We have borrowed stories
As we sit by dark window
Hearing sea’s side of story
While people begin walks.
Their talk bound in masks,
The shoes click on silence.
It is story now for the day,
Language bound in mask,
Ambulance driver’s vision
Bound in a black of night
A road he may never see
By death of light in eyes.
Like a poet, let me go down to sea
And be dumbed down by the wave,
Rolling in & rolling out depending
On hour , sea time rolls in and out,
Sea says busy , I have work to do.
What will I do , what should I do?
I am only one with no work to do.
Now I gather a few broken shells
The homes they might have been
When they had much work to do.
I ‘ll be busy beautifying my home
In calcined lime of broken homes.
(reading Mary Oliver’s poem “I go down to the sea”)
There are fewer green shoots,
On pandemic economy’s soil.
Only a few food carts sprout,
As customers surround them
Like straggler flies in a rain.
The tinsel hits walking faces .
There is a film shoot on kerb.
Gawker crowds are fruit flies
By a ‘I love my city’ signage
And cops watch in cop vain.
What actors do with pelvis
Is a shoot for giant screens .
They dance as robot torsos
In repeat motions of pupas.
To turn butterflies on wing,
Selling dream in movie hall.
I have been living by that sea,
For 3 years but have not seen
A single cousin, from any side.
Not even the one recent dead.
Sea hums steadily in windows
While I pay my rent for them.
But I pay no rent for sea-view.
May be I have cousins by sea
Some recent dead ,some long.
Dads lived and died long ago.
People and fish lived and died.
We must all be cousins by sea.
“Not even the salt of the ocean can stunt me.
Plant me on abiding rock or foaming restless waters.
Set me in burying grounds. I grow shade for ancestors.”
We will pause our fearful thinking.
We were thinking of old tamarind
Which had housed so many ghosts
In a childhood’s dark creepy night.
We will choose to recall its flowers
Printed on our girls’ blouse backs.
We select to recall their sour fruits
On our click-clucking child tongue.
We pause to recollect funny faces
We had as we were click-clucking.
We stop to see what Jamaica poet
Says of ubiquitous tamarind there.
They would set it in burial ground
So it grew shade for the ancestors
Not even salt of a neighbour sea
Could clip a tamarind’s grisly hair.
This is the way ,I connect to that insect
Gregor, transformed to a biped human
Hopelessly in love with the hunchback.
This is the way with the Tree of Life too
Where all connections lead to nowhere,
The thing train here says intermittently,
Eating a night in its cavernous mouth.
Train noise degenerates to a midnight
Where connections disappear in body
A mind not in anchor in obscure shore.
Anchor is broke for semi-valid reasons
Drifting mind away from body’s shore.
Gregor Samsa better be his insect self
It is inconvenient to walk on one’s feet
Connected to earth and keeping eyes
In their sockets glued to a swirling sky.
Between them, there is a child banyan
An illegitimate child of bird dropping
Recently greener by the monsoon rain
As streams of silver rain slid from tops.
The twin rocks are not red hot embers
With shadows promised by older poet,
To show you fear, in a handful of dust.
Our older shadows lie sprawled there
On morning feelings for banyan child,
When rock was too pastoral for gloom.
(Referring to T.S.Eliot’s “come in under the shadow of this red rock…”, lines from The Waste Land)
The moon now blushes a red,
With rusty smile on its face.
We cannot comprehend how.
Surely , vaporous earth’s sea
Cannot rise so high into sky
And grind iron gates oxides
The relics of a time lived by,
And disappear whole fence.
A moon’s smile is contagious
To grandmas calling moons
Over the rusting mountains.
Their moon is just coconuts.
Let the old be aware of rust
Formations on ferrous body.
As the years run like rabbits,
No rabbit lives in moon now.
Wind came in an old poem,
The day old poet would die
And they all sat by window
The wind trembled to enter.
That was all wind and rain.
A window had to be closed
For the glass, not to shatter.
Oh, that was a windy poem.
The house seems so far out
In the dark night of my sea
With a dawn still far away,
A hill to emerge from night.
Wind will be again ,in sea
The day the poet shall die.
A house will shake in roots,
A sun to shatter a window.
(After the poem “Wind” by Ted Hughes)
Everything you know is what it is.
You be an emperor in no clothes
Being all things every one knows
Like mountains of clouds on sea,
With the new sun hiding in them
Everything is a sea from balcony
And crow pecking at a mortality
Of turtle washed ashore in night.
Talk to all of them on phone line
Slung across literature of alltime.
Poet Creely is who spoke on line
To dead in their zones of silence.
Everything in one knows Creely.
Turtle lies on shores in mortality.
A pecking crow talks across line,
You know everything in balcony.
(Tribute to Robert Creely (1926-2005), belonging to the group of Black Mountain Poets)