The shadow of the arms of a tree,
laid soft on a cornish wall-
after the moon sunk into the river,
after the wind strangled the wick.
The coldness of a silent being,
the heaviness of being when no one’s there,
as the night tiptoed into a hedonist’s den-
as the bull-cock was riding a star.
It’s the presence of a ghost in me,
who fears and is made of dark-
it’s his restlessness I carry in my limbs,
it’s his weight that tore me apart.
Living, and living is such a burdensome thing-
Oh, star! Oh, shadow! Oh, unknown!
The terror of waking up in another morning
is in my bones slowly grown-
listening to the scream of the shadow of the arms of a tree
that leapt above far the wall of stones-
to splatter against the zany tiled side walk
for an obtuse thrill and moan.
In pain who thrives and sees,
who came out at night of the desolate den-
watched the blood of the shadow of the arms of the tree,
oozing, trickling, but, then, it called out again:
“The blue star, the dark star, hope
trembling, shuddering, free-
when the bull-cock is done with you,
climb down and stay with me.”
One thing at a time.
Like love has its omen-
Kindness, its faux pas-
Patience, its sweat-
But one thing at a time.
Like anxiety and a man
Hope is figural.
Their limbs huddle and tremble-
One tryst at a time.
To live is to be woeful.
I am living-
Woefully- with a feral cat.
Conjuring and vanishing the beast-
One plot at a time.
When a seven year old boy became afraid, while peeing on the dark leaves of Beli flower, at night, he was being afraid of a ghost. Or a tiger. The thin slippery light of the kerosene lamp notwithstanding- it offers no courage- while the door of the house was open- but the light dragged itself only to five hands- far away from the boy- away, away from the old earthen house- as there was no toilet inside and every dirt is to be thrown as far away from home- but no parents were watching over him- in fact, they were safely sleeping- as he was grown up now, and as his urge to pee was only his own- completely!- and therefore he was pretend-courageous, and he was not probably counted as precious– by anyone- the boy in the darkness became thrilled hearing the mouse hurriedly trotting the straw mound and screech.
It’s the thrill, as the pee water jet hit the leaves and thereafter the ground and no one could hear anything except the sound of the water, it’s in that moment, the unbearable rush along the axis joining the head and his buttocks, that was felt- like fear, like joy- the little rhythmic throbs matching the contraction that was felt in his penis and below and behind; a sudden release, but not to be revealed its occurrence to anyone- a secret euphoria- a giving up of self and becoming no one for a moment- that feeling.
In that loveliness, that being- that he would later know as the precursor of adult ecstasy- that had begun as fear and ended as fear- he would know that he would end someday, that he would cease to exist; that helplessness would drive him back to the house, peeing not over, he would hide in the bed even before doing his buttons; and in the adulthood, when he would make love to a woman, he would slowly shiver, before and after the act, so afraid he would be of death.
Long lost. Long lost.
On the matter of peace-
Befooled in the arms of the beloved-
If she were so.
Dusting the rib cage-
Pitily wheezing again.
Breath is body.
Haste is body.
Sex is body.
What is love?
the soul. Life,
Armoried, with eternal worries-
Relief is coming in death.
Fatly fatly hippo,
Fatly fatly does-
Acerb was Mr. Eliot-
Acerbic Mr. Eliot was.
The house of god was gleaming-
He wrote instead of a Savannah marsh-
Why, Mr. Eliot? Trouncing-
The true church in quatrain verse-
God is in men, and fruits
and sex, and hunting,
But never in lying domes-
Holy brazenness, holy bulky gaits,
Not in stately,
Nor in ornate homes-
It’s strange that
Lying amidst the mudslinging stain
Blessed by coarse oddities of fart,
And ravenously fleshy flippants.
Could you not, huh, Mr. Eliot,
Not not leave us in the lurch?
Two fifty ticket, where to go-
The central zoo or church?
Sing, hippo hymn- the hope is dim.
Where is God? Nigh.
Wings borrowed from an old virgin’s kist
T S Eliot glides.
Go away girl
There is no love
A meaningless meanness may be
A lowman’s hate
Cold, damp mud
The clasped throat
Will know again breath
Will know salt
Will know failure,
Grotesque vicious ends.
Silly, you’ll live and laugh.
O’ buoyant girl
Your saw dust soul
Will spatter the earth with dreams
Of another love
O’ puffed up face
O’ smudgy muddy boots-
No lover’s girl.
It was a Diwali evening when he rolled down his window and peeked outside. He found himself among the buses, scooters, auto rickshaws, cars, street hawkers, people, smoke, children. He saw them waiting, passing, cursing, coughing, honking, crying, floating. In a maze. Orbiting. Whining. Disbelieving. Without a rest. The busy bees were jumping signal. It was their everyday adventure. Addicted that they were.
Beside the street crowded stood the lamp stalls. Hung shoddily, slyly the fire crackers. Hung there those that were famously called: Atom Bombs. Nobler in life, docile than their namesake, expensive, noisy attention seekers. Would terribly make the babies wake up during the night. In time, those babies would grow up igniting the Atom Bombs, startling everyone in the colony and loving every moment of it.
The beggar girls were jumping like calves, knocking on every window. Knock, knock, knock. Open up. Open up. Coming. Singing. Mostly to themselves.
The peeking man took out a ‘chikki’ box that he had been saving for home to give it to a girl. Another girl appeared. Without thinking he picked up the second box and gave it to her. The third one came rushing. Now he had none. As he was feeling inadequate and angry, a hasty escape plan was hatched inside his mind. Hurriedly he rolled up the window glass and hid behind the tint of it.
My city is a place where kindness is stretched and stretched till it closes the window of my heart and makes me hide in coldness again.
The girl with ‘chikki’ was waving her prize in front of the empty handed girl, in glee. It was not her fault that there was scarcity in the world. The gleeful girl’s other hand was still waving at the window, where there was a repentant man cowering. Her right foot was striking the tar road in a thak-thak Kathak dance. She was shouting, “Hap-hap, hop-hop-hop, happ-py Diwal-eee.”