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Jul 2020 · 91
a noiseless shadow
Rajinder Jul 2020
In the rationed sunlight
when there is no sun inside the room
and it is vaguely dark
a figure walks away from me 
like a noiseless shadow.
It walks past the door and kneels
as if to scratch an itch. On the wall 
a shape appears, like a photo frame
in which I see the darkness 
of my dark beating heart, a scratch
running through it like an arrow.
the figure now morphs to a gecko
its shadow crawls up the wall
behind the photo frame
and nibbles at the arrow

Quietly, I walk past
- the streak of sunlight
- floating dust specks
- the noiseless shadow
and step out. 

The photo-frame follows me
with the beating heart,
the arrow, and
the nibbling gecko
still inside, now
a streak of liquid drips from it.

I wear a rain-cloak
under the charcoal gray clouds
ready to burst on me.
Jul 2020 · 205
If a river had ears
Rajinder Jul 2020
If a river had ears, they would’ve heard
songs of the clouds and the rain
floating in the breeze above oceans

If a river had ears, they would bring me 
stories told by gurgling, shrinking glaciers
imploding in warming streams

If a river had ears, the waters would know
all the secrets of dolphins and mahseer
it would play the scores of a whale’s song

If a river had ears, they would be blocked
and, when the waves hit the banks, the river
losing its balance forgets the course 

If a river had ears, those would be pierced
their small holes plugged with white pearls
stolen from an oyster’s shell 

Some rivers have ears
like ones flowing through Kashmir,
with their dainty drooping lobes,
pierced by bullets. Robbed of their
red-threaded golden dejhors,
the ears echo of unheard miseries.
Jun 2020 · 96
stress echo
Rajinder Jun 2020
look at the graph, he said,
this line that makes a hill
is the echo from your heart.
who sent the first ping?
a beat, a rhythm I can't decode?
Next time, listen to your heart carefully.
Jun 2020 · 107
a sip
Rajinder Jun 2020
I drink 
your being 
in short sips.
Jun 2020 · 184
Dreams
Rajinder Jun 2020
Dreams

of a colourful parakeet all to myself have come true
a nest drawn on lime wall peels
crooked lines tracing clipped feathers
A home / A cage, a sunset
rainbow dreams -- locked at two ends
Jun 2020 · 46
Childhood
Rajinder Jun 2020
Recalling toys from childhood
I see a black ring running away
From a stick in my father's hand
Jun 2020 · 187
wreath
Rajinder Jun 2020
Doors have become trees,
bars of a cell, blocking my way
drooping branches a noose, a wreath.
Jun 2020 · 191
peapod poem
Rajinder Jun 2020
A poem is born of a peapod
pierced by a nail. The shell secretes tears.
An eye grows on crooked thumb
seeds go asunder slipping through fingers
a slimy worm wriggles in mind
a caterpillar is born of the pen
powdery syllables settle on wings
a butterfly mates with o's and a's
impregnating a rhyme.

1 June 2020
May 2020 · 326
Don't disconnect
Rajinder May 2020
Life sways in gasps
a breath struggles
over sagging phone waves.
The words I send trip off
the line stretching two ends
swinging high above the valley.
I speak floating in clouds
the voice may reach you
over quivering cable
wait, let me die,
'Don't disconnect.'

'Don't disconnect' - last words on an Italian youth to his beloved from his hospital bed using a doctor's phone
Of Corona virus times
Apr 2020 · 56
Untitled
Rajinder Apr 2020
Captive
in a windowless world.


CoVid times - 18
Apr 2020 · 53
Don't disconnect
Rajinder Apr 2020
Life sways in gasps
a breath struggles
over sagging phone waves.
The words I send trip
the line stretching two ends
swinging high above the valley.
I speak floating in clouds
the voice rebounds
over quivering cable
wait, let me die,
'Don't disconnect.'

'Don't disconnect' - last words on an Italian youth to his beloved.


CoVid times - 17
Apr 2020 · 32
I'm home
Rajinder Apr 2020
Opening and shutting
the balcony door,
I announce 'Honey, I am home'.


in Lockdown - Covid times 16
Apr 2020 · 48
visitor
Rajinder Apr 2020
A visitor,
will soon be a rare event.
Exciting yet unnerving.

<garbage collector rang the bell>


CoVide times - 15
Apr 2020 · 49
Street
Rajinder Apr 2020
How silent is the street
I fear
there's no one living anywhere



CoVide times - 14
Apr 2020 · 36
Complain
Rajinder Apr 2020
I promise I will never complain of spring,
however short or colourless.
Never.



CoVide times - 13
Apr 2020 · 33
Moonlight
Rajinder Apr 2020
Shadows quiver
Moonlight falls on my terrace
As if searching for something.


CoVide times - 12
Apr 2020 · 39
Fairies
Rajinder Apr 2020
For no reason
the light blinks
...
Fairies are so unpredictable!


CoVide times - 11
Apr 2020 · 37
Friends
Rajinder Apr 2020
I conjure company
Having learnt to invent
Visitors and friends


CoVid times - 10
Apr 2020 · 31
Insomnia
Rajinder Apr 2020
May be I slept.
May be I dreamt.
...
Dreams, like fantasies
are always private.
Fantasies induce insomnia
where dreams are invented.


CoVid times - 9
Apr 2020 · 33
Pied Pipers
Rajinder Apr 2020
Collective ******
satiates the Pied Pipers
governing the world


CoVide times - 8
Apr 2020 · 29
Puppets on a s tring
Rajinder Apr 2020
The string puppet hanging from the peg in the niche is creating an illusion, or did it really bend the right knee forward! I move closer and watch it minutely. This times it is his partner, the pink faced women with deep red lipstick and khol lined eyes, she certianly swung her hip... up, up it went in jerky moves... there, there her skrit twitched revealing her bare leg - the silver anklet girdling her foot reflected a fraction of light playing yet another trick.

My eyes move up towards the strings. I can almost sense a fading quiver as if someone was plucking them through the alcove above. I stand still locking my eyes on the two waiting for their next move. Pigeons flutter behind the skylight and the spell breaks for a few seconds.

I turn around and rest my back against the cold basement wall. All around there are books lined in shelves, artworks clutched in frames, photos jacketed behind glass, curios in various states of animated movement. The eyes gradually get used to the dim light beaming on the floor through a ventilator and scan the floor finally resting on my own feet. Who is this? Where are the legs and the rest of the body? I give up. The neck refuses to bend and the eyes can't seem to find another object. Every thing is still, there is no motion, no movement - even the light beam seems frozen, there are no dust specks playing in it.

Among them, for twelve days, I too have become an object. Lifeless, not dead. Confined, distanced, trapped, isolated in a place that tells me it is my home. At times other objects around me whisper, I can't catch what they say. It seems I am one of them, only that I have suddenly developed feeble sensory abilities.

I have possibly jumped out of that shelf, that one on the far right, and, am now taking inventory of my companions, my fellow beings in a museum closed for a long break. They - like me, I - like them. Objects. Each having a label, a business card to be exchanged in mutual muteness. Each explained as "Title; Year; Origin; Size; Material". Where is mine? Just like the mask on the wall, the bronze sculpture, the centre table and hundreds of others that have been confined within the walls for years. In a few days, I assume, I would be a curio, a large one, occupying one corner. Not entombed though.

From time to time when conscious mind fleetingly nudges me I feel some of these objects have been moved or shifted from one place to another, like a chair or a cushion. I too have become like them or forced to. Tired of reading on a chair I shift or move, like dust, to the sofa and from there to the couch. Like the trumpet on the shelf I am quiet, not disturbing the solitude. Unlike the colourful painting, I merge with the pale wall. But I ain't hung as yet.

Like the Buddha figurine my eyes have drooped, my hair matted and curled. I would soon be like the illegible spine of an old tome, stacked one next to the other. Lying on the floor, I take Shavasana, like the carpet holding its breath.

In another week, I suspect, I would be like the uplighter which doesn't respond to the switch on another wall. Filaments alone dont light a bulb.
* April 6, 2020 - Covid times - 7
Apr 2020 · 31
the sky can wait
Rajinder Apr 2020
I have clouds to talk to
the sky can wait.


CoVid times - 6
Apr 2020 · 32
Frozen
Rajinder Apr 2020
Still. Silent. Glacial.
Life awaits a thaw.


CoVide times
Apr 2020 · 33
Solitude
Rajinder Apr 2020
Casting spell on its subjects
the city unleashes arrogance
of its solitude.

CoVid times
Apr 2020 · 27
Sunrise
Rajinder Apr 2020
Come, stand besides me and
etch a shadow from the past
of the sunrise we saw together.
Apr 2020 · 59
Stories
Rajinder Apr 2020
All that's been told to us were stories.
All the stories were once real.
All we leave behind are stories.


- February 2020
Mar 2020 · 156
Someday
Rajinder Mar 2020
Someday you'll come home
    to the truth
bursting your heart. 

Someday you'll come home
    to lies
blinding your eyes.

Someday you'll come home
    naked
in orphaned grief.
Mar 2020 · 57
a sip
Rajinder Mar 2020
I drink 
your being 
in short sips.
Mar 2020 · 172
the breeze
Rajinder Mar 2020
The breeze steals unsung notes
off aching branches. The tree
agonizes writing scores.
Mar 2020 · 185
My mother didn't birth me
Rajinder Mar 2020
My mother didn't birth me, she said.
'I plucked you from a tree, 
a Papaya tree',  she says.

'It rained torrents that Chait* night,
a storm raged, tearing apart 
all that came its way
our hut was blown, everything swept away
the tree shuddered, so did the fruits
I spent the night clinging to the scarred trunk
worried about our next meal, 
a wild gale, then, bent the Papaya tree 
I latched on to you while your siblings 
fell apart. Bursting seedlings over my body. 
With all my strength, I plucked you
the stem and branches bruised my hands and arms
streaks of blood trickled and covered your face
you had a tender, pale skin. 

Can you feel the scar on your forehead ? 
That's where my silver bracelet was lodged. 
You weren't ripe, not yet. 

Next morning, still trembling, I hid you 
in the warmth of the last cloth on my body, thereon
you slept in my ***** till
the first rain of Baisakh**.

Your father, she said, 
'had gone seeding the fields'.
She said, 'You are the fruit of my labour.'
*the Indian calendar month of March-April ** the Indian calendar month of April-May
Mar 2020 · 169
Epitaph on my tombstone
Rajinder Mar 2020
Here lies the one
who lived between two moons
Rajinder Mar 2020
'Love is the only antidote', he said
'I am also on antibiotics', she wrote
on a paper napkin.
'I wanna kiss you love', he whispered.
Looking in his eyes, adjusting her mask 
she slid the Off shoulder, a little more.
Mar 2020 · 72
Short sips
Rajinder Mar 2020
I drink 
your being 
in short sips
Mar 2020 · 82
A dark girl in my dream
Rajinder Mar 2020
In my dream I see a dark girl
there is a window with a thin layer of dust
that obscures her face
inside the room there is the last light
of setting sun, the orange beam slitting the door
whispers a bronze sheen on her bare shoulder
outside it is dark, with no escape ladder
I wait on a moonless night
to watch her glow, she moves closer
out of focus, closer still, ah
the face fills the window glass,
that separates us. A breath imprint struggles
to escape the barrier - misty vapours
eatherise the faceless over my lips.
Rajinder Feb 2020
कौन लिपटा है ऐसे ही तुमसे आकर 

कुछ तो रिश्ता होगा 
पतंग और पेड़ का !!!
जड़ और उड़ान का 
डोर और डाल का 
पत्तों और झोल का 

कुछ तो रिश्ता होगा  ! 

कुछ तो इश्क़ होगा  
ऊँचे-ऊँचे उड़ने में  
कटने और जुड़ने में  
हवा से लिपटने में 
पाखियों से मिलने में। 

कुछ तो रिश्ता होगा 
पतंग और पेड़ का?

कौन लिपट रहता है ऐसे 
कौन हो रहता है तुम्हारा  
और बना लेता है 
अपनी ही डोर का फंदा।

 कुछ तो रिश्ता होगा  !!
Feb 2020 · 61
हाल
Rajinder Feb 2020
हाल उनका पूछिए
कि अपना बताईये ,
वो ही पुराने ज़ख्म हैं 
क्यूँकर दिखाईये .
Feb 2020 · 456
Winter rain
Rajinder Feb 2020
Winter rain -
dark aureole like raindrops 
on leaves, drooping like *******.
Mirrored in pools
trees blush.
Feb 2020 · 102
My love
Rajinder Feb 2020
My love, you won't last my love
You won't last my anger
My hate.
You won't last...
Feb 2020 · 174
Windows
Rajinder Feb 2020
Some windows 
shut memories 
some,
open wounds.
Feb 2020 · 183
Silence is bearable now
Rajinder Feb 2020
Memories are porous
like seashells with nano holes.
Peace escapes 
this permeable space,
choking it with clamor.

Future - the black hole
swallows the past sans remorse,
amnesia struggles in amniotic fluid,
an echo rebounds 
 
Silence is bearable now.
Feb 2020 · 227
Untradeable
Rajinder Feb 2020
Untradeable. Pain is silver,
Sterling. Serrated, dual-faced coin.
Its flip side, a mirror.
Feb 2020 · 550
Sleep with me tonight
Rajinder Feb 2020
Sleep with me tonight
my love
for tonight
we will dream in rhyme.
Feb 2020 · 104
Sun and sin
Rajinder Feb 2020
Sun and sin, both set.
Horizon cheats
west or east.
Anger oscillates,
hate the fulcrum.
Feb 2020 · 76
Winter showers
Rajinder Feb 2020
An **** of leaves
and raindrops
Feb 2020 · 182
Twins
Rajinder Feb 2020
We huddle together
like memories in a womb,
to be delivered as twins.
memories
Mar 2019 · 82
Devil
Rajinder Mar 2019
I just learnt...

god and devil
are never divorced
Mar 2019 · 206
Lies
Rajinder Mar 2019
We never walked together
Or matched steps.
The walkway lies
so do the shoes, we bought together.
Mar 2019 · 310
(the) Sun
Rajinder Mar 2019
Prostituting radiance
a shameless sun
seduces skies. Birds spurt.
Feb 2019 · 309
Lies
Rajinder Feb 2019
We never walked together
or matched steps
the walkway lies, so do
the shoes
  we bought together.
Feb 2019 · 181
Story
Rajinder Feb 2019
How can one enter a story?
Like gaps in words,
emptiness between breaks.
How can one crawl out of a plot
stealing a character?
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