Wet Season For Writing

Emotion congeals into grey clouds that hide the
light. The poem feels ink falling like warm rain.

As if there is a wet season for writing. You used
to say only Illusions are spun from light- love

and gods and dawn and the paleness around
my finger where your ring used to be. You used

to say darkness is the primordial truth. The poem
swallows its vowels. There are things that should

not be said. After the rain, there must still be sky.
Alone wasn’t a thing, till we made it up. Till a

storm forced it into the poem. Till hyphens gave
up the things they held together. The poem lies

beside me and touches the wound of absence.
We learn to feed our solitude with consonants.


But Skin Is Different

There are indentations in the blue
porcelain like impressions on soft
wax where it was held softly, when

the tea was warm, for a while, and it
would not stop raining. We leave marks
on things that least expect it, on a passing

wing, on yellow afternoons, on the serrated
silhouette of leaves against a midnight
moon, on time standing on one leg, back

against the far wall, waiting. Truth is a
collage of careless fingerprints, the rain can
draw your picture from the way your hand

caressed the clouds, but skin is different,
naked skin can be cleansed, memory carries
the deliberate guilt of sieved pain. This tea is

cold, a level certainty in an imperfect cup, it
is only mid-June, the sun flattens like an
unleavened candle, and it will not stop raining.

September First

It is that crease in the crumpled paper of
time folded inside the envelope of listless

improbability, everything before it unreal, thereafter
a breathless race to the end of the year

through festive lamps and fireworks and the
sensuous rustle of woven silk, everyday reminders

that we are still packing rectangular burfis in oval
cardboard boxes. Now damp memories begin to

leech into skies freshly wiped of the grey monsoon,
remembrances tied up like fat goats in impromptu

markets, primed for sacrifice, of Dussheras when
truth was pink and green and yellow and the

clouds were the colour of spilt burgundy and words
were heavy with sighs, of that Diwali when doors

slammed louder than crackers the kids set off
inside old Bournvita tins and neighbours peered

through the window with eyes lit up like burning
flowerpots. Everything is reset on September first,

the sun is hanging out to dry on the line, her mellow-
mellow light with its sound of breaking boundaries and

shattering smiles paints the air with a strange
sanctity as if every molecule of the universe is visible and

quivering and even you and I know that without the
rain, we can no longer pretend to be waiting.

Waiting for Sunshine

it is our stubborn reluctance
to stir the heavy air
who, like an aging lover,
thinks he can still tell
hidden yearning from unspoken boundaries,
a book lies unread on my lap
someone’s impassioned words
that conjure a false arrhythmia
begging for motion, for emotion
as if waving at the sky
will make it forfeit a single monsoon cloud;

it is the false propaganda of the rain
masking the odour of parched throats
with a fleeting waft of petrichor
that precludes dissent,
its clammy fingers proclaiming life
as if eternity rides down
on pregnant clouds
to backfill the emptiness;

but we have learnt to wait
until the sun deigns to love us again
until shadows that slunk away
return to the hollows of our patient curves,
we have soft umbrellas of inertia
to deafen the mystic drumming of the rain
the grey shroud will drop
from his bent shoulders
the revelation
is only a few yards
of nothingness away.

June Skies

the tea is smelling of ginger
and cardamom, sickly sweet,
the kind she likes in the morning,
that whispers in her ear
tells her to write about disappearing horizons
about absent birds, puddles stolen from cloistered skies,
the way the summer births this deluge
and slips away, leaving the monsoon
screaming in her hands,

an unlikely mother
bent like a cold question in a still damp watercolour,
she writes of cold toes and wrinkled skin
of a song about a long ago downpour
that sounds like a lullaby,
of smudged eyes and leaching tears,
of a chipped cup from which
the grey wind stops to drink,
four a.m. The darkness shivers,
it is raining again.

she writes of a sun that was,
of the way the light used to be.

Half a Rage

a coy drizzle
half a rage away from a storm
you know you can silence thought
and carry in your vortex
lip and unspoken word-
yet you wear your best dress
and kneel on the damp grass
holding out your
glassy grey hand…

Quadrille: a 44 word poem
Linked to the Dverse Poets (Prompt: Drizzle)

Black Umbrella

everything you say about hurt is a lie,
I know there are never enough words,
not words still dry, still complete,
a gutted lexicon slips into the flooded chasm
between want and fulfilment,
dissolving into platitudes as it pleads ;

see, to explain hurt, you have to explain everything,
but everything is a lattice of unhealed scars that
re-patterns incessantly in the darkness of ache,
always changing, always erasing;
everything is tiny fragments that congeal
into a living, writhing organism,
its heart beating outside your heart,
its breath warming inside your breath;
always growing, always imploding;

everything is a cloudy sky that forgot
the smell of rain,
everything is the memory of hurt
that whispers your drowning name,
everything is never really yours to tell,
whatever you say about hurt is a lie;

yet we will nod and weep, even smile a little,
and the lie will grow soft, glistening wings,
become a silver truth in the empty night sky,
no longer birthed from our silent eyes
that stare out of blurry window panes
at our sodden clothes,
walking that day
in the after wet of a summer shower,
the warm rain locked forever
in the black of a closed umbrella.