On the rough road

Re-organized my blog and this collection of haiku I put together three years ago, now has its own page.

Thought I’d put it out there, in case you didn’t see it earlier – tucked away in a cluttered sidebar.

The page has a feedback option as well, so do share your thoughts – on the collection, on haiku, on Basho, on travel, on life!

 

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The Tour

And we sign up for the tour of the museum
of horrors. Expertly curated, the brochure
invites — the special exhibits are ravaged
war zones, starving children, the burning
taiga, the occupied territories, the eroded
beaches, the nameless prisons, the extinct
species, the endless lines of humans fleeing
one hell for another. We grab our audio
guides and wait to be told what we should
see. How we should see what we think we
see. Leave your belongings at the gate, a
disinterested voice directs, as we stuff the last
of our humanity in a locker and enter, cokes
and burgers clutched to our chests, the water
rising above our ankles, the plastic key card
choking the universe through our lined pockets.

For the midweek prompt at Poets United: ‘Museum’

 

Water to Water – on Amazon

 

On turning fifty

Have you noticed how conversations on aging, mortality and their peripheral existential conundrums elicit the most incongruous responses? In the last month, I’ve heard how age is just a number, how 50 is the new 30, how I now have the ‘wisdom’ I always wanted, how grey is the new black, how the time is now ripe to ‘pursue my passion’ and how growing old is liberating, especially for a woman! I hoped my reaction to such collective enthusiasm would be nuanced – ranging from an eye roll to a shrug – instead, of course, I found new variations between animated defence and argumentative disgust. Not quite in the ‘wisdom I always wanted’ category, clearly! Truth is, everyone marks a milestone in their own way. There’s always something to celebrate, much to ponder, perhaps to regret, even to silently fear. Some find equanimity and grace, some find wild abandon, some find courage, some find love, some walk away, some find excuses, some discover new challenges to overcome – some write poems.

the more I learn
the more I know
about things I will never know

I am writing a set of 10 poems on turning 50 that I will be ready to send out pretty soon. They won’t be posted on this blog but if you’d like me to send you a copy of the PDF, write to me at suspension.point@yahoo.com 

Afterthought

I was a cat then
and now I am this
nine births removed —

beside me, the tree,
that is still a tree,
watches a fragrant
jasmine creeper
climb up its roots to
seduce the decrepit
moon. It knows —

a single bee
hangs in the
unmoving air
like an unpleasant
truth —

trying to be human
damages the soul so
it can no longer be
recycled, washing up
on a faraway shore,
killing the fish
that ignorantly
race to feed upon
its unbroken bits —

a single flower
falls on the earth
where we lie,
the cat and I
together, nine deaths
removed —

Water to Water – on Amazon

 

She collects

broken tea cups, rescuing them all,
chipped, without handles, cracked
on the sides, at the bottom, one
split open like a skull, its eyes no
longer seeing the emptiness —

everything cannot die in a landfill,
become unrecognizable matter,
reincarnate into other utensils,
useless, freshly coloured, waiting
for a touch on a sterile shelf —

some objects have stories – of lips
they kissed, of leaves that were
picked on the low mountains, of
a song she hummed as the water
boiled, of a truth he spoke after
the second sip, that shattered
one, more than one universe —

Print/e-book on Amazon

 

Shock

I sit with my finger
pressed into my wound –
there should be pain,
there should be shock,
there should be blood.
But all I feel is a
strange sense of comfort.

I learnt this from the
earth — the way she
rips open her seams
every now and then
just to reassure herself
there’s still a fire
burning in her belly.

Print/e-book on Amazon

 

From different journeys

I travel backwards even as the rest of the train flees
in the opposite direction. The man in the opposite

seat lets a newspaper fall. We pick it up from
different journeys, fingers briefly touching. I tell

myself the earth is a sphere, the horizon is my orbit.
I will arrive where he arrives, sooner or later. Some

people traverse yesterdays better than they ford
tomorrows. The train lingers at stations. The sepia

dust dances in a light beam of failure. Mirrors still
reflect the pink regret of long ago. What if creation

had made us before it made time? What would love be
then – at this station that is both the next one and the

previous, in this moment that has passed and is still
occurring, in this vector along which I have moved and

am still waiting? I watch the man leave, the paper
under his arm, understanding and still not knowing.

Print/e-book on Amazon