We hear inside of homes old air.
They say airy nothing, as bones
Have no marrow,their whispers
Hid from view in yellow stones.
Old stones still have air in gaps.
Their stories are hid in crevices.
Desert rats made them homes
In the storied stone gasps of air.
(Kuldhara is an abandoned village near Jaisalmer, a ghost village deserted by its residents overnight in 19th century to escape persecution by a tyrant ruler)
We were asked what elephant was.
We were of course blind in the core.
We felt a trunk and said it was God.
We laughed at a stomach, in splits.
Beware do not espy a moon in sky
And get blamed for others’ faults.
Asked who God is ,and we are blind,
We say He is trunk wet on our head,
He who drowns on an eleventh day.
Ear pain comes out of too much thought
When thought contradicts logic in maze
Of words that strike you as so many moths
From the rain seeking light in your patio.
The doctor of the ears sees much in nose.
His obiter dictum says nose, in its septum,
Is deviated from a straight, primrose path.
He is doctor with a sharp nose for money.
So if you have much ear pain in the drum
The nose is corrected from running astray.
The tooth doctor sees fault with the gums.
He will like to get to the root of their canals
And both your ears will be made to behave.
Surely money lies at the root of the canals.
Actually ear pain comes of too little thought
And far too many words striking eardrums
Fired, at once, in excess parent enthusiasm.
At midnight the conch blows in new start,
A start of two new lives together of future.
The owl is eternally welcome at midnight.
Several owl-hoots echo in a wedding hall
To bring on back a seated wealth goddess.
We welcome wise-owls by our own hoots.
(At a marriage ceremony, women make owl-like sounds in order to invite the Laxmi, the Goddess of Wealth who arrives on the back of an owl)
In nights we are bare bones about a wife
We saw in a TV news erect on
Husband’s shoulders not knowing dead.
The nights are alive , erect on dead trees.
That hardly know dead from us.
Wives are so dead , so bare bones about!
(In Odisha a villager had to carry his dead wife on his shoulders from the hospital to home 10 k.m.s away)
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 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)