The corpse.

The corpse you planted so carefully last year is bearing fruit. Reaching out to the sky in tendrils of smoke gagging the air like a putrid brute. Roots running deep snaking under walls that once stood firm and unshaken While everyone pretends it is not there, the beast has finally been woken. Seeping poison into…

The body.

The body lies on a steel table All around it people stand Scrubbing, cleaning, harvesting As in fruits from an orchard. Enbalmed and disarmed I see you as you saunter off Your hands in your pockets Whistling a familiar chord I know the smell of death, I think That stench of rot And formaldehyde That…

Pepper and salt

My mother loved pepper, my father Teased her about it, said it made her dark Dark she was, freshly ground on our lives Emitting flavour and spice. The bite that we bit into And sometimes gagged. My sister Saw the orangutan and announced That it had become black eating pepper
“just like Ma”, Everyone laughed.
I don’t…

The Sacred Forest

There are poems in the forest Waiting to be found Underneath fallen leaves Ferns sweeping to the ground. There are forests in the poems Unexplored, unfound There are poems in the forest Waiting to be found Branches that blithe spirits cross Overhangs laden with moss There are forests in the poems Unexplored, unfound.

To the young law intern

There. I have to say it, there’s no one quite like you The spring in your step infects, that bright smile Shows fortitude. You wear your dreams high On your sleeves, your eyes are bright, You silently watch, devouring your future With your sighs. “Be patient,” you tell yourself, “One day I will be standing…

Some Questions

What frightens you, when you lie awake at night unable to sleep watching the shadows as they creep closer to your bed?   What keeps you awake when worried thoughts curl and weave their way through your mind ruffling feathers and flying blind?   What stops you from falling back to peaceful sleep when the…

Unashamed.

I was ashamed. When they plucked at my hair and told me To sit on their lap I knew Something was not right. I was shamed. Was I too pretty, Was I too bright? I always thought “average”. Was the word That fit me right. But I was ashamed And I ran away. I did…

Time passing by…

Time rushes by, drags us in its flow as the days carry us surely to the shore. Laughter I had thought I’d never remember serves as driftwood to help me stay afloat. Maybe I think I think of you less but something in me still knows you have become an indelible part of me now, more than ever before.   Tiny feet I…

Faces

Who is it I see looking at me From that empty canvas? Is it that teen, staring vacant Her face marked and scarred From the acid of depraved lust? Or is the child raped and cast aside Her little pleas for help, a prayer On every mother’s lips? Can it be the woman sitting alone…

Mumbai, Dusk.

Red crabs scuttling Upon the stones To the salt sea spray Of the rauccous waves Children selling happiness In plastic windmills Perched atop soapy water Blowing bubbles that melt Small faces wreathed in smiles The lovers exchanging notes Joggers on the run Old couples saunter hand in hand My hands clasp unclasp Holding on to…

View from my window.

The Arabian Sea Rages White foam Frothing at the mouth. The horizon crumples Merges Blurred greys Gathering storm clouds. A solitary boat Crosses Hushed whites In slow refrain. The bird’s heavy wet wings Splashes Slate tears Beating at the rain. I watch, quiet and still Striking Asphalt days Off my painted shroud.

To Isha

Words are superfluous They roll off my tongue Like the sweat on a labourer’s back Toiling in the midday sun. Over and over words failed me When I first held you on my breast Unimagined pain, unbridled joy As you wailed your first little breath. Words were never adequate Watching you evolve From tiny steps…