The Cycle

Pigmy flowers mite sized
sulk and mope,
the dung sprouts a scraggly beard
hairy tendrils dance in the breeze,
honeyed centipede curl in natal slumber,
bulbous caterpillar feeds on leaves
and excretes peppercorns,
leaves yellow and toss down
like gold coins.
The earth has taken a deep breath
sucking, hollowing the bowl of life,
as it breathes out
the butterfly unfurls its wings,
the weed flowers a glorious yellow,
and my moody flower perks up
as its petals curdle a rich cream,
my body rejects the wasted eggs,
the lunar sky a crimson red
welcomes the next cycle of waxing.

The Family

I roll up the shutter
the car moves
as the light turns green.
A girl,
a woman at thirteen
sari draped around poking bones,
a gash on the cheek
body abused at street corners
laid by anyone – a driver, a police constable
for a morsel
to the mouth twisted in nausea of hunger.

The community of beggars
a straggling family of women, men, children
that interbreed to remain warm on cold nights,
to keep mosquitoes away
share a tattered shawl
on summer nights,
lying under smelly bridges
the throb of traffic above courses through them,
a fly settles on a snot smeared face
a hand rests on someone’s breast
fondling as weariness falls away in thick sleep.

Their home in the plains of the north
tossed deep under mines
when teeth of greed bit into the guts of the earth,
scavenging the cities
inhabiting subways and railway stations
bathing in public taps
lathering a bar of soap among ten
they sit in groups on pavement combing hair
sparkling for the night
the men, women and children –
children still sore with pain between legs from the previous day.

One city as unidentifiable as the other,
here in my city
the traffic light where I pass by twice a day
is their home now.
The young mother sits under the traffic pole
her emaciated child suckles
a window of flesh for everyone to see,
in a few years the child will dodge dangerously
between cars asking for alms
or sell yellow duster cloths
for the dealer who treats them to food, sex
and a little money.


The Monk

I’ m weary
what would it be
to drop everything and walk out
I’ll have to convince myself  first
no books, no laptop,
no paints and brushes
what do I intend to do under the blue skies all day
to walk out you mustn’t be heavy
just the clothes on your back
mind emptied inside out
heart that sings
feet that go nowhere and everywhere
I will have to leave my car behind
forget the moments spent sipping tea
sitting on the rosewood chair looking at the racing clouds
leave the spectacles  my mother gave me before wheeled into ICU
and my father’s  gold plated watch he got when he retired from  work
I shall fold away in a bag the radiance of a smile  
I saw on my little boy’s face
when I went to pick him
on his first day at school
searching in the sea of faces for mine
the smile that travelled from his lips to light his eyes
… that I’ll carry with me

Hope Is The Thing With Feathers

Hope is the thing with feathers 
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm 
That could abash the little bird 
That kept so many warm. 
I’ve heard it in the chillest land, 
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

            Emily Dickinson