We have a tattered tarpaulin over libidos,
Beside running buses of lusts to perform.

We are cocoons of married togetherness
That are spinning lazy silks of nine yard

In long musical yarns of Hindi film dance.
But it is rattling here in wind and storm.

We have to return tarpaulin to the maker.
We are soon naked under sun and moon.

(A 23 year old girl who had been gang-raped in a running bus in Delhi died in a Singapore hospital)


Inside the train

They of the uncertain sex beat the wind,
In their joined palms in forced cadence.

A floor-mopping cleaner boy under seat
Met our eyes ,with his  money-wetness .

Train went sputtering for lack of puffing
As gravelly stones hit its forbidden parts.


We hear body’s fall steeped in melody
An exquisite sound gone from fingers.

Eyes fell in broken strings , the music
Lost in a whisper of time, in nightfall.

A glass spread quickly in strung eyes.
Big black eyes were strung to a song,

A lifetime song , flow of a generation.
The sound is now ashes, eyes beads.

(A homage to Pandit Ravi Shankar the Sitar maestro who passed a few years ago)

God’s birthday

Then, at the dead of the night
A river’s waters rose , swelled
And spilled over to the village.

The mountains then looked on
As a flying chariot-in-flames
Had sheared the edges smooth.

The river then swelled in pride
As rain poured into catchment
In rugged Western mountains.

Now the river is within limits
Tamed by the monstrous dam,
With no excitement of a spate.

It is now so much brown sand
With streaks of shallow water.
Nowadays , funeral fires rage

On the sun-baked river-bed.
On those annual festival days
Thousands of merry- making

Peasants and townsfolk alike,
Congregate on the hot sands
To celebrate a god’s birthday.

Borra caves

It is as though I was there the other day.
Only they have grown bigger and taller
And their inner spaces more cavernous.

Remember I tried making pretty pictures
On their scraggy walls in stunning hues
To celebrate leafy arrivals of a silver oak

And jack fruits sitting heavily on barks
I drew lovely pictures of charging bison.
Our women danced dimsa all night long

As we drank cup after cup of palm wine
And the dappu shivered in rising frenzy.
Millions of years ago I saw this mountain

Gurgling to form a gigantic gas bubble
That has hid the parchments of ancestors
Who went beyond those tall mountains.

Some times I can see their dark specters
In the cavernous womb of this mountain
Clinging to the mossy roof upside down

They shriek out secrets of other-world
And of life beyond the mountain-peaks
That pile, one on other, on a sunny day.

(Borra caves are stalagmite and stalactite caves ,believed to be a million years old, situated in the Eastern ghats in Araku valley near Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh)

At the Guruvaiyur temple in Kerala

A beauty’s desire, succulent, ripened quickly,
The fevered body hated to be whipping boy.
Arjuna’s friend had told him contrary things

Leaving him and us befuddled, minds giddy.
Nachiketa asked death what it was and why,
Not clear knowledge is death before or after.

Now this beauty thing, is it the physical glow
Or its spirit-layer,eternal and into the clouds.
Look at this beyond-thing, a lack of horizon.

At this Godchild seemed to smile exquisitely
His beauty-waves reached perplexed minds
From beyond the coconuts and tiled houses.

My beauty pixels vanished, a wholly washed
Incandescence dissipated in sky space above
Clusters of coconuts ,houses nested in them.

Shiva’s ashes

He is the boss of beasts ‘n birds
Who stayed mere stone to watch

A rubble of homes and temples
That would bring down our men

They had sheltered all their lives.
He was stone god,not brick God,

A phallus who destroys to create.
His ashes are about our bodies.

(Nepal the Himalayan kingdom experiences its worst ever earthquake with a casualty figure of around 10000 and enormous destruction)