Black bird

We crawled in station looking for a black bird
That cried in mist through history’s stalactite
To the bleakest and oldest birds of prehistory,
Their bones interred as pure stalactite flowers.

A black bird did swing sweet by cave ancestors
But bats inside were more forthright on wings.
They flapped in the enormous silence of caves,
A far cry from the bird cousins of Oxfordshire.

(The lonely Borra caves railway station nestled in the Eastern hills reminded me of the Adlestrop railway station in a poem by that name by Edward Thomas)

Sparrow love


Like our phones we will have cities
No more dumb but smart to touch
And feel air- like in our televisions.
We have smart televisions loaded
On intimate knowledge of women.

A smart city rations our attention
As we adopt a sweet tweet format.
Our character will be 140 and less.
Our libraries stack vertical tweets
As heritage preserved in capsules.

The city’s sparrows will all vanish
From mirrors and from the lawns.
One cannot peck sparrows in them.
Only we can make love like them.

Krishna’s hair

It is Krishna- black lustrous hair braid
If only there are moon’s jasmines in it.
A woman’s mountain back has a braid
Ding-dong on granite body fine touch.

After dam it is a temple and pilgrims,
Ancient memories of the after-world.
A snake turns into many small snakes
And boats heave only high on people.

Island is holiday from river touched
By a wind and boats bringing motion
For people to nest in shadow houses,
Copies of concrete holes back home.

(On a visit to the Bhavani island resort in the Krishna river near Vijayawada)

White faces

His highness’ wardrobe stretched
In old sky indefinitely , end to end
For seven hundred coats to hang.

Now a shirt hangs there to pick up
For evening party with white faces.
Now ,all faces are awash including.

(The erstwhile Hyderabad ruler’s wardrobe was 167 feet long and could accommodate 700 dresses end to end, two for each day of the year)

Chapati moon

Moonlight is back on roof and sky,
Flour rolled into dough for chapati
For us to take a bite after bite daily.

A coconut will at times take its bite
But a new chapati is always rolling.
Women are holding up their sieves.

Men are reading boring daily news.
Wives will see their faces in sieves
The round and perfect full moons.

(On Karwa chauth , after completing a day’s fast for husband’s well being , a woman looks through a sieve first looking at the rising moon and then at her spouse)

Love is in the air and water

A rock in the lake that had shadows
Dancing about and deeply involved,
Now declares unnamed boy smitten
By an arrow through heart for a girl
Deeply involved in toothy burghers
Fresh from country oven and a cola
Frothing at mouth on phony fingers.
The scene has water bottles loosely
Anchored to it, by the passing wind.
It seems love is in the air and water.

Inside Diwali

We would mix sulphur and coal for days
And let it dry on string cot in a warm sun.
We stuffed  mixture in newspaper cones.

Lighted cones hissed like snakes in a sky
Only to dive some times to waiting straw
On sleeping houses, recently laid to roof.

We made cloth balls of stones in sulphur
To bang on decrepit walls for a loudness.
We made holes in star smiles on posters.

We made such sound in moonless night
That birds shut their ears in mango tree
With not a single flutter heard in leaves.