The Full Moon: A Love Poem

JMOON2

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

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Labyrinth and Maze

magalithic

The labyrinth has one pathway.
The maze has multiple pathways intended to puzzle.

I climb the hills of Aravalli
as they roll into the sky
leave you on the cusp of two seas
thinking there is a lifetime
through the labyrinthine pathway
marked by stones two thousand years ago
that an old shepherd guards
as he watches time funnel through
the womb of the earth in a conception
larger than the union of two individuals.

The maze of tributaries
loops back in time to an evening
when the child in a womb listens
to the story of battles and treacheries
map of victory furrows the ground
as the garment
of the slumberous mother
cascades in the gentle breeze
like dunes in the desert
Sleep is the sister of death.

Photo: A rare circular labyrinth, about 2,500 years old,  discovered at Kundhukottai, a remote village 55 km from Hosur, Tamilnadu.

Meditations On A Pebble

pebbles copy

Eyes cast down
I watch the pebble
honed to its simple tone
Watermarks of story blur
in waves of desires deferred
Thoughts never rise out of the lake
bees unwinged in the circle of a full life
Who can map the path of the breeze
fence the clouds shifting over the hill
Logos is a headless tree
waving into the starless night
Silence spelled like the absence
counters it

Slices of Summer

magenta
Magenta is the closest color to the blood
the veins of bougainvillea roots under the skin
to the flashes of light seen behind closed eyes
on a summer morning.

April is the month of grasping – bleeding colors
smear the mercurial sky, butterflies spin dreams
near the window, the koels in swoons of longing
knot the tall eucalyptus.

The fruits secret several ounces of sunlight, sway
through helicoptering bumblebees dazed by the smell
of leaves mulched by the moisture trapped
in breaths from the sea.

Interbeing

PLUMERIA
All lives are connected
trees and plants are one organism

that nurture each other
the weak soldiered by the strong.

There is a warrior in my garden
the Plumeria tree that grows in a large tub

she has not a single leaf and will never
waste energy on producing one all summer.

She breathes deep and holds life
for pink protuberances to burst into blossoms.

In the tub there is a hum of roots, a stray
tomato seed waves pale and spindly shoot

a robust butterfly pea creeper threads
a nosy tendril into the air for support from

the naked branches. Blanched
leaves of honeysuckle vine trail

over the tree as they gulp mouthfuls
of sunlight for chlorophyll.

The Cycles

Every cell of the body opens and closes
swells and shrinks to the cycle of the moon

while the muscles arch and sing to a different cycle
every fruit and morsel of rice fed by the sun.

And all the cycles in between- the river running dry
for fifteen years, the earth knotted in stubbornness

loops of suffering, the cycle of mourning, the womb
stretched and inelastic filled with the husk of grief.

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.