Night

12.11 am. Let it begin. Raincoats soaked,
teapots cloaked
by thick steam, the murmurs of shadows
passing in and out of their faces

Books browse the breeze, their flaps open
pages stroked and shivered
unwritten bits whispered as wants
sitting on moist ears

Like a workshop, the bed, busy and frantic
rises and falls like an ocean, whose waves
travel towards the silent coasts of windows
faraway and sleeping

Probably

I’ll probably talk about myself in bits and pieces along the way
As we river into life’s slower years with a softening memory
The glass that separates the reflection from the being will dissolve
And sorry doves alighting on grey buildings will take off

In the soothing streams of my childhood you’ll dip rough fingers
And the mountains that hold my ancestry with release scores of eagles
The horses that run into you will burst into a million butterflies
Each carrying a day of my life, hinging between now and then, flapping

And the hush of leaves that follows you windily in my city
Shall stop before the shop where I kept a tab all my life
Within each shelf are preserved secrets, some expired, pick them all
Or none, your call, you may leave anytime

I wait for you at the end of it all besides the lake
Where clouds collate over its face, the birds float over the mirror
And age stops all of a sudden like the clock on my grandfather’s wall
I still remember it, the dial mute and the hands hanging like sorrowing branches
You will sit with me and watch me become a man one last time
Awaiting entry into the sanctuary, breathing, counting every breath on its way out

– translated from Marathi

Today

Sobered down, you swipe keys
On a touch phone; the drizzle still feels real
So does the sudden jerk of the rickshaw
One writes poetry that is timeless when one has time
Without cause, only
As a faint reaction
Ten years ago fingers pressed real keys
And chat boxes opened
Like chocolate wrappers
We grew old too soon

Words

You unwrap the warm letter in your notebook
Undressing it word by word, smiling
Where it seems fit, as drops commence
On its body, blotting meanings
Into patches of sorrow, a bus
Streams past your foreground and stops
Calling you to finish the last verse
At the window seat, a cool breeze
Flickers the page’s edge as you look for change
Pay, and then finish the end,
Folding it piece by piece, your
eyes wet and full of pictures
becoming moving images, unedited,
turning into sentences
that you will write later, not to be
posted though, these letters
To your 12-year old self

Scenes from an Urban Walk

Stirred by the thought of what is across, the pedestrian
Dismembers the zebra crossing with his walkthrough
Finding the other side of the road filled
Awaiting, to pass him by

Sketched over walls – the poetry of posters and promises,
With phone numbers and names. Built around them
The city dissolves into cubes and spaces
An occasional shadow of an aeroplane

Walks into the shop that sells everyday items
Walks into the section of bathroom supplies
Beside him an old woman without teeth, staring
Into the arranged emptiness of rows of products
They eventually discuss expiry dates