New Reason

like Scheherazade

to stay alive

love invents
a new reason
every night


For Poets United‘s Midweek Motif : Invention

Even For Winter

they sat there in the evening light, cups of tea
and hot bhajiyas on the plastic table, people calling
out from the street as they passed, asking about their
children, their mothers, even as their wives waited
in their kitchens and bedrooms, they sat there and
thought about a pink cheeked girl, how they could
steal her, keep her, break her, destroy her, and they
smiled at the people passing and asked for more tea
and took calls from uncles and brothers and the birds
sang as they came back to their nests and they talked
of a child and how they would kidnap her and sedate
her and who would rape her and who would kill her
even as their wives waited in their kitchens and
bedrooms and their mothers prayed louder so
their sons would live longer and they asked for more
tea and smoked cigarettes till their arousals were
hidden in the dusk under the cheap plastic table and
girls, little girls, bringing goats and horses and cows
home from the hills walked past, not knowing, not
seeing, and they called out to them and asked about
their brothers and fathers and ordered more cups
of tea as their wives waited and mothers prayed
and a lone god silently cried for tomorrow and
a flag fluttered one last time in the distance.

It was cold, bitterly cold, even for a himalyan winter.



Part Sky

They dug the ancient temple out from under twenty feet of dirt,
or so the portly guide was saying, the mountains cold and dark in

the distance, the sandstone still wet from a sharp April shower. I see
the pillars leaning, askew, you can never put the past back exactly the

way it was, time stretches and frays as it passes. Here, in the quiet,
where once there were gods and incense rings that uncoiled on carved

ceilings, and sculptors who chiselled the dainty waists of apsaras on
hallowed walls, here the ruins become polished mirrors, one reflecting

the other, the endless repetition of what was into improbabilities, of
what is into incredulity, can’t you see yourself – part priest and part

worshipper, part god and part stone, part guide and part wanderer, saint
and sinner, over and over, growing smaller and smaller, unborn until

seen by another, part sky yet part interred under twenty feet of
decomposed time, begging a crooked pillar for a straight answer.



A lone tree props up the heavy night, the weight of all that
darkness, of unconsummated dreams, of things that sigh

in the after-light. He watches the unstill sky impaled by the
wounded bark, knows the world is lighter in the sunshine, the

unencumbered blue, the unfettered clouds, that strange
anomaly of time and sight replaced by this impenetrable murk

that watches with its many eyes. He knows something will give
before dawn, but what if the shadows do not rip, what if the

separation of heaven and earth breaks down and the deathly ink
stains all eternity, what if the now is swallowed by that open

mouth and will never be again, he shifts slightly, feeling his
roots dig deeper, the cold seeping into his old, trembling feet.


Wrote this for Mystic Blue Review‘s Ekphrastic Challenge where the prompt was The Starry Night by Van Gogh. The poem has just been published in their fourth issue.
Linking to Poets United as well .

Physics Will Not Have It

Woman in an Interior, by Vilhelm Hammershoi (Denmark). 1909.

To be like glass, throwing patterns of light instead of dark
shadows, pools of daytime art in infinite detail, every

filigreed ripple of love and fear and guilt and torment, the
excruciating minutiae of the broken heart spilt on hardwood

floors and asphalt roads, climbing brick walls into dimensions
we dare not dream of; but physics will not have it, physics

was born before love, what does it know of spaces with no rules,
of pain, keeping us tethered to the earth while the sky whispers

urgently each dawn; by noon I am reading the murky shapes
like tea leaves, trying to find tomorrow in whatever is left

behind, by dusk, the blur stains the window, the corners are
drawn one by one into the centre, by then, by then, it is too late.


Thank you Lorette C. Luzajic, for publishing my poem at The Ekphrastic Review.