Sunday, 26 September 2021

Across time zones

 




I wish for you a patch of blue, however small,

a climbing vine in a clay pot against the wall

and the sound of unfettered water somewhere close,

the ancient signature tunes of radios,

peace drizzling through tree canopies with the starlight.

I wish for you to trust the rivers out of sight,

the justice of the harvest and the golden barge,

the trapped beauty in the smallest things found at large,

the serendipitous kindness of the offhand -

the same across the seven seas and every land,

the spirit of the endless urn and sacred fig

the eternal looping of the small with the big.

I wish for you to know this in your veins and bones

that you are you and I am me in all time zones.

 


Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Waiting

 




You’re waiting for news but it does not come,

the rain is hard needles, yet still lissome

the cobbles are worn, the bricks are a ruin

a hair’s breadth between right and wrong doing.

You want to escape the nonstop urban noise

the jangling of nerves and the shattered poise

but you end up where you’d rather not be

walking the bleak footpaths of a sob story.

It all looks so pretty at the eye level,

the flower garlands, the bass of the conch shell,

but under the skin of the red mud pathway

it turns different -  right, might and power play.





Sunday, 12 September 2021

Finally...

 




All those roads, even those I didn’t travel on

the nooks and crannies of those creeks, each turn and stone,

those signs in foreign scripts, mostly beyond my ken

but still they felt...they feel like mine every now and then.

I’m home at last, then why does home feel so far away? -

left behind in the last sunshine of a summer day.

 

The passport clearly states my permanent address,

has stated so for a lifetime, not a moment less.

I’m sitting grateful under those same roofs of youth,

but there are more where I sat too, that’s the honest truth.

I’m here at last, but why does here feel so far away? –

left behind in the last sunshine of a summer day.

 

For years and years, a whole career worked towards this end -

to come to rest at this corner of this continent.

I’m held snug behind the doors I started out from

and it’s a blessing they still stand, their firm, warm welcome.

I’ve come to rest. But why does rest feel so far away? -

left behind in the last sunshine of a summer day.

 

I’m glad of the old flamboyant, green in the monsoons,

vendor calls in the mother tongue, rainy afternoons.

Yet even as I breathe in the rain some parts somewhere

seek a certain turquoise sea, a certain city square.

I’m at the river, yet my rivers feel so far away -

left behind in the last sunshine of a summer day.

 

The documents and the QR codes in black and white

spell out who I am in a couple of kilobytes

tell me what ought to be my final coordinates

and indeed I’m glad to be as convention dictates.

So it’s settled. But my settled feels so far away –

left behind in the last sunshine of a summer day.

 

And all through I thought I knew my moorings and my place

birth and death – the final breath, the end of the rat race;

yet one glimpse of an inch of a distant azure sea

yanks me back and yanks me awry from this certainty.

I’m home at last but why does home feel so far away? –

left behind in the last sunshine of a summer day.


Sunday, 5 September 2021

Hands, rings and work

 

Yes, still have a few grains of sand between

the prongs of old rings, a mirage of green

their central jewel. A lop-sided, map like stain

that won’t be washed off however hard one tries -

sits on the metal, can’t tell if it gains

or loses  – do metal values remain

proof to mirages, things that characterise

 

evanescent? Bits of grit still crumbs the toes

and won’t be dusted off. In pockets of clothes

suddenly against fingers looking for

something different. A stab, hard to understand -

easily confused with pain, gone before

it can be classified. Just once and no more.

They turn to what they must, the work in hand.