Smoke curls mesmerising, blurs her standing there
by the door legs astride – guarding, menacing if a thing moved,
a leaf stirred; face swollen with grief, throat sore with wailing.
Pale moonlight steals through the window over my bed – mattress
folded away, planks of teak ripped. And the cotton from my pillow
mists the candle light on the table where no food is laid,
the bottle of milk in fridge put away. Where is my dinner,
where are my blue pyjamas? Is my grief nothing?
Does he not notice the moons in my toe nail when he bends
to rake the fire? I reach to touch him through the lights
that blind, a psychedelic mayhem that terrifies-captivates
in a sickening alternation through the night dark as sin where
every curve of thought, every angle of memory grows arms,
flail like tentacles of anemones stirring the blue depths of sea.
Million limbs that I birthed drop into the seed that explodes
confines of time and dimension; here words with ashes blow away.
Chonyid Bardo is the intermediate state at death time when the breathing stops, before the desire for rebirth sets in.
Read here to know more about Chonyid Bardo
In the well of your dark eyes I sink; gasp, suck air
from the squeamish depth of my choked lung.
In the space between the walls when I slip away
I weave images of beautiful sunrise, surging energy waves
as fine threads of million channels collapse into centre.
The string of breath rises to the soft point on my head
where my mother kissed and caressed at my birth,
ran her fingers lovingly and prayed life remain sealed in.
Now the air pops like a bubble on my soda, and car mirror
holds the blinding light as long as I grab a meal –only so long.
Chikhai Bardo is a liminal state when breath stops at death time.
You can read about Bardo here.
You can read here for a quick understanding of Chikhai Bardo.
You can read ‘The Tibetan Book Of The Dead’ here.
The words break into a clot
coagulates in the heart till
all the blood flows to finger tips
crossed on the chest, wistfully
narrating tales of failed relationships.
Can words kill at dead of night?
Tightness in the chest caged in anger,
welts of anxiety brand with hot iron
till saliva in the mouth dries,
the insides like squishy seal falls apart
in your hands. You thump the empty cave,
muted cries fall silent in a dark well
as you scoop the blackness of night
for dregs of life at bottom of the cup
he left unwashed in the sink.
Dust settles on the line of closure,
a perfect loop knows when to tie its ends.
In the middle of the night two queries –
one that dances in the breath exhaled,
another that is interned in the fire.
The answer slumbers in the dusty book,
at the edges thumbed by fingers now frozen;
voice crumbles as rusty iron in my mouth,
ashen in colour with the taste of love
that I hold in my tongue, and refuse to swallow.
The smoke reaches in vain for the branches,
like a dying serpent, prone in supplication.
Thread looks as if snapped, but like a spring
under sandy bed flows, likewise you
throb in silence, in the pauses between lives.
When does a poem become a prayer,
life a river that stretches in the faults of time?
Do you trace intersection of lives with a twig,
sit at the fork of the road arching in ascension
even as you pin a finger on my coil of grief ?