We dig and dig , but no potatoes,
Only nucleated holes on the sand.
Sea enters holes to smooth edges,
Like a crab digging hole on sand
Quickly enters hole as if it is night
And a sleep is coming to its eyes.
We are red crabs inside our souls,
For sea to smooth its inner edges.
We come out for breather a while
And disappear quickly back into it.
Like girl who dug a hole yesterday
Has withdrawn her sole from hole.
The hole she dug is open to the sky
Like a soul withdrawn from body.
We dig for no potatoes on beach.
Only plastic teacups sprout on it.
Between my finger and my thumb
No squat pen rests to pen poems.
We only dig poems on the beach
And disappear in them like crabs.
(Taking off on poem Digging by Seamus Heaney)
In Chaplinesque burlesque, we’ll make
Minor adjustments as to running wind
In our pockets slithered and outgoing.
(We are hart and cane in our burlesque
Being bodiless in a legalistic metrology.
We only grope with our hands in dark)
In a legal home and office we explicate
A moonshine from innermost recesses
Through body’s dark contours at night.
Body is legalistic in its persistent pleas.
We are a Chaplin of no cane and derby,
A clown and cop of the same moment.
We measure time on the body’s shapes
As we shuffle our pluralistic pussy feet
Of famished kitten on stair’s last step.
We enact burlesque in this dark portal
Of Saturday’s extraordinary mourning
When we make adjustments to a body.
We hold forth our tattered arguments
In the robes of legalistic vagabondage
With minor adjustments to language.
(taking off on Hart Crane’s poem Chaplinesque)
On the pavement was a mongrel
Wagging its tail near a tea shop.
Tea shop had piles of plastic cups
Now emptied of slurping sounds.
Dog tail deeply disturbed a dawn
And the sun went in a new cloud.
No one noticed a glitter of crown
On sunlit torso going down town.
He was not Richard Cory for envy,
Mongrels would wag their tails at.
Teacups blossomed on the beach
Nearly planted as flower garden.
Back on the pavement, a beggar
Lay curled up in blanket with dog.
He was not in fact Richard Cory.
He was not even going downtown.
He only imagined people in envy.
So he may not meet his Cory end.
(After a poem Richard Cory by Edwin Arlington Robinson )
Is the spotted dog landscape?
Yes, if it teases the sea’s waves
And runs up against sea wind
Sniffing walker’s rolled pants.
Is the wooden box landscape?
Yes if it points a broken finger
At a newly erupted boil of sun
Upon sea’s baby skin at dawn.
Is God’s image staring at sky
A landscape and sea included?
Yes ,if God stares at the waves
Like they are secret thoughts.
Are plastic tea cups drowned
In the beach sand, landscape?
Yes if they sprouted on beach
Like flowers of stale wedding.
Is a sea beating mossy rocks
Landscape including its sky?
Yes ,if it washes ashore turtles
For crows to conduct funerals.
Every time I look behind the poems
They tend to speak inwards and sad
Towards a story coming to its close,
Its flames tonguing a seaside dusk.
I look for words sea-wet with hope,
To spread petals of a rosy optimism
But as you move forward with body
They spread like rice flakes to wind
Or as wilted petals paid in a tribute.
Wind spreads words like rice flakes
While flies explore faces resembling
Loved ones in a laughter that broke.
The words have a flatness like faces,
The flies explore in their daily buzz.
Looking for kingfishers in trees,
I saw wood peckers in the park,
And rows of crows at breakfast
By a skating rink where kids fly,
Like kingfishers into the foliage
With fish caught on the beach.
Kids had their bird neck heads
In helmets that flew like wings
While coach’s whistle wriggled
Like the luckless fish in its beak.
Bearded sweeper held a broom
That swept dust like mortality.
Sweeper peeped into my eyes
For the wetness of a breakfast.
The wood peckers have found
Their breakfast in tree’s roots.
Sylvia held the mirror up, oblong
And made us look funny and old.
We have been inside of its silver.
Her lake bent down over woman
As it held up all of her tomorrow
Over yesterday’s pig-tailed head,
A lake distorted by banyan fruits.
They drop as moments from lives.
Lake is the mirror falsely accusing
A tender girl growing to be a hag.
It accuses her of her disappearing,
After tenderness is dropped fruit.
The lake holds up mirror to a sky
Falsely accused , of being empty.
Mirror distorts mind all day long,
Rippling words in perturbed lake.
Mirror mirrors lake with woman
Who is distorted in a tenderness
As she bends over lake in mirror
Falsely accused of distorting sky.
(reading Sylvia Plath’s beautiful poem Mirror)
Down at the park entrance, she sits
With the yellow mongrel curled up
Beside her from a long relationship.
Nearby , morning walkers slurp tea,
In plastic cups and talk of elections
In heated arguments, on who wins.
Woman and dog may not cast vote.
Both have no views about winners
Knowing whosoever wins they lose.
Their interest in the nation’s future
Is limited to the shiny coins hurled
In the bowl, towards a day’s dinner.
A poet stands outside , her key
A wrong lie spoken to the hole.
Inside kitchen can be the poet,
Unhesitating to knead a bread.
Hole is a right kind of decision.
Key struggles with her may be.
It is the right hole in the door.
There is bread’s aroma in hole.
Door struggles with a may be.
The body struggles with a yes.
Hand struggles on wrong key
Or with thought of wrong key
Here is a door to her vastness.
Vastness bristles with may be.
(Taking off from Hesitations outside the door by Margaret Mead)
We had to decide to move on,
And we would move on, now,
Shuffling the feet in rhythm.
Sea would move on, in nights
With a soft hum against rock
After the turtles turned turtle
And the crows would move on
Till they stopped on the death,
Their dark merged in a night.
The fire would burn in bellies
Till bellies stopped rumbling,
And fear turned up its throat.
Bellies would move on under
Till machines stopped hearts.
After each grief we moved on.