Remains of the Rain

Image by Mehrsad Rajabi@unsplash


I saw my children standing in the rain
Their faces lined with age and late reason
Watched the abandoned bicycles
And broken seesaws
Being pulled down by the weight of raindrops
Their hands, long and thin, like dead seaweed in the summer wind
Their legs green and gold, like new leaves suddenly old
Seemed painted
In the moist color of quiet
The abandoned delight
Having dissolved
In the lament of the rain
They turn; the motion a sad song
An unfinished lullaby
To look at me with eyes
Half awake but never asleep
As if I with my window earned wisdom
Would know
Why all things grow
Only to die
If life in the very virtue of living
Is a lie
But they know the answer
As well as me
It is better to forget than to believe what we see
In the everyday aftermath
Of the daily demise
Of choices left to chances
And promises made before goodbyes
For in the end all paths
Shall return where they began
Even the oceans with all their eternity
Are but remains of the rain…

Sleepwalker

All I can think about is dust and dusk
And drowning in a shattered sea
Made of glass
Like a photograph of a falling man
Who is never truly falling
But eternally trapped
With a suspended scream
In an endless dream
Like a dreamless wraith;
Weightless and wordless
As an orphan in death

But sometimes the night is too strong for me to sleep
And the dreams I have are too dark for me to keep
So I become a cobweb on the far wall
Or a three pin plug lost in a socket
Some crumpled paper on the floor
Or a faded face in an old heart shaped locket
A catharsis of cause
Building prisons to be free
An empty ship sailing
An emptier sea

Where there is fog in the air
And yet I stare
Like a blind man blinking
Without thinking at the sky
Wondering in my own vacuum
About the mute purpose of ‘Why’
With voices at the edge of my vision
And footsteps at the back of my mind
I am dreaming of being asleep
And afraid of losing what I cannot find

Thus, in this black and white world
In this sharp and smooth world
In this loud and quiet world
In this bitter and sweet world
In this dull and fragrant world
I shall remain awake
Till a different tomorrow

The Ash Blanket

Last night
In dim light
Of half closed fridge
My pale skin
Shone
Like snow on fire
And the blunt desire
To bruise
And break
These filial bonds
Of flesh and bones
Rose, untainted
Like waves on sea
Like a dream disguised as a memory

I was sleeping
Under the cold warmth
Of the ash blanket
Till people appeared
By my bedside
Beings sulphurous
Silhouettes of silver smoke
Which spoke:
‘Come to us
You child of gravity
There is a world beyond the world
Shaped by chaos and clarity
A latticework of lyrics
A synagogue sans any saint
A cosmos acclaimed by cynics
A painting without the paint’
And I alive in tenuous thoughts
Of nevermore and forever
Could only see and be
A shadow of a reflection
Unborn thus free
And so those excelsior people
With ghost hands bore me away
Astride the light they had saved
Back from their leftover days

What I saw thence I cannot say
There is nothing to remember
Between the first dawn of January
And the last night of December
But there are those half dreamt moments
When I seem to know
The truth breathed upon me:
That Soul is what the light don’t show

But last night
In dim light
Of half closed fridge
My pale skin
Shone
Like snow on fire…

Marmalade

Pieces of sunlight on my shirt
Golden flakes caught unawares in snow
I wear the world
As a witness upon my eyebrow

Pendulum thoughts, mine,
Rising to always fall, falling to ever rise
A deaf dance; this one legged tango
Should I mourn
The forgotten remembrance
Of irony bound in common things
Like water buried in a coconut or born in one who knows what it means to be a child
Without being none
I, myself, was born skinless
In a seed of wild fern
Wordless they named me; those voices in my head,
Till I spoke and my friends began to fade
One after another
Like orange in marmalade

The wind upon the canvas do not dry the paint
Nor a fire miles away
Help me find my feet
Of all the pain in the world; it’s the loss that alone tastes sweet
With syrup on my bruise
And sugar on my wound
I limp away
From weeping windows and waking walls
For I heard my cupboard say the other day
Wear less and be more
Was that a dream, a dream
Like Dali high on sour cream?
I wish only to know
Can my hand reach out to my heart and squeeze
The last drops of Carpe Diem to please
My soul; that cotton candy wrapped in light and luck
Made In Bed after a night of soft….

Dear Diary
I am exhausted
Ginsberg and Sexton, Whitman and Poe
Conrad, Tolstoy, Orwell and Thoreau
I read about them all
Copperfield and Twist
And Einstein’s Relativity and Marie Antoinette’s false feast
Should I sleep now
Will the night ask me no more
Questions and answers
Legends and lores

There is a spider on the bed
(Yes, it’s a thought in my head)
Should I scream or be quiet
(There is nothing to be said)
So twinkle twinkle little star
There are bottles in the hotel bar
And many miles to drink before I sleep
Till the laughter stops and it soothes to weep…

Tenants

We both are tenants
Trapped within the rubik cube love
Shaped by our shoulders
Resting against each other
And there is no escape;
For our landlocked lips
Shifting like dry grass
Under the music of sorrel wind
Other than lying on different shores
Waiting for the same tide
To ferry us away
Towards a sunset and a sunrise
Splitting our world; two indifferent ways.

You count the stars between your fingers
And I vanish, like a thin piece of ice
A spectre, yet unfound, in the jigsaw world
Left alone to wander the newspaper streets
Those daily retreats of hourly love
Bought with midnight mascara and silk stockings
Rubbed raw between the eyes and thighs
Of mad men and maddening women
Looking for a cheap trip to the paradise

I hear the tea cup tinkle
And know you have taken a sip
Of the warm clove water
Left upon the doorstep
By the lonely wood worshipper
Whistling for words
And I am content that you did your prayer
Much like my daily dead affair
To show how much for each we care
By being willfully unaware

Thus there is food upon the table
And smile upon our faces
And though the roof is leaking
And the floor is unswept
And there are holes in our clothes
And scarce money in our pockets left
We know we shall scrounge through
Past the ups and downs and ifs and buts
Of everyday euthanization
By lying wide awake
Half dead with escapist desire
In some strangers arms
And murmuring through their skin
The leftover vows
We kept for ourselves
By scribbling away the love
Not meant for each other

The Art of an Artery


I see yet know nothing
I know but can see nothing
Perhaps because I close my eyes during the day
And in night I keep them open
Or perhaps the day dawns when I close my eyes
And night falls when I do open
Thus, I am riven, cleaved clean
And both parts of me are lost to the void
Where they each calls for one another
And each fails to answer the other
So that the half words spilling through the corner of cold blue lips
Become eddies;
Wind painting on water
And the colourless quiet
Is divided equally to all drowning men

This darkness of thought
Tunnels connecting the passage of time
Yawn endlessly
For who would turn and fall asleep
When all answers of today are again questioned tomorrow

We come and go, we come and go
With what desire of knowing
We may never know

Splashes of white and black
Stars streaked with paint brushes
On the decaying horizon
Universe diluted and powdered into pills
To be taken twice with warm water
Before the self-hypnosis servings:
‘Ode to me, ode to me
The orphan child of galaxy’
A child who sees, who see:
Spiders crying upon the wall
And ants dying without a funeral
With the human belief of being surreal
Something more than Picasso’s parody of each man watered down into the same shape
As mercury, slithering inside our throats,
We paint the dreamland agony on our own
A martyr decapitated by needle
Love loaded with gunpowder kiss
Lucky draw for cursory chemotherapy
Armchair dissection; with thoughts clinging to the end of the scalpel
Manufactured magnanimity with expired life lessons
Vending machines for vison; a dime’s dream for a day
Granite gods, chiselled, chewing on sand and white vapor of wisdom
And we the people, popcorn patrons, watching this apocalypse through donated eyes
In a fostered future where, famished children pose before the camera
For takeaway Pulitzer
And the humanitarian prize.

Walls with wombs
Gestating hatred
Watch us, the metallic vultures, as we hover
With our telescope tuned for hypocrisy
Our heavy hearts, aching with empathy, from behind the Kevlar vests


If only the bombs being dropped were bread
There would be no war left to win

Two mirrors
Broken
Thousand miles apart
Watch each other and weep

There is a shell of silence about us
And all those who can see cannot show
And all those who cannot see would not know
How the world is a fish tank
Submerged in an ocean
And our giant leaps
Reaching for stars
Are paralyzed thoughts
Trapped in an endless motion

So, take me to the quiet room
With windows overlooking green fields
And empty blackboard,
Where blank books of history
Are taught by children;
I shall be a student of lifelong happenstance
Waiting for the recess bell to ring
And sunlight to flood out
Into the playground
And make
Ghosts out of living men

The texture of wind
Is not felt by the fingers
Nor the weight of the shadow
By the ground
The time is not seen
On the skin of the sky
Nor is the source heard
Within the sound


Erosion


I keep awake
Watching the parched lightbulb
(And the lightbulb perhaps watching me)
With my hand on the warm doorknob;
Leading halfway to hell,
Till the caterpillar thoughts crawl out into the silence
And cocoons of dreamless desires
Flood the floor
As dark pools of velvet;
With skin like ash and skin like glue.
Fingers of fire
And butterfly blood
Seals the sound of the oboe
In the roots of time
So the seeds of silk may flower
And the fountainhead of pulse
Breathe in the open every night
To let the swan song of love;
Traced on the tips of arched spine
Leave the lips
And take hold of the walls
To make the voice of world
Like beads of sweat; evaporate,
And the colours of a carnal mind collapse
Into nothingness
Of everyday afterlife

Her Fire and Her Flesh

Her eyes were on the fire
Her fingers in the dough
The smoke; it left her breathless
Like the kerosene she poured into the stove
The sweat dipped her lashes
To her tears were all blind
She was only a shadow on the wall
Though being a woman one of a kind

She had trapped Ganges in her hair
And Pharaohs praised her lotus feet
Her’s was Mumtaz’s Taj
And to her belonged the Papal Seat
But all that was her she had given
In dowry for her father’s name,
With the hope she would be treasured
And not burnt alive for the same

But soon a time shall come
When a Sita will not walk
A false Ordeal of Fire
So blind people would not talk
And soon a time shall come
When a Draupadi will not accept
The men and their game of dice
Weighted against her self-respect
And no longer any Eve shall answer
For Adam’s own intent
And let a Mother be always a Martyr
And Father always a Saint