Friday, December 23, 2011

parched leaves ( haiku )

parched leaves--
she straightens out
a crumpled letter

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Rain at twilight

Have you noticed diamonds

Have you watched the rain
trickling down the broken face
of a loony rag picker
resting over cobblestones

He watches the crows shaking off
in a flurry
what they cannot hold

Fractured clouds allow the last light
to glitter in his downy eyes

Yet he slips and falls

Darkness deepens the moss-
-covered walls of the city
amid people and cars hissing around

He feels his stubble
the stubbornness of coarse bristles
growing on his soft flaccid skin

the oddity of bright halogens
lighting up the potholes

Crickets drone their night song
a lullaby to his ears


temple bells
again and again
the beggar’s call


boundary wall—
three guards and a dog
basking in the sun


Monday, December 12, 2011

The man lying next to my bed

He's obese, double-chinned, middle-aged.
He can mumble a few words as and when
his memory allows him. Met with a mishap
in some early spring in the altitudes of Himalayas,
and lost his locomotion. Days are only numbers now,
so are the nights. He lies composed in a hospital bed
next to mine.

Each day his wife visits him, a frail woman
with a morbid face, and begs him to utter her name.
He observes her in silence. Maybe

all he remembers are the pines and rhododendrons,
the wildflowers and the dictionary of birds in the lap
of ancient moss-ridden rocks.

He takes scarce notice of me, with his eyes glued
to the ceiling fan. Gulps down food, water, medicines
when told. Sleeps when told.

I watch a physiotherapist folding his arms, limbs.
Up and down. Up and down. Then sideways-
left to right, right to left. The man struggles hard

to stir up the patient, to somehow impart a rhythm
to his stiffened existence. The patient mutters at times
the names of places of an earlier world

where morning fog gives way to the splendor
of icy peaks

but then he shudders
as leaves do
amid the shivering tone of autumn wind.

empty hall

Haiku :

empty hall--
a black ant roaming
for morsels

Tanka version :

the hall
sans the usual crowd
and hubbub--
an ant searching out
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