Monday, 5 October 2015

Working late ...and not alone

The door behind her shuts with a loud bang,
disconnected with the force she employs.
A sinister draught eddies, unseen hands
move window louvres in a spasm of noise.

The office, drained of its usual talk,
the corridor emptied of its milling feet,
floats high above the ground. Peak traffic clots
in pinpricks of light in thin threads of streets.

From the ceiling lines of fluorescent tubes
size her up through hostile, slit cross-eyes;
the security’s left, except one small group
somewhere in the innards of the high-rise.

Is it her heels that strike too loud a note
or is it her heart that’s thudding in her throat?

Monday, 28 September 2015

Pour another one

The first leaf blows on the pavement.
The sun tilts a little in the sky.
An official makes a statement.
People sleeping in the open die.

Somewhere the heat’s still incandescent.
Deadly shells and grenades still fly.
A supplier firm eyes the net percent.
People at sea cross to drown and die.

The world is just one continent.
The razor wires are sharp and high.
The public elect their government.
People, breathless at borders, die.

Sunday, 20 September 2015


It has its own pockets in the backpack
and carries its stuff quite independent
of what you might want – the old cobbled lanes,
the bridge over the darkening blue-black
river at dusk; and petrichor; the ambient
shapes of trees weeping softly in the rains.

It’s one of those bags that unzips down its length
and expands to fit in all manner of things -
stuff you thought you’ll never need again:
a foreign square, the citizens out in strength;
the lilt of the azaan as it parts the evenings;
a public bath awash with laughing women.

Each departure is a rehearsal of sorts
for the final one with zero allowance;
you sort the stuff, prioritised, precise,
pack just the tent and its vital supports.
You shed things as you go in accordance
with the scriptures and what the wise advise.

Yet in some pocket of memory, or flesh
a small coin, some stubs of minor events
are overlooked and travel everywhere;
what you thought you shred tumbles out afresh
and the morning’s raw with what it represents
to trash it again is more than you can bear.

So you put it away again in some flap
where it won’t obtrude or escape meanwhile;
thrust it deep behind some or other task.
The minutes move in tiny tip-toed recaps
and your eyes are moist even as you smile,
but you say, “It’s nothing!” if someone asks.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Try it

You can.  Fall in love with anything -
a voice, a certain slant of phrase.
A dark velvet night-sky sequinned
with stars, the drape of galactic lace.

The calligraphy of dancing rains
on the fronds of the smallest fern leaf;
the gentle fingers of light on pines,
the clouds a chiffon handkerchief

ringed round the sliver of the moon.
A vagrant waterfall kicking
up pebbles and spray in the monsoons.
You can fall in love with anything.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Step lightly

Turn then to face your own light, so shadows
fall behind, and wherever the path goes
uphill, down, or peters out, stay the trail
even if the odd constellation fails,
even if the coppery moon never glows.

Paths and poetry both come to an end,
words fall and shatter, useless to pretend
otherwise, their edges sharp as broken stone.
Step lightly into yourself and go on,
turn up that wick that can’t be darkened.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015


Maybe it’s no longer about
watching coloured buntings flutter on
buildings, no more rushing out
and coming back to youthful haunts

speckled with scents of night jasmine,
fallen in the dark hours before dawn;
no more about where the trips begin
and where they end, which lines are drawn

and which left broken and blurred;
It’s enough that you are upon
this pebble-strewn path, anchored
by wind and earth and these watersongs.

Enough that it’s your hand just above
me, stretched out in silence and in love.

Back to being my usual mouse- and couch-  potato self and happy to be back :-) 

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Write...Edit...Publish...August 2015 : Spectacular Settings

Happy to report that one of my favourite bloghops Write…Edit…Publish... is back again, hosted by Denise Covey and Yolanda Renee. Thank you, ladies, can't stop smiling! I am rather partial  – the prompts are thought-provoking, meaty, delightful, and stretch one's writing muscles in undreamt of ways. Oh, there are a million more reasons to love it :) This month’s comeback prompt is on Spectacular Settings, click the link to read the rules and join in.