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.

Flowers

Really, such pretty flowers, aren’t they?
Growing amidst the noise of doubt
Blooming in smoke, watching forest fires
Standing among a horde of dead men, decaying
After being used in a war
Even the planes couldn’t stop them from growing,
neither could the invaders, neither could we
Really, how pretty these flowers are
Watching life sail by sagely, and even
While dying, undressing gracefully
Leaving behind scent for a hundred days

Waking Up

Just woke up an hour ago, from fiction
Into a tense-less world where
Masks were absent, the traffic blurred like a stream, the
Murmuration of birds tipping the horizon
Like my hands browsing tips of grasses, slow waves
Endless

Eventually,
With the sea on either side, the path
Occasionally emerging with faces from the past,
Language-less, calm
Their eyes sinewed by forgiveness
…I aged backward into skin and bones, thereafter
Thousands of new moons dazed me, I ceased
To be a body with senses and mistakes, instead
The past and future opened their arms
Together
I reached my origin, becoming
A million years older
And a million years younger
Watching my entire being pass by
Changing every second

Blue

My dreams are dark blue
So are my wavering eyes
So are the fields of dew that moisten my home
Floating through paddy fields that release birds from time to time
Staining a blue sky with murmurations

When the grey rain arrives
I melt into paint that colours the forest for four months
The sun shoots through the clouds and calls me upwards
Every house is plastered by my dreams

Inside them mothers feed fresh kittens
Poets soothe themselves over bridges wearing blue breezes
Farmers sow the future in twittering valleys
Clothes lines evaporate into cerulean dust
That travels formlessly over a blue river, touching the water now and then

I lend my indigo nights to travellers
Looking for refugee in cold villages warming a roast
I enter their dreams silently and get translated
Into new languages that voyage across the plateau
Speaking of fables that entrance faraway children
Who run happily through fields teasing bluebirds

– translated from Marathi

Birds in the Courtyard

call every bird to the courtyard
even the ones with the saddest stories
let them all sit at peace for once and open out
to life problems like we sage humans do
we could teach them all how to communicate well
give each of them a pair of earphones and maybe a touchscreen something
expecting them to grasp faster the essence of their growing songs
trafficking the village air with debates

every bird must come to the courtyard, especially the old ones
they’ll be dropped back if it gets too late or gets cold
refreshments and toxic soda will be kept free for all
politics, religion and sex must be avoided – for that matter,
everything that humans refrain from solving
must be left untouched
stick to bird problems such as migration and meat-eating
or maybe race and colour separation
or better still melting ice and falling trees

Oh wait