Poetry of the Moment Volume 2


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Poetry by Nisheedhi

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Poetry of the Moment Volume 2

  1. 1. Poetry of the moment :Volume 2 Short Poetry nisheedhi
  2. 2. Poetry of the moment :Volume 2 Short Poetry nisheedhi
  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 soundaryalahari.wordpress.com. Powered by Pothi.com http://pothi.com
  4. 4. ContentsAshes 1Existence 2On return to Mumbai 3The interview 4Sleep 5Wounds 7The lasting silence 8The angel in red stole my clothes 9The death of a leader 10The last lecture 11Terror in a cafe 12On failing to get admittance to the Taj Mahal 13On my mother’s first death anniversary 14At the GRT hotel in Chennai 15Images in a train journey 16Evening in the Hampi rocks 17
  5. 5. Clay-pot 18At the Jehan Numa Hotel in Bhopal 19A dog’s death 20The Vaishnavite 21Death of a woman 22Mother Kali 23My fellow-passenger in the train 24Tracking the elephants in the Wyanad forest 25Existence 26The laughing Buddha 27This is a mere dream 28Possession 29An October morning 30The destitute children of Mumbai 31The stone-cutter 32On visit to Kalady ,the birthplace of Adi Sankaracharya 33Assurance 34
  6. 6. Tribute to the Buddha at the Shanti Stupa in Leh 35White memory 36My falling sick 37The death of a leader 38The death of a communist 39Scatter 40Our beautiful birds are yet to come 41Break is not another morning 42Girl in the park 43The box 44The joke 45Spring 46Winter 47Midnight music 48Words 49Bodies of consciousness 50The megalomaniac quiz master 51
  7. 7. Marriage 52The white tiger of Rewa 53Phases 54
  8. 8. AshesThen the drama continuedAs the chants were spokenFrom the guttural depthsOf a middleman’s throat.The pursuit of silver went onIn the waters in sound and wordsChasing multitudes ofLife and death shadowsThe waters flowed silentlyOver the rocks nurturing lifeAnd its golden-brown ashes.(As I watched the ritual of immersion of ashes of the dead beingperformed in a river in Karnataka) 1
  9. 9. ExistenceHere a talking man is sleeping,His arms akimbo, feet in the air.Then were wild gesticulations,Sweat on brow, fire in the eyesNow vacant and unconnected.He no longer exists in spaceBut he had happened in timeWhatever begins shall remain.(On the death of Ramachandra Rao ,a relative ) 2
  10. 10. On return to MumbaiThe city is daylong and sea –backedThe sea-child deeply dangled his feetInto the sea at the misty radio clubNear the cockroach-ridden sea palaceBringing back a tide of memoriesYears ago, I had bought my identityHere, in a piece of paper, full of liesAnd endless possibilities of hurtIn the fragrant harbour to come .Now the sea is calm but afraidI see Rukmini’s lying-in hospitalAlong with the juice hair parlours.Stock- brokers rub rotund stomachs.Scared dons account for deathsThere ,at the junction , in a sea of carsStand these muddy-haired childrenThey have a nasty habit of pokingTheir outstretched grubby handsDirectly into the holes of your eyes.(On return from a three year stint in Hong Kong-literally the fragrantharbor) 3
  11. 11. The interviewOne went into deep slumber fully awareThe air did not touch nor melodiously singThe tweet of the gray bird went over and againAs the helpless chick tried to find wayHemmed in by clusters of grass squaresThe mind’s baby gurgled as if threateningIt got mixed up in the easily penetrable skullThe story of someone deeply drowningHold your breath and flap your wingsWhile your daughter’s saving dupatta floatsThe elephant-God whispered in your earsAs the sun went down the shimmering lakeWe all waited impatiently to be hurt deeplyThe head- shrinker asked several searing questionsPretending petrified wisdom of the pure mindThe phantoms went their way, their job done.(The promotion interview where the head shrinker thought I was notfit enough for the onerous position of general manager) 4
  12. 12. SleepThe birdsong came backThis time with a bearded manThe sky was deep blueIn the mountains and beyondAnd gently touching them.The man’s eyes slept for longThe blue in them disappeared,Above the yellowed stone shelter,Into the translucent April sky.It had rained from the white skyAnd he had slept and sleptAs if he had not woken upFrom yesterday’s deep sleepAnd the sleep of the day beforeWhen my car had passed.His breathing was rhythmicAnd there was no warm life.Yesterday his eyes were openAnd today his breath stirredUnder the unkempt beardTomorrow under the blue skyWhen my car will pass this wayThere will be a gray spaceThen my eyes will turn awayI shall roll down the panes.(Concerning a vagrant I used to see sleeping in a stone shelterevery day when I was commuting in my car between Sivakasi and 5
  13. 13. Rajapalayam in Tamilnadu) 6
  14. 14. WoundsIn the recent monsoonOur rivers felt as ifThe mountains had bledFrom fresh woundsTheir flesh has gone,Across the green seas,To the distant ChinamanTo fill out his bones.(Iron ore exports to China in the wake of the pre-Olympicsconstruction boom have left deep wounds on our mountain scape inthe Hospet region) 7
  15. 15. The lasting silenceWhen your eyes go astray and balledNo thumping on the chest revives musicDistant listening and hair in a close matAn electric shock here, needle piercing thereDoes nothing to bring your world back.There is this red liquid and a trail of wordsThere is then lasting silence where rhythm was.(As I watched my mother breathing her last) 8
  16. 16. The angel in red stole my clothesThe angel in the red had taken my bagMy body arrived all in a piece as a guestIn the sky- land of a liquor comeuppanceAs the red bird had flown low and highIt forgot my bag’s existence in the universeBut brought this bag of bones with verseAnd would, with an apologetic click, reverse.My honor was surely at stake for the dayAs it ended with everything red and deadWith not even clothes for this bag of bones.(My baggage ,booked in Jabalpur airport for Raipur went astray andI had to wait for a full day before I could reclaim my luggage) 9
  17. 17. The death of a leaderHe always looked for a catchAmid complex loops of reason-In the people logic of democracyAnd the fine arithmetic of men.He had them coming everywhere;He promised them rice and jobs.His words were hopes, sparksThat flew off from under his toesAs he walked their mud tracks.His eyes now float upwardsOn the hill, in the thick forestHis pockets are full of rainAnd the helicopter’s whir.(The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Mr.Rajasekhara Reddy hasbeen killed in a helicopter crash in the dense forests on his way to apublic meeting) 10
  18. 18. The last lectureIn the last lecture there is space leftBriefly only to be occupied all timeThe space that will exist all time, lackingIn substance like a quarry in the hillock,Which exists as long as the hillock lasts.Let us imagine the quarry hole filled with dark;You stand on the rim of the hole that existsIn absence of space and presence of time.You now hit tangentially Randy Pausche’s lectureYou do not immediately get into his circle-The circle of an inspiring cancer death,The circle of dark quarry humor with a twist.You merely stand on the rim and lean into the darkStraining your eyes to see own reflection down there.(Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture: Really Achieving YourChildhood) 11
  19. 19. Terror in a cafeReluctantly we set this downSurely somebody up thereIs holding our lovely earth upAnd the blue sky and the starsAnd all else from falling.Except in the Leopold caféWhere bodies fall from behindWhich have just eaten roti.If only they knew that waitingFor rice would make them fall.A young man with rucksackHad just come across the sea .There was a gleam in his eye.(Concerning the death of Mr.Gopalakrishnan ,our colleague in theterror shootout in the Leopold cafe in Mumbai where he had cometo eat his dinner with some colleagues). 12
  20. 20. On failing to get admittance to the Taj MahalYesterday’s eye-red was but a phaseHaving lost the moonlight all the wayBehind large doors and khaki authority(When we pray in marble mosquesWe tend to get killed on FridaysBecause beauty does not really matterBut only the blood-red duty-call)In the end we see where the king wentIn the cold cellar,past earthly beautyThe priest’s God-call pierced the vaultAs beauty is not truth,only coldness. 13
  21. 21. On my mother’s first death anniversaryAt four the morning was night.A bird landed on the plastic sheetWaking up too early for the wormsFor the other birds’ comfort on the tree.The tube light whined sorrowfullyAgainst Octavio Paz and certain poetIn the inner tube of my computer.Mother would come with rice ballsIn Sanskrit incantations and dhotiTied across my waist and thread.All we lay stretched on the floorRemembering her dead a year ago.Night will soon be morning birdsTheir noisy calls were like that timeWhen she laughed the last time. 14
  22. 22. At the GRT hotel in ChennaiI sat in the crowded ground floor cafeSipping brown coffee over a pastryA white man came down with a thudIn the hotel lift, bright and gleamingThe white woman wore fresh and fragrantThreads of strung jasmines in her hairJust like the other ebony-backed womanWith luminescent flowers on her back.That black woman down there laughedAs her curled pigtail wavered rhythmically.She had no jasmines in her matted hair.The rains were so much like back homeThe filth overpowering and strangely familiar.I look down on the world through the glassBehind the blue-haze of the rain-curtainsFrom the sixth floor room of my hotelWondering if the twitch of that woman in redMeant unequivocally that I actually existed. 15
  23. 23. Images in a train journeyThe woman there was a mere imageThe way her eyes flashed at her husbandAs she changed the nappies of the childThe child swung in the cloth-cradle, gently,Like a weaver bird swings in the fibrous nestHe cried , he gurgled ,he knocked about-A mere image in another image’s existenceThis woman did not know she was an imageBut I knew she was an image ,just an image. 16
  24. 24. Evening in the Hampi rocksThe evening swapped the orange skyFor a silver-lined cloud in tattersThe rocks sizzled through the day;At sundown their fever subsided.Their blazing orange desires ebbedIn the nucleus of their inner being.Time had burnt them to perfectionBeyond the pale of their stony selves.Their sun-smell touched the bushesQuickening life in their brown limbs.As the sun sank behind the world’s edgeTheir shadows disappeared in the sky. 17
  25. 25. Clay-potThe lights glistened forgetfullyYesterday over fried potatoes.It was just a whiff of thoughtThese bones in the clay-pot.(Memory of my mother) 18
  26. 26. At the Jehan Numa Hotel in BhopalIn yesterday’s laughing wind and rainThe trees waved helplessly on my windowA spiritual lady separated my spiritFrom my morbid mind, body and intellectBuffeted by a moist wind-blown illnessIn this history room the royals reveledSeparated by sunless fog-screens of timeThe wind howled all through the nightMy consciousness grappled with the body. 19
  27. 27. A dog’s deathHe had come into us, running,Yelling, in crescendo of pain.Then all was peremptorily still.The car stopped, screechingOnly to scrape bloody fleshOff the muddy bumper: actuallyHe was chasing steel shadowsWhich had no business there.(Homage to a dog which came under our car on a highway inKerala) 20
  28. 28. The VaishnaviteThe luminous red-and-white chalk-linesOn our profoundly furrowed foreheadsExtended ,over temple towers and tenement tops,Into anarchic aggregation of scriptural argumentThe truth lay, not in monistic oneness,Not even in dualistic separatenessBut in the fiery union of the flesh with the spirit. 21
  29. 29. Death of a womanShe stared at the wooden beamThe wood that was once a treeA tailless lizard came from the beamkitta kitta kitta said the lizardShe who had become ‘it’ staredAt the beam that was once a treeThe beam looked at the lizardThe continuum flowed endlessly .(Upon the passing away of my mother-in-law) 22
  30. 30. Mother KaliMother Kali’s magnificent eyesWere moist with maternal tearsAs Bengal squirmed at bygone gloryThe loss of its literature trophyHas left its bhadralok bewilderedand bereft, entirely.(concerning the mysterious theft of the Nobel prize for Literaturewon by Rabindra Nath Tagore) 23
  31. 31. My fellow-passenger in the trainShe sat,cross-legged ,With her eyes screwed up .Energy swelled within herIn waves after rising wavesOnly to break, boisterously,On rocky shores of nothingness.Her cell phone rang fitfullyInterrupting gradual formationOf penciled shapes,in her mind,Of her future textile creations.Her shapes, not still forms,But frenetically moving imagesSizzled and then vaporizedIn split-second transience. 24
  32. 32. Tracking the elephants in the Wyanad forestThe elephants were hard to come out;They had their strong sylvan reasons.Our timid tribal guide called out to SuryaWho had his elephant feet tied to the tree.There was black fear in his beady eyes. 25
  33. 33. ExistenceHere a talking man is sleeping,His arms akimbo, feet in the air.Then were wild gesticulations,Sweat on brow, fire in the eyesNow vacant and unconnected.He no longer exists in spaceBut he had happened in timeWhatever begins shall remain. 26
  34. 34. The laughing BuddhaHe had an answer to all our questionsBut no questions to our ready answersHis ears were long and non-hearingAs were his eyes small and crinkly.It was not he who patted his tummyAnd laughed to the vulgar crowds loudJust a yellow figurine on dusty shelves.Did you say he had frozen in bronzeWith an enormous stomach side-splitting?Actually our fears froze behind his earsI can hear their crunch in these leaves. 27
  35. 35. This is a mere dreamA lone crab struggledIn a puddle of scalding waterThere were voices aroundAll happened in a split-secondWhen someone shoutedPull him out, for God’s sake;This is a mere dream. 28
  36. 36. PossessionShe lay there sprawled, wailing.Anger burst out of the boundsShe had crossed all body-barriersJust when sanity finally returned.A mere transient ischemic attackOr a turmeric- yellow GoddessExtending dominion over disbelief? 29
  37. 37. An October morningThe house there wakes up bleary-eyedHesitating shadows emerge from its walls-A varnished gate, the midget of a womanOn the concrete bench, in the gardenMeasuring the length of her shadow. 30
  38. 38. The destitute children of MumbaiThere ,at the junction , in a sea of carsStand these muddy-haired childrenThey have a nasty habit of pokingTheir outstretched grubby handsDirectly into the holes of your eyes. 31
  39. 39. The stone-cutterThe man is not worriedAbout ecology too muchWhen he breaks stonesFrom tall mountainsTo make comfy housesFor those whose shirtsSmell of currency notes.His shirt does not smellHe does not have any.His back has streamsOf glistening sweatLike mountain streamsForming giant rivers. 32
  40. 40. On visit to Kalady ,the birthplace of Adi SankaracharyaHe seemed to have called us over for lunchIn Kalady’s heat the stomach yearned for itWhen we had gone past the river of greenWhich had changed the course at his behestTo suit his mother in old age, her water pot.The river with the crocodile of death in its bellyThe crocodile which had set his foot freeOn the promise of his forsaking the world. 33
  41. 41. Assuranceassurance comes as phone messagefrom the frosty silence of the namelessas the mind grapples with questionsthat emerge from its dark and dusty attic.(An assuring phone message from Sai Baba) 34
  42. 42. Tribute to the Buddha at the Shanti Stupa in LehThe hills rose in brown and blueFluffy clouds cast shadows on themAnd sprinkled powdery evanescent snowOn their reddish-tinged stones.Deep in the mountains he smiledRaising his speaking hand for us. 35
  43. 43. White memoryWhite is coarse -spun cloth shirtAnd the white of a squint eyeOperating from beyond the worldTwo years is long time for an eye- whiteNot to merge in the sky’s white.(Remembering a dear relative who departed two years ago) 36
  44. 44. My falling sickWhen my mother was not a mere ideaMy falling sick was a cosmic event.Now it is like the forest tree which fellIn the storm, noticed only by the birdsAnd the big black ants living at the root.It is now a mere idea ,like my mother,An idea which comes to its fruitionAnd fades away in the cosmic sky. 37
  45. 45. The death of a leaderHe had them coming everywhere;He promised them rice and jobs.His words were hopes, sparksThat flew off from under his toesAs he walked their mud tracks.His eyes now float upwardsOn the hill, in the forestHis pockets are full of rainAnd the helicopter’s whir.(The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Mr.Rajasekhar Reddy hasbeen killedin a helicopter crash in the dense forests on his way to a publicmeeting) 38
  46. 46. The death of a communistMy mind overflows the bodyTake my body- I don’t need it-And my bags in the corner.Give them to the medical studentAnd to the Kolkata rag picker.(On the demise of Mr.Jyoti Basu, the veteran communist at the ripeage of 96) 39
  47. 47. ScatterThis jewel of a girl is not now girlBecause she held the key to jewels.She needs Vishnu. She is scattered.(This is about the recent incident of murder of a ten year old girl,Vaishnavi literally the consort of Vishnu, the chief Hindu God) by herstep-mother’s brothers in the wake of fears of her fatherbequeathing all his property to her at the cost of her step-brothers) 40
  48. 48. Our beautiful birds are yet to comeThe lake promenade is a promise.It is in their minds and our thought.Our beautiful birds are yet to comeThis winter will be harsh in SiberiaLet us fill blanks with noise and verse. 41
  49. 49. Break is not another morningBreak is what touches metalAnd nerves and mental state.Break is sound and disconnectFrom life and living and love.Break is midnight and strangeHuge buses cutting down life.Break is not another morning. 42
  50. 50. Girl in the parkHer fleet-footed long stridesAnd click-clock of walking shoesFill the park’s rhythmic roundTelling an eye story of purpose. 43
  51. 51. The boxWe make the usual circular motionsDutifully in our own square boxes.We look up to see standing peopleIn balconies of red-and-blue housesBursting with morning men and lungis.They should be back in their box soon. 44
  52. 52. The jokeSince nobody laughed at our joke-A two rupees joke on the cell- phone-We sat deeply on the foundation,As our legs dangled in empty spaceThrough the waving grass of the breezeShowing bits of sunrise behind the hill. 45
  53. 53. SpringChild of the wind-Tickle my leavesAnd take my laughterTo the distant hills. 46
  54. 54. WinterIt is time you slept-Your eyes have weptEnough. 47
  55. 55. Midnight musicMidnight music is the rising oceanCalled by a reddening of the moon.Midnight music is the pipal leavesPlaying the wind’s exotic hill musicAs its fingers touch their spiked ends.Midnight music is the invisible cricketSinging from the silences of the bush. 48
  56. 56. WordsLet me say my wordsAnd live life in imagesAs in deep sleep, so thatI hear the tree fallingIn the forest of dream,And every tree’s fallingIn every forest of sky. 49
  57. 57. Bodies of consciousnessOpposite are some bodies of consciousness.Here, on the green park bench, I cogitateOn the fevered awareness of my body.There, an old body is moving towards mePointing other body things to another old body.Like an old body that whispered, pretty dear,To the wasp that sat on the window-sillStill but seemed to be saying something. 50
  58. 58. The megalomaniac quiz masterHe is quizzing because he is not sure.He gets into a maze of wordy thoughtsAnd his words confuse you and him.They hit you in your solar plexus and his.Now, now, he wants to saunter leisurelyOn the frosty wastes of the snowed hillsAs I saunter leisurely now in this nightOn the frozen darkness of my years. 51
  59. 59. MarriageThere was the girl of the cross-eyeHer long pigtail tucked in blouse.The nose told stories like eyes.Her long back arched silentlyAs she crouched and waitedFor history to break and beginWith fresh stories in the making. 52
  60. 60. The white tiger of RewaThis tiger is pale, pearl-white and pureIts purity shone from its fine taxidermy.Rewa’s royal pride shines forth indeedIn the stuffed purity of its whiteness. 53
  61. 61. PhasesA mere single phase electric lineMakes me much afraid in the dark.I am in the first phase of my old ageGroping for a matchstick with unsteady handIn the dark recesses of my mud-wall.In the quiet afternoon, I sit by myselfMuch afraid of the crow’s metallic cawMarking my life’s phases matter-of-factly. 54