All I have now is poetry

In another universe
we will meet
when the cooling light of stars will not cancel out each other.

For now,
I let this poem float,
its words swimming around you in circles.

Stand still,
and the letters would tell you stories in ripples,
even if they have to sink after they’ve spoken.

In another universe
we will have walked away,
and will still meet at the other end of the loop.
I will be a new book
and you will have discovered newer sounds in your poetry.
And we will laugh
for having had to walk away
to find ourselves again,
in a place
where the light bounces off our faces
at angles such that
you and I are a reflection
of the other.

All I have now is poetry.


Keeper Of Storms


You stand still,
caging whirlpools within yourself,
holding them together under the envelope of your skin.

There might be storms raging within,
Your insides rearranging themselves,
Chaos shifting from one form to another,
and yet,
you stand still.

You stand still,
like a monolith,
like a monument of calm.

And us outsiders,
we look at you with awe,
wondering how you hold all of it inside,
letting nothing spill out of the box
where air and water collide,
and yet stay hinged to their walls.

We envy you too,
you are perfect.
Even with all the churning, the straining,
you haven’t lost your sheen,
you don’t have scars to block the light.
You don’t have a crack,
no drop of the turmoil
drips through your walls.

The vortex inside spins like clockwork,
neither slacking nor stepping up the pace.
I know this must stop,
physics won’t let you stay in this perpetual unrest.
But then,
I have been here for so long I have lost track of time.
There are others too,
all of us waiting for the moment you will break,
and shards of water will fly out in a spectacle.

But hang on.
We have been so lost being an audience,
so lost looking for splinters and fractures,
so lost looking for a kink or bump,
so lost looking for a place the sunlight breaks you down,
so lost..
we’ve forgotten we are keepers of storms ourselves.

What if?

Noticed a lot of the poems – some of  mine too – I read these days has activist tones. This goes out to several poets, myself included.

I wonder how poetry would thrive
if the spikes of suffering,
of sadness
had been flattened out.

How many would write about
the magic in an orange moon
as it floated above the horizon?
How many would talk about strings of smiles drawn over streets?
How many would talk about tongues fumbling for the right words on a first date,
the sounds that seemed awkward but came out just right?

Would poetry miss the chaos
of brushstrokes ambushing each other
and creating thunderstorms?
What would fuel it when there are no fires to be put out,
when there are no worries wrapped around constellations,
no anger jumping over borders,
no words speared from one class
into the ribs of another,
no cliffs waiting to be jumped off,
no wars to be ended, or started,
about who would annex whom and for what,
and no floods to rise above?

You, my poet,
what would you write
when knives have been blunted,
when fires have been transformed into flowers
with stalks that spell peace in all languages,
when streams of blood have been replaced
by rivers of stars,
when we are all a billion continents
with no oceans to separate us,
when the sky stretches so thin
the space between humans and gods
is less than a hair’s breadth?

My friend, my poet,
what would you write about
if the earth’s pulse
became a steady flatline?

NaPoWriMo 2017, Poem 24


I come from a city
where you don’t have to work too hard to break a sweat.
Okay, jokes aside,
I come from
a city where,
depending on how you look at it,
hope is flattened when metal wheels clang on railroads,
stepped on, smashed by armies of sweat
or zips forward aboard the train
feeling the wind flying across its face,
snaking its way across corners of the city.
I come from streets
that elbow each other out
and create a grid
which in cramped cells
nestles ambition,
greed, and fear.
If you flip those cells over,
you might find
resilience scurrying back to its hiding place,
wounded but not dead,
blood oozing from the scratches on its back.
I come from the black grey dripping from clouds
and making its way through the city,
turning dull brown while it tries and fails
to drown suburbs.
I come from a city
where the bird’s eye view
might make people look like tadpoles,
a city whose schematic would resemble an atom with hyperactive electrons.
I come
from people
who look like unwinding clocks,
from people
who move like water being forced into unbounded columns
from people
who know their hearts will one day resonate with the sea.

NaPoWrimo 2017, Poem 9



I can make a list of animals that can’t fly.
and me.

Do you know what we can do?
Rats can scurry through holes not big enough for fingers to sneak through.
A caterpillar waltzes its way in and out of a cocoon, opening the door for a butterfly.
Elephants, those giants wouldn’t fly if they had a thousand wings,
but man, there’s something about the sight of the giant beast,
a calm even while it strolls near the river.
Snakes can deliver enough venom in one bite
to make the blue of the sky seem pale.

And I?
I can write you a poem,
and wait till it takes effect
and you fall in love with it.

100 Days of Happy Poems, Poem 10