Reading Aloud

Reading it aloud:
You
Your whims, your hormonal rants,
The part where you sneeze
The moment you finally cry
I read it all out, your eyes open
Like two journals on either side of your age
With you in the centre, present in the present
Mute as a photo
Out of focus

Your nights
Your breath
The bits of you leftover
In text messages and friends of friends
Even the music you forgot
That comes around unasked
The wall that holds your face
As you fall asleep scarred
Read it all aloud, like a play
We’re listening to each other age
The clock waits for you
The taxi drops it’s meter, the season
Opens and calls for an encore

Montage 2

The air gathers the passing
From where I left the bus behind, it’s red body flashed
By torn adverts tearing into the city
Chapped and aged

The cafe opens – a cup
filled like a proud schoolboy
Carries freshness, the round tip
Meeting and vanishing all together
…a photographer walks by

His love hanging around his neck,
The pictures uncaged freely circle him, continue

To mesmerise the old chap with a splattered sole
Scratching the floor, rowing along
Carrying the falling leaves with him
Into an apartment with a locked cupboard,
Two teacups, a bus ticket
And a box of negatives
Undeveloped
Kept for later, the very end

Sitting at a Study Table

Both beautiful and sad, your face
Draped in a table lamp’s offering
Stares at its old versions in yellowed albums, you
Browse through former laughter trapped
In static pictures, your hair
Lush and immortal, even your eyes
Seemed larger and unexplored

Around you scribbles and poetry hangs, some
Sits and the other stands, some
Pinned against a softboard’s worn face calls
To be rewritten, you switch it all off
Over you the ceiling smeared with
The city’s long shadows, as
They move and carpet across and out, a million stars
Sparkle in the distance
You cannot see them from here, they shine
Atop your favourite mountain
That is, somewhere, ageing alone in the fog

Riverside

I love this, just
the river and me
no spectators
only migrants from Siberia
all feathered

Swamps clot around us. Morning,
the shrill comeback of geese
Decors the air, newborn
grass waves its first poem

I love it most when we all settle
Me with my eyes and you with your universe
every bird speaking its own dialect,
without a translator, all grasp
the faint alarm of a predator. Magnificent take off –

Endless echoing percussion. Binoculars.

Writing a Verse

Did the verse write itself?
Slowly across the page like a stream, urging
across the fields carrying the clouds –

Why, I didn’t of course.
But then I might have;
After that one time I crossed over to the past, bruised
By riots in your favourite street, then again
When I was the boy who undercooked his questions
And stuttered at the fruit seller, maybe not him, but
The boy who ran into the forest and came out alive
Smelling of birdsong and the touch of orchids
He wrote it. All of them did.
Or maybe not.

Captivated

With the lust of details, of course
flights of words and verse
you put me in the highlands where flowers grew wild
yellow, lavender, ivory, burnt sienna
untamed, like the fire in your youth, malign
like the falcon resting on my shoulder –
…It wasn’t real, neither the touch of grass, nor
the earth that left its fragrance
in the place I was once warmed by

And Older Lover’s Advice

Tea from Ceylon
Kettles from Constantinople
A lost smile from a childhood dream
All gathered in a slurring saucer

Kiss your tea, said your love, kiss

it like you kiss mangoes freshly fallen
wrap yourself in the wind like a tree
release your glow into the sea

with time the mountains grow stoic
and every footstep towards the river
turns heavy with the promise of an end