Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Remembered Story of a Forgotten Accident

Barricades of the sidewalk
were still dented, as trucks
rushed past the street.
A few months back
a tipper hit a couple,
who locked sleeping kids
at home before they were
surprised by their own
blood spilled on the road.
Neighbours unlocked the kids
guiding them to orphan hood
as the ambulance chugged in
with bodies well hearsed
for the last rites of the flesh.

I taught my children the
young ones of animals,
made them learn cygnet,
leveret, a calf and fawn
words that I have forgotten
or refused to learn, while
my son snuggled to my folds
And grunted like a cub, said
he was one, rubbing his nose
on me, the proud lioness
A toad nuzzling my tadpoles
I looked at my own blood
the innards of my soul
surged with an ache and joy

Children must have stood still
with volcanoes in their eyes
that veiled the pain in the
moment sensing sad mists
devouring their childhood sun…

Monday, October 27, 2008

An Ode to Bodies: In memory of disappearing women in Kerala

With a tradition pressing on me and a culture constantly
begging difference, there is a sea of words between you and me,
incommunicado, between the mantle and the crust.
My body stops at my skin, the tunic that wraps my flesh
and pores, the garb becomes all, the material and the essence.

I still cannot talk of my sisters without a quiver.

435 missing, 350 found raped, mutilated, traumatised
(can a woman also be destroyed and never defeated?)
50 orphan corpses, smudged by the black milk of decay
that inches from breasts to limbs, creeping over the wombs
billowed and blackened beyond repair, rot spreading to the
marrows of those bodies which were young and supple once.

Stats of bodies branded by desire, beyond rescue

When puberty cut them a bloody cleft
Did they celebrate womanhood too,
or cringe in the corners watching those
stains spread bearing the burden of
organs growing like cancer?

In the brushstrokes of blood on their body’s canvas,
love bloomed like flowers and promises, later splattered with
violence and lust,
woman, didn’t love betray you?

I resent you, woman. You are the self that I had not lived
except in betrayals. I loathed you when lost
in ambition, spat upon you while jailed in 'knowledge',
but you are the one I fought for in the streets,
shouting slogans and spewing pap, amidst applause
I talk about you in the lectures.
But when I know you as my skin, My material and essence,
My alter ego, when you become me, you move
Me in some dark cranny of My Self. I abhor you again when I
find myself fade away like you, like a carrion flower which
leaves behind just the memory of youth and the stench of decay

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Poetry for sanity sake, Cantos one and two

one : professional hazards
My version

Carrying an ancient body about thirty odd years in a primitive
forest sunned over millions of years or in a classroom thrust upon
mankind a century back, was more dangerous than it seemed.
Initially, one had to bear the pugmarks of resentment from younger
bodies, supple and eloquent, caught in the gibberish of modern times .
"Love the forest", we constantly hollered, "learn your lessons",

their version

when they chimed in 'we love animals more than foliage, these greens
and books even hurt our eyes, and obstruct our keyboard-groping
fingers, we prefer concrete jungles, multiplexes and convenios
to this primordial tussle of roots, leaves and ancient classrooms,
limited by the frames used by a confused generation, sandwiched
between the old and new', they said with the casualness of snapping a
branch off the tree, then scanned the elephant corridors with interest,
the slush of rampage and the foot marks, the commotion of the leaves
and broken twigs, 'these chaos interest us, tear the classroom down,
brick by brick, and then we will guffaw at our creative zest of pulling
down the order your confused minds have made sans conviction,
dressed in designer shoes and backpacks, you cut a poor figure than
inspire, you join us to shed a few extra pounds, and assuage your
guilt of eating carcasses out of your polished china, picking food
carefully with knife and fork, not leaving a clink of metal kissing
porceline,or you teach to learn a few facts yourselves, learning lessons
by rote or by retching out jargons you learn from textbooks and book racks,
gathering dust for years, don't we know that, call us cynical,
but your forests and classrooms limit us with leaves , foiliage,
books and your diffidence that adds a flourish to them all.'

* * *
two : personal hazards

Wondering like a child, I waited for the passage of time
To grow up, not knowing that graying meant death as well.

The familiar fishes of my waters, wore an English garb
as mackerel, tuna, seer fish , anchovies and pearl spots,
sometimes they reminded of an old man gaping
at lovers and the mackerel crowded seas in a tattered
old coat in the humid coast, where the fishermen hauled
their empty nets into the sea and pulled out a song from
her depths. My mind thinks in stranger tongues
dreaming of coral reefs atop the snow caps, its groins
and valleys overgrown by deciduous forest that flows into
the placid lakes of an alluring blue. These landscapes
when blend in the palette of my mind maps smudge the
brush strokes of colours and then turn to a bleached white,
as pale and clean as a shroud, the peace that buries
the corpses of memories, pasts and even the present….


Come to me, let me be your ghost lover and
i'll teach you how to love me and win me over...


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