Five Things I Desire From Monsoon

Drizzle. Touch me faintly, at first
then all at once, as a downpour
Dissolve me beautifully as I become
A body of rivers

At night, percussion outside
Providing me a beat to breathe with
Caressing my ears like a distant lover
Bringing soft breezes

Direct every bird in the valley, to
sing their dreams together, giving us
childhood songs to remember
later in urban summers

While others bring me troubles, you
bring me my antidote – the aroma
of your tears wetting mud

And much later, over a grey terrace
Mask my woman’s face
with yourself, as I uncover you
using touches, stay with us for longer
As we grow fond of you

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Baradesh

those shoulders cut by neat collars
forehead cancelled by wavy hair
breeze gently urging the dead ceiling fan
a fragrance of moist dust
in a room built in 1856,
‘Goa’,
as the men
with white skin and jackets address it
the land of paddy and wild boar hunts
roasted pepper, sound of rain
erased by the gush of tides baptising
us as children during our first swim
a trail of coconut trees at the end of the creek
black dolphins, black pomfret
blackbirds and black panthers
suddenly re-written with potatoes
and red chilli, a book with castes and creeds
another one with rules
of something called a religion
I hear the echo of the migrant cuckoo
announcing the start of a storm
the sky overcasts slanting roofs
in them sanctioned only certain people
with new surnames
outside, the lanes, trampled
by my ancestors, waiting
for a boat to flee

Between Rain

sulken branches, holding
societies of weaver bird nests
speckled by the moving chatter
of a thousand yellow birds
forming lives

the fields heavy with ponds, bordered
by tip toeing jackals
the quenched quails that flutter in unison
and the black stone stands mossy, waiting
for a fern to cover its eyelashes

and till the long distance, the country
ripens in the green season
a soft light glazes the earth
each bund
a square mirror for the clouds

Integration

Swallows, in random turns, peck the river
That holds the image of moving clouds
Carefully before the breeze paints an impression
Ripples die only a few breaths later, the cycle
Of the villager crossing the bridge
Creaks across its wooden length like a long complaint
Logs half eaten by rain grow out of rocks
Storing puddles of tadpole eggs, the sky
Turns grey
The breeze winds into a wash
The river’s images wiped out into waves
Shores that housed storks take off suddenly
Clouds darken, the sky cracks into thunder
The temple bell sways and tinkers in the distance
Getting louder, as the storm brews
Softening
As the screen turns grey, the sound
Of falling rain plucking us all 

Rice Fields, Circa 2000

serene
in this moment, the paddyfield
stirred by soft breezes

lulled
by the grey sky, mango trees
cloud into a forest

immersed
till the knees, the farmer
wades through his fluorescent land

calmed
by the pecking drizzle, he stands
watching the storm brew

13.1.17 – in memory of Nerur, Kudal, Maharashtra.