Thursday, August 12, 2010

Somethings ephemeral

Come here, my love, sit close by me,
On this patch of grass, moist still, see,
from the slight drizzle in the afternoon,
You are late, and it will be evening soon,
Watch with me the sun, the birds fly by,
Night shadows looming in the fading sky,
Gold-edged clouds turning skips and hops,
Night ascending from the roots to tree-tops,
That gecko staring from two feet away,
Waiting with us for the end of the day.
Life is so beautiful before it dies,
Time so ephemeral when it flies.

Watch with me this descending night,
See the world slowly lost to our sight,
Search with me for landmarks familiar-
A fumbling kiss, a whisper in the ear,
Your hands in mine, a touch of your hair,
Your lips ajar, your smile free of care,
A lone star twinkling in the dark sky,
Too soon it will be time to say goodbye.
Days pass into night, a dawn will come,
For most of us, though not for some.

Possibly my love, the night lies in wait,
Tomorrow not be for us, fickle is fate,
Our dawn might be dark with pain,
Our love might not be same again,
My heart is razed by unknown fears,
Our love may wither with passing years,
It may fall prey to the dullness of days,
Wounded by routine, we may part ways,
Or worse still, descend into indifference,
Only poets sing of love's permanence.

That day when we have nothing to call our own,
Nothing to share, except a sigh and a moan,
and memories of faraway days just like this,
Starlit eyes, and perhaps a stolen kiss,
Languid evenings, a rain-kissed breeze,
Your eyes whispering: let me go please,
A brazen lizard with beady eyes two feet away,
Staring at us instead of looking for prey.
Hold these memories, for when the skies may rain,
We may find them in our heart, and smile again.

Ghazal kehne ko jee chaha

Ghazal koi kahne ko jee chaha,
Aaj udaas sa rahne ko jee chaha.

Sambhal sambhal kar thak gaya tha,
Hawaaon sang bahne ko jee chaha.

Unki aankhon mein dekh kar aansoo,
Unka har gham sahne ko jee chaha.

Jaane kya hua jo jeete jeete,
Kuchh kar guzarne ko jee chaha.

Wo koi dost tha jo kho gaya hai,
Kyun use yaad karne ko jee chaha.

Ek soyi khwahish thi jo jaag uthi,
Khwabon ka sanwarne ko jee chaha.

Anand ko pyar hai zindagi se fir kyun,
Kisi ki aankhon pe marne ko jee chaha?

Unravelling the rains

I'll remember her when it rains.
Her presence, a whiff of moist breeze
pregnant with the possibility
of rain. Her errant hair like wild,
vagrant clouds rooted in the wind.
Her eyes, the dark, deep sky
laden with rain, flashing with fire
when lightning strikes.
Her sudden smiles, bright as the sun
peeking through a veil of clouds.
The torrent of her words, a river
in spate, or a gust of wind
carrying a helpless leaf
far and away.

Tempestuous, as only
the rains can be. Gentle
as a drizzle one moment,
falling softly on the waiting earth,
Blinding cascades whiplashing
the earth the next. Her changing moods
mirror the swift colours
of a monsoon sky. She is pretty
as a paper boat covered with poems
that speak of rain, or a slow melody
that breaks the monotony
of rainless nights.

Seasons change, and she will
one day, go away with the passing
monsoon, leaving behind
memories of a fragrant sky,
that I shall carry into a warm winter fire,
Seeking to decipher
the mysterious monsoon,
aided by a glass of old wine
sparkling with the rememberance
of having once been soaked
in the rains.

The morning after

The morning after,
Sleep floating in my eyes,
My hands searched the bed,
Only to form across empty space,
A solitary bridge.

The only witness to her presence,
A slight impression in the bed,
Defining the contours of her body,
Remembered still by my fingertips,
Imprisoned in a dream
Fading already.

Caressing the imprint,
The fugitive dream I tried to hold,
Unravelling with my fingers its knotted threads,
Till the sun intruded,
And the dream melted away,
Leaving nothing behind.

It was the morning after
A chance encounter with a stranger,
It was perhaps well that it ended so,
A dream dreamt in the shadows of the night,
Is seldom as beautiful,
In the harsh glare of the sun.

The last legacy

There was a time long long ago,
When my dreams were young, my child,
When they spoke of mornings crisp
as pages of a book opened the very first time,
Days dawned in those dreams fresh
as the breeze salt-laden on the sea-side.
Those were days when a long time ago,
In my dreams then I played with the sun,
Soared on gosammer wings of wispy clouds,
Bathed in volcanoes and floated on the sea,
My dreams were then a trusting child,
Spinning stories with the lady in the moon.

Time passed on its journey and slowly, my child,
Like an old shirt worn a thousand times,
The edges of my dreams were frayed,
Smaller they became, their skies more distant,
Ageing, they resembled a pot-holed street
That had no exit sign on the other end,
They now got scalded in the heat of the sun,
Flaky hope fell away like dried skin,
Until I clenched my eyes tight,
And shut all dreams out of them.

These blind dreams are all I have,
Their shattered pieces my legacy to you,
Still, though worthless pebbles they may be now,
Keep them secure in your eyes, my child,
As a memory of what this world could be.
Go my child, dream dreams of your own,
Unhindered by my legacy of broken dreams,
May your dreams bear fruit where mine were lost
in the dreary desert of endless days and nights,
Conquer the kingdom of dreams and make
This world fit for dreams once more.

Neither here nor there

Between light and darkness
lurk the shadows,
Neither seen, nor unseen,
Neither real, nor a fantasy,
Yet the shadows are both.

Between the earth and the sky
Stretches the horizon,
An arm's length away,
And yet,
A boundary unmappable,
A bridge unbridgeable.

Between love and loss,
Lies longing,
For though love be true,
Yet inevitable
Is its end.
The coin spins
between the two,
And longing is all
that remains.

In this uncharted territory
called life,
An hyphen lies
between you and me,
An hyphenated existence
all we have,
Condemned to be together,
And yet apart,
Fumbling through the journey,


Read my heart,
As you would read a poem,
Slowly, uncertainly,
Gingerly finding your way
Through thickets of overgrown syllables,
Unravelling, with infinite patience,
The maze of metaphors,
Alleyways of allegories,
Stumbling over images
That wont be side-stepped,
Pausing now and then to savour,
A nuance delicately flavoured,
A turn of phrase that imbues,
Words with unglimpsed hues,
Till finally, you reach the end,
And find freedom in the soul,
That intimately bares to you,
All its beauty, and its
Moles and warts as well.

Go away,
If prose is what you prefer,
The heart knows no other
Language than that of poetry.