Saturday, 18 November 2017

[Poem] A Home upon the Hill


I will build a home upon the hill
With windows for every sun
Each room with mountain air shall fill
And night and day will be as one.

The fragrant air so wholesome
With shades of
Eucalyptus, pine and balsam
Will make a confluence
Of every room.

In Spring time flowers will bloom
In Summer the drones will moan
Punch drunk on pure nectar
Teetering to the honeycomb 
In Autumn the colours will flow
The world will dance
And fall in a trance
From the crystal shine of the Winter's snow.

Bird song will waken the day
And cicadas will lull it to sleep
The warbling stream
Will feed an afternoon's dream
Where the muse will descend
Her song to lend

Our blended song shall delight
The blaze of moon blanched nights

This poem was originally published in Destiny Poets UK

Sunday, 12 November 2017

[Poem] Computer Games

In the night
you come
In to my world
A king
To the women's quarter
Your buzz
A loud blip on the monitor
your name flashes and blinks
An irritant traffic beacon
I pause awhile
Watching your name

Then the lying games begin
'Are you awake?'
'About to fall asleep'
'Thought I could chat
But if you are sleepy...'
'Another time perhaps...'
The flashing ends -
 I sink into my bed
Wide awake

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

[Poem] On killing a Tree

On killing a tree

So, they fell like leaves
In the sadistic Storm
The men the women the children
Swaddling babies
Captured by deceit, coercion 
Smoked out of hideouts
Caught before they could flee
The branches, leaves of the Ethnic Tree

Bundled into trains
Carted off to feed
Every burning pyres
Or flogged
Till backs broke,
Spirits and bodies fell-
Pell mell

Their belongings piled
Mounds upon mounds
of suitcases, footwear,
Clothes, toys --
Rotting leaves
Awaiting release

Has fancy names
Genocide, Ethnic Cleansing
 Attempts made time and again
To expose, exterminate, expunge
Entire communities

There is Survival
So, it is never done.

On Killing A Tree

Saturday, 12 August 2017

[Poetry] Picture Poem

The poem was written in response to this picture.

I will walk into the tide

Break and fall upon the waves

One by one I have undone

my hold upon the world

The world is a blue void

The sky above the sea below

The sand sinks softly under my feet

Soothing calluses earned

From thorny pathways tred

The sea would fall

Caressing, lavaging the pits

And undo it all

The world is a blue void

Hearts with love devoid

Man, a trampling humanoid

With every fall

No hope at all

The race is lost

Before the start

The relentless waves

break hard against the shore

With a vigorous uproar

The sound and the fury

Of infinity

The salt from my tears

Blend with the spray

I blend a finite life

Of petty woes

Pitiful throes

I find my peace

I find my cure

In this azure eternity

Thursday, 10 August 2017

[ Short Story] Afternoons in Childhood

Amrit threw down the pencil in frustration.  Doing fraction sums on a half empty stomach upon a Sunday afternoon was neither easy nor desirable.
His stomach growled.
He should not have protested so strongly about the beetroot curry. He went into the kitchen to see if his lunch plate was still there. His mother sometimes left it covered, knowing that he would return, even adding an enticement like papad or a small bowl of sev.
But today, she had been particularly annoyed.

He tiptoed into his parents’ room to see if they were asleep, then he crept out of the house, wheeling his bicycle to the elevator.
His lived on the fifth floor of a 9 storey apartment block.

He pedaled to the back yard to check if any of his friends were playing.
No one was about.
The summer sun hovered threateningly above, shoving
wanderers indoors.

Crows waddled about, pecking at food droppings from over flowing dumpsters their feet half buried in the soft-top soil.
He chased them on his bicycle. They rose cawing furiously; some flew threateningly above his head.
He soon grew tired of this pastime.

He circled the building and through shaded eyes scanned the monolithic column to see if any of his friends were playing in the balconies.

Suddenly, the smell of potato bhajjis roasting in hot oil, assailed his nostrils. The hunger he had kept in abeyance, rose again.

He took a couple of listless turns around the building.
He hesitated. Perhaps, it was time to go home. His mother might relent or, would she?
He made his way irresolutely towards the elevator.  

He left his cycle in the corridor and rang the bell.           
Lalitha opened the door; her right hand was caked with flour.
 He saw Vipul at the head of the table, his cheeks bulging with the bhajjies stuffed hurriedly into his mouth.
Vipul glared at him, shaking his head vigorously, signalling him to leave.

“Aunty, I wanted to see if Vipul wants to play…” He gave her his winning smile.

She nodded and let him in.

He smiled triumphantly.

He had been right about the house.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

[Poem] The Woman in the Woods - An Ekphrastic Poem

                            Painting by Sushmita Gupta
I spied her among the forest trees
Her soft humming echoing in the dusk’s stillness
A forest nymph swathed in green georgette
Hiding her long lustrous hair in a tight oiled coil
I lost myself at the brink of the deep swirl of her liquid eyes
Evocative, their power moated by kohled rims

She plucked a hibiscus and struck it absently in her hair
I knew it would remain there
Secure – much like her fastened thoughts

The stark vermillion mark on her forehead
Was it there, to ward off advances
Or was it a symbol of her own confinement?
I wondered…

For, her lissome beauty
Would enslave all that she surveyed

Even the modest beads swinging from her ears and neck
Shone in borrowed glory

Yet, the downward curl of her lips,
The angry red spots on her cheeks
Invaded my aesthetic ruminations…

I drew closer.

Dear woman, you are no Ravi Varma damsel with bashful eyes
Life had visited you Time and again -
You bear its marks
The angry red streak on your forehead, perhaps sustained from a fall
Your cheeks roughened by vicious assault

Yet you go on
Defiance burns in your eyes
And in the firm set of your lips
Life’s attempts to break you fail
You fight back
And sport with the dragon flies

Sunday, 2 April 2017

[Poetry] Haikus and a Tanka

Embraces, plays with my
hair, clothes, but not just with me
- truant summer breeze

Nostrils clog with dust
Leeching every crack - sneezes
- Clear sky ponders me

Deserted homes
dot sands- treasures await
gleeful enthusiasts

SAND DUNES (haiku)
Hillocks stretch smooth soft
Ridged, ever changing -the wind's
Eternal playground

PRAYER (Tanka)
At wishing fountain
people toss coins -prayers dispatched
with a token fee
Needy urchins' nightly haul
Silent thanks for prayers answered