We tell him death be not proud

Our boy who is sleepy, beating his drum under his eyes ,comes home late at night. It is Sylvia who invites him and her friend Sexton in a proud tripartite agreement in a cab .

They do not say be not proud to the boy ,a reluctant messenger at night knocking the door with clenched fists. The women are stretched out in their stones and spoons. Their hollow laughter they wear routinely on their skinny breasts as an insignia for closure, a final festival.

Our boy is outside the cupboard, our heart, reluctant shadow at noon, sprawled out on a infinitely stretching wall eating a lizard’s insect.

Defiantly we like to tell him death be not proud.

The peace of wild things

Instead of from a green bench let  this day be of wild things. The peace of wild things. Key press devilry- piece of wild thongs.

Here I hide from a large sun behind a small tree . Tree carries a rag’s tag of some one’s colorful saree waving in the breeze. Saree might have had a baby swinging in the breeze while mom was carrying bricks  in her head.

A crow caws a wild thing of peace. Another summer coming.

On the walk back are six puppies crossing the road.  A man is sitting ,outside his canvas shack ,in a three-legged chair ,sipping tea.

A peace of wild things shall prevail
With another summer coming on us.

Another summer’s wild things come
Floating as shadows in its rivulets.

Another summer will soon be on us
And it will occupy us in its shadows.

To the people who are asking next ?
We say another summer is coming.

( Referring to Wendell Berry’s beautiful poem The Peace of Wild Things)

Kite breeze

A gentle breeze touches  our winter skin , the very kite flying  breeze we used to have on our roofs this day years ago  .

Today the kites may be flying on high roofs in our former spaces. The breeze may be flying rooftop kites cutting each other down. Here we have no kites for  the sun’s northward journey. But  we have rice flour chariots for the sun on our roads.

Here we see women making beautiful rice flour drawings before the houses. Their motifs included new sugar cane and flowers of kitschy shapes. Some times there are chariots  for the fiercest sun.Their colors run deep as their blood emotions. They  run deep in ancient  cave memories.

Not yet winter in pockets

The 70’s film songs are doing their walking rounds ,snug in pockets . It is cloudy and winterish. Not yet winter in pockets.

Morning after night was of intimations.

They came to remind us   of  flesh’s surprises . They come to us in our pees  standing in  bathroom. Pees come with interruptions.  Backs refuse to cringe .

Dorothy’s jokes are sardonic reminders of mortality. Fucking busy or busy fucking. The latter you cannot be, in a tattered coat . You are former on the smart phone. Try to stitch back a few tatters. Generally pretend to be fucking busy. But try to stay erect on the stick so the birds do not crap on you.

A hollow voice

After rains, we had a child banyan, in the rock crevice with its lizard. Both of us left to our devices, we walked ,a body and an idea.

There was the voice of the boy hollowed of the boy’s walking. The hillocks upended an old sky. A peacock’s cry rang a snake.

A red wheelbarrow is a poem’s idea in rain, with the white chicken. The boy is now a hollow voice ringing inside the sea conch, miles away.

(After the poem “The Red Wheelbarrow” by William Carlos Williams)

Being of the earth

Back when it was a smoke of fire wood, women blew a breath into earth stove and men brought  a bag of vegetables from someone’s farm and in river boat they brought a  mountain’s other side, with its grocery and high-necked pots from a village weekly fair with trinkets.

The pots would grow bigger with grain and there were no wardrobes to store one’s clothes and it was  high-necked pots that hid them in bottom shadow. They were all made from alluvial earth. Being of the earth, they develop cracks and must return to their dusty homes.

Making death extra proud

He is dead as proud marble man who had left a marbled lady cold. This lady is dead too ,never born. She lives in a cold old testament.

The lady is veiled, pure and dead from a piece of Italian mountain, dead as the marble of her maker who had lost his marbles to a proud death.

The museum man of last century went cold as maker of old things . All old things go cold as marble, making death rather extra proud.

(Veiled Rebecca is a beautiful marble statue ,made by an Italian sculptor Benzoni, based upon her Old Testament character . The statue is found in the Salar Jung Museum in Hyderabad )

Larval beings

Like moths and butterflies, we carry our larval thoughts , the  mental baggage we had before we  came out of a bag, through the post-larval space of time.

Like them we had once gleaming tails. After tails had finally disappeared, we looked up skywards to look for birds that would do their three sorties of bodies.

Some times a bag that was our home seems the very bag and baggage we carry around. With all our baggage we keep looking skywards for birds that made 3 sorties.

Appear and disappear

He had appeared a year ago in a balcony of some one else’s disappearing. The latter smoke was a sound we all heard in our plastic chairs. He too was seen in a white plastic chair near the balcony.

And now what a fine disappearing act he would perform ,while he was still in heavy-lidded sleep!

Absurdly soundless.


The  red skin spots have matured to turn senior citizens. The mischievous anti-bodies responsible for their outbreak were now more calculated in their approach.They appeared entirely impervious to our assaults. A mere congress was  grass on the lakeside  and harbored  enemies. Or a papaya pollen that came floating on the street air.

Despair was glossed over. A witch doctor might help. A doctor who could shake the ghosts out of women. At the village there was one near the railway line.He would send forth tiny brown pellets down your throat like bullets across the vast expanse of your stomach. He would look down his eyes on your epidermis and determine the bullets . He would speak nothing and  could say nothing. When he was not sending down bullets of brown stuff down your throat he was shaking women off their ghosts.

We waited outside iron cages. There were women squatting in the cages waiting for their turn. They had daughters who had carried ghosts in their bodies. A sprig of neem leaves was waved to keep the ghost at bay. Ghosts are scared of  the witch doctor’s words. The daughters then shook like trees in the windstorm. Luckily we carried no ghosts in her. The red spots were not  result of any ghostly actions.