The Sorrowful Heart of a Nineteen Year Old Girl

Met her through an ice-cream loving friend
Amidst the fete crowd she wore a floral skirt
And rickety shoes, her eyes lacking an eyeliner
Story-less and pure
She called me an unusual scientist with weird ears
And said my nose was like a rocky hill
Even my hair wasn’t spared, her convent accent
Described it as an abandoned nest
Later that month I’d find her
Strolling across the race course
Staring at horses speed past her morose eyes

Her morose eyes

The wintry tears and snowfall of regrets
Her perfect face cancelled by her imperfect self, even
The teenagers from the suburb
Felt she was too smart
But she was just a stupid girl
With a sorrowful heart

For days I’d let her jabber, not just
The usual hormonal rants but even
Lyrics of favourite songs, oh for that matter
Plans to travel to Rome and back
We even booked our trains to China
But it kind of fell apart once the phone cut

The phone cut

Years later with m shirt tucked in
I found her in a mall, she
Dragged around a cart filled
With discounted flour and tea, it even had
Vegetables and frozen meat, she looked
the same except for her skin

Dark in places, pale in some,
Her eyes slow to blink and her hair overdone
She stood in a line with
A heap of worries and despair, the winter
in her eyes colder
At the cash counter
As they touched a travel magazine
That made promises of blue seas
And islands with beautiful men,
She thought of picking one up, but then thought,
Life’s a lie, and at 28,
it’s probably better to look elsewhere


Beach, circa 2004

The beach, filled with chaos
Polluted by sounds of tourists

Meanwhile the ocean comes and goes in waves
The beach
Restlessly pleased like a distant lover

A lost ancestor docks. His hands filled with warnings of the coming future.

Rejected Ones

While learning the art of dramatising
I also learnt to skim through libraries of mundane non-reactions
Each book offered a painstaking read through various nothings
Nothing really came of it apart from the despair of unsaid things
One wonders where all the rejected expressions usually go to
Do they catch a train and end up in a suburb like the rest of us
Availing cashback and coupons from small malls recently opened
And happy hours at lonely pubs playing bad remixes
Do they fall asleep on the way back home
Wondering where to find the money to pay next month’s rent
Before cancelling out expired task lists
And re-writing old ones in an effort to remember the unnecessary

Bucket Boy

in a single sweep history
rewritten by a spade, a whiter race
armed with gods and texts, made
demons of the browns –
percolate as mismatches, on
the outskirts the hutment absolved
mocked by pigs, dead cows
rows of faeces

parked amidst a river’s gush, vessels
stained by blood, a cloth line
blots hanging as linen – a crow
calls for a dead gecko, the woman appears
in her a child about to die
at birth, it will be named as its father
roaming with a bucket
its hands substituting
the water in latrines


I held onto you like the creeper does to the fence
Its fruits building all over, plucked
by the random passerby

In winter snow settled on me, like earth
Slowly seduced into a makeover, deserted
by life from the previous season

A vapour rises; my eyes disillusioned
And heavy with remorse watch the clouds
in the grey aftermath, one finds solace
the rain falls drop by drop, each a metaphor


A notebook flung open, a yesteryear
flies away
its residue left behind as ink

A scribble, a scratch across lines, free verse
of the purest form – wordless and grammar-less
cancelling out one another, the strokes
become an illustration

A year walks by, on its back
A face
With two sides – one empty, the other emptier

Man Living Opposite

In the house opposite a cannibal sits unharmed
His knives kept for washing in an otherwise ignored sink
His socks stuffed inside his shoes match the colour of his sober curtains
And milk cartons that would expire tomorrow sleep peacefully in the dustbin
He changes channels and browses through daily happenings –
rapes, murders, scams, floods and the occasional failed dope test
He seems pensive but then eventually laughs at a late night satire
Eventually tired and red-eyed he labours towards his refrigerator
Opens the chilled tray, and instead of a preserved brain
Removes a pre-cooked meal to take a break from the usual
The microwave beeps once it has heated
About seventeen minutes later,
some bones and rice join the cartons in the dustbin
He switches of the lights and heads into the bedroom with a long yawn
And then quite suddenly, terrified by a sudden cockroach,
he yells and jumps onto his bed