We came on a muddy village
And its flowering with houses,
White flowers of houses with
Their red insides, their insides
Shouting with shaven people.
Shaven people sprouted hair
Like houses on the brown hill
Now entirely devoid of snow.
Their insides buzzed like hum
Of bees inside honeyed comb,
A common wail as in a funeral.
They were mourning no body
But everybody down the ages.
(Lamayuru is one of the oldest monasteries in the Ladakh region of the Himalayas)
The mountains bled every time
In the throats, for lucre stashed
Below dhotis tucked at waists ,
Our faces ugly in dusty greed.
Money would turn their blood
To fine dust layering our roads.
The red dust covered the trees
And roads and walking people
All the way to an invisible sky.
Our earth is now a red planet
At the other shore of our space.
(Large scale iron ore mining for export has left our mountains totally devastated in parts of South India)
As the fire crackles at early morning
We let out fattened cocks for a fight
To their finish, to their bloody deaths
By tiny knives tied to their bird feet.
Our festival has begun with a bonfire
Early in the morning, a favorite liquor
Dancing in a belly groundswell above
The lungi we have expertly wrapped
Around our waist,so as not to fall off.
In the orange glow of our festival fires
We have hard time keeping stomachs
From falling off highly excited lungis.
We try to forget these little people
And their going back by one step
Preferring shadows, near a pillar.
We pity the losers in street tweets
Who hack accounts of tweet birds
Of no holds barred game winners.
Excuse sir, your tweets are coming
From house, over morning coffee.
The little big people are big losers .
(After a twitter warfare between a minister’s wife and his alleged cross-border lover the wife dies an unnatural death in a hotel in mysterious circumstances)
Bodies fall to their quiet on the earth
And the fire of their skies, its tongues
Licking wounds half dry, leaves drying,
Await a turn to change to quiet ashes.
Ashes sit so quietly in boats on rivers
Before men hurl to splash on waters
Touching empty skies, empty bodies,
And turn backs to noisy eddies made.
Just out of swaddling clothes ,
He had ruled heads in brief sky.
He was a bright star who had shot
In the backyard from nowhere,
A hero who loved on a fleeing
Truck from patriarchal bad dads,
The milk on his lips yet to dry.
Stars are hot gases that sizzle
To vanish in the afternoon sun.
The televisions love to capture
Their gaping mouths wondering
Why roses are not yet in bloom.
( About Uday Kiran a promising young actor of Telugu cinema who had committed suicide the other day)
A big bright moon flutters on the building
Red and dead, pale from a far off eclipse.
A local eclipse over mom – sponsored bath
Is only recalled as we remember her dead.
The moon is dead from mother’s story on,
A moon rising to be dead for eavesdropping
On a demon taking nectar to stealthy lips
Defying a moon-like beauty in rows of gods.
A hunter’s moon shall rise, whole and bright
To be slow-eaten in crumbs by a penumbra.
Good, we are not to be blamed for this here.
It is a bloody American moon that is eaten.