Poetry of felt words

The winter’s risen sun blazes from a wall-less hole of an unfinished house in the street-corner.The laborer’s wall-less house on the road is not a house but a mere thought word.

But a house exists without walls but with a roof .Only it has to rise from the earth, to the sky.The igloo rises without apparent walls but warm and white, on the icy wastes.

Houses exist without roof but with built walls but there is the sky-roof that sends down rains like the God of phallus lives without roof in order that the sky’s rains falls on Him always.

Like houses that exist without walls poetry is built without words but with felt words. A girl of large eyes is floating away toward the sun ,as ponytail and bag compete for space on her back.

Those were my felt words on her schoolgirl back.


Something came up in green beside our highway, from car we stopped, to leak like sky. A lone tree rose in silence on an expanse of rice for future.

A white room stood company with the machine pump to leak water to the rice , a future growing in unknown  stomachs in wait. 

Tree stood bare into the sky with a tuft of green to a side,oddball green against a blue, broken piece of vegetation stuck to silence leaking there.

The jungle husband

Only sometimes when a tree has fallen
The sun comes down plop, it is quite appalling.

Extract from ”the Jungle Husband” by Stevie Smith

The jungle husband proposes to go alone into the jungle a long way tomorrow. So he writes to his dear wife in the city. It is all fine in the jungle , where the landscape is generally grey but green on the top. Only some times ,when the tree has fallen, a big hole in space happens and the sun overhead comes down ,plop! . My God ,it is appalling.

What is appalling? The sun coming down quickly into the jungle when the tree which has so far hidden it from view falls and the sun is out in the open ? You thought  sun was way out somewhere in the sky but now it is right here. Its sudden presence here is frightening!

What if I were the jungle husband.I would find it appealing. I would write to my city wife this way :

“sometimes when a tree has fallen/The sun comes down plop,it is quite appealing”

Story telling

Our building watchman came up with an explanation about a telephone call he had made to me .Was he drunk and consequently incoherent?  No, sir. I had gone out to a club to find our neighbor who was playing cards. Was he not sober? He clapped his palms to gesture the neighbor’s playing cards.

I lost track of the contents of what he was saying. I was merely following the form of his telling. He was just clapping and I merely saw him in a pantomime of a character who was clapping. Funny, how he was clapping, how a watchman hid his laughter under a dark mustache .Funny how he was clapping like a spring-driven monkey clapping its cymbals, when turned on by the key in his behind. There was something amusing about the man who was shuffling his cards in the club. It was funnier to see the repetitiveness of a watchman’s hand movements mimicking the shuffling of the cards.

Stories are made not by human actions per se but more by the form of their telling.

Birds of passage

This morning new leaves sprouted in light green on  tamala trees .Actually I have just noticed them. All tamala trees went light and green in unison across the street. Not counting the round dark green leaves of another tree in between. A light green parrot cried from an arboreal presence not seen, not felt.

The cuckoo is frantically jabbing its needle in a summer morning’s silence but no luck. There is not even a shred of a cloud in the sky. Its rain calls went nowhere. The crow has renewed its call to our relatives from the parapet wall of our balcony as its tail went up and down. The red fruit on the tall tree that stank to the heavens are nowhere now and their smells are gone.

But there is hope.I have found out tiny mangoes already formed from powdery flowers.I even found a kidney-shaped mango on the road.

The days have to be hot from now on. How else will mangoes mature and turn succulent fruit by May?

What if I am a transient creature, a bird of passage ? So is everybody else, everything else.

Barber talk

This morning was barber time, my head in his hands and my ears full of him. Barber jokes went over shrouded customers, their static heads watching a  ceiling fan as if they were looking at the sun in the lake.The ceiling fan had no motivation to whir.

Coal-miners refused to load coal because they wanted a separate state,their own state of bliss. So there is a power hiatus. Fans do not move in barber shops.

Tomorrow is festival of the many-armed Goddess  who had killed fierce demons under her feet. Doesn’t your father kill a goat for her sacred meal? Customer :Don’t know about the goat or demons.

Laughter from the shroud.

My head starts imagining things between snips of scissors. Imagine these humans are goats and the goats turn humans .Will these goats have many-armed goats as their goddesses ?

Barber goat will say to customer goat: Will your goat father kill a human for our goat Goddess of many-arms? The goats laugh from their white shrouds.

At this point I pay forty rupees and walk out  running  fingers on the shaven smoothness of the head.

The chicken situation

As we passed the chicken shop in the morning walk, we heard  the wails of the chicken coming from inside. The morning mood went poof. We imagined wails but they were not wails, just cries from inside the coop, for the sky. To the top of the fences where they would be found shouting what a glorious morning!

But what about the medium term future of the birds when their necks would be wrung for somebody’s stomach? Do not look at the chicken situation as a subjective reality. A subjective reality links today with the future possibility, a longer term reality.

Just look at it as a mere situation in which the bird is trying to clamber on to the fence,hindered by  slippery sticks and thorns. An objective reality of the chicken. The chicken cannot see itself going through the future possibility of its neck being wrung. So it is an objective reality for it right now.

God, may it remain an objective reality for me too.