Still noon in the paddy fields
in Kerala, we sank a well
to stem the flow of desert,
but came up smelling of dust.
Watched rice plants wither as the slow sun
silenced resolve in angry glare,
and warm dry gusts scattered
hope to the four corners.
In Palakkad, an empty street, sold
to ten million-dollar-a-day death,
men nurse wounds and children.
The women have gone to find water-
when the supply runs altogether dry,
we may find out how to swallow
the dust. Or our pride. Lesson taught,
we shall learn to drink coke.
Still noon in the baking heat
within the walled compound, we
stand around on wounded feet
spreading slurry on the ground.
So here, at least, is water
(to dampen a capital purse)
So here we earn our living -
a litre a day (could be worse).
Outside, the world is barren,
the earth is cracked and bare.
As boreholes tap our reservoirs
at last we've learnt to share.
So desert soil is progress,
and bitter stench is joy.
Infected feet dance to the beat
of the jin
Abject GenteelAbject Genteel12 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
it starts off all twisted,
artistic and meek.
the sheets in a tangle, we tangoed,
in the sleek night.
our wrists chained to floarboards,
past my collarbone's palindrome,
(that sensitive hollow)
making impressions in memory foam.
onetwo, and threefour.
yes, go on-
rest your head here, and read what you wrote.
remember last night,
when that spot in my chest soared up past my throat,
and the light in your eyes
swallowed my conscience alive,
and we burned,
with the stars
and cared not to dream, but be rash: come undone.
on the bedpost.
we sang amid silence,
clutching at pillows and pretense,
feeding black scarves on my eyelids.
needing a breath-
as i sank,
through my webbed primidorial,
to the safety of bloodshed.
AzaleasAzaleas12 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
The Metro can be heard.
Its dark blue silhouette
passing through the station
like a film reel,
with the sunlight filtering in to reveal
the drama within each frame.
The announcements weave
their ways through the pigeons
and land gently at the bottom,
like the autumnal auburn drift
from a Darjeeling dive.
And I trade in,
a glance of grooming reflection with the window,
for a ray of paradise
shooting in from between two skyscrapers,
whitewashing the interior,
as the cabin curls
around the outer lane.
The monsieur with the pipe
shades his visage
with this morning's crispy newspaper
and the young woman beside him
a bit of cologne from her neck
while shying away from the light.
I combed my hair across my left ear
and closed my eyes,
all the way to the boulevard.
I arrived at the café too early,
and my watch
received the couple of unsolving perusals it deserved,
by the sporadic lapping waves
of the pedestrian's potential energy.
I took refuge
in the garden
Winter Blues HaikusIWinter Blues Haikus8 years ago in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
Drunken snowflake dance,
stagger around the street light.
Someone call a cab
The cold air's biting
not like a crocodile
more like a puppy
Carve the silver lake
with graceful figure 8's
humble ice skater
Sub Zero wind chill-
snot freezes inside nostrils
hot air can't escape
Wave your arms and legs
give birth to a snow angel
then watch it ascend
Droopy carrot nose-
Melted snowmen have no pride.
The sun's a killer.
Goose bumps are moguls
and I will ski your body-
Lonely lost mitten
resting by the curb in snow
hanging from the roof,
Icicles are winter's teeth
Come tooth fairy, come.
WinterWinter11 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
The old man smiles through clear blue eyes
and skies embracing fertile clouds
expectant with fractal flake children.
He doffs his hat of hazy mist
for geriatric trees, bald heads
displaying their crinkled-wood wisdom.
One hand adjusts his bare-earth tweed
to smooth the frost on collar hills
and straighten a river-ice necktie.
He wanders, smiling at his world
unfurled in tasteful winter shades
now painted on seasonal canvas.
exclaimah!exclaim11 years ago in Typographical More Like This
the pound and the thud and the gasp
and the italian gesture
(! - !) verbose
physical - !
of clenched fists and swooping arms
-but this is
the sun !-gloriously! climaxes over the trees
the silent !-scream! of eyes
as they !-beam! and !-shine!
and - !
just - !
isn't it wonderful!
overriding any question
-a state of ecstasy confined to a mere dash and dot
it just is
a jump a dance a song
(the prelude to a smile)
it is the peak!
and the climax!
and !~vibrance!~ herself
but is also an acknowledgement
(in its silence)
of the silence
but that is tomorrow
i'm still waitingit is an abortion, youi'm still waiting5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
know, something that leaves
us clutching at swayback
skin and innards emptied like
a gourd; for the rest of our
lives we will never look at
goslings with their drumbones
sifting sky and
be able to pretend.
it is a derailing, a seismic shift,
a quiet damnation. you know
how some believe people are
most beautiful at twenty-five
and others think eight;
how i believe we were never
the art of detachmentthe art of detachment10 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
You split hands from cheeks,
cupped, like English tea in morning light
before a cool moan has swept over.
I laid my eyelids down, dropped lashes hard
to the floor, so the sound of breaking away
came from me, instead
of your heel-slaps
My mutters ran along with the drowsy winds,
pushing my heart back inside,
where the polished worktops
and a neatly made bed left me with nothing to do
but glare at the dent
you left in my sofa
or in my bird-cage of a chest
and four days I remained there,
working my way into the wall cracks
as the air stood still --
no longer forcing my jagged pulse to hurdle me
in the other direction,
like when I thought I saw your face
pushed up close to the window.
I let the feeling settle into my skin,
pulling each vein out through the gaps of my ribcage,
throbbing as the image of your eyes aided the tug.
Strands were hooked around your finger-tips
stripping me away
until my arteries had no more love
to carry away from my heart
and spit out o
IdentityIdentityIdentity10 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
Stereotypes close in,
Lock arms, surround me;
Encaged by expectations.
I want to be free.
A splash more colour,
A hint more grey.
Again thrown away.
A self-made cast.
Rigidity stops growth:
Retain the shape of the past.
Look in the mirror,
Illusive person within.
Want to reach out, know her
Break this glass.
Splinter into dark confusion
As light scatters.
Red shoes, festive clothes:
Much time wasted
Putting together this collage
Of personalities cut and pasted.
Will find a social façade,
To masquerade as me,
Guard the secret of my absence,
Cover the tracks of my retreat.
This wall is very high,
Too thick is this veneer.
Don't you try climb;
Nor into my soul, peer.
Them, they, you
Mine, me, I
Grey, opaque concepts,
Cloud clear translucent sky.
When will this storm subside?
Lightning mimics light of day,
Or flashes of inspiration inside
Where fear thunders in pounding heart.
Love is a warm gunLove is a warm gun12 years ago in Concrete Poetry More Like This
Broken hearts and block slides.
Uranium rounds and irreconcilable differences.
You lock it, you load it.
Compassion and altruism at 60 rounds per second.
This is passionate destruction.
Your emotional scars imprinted on a tattered childhood flack jacket hued in a share o green named for the fruit that grows on the branch of peace.
This is too weighty for biblical birds to carry.
Fiancees and firing pins.
Time apart and trigger guards.
To this supposed ceasefire your violent cacophony of mixed messages and passive aggressive stances lend the ultimate juxtaposition
You don't revere, you recoil.
You don't admire, you aim
This is 158 grains of lead lined belief hitting your heart at the speed of a synaptic impulse.
This is life with the safety off
This is love.
Fire at will.
A pair of idle sparrowsA pair of idle sparrows10 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
A pair of idle sparrows
There was a time when we would rest
as sparrows on a speckled roof,
and from the hills and skies of stone
would call upon the morning sun.
All through the verdant days of spring
we'd rouse the daybreak from the west
and, laughing in a new love's bliss
our song grew into unison.
But all throughout our idleness
the seasons passed and storms began,
and soon, despite our shrill protest,
the winter snow destroyed our home.
Too weak; you fell from our frail nest
and now with grief, I sing alone.
Beauty BetraysBeauty Betrays11 years ago in Philosophy & Perspectives More Like This
I - Their bellies distend towards the sun as curious onlookers snap photographs with their eyes.
With a face marked by swollen sebaceous glands, he tells her that he wishes to see the sea lions sunbathing in the backyard. His hands move swiftly and effortlessly until she shakes her head and places a single finger to her lips.
"Not now," her hands respond.
"Maybe never." her downcast eyes suggest.
Defeated, his fingers trace the uneven skin blanketing his self-esteem until she lightly slaps his arm.
"Stop picking." she signs impatiently. "You'll only make it worse."
He ignores her request and creates pressure between the pads of two fingers until he feels the release of liquid bacteria and blood spill down his cheek. He wipes his cheek roughly as she clicks her tongue in disgust upon noticing the aftermath of the amateur scalpe-less surgery smeared across his face.
II - Here he is, a stunning boy of three. Not a word he shall speak, not a sound he shall hear, but his inarguabl