JOYFUL
        to my beloved wife

              joyful of a tomorrow
               that rises with hope in fast
               colours burnishing a cloying century--
               come, it's been too long, too strong,
               it's fading the colours before we
know it, come.

               hands and mouths and eyes all framed
               and set and harnessed for
               an encore, come!
               it's getting late,
               and the colours won't stand a chance
               if we wait.

               all together now, from the gullies
               of the past, dust just off,
               all to gather and breathe in a new air
               of colours, come---
JEWEL
Where is my life
after all these years,
where's that jewel
I buried so deep?
Ideas crumble like midnight fears
and people are shadows
I never feel-
so die, mundane world,
and leave me alone!
It's time for tears,
my only glow.



WOMAN!
when i think beauty, i see it already
dawn on the plains and pools of her face,
lightening and lighting up the furrows of the maze,
beckoning as if to the final surprise;

when i think, i feel the waves descend
and bend and send a charging pulse
that quickens my brain with highs and lulls;
we meet beyond the ocean and the sky.

like a seive she drains my darkest dreams,
she cannot cleave, she takes it whole,
my good and bad, my spotted soul;
woman, she's the one who makes me fly!

give me then an excess of such love,
give me life within my death
a pause within my breath,
woman, your moments freeze my long eternal sigh!

WOH DIN
hum ek hi jaam to peete thhe
woh din  gayey
behke, saqui ki dua ki tarah


hum ek hi rukh se jeete thhe
woh shaam  dhaley
dard ki akhri dhuan ki tarah


ab tho raahat yeh raha
na din raha, na raat rahi
na main raha, na yaad rahi
SO I LOVE
memory roots my yearning
reminding me of love.
i cannot describe or transgress
like a seafarer lashed by waves
into a desert island,
creating resources from a dried-up world.

i dare, so i love.
i dare to call the world
my own, so i love.

where is that voice i heard
in a dream before my birth,
that twitches like an ailing heart?
where is the power
that enables my smile,
and steals my tears?

Shorn i stand on a beach
emptied by froth of its reasons;
i bare, so i love.
shoot me questions, why don't you?
there are seas i've crossed, i'm not the same;
and years i've passed, and soured my name.
watch my footsteps stain the sand,
too far for the water's reach.
your silence rings louder than your praise,
shoot me questions, why don't you?

i've tipped the hour-glass, drunk from it
and weaned myself from milk to rum;
my head rotates even as the earth,
see, i remain the son of the soiled.
nature's drains are clogged, rotted by my sins--
shoot me questions, why don't you?
like bullets or the rain.

don't seek reasons, my past is sealed,
i've no time to be poetically correct.
see, i've lived what i've seen--
read my lines and then between,
i'd rather be felt than seen.
shoot me questions, why don't you?
it's time i took a break, shattered, piecemealed, sealed.

someone tell mother
i'm here.
within dark walls of this room,
as marchers shout their cause
and gods bob up and down.
 
tell her i die
slow and rotting within
while deals are made and
freedom flaunted
like a wound of honour
and my children laugh.
 
the stone steps in my mother's house
that led to the pool
haunted my feet forever after;
i waited for immersion
that final seal of peace
when the bubbles are stilled.
 
mother, break these walls
and take me back---
your womb is drying too!
we'll start afresh
in the open sun
brothers cleansed in blood.
 
too long we've slipped
drinking in the darkness
too long the bell has tolled;
mother, now it's time to rise.
mother, take me back.
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