Wednesday, January 23, 2008

One day in the Life of Madame Marinowitch

Ah! Brave New world
Of centralized air conditions, PPPs, director meetings coated with the soggy taste of biscuits, washed down with tea scalding my tongue.
Endless discussions on syllabus, optics, combustion, spectroscopy, vector spaces

Ringa ringa roses
Pocket full of poses
Husha busha
We all fall down

The violence rhyming right from our childhood in London bridges falling down and Jack breaking his crown and Jill tumbling after, taken to lecturehalls ( to podiums, our spaces of revenge and spite) teaching the art of articulation, grooming students like race horses, policing, reining, hoodwinking them to phatic dialogues and other hypocritical niceties of life. ie;
how to smile and smile and be a villain

Then we etch their life on a graph with a curve, with a standard deviation
Hoping not to turn them deviant

mind is like clay
Mould! Mould! Mould!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

British Library is Closing Down

we left our books
uncared for
in our courtyard
to die termite-ridden
in tropical rain and shine

* * * *
I visited
the graveyard
mourned by generations
fed on books, cassettes
journals and all
those bracers of knowledge
which slowly graduated
to CDs, e books,
trapped in I-Pods
and gismos of nano technology
to cater to TOEFL, BEC
abbrevations that would
bring success overseas.


Empire's last attempt
to erase a emory
so embarrassing
from small towns that
nurture, whitewash
and 'maintain' colonial hangovers
small towns that dreamt of the Raj
a White man on a
saddle and stirrup
the staccato cadence of horse-
hooves disappearing on
padded boulevaards


Now, when we remember just
the visuals and muffles hidden in books
caught up on saturdays
and evenings on weekdays
intellectual dates with books
have also ended with a whine
with e media on our finger tips
Print shipped away to
shores of London matters
less and less,
though a few dissent.
Bibliophiles are numbered
like black strands on
an octogenarian's head!!

This is the way an empire ends
This is the way the empire ends
This is the way empire ends
'Not with a bang but a whimper!'

Friday, January 04, 2008

Anglers in Simsang

Limbs, arms, the eyes that spot,
cast nets with a crinkle and frown.
A swish, a wave
enmesh emerald green
with hungry arms;
They row and seek
catch a single fish with a million baits.
Sweat fondles river...

Photograph by Seema K K

By the River of Simsang: Meghalaya

Braided by night;
side locks lapping her banks
Simsang hummed a tune
to my catamaran dreams
hemmed in by wind's eerie howl.
With stony, chalk-pebbled eyes,
I, an old man, voyeur*,
watched her day and night
* for Darwin A. Sangma, who is the caretaker of the river near Siju Caves in Meghalaya
(Photograph by Seema K K)

To Lao Tzu: An Apology for being a Traveller

no fixéd plans
no intentions to arrive
yet, a traveller
writer of verses
from a superficial self
jerk out in an tongue
strange to me.
words paint
confusions of mind
no fixéd tracks
paths winding
into the labyrinths
of mind’s irresolutions
no pearls of wisdom
just letters, meaningless
scored on paper
living to tell
the pain of being.

You tell me, my love
that my eyes wander
my tongue skirts taunts
how do I match you?
your queries
don’t have my answers.
You echo me!

Epiphanies in the Train, Train(ed?) Truths?

aching hearts
droll of chaiwallahs
puddles in paddy fields
echo the sky
shadows on still-water.
etch and wash
on nature’s canvas

I live a surreal dream
In the moving train.

our silence
buried deep
in the books we read
dangling conversation…
landscapes pass
unscanned from
the window sill
mangled men
line up for a coin or two
eunuchs cat walked in pairs
as men scrambled
to their dens
and train closets.

you kept your
eyes away from me
I tried to read
with mine
glued on you!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

mea culpa

the way you stab me
then leave me at the mercy
of the waves
lapping on my toes
spraying my brows with
tears, and salt
i deserve it love, mea culpa
the love hate you feel for me
are like the dark circles
around my once beautiful eyes
beauty veiled with
decay's shroud

booking counters
black tiles lined gray
a barking woman
with a computer
endless travels
seasoning my flesh
pickled in trains and trucks
i take this violence
with a tenacity
with a wisdom:
pound me with semen
or emotions, its all the same
i wear gold bangles
after five years
and look at you with desire...

mea culpa i was born
mea culpa i belonged to you
mea culpa for the promises sugar-coated with desire's edge
mea culpa for the instincts mistaken as love
mea culpa for being the Jekyll-Hyde i have torn myself
mea culpa for the lonliness, sighs, wanderings of the mind, insipid dreams, desires
mea culpa for moments of sincerity for the tears for passion never disguised

but remember
we forgot
our drowsing dawns
woven by a whisper
a touch
your warm skin
sheathing mine
our pounding hearts
your passion reaching out
to be redressed by
my desires shell

mea culpa for memories and cloying fidelity....


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