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{Pic : Anna karina & Jean-Paul Belmondo}

Some say love’s a little boy,
And some say it’s a bird,
Some say it makes the world go around,
Some say that’s absurd,
And when I asked the man next-door,
Who looked as if he knew,
His wife got very cross indeed,
And said it wouldn’t do.

Does it look like a pair of pyjamas,
Or the ham in a temperance hotel?
Does its odour remind one of llamas,
Or has it a comforting smell?
Is it prickly to touch as a hedge is,
Or soft as eiderdown fluff?
Is it sharp or quite smooth at the edges?
O tell me the truth about love.

Our history books refer to it
In cryptic little notes,
It’s quite a common topic on
The Transatlantic boats;
I’ve found the subject mentioned in
Accounts of suicides,
And even seen it scribbled on
The backs of railway guides.

Does it howl like a hungry Alsatian,
Or boom like a military band?
Could one give a first-rate imitation
On a saw or a Steinway Grand?
Is its  singing at parties a riot?
Does it only like Classical stuff?
Will it stop when one wants to be quiet?
O tell me the truth about love.

I looked inside the summer-house;
It wasn’t over there;
I tried the Thames at Maidenhead,
And Brighton’s bracing air.
I don’t know what the blackbird sang,
Or what the tulip said;
But it wasn’t in the chicken-run,
Or underneath the bed.

Can it pull extraordinary faces?
Is it usually sick on a swing?
Does it spend all its time at the races,
or fiddling with pieces of string?
Has it views of its own about money?
Does it think Patriotism enough?
Are its stories vulgar but funny?
O tell me the truth about love.

When it comes, will it come without warning
Just as I’m picking my nose?
Will it knock on my door in the morning,
Or tread in the bus on my toes?
Will it come like a change in the weather?
Will its greeting be courteous or rough?
Will it alter my life altogether?
O tell me the truth about love.

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 “African Tulip

Crash landed Softly

One more Autumn Death” 

It’s time to Terminate the whole process of ‘Upload’, ‘Search’, ‘Beam in the Featured’, ‘Ignore Poor Blithers who visibly struggle’, ‘Mull over the Chosen, Much Sought after Crazy Intellectuals with zero or negligible Emotional quotient’, ‘Brace self with beautifully strung, or Well thought out strings of expression’, ‘Engage in Weird Verbal duals’, ‘Hush those notes predicting yet another imminent Break in Momentum’, ‘Clouds of Bitterness, Bristling Interference’, ‘Spells of Silence across the Coffee Table’, ‘Exposing Self to Erratic Rollercoaster rides’…..walk away from chaotic world of affairs, get into the worn out shoes and explore runs of Solitude

{link :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6q1JsXN9DtU}

As I sit here and slowly close my eyes
I take another deep breath and feel the wind pass through my body
I’m the one in your soul, reflecting inner light
Protect the ones who hold you, cradeling your inner child

I need serenity in a place where I can hide
I need serenity, nothing changes days go by

Where do we go when we just don’t know
And how do we re-light the flame when it’s cold
Why do we dream when our thoughts mean nothing
And when will we learn to control

Tragic visions slowly stole my life
Tore away everything, cheating me out of my time
I’m the one who loves you no matter wrong or right
And everyday I hold you
I hold you with my inner child

I need serenity in a place where I can hide
I need serenity, nothing changes days go by
Where do we go when we just don’t know
And how do we re-light the flame when it’s cold
Why do we dream when our thoughts mean nothing
And when will we learn to control
……………

 

{Pic : from Him}

Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
Arrives the snow, and, driving o’er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air
Hides hill and woods, the river, and the heaven,
And veils the farmhouse at the garden’s end.
The sled and traveller stopped, the courier’s feet
Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit
Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed
In a tumultuous privacy of storm.
Come see the north wind’s masonry.
Out of an unseen quarry evermore
Furnished with tile, the fierce artificer
Curves his white bastions with projected roof
Round every windward stake, or tree, or door.
Speeding, the myriad-handed, his wild work
So fanciful, so savage, nought cares he
For number or proportion. Mockingly,
On coop or kennel he hangs Parian wreaths;
A swan-like form invests the hidden thorn;
Fills up the famer’s lane from wall to wall,
Maugre the farmer’s sighs; and at the gate
A tapering turret overtops the work.
And when his hours are numbered, and the world
Is all his own, retiring, as he were not,
Leaves, when the sun appears, astonished Art
To mimic in slow structures, stone by stone,
Built in an age, the mad wind’s night-work,
The frolic architecture of the snow.

…an evocative poem that gives us a brief overview of the storm, its influence on people, and gets into personification of the storm, a mason who spends his night constructing structures of Snow.

 
“You’re sitting at a small bay window
in an empty café by the sea.
It’s nightfall, and the owner is locking up,
though you’re still hunched over the radiator,
which is slowly losing warmth.

Now you’re walking down to the shore
to watch the last blues fading on the waves.
You’ve lived in small houses, tight spaces
the walls around you kept closing in
but the sea and the sky were also yours.

No one else is around to drink with you
from the watery fog, shadowy depths.
You’re alone with the whirling cosmos.
Goodbye, love, far away, in a warm place.
Night is endless here, silence infinite.”

Genie, our family pet slipped into deep sleep on June 14 2010

Genie, our family pet slipped into deep sleep on June 14 2010

My dog has died.
I buried him in the garden
next to a rusted old machine.
Some day I’ll join him right there,
but now he’s gone with his shaggy coat,
his bad manners and his cold nose,
and I, the materialist, who never believed
in any promised heaven in the sky
for any human being,
I believe in a heaven I’ll never enter.
Yes, I believe in a heaven for all dogdom
where my dog waits for my arrival
waving his fan-like tail in friendship.
Ai, I’ll not speak of sadness here on earth,
of having lost a companion
who was never servile.
His friendship for me, like that of a porcupine
withholding its authority,
was the friendship of a star, aloof,
with no more intimacy than was called for,
with no exaggerations:
he never climbed all over my clothes
filling me full of his hair or his mange,
he never rubbed up against my knee
like other dogs obsessed with sex.

No, my dog used to gaze at me,
paying me the attention I need,
the attention required
to make a vain person like me understand
that, being a dog, he was wasting time,
but, with those eyes so much purer than mine,
he’d keep on gazing at me
with a look that reserved for me alone
all his sweet and shaggy life,
always near me, never troubling me,
and asking nothing.

Ai, how many times have I envied his tail
as we walked together on the shores of the sea
in the lonely winter of Isla Negra
where the wintering birds filled the sky
and my hairy dog was jumping about
full of the voltage of the sea’s movement:
my wandering dog, sniffing away
with his golden tail held high,
face to face with the ocean’s spray.

Joyful, joyful, joyful,
as only dogs know how to be happy
with only the autonomy
of their shameless spirit.

There are no good-byes for my dog who has died,
and we don’t now and never did lie to each other.

So now he’s gone and I buried him,
and that’s all there is to it.

Translated, from the Spanish, by Alfred Yankauer

Standing at your grave in the garden, now I regret...I could not spend my evenings with you, I could not take you out for long evening walks just the way mom,dad & munny did

Standing at your grave in the garden, now I regret...I could not spend my evenings with you, I could not take you out for long evening walks just the way mom,dad & munny did

 

Image courtesy Corbis

Everyone loves a story. Let’s begin with a house.
We can fill it with careful rooms and fill the rooms
with things—tables, chairs, cupboards, drawers
closed to hide tiny beds where children once slept
or big drawers that yawn open to reveal
precisely folded garments washed half to death,
unsoiled, stale, and waiting to be worn out.
There must be a kitchen, and the kitchen
must have a stove, perhaps a big iron one
with a fat black pipe that vanishes into the ceiling
to reach the sky and exhale its smells and collusions.
This was the center of whatever family life
was here, this and the sink gone yellow
around the drain where the water, dirty or pure,
ran off with no explanation, somehow like the point
of this, the story we promised and may yet deliver.
Make no mistake, a family was here. You see
the path worn into the linoleum where the wood,
gray and certainly pine, shows through.
Father stood there in the middle of his life
to call to the heavens he imagined above the roof
must surely be listening. When no one answered
you can see where his heel came down again
and again, even though he’d been taught
never to demand. Not that life was especially cruel;
they had well water they pumped at first,
a stove that gave heat, a mother who stood
at the sink at all hours and gazed longingly
to where the woods once held the voices
of small bears—themselves a family—and the songs
of birds long fled once the deep woods surrendered
one tree at a time after the workmen arrived
with jugs of hot coffee. The worn spot on the sill
is where Mother rested her head when no one saw,
those two stained ridges were handholds
she relied on; they never let her down.
Where is she now? You think you have a right
to know everything? The children tiny enough
to inhabit cupboards, large enough to have rooms
of their own and to abandon them, the father
with his right hand raised against the sky?
If those questions are too personal, then tell us,
where are the woods? They had to have been
because the continent was clothed in trees.
We all read that in school and knew it to be true.
Yet all we see are houses, rows and rows
of houses as far as sight, and where sight vanishes
into nothing, into the new world no one has seen,
there has to be more than dust, wind-borne particles
of burning earth, the earth we lost, and nothing else.

Mahmoud Darwish, widely known as the greatest contemporary Arab poets captures Palestinian resistance to Israeli hegemony

Here on the slopes of hills, facing the dusk and the cannon of time
Close to the gardens of broken shadows,
We do what prisoners do,
And what the jobless do:
We cultivate hope.

***

A country preparing for dawn. We grow less intelligent
For we closely watch the hour of victory:
No night in our night lit up by the shelling
Our enemies are watchful and light the light for us
In the darkness of cellars.

***

Here there is no “I”.
Here Adam remembers the dust of his clay.

***

On the verge of death, he says:
I have no trace left to lose:
Free I am so close to my liberty. My future lies in my own hand.
Soon I shall penetrate my life,
I shall be born free and parentless,
And as my name I shall choose azure letters…

***

You who stand in the doorway, come in,
Drink Arabic coffee with us
And you will sense that you are men like us
You who stand in the doorways of houses
Come out of our morningtimes,
We shall feel reassured to be
Men like you!

***

When the planes disappear, the white, white doves
Fly off and wash the cheeks of heaven
With unbound wings taking radiance back again, taking possession
Of the ether and of play. Higher, higher still, the white, white doves
Fly off. Ah, if only the sky
Were real [a man passing between two bombs said to me].

***

Cypresses behind the soldiers, minarets protecting
The sky from collapse. Behind the hedge of steel
Soldiers piss—under the watchful eye of a tank—
And the autumnal day ends its golden wandering in
A street as wide as a church after Sunday mass…

***

[To a killer] If you had contemplated the victim’s face
And thought it through, you would have remembered your mother in the
Gas chamber, you would have been freed from the reason for the rifle
And you would have changed your mind: this is not the way
to find one’s identity again.

***

The siege is a waiting period
Waiting on the tilted ladder in the middle of the storm.

***

Alone, we are alone as far down as the sediment
Were it not for the visits of the rainbows.

***

We have brothers behind this expanse.
Excellent brothers. They love us. They watch us and weep.
Then, in secret, they tell each other:
“Ah! if this siege had been declared…” They do not finish their sentence:
“Don’t abandon us, don’t leave us.”

***

Our losses: between two and eight martyrs each day.
And ten wounded.
And twenty homes.
And fifty olive trees…
Added to this the structural flaw that
Will arrive at the poem, the play, and the unfinished canvas.

***

A woman told the cloud: cover my beloved
For my clothing is drenched with his blood.

***

If you are not rain, my love Be tree Sated with fertility, be tree
If you are not tree, my love
Be stone
Saturated with humidity, be stone
If you are not stone, my love
Be moon
In the dream of the beloved woman, be moon
[So spoke a woman
to her son at his funeral]

***

Oh watchmen! Are you not weary
Of lying in wait for the light in our salt
And of the incandescence of the rose in our wound
Are you not weary, oh watchmen?

***


A little of this absolute and blue infinity Would be enough
To lighten the burden of these times
And to cleanse the mire of this place.

***

It is up to the soul to come down from its mount
And on its silken feet walk
By my side, hand in hand, like two longtime
Friends who share the ancient bread
And the antique glass of wine
May we walk this road together
And then our days will take different directions:
I, beyond nature, which in turn
Will choose to squat on a high-up rock.

***

On my rubble the shadow grows green,
And the wolf is dozing on the skin of my goat
He dreams as I do, as the angel does
That life is here…not over there.

***

In the state of siege, time becomes space
Transfixed in its eternity
In the state of siege, space becomes time
That has missed its yesterday and its tomorrow.

***

The martyr encircles me every time I live a new day
And questions me: Where were you? Take every word
You have given me back to the dictionaries
And relieve the sleepers from the echo’s buzz.

***

The martyr enlightens me: beyond the expanse
I did not look
For the virgins of immortality for I love life
On earth, amid fig trees and pines,
But I cannot reach it, and then, too, I took aim at it
With my last possession: the blood in the body of azure.

***

The martyr warned me: Do not believe their ululations
Believe my father when, weeping, he looks at my photograph
How did we trade roles, my son, how did you precede me.
I first, I the first one!

***

The martyr encircles me: my place and my crude furniture are all that I have changed.
I put a gazelle on my bed,
And a crescent of moon on my finger
To appease my sorrow.

***

The siege will last in order to convince us we must choose an enslavement that does no harm, in fullest liberty!

***

Resisting means assuring oneself of the heart’s health,
The health of the testicles and of your tenacious disease:
The disease of hope.

***

And in what remains of the dawn, I walk toward my exterior
And in what remains of the night, I hear the sound of footsteps inside me.

***

Greetings to the one who shares with me an attention to
The drunkenness of light, the light of the butterfly, in the
Blackness of this tunnel!

***

Greetings to the one who shares my glass with me
In the denseness of a night outflanking the two spaces:
Greetings to my apparition.

***

My friends are always preparing a farewell feast for me,
A soothing grave in the shade of oak trees
A marble epitaph of time
And always I anticipate them at the funeral:
Who then has died…who?

***

Writing is a puppy biting nothingness
Writing wounds without a trace of blood.

***

Our cups of coffee. Birds green trees
In the blue shade, the sun gambols from one wall
To another like a gazelle
The water in the clouds has the unlimited shape of what is left to us
Of the sky. And other things of suspended memories

Reveal that this morning is powerful and splendid,
And that we are the guests of eternity.

Redflowertobpressed

I shifted in the bed, opened my eyes to a conversation in the kitchen,

which would emerge again with tear-drenched eyes, later day, on

someone’s funeral. That’s how dead and lost people are declared

of “being missed”. I sorely miss those mornings when I opened my

sleeping world to the music of little birds, a few familiar ones like

sparrows in the badam tree, and softly lapping waves of the sea.

Things changed in my life. So dramatically. But not something worth

talking about. What I see, touch, move about, or talk to, feels strange

to me, though they look familiar as I grew up with them. Perhaps, this’s

how everyone feels when they come back home to their families, after

a few expeditions in life – failed or successful. I lie as still as possible

for as long as possible, in the bed, filling a body of emptiness with

a few pieces of words and pictures written or drawn on the walls,

which I gathered during my evening walk yesterday: someone has

a new glamorous car parked in front of his home, someone just

had returned from a land where everyone looked at him wondering

how different and foreign material he looks and talks like, someone

moved into a freshly painted house, someone lost his mother,

someone gave a cute puppy dog a home, someone left his job

and idles away time at home, a mother stood in the kitchen crying

for her daughter, as she does every day, a fresh war broke out

in some corner of the world, someone settled down in her new

neighborhood, someone wrote the final note in the stillness

of the night, a group of stranded penguins returned to the sea.

Someone walked away from his guitar feeling guilty about what

he said to the woman he is in love with. Outside the day, slowly, is

progressing, without changing the light in my room much.

The radio spreads songs on my face filled with despair. The ceiling,

under the pressure of my constant stare, would break up, soon,

into pieces. Everything changes, closer or further away.  

DSC_0239

{Pic : Our Balcony during the not so relentless monsoons. Taken by Munny at home}

…people spoke of my house
as ‘the house with the flowers’  ;  it exploded
geraniums : such a beautiful
house , with the
dogs and the small fry.

…can you remember my house with the balconies where
June drowned the dazzle of flowers in your teeth?

– Pablo Neruda’s ‘ A few things explained’DSC_0243

DSC_0147

{Pic taken by Munny at home: Fresh blossoms from the garden taking a bath in the clay bowl} 

 

Things fall apart

in our  houses,

as if jarred by the whim

of invisible ravagers:

not your hand

or mine,

or the girls

with the adamant fingernails

and the stride of the planets:

there is nothing to point to, no one

to blame – not the wind

or the tawny meridian

or terrestrial darkness;

no one with a nose or an elbow

or the lengthening span of a hip,

or a gust of the wind

or an ankle:

yet the crockery smashes, the lamp tumbles over,

the flowerpots totter

one after another

crowning the lapsing October

with crimson,

wan with their surfeit of violets,

others holding their emptiness in, circling

and circling and circling

the winter,

till the bowl with its blossoms

is gruel,

a keepsake in ruins, a luminous dust.

 

And the clockface

whose cadences

uttered

our lifetimes,

the secretive

thread

of the weeks,

one after another,

yoking the hours

to the honey and quietude,

the travails and births without end –

even the clock

plunges downward, the delicate blues

of its viscera

pulse in the splintering glass

and its great heart

springs open.

 

Life grinds

on the glasses and powders, wearing us threadbare,

smashing to smithereens,

pounding

the forms ;

whatever is left of its passing abides

like a ship or a reef in the ocean,

and perishes there

in the circle of breakable hazard

ringed by the pitiless menace of waters.

 

Let us gather them, once and for all – the clocks

and the platters, cups carven in cold-

into a poke with them all and

down to the sea with our treasure!

there let our furniture smash

in the sinister shock of a breaker;

let the things that are broken

call out like a river

and the sea render back to us whole

in the might of its crosscurrents

all that we held of no worth,

the trumpery no hand has broken,

but still goes on breaking.

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