Saturday, November 3, 2007


Every lamp post, tree and wall

Bears witness to nature's call.

Dogs are dogs and they will not heed,

But men in India, are in perpetual need....

The permeating stench and the spreading stains

Are circumstantial evidence to human drains.

The amber tell us to slow down.

But is merely greeted with an irritated frown.

For irrelevant of whether the traffic light

Is red or green, it's always your right

To speed if you like or stop if you dare.

And the traffic police..they don't even care!

Now let's shed some light on electricity

And the shedding of load with impunity.

For the city dependant on computers and the net

Has a deplorable lack of electricity constant.

Back-ups and inverters are up for offer

If flickering darkness you don't want to suffer.

“It's the rains” they very categorically state

When confronted by protesting citizens irate.

For the potholes are many. And deep. And wide.

Making travel a very bumpy ride.

You reach your destination with a pain in the neck

Having ditched your mind and a total nervous wreck.

But through the polluting morning haze

If you cast a sharp penetrating gaze,

You will see blue hills and green tops of trees,

Smell jasmine and champa wafting on the breeze.

And then, when I hear the trill of a birdsong

I know in my heart this is where I belong.


The outlook is bleak …and the sky grey.

My mind as jaded as my Life’s fray.

My boarded tenement has sprung a leak.

Respite from the onslaught of rain I seek.

But there is no where to go , not a corner dry

My tired heart does not even let out a resigned sigh.

Today it is rain, yesterday it was hunger.

My lowly birth has made me devoid of anger.

Since I am born to it , my hunger I do bear

Of just gnawing pain , why should I care?

Come rain come sun, whatever the season

Poverty has never ever committed treason.

To my mother I have been as good a son I could.

To my best ability, by my children I stood.

My wife , now she used to be good to me

Till one day I turned up after a drunken spree.

I think of my son, now soon to be eight .

Of my older daughter and her teenage gait.

But my daughter of ten is the apple of my eye.

Can make me smile even when I want to cry.

On this dull afternoon, through my stupor I can see

Poverty, hunger and my wife all three mocking me .

As light at the end , my death I do not see

Just means to end it all , and set us all so free .

They washed my stomach and tried to drain

The insecticide but what of all this pain ?

Breathing so feebly under an oxygen mask

I lay subconsciously assessing Life’s daunting task.

Mother brother sisters children all now shed a tear

Cries copiously , my daughter , favorite and dear.

The quagmire of Poverty will suck them in, sure and fast.

Soon a mere indistinct memory , I’ll fade into the past.

Follow the fly ridden open drain down the road

Till you come up to a dank and dilapidated abode.

Where despite the squalor they are toasting a new Life

One more to share and bear the cross of never ending strife.

With all my soul I had wished and wished

This Life of penury and desolation finished.

But oh this never ending soul searing pain

For O Heartless God , I have been born again.

2.The Table

A table was fashioned from that sturdy tree.

All polished and round with long legs three.

It came home riding a red furniture van

Mustachioed and overalled was the delivery man.

The newlyweds stood it up in a place of pride

Holding up the phone, at the doorway’s right side.

It stood there for days, months and then years

What scoops it might have for gossiping ears !!

Then one morning on a wet and rainy day

It was decided that old faithful had to make way.

Give up the spot for a model, funky and new.

So it climbed to the kids’ bedroom , for tasks anew.

It held their play putty, some ribbons, a story book

Quite reveling in its new and homely look .

Soon the children grew , all gangly and tall.

Looking down at the table, now jaded and small.

It now stood in a corner , its old legs rather shaky.

Having lost it polish and it veneer very flaky.

No amount of polish could give it a face lift.

One eroded leg would cause things to shift.

As if for some warmth, it wore a white damask.

Holding up the crystal vase , was a veritable task.

Then one day it got a right royal thump.

Its now broken leg , had caused it to slump.

Without another thought, to the attic it was taken.

Where it stands to this day, alone and forsaken.

It can often hear the phone, the misses and the master.

The family dog bark, the children’s playful laughter.

Sometimes when it stands brooding and alone.

It yearns for the incessant ringing of the phone.

Or it thinks of the cool and comforting vase .

All his friends from those young and carefree days.

Feet would often trudge up and down to the attic

Bringing up a chest , some pictures or a stick.

The weathered table now grew a grey cobwebbed beard.

Regaling the motley crowd with the stories he had heard.

Then one day up came the attic’s latest member .

The talkative phone, as red as he could remember!

The vase soon joined in the friendly fracas .

Making the Jones wonder at their attic’s weird ruckus!

The Argument

Her creased brow looked like a furrowed road.

His darkened eyes were to Anger an abode.

Silence, the referee, blew the whistle that night

She took the left corner, while he took the right.

As Night limped along slowly, dragging second by second,

By Righteousness and Indignation, the warring factions were beckoned.

The audience of stars did the slanging match, brightly jeer

As an echo of quarrelling reruns repetitively did they hear.

A tired Morning reluctantly awoke to daily routine.

Some old habits and mechanical actions were seen.

The gesture of reaching out, even if for the paper,

Brought to a head last night’s bitter caper.

His head leaned forwards towards her shoulder

Just for an instant, the frosty air turned colder.

Then Familiarity brushed off the hurt of one so dear

And Love wafted back on the cup of morning cheer.

Monkey Business

In the jungle once lived there a monkey king.

Who watched smilingly his troops a-swing.

When it struck him, right in his head

A tender coconut, from the palm overhead.

Now besides the throbbing bump that had swelled

As his bruised head he very gingerly held

In between bouts of severe aching pain

He felt this white light flash again and again.

And then though he was so very distraught

He recognized it, though unfamiliar, as THOUGHT …..

Trying to decide how to deal with it best

He got down to introspecting his unusual guest.

With a hint of wonder and a touch of suspicion

He chose to make no hasty decision

He rolled and he toyed and he mulled over it

Until he felt he had the hang of it .

As he reached out to grab and get the feel of it

Into tiny little fragments the THOUGHT did split

Of …“You will rule the world as Mankind “

Only an indecipherable jumble was left behind.

The ill-fated thought like the lump on his head

Had soon subsided to give way instead

To his wanting to be the leader of his simian group

Obeyed and venerated by this almost human troop.

The Rain

I walked in the rain today

And felt a shower of happy thoughts

Feeling light and cheery, I smiled lots and lots.

To my childhood I added yet another day.

I walked in the shower yet again

And I felt the playful drops lovingly caress

My face, as it washed off the mundane stress

I saw my carefree Youth, clear and so plain.

I walked in the constant drizzle now

The pitter patter, steady and very busy.

Scooting drops chased each other in this incessant tizzy.

The hurry ..the worry ….and I managed….

I walk now and feel gentle drops against my face

From the grey skies that have been now wrung.

Smiling upon the horizon, a rainbow, I see sprung.

Festooning the sunset to which I walk with grace .

The Song

With the artful practice of a conjuror

Of the seven notes, he turned a captor.

Weaving his fingers in a seeming emptiness

He spun a web with such exquisite finesse.

Plucking out a note and then one more

Another few, and he soon had a score.

He built from this a mesh very fine

Pitching in then his voice divine,

He threw it high then he threw it low

Surprisingly strong, exquisitely mellow.

As thus swam words in the ebb and flow

With enraptured radiance his face did glow.

Oblivious to the world he did enthrall

Taking unfaltering steps when his Muse did call.

Paid his obeisance with mesmerizing devotion

His melodious voice setting poetry in motion.

3.Behind Bars

He stood there looking laughingly at me

Wondering who this caged creature be

Held within this wall of concrete and steel

Wouldn’t she all cooped up and tied down feel?

With nonchalant disdain, he turned to preen

Thus eying him, I turned an envious green

As he picked his feathers with his beak so red

I felt wonderment deep inside me bred ….

For though trapped it seemed, he was

It was I who should be worried because

It was my world that was confining me

And though behind bars, HE was free !

A Thought

Though the witching hour was well past

And Night its starry dragnet had ably cast

Without a sound, very stealthily, it crept

Even as I, so unsuspectingly had slept.

With such skilful legerdemain

It invaded my very private domain

Then after burying itself in my mind’s recess

When suddenly it bubbles up to the surface,

An eternal question to be asked, will be

Do I possess it or it possesses me?

The Flight of the Eagle

(About Man’s life cycle).

Taking baby steps on the sill , the little Sun arose.

Rubbing off some sleep even as the young cock crows.

An inquiring cry of an awakening world

As to a new day, the Earth had twirled.

On backs of sunbeams, the twitter did travel

In the nest fledglings, did themselves unravel.

An incessant flutter of parental flurry

Their insatiable mouths a constant worry.

The young day is now growing into noon

Everything’s a rush, nothing ever too soon.

Eager to spread their wings, they sit on the edge,

The horizon and beyond, to adventure they pledge.

At the zenith now, the Sun, it is all afire

Its form, its radiance, for all to admire.

A once scrawny chick , is now a soaring eagle

With piercing eyes and its wing span so regal.

The day has matured into a dusky twilight

The majestic eagle soon takes its last flight .

The old feathers are tired and his eyes a bit bleary.

Sits alone and isolated in the silence of his eyrie

The red arc soon sizzles into the blue and out of sight

Making way for the darkness of a moonless night.

The eagle has flown on its oh-so powerful wings

Only the twinkle of a star, does his memory bring.

Writer's Island Prompt : "Flight " / 11th April 2008


The magical python , a few miles long

Slithered along to a divine song .

A multitude of colors did its scales adorn

Some covered, some bald, some black some saffron.

It swallowed.

It swallowed whole and complete

The devotee with his devotion so replete.

That he danced in a trance bordering on insane

Impervious to happiness and oblivious to pain.

It swallowed.

It swallowed whole and full

The farmer whose cart was led by the Bramha bull.

His harvest was golden and his heart grateful

His offerings heartfelt and his steps dutiful.

It swallowed.

It swallowed whole and inclusive

The sufferer, whose health had made him reclusive.

His heart so full of hope and fervent desire

Praying for forgiveness for irking Divine ire.

It swallowed.

It swallowed whole and neat

The childless couple in their dejected defeat.

Their yearning lives so heavy and so full

Hope for tiny hands their heartstrings to pull.

It swallowed.

It swallowed whole and entirely

Not one, not two but simply all the family.

Such unflinching faith in His Divine grace

With nary a thought this trek they did embrace.

It swallowed.

It swallowed whole and thorough

The student aspiring for a better tomorrow.

Despite his endeavours and his meticulous learning

Success his efforts seemed determinedly spurning.

Having thus feasted on such ardent devotion

It moved forwards in a languorous, slothful motion.

Slithering ahead to a divine song.

This magical python, a few miles long.