Saturday, 3 August 2013

Belt-laws and their discontent

There are fines for infringement
you have to keep things tight
tucked in and strapped
just in case;
a reason belt
and propriety clasp
keeps heart contained
but some are careless
some have rule phobia
and some just fill and fill
with love and other demons
no belt can hold
no clasp contain
unbuckled and unbucklable
pieces of flesh
leap on impact
crash through windshields
of morality
emerge from cut-glass tale
unbloodied but weeping
and that’s the script
of forever love stories
timeless and un-learnable
not even by narrator and narrated. 


Friday, 2 August 2013

Ode to my room

Cluttered with newspaper process
prints with corrections
clean ones too;
there is an unused phone
an irritant mobile
Anchor, PediaPro and Lakspray
dissected and to be dissected
a black mug with an All-Blacks feather
and coffee gone cold,
glass too empty
to say ‘half full’
mind too full of to-do things
to say ‘half empty’
books and magazines half-read
or destined for neglect
in the cluttering of my days.
Desk and chairs
the privileged one warmed
and two for those who drop by
to say hello,
offer suggestion, obtain approval
a sofa too small for lovers
a coffee table that has never known the brew
of books designed in its name,
a book shelf too
for book, wine, stationary
and the artifacts of my routineless ways.
There is air here,
stained with conversation
remnants of the unsaid,
a glass partition
and a door
that stops no one.

Thursday, 1 August 2013


In a room full of people,
in a country and a continent
a universe of voices and creatures
like a single blade of grass in a desert
a drop of snow or dew
that resisted the sun
a word in a line of poetry
that no one reads,
we are all alone,
and yet,
even as we don't belong,
we still own that which we love:
the tree that gives shade
the cloud formation that inspires poetry,
the love that we don't receive
and the presence that stays as memory or need,
however far it may have gone
however close it may not come.


Wednesday, 31 July 2013

What to do with tears

Catch them in a cup
a brittle receptacle
porcelain that dissolves with lie
shatters with greed’s immemorial caress;
hold them in a palm
life to the new sun
and rays that bend and fall away;
pool them on soils
fertilized by first love’s
soft footprints;
scatter them upon miseries and joys
from yesterday and tomorrow;
it matters not,
as long as tears,
water the dryness of absences,
all of them
lost, laid waste
erased from map and memory.


Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Water nymph

Leaf-clad and fragranced
green perfumes
made of times forgotten
visible once every other century
of waiting and despair
in the blistered memory
of narratives looking for language
and voice,
lost in the wilderness
where hope vine twists remembrance,
you would know
of those who stray from known path
and routine
and chance upon a rivulet
just as you surface and floats
into mists
that will seldom open
and then only for the un-earthed.


Monday, 29 July 2013

A sidelines story

A six is six when umpire raises hands
in classical surrender
a six is six in the scorer’s book,
a wicket is wicket
in wicked index finger point
a wicket is wicket
in scorer’s book,
but this side and that
of six and dismissal
the bat-ball game erupts
in the colors of anticipation
the vibrant lines of celebration,
splutters in crazy wig
marks the cheek
roars like lion
groans in disbelief:
is a sidelines game;
more so
in these spectacle days.

[Inspired by the photography of Ravindra Dharmatilleka]