Our thoughts are pure without any body
Or clothes hiding one, in the trees or sky
Or by wall peg to hang its tale thereby.
Our body is cloth cast off and away.
No tail hangs by this body perfect pure.
Its meaning burns as food in intestine
Its light envelops trees and hills for sure
But in the end, is just sloughed off skin.
Beyond hills of clouds we wear another
To hide nakedness of skin from our thoughts
There we emerge from all-knowing mother,
Entangled in philosophical knots.
Our body is earth of dust seeking sky
Looking for soul that leaves it high and dry.
His tails wagging is no barking
Balking at wind, at passing car
Just body friends of wet sniffing
Two pant legs to be followed
Only to be shaken off in a vile
Basement of dark shadows
And sleeping cars in their veils.
Pant legs have no steel in them
And a soft bite is afraid of pain
By four pricks just below navel
Here love ferments but festers.
Plenty of action is in the street
A dog leg is gone to child's pleasure
By a boy's stone at its whelping
But three legged dogs still bark
At passing cars, their shadows.
You cannot straighten his tail
His tail is like a crescent moon
Its flies like stars buzzing around
Or like a scythe the farmer uses
To bring his crop under control
And cannot be straightened ever
Like a crescent moon or a scythe.
The sounds had come in before dawn
From a glimmer over buildings, spread
Hiding some distinctive cuckoo throats
Trying to break free, from future and rain.
There was breeze , mostly from darkness
That seems to have come from the vapors
Of a few ghosts of clouds in a tainted sky.
As the hours grew large to sounds of fury
I am turned to a Brecht's stone fisherman
Holding this stone up a banner of triumph
To less fortunate hours of no fish or stone.
(Reference is to Brecht's poem about old Stone Fisherman
who displays his prized catch of a stone each time his net
comes up with another stone to the less fortunate ones)
We had left early morning for sight of the phallus stone
Dragging our feet through the stones of ice mountains
Our horses plodded on with us some times and without,
Our behinds aching with their bony backs in contact.
Old men sat hunched up in two feet long wooden boxes
On young men's shoulders , latter feet dragging stones
The boxes felt like our old men's journey of no return
To a stone phallus to be bathed in tears in the snow hills
Where they will join a mountain stream and flow as river
To return to plains and land in the seas of their villages.
The mountains were cruel and beautiful to our tired feet
The horses zigzagged their way up with their droppings
Filling the cold air with a warm smell mixed with bodies
Their tails swished unending imaginary flies in behinds
As they were lost to their green dreams of the mountains.
Old men paddled all the way up in their wooden boxes
Crouched as in their mother's stomachs,with eyes shut
From their lips came muttering sounds like buzzing bees
That filled the empty silence of the hills in the morning.
It felt as if it was a return to where they had started out
Where this thing had begun, the sea of their first floating.
In Randy Pausch’s last lecture there is space
Left briefly to be occupied en bloc-
The space that will exist, lacking, always,
In substance like quarry in a hillock.
You imagine a quarry filled with dark space
Stand on the rim of the hole that exists
In presence of time and absence of space.
Follow the last lecture to clear its mists.
You don’t get into his circle really
Of an inspiring cancer death suffering
The circle of dark humour surreally
But as a tangent on its outer ring.
Stand on the rim and into the dark lean
Strain eyes to see own reflection keen.
I still hear the world in my ears.
I hear the whoosh of the west wind,
The noise of the empty word
And clatter of senses rubbing
Against the body of the wind
As if they are my very bones
That move lazily in my knee.
As I walk in my defunct dreams
I do not need the hearing aid.
At two this midnight the little dark one
Became a poem, her all-knowing smile
The first stanza and her baby bird- glance
Became the next one as she pranced there
On the floor up and down like pendulum
Swinging in the free air, a full fall of force,
A pout of sarcasm from tiny baby lips.
I at midnight wanted to round it off
With a cool third stanza, of epigram
A last line well said, to the deep night.
But she wouldn’t let me, the little one
That squirmed in my hands like a worm
Full of bones that pushed against mine
In my withered palms and finger bones.
It is life which pushed against my death.
As the night creeps I once again go into
My epigrammatic mode of the old poet
With the bally irony thing barely broached.
The curl on my lips that briefly occurred
Vanished without trace in my confusion
As my eye followed her moving in circles.
I thought I had seen the curl on her lips.
The morning sounds came to us running
Amid standing silences of tall coconuts .
There was no gentle breeze in their shadows.
A dark girl flowed on the park walking track
As if she was night gliding towards dawn.
Walking thoughts were loosely strung images.
My park walk became a sand of shore where
I gathered several sea-shells of fine images.
Back at home they stayed briefly as thoughts,
As semantic thoughts, a poetry of left words.
The winter’s risen sun blazes from that
Wall-less hole of an unfinished house.
The laborer’s wall-less house on the road
Is not a house but a merely thought word.
A house exists without walls but with roof.
Only it has to rise from the earth, to the sky.
The igloo rises without apparent walls
But warm and white, on those icy wastes.
Houses exist without roof but with walls
But there is the sky-roof that sends down rain.
Such as the God of phallus lives without roof
So that the sky’s rain falls on Him always.
Like houses that exist without built walls,
Poetry is built without words but with felt words.
A girl of large eyes is floating to th’ sun ,
As ponytail and bag fight for space on h’r back.
Those were felt words on her schoolgirl back.
In early morning birds are yet to wake,
Their wings flutter in noises from trees.
Crows in some trees blurt out from
The disturbed sleep of a few of them.
It is now the ambient dark of morning.
One hears a motor sound that comes
Piercing from sleep-weary basement
For the water to flow in our bathrooms.
This sort of darkness touches heart
In a tender expectant way of rising sun.
Sleep feels restless on creaking beds
Of people for whom morning is night.
Steeped in poetry, it is just that day’s death
And dreams of finely bound poetry volumes
That defined morning over soft keystrokes.
One tries to explore poetry and death together.
In the end death is poetry, when it is not real
In the hospitals and lonely parks in left cities.
Death is fine poetry as after-fact and bellyache.
Later, in morning walk there will be spring in the air
With the leaves flying on a breeze on the dusty road.
That is when I seek the poetry of thought words .
Words hit you like many swarming
Flies on a sticky summer afternoon.
Words fester under your very skin
Like wounds refusing to be healed.
They enter your eyes like dust specs
Filling them with lugubrious tears.
You gather them like small sea-shells
To empty the pocket and throw away
When you reach home from the beach.
Words grate like steel furniture being
Dragged on a dusty floor in the noon.
Words fill your tummy with nausea
Like the guts of a chasing dog run over
By a speeding truck on the highway.
Words turn into a handful of dust.
There, in God’s country, the benign ruler
Had promptly burst out of the earth’s bowels.
A sea of coconuts smothered, sultrily,
The most unwilling moss-painted houses
The banyan raised its feet high enough
For hundreds of creepy monsoon-creatures.
The journey began in silver slanting rain
Waiting for streaks of pure white sunshine
To crawl through upright areca nut barks.
As the telephone wires went up and down
A floating bird quickly froze in the sky.
First the coconut fronds ran to the hills
Then the chilly plants , go red in the face
Inside, they of the uncertain sex beat the wind
Out of their joined palms in forced cadence.
The floor-mopping boy under our large feet
Looked with money-wetness in his brown eyes.
The train went spluttering for lack of puff
While gravel stones hit its forbidden parts.
This yellow saree she wore
Just once in her life had wrapped
A coy twenty-year-old bride
Tentatively setting her dainty foot
Into the hesitant bridal home .
Somewhere in the backwoods
Several industrious silkworms
Had spun miles of salivary yarn
In the foliage of the mulberry tree
To make this golden yellow saree .
The rustle of her silk drowned
The wails of the boiling cocoons
The worms died that beauty would live
In their plaintive cries lay bridal hopes .
My mother, the bride of yesteryears,
Is now as non-existent as the worms
That had ceased to exist spinning
The smooth silk for her bridal finery .
Her bridal fragrance lives on among
The delicate folds of these gossamer silks
That the worms had died weaving.
Death is so fragrant , so memorable.
That was a red-banded paper
Itching to reclaim original state
Of un-sweet bagasse and bamboo
With surely no musical possibility.
Lonely were our drooping eyelids
Behind the vacuous leg’l scroll.
Some faded white trousers stated
Black legal existence nd’ bow tie.
Our sleep-together of fearsome nights
Leapt out of the window cat-silent
Into the sterilized portals of wordy law.
Our mummified before was not this.
Our after-thoughts slowly cauterized us
As we waited for the black decision.
We liked her much and ethereal self.
She carried her transience about her
As though it was a long flowing toga.
For her transience was a settled matter
Of evolution ,in Darwin and burlesque,
Just a comedy of sorts, full of sarcasm.
Surely the world was made in her kitchen.
Apparently he could not make a fine job.
Actually when she laughed it was at him.
Not that she was afraid of him, except
In the spirit-smell of a buttocks- injection
When she had a creepy feeling in her belly.
Things seemed to happen by a strange logic
A beyond-logic one failed to nail down.
Everything got mixed , things and words
Stewed in an orange light, an unreality-
Being light up there, the force of gravity low.
Above all this woman thing was God-like-
The mother of all, who suffered for children
Who have once lived in her puffed- up belly
And for strange men she met in the corridor.
We began with doubts in the dark night-
Everything that came under the sky of night-
The noiseless stars -that were just flickers
In the crisp air of a deep night and crickets
That creaked from dark and thorny bushes.
We thought of sultry bears that came down
From the hills for ripe sugarcane in fields
On windy nights when we were sleeping
On the river bank, with a long stick safely
Sleeping beside us on a springy string cot.
The dogs sculpted their own long protests
At the howling wind and bush rat’s scrawl .
There in the sketchy bushes of darkness
The lizards slept fitfully wary of night snakes.
Outside, the fireflies tantalized the country.
Our doubts persisted through the night ,
Going on unabated in sleep and dreams.
At the cock's crow they dissolved in sleep.
We sat in the afternoon in the shadows of
Ancient trees paying homage to the lady
Who had died, of excess of life over death.
We were treated to a feast in her honour
It was her wish we should be so treated.
She was sharing surplus life here with us.
Where was the promised river bank where we
Would Invoke her spirit amid deep-throated
Sanskrit chants and smoking holy fires?
There is no river bank here but ancient red walled
Storied structures .Here well-fed priests call down
The spirits of our dead by sonorous chants.
All the while she smiles beatifically, in the hall,
From her two-dimensional existence in a photo.
The excess life she had died of seems still spilling.
(Cancer is uncontrolled division and growth of cells meaning
unwanted increase in life activity and consequent breakdown
of life support system)
The body lay there in the room
With flies and people buzzing.
The pale face looked indifferent.
Tomorrow it will go down
Into the bowels of the earth.
Yesterday night he was busy
Searching for a quick-fix solution
To his life’s problems in the
Froth of the golden yellow brew.
The body had a fatal hunger
Just like the woman in its life.
Scoops of dust settled on the coffin;
It had no complaints about life.
(The death of our Security officer ,Stephen )
Belong some where, a place or thought
Otherwise you stand out, all eyes on you-
None with you or your music or the wind.
In the night those tiny parijat flowers
Actually belong to the dark neighbour
Of the red and yellow house with a woman
Hanging out of the white parapet like cloth.
Their fragrance does not belong nor she.
The parijat belongs to the wind and death.
She of the parijat house parapet belongs
To the evening and the blue sky of rain.
She stared at the roof beam,
The wood that was once a tree.
A tailless lizard came from
Behind the beam to look
At her for the umpteenth time.
Kitta kitta , said the lizard
She who had become 'it' stared
Unremittingly at the beam
That was once a forest tree.
The beam looked at the lizard.
The continuum flowed endl’ssly .