Sunday 18 July 2021



Practice does not make all things perfect –

grief; loss; and leave taking, for instance;

the emptying of rooms till nothing’s left.

A thousand times is as fraught as once.


Every grief has a unique thumbprint

like a sonnet’s singular context –

this verse will skill you, or so you think.

But this one’s no practice for the next.


There’s no template for it you can use,

no guidelines to build for reference –

keep at it but don’t you expect fruits,

and don’t count on past experience.


Practice cannot make perfect all things –

isolation; age; lonely evenings.

The last countdown has begun. Upsticks time, this time for good. Moving back to India now after twenty five years in the MENA, these are my last few days in Bahrain. Not sure if I'll be able to post next week - if something gets written, I will. (I do so dislike offline life interference in my online spaces :) But if not, my next post will be from Cal. See you soon. Till then, stay well. Happy summer/winter!

Monday 12 July 2021

A case or two


There’s not much in this house that can be packed –

not the wall where a child’s milestones were tracked,

the books yes, but not the afternoons when

they were read. A knife, not what it’s cut open.

That’s always sliced solely to be left behind.

There’s nothing much really that can be taken

however small they’re chopped and folded compact,

however ruthlessly downsized and streamlined.


The fruit's consumed, the tree can't be uprooted -

taking a few cases  will not recreate

the skin, the existence you’ve moulted out of.

What’s here is here, it cannot be rerouted,

moved smoothly to a different plane and state.

All you’ll carry is faint memories of love.

Monday 5 July 2021

Clean windows


The window cleaners visit and squish soap

and the foam spells out your name on the pane

but when I stop to look closer, it’s wiped off

just a few faint watery streaks remain.


Meanwhile, the doves have abandoned their nest

two dead eggs lie on the sill on their own

a few scattered twigs, a faint streak of dust

the cleaners brush off the rest – the doves are gone.


Your name’s in the birdsongs, the doves and pigeons

that perch to shelter from the midday heat

but when I lean in closer to listen

it’s just the sounds of urban homes and streets.


An airplane’s overhead and in its contrail

your name glimmers once, before the light fails.