Skip to main content

Tin Sheets

They've put tin sheets around my house.

That house in the middle of the city,
built so very long ago by grandpa,
when I was not even born,
shall they break it down?

The grills on the window,
with the big sill on which I sat,
watching suburban trains go past;
and that window that never opened,
will they break them now?

That attic in which I could play,
and not be found for hours;
and all the sundry stuff in it
Among which I was general, king or slave
In a perfect fancy world,
will they break them now?

The kitchen platform with the burners,
one for sacred, god-offered meals,
the other for cooking abhishtam things,
when grandmother was not around;
and the shelves with old wooden doors
groaning with sterling heirlooms,
will they break them now?

The tall wardrobe in the room
on which my cousin kept things
which I should not read;
or the iron cot in the corner
that creaked under grandpa's weight;
or that ancient blotted mirror,
will they break them now?

That ancient wooden staircase,
that spiralled to the terrace,
where grandmother's savouries
dried in the sun every summer
to be be put in tins and stored;
and that roof-top water-tank
in which cricket sixers landed,
will they break them now?

They've put tin sheets around my house.


Popular posts from this blog

She's complicated

She's complicated. She'll charm you with charts, statistics and that corporate smile. But look into those eyes, they're fiercely bohemian. She's complicated. Her chatterings seem to resonate with happy sounds, but listen with the other ear, to an unhidden lament. She's complicated. Her silences agonise, her voice echoes in her absence. And yet there is a mild dread as her name flashes on the ringing phone. She's complicated. Sometimes she's a poetess, shallow, romantic, trying to hide a sardonic, world-weary wit. She's complicated. She could be a spiteful Fury, wrath unabated, but that's just to hide the lamb-hugging girl within. She's complicated. She's an enchantress, a fool, a tyrant, a nurse, an imp, a priestess, but she's generally a good friend. She's complicated. Published in Making Waves - A Poetry Anthology , ed. Pam & Bill Swyers; Swyers Publishing 2011. ISBN: 978-0-9843113-6-1.

Nellie, 1983

Very often the sun rises in warm, golden rays on opening buds, birdsong and dewdrops, and the stench of stale death. Very often the sun rises Upon mutilated men - blood drying over their eyes and gore-caked machetes rusting in their abdomens. Very often the sun rises over hyaenas fretting over the carrion going waste - they can eat no more, nor can the vultures. Very often the sun rises on a day already defeated - shrieking, screeching, screaming, demanding that it go back for there was peace in the night. Published in Tranquil Muse 2018.

To the piece of orange peel in my bag on the trip to Janjira,

You were the only one to stay by my side when all others Had left me to travel that final stretch homeward alone And while I had to throw you away after two days Because of the stench that made me put the bag in the wash And earn mother's censure onto which she piled older grievances You did help relive some happy memories of the sea breeze And the boatmen's chatter and the old bronze cannons’ roar And cope with those whose IQ is less than yours And taught me that I was mortal in that ride across the creek And that like you I too shall one day be stripped of my essence And confined to the dustbin of humanity I miss you, orange peel Published in Lakdi Ka Pul - II The Poetry Bridge 2017 — an international anthology by Twin City Poetry Club