four stories: one story

four stories: one story – a cherita sequence

(1)
barely remembered morning

the whoosh of the pressure cooker
the hiss of boiling milk

the father singing in the shower
off-key
so off-key

(2)
entirely forgotten afternoon

live cricket on TV
the thwack of bat on ball

the mother critiquing a square cut
picking invisible stones
from long-grained rice

(3)
scarcely remembered evening

the slither of shadows
climbing up the walls

the golden murmur
of filter coffee
frothing in stainless-steel cups

(4)
painstakingly forgotten night

the sour smell
of fermented batter

the slam of a car door
the sound of something
gone wrong — of something gone —

Anatomy of a poem

(1/6)
one runaway thought

straitjacketed
into acceptance

every line
less honest
than the one before it

(2/6)
how can I write a poem

greater than
the sum of its parts

unless the unsaid
is also a part —
the biggest part

(3/6)
learning poetry

from the
summer moon

bright and scarred
on one side
the dark hidden, hidden

(4/6)
I remember I once wrote

about a flowery meadow
alive in dappled light

I have never been
to that land, never seen
a damn daffodil

(5/6)
whatever the waves brought in

someone’s marble, someone’s shoe
a broken shell, a broken bone

all you think you know about the sea
you learnt from things
it did not keep for itself

(6/6)
let’s make it easier

I’ll write a poem about you
you write one about me

there are so many words
to describe
someone else’s life

Dear Tomorrow

so, dear tomorrow,

can’t you see how earth
prepares herself for that inevitable end?

I worry about you –
what will you be when there’s no one left
to measure time?

****

A cherita for earthweal, the place for poetry on the climate crisis. So many parts of the world are already reeling under the impact. Sherry talks of the atmospheric river systems lining up in Canada, while here in the south of India, the North-East monsoon season seems to have gone completely, devastatingly mad. Go to Earthweal.com to read/ learn/ contribute. 

City Cherita – XII

 

they come to the flower bazaar

for jasmine, for marigolds, for roses —
for funerals, for weddings, for worship —

at night, the unsold flowers
become this city’s story
of all that did not happen

*****
Sharing this cherita from my book ‘Duplicity‘, published in Sep 2021. ‘Duplicity’ contains a mix of freeverse and micropoetry – cherita and modern haiku/senryu. Both print and kindle editions are available on Amazon. Also listed on Kobo. More information and links here.  You can read another poem from the book here. Do grab a copy today and let me know what you think! 

Poetry of the rice fields

transplanting rice

she complains
about her heartless lover

to a scarecrow
without
a head

sweat trickling down her back

she watches him
in the rice field

a shadow lands,
then an egret
another shadow, another egret

first summer rain

the smell of want
the smell of soil

ankle-deep in water
she giggles —
covering his face

Throwback to some Cherita

In August 2017, I had six poems published on The Cherita. I couldn’t share the poems immediately because of the rules of the journal and then the display format. Later, ‘The Cherita’ released several anthologies, collecting all the poems published by them. I recently managed to get myself the kindle version of one of the books titled ‘Where the river bends‘ and can finally, have all my poems up on my blog. Cherita is a form, as you might know, created by Ai Li who is the editor of the online journal and the curator of the anthologies. (If you’ve already seen a few of them on my Instagram page, well, this is the backstory)

(1)
the horizon thickens

the sea separates
from the curdled sky

we rise like wet birds
from the water
into emptiness, into nothing

(This Cherita also appears in my book ‘Water to Water‘)
(2)
origami bird

I fold and refold
our love

hoping
one day
it will fly
(3)
the after-rain

a moon trembles
in every puddle

sleep leaves the window
and slips into
my empty bed
(4)
a door slammed

a dog barked softly
once, twice

she woke up
when she heard the wind
tiptoe into the garden
(5)
afternoon quiet

the cat sleeps
in sunshine squares

the light and I
argue about shadows
and god
(6)
the sound of temple bells

she closes her eyes
for a moment

when did she get
too old
to pray for love

Flash fiction and such…

February has been a writing experiment. If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll know I’ve been trying my hand at flash fiction (500-1000 words).  So, if you are part of blog groups that share flash fiction or if you write some yourself or have anything to do with flash fiction at all, do give me a shout. I’d love to read your work and link mine as well.

Meanwhile, a cherita (which is also a storytelling form):

morning crossword

every face on the train
a clue

every story
expecting
an empty white square