No way back

transformed matter
still ripe with unbelief,
whenever this ends, wherever thereafter begins,
we became ocean, seed, star, poem,
the dark still pumping through our veins —
no way back
no answer yet
everything, yet nothing, left behind,
nothing, yet everything, carried inside

it was convenient, even pleasant,
for a while,
till we learnt reality was the mirage,
and the mirage too real,
what about the years then?
what about being?
being and belonging?
what about moonlight and skin
and the void and the rain,
especially the rain?
what about wetness?

maybe it was only about
that moment of knowing, enduring,
of that certainty of surrender —
knowing the sun would melt our wings
knowing that falling was another
remembering that within the clouds
we too smell of unborn lake —
but that wasn’t the plan, was it?

we rose upward on the saddest wave
and even the sky couldn’t tell
what was awake and what surely
was dreaming,
what was manifest and what
was disappearing,
what was true — this hand, that promise —
and what was just a feeling.

The Lists


Count all the things that are eternal. Then
count all the things that are not. In which
list did you put the love you feel? The love
you received? In which list did you put
yourself? When creation made its lists,
which one do you think it placed you in?



Dreaming Shankuntala: Raja Ravi Varma
Previous: Tao inspirations #6

Seven Steps

seven steps
around the sanctified fire,
ghee-seared smoke
veiling my eyes,
my red stained feet
following yours,
over blessed marigold petals
and auspicious turmeric rice,
chants sliding into the warmth
of your fingers over mine,

seven steps,
each a prayer,
a propitiation,
a purpose,
a pledge,
mirroring the universe’s motion,
circumambulating a life source,
atom and earth,
body and soul,

seven steps
to begin a journey,
seven steps
to fulfill seven births,
seven steps
to transcend the seven worlds,
seven steps
to get so far;

just one to turn away.

The Saptapadi, the Seven Steps taken by the bride and groom around the fire, is an important ritual performed during a traditional Hindu wedding.
For the midweek prompt at Poets United: “Commitment”

Where Lotus Buds Smile

from a gold carriage, a maiden descends,
in jasmine tipped fingers, oblations fine,
a rainbow spilt over pale river bends,
a liquid arch flowing up to the shrine;

a blush entangled in her silken threads,
she trips on chants as she follows his lead,
silver anklets are hushed by grassy beds,
dark eyes supplicate passion’s first need;

the wandering echo of time gone by,
still whispers her name in the peepal’s shade,
some nights, weeping bells sing a lullaby,
then some mornings, the sleepless nights don’t fade;

come back girl where the blue lotus buds smile,
he’s still waiting there, it’s been quite a while.

Random thoughts while wandering through ancient temples…
Linked to Poets United


Feel this frangible sunshine, crumbling like parchment between your fingers, scattering murmuring hieroglyphs in the dark corners of your eyes. Watch the waking birds, a soundless ripple, seven lines of gold-dusted reeds and the obstinate half-sun fleeing, once more, from the serrated jaws of the cold mountains.

Open your arms and draw them close, hear the stories they whisper in your ears, bullnosed shards of eternal life, that weave through fibre and blood, hushing your voice, teasing your hair and tracing the creased questions in your eyebrows.

Walk slowly till the weariness leaves, wafting up into the silence between the tolls of the waiting bell, until the squawking schadenfreude of the back-lit ducks ebbs all at once into the unravelling quietude.

View of the Church of Saint-Paul-de-Mausole

slowly, softly,
slides out of this morning

Linked to Dverse Poets for the Haibun picture prompt and to Poets United for the midweek motif “Tranquility”. The picture is Van Gogh’s View of the Church of Saint-Paul-de-Mausole.

Heart Afire

The ugly sky was shedding charred skin,
fiery welts were glowing through its punctured flesh,
the night that had concealed the hideous torment was dying,
all that was safe was burning in a pyre of soul-stripping light.

But then a glowing peak rose like the tip of a flame,
searing the air in puffs of aurum dust,
dragging the eye with it to the realm of the unchained spirit,
while fear watched, afraid to breathe, afraid to blink, afraid to care.

Nature in its birthing ritual was releasing another syncretic dawn,
mirroring the heart, an amalgam of black hope and golden despair,
a child of the eternal infinite, ephemeral as the rising sun,
damned like the lover in hades and blessed like a four-winged flower.

25/3/15: Posted on DversePoets