I Sing Along

from salt and pepper photographs
sprinkled on strange brick walls

my memories make up their own memories

filling the quiet of the never spoken
with familiar music

I watch my feet remember the rhythm
I feel my lips hum the tune

I sing along

Quadrille: a 44 word poem
Linked to the Dverse Poets (Prompt: Pepper)

Waiting for Sunshine

it is our stubborn reluctance
to stir the heavy air
who, like an aging lover,
thinks he can still tell
hidden yearning from unspoken boundaries,
a book lies unread on my lap
someone’s impassioned words
that conjure a false arrhythmia
begging for motion, for emotion
as if waving at the sky
will make it forfeit a single monsoon cloud;

it is the false propaganda of the rain
masking the odour of parched throats
with a fleeting waft of petrichor
that precludes dissent,
its clammy fingers proclaiming life
as if eternity rides down
on pregnant clouds
to backfill the emptiness;

but we have learnt to wait
until the sun deigns to love us again
until shadows that slunk away
return to the hollows of our patient curves,
we have soft umbrellas of inertia
to deafen the mystic drumming of the rain
the grey shroud will drop
from his bent shoulders
the revelation
is only a few yards
of nothingness away.

I am no aesthete

I am no aesthete
these pitiless streets and sagging alleys
weave ennui instead of song
the air here is a different colour
even the rose who sees herself
in the filthy puddles from yesterday’s rain
thinks she was born a dirty sepia

oh I have sat across the room
and admired the strong jaw of your feral words
the stubble on the face of your poems
as if they had overslept
too harrowed by the insincerity of the long night
their long fingers shredding old sensibilities
brown nails scraping away the wet earth to find a lost path

but I am tethered to this obsolescent air
scavenging for metaphors in ripe refuse
yesterday as we walked I picked up
a mango seed sucked dry
as if someone had consumed the sun
and thrown away its wan core
you laughed and showed me the sky
a plump cloud with one yellow stain on its cheek

I make do, my grey unwashed sun
shines dark on things I don’t want to see
the rose falls apart in the angry rain
and we walk through the unseen
making poems that rise with bloodshot eyes
reeking of discarded wine
holding their heads on the torn sheets of my notebook

I am no aesthete
but sometimes I have seen my sobbing poems
tender eyed, faking smiles
as they wake up next to yours.

June Skies

the tea is smelling of ginger
and cardamom, sickly sweet,
the kind she likes in the morning,
that whispers in her ear
tells her to write about disappearing horizons
about absent birds, puddles stolen from cloistered skies,
the way the summer births this deluge
and slips away, leaving the monsoon
screaming in her hands,

an unlikely mother
bent like a cold question in a still damp watercolour,
she writes of cold toes and wrinkled skin
of a song about a long ago downpour
that sounds like a lullaby,
of smudged eyes and leaching tears,
of a chipped cup from which
the grey wind stops to drink,
four a.m. The darkness shivers,
it is raining again.

she writes of a sun that was,
of the way the light used to be.

One Cup of Tea

instagram: @tp_poetry

And This Way

I wake up with the aftertaste
of shinrin-yoku on my skin,
the reverberation of a dream
that pretends I breathe free
in the urban jungle,
where all the possible green
has been shoehorned
into a corner of my balcony
as one pot of withering yellow portulacas
that I cannot remember to water,

what of these dreams that fancy
they are Khayyam,
…a jug of wine, a loaf of bread- and thou…
when they are only rusty signboards
on a city road, pointing to a garden
that is now a hollowed construction pit
its hands impaling the smog gowned sky,
unfulfilled reality like yellow sweat stains
in its neon lit armpits,

the concrete city is a broken shower head,
the brackish water dripping from its pores
like neglected flowers,
inviting me in to bathe,
to scrub the last of the ancient quatrains
from my wilderness weary eyes,
asphalt trails blinking in the stubborn monsoon sun,
this way, this way
and this way- to paradise.

shinrin-yoku: forest bathing
“A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread—and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness—
Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!”.
(Omar Khayyam- the Edward Fitzgerald Translation)