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


We talk peace

They tell stories- toys pulled out of rubble, burnt
trucks, body bags — we tremble a little, pull the
covers closer. This is the new normal. Our way.
Our destiny. We are not gods. We did not come
with answers hieroglyphed on our thighs. Our
sins are our humanness. We talk peace even as
our factories spew arms. We talk about saving
ourselves even as we bleed the earth. We smile,
we nod even as we cross our fingers behind us.
We build new temples. We bow to new powers.
Information floods into our souls through our
fingertips. Still, on the day of judgement, we will
lie. We will say we let it happen because it was
not our choice. We did not know. It is our way.
Our destiny. We will reach out, fingertips stained
with the price of our apathy. Our make-believe
gods more omnipresent than the war stained sky.


For the midweek prompt at Poets United: “peace”



The lines that divide us

The lines that divide us grow redder, welts
on the skin of sufferance etched by
concertina wire as we escape the last
pretence of civility. How do you grieve in
an us and them world? How do you
account for grief when them is the face
of a friend. When them is a hand you have
held. When them is a lip you have tasted.
When them is the scary moat that surrounds
us. And us is a star looking out into the night,
seeing only what it can imagine. I look into
their eyes. Eyes that cheer a frenzy. Eyes that
are boundaries. Eyes that deny mine. Eyes that
harden faith. We look away. We die when we
refuse to be reflections in each other’s eyes. We
die when them becomes a different dawn. We die
when us becomes a star their morning cannot find.

Once upon a time…

tell me about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
tell me about the 414 million pieces of plastic that washed ashore on
a tiny island.
tell me that included one million shoes.
tell me about the microplastic in the Marianna trench.
tell me about the bottle caps inside the albatross.
tell me about the dead whales.

tell me about that glow in the early sky.
tell me it is a false dawn.
tell me the sun is already dead.
tell me how they buried it, draped in a plastic shroud.

tell me how this story ends.
tell me how it began.
once upon a time, on a slow-moving sphere of
sparkling blue and emerald green, a light…

Another Season

They said today, the monsoon will arrive in the first week of
June. Like it always does. We outlast summer because we know

the wet will come. We survive the rains because we know that
by Diwali, the clouds will begin their retreat. We get through the

festive season because the cold numbs our fevered brow. In April,
the first mangoes will ripen in the sun. There is always another

season. There is always another reason. One more transformation. One
more repetition. Our mortality is never in question as long as the variables

are constant. It is the unchanging that we fear. A forever downpour.
An endless summer. A predictable love. A world refusing to fall apart.

The Truth

“The truth is like poetry.
And most people f*&^%#@ hate poetry”
– From the movie, ‘The Big Short’


The truth is a million species are lined up for
The truth is natural ecosystems are breaking
The truth is it the way we consume land and sea is
affecting us all.

The truth is bleached coral.
The truth is fish with plastic in their bellies.
The truth is burning fossil fuels.
The truth is rising seas.

The truth is the worst April cyclone in the Bay of
Bengal in years that killed dozens of people in

The truth is no longer sustainable.

Have you closely examined the delicate contours
of a butterfly wing?
Have you wondered at the Fibonacci patterns of
shells and flowers?
Have you considered the delicate balance of the
food chain?
Have you woken up in the morning to the sound
of water and birds?

The truth is that nature, left to itself, is poetry.
The truth is most people f*&^%#@ hate poetry.

From the IPBES report on biodiversity and ecosystem services