On the Rough Road is a collection of haiku that I first put together in 2016 following a series of prompts on ‘Carpe Diem Haiku Kai’ based on Matsuo Basho’s ‘Oku no hosimichi’ (Narrow road to the Deep North)
Recently, I redesigned and edited the chapbook and though it seemed to take forever, it was a nostalgic walk through old haiku and haibun I had written, giving me fresh insight into my state of mind and writing style, then – and now.
Over the years, I’ve surely learnt a thing or two, but also lost something. I don’t entirely know what that is, but I believe some of my best haiku are in this little chapbook. For more details, check this link.
because the existential subtraction of the past year laid bare the excesses of my carefully contrived alignments,
because the new minimalist right angles of being are putting to shame the cursive blooms of February after a summer, a monsoon, a winter, of letting go,
because so much was so unnecessary, so exhausting, so mindless that turning away was turning inward, hearing myself, allowing the words to come when they were ready — like rain, like a storm, like the night — filling the spaces between here and sky, between me and myself, becoming a bridge that leads to another chance,
because when this stillness has passed, the chaos will come rushing back but there will be a memory of this time when so much nothing happened that it was still a little something,
because sometimes, something is more than enough
then the sky looked down at the sea, and asked— what is that strange colour?
Sixteen migrant workers (were run over by a freight train as they tried to make their way home)
No matter which way our world falls, only
one side is soiled, only one side is wounded,
only one side bleeds. This inequity is favoured
by a sky that cannot tell day from night. The
illusion of a silver moon is only in eyes forced
to look up. Hands that built our cities, walk
away from them, empty handed. But death is neither
random nor foretold. We formulate methods that
compute the value of lives. Zero or one. From that
we derive the rate at which they will be forgotten.
to know darkness – the sun must first understand its light
For the millions of migrant workers making their way back to villages and towns in the hinterland, thousands on foot,walking hundreds of kilometres, as livelihoods are destroyed during the lockdown and hunger becomes a greater threat than disease.