Mother of Two

I’m sad to meet you again, mother of two
Scared in a supermarket stuttering at the counter
Hunting for change

Your dark circles root towards our days
Scattered in suburbs drinking whisky
Pouring poetry, singing badly
The grim romance of Chinese lanterns
In your room-mate’s house where we were alone

You’ll only get older, scarier
And me, stranger, lost, probably never
To see you again; how sad it will be to
meet you again, more aged and remember
That I once promised you our own island at fifty

Rain

I loved you like the rain
That awakens the whole city with relief
Embalms and cleanses, provides and floods
Breaks for occasional strobes of sun
Children play football and open their arms to the sky
You resurfaced,

becoming yourself, you settled
finally smiling and narrating poetry
stirring cups of coffee, washing
away
disasters that reduced you
coming to me as woman and child

You couldn’t love me as the rain, instead
wavered like the wind and floated
back into back habits
bringing the sun out and dried
every drop from our lake

I let go like the rain that leaves a city
Gradually then all at once
In summers to come you’ll look at sky
Parched
Why aren’t the clouds arriving, one asks

Bone China

mother left
the quiet house, writhes
slowly in her bed
asking to be loved well
end of monsoon

sunbirds twich outside, hibiscus
and bougainvillea spread indisciplined
even the wasps fly faster, staying
for longer
in the window sils

i broke a saucer yesterday, mom
bone china splintered over the floor
just recently mopped by you, as I stood up
regathered
a to-do list lost its adhesive
and flew outside, forever unread

Waiting

I watched your favourite shows with you
Even the adverts, the escalating 
Crowd on the bridge 
Caressing the railings to feel the sun 
Even looked at your photo albums, telling you
That you liked nice earlier and nicer now 

And when your team lost I laughed at life 
Mocked the pigeons at your window
Made you smile and stirred iced tea, refilling 
Your eyes with great memories about yourself 
You said you wanted to fly 

Why one leaves without notice is a mystery 
I’d know only if you return and share yourself 
Again, maybe this time we’ll actually make a trip 
To your village and run across your farm 
Taking the flush of breezes into the night 
Where the moon arrives slowly, waiting 
For your silent smile to ferment 

Where Did You Learn to Write?

I don’t quite remember exactly but it was
on a slow evening in my father’s rented house
the aroma of frying fish and spiced sauce
evoked in me voices of my ancestors
I felt words from a language I hadn’t learned
They became images before I could blink
I realised that to write there was no need to think
It happened then and it often happens now
In crowded buses and trapped elevators
even before crumbling buildings and old eyes
where unsaid things become lengthy chapters
and the said things turned into eventual lyrics
merging into one another in my dreams
slowly and gradually turning into noisy streams
making me wake up and scribble in soiled notebooks
and years later looking back and wondering
when really did I learn this mad craft
I don’t quite remember exactly but it was
on a slow evening with a woman about to cry
I lied to her saying I had a job and a house
she smiled as she said
you’re a nice storyteller

Crossing Over

the train drops me, incomplete
my feet
skimming the platform
before I surrender in weight

pulled by the want to crossover, realised
that the dream is dead, I call for a taxi

whose meter rings once and then shuts up
the driver churning his wheel, his face
punctured by insomnia, like me
he reeks of mistakes

that I meet often at home, some
are people and some are poems, the ones
unwritten
ferment slowly, time not experienced
is the time
worth wondering about