Saturday, 22 October 2011

Ode to residencies

With every storm,
every tear,
this dust particle moves,
with every breeze
and every sigh,
it flies.
Maybe I was fathered by a mountain
maybe my mother was a river
in whose bosom I rolled,
I do not know.
but I move,
sometimes of volition,
sometimes by love.
where is my journey's end,
I ask again.
In a forgotten ocean
or a heartbeat?
I cannot answer,
but sometimes
I wish I knew more
about my residences.
And my residencies.

[From the collection 'Threads', shortlisted for the Gratiaen Award, 2007]


Friday, 21 October 2011


Lost, unhappy man,
go look for yourself
in a nutshell,
in the elusive fragrance of embraces that weren't,
at the doorstep of a time that slipped
between the hands of a clock
at midnight and dawn,
in the gaze that held and let go,
in a conversation that should have not taken place,
in the heat of other people's quarrels,
in the stupor of unsubstantiated claims
in the quiet ungiving of presence,
in a glass of water following touch
in the grace of the holy blend of eye with eye;
and in the melody of a blue guitar
the broken paper of a kite
on an avenue or a paddy field,
in starlight or in the in-between of a firefly's riddle,
in a weed and a petal, a bird's nest and a whistle
a pathway to the smashed mirror that is she,
and then
if kindness is longer than anger,
sad traveler,
you may,
find a way home.

[from the collection 'Threads' shortlisted for the Gratiaen Award 2007]


Thursday, 20 October 2011

The ways of gaze

In the alleged non-existence,
among fears and yearnings,
between melodies and verses
there is a chorus
born in the bread of giving
nurtured in a cloud
painted in the transparency of dewdrop
and longing,
a voice-ensemble
adept at silence
and silencing,
and I am sure
in this rush of element and sorrow
histories and misreadings
trapped and trapping in smile
and hesitation,
there's a you that looks my way.
So let me say
softer than the falling of stars from an eyelash,
'there is a meeting of gaze
and it is sacred'.

[from the collection 'Threads', shortlisted for the Gratiaen Award 2007]

Wednesday, 19 October 2011


The gift of unsignatured winds
the yield of a time-squeeze
the issue of rain and landscape,
call it what you will,
but there was a moment
when a certain I I know
met a myself as familiar.
It scrambled the galaxies
reconfigured the ageless play
of doorbell and welcome
the eternal stay-go
the banishment of self from self.
And then it rained,
There was, I suppose, another time-squeeze
a signatured breeze this time,
the tossing into unmapped orbits
an elemental fracture in fact.
Death, some might say.

[From the collection 'Threads,' shortlisted for the Gratiaen Award 2007]


Tuesday, 18 October 2011


If only it was nothing but words,
clever juxtapositions,
sound patterned on image,
space between words
speaking of other places,
vulnerable and vibrant,
and nothing else.
If only eye lied
if touch was unreal
and tears made of water
and not some substance born in heart.
But words and spaces,
silence and touch,
passing trains
and unbelievable sunsets
the quietude of moment
of clasped hands and fingertips moving
the bliss of knowing
that even the hardest embrace
can be tender
and can encapsulate softness,
these things linger
in the acid-free paper of recollection.
And though I know
that sharing is possible
only when receiving is sanctioned,
I send this,
not as lament or invitation
but a gesture that refuses to grow old
or acknowledge redundancy.
In any event,
a harmless note
made of a yesterday that says 'present'
in the irregularity of off-season flowering.

[from the collection 'Threads,' shortlisted for the Gratiaen Award 2007]


Monday, 17 October 2011

A forever long song

If you are the entire spectrum
of colours seen, unseen and imagined,
let me be a single sliver
whose size does not forbid a name.
If you are a glorious reservoir,
let me be that single drop of water
that wills you to spill your transforming magic
that turns individuals into communities and hearts
and barren fields into harvests and smiles.
If you are moonlight,
let me be a fire-fly speck of light
convincing you
that the stars often walk the earth at night.
If you are the breeze that heals,
let me be a whisper of acknowledgment.
If you are a voice,
then let the voice that is me,
naturally a sad apology for articulation,
still resolve to speak its barren word.
If you are the unfolding of truth,
let me be a salience
that gives the unravelling a signature.
If you are love,
then let me be its tear drop and smile.

[From the collection 'Threads,' shortlisted for the Gratiaen Award 2007]


Sunday, 16 October 2011


There was a chanting;
not of voice
not with word
but of eye,
and glance.
Bathed in that warm illumination
I fell on my knees,
and found at the address of your feet
a residence of shade and silence
where the universe transforms
into dust particle
and a drop of rainbow;
at your feet
a million words dissolve
into one.

*Pirith: chanting of Buddhist Sutras.

[From the collection 'Threads,' shortlisted for the Gratiaen Award 2007]