The day you hid the door of afterlife --
Earth, flames and ashes
allying illusion and reality.
I still sense your presence
around that door
but a sound from this opening
seems like an echo in the wilderness --
warning as well as bewitching me
to reveal myself to the untraveled.
Still for my senses,
like a deserted impala calf --
I am hurling questions and calls
to the woods, drowsy in meditation.
Maa, I know you won’t answer.
I am therefore standing
trying to find answers
in the undertone of this rain
falling on the tin house.
In a skirmish with anxiety
my wakefulness is waiting
to meet sleep in person
[if she has heard you somewhere.]
Or what’s the purpose of
perpetuating the thirst of my eyes
Tears are digging deep inside
a canyon of remembrances
is getting drilled.
Nobody Speaks of You Syria
You have shrunk to a handful of wet dust--
wet from tears and rapacious semen.
The heralds look at you as a whore
and your screams have no walls
to enclose their echoes. All have fallen.
Your ovaries are dead.
Your ribs have turned into razors
wiping out your sentiments.
The bullets you have consumed
have rusted inside your womb
and stained the colour of your blood.
Civilization looks as blank as
a dry river
that doesn’t thirst for rains.
Somewhere in your ruins,
hope peeps like a thief
through a broken tooth
of a child, smiling at a broken tank.
Through her eyes--
You look so lean Syria,
but your history is getting fat.
To Syrian Children
You all are culpable— for wending your way to schools
for going to hospitals, for playing in open spaces and
for keeping at your dreams within a country in rags.
Yes, you never knew that you would be going down with
a fever that would burn your fleshes into a universal
white fume— blooming in newspapers.
But, liven up the carcasses now. You wanted to be
in suits like Putin or Obama; look what have you ended up with--
a sweat of literate talks in a ground of experimentation.
The handsome presidents have osculated you goodbye.
Now burn yourself completely, or they would light cigarettes
out of you, blaming you for the cancer rampant in air.
Don’t let yourselves counted — history will be framed without you.
You won’t smell good like those dead woods and leaves, so
vanish with the fumes and transform yourself into water--
it would fulfil your hope —
of staying away from fire
and desire to wash blind eyes.
The Unborn ones, please retreat to your mother’s womb
The mouths of guns are shouting outside.
Wait till they have the ear to celebrate your first cry.
Seduced in the Sunderbans
Blue above, blue beneath; waters and skies kiss at yonder point.
A thick line stretches with flags of greenery, bold enough
to sustain salty tides, as muddy lands, bronze in sunrays
swathe itself with the poignant carpet of the Ganges.
Boatman swings as if wind itself in the unheard stretches.
Vista lucid enough but not to overcome eyes in the clay.
Death lies behind the muck and life too; they choose to struggle.
Nights alert through sounds; river breezes rumour in our ears-
“Look the ‘Royal’ sees you from behind, from beside, in front...”
Fake cries of people tilts the launch as feet gather on a side
just to beat hope against the blinding trees and bushes.
We hover in coop while roars roam around us in the chill
captivating mist dangle themselves over salty fluids,
blurring reality in the splendour that seduces us with drunken eyes.
Word-masters may faint penning it from tip to tail for
Where is the tip and where is the tail?
Winded by the recurrent chirping and seldom fox cries
and the wish to see the king, bothering every moment
makes the guards utter, If seen within the cage it’s royal,
For those who dare to sense it and hear it’s gasp, it’s lethal.
Verses bow, prose too - ideas too vast for them.
Logs of wood keep us
alive till they rot,
afloat in them till they float,
Nature’s dearest are the ‘Royals’ here. Her lap just for them.
Eyes become weary, swollen without sleep, still open with hope
while the king dozes and watches us every jiffy through royal eyes.
He must be smiling seeing the hunters enslaved within inebriated waters.
A serene approval haunts the heart as we depart,
kicks the pendulum faster to say,
Come here and float but beware of seduction.
Sweat tries to swim upwards through the hairs
of a labourer building the statue of the herald
but fails and falls in the soil sucked up by heat,
Vanishes as a struggling animal in quicksand;
Dreams drain and entity turns into fossils as slippers
walk over it.
His weapons are a chisel and spade;
He lifts them to protest but vacuum wailing in the curves
of his muscles make it fall again on the mummified ground;
just to dig, dig the ground for
the Herald's statue must stand firm
or his existence will be buried under its
Toils will evaporate with the smile of the moon
The dawn will hear sounds again-
sounds of iron striking against rocks.
The air waits to weave those sounds
and strike a twister with them-
Tall enough for the world to see
bold enough to step over mountains
Clear enough to show the waving hands
begging a day out of slavery.
Unusual Shiver in Winter Days
She was a creeping winter,-
coiling and settling into the wardrobe
of my lined collections
of cassettes and clothes
(Scattered in a bachelor’s room)
Suits arranged by brands
fragranced by sensuous nights
brought by you molded me
into a gentleman
below uncombed hairs
and unwashed hands.
I was into lessons to be clean
I was feeding on my love.
From a scrappy life
beside a pond
abound with weeping cranes
she was the only fish
in front of my hungry beaks.
Short-lived and destructive
as most pleasures are
I am wedged back
back into an untidy shiver
from an act worthy of no mercy.