Thursday, March 31, 2011

the face (haiku)

swan on the lake--
the face in her mirror
not hers


on either side
of a wine-red river
dividing the woods: I’ll never
shrink back

Friday, March 25, 2011

returning haiku

sandhill cranes--
sprouting crocus

Passing through (Tanka)

I remember
passing through a tunnel
in a high-speed train
mother straining her eyes
to thread the needle

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

the sea-bound breeze...

I was on the verge of concluding
that I've had enough of your
half broken words
halfhearted queries
about a possible early monsoon

Just then the twilight's shade
claimed a cluster of 'forget-me-not's
by the parapet wall

I wondered whether to take a path
that ribboned the hammock
leading to a small wooden temple
with its lone haunting bell

Just then the breeze shifted direction
and daylight decided to linger
around a speck of golden cloud

In that faint light
one tired buzzard landed near me
flapped its wings and inquired
whether I had heard of the tsunami

Its pretentious gaze struck upon me
and the hills wore a mourning look

Was it the wind that was swinging the bell

In the approaching murkiness
I saw you

A soul-less voice
frigid with grief

I'm joining the sea-bound breeze, do you hear?

crocus (haiku)

a heart-shaped cloud
darkens the crocus--
fading train

Rikuzentakata (haiku)

a family photograph
peeps out of debris

Monday, March 21, 2011

All that is plastic

The buds are being born,
the morning expectant, like
it was before.

Before the egrets stopped crowding
the little lake,

When the cottage shone with moon's
silvery beams, the willows resembled
sage grandfathers: observant yet hesitating
to comment

When you and me were too minute
we voiced our feelings,

At a time when we didn't hear of oil slick, of black rain,
of tsunami, of global this-and-that,

When autumns were rich as egg-yolk, and we're allowed
to have a dream each day, and in those past springs

Flowers used to bear more nectar, luring butterfly
and honeybee in swarms,

When monsoon was poetry, each drop on the puddle
used to send a ripple in long drawn afternoons,

When winter was a monochrome tv set, crammed
with pictures of the loved ones who passed away,
of the loving joys that were yet to be

Born, just as the buds which are blooming now.
Now that the trees are covered with dusts of centuries,
seas filled with debris, and you and I

Mere minorities, and our fathers and mothers long forgotten,
preserved in video clips, to be run and re-run at will,

And these spring, rain, autumn, winter they can all add up
how much is left and how much could be sowed in the fields

To reap a richer harvest, and to save a little something
for our darker days, for the silvery days,

The centenarian cottage is fading
from our memory.


counting losses
after a storm
the hazy sun

reading out
list of casualties...
winter fog

Monday, March 14, 2011


In between her incoherent words
her fading memory emits flashes
every now and then.

She sees no hope and no reason
for an existence as bland and repulsive
as the smell of medics that keeps her neurons

He must have been there, in that plot of sunshine,
his hair well-brushed, his smile as infectious
as the breeze at the onset of spring.

All she can see through her window is the mist, rising.
Her vision blurs, yet in the marshlands fireflies glitter
in dozens, and she clutches on to the softness of her pillow.

A pendulum swings along its arched path,
red florets fall off from the flame tree, and a white-eye,
utterly cautious, hunts for its prey.

Twilight brings in the fireflies by swarms,
and she feels no need for a candle.

Waterfall Haiku

the waterfall
dislodges a boulder--
early spring

in a dying breeze ( Tanka )

after giggling
like a waterfall
she fell quiet –
the flame lilies dangle
in a dying breeze

Monday, March 7, 2011

Haiku Firefly

I turn pages
of my diary--

Saturday, March 5, 2011

in tatters (Haiku)

the welcome mat
in tatters

off and on (Tanka)

I flip through
my diary pages
the old paths
off and on, a firefly
emits cold light

Granny's sleeves

I always found them agreeable and greatly starched,
gentle as her wrinkled smile, cozy as her rocking chair -
much, much before I tasted an anisette of ominous sunshine,
listened in awe to the tired city-tuned machines.

My Granny's long sleeves were embroidered with gold
fables: they smelled of old-fashioned doughnut cakes -
the fragrance of a piteous love that I still inhale
from a tilled earth, after a fresh bout of rain.

Views of a Monk Parakeet

You know I've often deemed this world as being
a huge trash bin, where you can cast off your withering
feathers, fling the rinds of your thickened dreams
and aging egos,

Where you keep on searching for elusive trinkets
that may tantalize you, coerce you to believe that life is not
an impalpable mess in its entirety,

This is the home of some rare-breed hardcore optimists
who treasure their almanacs, their most precious smiles
which they believe could bring enlightenment.

I remember an earthquake when everything shuddered,
when frantic calls intensified to a deafening roar, when a voice
yelled out amidst the chaos: "God! This must be an Apocalypse!"

And when night turned to dawn the rubble became visible -
but who am I to comment on behalf of an 'intelligent race',
I'm just happy casting off my withering feathers.

In a stifled moonlight

Glowing eyes of a stealthy black cat
makes me cower; they instill a sense of remorse
as if I’m to blame for the premature wreckage
of yet another graceful spring.

I always dread the feline gaze -
observing me from unusual corners,
mostly at informal moments like when I crave
for a glimpse of Kiliminjaro through window panes.

An ancient breeze heaves a sigh,
alarms the still maze of shadows in the garden.
Mist rises, blurs from my view all other things
but the burn of two probing eyes, tracking my moves
without end.
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