Welcome to my A-Z 2018, for which I am revisiting Africa, the continent of my childhood and my dreams. The posts are, as always, infoheavy and opinionated, but they are sectioned off - some music, the day’s topic, couple writers, a slideshow from the safaris – plenty ways to cherry-pick. So you may consume just as much, or as little, as you're cool with. Zero obligation to agree with any of my views either, feel free to air yours :)

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Missing things


I miss the nuggets the earth once threw at me
coarse and greased with its intimate fluids
I wish I hadn’t frittered them, pushed free



the broken hollows of the darkwood tree
limbs frozen in sky-battle, wearied
I miss the nuggets the earth once threw at me



the prods and blades, the spikes of weaponry
the paws and claws of scrubs that look timid
I wish I hadn’t frittered them, pushed free



heartsongs of deserts carried as winds’ confetti
grains within grains singing soft but lucid
I miss the nuggets the earth once threw at me



dove-grey afternoons, monsoons, the galaxy
of starspined raindrops and pierced eyelids
I wish I hadn’t frittered them, pushed free



the clean cleft coasts by the salt fringed sea
the lethal cuts on lands minced by liquids
I miss the nuggets the earth once threw at me
I wish I hadn’t frittered them, pushed free.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Four quarters of the day


The newspaper collector comes around with his harsh call
shattering the humid Sunday morning beyond my wall
a couple of rickshaws lazily twirl their conjoint wheels
and a sudden squeeze on their lo-tech honker feels
like the televisual scream of dying birds that tumble and fall
plummeting from the sky in a strident cosmic drawl.



The noon comes veiled, in the guise of some evening
when the light turns murky well before it’s time to bring
each hour of the day together in neat pleats and tuck
them into the waistband of the sun, and to chuck
this neutral light over her left shoulder, splitting
the day from dark and the twilight’s final fling.



The traffic peaks by habit at the appointed hours
even during holidays, the hollow concrete towers
disgorge their inmates for the mandatory merry
making, a bigwig’s white car cruises, her red cherry
sits flush on her roof, the inmate sits flushed in flowers
torn and strewn around her even as her public sours.



The night is poor in stars and silence, to sleep and fade
is surely wasteful, when there is so much to be made?
A prescribed life must stay wide awake and urbanity
equals unblinking sodium eyes of a frantic sleepless city
and I too, urbane insomniac, lazily parade
my goblet held high on my terrace and arcade.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Touch





I feel your touch on my nape
across the room; when the shape
of the shadows change, and the doorway there
frames your silhouette.  The light flares
into a precious dimness like never before
when you block the light-stream at that door.

Haven’t you felt mine?  Haven’t you known
the same lightness at your collarbone?
each time I shared the same space
my fingers on your face
like soft rain on the sea
soaking into anonymity.

Touch me here again and make me flare
into dimness, into rain, into anonymously rare.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Rusty coins


Half of love is squandered on unworthy things
and the other half still kept aside for special use
through the break the years fall, and fall the springs
what’s gone is gone, and what’s left slowly devalues
the currency of love rusts, the coins aren’t shining
they glow only when they’re spent, and rot in disuse.



The migrant birds that fly out with the white tipped wings
in torn chevrons sharp against the twilight blues
they seem too common to deserve any special loving
their flights too routine, predictable, to amuse
the same mundane motifs repeat at all beginnings
and end without any drama over which to enthuse.



The grasses grow deep, at the horizon the evenings
bloom into a purple darkness, in ones and twos
the stars come in, a chiffon white moon sliver swings
up between the limbs of trees, but resolves no issues
these too are just ordinary, none of them brings
out that special love, there’s nothing to choose.



And so love is picky, and so inevitably the pickings
get slimmer and slimmer while it fusses and reviews
what it can afford to throw away, and what it’s keeping
it ends up too self-absorbed, and easy to confuse
And so it loses both halves of itself and there is nothing
left in its hands except rusty coins, and residues.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Only one road


The dawn breaks a little early, and so do I
whatever little I possess is strewn around
like headstones in a graveyard no-one comes by
sinking softly and slowly down into the ground



I have bought fresh offerings, the shredded
petals and sandal, clarified the fat
into a clear honey, readied for the dreaded
long night journey down into combat



The journeys break a little early, and so do I
not in one spectacular twist of bone and sinew
red fountains of marrow spurting up high
but bit by bit without a complete breakthrough



The dawn breaks a little early with a mist under the dome
there may be a thousand roads but only one leads me home