poetry caressing the heights of wonder

amazed at the limitlessness

of a single maze opening 

several doors on a map 

spread on the deep ocean floor...

"Blindness" and some other poems published in 2014

How You Found Me
(originally published in Zymbol Magazine)

You came to this place that day
The floating garden with
A leg made of iron and another of water
And it was the night throwing
Nets of solitude all around.
While you stretch your lonely ease
Under a tree, a nothingness disappeared into
Its ageless roots growing
Slow from the branches and sealing its
Weight to the weight of the earth
And all this while birds flew to their nests, clutching parts
Of my dried heart in their claws.
You climbed up to their nests
Gravity waned and the nests rose as
You touched their corners
A race drove your blood under your still limbs
Insects hiding in your bones stretched their antlers
And love from your heart dripped into mine
Pinned to my bed with an oxygen mask drawn
Like a transparent boat over my body,
Asphyxiated in the ocean waters
You brought a sonar and found me resting
Under the sea. The rust hadn’t yet crawled
Over my 21 year old body when you found it,
The journey beginning from a dried heart
In a floating garden
Where all the while, my eyes were following
The birds with bits of my heart and
The invisible cupid was watching with
Fleas crawling at his toddler feet

(originally published in the Lindenwood Review and nominated for the Pushcart Prize)

Tonight you open the soles of my feet
And rise in the capillary tubes of my bones
The grains of years drawn on them like circles
You keep rising to the deserts
And blind silken winds meet
The woman under your iris
Slow stones turn on their backs
And blood from an elephant tooth
Filters past my tissues into the four chambers
The first has a blue baby licking the molten thumb of fire
A bird flies in another, with surprise grating its wings,
Into hollows of unknown nights
Smouldering fires cook my blood in cauldrons of straw
And it crackles in the straight capillaries you rise in
To lock your eyes into mine
And we go blind

Man Eater at Our Table
(originally published in Zymbol Magazine)
Our homes are studded to a burning space
Their windows drip with blood
From a branded face and their curtains
Are a grown man getting a beating
Someone is always walking through this gate
That says smile but sheds a sack of bones from its eyes
You can piece them together. You can pull flesh
Over them too and give them eyes,
But the tongue and the marrows will be empty
And whoever feasted on them had had
A dessert of rose petals. Look closely,
Those are eyelids on a platter and
Someone is seated at the table with
Sooty hands, dipped in the darkness
A clear night is dripping black rain through
The broken rafters.
The man eater leaves with the day in his pocket
Furling the sinking sun in rotting rags
And the evening in his fungal fingers
For burial at our doorstep

(originally published in Nether Magazine)
That evening as the pavement stones
Started beating a music on their bodies
And the trees sprung out of nowhere
Like a panoptic prison’s guards
Who catch you in an ambush
When you have been thinking the day is blind.
You inject yourself with morphine
To sleep when the cat at the window
Is licking the pain off its glass
And wait at that grim hour for
An ice-cream trolley to huddle past
The crowd outside and enter this room
Like a ghost walking through walls
And rising through stifled chimneys like
Smoke from a fire that was never lit
Holy me you say but the knocks
At the door, the irregular impatient impasse
At the door knob wreaking havoc with
My world in my room say silence

The Years without You

When I fell down flat on the steps
"Dreaming"- my art
In my eighth year, you emerged
From amongst the laughter
With a tree in your hands
And planted it at me feet
We got up and pulled at its shade.
In the rain you came from the valleys
Finding your way behind approaching clouds
A tribe crossing the Sahara
Waking the music of the earth
Beating fire into the desert
That day I saw a monsoon snake
Yellow as some things putrid
My legs ran while I froze at the gate
The snake was still skidding there in the same place
People walk through my frozen airy form
You saw it, and saw me
You pulled me away bit by bit
Drinking my invisible form
I moved into your umbrellas on other rainy days
            When a confusion of heads knocked at my doors
            They came dressed up in collars and coats
            They came with warrants and whines
            I opened the back door, stepped into
            The body of your dream and closed out the rain
There is a fairyland, in a dream I have not forgotten
Flowing slow fountains on its body
Where flowers suspend from the sky in a rain
The grass is blue and there is a tinge of pink in the sky
Every monsoon I relived the dream
Until your eyes blinked open in its sky
And the colours came back to their place
            Here I sit painting the still sound
Of your eyes that look on at
The running colt of mine that
Shatter glass with their hoofs
And extract the flesh of an autumn fruit
It is odd when there is no one to show my painting to
When the simple turn of a page shuts the shutters
Of meaning with uninterest and impatience
How sweet and sour mix! But I begin to wait for salt
To osmosize my various parts strewn amidst
The scraps of the painting
You come with a pinch of salt,
Say a prayer and wait for me to get up
You see me and not my parts
Before you see the colours of my painting
You see the colours of my eyes
All this time my eyeballs were dyed blue
I show you their colour many times
But you see them clear and white
I open my eyes and I’m beautiful

Made to order to fit into your shape

A Finding

A moth, the colour of wood,
Fluttered on the zoologist’s window while he slept.
Some time at night, it fell on the dusty pane

And spread its wings for the last time.
When he woke up next morning
He had-his-tea-went-on-a-walk
All this while the moth lay in its endless rest
Then by-chance as he was looking for a book
He saw a part of a yellow
The yellow extended to orange
Then became brown, then black
He looked and the wings grew into
An abdomen, into a head of eyes
He picked it up and placed it on the dissection table
It stopped growing
Living demands, clotting of water drops
Is a trembling pebble under every step
            How odd, in a world of eyes a
            Moth can live unseen for years
            How odd, in a world of borders
            A moth crosses the jungle and comes to this window

How odd, he names the moth after himself

Life from a Rainbow Cup

Something will twitch in the yellow sun
And pink will flow out from its veins
A bride will pluck its maroon
A flag will soak down its blue
And marry red for white
In French, ‘white’ translates into ‘blanc’
-A curtain hiding contorted screams
Greenland is not green but white
And I can see purple in a silver birch
Bodies have colours, but don’t name them
They respond to brutality with bruises
And to love with blushes
Some brown will sleep in the corner
Of Mona Lisa’s lips. Someone will
Pick it on his brush and twist it into
A golden tree. In someone’s dream
The ‘Starry Night’ becomes a mermaid
Some colours are like a scratching neurotic but
All frames are not black. Grey is always
Stumbling into the picture from somewhere
It is a yellow room with shadows
The colour of the curtains drips green
Already the trees are falling in this wind
A cave opens from them and takes us to black
How fittingly it all stops
In the flame of an earthen lamp

The magic vanishes in its light


                                                          The water was roughing up its hands
When I reached the site of the battle
It smeared its forehead with gifts to us
But then someone stepped on its
Forehead and became a tombstone
Those who looked on saw little people
Dancing in its transparent body
Only its face is dead. We think
We know this because it has closed its eyes
Now that everyone is already walking
Past the tombstone without second thought,
Any time the water will stand on its feet
And start walking with closed eyes
We who stand like trees will try our best
To talk it into opening its eyes
We will try to see the farthest tree at the horizon
Because we know, somewhere Buddha rests
We tried to shout his name
But could not remember it because
The demon child has not yet seen the soil’s blood
His skin is rotting from excess
He’s begun to think, he’s a Pharaoh
And they have made him a living mummy
Here the cures have come quick like bombs and
Unbeknownst our spiked shoes uproot the grass
And out comes a snake coiling
Now, it will pull us to the centre of the earth
Where all earthquakes start
If we are lucky to come out,
Buddha will lend us his eyes to see and
We will realize that something must open
Our inward eye, the third eye of the water

Love Resides in These Too

Gossamer- the finest thread, sometimes
The first discovery of the day;
Perception starts from it and spreads.
The holder of water and life
The spider’s gift to the garden
The summer’s thin belief, floating
Freely between the silent love
Of the morning and things.
You will breathe it in, odorless
And it will stick to your form, invisible
It will be there every morning waiting for you

Inglenook- the earth’s place in the Solar System
The perfect distance between things that sense
And things that incite
An old man’s comfort, a fire man’s despair
A circle in a campfire, a straight line in a fireplace
But solace nevertheless. We live because we
Know it will sometime be our place before
We leave the inglenook and enter the fire

Penumbra- the cast-off lightness of things
The body splitting in a joyous dance into
The many arms and hands of a goddess
The hidden meanings of life trying to take shape
Falsities along with the opaque truth
It is always there waiting at the margins
To engulf the whole shadow in its luminous halo

Petrichor- the smell of earth after rain
A taker to the unremembered and hidden.
It is minuteness hovering like a bee
Heralding the love that imbues the
Water with the soil. Energy flows
Out of the elements, enters us.
The smell changes into colour.
We see we are green, slowly ripening

Lagoon- a rare island of water
You can imagine it even if you’ve never seen it
It reflects like all water, it wears robes of ripples,
Hides its hazards, spreads out life like its own form,
Cajoles us into living, then makes
Us fall, only to find that it is not alone,
That we are not alone


Every night you come into the frame
Where oceans part, flaying themselves against the sky
Every splash relives the centripetal mysteries
While attraction collects the ocean floor

The conscious dark is innocent like snoring trees and
The dense earth sputters spoonfuls of sunshine
While love stretches its legs like an evening shadow
Transparent silver moonlight becoming its eyes

We sit through the night as if under the same tree
Sharing the wind’s journeys

A Girl Buying Flowers

The flower shop has a new girl
Confused you might think in the
Arrangement of colors and shapes-
Appraising them,
When all this time something is leaving her
Drop by drop, leaving the heart
And growing bodies from its graft
A syrup is draining from her being
All she does is to find the flowers it collects in
Some flowers, she sees
Have open mouths to receive it
But there are also the eager
Incapable buds in the bunch
Then absentmindedly
The scents evaporate and mix in mid air
The shapes lose their difference
Color crosses her
And suddenly the flower comes
To her, watery and transparent, in the mind
She plucks it from inside her,
She places it in a sunny bunch
And makes it a gift for him

Dreams Continue into Reality

A dream of doves, their feet tied together
Does not end when reality comes-
Soles pressed to the floor
Eyes waiting for the silken curtain to rise
The smoke of prayer rises from its mouth
To the golden eyelids and a tear waits
For the rest of the body to form

Slowly velvet grass sings a lullaby for
The earth’s shell to open up
Paradise must slip down the old raincoat
And enter the crevices drop by drop
Coverings are futile here where
Sound can grow trees

Something begins to till reality
Out of the pits of a flute
The length of dreams must have corners
That are folded by the fairy floating in my head
And in a single night I’m alive
But it took many days to join my various parts
To mix life in buckets and dye my body with it
Life leaves a rose bud and enters the
Many open mouths of my ocean
Like the very first batch of fish
Entering the robes of the water

How dark is this over-sized robe that
Floats around our bodies
How endless is its spread
How hollow its trimmings
We forget what is beyond
Slowly as we open our eyes for the first time
Our single wish that has stepped
Everywhere inside this robe
Is to come out and comb the hair
That hang from this faceless form

I look
And a sunspot, sea water, a cross-stitch
A dust of pollens, a pod of cotton
Tapping, engraving, stimulating,
In this robe, something rubs my feet


Three men lie asleep here in
Curtained beds and all I can see
Is the dreams they are having
How haphazard, how cliffwalking,
How chlorophyll-boiling brown,
How feather floating, how needle sinking
How alike

In a dream
Cherries lie under a tree
Weighing like iron bullets
Till a bird picks one in its beak

In another dream
A ship rests between the sky and the sea
Still as the enlightened
Silencing the waves, singing lullabies.
When the sea is calm at last,
It fades into the sky

The third dream is the merriest. It is of
A rose smelling, marigold decorated fair
Where every now and then a balloon
Escapes a child’s hands and vanishes
Into the sky, as effortlessly as
The voices of people coating
Their throats with nectar
Then there are the bodies growing
Like forests and hard as stones
Or becoming umbrellas and smiles

Outside, the world is walking slow
And the sky is thundering
Outside the world is shouting with hands
And the sounds are flowing away in water
Outside monkeys stand hiding behind doors
Ready to pounce on you any time.
Let’s sleep again and dream inside these curtains
Lest someone recognize us
Sketch of 1833
Present day Golden Temple

Prayer at the Golden Temple

There is an engraving on the walls of gold
But what is written underneath on the stone
And the clay that was once its plaster?

When I see the moon, the moonlight
Becomes the language of prayer
The chants rise from the temple and slowly
Rise against the sky
At some point they reach the moon
When we are asleep rolled in equatorial
Forests or travelling on the thin
Stems of the smoky alleys of our dreams

Then the blind man hears footsteps
And walks to the unseen with them

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