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Twilight

December 18, 2010
tags: ,

There is no poetry to describe
the beauty of this moment
but the beauty of this moment
begets poetry, necessitates it.
Watching the sunset in Diu
with no camera that could ever capture
the kiss of breeze on skin
the way the waves ripple
with perfect mathematics
the deep and utter peace
that envelops me like a lover
after three months of chaos called India.
I could jump to my death,
splatter against the sharp and furry rocks
and still feel that I was floating,
somersaulting through a blissful forever.

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Diu

December 18, 2010
tags: ,

Has the wind dancing through my hair
traveled from Africa to meet me?
Should I surrender myself to the ocean,
where would the current take me?
This island on the Arabian sea
gives solace to the part of me
that needs ocean, wind,
sand beneath my feet.
Someday I will leave here,
zip my backpack and drift on.
But my imprint will linger in these grasses
and they have left their mark with me.

One step

December 18, 2010
tags:

I’m almost ready.
give me another five minutes
I will follow
down the path I can’t quite see
hold one moment, please.
I will dance on this precipice
a second longer
always almost ready
wait for go.

On the balcony

December 2, 2010

Sitting here,
watching kites spiral
above the rooftops of Jaipur
I remember the smell of the ocean.

They jerk and twist and climb
like a girl with a high school crush
and a heart that flies high and falls fast.

I’ve been a vegetarian for years,
but I want hot dogs, Barbeque,
ketchup and charcoal.
Me and you, throwing frisbees in the park
After it gets dark
we’ll walk home slowly hand in hand
And I won’t
even realize how precious
the moment is until it’s gone,
and I’m alone
on the balcony.

Woman peeing on the roadside in Jaipur

December 1, 2010

Sari hiked and bunched around your thighs
legs apart, clear yellow stream
that splashes a bit against the sidewalk
then mixes with dust and flows to the curb.
I walk past careful not to stare,
but my mind is watching you;
Part of me thinking You go, girl-
I’ve seen a thousand men urinate
on the side of the street,
backs turned, hands at their crotch.
But you are the first woman.
Then again, I doubt that you are pissing
as a statement on woman’s liberation,
any more than the people squished on the RSRTC bus
have chosen public transport for environmental concerns.

Excursion to Bikaner, October 2010

November 29, 2010
tags:

Excursion synthesis
of finding sense from mess
of trying words for making thoughts
confusion mixed with perspiration
punkah can’t spin fast enough
Azim Ji is tightrope walking on a tangent
education girls and refugees
9 year olds with wedding bangles
ex-Pakistani Hindus in a camp
to know what it is to be stateless
to be camping for 63 years
one woman tells me kuch karo
do something, kuch karo,
something must be done.
I am searching for the reason I am here
where is the change that I could bring
The help that I could give
Or am I here to take your picture, drink your chai
then back to US, it was nice, goodbye.
Gouttam Ji is bored and in the corner
taking pictures of Awadesh Ji on the sly
Budget resource allocation
disparity population
lobbying for healthcare and education
trying not to compare an apple to an orange
a cupcake to a laddoo
Let us dive into the pool at midnight
remove our clothing and our cares
Let us while away these slow discussion hours
and think of buying trinkets down the road
Is there a limit to my interest
in these burning urgent issues
am I flying westward chasing sunsets
while copiously jotting down notes
Will we walk with shoulders burdened
by our lack of blissful ignorance of thought
and will we sip our tea like someone
who has been and heard and seen and knows a lot
with our intellectual theoretical
abstractual transpractical
theorems and forums and thoughts
Maybe someday down the road
I would like to think that change will come
if even only one of us
could give this whole parade purpose
implementing siphoning
progress from bottom to top
someday, kisi dina.
right now it’s hard to imagine anything
from this sweaty but well spoken
note-taking, daydreaming lot.

First Thanksgiving Without

November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving was always her holiday.
A time for family and food,
twelve assorted types of desserts
twelve children and grandchildren
collected around the table.

By Thanksgiving time a blanket of snow
would coat the woods with winter
He would carefully construct a fire,
its crackle mingling with the scent of cinnamon,
to create a smell they call “Grandma’s House”
on the scented candles and potpourris.

A blend that always skyrockets
in sales around the holidays
though they never capture it quite right
but still, there’s a certain feeling
that the heart likes to be reminded of.

This year, his daughter bakes
the cookies that she used to keep
in tins stacked one on one by the table.
His son kneels at the stove to light a fire
blowing air with the bellows.

And though they all endeavor
to make him feel he’s not alone
He still feels hollow.