Another Time

walking past the hawker
by the old roundabout,
the smell of biryani
rising
sticking to the dewy October night;

it was 10:45,
there were construction workers,
their clothes still grey
from the dust of tomorrow’s homes,
students on motorcycles,
rucksacks large on their backs,
phones singing in their ears,
three skeletal dogs,
milling around for scraps..

clouds peered through soft lit windows
watched television with huddled forms,
a bored pole star
heard an implosion ten degrees west,
wished he could inch closer,
on a low branch of a yawning gulmohar,
an insomniac crow,
read aloud from the Masnavi…

a newspaper flapped against a silver light pole,
scaring bandicoots
that crept out of the drains,
a car backed out of a creaking gate,
bollywood beats fading to a whisper
as it sped away…

I saw none of it.
Heard not one sound.

the smell of meat and spices
still stained a forgotten air,
as if canopic jars
filled with the remains of an eviscerated past,
had been opened,
smashed on the ground,
so fragments of mummified time,
could run their brittle fingers
through carefully coiffured memories;

I saw none of it.
Heard not one sound.

but there were voices,
and bodies,
and stars arranged in looping cursive font,
it was 10:45,
on a dewy October night,
by the old roundabout,
it was another time.

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27 thoughts on “Another Time

  1. I admire the sense of time and place, putting me there with you ~ Yet, our memories are different, of another time & place ~ Like the “carefully coiffured memories” ~

    Thanks for sharing at D’verse and see you at Haibun Monday next week ~

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love it when a poet slows down time & chronicles & catalogs all about them, spilling poetic light on heretofore undiscovered portions of landscapes. Interesting too to show that your narrator was not totally in tune with the specifics of the surroundings, juxtaposing routine & hurry to the beauty of specificity. I like the lines /so fragments of mummified time/could run through their brittle fingers/through carefully coiffured memories/.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like how you describe scenes, scents and happenings but you were never there…fabulous! I especially could smell those spices and the biryani…even though I wasn’t there either…love Indian food!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is so rich in description that I felt absorbed by it. That is meant to be a compliment as I cannot quite express how beautiful this is!

    “fragments of mummified time,
    could run their brittle fingers
    through carefully coiffured memories”

    Wow!

    Liked by 1 person

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