Fireflies

As the night deepens
Clusters of fireflies rise from
The depths of the earth.
The one-legged crow of Tirupati

The one-legged crow
Proclaimed pilgrim arrivals
In the temple town.
The tribal women of Araku valley

Women danced dimsa
Men drank cups of wine all night
Drums beat in frenzy.
The tribals of Borra Caves

They all went beyond
The mountains never to return
We see them in dreams.
At the Calicut beach


A boy walked away
From the orange sea-sun and
Idly prancing crows.
In the train

These white robed monks came
From nowhere but are real men
With real cloth bags.
At the Chomillah palace in Hyderabad

The palace reached skies
In its shadow lay kings and
Their faceless women.
In the backstreets of Tirupati

Words are giggling girls
Playing in moon, ponytails
Going up and down.
Words

Words hum like the leaves
Of the tree when the wind comes
From across the hills.
Mother and sea

The sea has risen
Only when the night is born
Will the sea calm down.
The boat on Hooghly in Kolkata

The boat stood brooding
Near the jetty, its stomach
Full with sea-secrets.
A train journey through Kerala

Our train chugged and first
The coconuts ran to the hills
Chillies went red in face.
Train

Our train burst in ire
Lacking its former steam puff
As stones hit her below belt.
Morning in Hyderabad

Fresh coffee drip-drops
In filter,its aroma covering
Blood , gore of morning news.
At the Kumarakom lake resort in Kerala


A little white girl
  crawls on the grass
  Behind the sinuous
        coconut tr...
Morning at my desk

My birds are twittering constantly
Amid scattered sounds and sun's rays.
My mornings are many-hued ski...
Sanchi Buddhist stupa

Sanchi’s golden brown stone dust settles
On the beauty-things of the hazy mind .
Death

At the end of the street
          they all disappear
Where there is a blind turn,
          a dead-end.
At the Kappad beach

Vasco Da Gama’s stone tablet stood
In history’s powdered rock and sand
And broken -colored boat masts.
On the Udayagiri hills near Vidisha

Several worn-out paths
winded to forgot ruins
There they stopped midway
 vanishing in...
Faith

That night was hope and some angst
While nothing ever happened , it would.
Flowers

The flowers would not talk to us
Of the pain of petals unfolding
When stars sprinkled dust on our roof
And the ni...
On the dry riverbed

The water was green and cool
Only the machines no longer whirred
And their men no more
Shouted in the...
Buffaloes on the riverbed

Everything was the same,
 even the buffaloes
And their eyes were vacant
as always.
The grass

The grass swayed gently on the bed
 When the wind called in the noon.
The Sabarmati bridge

The shallow waters dealt with the bridge
On which people went up and down.
Good morning, Mumbai

The roads were picture-perfect with rocks
overflowing
Haji Ali mysteries near the winding flyover
Ca...
My morning in Mumbai :

My morning came back
 full of feisty crows
Fed on Mumbai garbages
 and fetid sea-fish
Of the harbo...
Refusal

In the hollow of my downy back
Your after-being remains as refusal.
Futility

There was wind in the hair
My thoughts fell into the skin
When everything happened
Nothing actually occurred.
Hope

In the horizon I looked far enough
And deep in the tree’s silences
The leaves rustled in the night.
Refusal

I know you have said that enough
In the day’s heat and moon’s eclipse.
Morning

Up there the cosmic egg flickered
Beyond the trees
The blue emitted golden rays
In the silky clouds there.
Monsoon


This summer seemed undecided
When the monsoon shall begin
In the salt water and hills
To journey across the moun...
A little bird


Yesterday morning a little bird shrieked on the
wire
My garden was full of them and under them, below
the ...
She is in the other room

She does not speak to me in several dreams on my
pillow
I know she is now in the other room, the...
Darkness

Darkness drowns us all,bush,hills and sky
 Except the hum of the sea-waves.
Bush

When you walk alone under the stars
The night bush exists separate from you
Just a speck of black ,for a while.
At the Chomillah palace in Hyderabad


Their men’s bloated egos did not show on their
faces
Their egos showed on the women...
At the Chomillah palace in Hyderabad


When the silks arrived they forgot
 women’s faces
The women sat gossiping about
oth...
Sultans and their faceless women

The women's drapery
Interrupted their noses
And seeing eyes
Under vaulting domes
And res...
On a hot day in Orcha

There is a chimera on the tarred road
A woman with a metal pot on head
Poetry strikes in the whir o...
The prostate enlargement

As love’s summers passed for wintry nights
 The joke is now on me prostate and falling
 And now ...
The E.C.G.technician

A white ghost with a tail in his neck
 Watched the geometry of my heart
On the flatness of a luminou...
Jealous


They do not harm ,these green snakes
 But their slither-feel is so much disagreeable
And they merge so effortles...
The lovers

At night she burrowed her face in the pillow
 As they dreamed together their joint dreams
And some times their...
Adultery

Love was truly a splendorous thing
Behind closed doors and drawn curtains.
The Sankranti festival


Children played in the compound,collecting
Warm twigs for the ensuing festival bonfire.
The train journey

Images crowded like people ,in the mind
As the noisy train fan whirred pointlessly.
My mother

All the while we chant strange words
That mean nothing to us or to her
Our words are ashes ,our love ashes
A ba...
My mother's death

River noise and river silence
Swept by leaning trees and rocks
Carry ashes of our living since dead.
The other woman

At dusk cream-colored mosquito-nets
Hid shadows coalescing into each other
 Outside the autumn leaves fel...
An old man's reverie

I dream of what lay
beyond those mountains
Of the gusts of howling wind
passing through
Swaying red ...
I am sometimes afraid of the all-enveloping
darkness
Darkness closing in slowly amid the staccato cries
Of noisy crickets ...
childhood

in the morning, when
the white birds in the sky
Whizzed past the tall
 palm trees behind our house
We called th...
Meeting the mentally challenged kids in Tirupati

Streamlets of consciousness
That do not form a river
But disappear into ...
My father

Cant you see him there
In the morning , when the sky
Is bare of white fluffy clouds
 And in the blue distance
 ...
The fat book

The fat book on the table
opened its mouth
With wide-eyed wonder
at the trellis of shadows
On the marble flo...
Love in Kerala

The French windows hid much beauty
 In the shadows of mosquito nets
Outside ,hot pepper creepers snaked
Al...
At the Kapady beach in Kerala

Thought heralded a boatful of laughter
 Checkered, courageous, fishermanly
 In sprinkle-dif...
Transience

We smugly wear
the polyester film
of transience about us
we read poetry
in the trivial tragedies
      of thei...
the plastic curtain

Between us falls
this plastic curtain
 With tiny floral prints
and glistening droplets
 I see your li...
On a pleasure boat in the Bhopal lake

shadowy figures enact
transience in lake's night
their dance flows
in absurd moveme...
My fellow-passenger in the train

Energy swelled within her
In waves after waves
Only to break, boisterously,
On rocky sho...
The textile designer I met in the train

Her shapes, not still forms,
But frenetically moving images
Sizzled and then vapo...
My mother's silk saree


Somewhere in the backwoods
Several industrious silkworms
Had spun miles of salivary yarn
In the f...
The bride's silks

The rustle of the silk drowned
The wails of the boiling cocoons
These worms died that beauty would live...
My mother's bridal silks


Her bridal fragrance lives on among
The delicate folds of these gossamer silks
That the worms h...
The iron mines of Hospet


In the recent monsoon
Our rivers felt as if
The mountains had bled
From fresh wounds
Their fles...
Shadows

The shadows were cool liquid and sensuous
Dense in the core but undefined in the edges
They touched your heart , ...
My own little moon

In my childhood my moon
Hid behind a coconut tree
A skyscraper in America
             now hides it .
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A.J.Raos Short Verse

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A.J.Raos Short Verse

  1. 1. Fireflies As the night deepens Clusters of fireflies rise from The depths of the earth.
  2. 2. The one-legged crow of Tirupati The one-legged crow Proclaimed pilgrim arrivals In the temple town.
  3. 3. The tribal women of Araku valley Women danced dimsa Men drank cups of wine all night Drums beat in frenzy.
  4. 4. The tribals of Borra Caves They all went beyond The mountains never to return We see them in dreams.
  5. 5. At the Calicut beach A boy walked away From the orange sea-sun and Idly prancing crows.
  6. 6. In the train These white robed monks came From nowhere but are real men With real cloth bags.
  7. 7. At the Chomillah palace in Hyderabad The palace reached skies In its shadow lay kings and Their faceless women.
  8. 8. In the backstreets of Tirupati Words are giggling girls Playing in moon, ponytails Going up and down.
  9. 9. Words Words hum like the leaves Of the tree when the wind comes From across the hills.
  10. 10. Mother and sea The sea has risen Only when the night is born Will the sea calm down.
  11. 11. The boat on Hooghly in Kolkata The boat stood brooding Near the jetty, its stomach Full with sea-secrets.
  12. 12. A train journey through Kerala Our train chugged and first The coconuts ran to the hills Chillies went red in face.
  13. 13. Train Our train burst in ire Lacking its former steam puff As stones hit her below belt.
  14. 14. Morning in Hyderabad Fresh coffee drip-drops In filter,its aroma covering Blood , gore of morning news.
  15. 15. At the Kumarakom lake resort in Kerala A little white girl crawls on the grass Behind the sinuous coconut tree Chasing a white-leaping rabbit.
  16. 16. Morning at my desk My birds are twittering constantly Amid scattered sounds and sun's rays. My mornings are many-hued skies Rising from treetops of bird-songs.
  17. 17. Sanchi Buddhist stupa Sanchi’s golden brown stone dust settles On the beauty-things of the hazy mind .
  18. 18. Death At the end of the street they all disappear Where there is a blind turn, a dead-end.
  19. 19. At the Kappad beach Vasco Da Gama’s stone tablet stood In history’s powdered rock and sand And broken -colored boat masts.
  20. 20. On the Udayagiri hills near Vidisha Several worn-out paths winded to forgot ruins There they stopped midway vanishing in bushes.
  21. 21. Faith That night was hope and some angst While nothing ever happened , it would.
  22. 22. Flowers The flowers would not talk to us Of the pain of petals unfolding When stars sprinkled dust on our roof And the night’s queen whitely bloomed .
  23. 23. On the dry riverbed The water was green and cool Only the machines no longer whirred And their men no more Shouted in the wind.
  24. 24. Buffaloes on the riverbed Everything was the same, even the buffaloes And their eyes were vacant as always.
  25. 25. The grass The grass swayed gently on the bed When the wind called in the noon.
  26. 26. The Sabarmati bridge The shallow waters dealt with the bridge On which people went up and down.
  27. 27. Good morning, Mumbai The roads were picture-perfect with rocks overflowing Haji Ali mysteries near the winding flyover Car horns meshing with crow's caws.
  28. 28. My morning in Mumbai : My morning came back full of feisty crows Fed on Mumbai garbages and fetid sea-fish Of the harbor’s heights.
  29. 29. Refusal In the hollow of my downy back Your after-being remains as refusal.
  30. 30. Futility There was wind in the hair My thoughts fell into the skin When everything happened Nothing actually occurred.
  31. 31. Hope In the horizon I looked far enough And deep in the tree’s silences The leaves rustled in the night.
  32. 32. Refusal I know you have said that enough In the day’s heat and moon’s eclipse.
  33. 33. Morning Up there the cosmic egg flickered Beyond the trees The blue emitted golden rays In the silky clouds there.
  34. 34. Monsoon This summer seemed undecided When the monsoon shall begin In the salt water and hills To journey across the mountains And windy coconuts.
  35. 35. A little bird Yesterday morning a little bird shrieked on the wire My garden was full of them and under them, below the wires.
  36. 36. She is in the other room She does not speak to me in several dreams on my pillow I know she is now in the other room, the far corner one.
  37. 37. Darkness Darkness drowns us all,bush,hills and sky Except the hum of the sea-waves.
  38. 38. Bush When you walk alone under the stars The night bush exists separate from you Just a speck of black ,for a while.
  39. 39. At the Chomillah palace in Hyderabad Their men’s bloated egos did not show on their faces Their egos showed on the women’s stomachs On the little heirs who came from there.
  40. 40. At the Chomillah palace in Hyderabad When the silks arrived they forgot women’s faces The women sat gossiping about other women Other women in harem and their fine draperies.
  41. 41. Sultans and their faceless women The women's drapery Interrupted their noses And seeing eyes Under vaulting domes And resounding halls.
  42. 42. On a hot day in Orcha There is a chimera on the tarred road A woman with a metal pot on head Poetry strikes in the whir of the head A body posture replying.
  43. 43. The prostate enlargement As love’s summers passed for wintry nights The joke is now on me prostate and falling And now I try to make pretty poetry out of it.
  44. 44. The E.C.G.technician A white ghost with a tail in his neck Watched the geometry of my heart On the flatness of a luminous world .
  45. 45. Jealous They do not harm ,these green snakes But their slither-feel is so much disagreeable And they merge so effortlessly in her shadows.
  46. 46. The lovers At night she burrowed her face in the pillow As they dreamed together their joint dreams And some times their separate dreams.
  47. 47. Adultery Love was truly a splendorous thing Behind closed doors and drawn curtains.
  48. 48. The Sankranti festival Children played in the compound,collecting Warm twigs for the ensuing festival bonfire.
  49. 49. The train journey Images crowded like people ,in the mind As the noisy train fan whirred pointlessly.
  50. 50. My mother All the while we chant strange words That mean nothing to us or to her Our words are ashes ,our love ashes A bag of of yellowed bones .
  51. 51. My mother's death River noise and river silence Swept by leaning trees and rocks Carry ashes of our living since dead.
  52. 52. The other woman At dusk cream-colored mosquito-nets Hid shadows coalescing into each other Outside the autumn leaves fell Carpeting the garden floor.
  53. 53. An old man's reverie I dream of what lay beyond those mountains Of the gusts of howling wind passing through Swaying red sandalwood trees on the other side.
  54. 54. I am sometimes afraid of the all-enveloping darkness Darkness closing in slowly amid the staccato cries Of noisy crickets from invisible crevices I am sometimes afraid of the all-enveloping darkness Darkness closing in slowly amid the staccato cries Of noisy crickets from invisible crevices Old I am sometimes afraid of the fearful darkness darkness closing in slowly amid the staccato cries Of noisy crickets from invisible crevices.
  55. 55. childhood in the morning, when the white birds in the sky Whizzed past the tall palm trees behind our house We called them out shaking our fingers at them.
  56. 56. Meeting the mentally challenged kids in Tirupati Streamlets of consciousness That do not form a river But disappear into the vast Wild wastes of nothingness.
  57. 57. My father Cant you see him there In the morning , when the sky Is bare of white fluffy clouds And in the blue distance Mountains pile one on the other?
  58. 58. The fat book The fat book on the table opened its mouth With wide-eyed wonder at the trellis of shadows On the marble floor cast by the chandeliers.
  59. 59. Love in Kerala The French windows hid much beauty In the shadows of mosquito nets Outside ,hot pepper creepers snaked All the way up statuesque teaks .
  60. 60. At the Kapady beach in Kerala Thought heralded a boatful of laughter Checkered, courageous, fishermanly In sprinkle-diffused froth seething with salt and blue .
  61. 61. Transience We smugly wear the polyester film of transience about us we read poetry in the trivial tragedies of their tatters.
  62. 62. the plastic curtain Between us falls this plastic curtain With tiny floral prints and glistening droplets I see your lips moving through its translucence
  63. 63. On a pleasure boat in the Bhopal lake shadowy figures enact transience in lake's night their dance flows in absurd movements their shadows crouch in flesh and blood transience
  64. 64. My fellow-passenger in the train Energy swelled within her In waves after waves Only to break, boisterously, On rocky shores of bleak nothingness.
  65. 65. The textile designer I met in the train Her shapes, not still forms, But frenetically moving images Sizzled and then vaporised In split-second transience Everything moved towards a stance A fixed identity for her soul.
  66. 66. My mother's silk saree Somewhere in the backwoods Several industrious silkworms Had spun miles of salivary yarn In the foliage of the mulberry tree To make this five-yard silk saree .
  67. 67. The bride's silks The rustle of the silk drowned The wails of the boiling cocoons These worms died that beauty would live In their plaintive cries lay new bridal hopes
  68. 68. My mother's bridal silks Her bridal fragrance lives on among The delicate folds of these gossamer silks That the worms had died weaving Death is so fragrant and so memorable
  69. 69. The iron mines of Hospet In the recent monsoon Our rivers felt as if The mountains had bled From fresh wounds Their flesh has gone, Across the green seas, To the distant Chinaman To fill out his bones.
  70. 70. Shadows The shadows were cool liquid and sensuous Dense in the core but undefined in the edges They touched your heart , tingled your skin Tousled your hair and teased your mind.
  71. 71. My own little moon In my childhood my moon Hid behind a coconut tree A skyscraper in America now hides it .

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