The Full Moon: A Love Poem


I keep coming back to the overrun garden on my terrace
Our world grows in quantum that gets hard to grasp
Like the river in the backyard thick with sediments at the waist.

I lay in one brick at a time, raise a small wall the first day
Plant a rose sapling for you, all the flowering plants for the summer
Our limbs knotted, overrun in tangles in the terrace garden.

The moringa tree is stripped of leaves, brewed for a decoction
The branches inch to reach you,  the anemic heart grasps
At the light sedimented in the waisted node of the backyard tree.

Thoughts crowd my head every morning, seek your attention
Like nestlings clamoring for food with urgent open beaks
Like a worm I offer myself to the bulbuls that overrun my garden.

The years with you run over like a hasty stream sometimes
At others weigh as a branch heavy with moisture and blossoms
Always enough love not to be choked, thick at the waist like a river.

The moon weaves light threads as I acquire a gait of fullness
The root tumultuously overruns the garden terraced by desire
Breath sediments in the waist of the river hollowed by your touch.

Photo Courtesy: The New Indian Express


The Gardener

Seeds travel all over, sprout
from cracks in walls. Different
plants cohabit in a tub – basil with
jasmine, butterfly pea and honeysuckle.

The inflorescence of the mustard field
leaves a scar on the retina
blazing hours after I remain
blindfolded in jaundiced darkness.

He never trims a tree,
the branches awkwardly crisscross
arms tangle like
an amateur yoga practitioner.

He taught me how to lie
in a patch of dead marigolds
the smell of seeds masculine
trapping to the pores of my skin.

The morning glory soaks in
the blue of the sky
till all that is mirrored in his eyes
is the blinding light of my desire.

The Full Moon: A Love Poem

Here are the neem blossoms on the red-tiled floor
the first breath of summer crumbling under the feet
in the instep arched deeper to become a receptacle.

The moonlight bounces off the waxy leaves
a cloud of smoke from the smoldering branches is carried
by the breeze from the sea blowing inland to the terrace.

The roots of the tree are knotted in a clay tub
the bark stumpy, the branches twisted at the nodes
whorls of the memory of earth siphoned in spoons of existence.

You take the tartness of the flower in the mouth
knead away my loop of desire, dig the soil to move the tree
holding it as you would an infant to prevent limbs from splaying.

Spread me out, flatten the ground with your moist palms
the roots crave to cleave the breasts of the earth furrowed
by the labor of the moon planted in the seeds of your hunger.

The Blue Moon: A Love Poem

I begin to talk to the moon
I have been wanting to do it from the time
I experienced the phenomenon
that moon is not an astral body
not a satellite that books make it to be
and that was when I was a girl
looking up as the clouds scudded by
the palm fronds eclipsed the sheer whiteness
I walked streets, past buildings
wearied I reached an open ground
the orange lantana was sobered by the spectacle in the sky
the crown flower poisoned a deep purple
the shadows of the leaves sharp on the burnt grass
I did not have to look up to see the moon
earth was a receptacle
the way my skin, eyes, limbs
incandesce with you
love like the moon is a phenomenon
I run untiringly to the open space
to garner you in the orchard of my heart.

Dance of the Moth

Light moves with night breeze
teasing here gone there,
to the moth gently opening skirt
of aching desire bursting
with moistness of mist.

The colour of night is intense
blue of compressed air
between wings, unfurling
like rainbow on icicles searing
a map of his taste on my skin.

The fabric is twisted with dyes
dawn from silver threads of saliva
spun when night is moonless.
Tongue of shame pushes the cloth up
to reveal the dark scar of lust.

It is difficult to hold my gaze
through the green of your shirt
when time is quartered from shade card,
and moving air from wings of moth
determines hardness of your want.


places of love: the secret whorls and veins in marble

Crimson dreams and tales fill her kohl drawn eyes;
he bends to her, to ether breath of light at the lip of dawn.

The bird sighs on a sultry afternoon, throat pulses, contracts,
gently heaves as he strokes where jaw angles into neck.

Marble breaks into whispers, exhales heat secreted in whorls and veins
of her body: sun dried grapes warm, succulent on his lips.

Leaf tumbles in silence, pale green going grey, then ashen like the moon;
swathes of ache knot her limbs, then, tug her heart.