The whistle

From  the midnight onward  would be  a whistle,  an absence of  insects for rain,  a Himalayan stick tapping an earth that yielded a bizarre sound. We therefore tried all sorts of poetry that made sense but sense made no poetry. We broke sense from a felt cap or a fez cap loosely falling like hair. We then mixed it in light stolen from rain moths hitting the glass.The glass  would embrace them in death.There were no pots with water leaking behind in thin streams.No rivers and no boats.Insects generally died  anonymous deaths on the glass.

The whistle fell on the ears.The ears were sleeping near the eyes. The eyes wept for company. We sacrificed life forms for beauty. Goats that stretched luxuriously  dead on strings.Chickens that waited to die outside the “meal ready” sign board.They all loved their deaths.We loved their life.The whistle chased the stick.The stick beat the earth for stories.The stories that always began with deaths and ended in births that would cleverly dodge the basic issues of marriage and embracing Buddhism . Buddhism of turning stone. Stone that had pleats of cloth on its torso , a petrified smile for the city, a city that forgot to sleep .

Sad

The poet is sad because the world is sad, this business of being. Acknowledging it is sad. By the lakeside of a fish. Into the rarefied air of a summer morning.The  woman down there hurls abuses at  sadness, calls it a son-of-a-bitch. He didn’t do anything .Just stood on a stool mending the fuse wire.He stood there ,never came down while we remained in the dark. We did whatever we could with our static electricity. We tried to light our bulbs on our bodies. Our cars gave a jolt when you touched them. You may kiss them lovingly but do not touch their smooth surfaces. Electricity made you sad .

The universe is sad, a poem of sadness that gets rejected by indie publishers. Indie publishers pursue dead mules , live camels. The camels laugh at you from the height of their funny necks.  When the camels married mules, the camels danced while the mules sang. The camels praised the mule-song.The mules praised the camel-dance. They were  sad together.

The poet   had been trembling even in infancy. The only rest is to acknowledge and absorb the sadness of being.

The rain

The rain comes in the afternoon.  June rain brings buzzing flies, sugar candy for children, wheels hurling wet mud. The day of the chariot  is here when a god of wood walks on slow shoulders .That is when we celebrate life and some times we celebrate death under its wheels. A juggernaut of death.

Our God is made of wood from deep jungles. His body was still in the making in a room when our curiosity would  leave his arms undone. And his feet. And leave his  eyes with no lids. Eyes that would not sleep from staring at our follies.

He is our death wish. His chariot is a tree’s death wish. His wheels are our setting sun’s wheels.We are waiting for our dusk.

Weddings in summer

In the street there is an improvised tent with people sitting on hot colored plastic chairs.

The tent burst with clarinet music played by a wedding band party.

As though marriages are just some clarinet music and some plastic chairs with people in them. .

The bridegroom ,in thick suit, comes out briefly wearing a red vermilion on his forehead and a blotch of sweat under his arm.

Marriage is sweat, blood and tears.
Marriages are hot ,sweaty and blood-red.
Marriages are tents full of clarinet music.
Marriages are incomprehensible Sanskrit chants.

Marriages are silk sarees rustling as though the spring wind is already here.

 

Afternoon nap

The afternoon sun was blue and bright but the sky had bales of white cotton clouds stacked one upon the other.The eyes were heavy with sleep amid intermittent sounds of women’s laughter from the street and metallic crow-caws.

In our childhood nap the eyes were heavy with sleep amid rhythmic sounds of pounding of rice and metallic crow-caws.The women who were then pounding rice are now just laughing.

The geisha had eyes like rain. The Chairman liked them much.Then there was laughter in the eyes that looked the color of rain.But then they were just memoirs of a geisha.Just memoirs. A girl sold into slavery becomes a geisha out of own volition. Being a geisha is being an artist.Thank god she is just an artist.Thank god,that makes me feel less uncomfortable just under the ribs.

When the women were pounding the rice ,my heart-beats kept rhythm with the pounding pestle.My God ,it was pretty uncomfortable just under the ribs.Mercifully the women are now laughing in the street.And the pretty geisha is not forced to become one.She is an artist like any other artist.

A poem is day

The refugee under the window sends a poetic beard quivering refugee’s own and a poet’s. A September state it has to be. Poets jump and frisk early to the dawn,the beards poetically trimmed with tendency to curl at ends.

But we have our own accounts to settle this side of a window. Our days are night’s hibiscus that pile up vertically on our time below an untrammeled beard.

There is now no way of knowing how many are left in the pile.

Wind

The old man has this preset routine that you can see at street corner and in a tap-tap his stick makes as rhythm, on the road’s asphalt.

His teeth are a Himalayan pass letting in a central Asian wind. He smiles down at me in recognition of a senior to second in the run.

I have learnt from him by now how to act my creeping years. There is a thing I have to learn- how to pretend not to notice the wind from a nether pass.