Lullabies

Sing me a lullaby, you,
that tears through my ears
like a butterfly looking
for nectar in spring.

Pat my head, softly
like the rays of the sun
on mango leaves on
a mid-monsoon evening.

Shut my eyes, sharp
as I evade the darkness
and grow ignorant to it
like life during winters.

Cup my ears, I ask
so that no bubble of air
talks me into a dream.
I plan to sleep forever.

Tired of Waking Up

 

And, when the world
awakes to the glory
of a thousand men- slain,
I shall sleep with
my brothers,
my last sleep.

It is not daily
that I get the honour
of lying down
with happy men;
it is not daily
that I don’t wake up.

So, when the sun
shines upon shut eyes
you shall see mine too
as dark as the night past
and as deep as the skies
that reflect in the dead.

For I have been to wars
and have come back,
alive as an infant,
but today I am ready,
ready to go to sleep
in an endless dream.

Do Butterflies Sleep?

 

I see young graves
and old feet,
weak hands
with wrinkled skin
and lost eyes.

I hear muffled shouts
and tender cries,
loud whispers
with hope imbibed,
and dead prayers.

I smell rotten sand,
and dried blood,
newly wrought metal
with burnt powder
and open flesh.

And in that field
where battle rages,
I think of whether
butterflies sleep, and I
couldn’t spend time better.

Below The Earth

The eyes had become distant
to the fresh light of the day
as they opened to the night
and shut after sunset again.

The ears had befriended
the sound of time ticking by,
behind the axe and chisel
as they made love to the stone.

The lips kissed each other
throughout for their separation
would render them improbable
to be reunited, thereafter.

The tongue tasted staleness
whenever the lips parted
to allow for the mouth to
feel the loving touch of food.

The nose was subjected to
a regular flow of dust
running through the nostrils
in an attempt to kill the lungs.

The only lonely being hence,
was the skin, which had become
one with death as the miner
saw but all black in the mirror.

Of Corpses and Brides

 

What procession do I see
as a few men walk ahead
with their heads bowed
and uttering silent chants?

Who is it that leads them
as they follow mechanically,
their footsteps in sync
and their breaths respiring?

Although I don’t know for
I have been blinded recently
by norms of social existence,
I have deep laid curiosity.

I can only hear their hearts
that cry for the carried, whom
they lift on four shoulders,
each taking their turn to do so.

And when the departed travels
from one abode to a better, smiling,
whether as a bride or a corpse
those carrying, cry. I wonder why.

Dancing For My Love

 

What have I to do with intoxicants?
I have the monsoon at my back
pushing ahoy each sensation in me;
manipulating my heart as a puppeteer.

Even with my eyes shut to the clouds,
even when I cup my ears to deafness
and hide myself behind brick curtains,
the season steals its way into my nose.

I have yet to fall in human love, I believe,
for the male touch is alien to me
and the voice that rings in hearts, mute,
but the weather has else in mind.

I have seen women- my own girlfriends-
light up when they see their lovers sing,
but when will they hear the earth- naked
in monsoons- singing in glory of my love?

And, as the clouds call upon me today,
thundering miles away, announcing arrival,
I get ready, my hair untied, toes sharp
and I shall, today, dance with peacocks.

A Thought For Life

A thought shivers in the cold
as it roams around naked
through the eyes of blind souls
walking ceaselessly ahead.

A dreamy night, deadly wind
barely visible stars and a moon
to the companionship of
the thought with lost tunes.

A hope of the day, and light,
and freshness in the morrow;
an immense cynicism, which
it’ll return as a debt borrowed.

The thought travels on sands
in the end-year seasons…
the thought shall bear, soon,
it assures itself, a hued blossom.

Alarms

She lay next to me
her naked body asleep-
a little chubby, dark
and surprisingly still.

Her arms covered
her navel and breasts,
though unintentionally
I’d like to believe.

It was our first morning,
together, post a ceremony
they didn’t wake me for…
themselves asleep- they.

She was untouched.
Her skin as pure as
her juvenile conscience
lay in front of me, divine.

And seeing her sleep
I thought of how her ‘they’
had taught her to be
an ideally good wife.

While no one taught me
to be a monster.
She was all of ten years
and I was none of fourteen.

Unless You Look…

 

He looked at her
with avid intent
and tried to find
poetry in what
was in his vision.

He looked keenly
at her ears, with
simple earrings,
and her neck
with no neckpiece.

He turned his eyes
towards her hair…
‘not too short, and
not lengthy’, thought
he, disappointed.

And then her lips-
pink lip gloss,
cliched hue, wax-
and her eyes-
minimal kohl.

There was, but,
a nose ring adorning
her face, and that
was it, he noticed,
unable to find words.

There he was,
bewildered with
the fact that he
failed to find poetry
on a woman’s face.

And here I fell in love
with the words
which described her
subtlety, her plainness
in such poetic manner.

Platforms and Journeys

I saw you at the station today…
you were clad in your regulars;
you had your thoughts with you
and those were all you needed.

I saw you at the station today…
and you were one among all,
as you’d always been to yourself
and none as you wouldn’t want.

I saw you at the station today…
and you had a smile on the face,
and an image in your black eyes,
and a sound around your ears.

I saw you at the station today…
and, mind you, I say honestly,
I was sad not knowing that
you were going to death, alone.