Rivers of people

we would flow with the mass of people
as a larval flow of muddy feet in queue
to see our mother sticking tongue out.

we thank goddess we are independent.
now we have our independent torsos
bathing in rivers dirty by other torsos.

(after white torsos had left our shores
to fight their own independent wars
leaving them pale as impaled moons.)

we now make an independent poem
of goddess mothers sticking tongues,
in white tongue, not  mother tongue.

(mother tongue independently sticks
out of kitschy country mother songs
sung by our high-volume school kids)

we thank our bare chested grandfather
who had made us independent people
and a wet mass of river bathing torsos.

(Today, on the 15th of August,India celebrates her 69th Independence day)

The river’s dream

The river now has a twelve year dream.
It will have torsos bathing old suns off.
But I return to bed to finish my dreams.

Temple has dream in goddess tongue
About a river touching its bathing feet
With thoughts in torsos about tongue.

A tongue shall have a dream in temple
And river drowning temples for a dam
But gods had moved to safe dry place.

Torsos have dreams to go back to bed.
Their dreams shall reside in the rivers
And temples dreaming rivers of torsos.

(For Pushkar that comes very twelve years, pilgrims take a holy dip in the river Krishna)

Gods in the snow hills

There waved tiny flags on a vast unutterable silence
Of the mountains, in rain and fog and vague figures

Whose eyes went over silky layers of September sky
Surrounded by thin mists of confusion and intellect.

There sat a monkey god, himself victim of confusion
In a frosty silence ,abetted by a stony lack of clarity.

Should I or should I not, kill demons and restore life
To God’s swooned brother,by a medicinal mountain

Or smear myself in ocher, my eyes closed in prayer
And god- wife’s pearls turn rosary for  prayer count.

The flags fluttered in confusion on our many desires.
Gods turned to prayers and frosts  would fizzle down
Now and then,to bright sun emerging from the pines.

Patriarchs

We mostly see them with mustaches
With  faces in  their hanging on a wall
While women cover  heads with cloth.

But it is not just a hookah sputtering
On a sagging string cot under the tree
And shouting – you mother of my son.

It is what they do with woman bodies,
Says bra burning woman about bodies,
Bodies  stamped signed and delivered.

In some hills bodies are not stamped
But carry grass proudly on their heads
As if they are hills under a fresh grass.

As we ask them to the facetious faces
Who does it , now and day and night
They laugh their faces to say they do.

Morning coffee

In the evening , women walked to the movies
Their bare backs aglow with stars of jasmines,
Out-smelling dark waters of street side gutters.

Our dreams vary with the color of fetid rivers
Flowing down with sewage of private shames .

Our streets are our teeming animal husbandry
Whose wealth is calculated by extended count .

Their dung’s pancakes slapped on street walls
Are a gross domestic wealth saved for future.

We make a morning coffee from buffalo milk
Milked right before houses in morning streets.

When it comes to quality of the milk in coffee
We take no chances with  milkman’s honesty.

The Sultan’s horses

Jhamsingh had lived  two hundred years ago,
Who was  cavalry man with  sense of humor,
So humorous he would exchange for temple
Horses he was going to buy for Sultan boss.

In dream God was to be installed in temple.
A Sultan’s God is different and west facing.
The earthly laughter was so fine horse play.
All things are clay and break in due course.

(Jhamsingh the Sultan’s cavalry man, who had lived in Hyderabad two hundred years ago, went on a journey to buy horses for the Sultan but used the money to make a temple for God)