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?

The Dawn of Death

Freeing themselves
from the clutches of darkness
and embracing light
the eyes took a few moments
to find solid ground.

It wasn’t every morning
that the eyes were blessed
to such tranquility,
or had a chance
to experience utter serenity-

as if they were walking
through an orchard
of white roses
or snow covered cornfields
on a monsoon evening;

or as if,
walking through cotton groves,
they heard the call
of doves and found themselves
in front of a wan hued lake;

like the brush of a father’s
hand through one’s hair
or a mother’s gesture
of taking a son into her arms
after the toils of a sunny day.

There had been mornings
when they couldn’t wake up,
and those they didn’t want
to awaken, and then there were
mornings that came and went.

But this was a special dawn
when the eyes did awaken
and woke up quite fresh
but the new day’s start
didn’t equate to a morning.

But then I hope that such dawns
are not exclusive to me,
and then, after life
each one is blessed
with such a dawn of death.

The Kingdom of Death

I shall walk
through a petalled pathway
snaking between thorns
into the kingdom of death,
where only those live
that have sacrificed life
and have learnt to breathe
in the wake
of an inevitable demise.

The pathway that treads
towards the kingdom
is the purgatory
after I have been liberated,
and before I learn
to live in the freedom
that had me chained
from the boundlessness
that lay ahead of me.

So, hold my hands
and let me be led
by those that I lead
and we’ll all cross over
beyond the chains
that restrict our souls
to the humble dichotomy
of heaven and hell
and let us all run
into the kingdom of death.

ज़िंदगी के बाद की सुबह

अंधेरे की गिरफ्त से निकलकर
रोशनी को गले लगाते हुए
आँखें कुछ देर दंग ही रहीं…

ऐसा हर सुबह नहीं होता था
की इतनी शीतलता नसीब हो,
इतना श्‍वेत दिखाई पड़े उन्हें…

जैसे सफेद गुलाबों के मैदान से, या 
सर्दी में भुट्टों के खेतों से निकलते,
कोई बरसाती मौसम की शाम देखे…

या रूई के बागानों से गुज़रते 
कोई बतखों की आवाज़ सुने
तालाब किनारे पहुंच जाये…

जैसे पापा सर पर हाथ फैरायें 
या मा तपती दोपहर के बाद
घर आते ही गले लगाये…

कयी सुबह मेरी आँख ना खुली,
कयी सुबह खोलने का मन ना हुआ
कयी सुबह आकर चली गयी…

पर येह सुबह शायद खास थी
जब आँखें खुली तो खूब खुली
पर लगा नहीं की सुबह ही हो…

काश ऐसा सिर्फ मेरे साथ ना हो
काश ज़िंदगी के बाद एक ऐसी ही-
मौत की सुबह- सभ के नसीब में हो।

A Tale of Entwined Souls

The bricks seemed old,
the paint worn and torn
and the crevices on the wall
had green wild springing up
in the godliest of manners.

The old house had seen
many a sun, moon and cloud
in the centuries it had lived
among the other, new ones,
that had taken birth recently.

To any passerby, it was an oddity,
a misfit old orphan, a reject,
a lame being in a marathon
and a blind in a painting school;
it was clearly not meant to be.

And thus, the humans around,
(it laughed boring new cracks
each time it thought of them
as humans… for it, they weren’t)
had planned to lay it to rest.

The humans, (“hahahaha…”)
had heard of an old man, who,
though residing in the building
had rarely been seen outside-
not even for a pound of fresh air.

And thus, when they were ready
to euthanize the centuries-old,
they first, wanting to make sure
that the man was safely evacuated,
entered the building, covertly.

Their plans to lead him out
had them surprised as they saw,
lying peacefully on the sofa,
an old man but recently dead.
Some souls really are entwined.

Had He Only Known… the Dead Rose

A blossoming stalk of rose
found rest
on her thighs,
fresh out of an evening bath.

After each bath,
she had a habit
of drenching herself
in the incense
of recently plucked roses
before draping herself
in a silk saree.

Her milk-washed tub
had her glowing
in the colors of the stars
and in the company
she spent her evenings in,
she contrasted well
with the night clouds.

The maroon-red rose
with petals of a velvet touch
was subjected
to a topographical survey
of her satin textured skin,
still not out of puberty,
in essence,
not in age.
Ah! who could have guessed
she was but 30 years past?

Neither the flower
nor the lady-
but if I may only be allowed
to call her a lady-
compared their respective skin,
no! they just rejoiced
in the other’s touch.

When all the petals
had had the good chance
of spreading their scent
to each and every pore
on her naked body,
the flower was gently,
and gracefully,
placed on her side table,
along with a few ornaments
that she was gifted,
the lady, by her admirers.

The next morning,
waking up from a good sleep,
the lady found the rose dead
and subtly dropped it
from her room window.

If only the flower had known
how many smiles
it had livened,
last night,
it would have taken longer
to reach its demise.

But the secrets of trade
should not be revealed
to clients,
especially in her profession.
Harlots anyway
have a hard time
finding good clients.

Clean Dishes

I ask the world
for a silver coin
each time I break a sweat
and the droplets trickle down
my aching body,
slender, currently,
with the scarcity
of food
that it has been blessed with
lately.

I ask the world
for the worth
of my breaking bones
as they bend
under the pressure
of worldly toils
and then,
when the tension
becomes unbearable,
a ‘crack’ tells me,
another bone
martyred itself
to the ends of life.

I ask the world
of a fare exchange
for my aching muscles;
an empty stomach;
and the slowly draining,
blackening blood,
for nothing more
than their daily fuel
for them to see me breathe
the following wake.

I ask the world
for the worth,
or a fare exchange
for the value
of death alludes me,
as alludes me- life,
and asking aloud,
in the direction
of the stars
and, with a tear,
I head to bed.

No dishes
need to be cleaned
tomorrow either.

For Want of Faith

Into the night he stood
to whisper her name
to the moon
and went home, realizing
it was a new moon night.

With her back towards him,
she stood, the same night
and waited for her name
to be called out
under the clouded sky.

They curse the moon
each night now
and abhor the sun
each morning
alone.

From a Bottle of Wine

On a clearer inspection
it turned out to be
an abandoned organ
of an amber body-
a favorite among masses.

It lay solitary, buried
under shining sand
glorified by the sun
and washed, over and again
by the saline waves
hitting the shores of the beach
where I sat, reading.

It would have gone amiss
had my foot not brushed it
and had it not scraped
my skin to draw blood.
The irony was-
when it was alive,
it used to draw thoughts.

A tear that unintentionally
soiled my tanned face
turned my attention
to another irony;
its life had brought smiles,
each time I had it
near my face,
kissing my lips.

That broken shard of glass
had somehow detached itself
from a bearer of stories;
a medium of cheer;
a forum of reunions
among friends-
a bottle of wine.