Travellers

Last night I fell asleep thinking of you
I dreamt of travellers crossing high mountains
Carrying saffron, gold and tea
I dreamt of eagles taking flight
Witnessing the magic of the earth, through the clouds
I saw a road cut through a lake, water on either side
Where children played on shores and turtles reached for air
I saw maps of places not mentioned on earth
In your voice I heard names of all those countries being whispered
How I wish to visit them all someday
And dream of you everywhere

– seventh segment from a poem series

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Parts

I wrote the parts before and the parts after;
The rest formed itself like the wind that sculpts the mountain
Its peak chiseled into a stillness
Clouds travelled over me while each syllable
Returned as an echo from the forest

The slow sadness of rain arriving, of watching
This moment melt into the next, none of this
Troubled the becoming sentences
Each of which, awaiting eagles,
Stood at the cliff

Grey Season, circa 2011

my fingers draw patterns on fogged glass, downstairs
the street smudged by a slippery season clogging
the quaint town with the stench of puffed wood and
occasional touches of passerbys whispering taunts
that get replaced by smoke from tobacco pipes
– vintage

while the lonely houses fixate their gaze
towards the hazy peaks troubled by clouds the
greyness of noon is plucked by that one colourfully
dressed lady carrying a large bag, crossing the street
and stopping over to buy some vegetables,
her pink scarf becoming a colourful star

later she cooked me for and I thanked her for everything
the beef stew seasoned with mountain salt and pepper
the scarf- I asked whether I could have it, she smiled
and let me carry home an old teacup
on which colours mixed like moody rainbows, curtailed
by the discipline of patterns

Govind Ghat, 2016

The cold mountain sleeps calmly.
On awakening, the morning’s white blanket
reveals trees little by little.
Monochrome silhouettes of conifers, yawning
through the moist fog of autumn, finches,
flycatchers and resonant barbets
compose the valley in unison.

Women mount the sack of hay, their back
crooked and burdened by the slope, smiling
they wave at us from the waterfall. Horde
of mules and one excited dog engulf and leave us.
The sky opens into blue.

I touch the barks of a hundred trees, stepping
over each stone like a syllable in a long story.
The moss cushions my progress as magpies glide
from path to path
Sounds of a temple find me faintly
The mountain meditates like a master.

22.1.17

Mana, July 2016

the hill with no trees 
the town with square windows
the conifers peppered with snow
and those little streams which ran
through the blooming potato farms
all have been touched
by the traveling glance of my eyes
I have absorbed the country breath by breath
every ray fermenting a new image
each peak narrating a different view
each incense stick a growing artwork of smoke
every temple bell a portal for an echo

every step
a beat
in the song of the forest

14.1.17