Tuesday 16 August 2016

Tattoos

All they need is a young mind, raw from within and
hurt by the deep scars of history. Some come as
india ink on paper - called Koran, or Bible or Geeta—

indoctrinated into the brain by incessant repetition.
Some as the chants of priests and monks, in strange
intonations often accompanied by incense. Or blasted

from loudspeakers, a call to arms against imagined foes.
They all leave scars, fresh for a new generation to be
inked. Not everything requires a sterilised steel needle.

This is one half of a tapestry poem with Shernaz Wadia, first published at RateMyLiterature.com.

View the full tapestry here.

What is tapestry poetry?

Summer

This summer I made a bonfire of my loves.
Beneath the pregnant clouds and still air
Of the sweltering nights, as the breeze died,
My remembrances of us together - yellow
Like the oleander, thespesia and laburnum -
I let them burn, and lend themselves to the ash.
They scatter as the rising wind whistles, playing
Chinese whispers with the fresh-leaved trees;
The dust has a new smell: rain at last, rain at last!

This is one half of a tapestry poem with Shernaz Wadia, first published at RateMyLiterature.com and republished at tapestrypoetry.webs.com.

View the full tapestry here.

What is tapestry poetry?

Tuesday 12 July 2016

Opening into the darkness

Rays erupt on a winter morning.
As buds erupt on shankhapushpam
Flowers, the clouds thunder among
Silent birds. As lightning in search
of earthing, His feet praying for nirvana,
the wanderer thirsts. Much of what he’s
Learned, must now be unlearnt anew,
Alone in a noisy train with lonely men
He rumbles wordless into the night mist.

(Published in Whispers as part of the "Captivating Titles" activity, July 2016)

Tuesday 26 April 2016

Forgetting

Memories are often miasmal, putrescent;
a squad-drill of old complaints marching by
that you soon wish were etherised, euthanised

lest, despondently, you are forced to grapple
with those; the nocturnal sounds of a forest
you wished you didn’t set foot in; a gambit indeed

that you played thinking it fashionable at the instant
and now regretted... indeed with appetites for regret;
meditating on them there is no shunya, nor do they

let you be forgetful of them, vicious in the pursuit,
and no, they don’t digress either to dwell on joy,
no sir, they're silhouettes that follow, to the grave mud.

*

This poem was part of a special exercise in Whispers, April 2016. It is written around 12 words chosen from 12 poems of T.S. Eliot, 1 each, in order:

“The Hippopotamus”
“Hysteria”
“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”
“Morning at the Window”
“Rhapsody on a Windy Night”
“Sweeney Among the Nightingales”
“Aunt Helen”
“The Boston Evening Transcript”
“Burbank With a Baedeker: Bleistein With a Cigar”
“The Burial of the Dead”
“Conversation Galante”
“A Cooking Egg.”

yellow

with
the sun
on the rise
o'er the sea
is this yellowing
leaf yellower
in the bright
white of
day

still waters



still
waters
and stiller
these thoughts of mine
far in the sunset
the flamingoes
taking off
one by
one

Published in Whispers, October 2015

The Solitary Reaper

I recited a poem by Wordsworth once.
The one about the solitary reaper
Singing all by herself
of "battles long ago", perhaps
"some natural sorrow, loss, or pain."
or even "familiar matters of to-day".

I will say the audience were moved.
They asked for his Orkut profile,
And what his latest status message,
is on Gtalk or Facebook,
surely something deep.
Do I have his email address?
And hey, is he on Twitter?

Published in Whispers, December 2015

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