A Little Rest Stop

 

The times were orange,
the pavements hammered
with eager toes and heels
conquering maps.

There ran a sewage line
by the side
which had a few days, past,
floating in it- a little dark.

The windows that looked
at each other
across the road were foes
guessing by the drawn blinds.

And there we sat
on our toes, our hinds
in the air, knees pointed out
on a clear, holidaying road.

It was all about long journeys,
a little water through our hair
a light autumn wind
and her fallen bike chain.

 

Smile Back At Me

Why have you, O rains!
turned your back to me?

I am not the porch
of an abandoned castle
that looks on at you
with a look of sullen gloom.

A look of such emotion
deserves abandonment.

I am not a cactus
to ridicule your entirety
and wish for all else
but be blessed by you.

A flower so ungrateful
is, thus, never presented.

I am not the grave
that lies dead even when,
pouring as you ever are,
you seep through its pores.

The dead have yet
to appreciate your life.

I am not the sun
that cannot sit still
hiding beside your cot
as you come to life.

No wonder humans shade
their eyes in contempt.

Why have you, O rains!
turned your back to me?

I am a pair of lovers,
and I am a lonely pond;
I am a sown corn seed
and I am a half read book.

Look at me, as I smile at you
and smile back with love.

A Non-Existent Thought

Give my name words
that, if you etch those
on the bark of ancient trees,
will get buried in the ageing
trunk, as time clicks by, slowly.

Paint this face, that I call mine
with colors borrowed
from the ocean, as it roars
in the dead of a night-
blanketed with dreadful clouds.

Make a collage of my silhouette
and paste it on dust-covered
windows, on rainy afternoons
such that neither the rays
nor a drop’s shadow passes through.

With the prints that my feet
leave behind on beaches,
give refuge to scavenging
boys in tattered clothes
to mark their fields with.

For, like smoke in a crystal ball
that disappears as soon
as you open your eyes,
I am trying to be
a thought that never existed

The Carpet of Time

I pick the rug up
that lies asleep, lazed
on the drawing room floor
and see my future
escaping me
from where it was,
earlier- somewhere
around the corner-
to the middle of the
semi-woolen knit.

The patch
where the rug
blanketed the floor
sees no dust,
sees no life-
microbial, if at all-
but it sees the warmth
of the feet that have
very carelessly
and methodically
stamped on it, forever.

My future is evasive,
and makes me think
of events that have been
rather than that
which time’ll surprise me with,
and it all lies
under that measurable
piece of rug adorning
my drawing room floor.

By the way,
thinking of it now,
in the future,
what I should have
noticed much earlier…
I am a poor man
and though the carpet
is not tattered or torn,
I bought it second-hand.
And my future
is not much dissimilar.

But Pleasure.

Pleasure. Haah!
What is pleasure
I ask of you?
Is it the thought
of that one time
when you embarrassed yourself
in front of a dozen people
and the reminiscence
of it, way into the future?

You know you have grown up since then.

Or is it the thought
of a dream come true
and the daily excuse you give
for not being able to sleep
and term it as insomnia,
and late into the night
when you are alone with yourself
you look into the mirror of your eyes
and see yourself standing there
your dream come true?
You know you’ll never grow out of it.

Or is it that subtle pain
that you ignore each day
with regards heartbreak
or a cup breaking in your kitchen
as you do the dishes;
when, though the noise is not the same,
you know that both are now useless
as for what they existed before?
You know you’re growing
by the second, after each first.

Is the pleasure in those firsts,
or the past of the last?
Or is it in the fact
that there is nothing,
for those who seek,
but pleasure, but pleasure, but pleasure?

The Magic in a Word

‘Splash!’
the fish dives back
into the ocean
like a word
that jumps out
from the depths
of an ocean
and springs a thought
in the vastness
of the reader’s mind
like eddies
that disturb
a true picture
of the sun
on the calm surface.

But the eddies
are too small
and the fish
too insignificant
to the ocean,
but look
through a painter’s eyes
and you’ll find
what magic
the fish just created.

And thus, a word,
individually,
or in a sentence,
or a phrase,
paragraph, chapter
and as a story
in its entirety,
pleads the reader
to catch it
with a rod
and delight
in the universe
of possibilities for it
to be made into
‘magic’.

At the Battlefield

You there,
all of you!
Stand by my side.
Be my arms,
and allow me
to be your shield
and remember,
that with each strike
which blows your way
I’ll have a chest
blocking it.

But do stand,
firm, by my side;
for even though
I have a few stars
in addition to yours
and you have
a few medals scarce,
you are my strengths.

And then too,
no bullet pierced a man
counting medals or stars
and no sword
cut shallower
on he who stood affront
but he who stood alone
died, for sure
at the ground
where we stand now.

So, let me be a friend
and invite you to feast
on my spirits
and dine on my arms
and drink my sweat
and blood,
but do bring empty,
bottomless chalices
for each drop
that falls on the earth
is a spirit
of our enemies raised.

Do take a pledge
to live today
but do swear
to yourselves
that you’ll die
if at all,
on your own terms,
and, if you stand,
today, beside me,
you’ll die, as it is,
standing.

Now go ahead and live
each step that you,
running forward,
can, before you find death,
and remember
that a soldier’s life
is best lived short.

Live with me today.

I Love You, Too

She knew loneliness. She knew it through the hand that slid under the blanket to find nothing but her own cold body each winter morning; she knew it through the aroma of the coffee in the mug in front of her, lying, for an hour now, right next to the one that she drank; she knew it through the stationary swing that she was sitting on, hoping for a gentle push; she knew it through the dust that covered the thrillers in the racks above those that had her own books neatly placed in them, which she would dust every now and then; and she knew it through the unserviced car which was overdue to be looked through its engine for a while now.

But each rainy evening, sipping on some hot tea: her eyes glued to the words of a novel but her mind ridiculing the author by not enticing her to visit the world which he created in his literature, she would take off the plain platinum ring which she had on for more than four decades now, and, to ward off the loneliness, would strike at it to hear her dead husband’s “I Love You, Too…” in the most loving of voices.

Communion with Men

I just couldn’t but pity the state
of the feather that was forced
off its choice to brush against
a sandpaper, time and again.

But then, options are scarce
for those with a metallic bosom
and skinned are they, to shreds,
who are hostile to dominance.

And, thus, but for condolence
the white cloud of an angel
expected nil, from those that,
out of empathy, ever noticed.

I could have, of my accord
reveal her legitimate hope
of a touch of a frothy mist
that radiated her own delicacy.

I could have, that and more
had it been a bit approved,
except, negative criticism
is not what charity deserves.

So, despite helpless remorse
I was tied, hands, feet, teeth
and, in all the traditional revelry
I let the lesbian get married.

What is Happiness?

What can be better compared to death
than-

the tender laughter of a newborn
that oscillates between shrieking cries?

the moment of truth, of triumph
of an infant as he walks without a guide?

the elevation of a misery prone
heart before a crash in a separating tide?

the solemnizing of heavenly oaths
in the ignorance of blatantly told lies?

the grip of your own seed, in hope
that his tiny fingers’ll be forever tight?

the welcoming home after the last
day of toils hoping it a final goodbye?

the expectant eyes of loved ones
around you, despite inevitable demise?

-happiness?