Blame the wind that tosses the leaves
bares the undersides of my passion
pale with desire, longing for lips moist
the marigold dips under its own weight
longing hidden under furls of orange robe
blame the wind it doesn’t toss the skirt
to bare the undersides of my craving.
(Day 27: ‘Blame the _________’ poem for 2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge)
Her nape is moist, her breath labored after her long walk to the river. She had run through her chores, and as fast as her legs could carry, she reached the bend where the water flowed sluggish with the heat of the day. She stood under the gooseberry tree, the fruits like golden rash clung to the rough stem. A ripe berry rolled into the languid flowing water that floated the fruit up.
where the river paused
at her feet she saw the sun
emerge from dark clouds
(Day 26: ‘On the run poem’ for 2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge.)
crows are visitors from a different world
their penetrating eyes, nonchalant flick of the neck
are gestures of someone who went away
Day 25: 2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge
This is all the pain you could hold in a bed:
pain pours through the tube that decants waste,
pain that I feed through the tube in your nose,
pain between breaths, in the folds of skin,
pain spans the hands and legs folding in fetal position
on the plank of space where you lie.
Day 24: Space poem for 2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge
It’s been raining stars all night, silver dust
like crust of bread falling from the table.
Shooting stars bring luck if there’s one at a time
but when there is such a profuse shower
with hundreds of them descending on my roof
I appear like a ghost with a silver halo.
Oh for a full moon night with a starless sky.
Catch each one of them: use glass bowls with water,
hear the celestial visitors hiss angrily, sigh as they choke.
Don’t let them scar, char your roof; blow the carbon dusts,
the soot that settles on your bougainvillea flowers
before they smother the magentaness that the seeds carry.
Persuade jasmines take the stars into their scented bosom,
caterpillars spin the luminescent jewel into their cocoon
to birth silver butterflies that light up a moonless night. But now,
for a full moon night with a starless sky.
That magical night I collected all stars but one,
the faintest one that I made my wish on,
sent prayers to the blur of energy dissipating in space.
Vacuum of emptiness sucked me to the quiet centre
where the wind dropped, earth stopped its throb,
heart beat slowed and the blood in the veins stilled
on that full moon light with a starless sky.
Day 23: Write a form poem for 2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge. The poetic form I have attempted is the Bop that was developed by poet Afaa Michael Weaver . Here are the basic rules
- The Bop has 3 stanzas
- Each stanza is followed by a refrain
- First stanza is 6 lines long and presents a problem
- Second stanza is 8 lines long and explores or expands the problem
- Third stanza is 6 lines long and either presents a solution or documents the failed attempt to resolve the problem
In the narrow bed restless all night he saw his mother :
supplication of vapours coiled a hot day over the temple tank
as warm hands held him when he stood on the slippery steps.
In the narrow bed he held his breath balancing the memory.
(Day 22: ‘Take a stand poem’ for 2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge. I stand on a slippery sandbar of memory.)
I stand by the river
whispers lap at the banks
the poppies gather drops of twilight
deep in their seeds hide the dark night
stars moon waiting to be born
Don’t touch the flowers, cut them
and stand them in your blue vase
you’ll steal the earth of its eyes
whispers will break into howls
in the darkest of nights
beside the river .
(Day 21: Denying permission poem for 2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge)
I looked at the girl waiting for the bus
a dog waited alongside.
I have seen her several days:
the street dog dragged its body with sores
from under the seat in the bus station
panted and lay close to her, claiming her.
She darted between cars across the road;
death hung over the fumes of fuel,
the day rearranged swiftly,
dragged to garbage heap stiff feet raised to heavens.
As the girl crossed the bridge
her attention fell on a crane skimming the water.
(Day 20: ‘What’s wrong or right poem’ for 2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge)
We sat under the tree, a wall of silence wedged between us,
roots knotted in anger, the branches rasping breath of pain.
On such a day curl up till your muscles hurt and joints creak,
let the sand fill the holes of your mouth and nostrils,
shrivel like a seed, hear the earth breathing, wind singing.
Worms turn the soil, toss you like an empty hollow shell;
stirrings of life grate against the wall, gasp into existence.
(Day 19: ‘Hole poem’ for 2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge)
Absence sits on the old sofa where my father dozed,
layers of dust wiped clean his breath behind curtains,
the blue table cloth paler crumbles under touch,
lavender balls have vapourised into empty corners,
and the magnolia wall lost to clumps of moisture;
only the ball I kicked under bed lies like forgotten mole.
(Day 18: ‘Lost poem’ for 2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge)