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)
From the flat above music, strain of romance flows
as they grope each other locked in sweat and lust,
the insect walks to the edge of the window, elegantly lands
into the abyss of darkness, exiled from my vision.
Like the flash of tiger’s tail headlights of cars
hang from the corner of the wall. He comes in,
neck creased between soft breathing beads of moisture:
I touch the coiled warmth of summer trapped in there.
(Day 17 : ‘Tell me why’ poem for 2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge)
He threw up food, thick mucus throttled his throat;
I made him lie down, floated flowers in a glass bowl,
lit an aromatic candle and fed him soup sparsely spiced.
Now he lies in deep slumber. I call out every half hour,
I hear my voice travel miles where he has stacked away
memories of me that he is willing to leave behind.
(Day 16 – A ‘stacking poem’ for 2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge)
The branches dipped in the breeze, the sea still like her eyes
the day he walked away, the stretch between them
a ribbon of aloneness and dust storm where he disappeared.
His voice in answering machine cold fingers that press her throat in grief
the bell rings till they fall tired hitting hard the empty walls of his life:
years of cementing cracked like a field upturned by earthquake.
(Day 15: ‘Just when you thought it was safe’ poem for 2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge)
Carrying the grocery across the street
she dodges cars standing nose to back neat,
the spray of rain water on the skirt
at the kitchen sink she scrubs holding the pleat.
The thick corn soup simmers over the stove,
aubergine purple like the fine down of a dove,
smoked with pounded ginger and cinnamon,
laid in a greased bowl with a dash of lemon.
She opens the blinds to the stars in the sky,
over the beeswax candle splutters the singed fly,
she sips gulab sherbet the hue of early sunset,
the chimes in the breeze a gentle dulcet.
( Day 14 : Crossroads Poem for 2010 November PAD Chapbook Challenge )