Saturday, 14 April 2012

The ebb and flow of life and death

One man’s liberator
is another’s terrorist;
but life is often black and white
and frequently coloured,
necessitates killing and death
it’s a tug-o-war
with elemental configuration
battle of hook and knife,
hearth and coin
this way and that we pull
and in the play of clutch and release
probabilities and despair
the drowning on the sand
and burial at sea
the kleshas come
as wave-weave
and wind-twist
sweet nothings and bitter love
pieties and paramitaas
gathered, chopped and sold,
there is short-change in purchase
in small talk and silence.
We come from water
And like water we go
Each to a receptacle
of love and forbidding
some as fish,
some not.

[From the collection 'Some texts are made of leaves', shortlisted for the Gratiaen Award 2011] 

Friday, 13 April 2012


Spectre of frozen-moment
carried in heart
yes, unknown to mind
to the rolling years,
secret to all encounter
witness to path and pain,
smile to joy;
it took decades
for you to un-freeze.
Or so I thought.

[from the collection 'Some texts are made of leaves', shortlisted for the Gratiaen Award 2011]

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Some texts are made of leaves*

They are flipped with the fingers of the eye
unwet and wet
read with care by those conversant
with the language
of colour, texture and passing
and passed over too
for there are preferred texts
and ones tossed aside
for later and never;
but leaves
come from dust and to dust they go
without complaint
through gaze and ignoring;
they conspire with sun, shade and wind
wear the garments of the day’s seasonality
without shout, let us repeat
but whisper
the eternal verities: ‘birth, decay, death’
all laid out in leaf-texts
that need no words,
not even these.

[*This is the title poem of the collection that was shortlisted for the Gratiaen Award 2011.  I have posted this earlier, but starting today I will post the entire collection of 56 poems, one per day]