,all cars entering at their own risk.On the kerb, children are careful, playing ball.Sundays we play golf in unending green spaces.We see neighbors smile from swimming pool.We had lived in holes,crawling with people.We are now in bigger holes with smaller onesInside them for morning ablutions and yoga.We have separate holes for individual men.Our holes smell nice with room freshenersMade from the private parts of civets in heat.We are a gated community, staring from gatesAt the passers-by and listless cattle droppingTheir green feces on the wet road nonchalantly.Our lawns are manicured green like our minds.We buy all our cattle droppings by kilogramsFor our green plants that have arrived like us.Thank god we are now suited ,booted and gated. 68
  78. 78. WordIf looking for the word in the nightIn tiny eruptions of sound on darknessA word or sound makes no differenceTo light or its absence ,a mere paper.Not even a paper but a thought oneIn deep recesses, when chest beatsUnder the skin ,in vague fear of revolt.A ruled paper makes a word perfectA sticky note filed in memorys pagesAs a cough on darkness ,a soft throat,A splash of water on the earth, its airA powdered color of white on asphaltFlowers on earth dropped from a skyA word fallen from a passing pocket.If looking for other peoples wordsOn a light screen ,from early fingersWhen fingers have thoughts on tips,Words flow from a music of fingersWhen fingers play on the keyboardTheir sibilant notes on its dark nightsAs soft light pours from green domesOn a slew of words , in yellow splash. 69
  79. 79. Moon thoughtsAt seven,we thought we had seen the moonFrom the roof, in the waving coconut leaves.Actually the chair we sat on was a blue moonInciting these moon thoughts in early nights.In point of fact the moon was just a light bulbLying on the distant roof, beyond the station.Every coconut has to have a moon in its fate.You see the moon happens as an appendageTo our coconut trees, mostly, in early nights.On a rain less night the moon rises over themAs a beauty-flower in their hair in a dark sky.At times moons are mere light bulbs hoveringOn rooftops,peacefully existing with coconuts.When they are moons, not dim-wit light bulbsThey may be broken with some moon missing.But they always stand by the listless coconutsEncouraging them with a characteristic cool. 70
  80. 80. The death of an English teacherI came across his book on English recentlyThe way it behaved lacking commonsense.This frail teacher pouting in thin mouse-lipsHad taught us English leaving us in a dazeWhile we had sat waiting for the bell to toll.His own bell finally tolled yesterday for himAs it did then , for us , his hapless students.He had poked fun at English, spoke by a queen.Commonsense has never been its strong point.His book tickled many a funny bone, underside.His bones are now dust but their laughter will rise, 71
  81. 81. The window-paneThe man sits in his shop with a pair of glassy eyes.He has no time to fix a see-through window-glassThat is deeply in love with the sun in our kitchen.The pane sits there tight ,basking in the suns glow .Our women love the sun but not when making tea.There are trees in the pane waving in the wind.Their birds chirp at dawn, their speckled throatsHeaving up and down, as we calmly eat breakfast.It is not winter yet ; the fog is yet to blind its eyes.Later when the sun turns angry, he will beat it downOn its smoothness of cheeks ,gate-crashing in kitchenInvading our womens privacy as they make our teaAnd the gas-flame will lose its blue face in the glare.It looks like the pane has to embrace its dark night. 72
  82. 82. The undertowThe memory went all the way down thinkingOf the sea, remembered from its undertow.The skin has an undertow, below the dermisProtesting much about nothing, about thingsImagined like dogs running after cars in rain.The sea has an undertow like what I rememberOf years ago , a fit of passion, at the full moonWhen the pearl-white surf became almost blue.The skin blushes for nothing, no errors by bones.It is much like the sea, with a large undertow.You never know the sins lying unpunished inside. 73
  83. 83. SymbolsLooking for symbols ,largely,in iterations of of nightWe chanced upon light that struck us in our small faceBlinding a childs understanding, where everythingWas predicative and unfailingly stood for a real thing.We now stand in rain with song on lips,in eyes of love.We stretch our palms to collect our raindrops of love.We look for life-size images, lifes burning uglinessSeveral times glossed over,in mortal fear of symbolsFading away to nothing, a grey sky stopping to rain.Our symbols are largely flesh, without it and outside it.Our mornings do not stand for anything in the window.We have thrown a few rice-flakes around from white vansIn deathly silence, where even a flower drops in sound. 74
  84. 84. WorshipWe mostly sit to worship, with the walls opposite to usLeaving us no room for getting up and crossing the streets.In the marble our gods listen, from the shelves of flowersAnd fragrances, as if out in the garden ,in the early hoursPlucking white flowers from black darkness one by one.The walls face us with their hanging gods smiling belowA hole that lets in morning sun and some pleasant wind.Many times we lie to worship, with a false roof above usLeaving no room for getting up and flying into space above.We mostly worship under closed eyelids, our lips muttering.In sleep our gods come dressed in vintage dresses and jewelsOf exquisite beauty,their light blinding us in our closed eyes.We worship our gods in the dark caves, their bodies in stoneSprouting lotuses in navels ,where a master craftsman is born.It is he who chisels our foreheads, hiding our futures in them. 75
  85. 85. The villageThe village sat in fields looking toward the sea.A ribbon of road passed its hill that had a holeThat looked as if it might spew smoke and fire.But it was a knowledge hole, by monks of menWith a few orange fires that smoked to the skiesIn deep-throat chants, in flowing orange robesThat tempted away wealth in refuge of the Wise.But they are now broken stones, their fires dust.The village sat on the sands of the river in summer.Its boats pretended to sail in the wind on dry bedThe river refusing to touch their bottoms in love.The river bed had black charcoal spots on its brownWhere men burned , in logs and ashes,orange once.The monsoon brought floating carcasses of cattleString cots of men in far off villages ,felled trees.The village floated water pitchers of shining metalOn the swirling waters that smelled the mountains.They drank its waters filtered with the indup seedAnd ate rice and onions, buttermilk on mustaches.In the winter bears came down from the mountainsLooking for lush sugar cane that waved in the breeze.The village slept on the fields ready with their sticksAnd shouts that rent the night air, echoing in the hills.The nights were so dark that the bears turned bushes. 76
  86. 86. Mother’s NotesI see historys pages from life and death, diary notesBrimming with a city left, thoughts of a garden swingIn letters crawling like live ants out of them carryingSpirit messages of all things being nothings ,nothingsThat encompass us over time,in space of our house.Here is a window to noise of crackers bursting in light,Bottles that send sounds from their mouth in a dark skyDarkness that pervades the corners of the world, lightIn colored crackers,the festival of lights, a defeat of evil.It is all that is to it in earthen lamps, burning at the doorSome powder sprinkled on flames , smelling nice incenseSome fruit pieces going around celebrating light on earth.Her notes make out a hole in space, as a piece of timeA hole in eternity, a hole in mind, a gaping hole in time.Her letters crawl, rounded like black ants, out of pagesFlowing with life , with death, with my living , with hers. 77
  87. 87. RiskOur gods are thirty million, evenly spread in the sky.Their population is ever rising in our lonely dreamsHighly incandescent, like flickering insects of lightRoaming the mountains, giant trees and lonely crags. At night, from bus windows, we see fires ragingOn mountains, lighting the sky alongside starsAs eyes are half-shut from night videos showingFilm heroes dealing with evil on one to one basisIn punches of musical sounds, in full orchestra.We have covered every possible fear in our belliesEvery possibility of snakes, ghosts, every dangerIn nook and corner, trees of canopies, glacial riversLives and deaths of ancestors, their spirits roamingThe country, lonely washer men’s ponds and potsOld tamarinds with hair shrieking in the night sky.Due to lurking dangers we are not taking chances.We have taken a census of gods of full thirty millionNot a god less, in count, covering every possibility.A 2.5% ratio to population seems a fair risk cover. 78
  88. 88. (We are now 1200 million, but the gods of our pantheon haveremained stable at 30 million) 79
  89. 89. SoundsSounds come from drums and pipesFrom silence ,vacated by cricketsOwls shrieks, cranes sleep-soundsMen turning in sleep, from dreams.These are wedding sounds , of joint sleepOf countless liquid nights and tear soundsFrom black-lined eyes, red noses of hurt.Sounds of two bodies sleeping and rising. 80
  90. 90. StoriesIn the night I read a little, by the starlightGathering snippets from men on the side.It is like gleaning gold grains left on the roadAfter the highway vehicles passed on themAll through the day, till the sun would sinkWhen the farmer would collect them in bagsWith his twirled mustaches on orange fire.I flit page to page, reading the first few lines.My story is made quickly with inscrutable logicThat is close to reality, to the nature of thingsThey only make beginnings; I supply the story.All stories are the same, the way they draw outFrom the cave, through the wooded passagesTo the depths of trees, where the drums beatTo reach a crescendo and a fire burns the nightAs the stars disappear slowly in the grey skiesMaking way for a new story, a new beginning. 81
  91. 91. 1949That was when there were no shirts on the backOnly glistening oils on body, anger bawling outBreath surmounting cloth, sweet sick baby smell.Wonder where it had been all along, a watery thingThat had sprung as an idea in somebodys mind.Its anxious people laughed at the undue hurryTo reach pink nipples, forget dark that had passedThe green fluid , the beginning of white memoryAs colors began, grays flowed softly from the skyA summer of light pouring in shafts of sunlight .The idea might not have sprung in someones mind.The 1949 summer might have been like any summer. 82
  92. 92. Occupying wall streetWe propose to occupy your minds now.Please give us back our cash, keepingAll its derivatives with you, your swapsUnder your soft silken collars and caps. Give us the cash on which you had madeYour glitzy skyscrapers of sizzling moneyIn tall trade centers, in the clipped accentsOf portals of business schools constructingMathematical models of money makingOn overblown market caps of flimsy cash.We shall begin in the park, in cold tentsOverflowing to drown bankers, wizards,Who stole our money in bags of hot air.Our cash slipped through bony fingersWhile you made its structured productsCreating debt, the mud that drowned usWhile you collected cash in your bags.Keep with you your structured productsBut give us our hard cash to pay our bills,Our student debt, our wives grocery bills.Please give us back our jobs, our money 83
  93. 93. We had made making things in factoriesIn real factories of sweat and salty tears. 84
  94. 94. Screws looseHer screws loose and rusted she stands alone ,Jabbing fingers at men in the air in a cloudOf cement like ghosts in scaffold, wind-blownBearing wet cement up without beng loud.Men pass the cement pans up to top crewsOn bamboo stairs going up to sky dizzilyBuilding dreams all the way up with no screwsThat,in rust and loose ,have come off easily.Up there in head there is no need for screwsThe skull plates will stay inter-locked in blankLike a footballs seams or temple stones rowsOr lazing crocodiles jaws on river bank.Since her screws are loose shes never in bluesWithout screws she only has topmost views.(A sonnet) 85
  95. 95. Not writing poemsA creepy thing, this business of not writing poems,Especially as the night is ticking away and the leavesAre not appearing to trees, as lightweight keywordsAppearing autonomously on the silence of the night.Poetry words should come as spring leaves to trees.The men occupy whole streets, walls, spaces, horizon,Men who speak different languages,each for himself,So that language is not stolen, but patented for royalty.They keep shouting into space, in the dust of a warThat should close at dusk as per the rule, before night.Not being Mahabharata ,the war will not close at dusk.They have powerful halogen lights in which to fightAnd because the language of closing is not understood.Each of them speak a different language for himselfProtected by intellectual property rights, copyrights.A creepy thing, this business of our not writing poemsEspecially ,when each of them speaks his own languageAnd poetry seems the only closing language before dusk. 86
  96. 96. GossipThe two are on their phones about certainWoman dealing with boredom in marriageA wimp of husband stays behind curtainWith no efforts but home he would manage.She is killer by words- arrows and slingsFire in eyes that burns long after cindersHer nightly yoga , head down, sprouts wings.Her volcanic word flow nothing hinders.Her poor cook, dumb of tongue, bears guilt.The undrdog bears the cross for silvers loss.But husbands do take tongues lashes to hiltThe fall guy takes blame for infamy and loss .These women do their theater rather well.Their narratives are taut, worked to detail.( A sonnet) 87
  97. 97. FriendsA bearded man sells white flowing shirtsDown in the street,near the four minars.There is a dazzling smile under his beard.Friends are made except in the fruit garden.The dog is barking this hour at its darknessIn the hollow of its throat,that never hadA regular leash, to tug at anybodys fingers.Dogs are our best friends sniffing our leg.We not only move in our friends circlesBut never come back to where we began.We move in our friends circles slowlyIn liquefied somnolence, sleep restingOn bellies of stale food fighting to stay.Our upper halls are flooded with friendsDrowning together in the chemical processOf eyes turning pearls for sale to rich ladiesCauterized in their early eyes of wonder.We have our many friends in high placesWith their red eyes deep-set on blaring vans.Their rich wails sing of mens puny statures.We are waiting for our eyes to turn pearls. 88
  98. 98. IllusionFour years after her, we see this paper nowWritten in a neat scroll, a plain white paperCrawling with several upward-looking wordsOf knowledge and its absence , lack of formA lack of God in form, refutation of all formA form that existed only in words and in sea.The wind has no form as the sea takes its formAnd the teachers , her form in white clothes,A ghost of a teacher, knowledge being illusion.The sea is illusion, the wind a ghost dancing in it.The ghost is a flatness of form felt in form.The teacher is now a ghost riding the waves.The disciple is loss of form changed into fire.The paper is ant- hole crawling with wordsAbout lack of matter in matter, about absence. 89
  99. 99. Please give us back our wingsWe live our inner lives, our words quietly dropping,Like the faucet dripping on a midnight bathroom.Our thinking comes to a head, in our young bodies.Our wise hair had gone in a ring through a windowOn to the side-walk, in company with a plastic bag.We are a cockroach that is lying curled up on the sillWaiting for a window of sun to quicken its wings.We are the 99 %, our wings being with them of 1% stillWe like to get our wings back, please, on the window- sill. 90
  100. 100. HoroscopeWhen we looked up the horoscope, from the shelfWe thought of the body, divided into neat divisionsOf time, as it went back, precision-cut in time phasesFolded in deep shelves, as of smiling film heroinesOf yesterday’s glory, their time nicely worn on lips.Horoscopes can be back-read, in fine phases of starsRuling stars that seem to say bright things in night airWithdrawing love at a moment’s notice, in flickers. We have gone back to where it all began in the cloth,In the smell of placenta, a flickering lamp of midwifeHighly unread, in fears of love, in the shrieks of a babyIn oil, seeking oxygen in the stale wind of closed room.We then look out from the folds of our swaddle clothLooking for her who was the cause celebre of our cry. She who brought us all about is serving her timeIn flickering stars, her existence just in thought.But our horoscope is somehow tied up with hersOnly our time divisions slightly overlapping hers.The stars forsake their protégés in the last phaseWhen it all ends up on the earth, in fires at dawnWaters dried up in streams on the sandy river bed,Wind stoking the fires of trees on its orange fringe.The horoscope is now just a crackling piece of paper 91
  101. 101. Waiting to be archived in the stars along with hers. 92
  102. 102. ColorsIn the walk an extravagance of colors hits youAt the end of the street, blazing red in its blueAs though apartments are pretty sitting birdsOf natural hues, waiting to fly, matured wingsIn clipping, their thoughts caught up in clouds.These are holes in the air with colored clothesFluttering in balconies, women brushing teethMen out in the lower clothes hanging on knees.The only thing white about them is milk bagsThey bring from an early can-clattering shopAnd vans just in from a far off morning dust. The chickens, though white in their sitting coopsIn the chicken vans, are excited to be offloadingBut colors are missing in their thoughts of deathThe shrieks inside the van are colors of violence,The colors of meat celebrating meat in its inside. 93
  103. 103. SummariesMy summaries are made hour to hourSo I catch the flow that will go to the seaLike a check dam on the hills, stoppingA little rain water on the ridge, for flowTo the parched city, crying want of love. I recapitulate words said from the heartIt is in the bottom, somewhere, at night.It is in its sound and music, some times,Paper-thin, crisp, spreading out in arms.Love is my summaries made of the night.Words are rain water, finding way to sea.I love to catch this love’s ineluctable flowThat comes this way to drown, a momentThat would spread its arms wide in the sky,On night’s edge, against the shrill whistleOf a brief cricket, a spider in golden sunriseA temporary lizard ticking love on the wall. 94
  104. 104. IntervalsAfter a long interval I have come across herIn dead face book pages, calling across timeIn a birthday greeting, a canvas lying frozenIn time, in space between house and house.The intervals have to occur between times.Art is long but life is brief and has intervals. A naked female of books flits across mindBut promptly disappears in the dusty atticWhere woman stays and looks lying indecent.My art too has intervals, hungry poetry artRaised in the early hours, just before dawnJust like the fine naked book females flittingAcross past canvasses in tribute to beauty.Beauty eludes the artists with fame-hunger.But a baby in arms enhances artist’s beauty.A man increases her beauty but not art-frame.Fame-hunger fills the artist’s eyes with gleam.Naked figures do not stay all that permanentAll the space on the dusty attic of memories.It is delicious to guess what beauty flourishedIn the intervals between then and this now. 95
  105. 105. (Recalling an association with a young fledgling artist who hastoday come back to my attention after a five year hiatus, throughface book pages) 96
  106. 106. The little girlShe was crawling like a floor lizard last year.Now erect, she smiles and fiddles with thingsPuts them in God’s order, on dusty surfacesSetting them right like an airy angel from sky.In the corners of her eyes, she smiles a moon smileAs if she has known these things and you all alongAnd all the dark secrets behind your shirt-pockets. 97
  107. 107. 98
  108. 108. The old stoolIt is a four-legged stool made years agoAnd got colored by her who is no more.The stool she had fiercely guarded as ownAs a thing of the heart, next to the bird. The stool that would not be left behindIn house relocations, giving us body-liftTo the light-bulb, to a loft of empty thingsTo airy things of the sky and earth’s sweetWater, the elixir of life, a support to logic.It is from it we shall reach higher worldsAs it shall continue to leave us all behind. 99
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  110. 110. October poemI came to this October poem on a thinking nightWhen it was dark under a future promise of dawnAnd a gentle wind blew on dry leaves in the street.Temples made it, in stone centuries of time, spaceThat had trees to show for and old women prayingTheir eyes closed in meditation, on temple steps,When temples were yet to open for long time men.Girls danced in steps, their hands up beating space.October made the evening turn hugely on wheelsAs we went high up in the air and land, like birds.A bird chick had fallen from the nest in balcony,A question in my mind if it flew back to its motherAtop the air-conditioner unit, on its brown beauty.October rain needed to be caught in cupped palmsIn the mind’s eye, on electric screen, in silver lines.A mere camera of ephemeral fame could not do it.A poem in early dawn wet with soft rain may do it. 101
  111. 111. ShudderLike you, Rilke, we want to shudder in our GodAs in a song, leaving much before our due partingChasing its long shadows much before the sunsetIn the smell of water in the temple, of old flowersCamphor of flames, priests locking temples awayShuddering in their throats, stomachs of god foodStones that lay dead in centuries of time, in paint.Our gods are stones, dark in the closed sanctumsOf musty old air of flowers, camphor and flames.We want to shudder in them in a plight of truthOf death possibility, carrying it on our shouldersHeavy under a God of petrified centuries on them.We want to shudder in God, all the while , dying. 102
  112. 112. The templesWe shall recall a second life in vivid colorsWithin pillars of time, with little girls’ handsStretching for eternity, in a rhythm of waking.A dance went on in little girls, in body bends.Their hands twisted the air as if it was a flowerAs the leaves went deep green on a sunless skyAnd temples stretched out in spires of figuresOf men and women frozen in color in the sky.There were other gods in deep pits of dark timeLadies in laughing annoyances, men in strugglingFarming lives, grains coming from earth-furrows,Priests chanting words to gods listening in smokeKings hunting tigers, growling from stone godsAppearing in night dreams of temples for people.Others from far come rushing with crow-barsTo dislodge stone gods from their stone cornersThere can be no gods in others’ stones or pondsOnly gods of sand, over dunes and camel humps.Temple stones turn dust, beliefs dust, people dust.But there is thunder on crow-bars, voices booming. 103
  113. 113. For temples to be dust flesh hearts should be stone.For, in the end both temples and hearts are dust. 104
  114. 114. Leaving a placeIn the wild we never really leave a placeWe always walk into it, noses turned upThe bears are always crawling some placeA night place like bush in the darkness.Our white birds are always up in trees.The sea is swishing tail in the tall leavesIn its wind application, white surf foam.The sounds are soft, tranquil on the ears.Midnight place disappears slowly in stepsGently sloping, hedged by a wall of trees.Our place is always midnight or morningOr some place else before or after deathOr in going, looking back at going place.The market sounds are place we leave.The crowd is place over their still heads.From the sea memorial, a crow is placeWe leave looking at the shoreline in sea.Our light is place in the room we classifyAnd ossify in memory, a memory placeBare of bones, fleshly existence in placeA bone marrow in a far someone’s place.Cells are place in bone, lumps in mindMind is place we leave, we look back onAgainst the wall of trees, against steps 105
  115. 115. That slope downward to fragrant trees.Our poems are place in the table lightNear the soft window of Basel and roseBird chicks are place in air-conditioner.Their mothers are place for grass bladesWe classify in the balcony sky of clothes.Our fathers leave our time on balconyOur longtime mothers are place in ice. 106
  116. 116. Poetry of jobsIn the Book of Jobs God in thunder hated questionsDirectly addressed to Him from ashes of sons, wivesCattle , body, mind, prayers, rosaries of faith-all lostTo an arrogant divine omni- desire to prove a point.Forget it if you mean to ask anything about apples.Apples do not mean anything, even when polished.A bite is sin when prompted by serpent of knowledge.Every Steve bites his apple, even the apple of eye.Every apple shall turn ashes, once the job is done. (remembering Steve Jobs of the Apple fame who passed thisweek) 107
  117. 117. The giant wheelWhen you land there briefly with your flying feetTouching the hem of the sky, you will not live thereWith your treacherous blood coursing down dizzily.Men’s heads and things turn into a milky path of starsA blur of light nothingness, a tangled knot of history.You will return with a bit of the sky in your pockets. 108
  118. 118. 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. 109
  119. 119. 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. 110