Tuesday 29 November 2011

Comfort in the chasm

I could say the things other people say
When loved ones happen to go away,
But mine is a different fear somehow.
Yes, it’s partly that they’ll never return;
But that’s  not exactly what I’m feeling now-
The yawning chasm of being alone.
It’s that one could come to learn
To be comfortable with its yawn.
There’s no telling what thoughts will do
When they’re not held and steadied by you.

Monday 21 November 2011


"All you who sleep tonight
Far from the ones you love
No hand to left or right
And emptiness above -

Know that you aren't alone

The whole world shares your tears
Some for two nights or one
And some for all their years." ~ Vikram Seth

How many nights I’ve slept alone
Far from home, or on my own
I haven’t kept count of those nights.
From the curled-spine foetus in the womb
To the plushly-furnished hotel room
And the hospital beds, germ-free, gaunt white.

There haven’t been many, in all truth.
The comfort of elders in my youth
Child smells on my pillows in adulthood.
And the steady warmth of constant calm
In a partner’s eyes, and strong palms
Smoothing down my sheets.  It’s all been good.

But still.  On nights the moon hangs out low,
I’ve switched off the news on the radio
And this my whole world has spun out of touch.
I’ve tried to tally up those nights
And each time the totals didn’t feel right
They were either too little, or just too much.

Monday 14 November 2011

The poems of suspicious men

Some nomadic idea storms in, rushes out,
Pitches its tent with small mesh windows
On the splayed open books, the meanings sucked off
From fruit segment blanks, words rounded like mangoes.
Every hour, on the hour, the news pours into the room
In thin trickles of blood, sometimes a red torrent
Splashes the dark outside, makes the roof
Sag and cave in, beaten and bent.

I’ve been reading the poems of suspicious men
First aloud, and then in headless whispers.
A small pebble of loneliness rattles around
A tin-can of silence gripped by uneasy fingers.
I can’t call any of them my brothers or my sons
Because I don’t really know how their body fluids compare
With the thickness of water.  Just that an arterial sheen
Pours into my spaces everywhere.

I’ve been listening to the delirious murmurs
The senseless shredded silence within walls of prisons
Sometimes a crisp sound stops the feverish memoirs
And smoothly eddies around ideals of freedom.
A tin-can jail and the high-shiny walls of suspicion.
Thickened trickles of fluids. A few pebbles of poems.
The thickened trickles of voices of those men
Clattering in the deep emptiness within them.

Some speck of an ideal jerks like a mote of dust
Trapped in a sunbeam slanting in through doors.
Bangs the high-shiny light-walls with its balled fists
Touches the pock marked table and the pitted floors.
The news comes in bursts of staccato fire
In the sounds of torture, the twists and turns of mayhem.
Small flares of defiance stamped out everywhere.
The sheen of fluid on a pebbly poem.

Linked to : Poetics @ dVerse 


Wednesday 9 November 2011

Within my audible range

Language shall not matter, I will come to you
Without words, without even the first torn layer of silence.
I’ll come with my consciousness pinned back flat against my skull
Each nerve alert to catch the slightest nuance.
Every tune that plays wordless just beyond the range
Of my hearing, at inaudible frequencies -
I will tear my life open along its perforated line
To receive all the rhythms, and all of the melodies.

Your notice of my half lives flapping in the wind
Spilling over my hands shall not matter, or whether you note
My fingers straining to keep their hold intact,
Or the stifled rings of songs deep inside my throat.
Nothing of these will matter, only the consuming effort
The slow rendering of a life into a listening organ.
I will figure out your lyrics, language will not matter,
Only that when you start, it shouldn’t escape my attention.

You may set lyrics to your tunes, you may strum them voiceless
Or put aside your curved guitar, and your taut drum.
You may choose to look at the forest and hold its colours in your eyes
And swollen whispers under your tongue, and I’ll still get the sum -
What it is that you wish to sing, with or without lyrics.
And language will not matter, nor silence, nor a word;
And my paltry human abilities, my senses and their limits
And the weird definitions of what can, or cannot, be heard.