Monday 22 November 2021



The heart has a wholly separate system -

it doesn’t root as quick as the feet transport

the body, its mask and its complex garment

across walls and borders, from port to port.

The body has its cravings and its comforts -

it finds its substrates and grows its meristem

 as its bent for melancholy is short.

Not so the heart. Less neat, more insistent


on taking its time for both sad and happy,

on culturing its own substrates for growth,

on waiting by dark walls and strange, perched moths.

It suspects clean ends, prefers old and shabby –

stays with the frayed threads of the well-known cloth.

Turns on its axis to make its own true north.

Tuesday 16 November 2021

At home


There are a thousand roads and each one takes me home,

a thousand rivers flowing and each one is you.

A thousand leaves falling and every one’s an autumn,

the same tune’s playing on a thousand screens of blue.

The roads are made of smoke, the rivers made of distance

and home’s just exposed bricks in an ancient ruin,

a thousand ways to measure, and all beyond fathoms

- beneath bricks and rivers old history’s brewing.

There’s a huge swarm of wings and each one’s a prayer

and every tree is a roof, every stone’s a shelter.

Each swoop is auspicious, every turn, every tier,

and each cloud overhead is shaped as the delta.

I’m home on each road, beneath every stone and tree

wherever the road winds, wherever the stones may be.

Sunday 7 November 2021

Not a one night fest


Because there was nothing lit, don’t imagine

I didn’t mark Diwali, that I don’t like

light. But there’s also a love for the crosswinds

that put out glowing flames. Pitch darkness strikes

the dark earth like lightning. Grief’s not equal

to an absence of lamps and festivals.

Grief too, can be a many-splendoured thing.


Grief too is a densely petalled flower

with its own lights nested within its folds -

they burn steadier though a bit lower,

of a much higher temperature threshold

and carry a much longer burning fuel

than a few earthen lamps and their ritual.

And it takes more than one night to get over.

Monday 1 November 2021

A change of metaphors


A moth flies in, and instead of the light

chooses the darkest wall to perch upon.

All metaphors are shaken. That too has died -

the firm, solid base the world rested on.

Something has shrunk - beyond borders and mind,

more central than hardship, hardened and gone

the capacity for joy, to flow, to right

errant metaphors. It’s vanished, withdrawn.


But still one must light the lamps at sundown

switch on the porch light in a mindless flick

and if the moths choose not to circle around

but sit rather on dark concrete and brick

not radiant white light but dark chocolate brown -

the established must bend to the new logic.

It's Diwali in a couple of days. For those who are celebrating - happy Diwali, may your festival and your year be blessed. And it's also NaNo month, best wishes to all those participating. Have a great November!