Let’s wonder about other things

I question the transience of the past. I question its
existence. Doesn’t the past exist, even after it
doesn’t? Isn’t the present, the after-life of the past —
the ghostly chill that shimmers, feet-less, around
graves, in the moonlight? I struggle with tenses. We
made love. Fervent love. Now that love is an
apparition in white. Or we are. Verbs transmogrify
into waiting. Love resurrects in a purgatory of its
own creation. Let’s wonder about other things —
things we told each other, things we told ourselves,
things that were never true. What happens to lies
when they cross time-fences? How will the unreal
survive its not-being? You tell me. I can feel your
fingers scorch my skin. I tell myself I am dreaming.
I tell myself reality undid itself that night. You
tell me which tense it is – that unspoken goodbye?

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But the icons fall

And that sour smell of sweat and lust extends
its slimy fingers to feel the pulsing need in
our spent carcasses. What are we after all the
goodness has been distilled out of us? What
are we when we become sediment at the bottom
of our wants? What is left after honour and god
and country and love? When there is nothing
more to fight for? When skin and lips and pain
only delay the nightmares? I burnt incense, once,
the delicacy of sandalwood and jasmine rising in
grey rings as if the path to salvation was paved
with the perfume of righteousness. But the icons
fall. Or the masks. Or the door to your soul bangs
shut and there is no escape. Ashes on the table.
You reach out again. Feel skin and lips and pain.
Darkness is four excuses away. I tried the truth,
once. What are we when we have no more lies?
Breath burns. Bodies rise and fall. You scream. The
smell of sweat and lust and nothing else to fight for.

 

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Not calligraphed by rain

That’s why I seek the storms of the
night. The fury. The devastation. The
swirling darkness. The blind sin. To
the morning. To this morning. When I
have to be the sun. Not the sky. Not
the shadow. Force sight. Force
myself to see. I have to be the sun
that makes you visible. You exist again
and I have to see you as you really
are. Not calligraphed by rain. Not
embellished by mist. Not remembered
better than you can be. In the morning,
this morning, I have to be the sun
and you are still who you always were.
But now we cannot turn off the light.

 

 

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Upheaval

The butterfly is strapping on a bullet-proof
vest. The trees are scraping stars off the
sky. The sun is in peril from the wounds it
baked into the earth. The sea is being
sucked into rivers and back into clouds.
There will be upheaval. When you have
been stretched as far as you can allow, the

ricochet will not be subtle. Recoil gathers
the mutant seeds of anarchy. Viva la
revolución. When the time comes, all that
will be left is a question waiting between
you and your mirror. Resurrection is not
just faith, is it? Look behind you, the
universe is undressing slowly in your bed.
How will you prove your love tonight?

 

 

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Water to Water on PU

Water to Water was featured on Poets United today. Here’s a link to the brief interview that includes a couple of poems from the book.

Grateful to Sherry and all of the poets over at PU – definitely one of the warmest places on the net to meet poets and share poetry.

Paperback and e-book editions are available on Amazon.

 

 

From the rib

This too is a kind of eden.

There is bewilderment
and temptation,
sin and sine qua non,
there is exponential loss.

From the rib of the first eden,
countless edens were spawned,
deliberate, inadvertent,
the devil running crimson
through their veins.

I too had a god, before.
Before snakes.
Before fruit.
After light.
Until the emptiness
became imperfect.
Until the imperfection
turned into cause.
Until the cause
demanded a rib.
Until the rib
sacrificed a god.

This too is a kind of eden.
After snakes.
After fruit.
After dark.
Until a god
reclaims the emptiness.
Until the emptiness
becomes imperfect.

This too.

For the midweek prompt at Poets United: ‘Garden’

 

Water to Water, my first poetry collection, is now available on Amazon – US, UK and India

 

When I missed the 09:55

there were furrows
on her forehead,
disappearing like subway tracks,
lines that climbed out
from her weary dimple
like trains out of City Station;

she was softer
under the naked light bulb,
incandescent matter
poised mid-whirl,
a momentary flicker
in Rumi’s eyes,
an afterthought
caught in the maelstrom
of an incoming chant;

her face translucent,
the edges blurring
into the aura
weaving round her head;
inviting me to read
the empty pages,
words like thoughts
had pulled away
over the years;

i met her
on an empty platform,
a long way from today,
the me that i could be,
standing alone,
with a smile
and a purple umbrella;
in her bag-
the book I am writing,
weathered and lonesome;

she watched me run
towards the 09.55,
shaking off raindrops
from an imagined ache,
her wrinkled hands
held my arm
for just a moment,
not so fast,
her trembling voice said,
not so fast, my dear,
go craft me
in your own time,
one unsure step
trailing another,
just feel the lines
cross through your heart,
they will come,
for now
just slow down
and mind the gap.

Posted this poem way back on Jan 3rd, 2016. Seems like a perfect time to revisit it.

Water to Water, my first poetry collection, is now available on Amazon – US, UK and India