the full moon

How much is much, how less is less
when fullness and emptiness
are face to face like sun and moon
on either side of the sky

When the egg cracks substance oozes
the halved shells get chipped like nails
and calcium particles tremble with breeze -
is death there

A strand of her hair, the silver arc
clung to dust in her shoe rack that I cleaned
before putting her house up for sale -
is life there

The moon fills the sky, the rash on her face -
is it a smear of pain that no healing can erase
till it tunnels deep into a crater that you saw
the night you wheezed to death

The mind is dense with smoke and noise,
voice drips stutters like a leaking faucet
a thought first, a desire then – the  constant drip
drop that I long to end

What is hormone (not the medical thing) – is it
dryness of mouth, tenderness of breast,
constriction of heart tending to windmill
into a whir of abnormal pulsation

There is a large well beyond the graveyard
steps spiral in, gyrate out as I descend and ascend
the moon in dark water, the silence in me -
is it fullness or emptiness

Poem A Day

 

burial

They folded his legs
curved the spine
gently slid him in
air assumed his shape

His head lolled
pressing into collar bones
in a tight embrace
by the arc of urn

The dog arched its back
howled into darkness
smelling  death it sniffed
him bent like foetus.

Poem A Day

This poem is written in response to visit to a museum in Puhar where burial urns were unearthed. During the Sangam period ( 3 BCE – 4 CE) there were references in literature to burial urns used to intern the dead. They were called the mudhumakkal thazhi, urn for old people. 

noise

So how does one end this, the constant hum of stories,
a brain filled with script?

Molecules of sound grate into my membrane of sleep,
I wake up into my many lives.

That is when I withhold words, the way sage holds thoughts,
and save drops of ink.

I fall silent as the cistern brims with water flowing down drain pipe,
to listen to rain on the roof.

silence

I throw over my shoulder one pebble
after another, the steady patter
like a chant fills my mind in quietness.

Words recede from the text,
the blank pages fill with ribs of letters
that devolve into a sheet of muteness.

Silence nudges in  its clamped fist,
my heart expands turning elastic.
The sky pours in first, then the sea.

Poem A Day

in his head

In his head
he cleared space
dusted the chair, wiped the table
asked me to step in
he waded waist deep into the sea
carrying a bucket of fish, alive and roiling
in brine water, to feed his mother
blood ran down her head
rubies, she said, collecting them for ear studs
why do I think of the casuarina tree
the needle leaved truncations
that I learnt to stitch together as a child
the way he sutured his memory
to watch it splinter again and again
when I walked down the stairs
my wet skirt left trail like a snail
like a snake he said, making a hood with his hands
snake woman I said, snake charmer he said
playing his pipe
rocking to the note he heard
in his head.

Poem A Day